ArmInfo. The U.S. State Department refused to describe what happened in Artsakh as ethnic cleansing until there is appropriate evidence.
Thus, on October 2, during a weekly briefing, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller, in response to the question of whether he agreed with the statements of the Armenian side that what is happening in Artsakh is ethnic cleansing, taking into account the statements of AFP, the team that was able to travel to capital of Nagorno-Karabakh Stepanakert, and they described it as a ghost town, in part, said: "So we take allegations of ethnic cleansing, genocide, or other atrocities seriously. We are in touch with contacts on the ground about the situation. We won't shy from taking appropriate actions to respond to allegations of atrocities and promote accountability for those responsible for atrocities when we see evidence that they've taken place. But as always, a determination regarding genocide or ethnic cleansing is based on a deliberate, evidence-based process. It's not something I can speak to with any degree of finality from this podium." To the remark that Artsakh has been emptied of its civilian population, Miller agreed that this was indeed the case, and about one hundred thousand (100,520 - ed. note) ethnic Armenians left Nagorno-Karabakh and moved to Armenia.
" Now, we don't know - I don't think any of us can say whether - what percentage of those plan to remain in Armenia permanently, what percentage of them may want to come back, if the conditions allowed, if they felt sufficient assurances about their treatment if they would return, which is why we are reiterating our call for an independent international monitoring mission that would provide transparency and reassurance to the population of Nagorno-Karabakh that the rights and securities of ethnic Armenians would be protected, particularly for any of those that wish to return. Azerbaijan has made those assurances. We think there ought to be an international monitoring mission there to observe and guarantee them," a representative of the US State Department said.
Regarding the prospects for signing a peace agreement between Yerevan and Baku. Miller noted "We think certainly there ought to be. There are other issues beyond the status of Nagorno-Karabakh that are at dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and we would encourage them to return to peace talks to discuss and ultimately come to resolution on those issues," he concluded.
On September 19, Azerbaijan, under the pretext of an "anti-terrorist operation," undertook another act of aggression against Artsakh. As a result of enemy aggression, hundreds of Artsakh residents were injured, more than 200 deaths were reported, including civilians, and more than 10,000 were evacuated.
On September 20, Artsakh fell. Azerbaijan began the forcible subjugation of the NKR. On September 20, late in the evening it became known that Azerbaijan had deliberately shot at the car of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, killing 5 people, including the deputy commander of the RPC. Today, there were reports that one soldier was killed and another was wounded as a result of shooting at another RPC vehicle.
On September 21, a meeting between representatives of Baku and Stepanakert was held in Yevlakh. Azerbaijan demanded the disarmament of the Artsakh Defense Army, the surrender of all military personnel and the abolition of all government bodies.
On September 22, the process of abolishing the Artsakh Defense Army began. There are reports that the enemy side exterminated the population of the villages captured on September 19-20. During search operations from September 21 to 24, the NKR Ministry of Internal Affairs discovered the bodies of 105 Artsakh residents, including brutally murdered children and elderly people.
On October 1, the last car with Artsakh people left the homeland. Thus, over the past week, 100.514 people were forcibly expelled from their land.
On September 25 it also became known that Artsakh was connected to the energy system of Azerbaijan. Protests demanding the resignation of the RA Prime Minister continue in Yerevan and regions. We add that as a result of the explosion that took place in the fuel depot near Stepanakert on September 25, according to preliminary data, more than 290 people were injured, 170 more died, there are still missing people.
The EU stated that it would allocate an additional 5 million euros to assist internally displaced people from Artsakh. Earlier, USAID Administrator Samantha Power, who is on a visit to Armenia, said that "the United States will provide Armenia with support in the amount of $11.5 million for the humanitarian needs of people displaced from Nagorno- Karabakh." In addition, as ArmInfo previously reported with reference to the Swedish Ambassador to Armenia, Sweden, through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), allocated 15 million Swedish kronor to the International Committee of the Red Cross to meet the humanitarian needs of the population of Nagorno- Karabakh. France promised to allocate another 7 million euros. Germany announced an increase in subsidies to the ICRC from 2 to 5 million euros, to direct them to humanitarian needs of the Armenians of Nagorno- Karabakh. Another 1 million euros will be provided by Spain, $2.5 million by Canada, and 1.3 million pounds sterling by the UK. A number of other countries have also announced their intention to send humanitarian aid to the expelled people of Artsakh.