in Russian – https://aga-tribunal.info/krivopuskov-30-3-2021/
March 30, 2021 Victor Krivopuskov published an article (in Russian) on the website of information agency REGNUM “Aliyev should be responsible for the casus belli of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh war-2020”. We give it below translated in English by AGA-Tribunal.info. Some publications of Viktor Krivopuskov are at – https://aga-tribunal.info/krivopuskov/
The Azerbaijan-Karabakh war of 2020 was held under the pretext of casus belli. According to the Diplomatic Dictionary edited by A.A. Gromyko, “casus belli” (Latin casus belli – literally “reason for war”) is a direct formal reason for the emergence of a state of war between states” (Diplomatic Dictionary in 3 volumes, Ed. Science “, 1986, volume II. К-Р, p. 6.). Casus belli has been used many times in world practice. The most famous examples are the reasons for the outbreak of the World War I in 1914-1918 and World War II 1939-1945. Casus belli was voiced at the official declaration of the beginning of the Cold War to the Soviet Union by the recent allies in the anti-Hitler coalition, Great Britain and the United States – in the Fulton speech of Winston Churchill in 1946.
In the case of Azerbaijan, the casus belli is the justification by its President Ilham Aliyev of the aggression and justification of the results of the second treacherous and mercilessly bloody Azerbaijan-Karabakh war on September 27 – November 9, 2020.
Yes, Ilham Aliyev must answer to the world and his people for the casus belli. For an intentionally unfounded, unrighteous and mercilessly bloody war! There is no exaggeration here. Any war is a tragedy for the peoples on whose land it was. But this war of the 21st century on the Eurasian continent turned out to be not only full-scale and heavy – it became a great tragedy for both Armenians and Azerbaijanis. True, today a victorious euphoria is imposed on Azerbaijanis, for which they do not yet realize what the true price they had to pay, and most importantly, for which they paid with the lives of thousands of their children, grandchildren, fathers who never returned from the front.
As I wrote on March 5, p. in IA REGNUM in the article “Azerbaijan-Karabakh War – 2020 as a Factor of the Crisis of the 21st Century World Order”: “… The results of the war are stunning. This applies to human losses and socio-economic damage, which might not have happened. For 44 days of fighting on both sides, about 10 thousand Azerbaijanis and Armenians were killed (on average, 250 people were killed per day)! The wounded, many of whom became disabled for life, this time there were more than three times!”.
For comparison, in the first Azerbaijan-Karabakh war in two years and five months or 840 days in the period from January 2, 1992 to May 12, 1994, irrecoverable losses from both sides amounted to 40 thousand people. At that time, 47 servicemen were killed each day. If the second war had been the same duration as the first, then the losses at their present intensity would have amounted to more than 210 thousand people! This is almost twice as much of the entire Armenian population of Karabakh, from small to large!
From among the Armenians of Karabakh alone, the second war gave rise to more than 100 thousand refugees and displaced persons. Torture, humiliation and atrocities were applied to the prisoners of war and killed Armenians, including with the heads cut off, etc. Many Armenian prisoners of war, contrary to the 1949 Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War, are still being held by the Baku authorities for no reason. The Armenian side, as of March 17, 2021, demanded information from Azerbaijan about 112 captured Armenians. Azerbaijan reported information only about 72, stating that it could not identify the rest. Whereas, according to relatives, more than 300 Armenians are in Azerbaijani captivity. One can only imagine with what violations of the conditions they are contained, if representatives of the Red Cross and Red Crescent are not allowed to them.
Destruction after shelling in Nagorno-Karabakh – Gov.am
Numerous television and video footage from the war testifies that Azerbaijan deliberately and purposefully inflicted missile, air and artillery strikes on the socio-economic infrastructure of the cities and villages of Nagorno-Karabakh. First of all, in hospitals and maternity hospitals, schools and churches, monuments of cultural and historical heritage. In an interview with news agency “RIA Novosti” on December 23, 2020, NKR State Minister Grigory Martirosyan gave the following assessment on this matter: “The damage inflicted by the enemy is simply enormous. It is comparable to the volume of the republic’s GDP for several years.”
