Residents of the unrecognised Nagorno-Karabakh Republic were glad to see the arrival of Russian peacekeepers, Deputy Commander of the Peacekeeper Forces in the region, Alexey Polyukhovich, has stated. He noted that locals have high hopes the deployment of Russian troops will mark a return to normalcy.
Polyukhovich added that indeed life on the streets of the self-proclaimed republic's capital Stepanakert was returning to normal. The deputy commander stressed that a transport corridor allowing people to travel from Armenia to Karabakh and vice versa has been organised, and that all civilian transport is being escorted by peacekeepers to ensure their safety.
The residents of Stepanakert confess that they felt "relieved" at the sight of the Russian peacekeepers arriving.
"When we heard that the peacekeepers were coming, we felt protected. If the Russian peacekeepers are arriving that means we can finally live in peace", Stepanakert resident Natalia Petrosyan told Sputnik.
Week of Peace in Karabakh
Military clashes flared up in the Nagorno-Karabakh region at the end of September after Azerbaijan and Armenia accused each other of violating the decades-long ceasefire along the line of contact. After two failed ceasefire attempts and thousands of people killed, including civilians, the sides finally ended hostilities by signing a joint statement mediated by Russia on 10 November.
According to the document, signed by the heads of the three states, Agdam, Calbajar, and the Lachin Districts in the east, north, and west of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic will be handed over to Azerbaijan by 1 December 2020, with Armenian forces withdrawing from their positions there.
While the republic's capital ended up cut off from Armenia, its residents will still be able to travel between the two via the Lachin corridor, which will be controlled by the Russian peacekeepers, in accordance with the signed statement. The Russian contingent will also be deployed along the line of contact separating the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic from Azerbaijan.