10  Artsakh From Air

April 2 marks 19th anniversary of Karvachar liberation (video)

April 2 marks 19th anniversary of Karvachar liberation

PanARMENIAN.Net - April 2, 2012 marks the 19 anniversary of liberation of Karvachar (then Kelbajar) town.

Armenian armed forces set to liberate Kelbajar on March 27, 1993. The town was besieged by March 27, and the Armenian forces took the regional center within three days.

The local population was partly evacuated by helicopters; others left the town by mountain passes. Kelbajar was a key strategic point for Armenia, and its liberation provided for a strong link between Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh Republic; the front line was significantly cut, and Martakert region's rear was secured.

Liberation of Karvachar was vitally important to provide for security of northern and north-eastern borders of Armenia and Artsakh.

Liberation of Martakert, as well as security of Vardenis was impossible without prior control taken over Karvachar.

Only competent efforts of Armenian armed forces managed to free Karvachar from the enemy; both Vardenis and Martakert were saved.

Samvel Babayan, Karabakh self-defense army commander later said: “We started preparing for the military operation in Lachin and Kelbajar back in winter. Though talks were underway with Azerbaijan, we knew that the enemy is just gaining time preparing for a decisive blow. We turned out to be right; the negotiations failed.

Azerbaijan focused its army in northern parts of Martakert and Askeran regions gathering over 5000 soldiers, as well as tanks and heavy artillery there. Fighting started in late January; we faced 12 days of non-stop hostilities. We reached the set goal, namely the liberation of Martakert heights, by 90 per cent.”

In total, Karvachar operation became a turning point in Artsakh war. Being a huge strategic hub, it dominates over Northern Artsakh providing control up to Gandzak, another strategic communication point in Caucasus.

The Karvachar operation changed the military and political situation significantly, the strategic initiative being finally transferred to Artsakh, a fact the international community and superpowers could not but realize.

Karvachar features many ancient Armenian monuments the Azerbaijanis did not manage to destroy. One of them is Dadivank, a masterpiece of Karabakh’s Armenian architecture named after Dadi, a pupil of Thaddeus the apostle who introduced Christianity into Armenia.

He is said to found the monastery in late 1st century. Most part of the monastery dates back to 12-13th centuries. Dadivank currently is being restored.

Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Republic
15  Artsakh war
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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