Azerbaijan, naturally, also suffered corresponding losses. But who started the war, contrary to the agreement on an indefinite ceasefire, signed in Bishkek at his pleading requests in 1994? Who waged it using forbidden and, therefore, criminal methods and means? It turns out that Aliyev planned in advance for himself these colossal human and economic losses. And to unleash a war-2020 against the Armenians of the NKR, Ilham Aliyev used the casus belli.
But what is surprising, even five months after the signing of the Moscow statement on a ceasefire in Karabakh, is that neither Russia, nor the other co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States and France, as well as the United Nations have officially recognized the Republic of Azerbaijan as an aggressor country, which grossly violated by the war all international agreements and norms. It is necessary to ask Aliyev on a large scale.
We know that the Russian Federation, for example, did the main thing, called on the opposing sides, demanded or convinced them that it was the same for us, stopped the war, promptly brought in peacekeepers, however, only on the 45th day, when only 56% of the territory remained from the NKR within the borders of the USSR. And then, as we see, without voicing the reasons for the outbreak of the war, without assessing its results, as if a natural or technogenic disaster happened there, without delay, and without any complicity of the belligerents, Russia began alone (at the expense of her taxpayers, of course) to provide to the Armenians of Karabakh good-quality humanitarian aid, to restore the destroyed Karabakh houses and infrastructure. For us, Russians, and even more so for fellow believers Armenians, this mission is quite understandable and approved. But why this is being done not in the way of the Yalta Conference of 1945 and the Helsinki Agreement of 1975, without the participation, first of all, of Azerbaijan, the culprit of this robbery, devastation, death not only of the military, but also of the civilian population, etc. Of course, Armenia should also participate in this process, whose state-political leadership is still in painful internal political prostration, but the country’s economic mechanism is quite adequate and efficient. (Who will be responsible for the tragedy of Nagorno-Karabakh?)
Refugees. Nagorno Karabakh – mil.ru
Since 1992, the Karabakh problem has been under the patronage of the UN and the OSCE, fundamentally affecting the interstate formations of the post-Soviet formation: the CIS, the CSTO, the EAEU. From the first days of the second war, it was expected that the countries belonging to one or another block of international cooperation and, moreover, security, together or separately, would not confine themselves to the role of cold-blooded observers. However, as we now know, expectations have not yet come true.
On March 14, 2021, Ilham Aliyev in Baku, receiving a delegation led by Swedish Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ann Linde, bluntly informed: “We already started the rehabilitation of the liberated territories... I already publicly spoke that Azerbaijan is ready for that. We have completed our task, we liberated the territories (according to him, “occupied by the Armenians”), implemented the resolutions of Security Council of United Nations and decisions of OSCE.” It is striking that Ilham Aliyev presented his aggressive war against the NKR in the form of Azerbaijan’s merits, allegedly for the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions and OSCE decisions. But this is a blatant lie, since none of the UN resolutions and OSCE decisions authorized Azerbaijan to use military actions in resolving the Karabakh conflict.
But the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office did not even attach any importance to these passages, immediately noting with satisfaction that she was glad to return to Baku after such a long time and expressed regret that she could not come in the fall (apparently, she meant – during the war) … Continuing to make excuses, she said: “Our government deemed it unsafe to fly. So, that was the reason.” Ann Linde went on to say this: “As you know, as a chair of the OSCE our key priorities are to defend European security order and also to approve the concept of comprehensive security, which links security also to democracy, human rights and the rule of law. And of course, we would see if there is anything we can do to contribute to resolving conflicts in the OSCE area. So, in this context of course, international law, international human rights, humanitarian law, women, peace and security are our priorities. So, I think it is possible to work together on those issues,” concluded Linde.
And not a word: neither about Karabakh, nor about the Azerbaijani casus belli, nor about the war, nor about its consequences, all the more about the OSCE’s intentions in a just solution of post-war problems. But in vain! After all, the interethnic conflict between the Armenians of Karabakh and Azerbaijan has not been resolved. He took on a deeper and more vindictive character. On the part of Azerbaijan, Armenophobia has not been stopped at all, on the contrary, it is acquiring a squall character. Ilham Aliyev takes a very direct part in it, together with his wife and the first vice-president of the country personally demonstrating himself in anti-Armenian photo sessions.
