Military Actions Against the Republic of Armenia

Military Actions Against the Republic of Armenia

Although the conflict was in Nagorno Karabakh, where indigenous Armenians were fighting for their right to live peacefully on their lands and Azerbaijan used all its might to kill or force Armenians out of Karabakh, Azeris did not limit their aggression to Nagorno Karabakh only.

Immediately after the pogroms in Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad and elsewhere, Azeri nationalists started attacking Armenian border villages in the Republic of Armenia. In January 1990 they used the heights on the border between Armenia and Nakhijevan to fire at the villages of the Ararat marz (province) of Armenia. The wine distillery and poultry farm in Ararat, and many private homes in the villages suffered; there was loss of human life. This was still the time when Armenians were rallying in the centre of Yerevan, demanding that the rights of Karabakh Armenians be respected. Volunteers left for Ararat straight from the Yerevan central square when they heard of the attacks at the rally. They possessed only self-made weapons however in two-three days took control of the commanding heights.

Shelling and firing at the population and villages of Armenia along the Azerbaijani border in the regions of Vardenis and Tchambarak started in 1991.

Deportation of the 4500-strong population of Artsvashen and killing of 14 of them took place in the summer of 1992. When Artsvashen fell, an Armenian village-enclave in Azerbaijan, legally belonging to Armenia and recognized as its part, full attacks followed along the border. These attacks resumed in 1993.

Kamo, Martuni and Sevan regions were also attacked. Shooting at the villagers working in the fields, at the vehicles driving in Armenia but visible from Azerbaijan, attempts at crossing the border to steal cattle became commonplace in other regions with a common border as well.

Inhabitants of the border villages in the Tavush and Gegharkunuik marzes are unable to cultivate huge areas of their land and tend their cattle even today as Azeris shoot at everyone they can see from the other side of the border.

Over 300 Armenians were killed in these border attacks and in counter-measures to secure peace.