Russian Peacekeepers Withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh After Four Years

The Bear Withdraws

Russian Presidential Spokesperson Peskov has told state-owned media that Russian peacekeepers are currently withdrawing from Nagorno-Karabakh. The report from TASS reads below:

“The withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from Karabakh has begun, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed.

“Yes, this is true,” the Kremlin spokesman replied to the request of journalists to confirm the information of the Azerbaijani media about the beginning of the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from Karabakh.”

History of the Deployment

The Russian Federation has maintained a force of 1,960 servicemen, provided by the 15th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade, since the ceasefire established after the sweeping Azerbaijan victory in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War.

Russian Lieutenant General Rustam Muradov has led these forces which have largely been detailed to roadblock duty and were ultimately unsuccessful in preventing Azerbaijan from annexing the entire region in 2023. Leading up to the Azeri incursions, Armenian civilians noted that Russian roadblocks were largely abandoned as the troops sought to avoid direct involvement in the conflict. The Russian and Turkish Joint Monitoring Center, meant to enforce the ceasefire has ultimately failed due to the hundreds of ceasefire violations, the seizure of the region by Azerbaijan, and the growing tensions on the border areas between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Russian troops stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh have been repeatedly accused of being pro-Armenian by Baku. However, as Armenia seeks increased U.S.-alignment following Yerevan’s dissatisfaction with Moscow’s failure to keep the ceasefire, it appears that Moscow is finally cutting its losses in the area. One can argue that since Nagorno-Karabakh is now firmly under Azeri control, there is no reason to keep troops there, but since tensions are still high concerning several Azeri villages and a possible forced land corridor in the South to the Azeri enclave, one can also argue that international peacekeepers are needed now more than ever.

This announcement comes after several heavy blows to Armenia-Russian relations in the last six months such as Yerevan’s request that Russian troops leave Zvartnots International Airport and Armenia’s banning of Russian outlet Sputnik.
Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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