Putin speaking on Oct. 22, 2020. Official photo

Fighting was reported along the Karabakh frontlines throughout the day, with heavy shelling of Mardakert reported in the evening. Turkish-backed Azerbaijani forces continued to press their advantage in the south of Karabakh, approaching along the roads towards Meghri, Kapan, as well as the key Goris-Stepanakert highway that links via Berdzor (Lachin). NKR president’s spokesman also reported ground fighting in the village of Sheher in the south of Martuni district.

Russian president Vladimir Putin estimated that the total death toll of the 25-day war was approaching 5,000 people on both sides, with excess of 2,000 people killed on each side. In his remarks, Putin further noted the context of the conflict in Karabakh: the Armenian genocide and the anti-Armenian violence in Azerbaijan. At the same time, he also emphasized Russia’s links to both Azerbaijan and Turkey and desire to maintain them.

The Armenian officials released names of more than 900 people killed, both military and civilian. Azerbaijan has refused to report its military casualties, but compilations of social media postings documented in excess of 700 deaths. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) estimated 170 Turkish Syrian mercenaries to have been killed as of October 22.