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Russia pulling its peacekeepers from Azerbaijan – Kremlin

Russia is withdrawing its peacekeepers from Karabakh, a region that had previously seceded from Azerbaijan, the Kremlin confirmed on Wednesday.

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Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said reports of the move that had appeared in Azerbaijani media were correct.

What was formerly the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh defied Baku’s authority amid the collapse of the USSR, when its predominantly ethnic Armenian population sought independence. The region remained a constant source of conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which tacitly supported the ambitions of its de facto government.

There was a series of bloody armed conflicts over Nagorno-Karabakh in the following decade. The last of these occurred last year and resulted in Baku reasserting its sovereignty over the area. A mass exodus of people followed what Azerbaijan described as a counter-terrorism operation.

READ MORE: NATO won’t bring stability to Caucasus – Kremlin

Russian peacekeepers have been stationed in the region since the previous major clash, which happened in late 2020. They had a mandate to monitor the situation and report violations of the ceasefire. Several Russian troops were killed in 2023, when the mission was working to protect civilians amid renewed hostilities.

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