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15  Artsakh war

May 18 marks 20th anniversary of Road of Life (video)

May 18 marks 20th anniversary of Road of Life

PanARMENIAN.Net - 20 years ago, on May 18, 1992, the defense army of Artsakh liberated Lachin (now Berdzor), which was of vital importance.

After liberation of Shushi, the Armenian forces had a new goal - to cleave the Road of Life at the shortest section between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia, since Karabakh was under conditions of severe economic blockade.

Electricity and gas supplies were halted. Ammunition, food and medicine were delivered from Armenia by civil aviation, the flight becoming possible after liberation of Khojalu, where the only airport in Karabakh was located.

On May 13, 1992, the Armenian forces continued concentrating near Zarasly settlement located between Shushi and Lachin. The communication with Lachin was cut off, while its hospital, school and building of local administration were destructed.

On May 15, Armenian detachments attacked upland Gulablu settlement of Aghdam region. Azerbaijani troops, which had numerical and positional advantages, repelled the attack. The enemy’s army fired at civilians of Stepanakert and other Armenian settlements from high levels of Gulablu.

On May 17, the Armenian forces rebuffed the Azerbaijani army’s attack on Shushi with participation of 1,000 soldiers through the support of 20 tanks and other armored vehicles.

According to the NKR defense army, fire exchanges took place in Lachin between the Azerbaijani armed detachments and local Kurds. However, as soon as traffic through a bypass road from Berdzor to Goris region was resumed, the Azerbaijani detachments started urgently leaving Lachin.

On May 18, Armenian then-Defense Minister Vazgen Sargsyan told a parliament sitting in Armenia that the road linking Nagorno Karabakh with Armenia is open. A representative of the Azerbaijani defense ministry admitted fall of Lachin in the second half of May 18.

Berdzor, the center of Kashatagh region, continues to serve as the Road of Life connecting Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh also today. While the Karabakh leadership has numerously stated that Berdzor will never be transferred to Azerbaijan – the Lachin corridor cannot be a subject of negotiations, since secure and normal existence of NKR is impossible without it.

14  Artsakh. Liberated Lands
The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan broke out as result of the ethnic cleansing launched by the Azeri authorities in the final years of the Soviet Union. The Karabakh War was fought from 1991 (when the Nagorno Karabakh Republic was proclaimed) to 1994 (when a ceasefire was sealed by Armenia, NKR and Azerbaijan). Most of Nagorno Karabakh and a security zone consisting of 7 regions are now under control of NKR defense army. Armenia and Azerbaijan are holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group up till now.

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