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Russian peacekeepers begin deploying to Nagorno-Karabakh under Armenia-Azerbaijan armistice (VIDEOS)

Russian peacekeepers begin deploying to Nagorno-Karabakh under Armenia-Azerbaijan armistice (VIDEOS)
Just minutes after the midnight peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan was signed, Russia began deploying peacekeepers to the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. Airplanes and convoys of vehicles are already on their way.

Several Il-76 transport aircraft have taken off from Ulyanovsk, carrying the first batch of peacekeeping troops, the Russian Defense Ministryconfirmed around 2:30am Moscow time on Tuesday (11:30pm GMT Monday).

A video released by the Defense Ministry shows a convoy made up of trucks, armored personnel carriers and other support vehicles making its way to the region as well.

While the Defense Ministry did not clarify where exactly the convoy was filmed on the move, images obtained exclusively by RT show a number of military vehicles arriving in the Armenian town of Goris, some 90km from Stepanakert.

The agreement, which came into effect at midnight Moscow time, envisions the deployment of 1,960 Russian troops, 90 armored vehicles, and 380 other vehicles.

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The Defense Ministry said that the 15th Detached Motorized Rifle Brigade from the Central Military District will be designated as peacekeepers and form the mainstay of the deployment. Their command post will be set up near Stepanakert, the capital of the disputed region.

These troops will replace the Armenian forces currently deployed along the line of control, and secure the corridor between the remaining territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia proper after territorial concessions that Yerevan had pledged to make to Baku. The agreement envisions them staying for five years, with an automatic five-year extension unless one of the sides objects.

Also on rt.com Putin announces that Russian peacekeepers are headed for Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijan & Armenia sign suprise midnight armistice

The armistice, which Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev praised as “historic” and Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan described as “painful” but necessary, comes after six weeks of heavy fighting in the area. 

Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave once within the borders of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, seceded in 1991 as the Soviet Union began to collapse. The conflict was frozen by an armistice in 1994, but flared up again at the end of September. 

READ MORE: War over? Armenia’s Pashinyan says signed declaration with Russia’s Putin & Azerbaijan's Aliyev to END Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

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 bt Russia.

Azerbaijan said that Turkish peacekeepers will also be deployed in the region, offering no further details. Ankara has backed Baku in efforts to resolve the conflict over what Azerbaijan calls “occupied territories.”

Also on rt.com Azerbaijan’s Aliyev praises ‘historic’ deal to end war in Nagorno-Karabakh, says TURKISH forces will join Russian peacekeepers

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