South Caucasus Geopolitical Watch – from 14 January to 20 January 2023

South Caucasus Geopolitical Watch Team : Séverine Ly, Morgan Caillet

14-20/01/2023: Security and humanitarian update in Karabakh and around the Lachin corridor – Morgan Caillet –

Azerbaijani environmental protests against Armenian mining in Karabakh continued this week, still allowing, according to several Azerbaijani media (,, the passage of convoys of Russian peacekeeping forces (25 on 18 January 18, 54 on 19 January, 35 on 20 January) and from the ICRC: 6 patients on 18 January, 2 patients on 19 January, 4 on 20 January (bringing the total number of patients transferred from on 12 December, according to the “Ministry of Health of Nagorno-Karabakh”). On 17 January, 26 people were reportedly transferred from Armenia to “Nagorno-Karabakh”, including 19 children, in the vehicles of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, according to Azerbaijani media (APA, Report, Trend), the Mediator of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic”, Gegham Stapanian, recounting: “As a result of the provocative actions of the Azerbaijanis, there was a commotion in the car and, as a result, one of the children fainted. Thanks to the actions taken by the Russian peacekeepers, the Azerbaijanis were removed from the car and the vehicle continued its journey”.

The “Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh” denounced on 18 January through a statement the interruptions of gas supplies from Armenia by Azerbaijanin March 2022 for more than 20 days, 13 December, just the day after the current blockade, for 3 days, as well as 17 January, 2023”. In addition, the distribution of food coupons for the population of the enclave would have, according to the “Ministry of Social Development and Migration”, started on 18 January. The newsletter of the “Artsakh Information Center” of 20 January reported the closure of all schools in the enclave, 177 in number, from kindergarten to vocational high schools due to the blockade by the Azerbaijan of electricity and gas supply”. He also shared the following figures: “154 babies […] born under blockade. […] nearly 460 citizens […] deprived of the possibility of a surgical intervention that their state of health requires. […] 4,100 people [who] lost their jobs […] More than 15,600 tons of basic necessities [which] would have been delivered to Artsakh if it had not been for the blockade”. The Armenian Foreign Ministry issued a comment on 19 January denouncing “the psychological terror and the violation of the rights of Armenian children by Azerbaijan”.

It should be noted the death of 15 Armenian soldiers and 7 wounded in a barracks in the village of Azat in the province of Gegharkunik, reported by the Armenian Ministry of Defence, following a fire started, according to the words of the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in a Cabinet of Ministers meeting, when a soldier tried to start a heater in a barracks with gasoline from a 5-liter can, in violation of safety regulations.

The Armenian Defence Ministry also denounced a breach of the ceasefire by Azerbaijani forces and the injury of a soldier following gunfire near Nakhichevan and the village of Yerashk. The Azerbaijani Defence Ministry has denied any involvement.

16/01/2023: Imprisonment of an Azerbaijani activist expelled from Germany – Morgan Caillet

According to several local media (Eurasianet, Ocmedia, MeydanTV, JamNews) a new human rights activist expelled from Germany, Jafar Mirzayev, was sentenced on 16 January by the serious crimes court in Baku to 6 years in prison for

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