Vladimir Putin says nearly 5,000 dead in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Vladimir Putin says nearly 5,000 dead in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Armenian soldiers during combat in Nagorno-Karabakh. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that almost 5,000 people have been killed in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as the moast devastating fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijan forces over the disputed region in decades.

This is far higher than the death toll given by both Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Mr Putin said that he speaks to both of the countries several times a day, and would not be taking sides in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

He said that Russia disagrees with Turkey over the conflict. Ankara supports Azerbaijan in the conflict.

President Putin also called on the United States to assist in seeking peace in the region.

Azerbaijan and Armenia have accused each other of violating humanitarian ceasefires in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Fighting flared last month over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but run by ethnic Armenians.

This is the worst violence in the area since a six-year war over the territory ended with a ceasefire in 1994.

Russia has an army base in Armenia and is in a military alliance with the country, but it also maintain close ties with Azerbaijan.

The Russian president told a televised meeting: “There are a lot of casualties from both sides, more than 2,000 from each side,” adding that the number was “nearing 5,000”.

The figure is far higher than previous estimates, with the most recent official death toll at under 1,000.

The governing authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh said 874 of its military personnel and 37 civilians have lost their lives since 27 September. Officials in Azerbaijan says 61 Azeri civilians have been killed, but has not announced its military casualties.

You may read: Armenia and Azerbaijan agree ceasefire over Nagorno-Karabakh