The foreign ministers begin their meeting in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2020. Official photo

Shelling of Stepanakert and other localities continued throughout the day, and ground fighting was again reported in the south, as well as in the north of Karabakh. Foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met in Moscow in the late afternoon to try to agree on a cease-fire; the meeting broke up after one hour, then resumed.

In remarks aired as the Moscow meeting was about to start, Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev said that he was willing “to give Armenia one last chance” to return the “occupied territories” without fighting. He claimed that he did not want more bloodshed, just the territories.

Aliyev also claimed further advance in the south of Karabakh, which was denied by the Armenian defense ministry. The Azerbaijani claims of territorial gains have been proven overly optimistic before.

Earlier in the day, Russia’s prime minister was in Yerevan for the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) meeting that went ahead in spite of the ongoing fighting. Nikol Pashinyan said that the Turkish-backed Azerbaijani aggression has put the people of Karabakh “on the verge of humanitarian catastrophe;” at the same time, he expressed readiness to resume “the peace process” with Azerbaijan.

On the way back, the Russian prime minister’s plane picked up one of the two Russian journalists wounded during Azerbaijani missile attack on Shushi cathedral the previous day; his more seriously injured colleague remained hospitalized in Yerevan.

As of October 9, the Defense Army of Artsakh has published names of a total of 388 killed in action since September 27. The Azerbaijani side continued to refuse to report its military losses. More than 50 civilians, including children, have also died on both sides of the fighting.

UPDATED: After more than eight hours of talks, the Russian foreign ministry issued a statement on behalf of Armenia and Azerbaijan, agreeing to cease fire from noon on October 10, 2020.