Aliyev had announced that victory in the conflict with Armenia was near. He also announced on Monday that he had brought 23 additional towns under Azerbaijani control. The spokesman for the Karabakh leadership, Pogosyan, wrote on Facebook: “Unfortunately, a series of failures has followed us and the city of Shushi is completely out of our control. The enemy stands before Stepanakert, now our very existence is in danger. “
The reason is that Azerbaijan controls both important supply routes to Stepanakert with the capture of Shushi – and from there can fire at the city of 50,000 inhabitants at will. Bombs and grenades are already falling regularly and many people are fleeing. The number of Armenians killed rose by 44 to 1,221 on Monday.
The heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh has been going on since September 27th. Azerbaijan lost control of the mountainous area with around 145,000 inhabitants in a war after the collapse of the Soviet Union around 30 years ago. A fragile ceasefire has existed since 1994. Azerbaijan can refer to its “brother state” Turkey in the conflict. Russia, in turn, is Armenia’s protective power.