The National Security Agency said on Saturday that Armenia had foiled an assassination attempt that targeted Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the seizure of power by a group of former officials.
Pashinyan was under pressure as thousands of protesters continued to demonstrate since Tuesday, demanding his resignation, due to his signing of a ceasefire agreement that guaranteed Azerbaijan to preserve the field gains it made in Nagorno Karabakh after six weeks of fighting.
The National Security Agency said its former boss, Artur Vanitsyan, former head of the Republican party’s parliamentary bloc, Fahram Baghdasaryan, and former fighter Ashot Minasaryan had been arrested.
“The suspects were intending to unlawfully usurp power by assassinating the prime minister, and there were already potential candidates being considered in his place,” the agency said in a statement.
Pashinyan said that he had no choice but to sign the ceasefire agreement to prevent further losses on the ground.
He added that he was personally responsible for those setbacks, but refused calls to step down.
The agreement ended the military operations in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but which is inhabited by Armenians.
According to the agreement, two thousand Russian soldiers will be deployed to keep the peace in the region.
Since the early 1990s, the Armenians have militarily controlled all the lands of Nagorno-Karabakh and large areas of Azerbaijani lands surrounding it.
Armenians have now lost much of the territory of the region itself, as well as the lands around it.
At the field level, smoke clouds started covering the sky on this autumn day.
Sharkhtar is burning. Residents of this village, adjacent to Nagorno Karabakh, preferred to burn down their homes rather than leave them under the shadows of the Azerbaijani forces, who will arrive hours later.
“It is our last day here, tomorrow the Azerbaijani soldiers will come”.
The sound almost suffocates in the man’s throat as he wraps an antique sweatshirt dampened with fuel at the front of a stick, lights it and throws it towards his home.
And here he is standing staring at the house on fire.
At first, the tin roof was slowly lit by flames.
But to be certain that nothing but rubble will remain, the wretched man throws boards and burnt objects out of the windows.
“It is my home, I cannot leave it to the Turks,” which is the name that Armenians often give to Azerbaijanis.
The man emptied his house all, leaving nothing but a plastic table in it, and the fire started to melt it.
“Everyone is burning their homes today… They gave us until midnight to leave,” the man said before getting on his four-wheel drive car to set off without looking back, repeating: “They are all traitors”.
At the beginning of this week, a peace agreement was reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan under Russian auspices, ending the last chapters of this long-running conflict.
The agreement confirms the gains made by the Azerbaijani forces on the ground and provides for the ceding of additional areas in favor of Baku.
This village is located on the outskirts of the Kalbajar district, which is a valley crossed by the Tatar River, below mountain heights and cliffs.
Sharkhtar is one of the most prominent inhabited sites in the region, and without a doubt, more than half of the village’s homes, which belong to the majority of farmers, were burned in the last 24 hours by their owners.
The same scene was being repeated: men in military uniform returning from the fronts, filling their antique cars with what they could before lighting the fires.
As for those who do not find a car carrying their belongings, like Sarkis in his forties, they may burn “everything” as he will”.
I previously set fire to bees’ hens,” he adds.
“I don’t have much time”.
When and how will Azerbaijani troops arrive, no one knows.
However, the local authorities in Nagorno Karabakh assured residents that the Kalbajar road is currently the only route towards Armenia, and that it will remain under their control.
Russian soldiers are beginning to patrol her.
Sarkis believes that “the Azerbaijanis will reach (to Kalbajar) with their rafts”.
On that road, the events of the Great Migration take place, when cars are crowded towards the Armenian border city of Vardenas, crossing the Sudets Pass at an altitude of 2,700 meters.
And it seems that everything that can be carried from Kalbajar is in the process of transportation.
The transformers of the huge hydroelectric plants were loaded by trucks, while others were cutting trees and cutting them to take them to Armenia, where they could be sold at good prices.
Shepherds also ran flocks of sheep and cows at a fast pace.
The Kalbajar military base looked legitimate, and the soldiers were removing the cans of the garages and collecting the ammunition boxes and everything that could be taken.
Papers were burning in the yard of the barracks.
A piece of paper hanging said in Armenian, “Mine danger!”
On the wall, a pig’s head was drawn and two words were written in yellow and in clear letters to the arrivals shortly: “Damn the Azeris!”