Throughout the day Azerbaijanis and Armenians have been giving different accounts of the ongoing fighting.
Large crowds of people gathered in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku to celebrate following President Ilham Aliyev’s statement on November 8 about Azerbaijani control of Nagorno-Karabakh’s second-largest town.
Armenian Defense Ministry representative Artsrun Hovhannisian, however, said on Facebook that battles for control of the town sitting on a mountaintop 10 kilometers south of Stepanakert were still ongoing. He urged Armenians “to wait and believe our forces.”
Shushi is located on a main road that links Nagorno-Karabakh’s main city of Stepanakert with the territory of Armenia, which backs ethnic Armenians fighting against Azerbaijan.
The conflicting reports from Nagorno-Karabakh come a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the conflict with his French and Turkish counterparts.
During a November 7 phone call, Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron expressed serious concern over the large-scale clashes between ethnic Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the region and the involvement of fighters from Syria and Libya in the conflict, the Kremlin said in a statement.
The presidents said they would continue coordinated mediation efforts, including through the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group, an international mediation format set up in 1992 and led jointly by Russia, the United States and France.
Later in the day, Putin spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who told the Russian leader that Armenia must withdraw from Azerbaijani lands and “sit down at the negotiating table,” according to a statement from Ankara.