Blockade of the Latchin corridor by Azerbaijan between Armenia and Artsakh: ARMARAS collective mobilizes to inform the general public
Paris, January 16, 2023 – Today, more than 120,000 Armenians are cut off from the world due to the illegal blockade of the Latchin corridor connecting Artsakh Armenians to the territory of Armenia, because of Ilham Aliyev’s policy. Faced with this humanitarian crisis, the collective “ARMARAS”, composed of more than 200 volunteers and communication professionals, is mobilizing to raise awareness in the media and the general public about the tragic situation in Armenia and Artsakh. (1)
Since Monday, December 12, the Latchin corridor, the only road connecting the Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) to the territory of Armenia, has been blocked by a hundred Azerbaijani activists posing as “environmental activists”, thus depriving the Armenians of food, medical care or electricity, in the middle of winter. Since Friday, the only fiber optic cable providing Internet connection to Artsakh from Armenia, as well as the only high-powered power line that provided electricity, have been damaged. The Azerbaijani government refused to allow Artsakh engineers to repair the damage.
This blockade follows the 2020 war, or “44-day war,” which left more than 4,000 Armenians dead and 12,000 disabled. Turkey, Azerbaijan’s historical ally, supported Azerbaijan militarily during this war by providing it with weapons and jihadists, Syrian and Libyan mercenaries, allowing Azerbaijan to gain ground in the region.
For two years, despite the ceasefire agreement signed on November 9, 2020 between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, Azerbaijan has illegally invaded and occupied on September 13 more than 150 km2 of the internationally recognized Armenian territory.
The occupation of these territories located on strategic heights constitutes a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Armenia, international agreements and the UN Charter.
These attacks, as well as the ongoing blockade of the Latchin corridor, are aimed at forcing Armenia to cede its territory in order to create a territorial continuity between Azerbaijan, its exclave Nakhchivan and Turkey – in a panturistic logic – and to further isolate Armenia by depriving it of its border with Iran.
Faced with the timid reaction of the media on the question of Armenia focused by the war in Ukraine, as well as the gas agreements between the European Union and Azerbaijan, the latter takes advantage of the situation so that Baku obtains a total submission of Artsakh.
ARMARAS: a collective of more than 200 professionals and volunteers
In 2023, a collective of all horizons spontaneously structured itself in order to bring to the media all the documentation necessary to establish the truth on this conflict. This collective is composed of a strategic group that gives the main orientations to the different working groups: social networks, press, digital marketing and international network (USA, Europe and Canada).
For this, ARMARAS proposes several tools:
- Organization of conferences
- Contact with a network of specialists: history, economy, geopolitics…
- Photo bank taken on site
- Organization of press trips
- Contact with fixers
For Armaras: “Our objective is to communicate with the greatest transparency and objectivity the events that are taking place today in the Armenian territory, leaving 120,000 Armenians in despair, without resources, without food, cut off from the world and whose magnitude of the catastrophe is evolving into a second genocide of the 21st century, providing the media and the general public with the elements they would need.”
(1) Artsakh is a landlocked region populated by Armenians and whose territory was arbitrarily given in 1921 by Stalin to the new Republic of Azerbaijan. After the fall of the USSR, the Nagorno-Karabakh war claimed more than 30,000 lives and ended with a cease-fire in 1994 and the self-determination of the territory of Artsakh, which is still not recognized by the international community.