Official map of the Russian military deployments in Karabakh. Green line indicates current Line of Contact and triangles indicate approximate locations of observation posts. Courtesy of RIA Novosti.

In line with the November 9 declaration by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, Russian peacekeeping forces began to deploy into Karabakh on November 10. According to Gen. Sergey Rudskoy of the Russian General Staff, as of November 11 they control the road from Goris to Berdzor (Lachin) and as far as Lisagor in vicinity of Shushi. More forces are arriving at the Erebuni air base near Yerevan and continuing in convoys along the main north-south highway towards Karabakh.

A total of 1,960 military personnel will be deployed primarily from Ulyanovsk-based 15th motor-rifle brigade of the Central Military District that will establish 16 observation points along the Goris-Stepanakert road and the existing Line of Contact between Armenian and Turkish-backed Azerbaijani forces. The Russian force will be led by deputy commander of the Southern Military District, general Rustam Muradov (a Dagestan native), who arrived in Yerevan today.

As per agreement, Armenian forces are expected to leave the Soviet-era Aghdam and Kelbajar as soon as November 15 and Lachin district by December 1. However, NKR president’s spokesperson Vahram Poghosyan urged residents of Shaumyan and Karvachar district, corresponding to Kelbajar and Lachin, respectively, not to rush with evacuation, suggesting that modalities for withdrawal have not yet been discussed.