Moreover, the head of the OSCE did not even raise an eyebrow, she graciously accepted the Azerbaijani political rigging. Ilham Aliyev, seeing that he successfully “faked” this lie to the head of the OSCE, actually imposed his stereotype of the assessment of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh war in 2020 on the entire OSCE – the most important European guarantor of peace and security. What, isn’t it? Ann Linde did not respond to this attack, to the de facto official deception of Ilham Aliyev and discrediting of the 26-year-old OSCE activity in the Karabakh conflict. And how many specific questions are there for Ilham Aliyev for the casus belli and the results of the second Azerbaijan-Karabakh war, which, at least, should be considered in the Hague Tribunal. Otherwise, why then do we need the UN resolutions, the work and decisions of the OSCE Minsk Group, which the President of Azerbaijan, in Russian speaking, did not care about and trampled on? ..
On September 30, 2020, the UN Security Council, at its meeting dedicated to the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, also did not name the culprit at the outbreak of hostilities, did not assess the use of prohibited types of weapons, specifically phosphorus bombs, against the civilian population, participation in the battles of Islamic militants. The UN Security Council only called for an end to the war and a return to negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group. In fact, this gave Azerbaijan, like Turkey, the opportunity to falsely interpret the war as an aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev immediately began to teach the UN that the resolutions of its Security Council should be implemented immediately, sometimes even within a few hours after their adoption, and the four resolutions adopted on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict 20 years ago now remain on paper.
Do the OSCE, UN and other actors in the resolution of the Karabakh interethnic conflict have the right to ignore the fact of Ilham Aliyev’s casus belli, especially bearing in mind the responsibility of Azerbaijan – and not only for military treachery and destruction of the world order in the South Caucasus? There are plenty of questions in connection with the violation of the UN Charter alone: primarily in connection with the use of prohibited types of weapons against civilians during the war. Why is he not being asked for the involvement of 2,000 Islamic militants from Syria and other countries on his side? (see “Who will be responsible for the tragedy of Nagorno-Karabakh?”).
And what happens? If the guarantors of international, regional and interstate security are silent about the reasons and results of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh war – 2020, then it turns out that they first of all recognize/consolidate the Azerbaijani reason casus belli as possible for the implementation of international law in order to unilaterally trample international norms and agreements, to use military aggression according to the principle: who wants to, when and against whom.
In this regard, another logical question arises: what are our interstate formations of the post-Soviet formation still silent: the CIS, the CSTO, the EAEU? Or do their bylaws do not provide for the relevant paragraphs? Are they created only so that the leaders of their member countries, from time to time collectively admire the taste of Moscow ice cream, and for the trouble-free and immeasurable use of Russian loans? It is very likely that Russia itself grows and willingly supports their mercantilism and Russophobia. This is an obvious flaw and illness of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or, more simply, there is a lack of systematic, purposeful work and continuous failures. We have simply lost many of these countries, and the rest are farther away from readiness and decisiveness for voluntary economic, political and military partnership, since Moscow does not show “who is the boss here and who needs to obey.” A striking example of this is the article by Artashes Geghamyan, chairman of the National Unity Party of Armenia, a devoted friend of Russia, a brilliant political scientist and regular contributor to IA REGNUM Artashes Geghamyan, “Why did the leaders of the CSTO member states take water in their mouths in response to Biden’s attack”.
The Russian state and military-political leadership must not be aware of the fact that the Azerbaijani precedent of casus belli is, in principle, unacceptable to anyone and ever, especially in the context of today’s growing tension, challenges and military threats around our country. The silence on the part of the Russian Federation about the true assessments of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh war, in the opinion of many political scientists, is, frankly, irresponsible and keeps the Russian society in a certain tension, as it can give rise to the replication of casus belli in interstate relations, blowing up the world order in our immediate surroundings. And not only for the resolution of the well-known frozen interethnic conflicts of the post-Soviet period, but also for the emergence of hotbeds of the Third World War against the Russian Federation from the side of the aggressive Euro-Atlantic bloc.
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