Second day of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan: everything you need to know

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At least 39 people died in 24 hours. Calls for a ceasefire due to fear of an open war between Baku and Yerevan.

For the second day in a row, fighting continues by Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the southern Caucasus. At least 39 people were killed in 24 hours in fighting between separatists from Nagorno Karabaj, supported by Armenia, and Azerbaijani troops, according to balances announced this Monday, amid fears that it will explode an open war between Baku and Yerevan.

The conflict, in which regional powers support each other, is a legacy of the collapse of the USSR. The clashes are centered in the region of Nagorno Karabaj, an enclave in Azerbaijani territory, but controlled by Armenian forces since the war that took place in the area when the Soviet Union disintegrated and left 30,000 dead. The confrontation ended with a ceasefire signed in 1994.

This conflict ended with a precarious ceasefire and clashes are recorded every year along the trenches that line the front line.

But since 2016 these clashes have won in frequency and intensity with several hundred deaths on each side. This is because both countries have rearmed, in many cases acquiring cutting-edge military technology.

Russia, the United States, the European Union and Iran have asked the parties to end Although Turkey, Azerbaijan’s main supporter, has shown its full support to the Baku government and has sent reinforcements in recent weeks.

There is fear of an implication that the military escalation destabilizes a key region for the European energy supply, since Russia, although it sells arms to both sides, is the main support of Armenia and has soldiers deployed in that country, who could intervene in case the Azerbaijani forces advance too much.

Meanwhile, both countries they have declared martial law and restricted freedoms, which means that, in addition to the military, the propaganda war has begun.An escalation between historical enemies In recent years, Azerbaijan has allocated a significant part of its oil revenues to the purchase of weapons.

After several weeks of war rhetoric, Azerbaijan said it launched a major “counteroffensive” in response to an Armenian “aggression”, resorting to artillery, armor and aircraft against the province controlled by Armenian separatists.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan accused his historical enemy of having “declared war on the Armenian people”, while yesterday’s Ilham Aliyev He promised to “win.”

The president of the self-proclaimed republic of Nagorno Karabakh, Arayik Harutyunyan, said on his side that “Turkey, not Azerbaijan” is fighting against the secessionist territory. “There are helicopters, F-16s (planes) and troops and mercenaries from different countries,” he said.

Moscow, which maintains cordial relations with the two belligerents and is the regional referee, feels closer to Armenia, which is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russian-dominated military alliance.

All mediation efforts to resolve this conflict have failed, and Armenia and Azerbaijan already fought on their northern border last July in the most serious fighting since 2016 and which raised concerns about the destabilization of the region.

RFI

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