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WATCH crowds protest in Yerevan & storm Armenia’s parliament after ‘painful’ Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal is announced

WATCH crowds protest in Yerevan & storm Armenia’s parliament after ‘painful’ Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal is announced
Crowds besieged the parliament and government offices in Yerevan after a peace deal with Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh was announced. The terms involve Armenia surrendering some territory it held.

Gunshots could be heard in the streets of the capital as angry protesters stormed the government building, looking for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in the early hours of Tuesday, after he revealed the outline of a “painful” agreement to give up land in Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan in exchange for an end to the bloodshed.

Pashinyan’s whereabouts were unknown, at the time, but he was unharmed. Armenia’s parliament was apparently under the control of the protesters, for a time. 

The speaker of the Armenian parliament, Ararat Mirzoyan, was reportedly beaten up during the fracas and is in a serious condition.

The armistice that came into effect at midnight on Tuesday local time seeks to end six weeks of fighting over the contested region, which has seen major Azerbaijani advances into the territory held by ethnic Armenians since 1994.

In a Facebook statement announcing the deal, Pashinyan called the terms “not a victory, but not a defeat.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Azerbaijan gets to keep the territory it has taken in the most recent fighting, with Armenia ceding additional land over the next month, leaving Russian peacekeepers to guard a road connecting the remnants of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia proper.

Also on rt.com War over? Armenia’s Pashinyan says signed declaration with Russia’s Putin & Azerbaijan's Aliyev to END Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

In a Facebook Live broadcast from an unknown location, Pashinyan said that all participants in the Yerevan “pogrom” will be severely punished.

The apparent revolt against Pashinyan mirrors the way the former media mogul came to power, using a street revolt to force the resignation of then-PM Serzh Sargsyan and compelling the parliament to vote him in as prime minister in May 2018.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian enclave that seceded from Azerbaijan once the Soviet Union began to collapse. Armenians made gains during the 1991-94 conflict, which was frozen until it erupted again at the end of September. 

The situation was aggravated by the fact that Azerbaijan received active support from NATO member Turkey, while Armenia is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military alliance led by Russia.

Also on rt.com Russian peacekeepers begin deploying to Nagorno-Karabakh under Armenia-Azerbaijan armistice (VIDEOS)

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