Azerbaijani protesters accuse Russia of striking Shusha/i with „Iskanders“
New proof that the Armenian Armed Forces fired Russian-made Iskander missiles at Shusha/i in the final days of the 2020 Artsakh War sparked an anti-Russian demonstration in Baku on April 9.
Azerbaijan’s National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) shared pictures of fragments of two exploded missiles along with their coordinates in Shusha. The fragments bear the identification number 9M723, which corresponds to the 9K720 Iskander surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile system. They were discovered during a land-mine clearance operation on March 15.
Armenian, Russian and Azerbaijani authorities have denied Armenia’s use of the Iskander system during the war, although the evidence that the Armenian Armed Forces fired the Iskander system against Shusha/i has been circulating since November.
On April 9, the youth branch of the opposition „Musavat“ Party held a picket outside the Russian Embassy in Baku. The activists noted that the fragments of the missiles found in Shusha/i belong not to the export version of the „Iskander-E“ complex, which Russia had officially supplied to Armenia, but to the „Iskander-M“ ones, which are at Russia’s exclusive disposal.
„The absence of clarifications casts doubt on the impartiality of Russia’s peacemaking mission, which also restricts Azerbaijan’s movement in its territory. We believe that Azerbaijan should regain control over all the sovereign territories in Nagorno-Karabakh,“ said Elman Guliev, the head of the organisation.
Arif Gadjily, the head of the „Musavat“ Party, believes that the action „once again drew public attention to the arbitrariness of the Russian armed forces in Azerbaijan.“ In his opinion, Russia „cannot be an impartial mediator in conflict settlement.“
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that he had discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin information on the discovery of Iskander-M missiles in Karabakh, Baku sent an official letter to Moscow on this matter. Russia is yet to officially respond.
Earlier Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan has criticised Russian Iskanders for their alleged bad performance sparking a political crisis in the country.