The Armenian Defense Ministry identified all of them and said they were repatriated as a result of “U.S. mediation.”
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian was quick to praise the U.S. role in the release of the soldiers.
“I hope with joint efforts together with our international partners we will further register progress in resolving both humanitarian issues and establishing peace in the region,” Pashinian tweeted in English.
Baku admitted last week holding 17 Armenian soldiers captured during the September 13-14 hostilities. According to Yerevan, all of them were due to be set free by September 30 under a “tripartite agreement” reached during talks between senior Armenian and Azerbaijani officials hosted by U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Washington on September 27.
On Monday Pashinian and the secretary of his Security Council, Armen Grigorian, accused the Azerbaijani side of not honoring that pledge.
The release of the prisoners of war came amid an international uproar caused by a video that appears to show Azerbaijani troops executing several Armenian soldiers.
The video posted on social media on Sunday morning caused shock and indignation in Armenia, with the authorities in Yerevan accusing the Azerbaijani army of committing yet another war crime. Armenia’s human rights ombudswoman said later on Sunday that it was filmed on September 13 hours after Azerbaijani forces attacked and seized some of the Armenian army positions along the border between the two states.
The U.S. State Department said on Monday that it is “deeply disturbed” by the footage and urged Baku to conduct a “full and impartial investigation.”
“Those responsible for any atrocities must be held to account,” said Ned Price, the department spokesman.
Late last month the authorities in Yerevan accused the Azerbaijani military of killing at least two other Armenian soldiers captured during last month’s border clashes.