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Head of Nagorno-Karabakh signs order on dissolution of breakaway republic

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Samvel Shahramanyan, the elected president of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), has signed the order on its dissolution effective January 1, 2024.

All government agencies and institutions will cease to exist, and the people of Artsakh are advised to “explore the conditions of integration” offered by Azerbaijan and make an “independent and individual decision” about the possibility of staying in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

David Babayan, the advisor to the president of Artsakh, has announced his decision to honor Azerbaijan's summons and leave Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh, for Baku:

“Dear compatriots, friends, and fellow party members,

As you all know, I’ve been blacklisted by Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani side has demanded my presence in Baku for an investigation. I’ve decided to leave Stepanakert for Shushi. Naturally, my decision will cause great pain, anxiety, and stress to my family, most of all, but I’m sure they’ll understand.

My absence, or worse, my escape would immensely harm our long-suffering people, many of them – and as an honest, hard-working man, as a patriot and a Christian, I can't let that happen.

God bless our people; may the Almighty reduce their suffering and heal their wounds.”

As of 08:00 a.m. on September 28, 65,036 forcibly displaced residents of Nagorno-Karabakh (roughly one-half of the republic's population) have entered Armenia.

Yesterday, former State Minister of Nagorno-Karabakh, Ruben Vardanyan, was detained by Azerbaijani troops on the border of the republic en route to the Armenian town of Goris.

On September 19, Azerbaijan began shelling the territory of the breakaway republic. Azerbaijani authorities insisted that Nagorno-Karabakh was harboring Armenian military personnel who were firing at Azerbaijani army positions; however, the Armenian government denied any military presence in Artsakh.

On the following day, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh announced a ceasefire.

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