View of Shushi cathedral damaged by missile attacks. Artsakh president’s facebook.

Artsakh president Arayik Harutyunyan addressed the Armenian nation from Shushi’s Holy Savior Cathedral, previously damaged by precision-guided missile strikes. Saying that Turkish-backed Azerbaijani forces have advanced to within five kilometres of Shushi, he called on Armenians to defend the historic center of Karabakh and achieve a breakthrough in the war.

The address came following intense shelling of both Shushi and Stepanakert, as well as towns of Martuni, Askeran and Mardakert. The Armenian Ministry of Defense again reported “localized” fighting in the south of Karabakh, including near the villages of Sghnakh and Avetaranots close to Shushi.

Speaking at an investment conference, Russian president Vladimir Putin was again asked about Karabakh. He said that there were no “easy solutions,” but that he held out hope for a resolution based on the “balance of interests,” following a return to cease-fire.

The day before, presidential candidate Joe Biden issued a statement, warning that “a large-scale humanitarian disaster is looming for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh” and calling on U.S. to act to “stop the advance of Azerbaijani troops into Nagorno-Karabakh.”