Russian deminers in Karabakh. Defense Ministry photo

In just over three months of work, peacekeeping forces in Karabakh removed a total of 24,962 units of explosive ordinance, clearing more that 15 square kilometres of land, 478 kilometres of roads, 1,512 homes and 30 public structures, the Russian defense ministry reported on February 28. By way of context, British charity HALO Trust, which has been working on demining Artsakh since 2000 and funded mostly by the U.S. Agency for International Development, reported removing a total of 12,000 mines and explosive ordinance as of 2019.

One Russian officer was killed and another wounded in separate incidents during demining work, in Shushi and Madagis areas respectively. Russian deminers are deployed in Azerbaijani-controlled areas, particularly in Agdam district, as well. Since late last year, 136 Turkish deminers also arrived in Azerbaijan, though no details have been published on their demining work in the conflict area.

From January 30, Russian and Turkish forces launched a “joint monitoring center” to conduct drone-based surveillance of Karabakh; the center is located in Agdam district, a few kilometres from the Line of Contact.

Simultaneously, the Russian forces continue to facilitate traffic between the Republic of Armenia and Artsakh via Lachin corridor, and simultaneously the south-north movement of Azerbaijani armed forces through the same corridor, as well via Armenian-populated Karmir Shuka into Azerbaijani-held Shushi and back.