Russian peacekeepers evacuate 2,000 civilians from breakaway Armenian-controlled region

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  • Azerbaijan began its “anti-terrorist” operation. 
  • Russian peacekeepers have evacuated more than 2,000 civilians from Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region controlled by ethnic Armenians. 
  • A former top official in the ethnic Armenian administration said close to 100 people had been killed and hundreds more injured in the breakaway region. 
  • Russian losses ‘significantly increased’ in recent days 
  • The US-based think tank said the Russian military “likely struggles with a lack of available combat effective units that the Russian command is willing to laterally redeploy to this sector of the front.” 
  • A diesel fuel tank was on fire early this morning near an airport in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi. 
  • Russia repels missile attack on Sevastopol, governor says. 

Russian peacekeepers have evacuated more than 2,000 civilians from Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region controlled by ethnic Armenians after Azerbaijan began its “anti-terrorist” operation yesterday. That’s according to the Russian state news agency Tass, which cited the Russian defence ministry.

A former top official in the ethnic Armenian administration said close to 100 people had been killed and hundreds more injured in the breakaway region after Azerbaijan started what he called a “big war”. “They are basically saying to us that we need to leave, not stay here, or accept that this is a part of Azerbaijan – this is basically a typical ethnical cleansing operation and a war with a lot of civilians now being killed,” Ruben Vardanyan, former head of the breakaway region’s government, said.

Azerbaijan has rejected accusations its aim is to ethnically cleanse Karabakh and has said it will protect the rights of the area’s ethnic Armenian civilians under its own constitutions.  However, it said it is determined to remove the breakaway region’s political and military structures.

Russian losses have “significantly increased” in western Zaporizhzhia in recent days, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The US-based think tank said the Russian military “likely struggles with a lack of available combat effective units that the Russian command is willing to laterally redeploy to this sector of the front. The ISW’s analysis also said both Russian and Ukrainian sources “credited superior Ukrainian combat coordination, more precise artillery fire, and stronger electronic warfare systems for recent Ukrainian advances south of Bakhmut amid continued discussions of significant Russian losses in the area”.

A diesel fuel tank was on fire early this morning near an airport in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi. Mash, a Russian news channel on Telegram, posted a video of a big column of smoke rising over the city. The blaze has now been extinguished, the city’s mayor said. “There were no casualties, Alexei Kopaigorodskyi said on Telegram. “The airport and the entire transport system are operating as normal.” He said the cause of the fire is being investigated.

Russia prevented a missile attack on Crimea’s Sevastopol, the Moscow-installed governor of the region said. Earlier Mikhail Razvozhayev posted on Telegram to say Russia had downed several drones near Sevastopol. “According to updated information, our air defence repelled a missile attack on Sevastopol,” Mr. Razvozhayev said. “Information on possible damage from falling parts of downed missiles and casualties is being verified.”

With inputs from agencies)

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