Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenian Defense Minister resigns, weakened Pachinian

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pachinian in front of the National Assembly in Yerevan, November 16, 2020. AP - Tigran Mehrabyan

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This resignation, this Friday, November 20, comes as Azerbaijan regained control of the district of Aghdam, ceded by the Armenian separatists of Nagorno-Karabakh, at the end of an agreement to end hostilities under Russian patronage which put end of six weeks of war.


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Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan has tendered his resignation, the daily


reported on Friday


ten days after the signing of a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh which enshrined Azerbaijan's victory after six weeks of fighting against Armenian separatist forces.

Davit Tonoyan had been in this post since May 2018. A few hours after his resignation, the head of the Armenian government replaced him with one of his advisers, Vagharchak Haroutiounian, who had already been Minister of Defense in 1999-2000. 

The political crisis is therefore intensifying in Armenia: Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian had already resigned on Monday, November 16.

At the origin of this crisis,

the agreement of November 9

on the end of hostilities, which for Armenia is a humiliating defeat.

He is denounced by the opposition, which accuses Prime Minister Nikol Pachinian of being a “ 


” and demands, so far without success, his resignation.

The power has denounced a plot to assassinate the head of government.

Street protests were limited to a few thousand people.

Negotiated by Vladimir Poutine, this agreement which does not pass in Yerevan consecrates the Armenian defeat after six weeks of fighting which left thousands dead.

The self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic survives, even though it loses many territories.

Retrocessions in three stages

In addition to gains in Nagorno-Karabakh itself, notably its second city Shusha (or Chouci for the Armenians), Baku takes over the seven Azerbaijani districts which constituted the security glacis of the separatists.

Four were surrendered by arms, and three have been or will be surrendered.

By regaining control of the Aghdam district on Friday, Azrbaijan is therefore making the first of three retrocessions of territories that the Armenian forces have controlled for nearly thirty years.

Kalbajar will follow on November 25 and Lachin on December 1. 

Some 2,000 Russian peacekeepers are being deployed to ensure the warring parties' compliance with the ceasefire.

Pachinian at bay, triumphant Aliyev


Congratulations to all the citizens of Aghdam.

You are no longer refugees, you will return to your ancestral lands

 , ”Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev told television after his army entered the district.

We liberated the region from Armenian fascism



From country to country, the contrast is stark between a beleaguered Armenian prime minister and a triumphant Azerbaijani president.

Ilham Aliev appeared this week in military fatigues and alongside his wife, the country's vice-president, in some emblematic places of reconquered territories.


To read also: Nagorno-Karabakh war: phosphorus bombs, plague for the environment and health


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