The Aliyev Family Was Not In Syunik, And The Azerbaijanis Retreated After A 370 Meter Advance

Ophelia Simonyan

Journalist, fact-checker

On the evening of April 26, two news items were spread about Armenia’s territorial losses.

First, in a conversation with “Aparaj,” the head of the Nor Ghazanchi community, Ruslan Arstamyan, mentioned that the Azerbaijanis advanced 370 meters to their position near the administrative area of Nor Ghazanchi village in the Martakert region.

“Their position was 1.5 km below the Vank-Drmbon crossroads. They pushed the second position forward. We checked with GPS, they had advanced 370 meters forward and positioned themselves. In negotiations with the military, the Azerbaijanis demanded that the two Armenian positions be returned 300 meters towards the village, in which case they would go back. And two hours ago we approached the representative of the Russian peacekeepers here, we talked, they said let your leadership solve that issue with us,” said the mayor.

The news was true

In a conversation with media.am today, Lusine Avanesyan, NKR President’s Spokeswoman confirmed the news that the Azerbaijani army had advanced the positions in the Martakert region, but at the same time mentioned that the positions had already been withdrawn hours ago. The spokesman found it difficult to answer what such a positional promotion was connected with.

The Aliyev family’s walk was not in Syunik

In the evening of the same day, a discussion started over the Instagram photos of the First Vice President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva. Aliyeva wrote next to the photos published that she and her family members were on their way to Jabrail and Zangela.

Facebook user Narine Kirakosyan reposted the photos, noting that “Aliyev is already moving freely with his family in Syunik region… It is Sosi Park, which is part of the Zangezur Biosphere Reserve.”

This news was later confirmed by political scientist Hayk Martirosyan, stating that the photos were really taken in Sosi Park. The news was spread by a number of news outlets: aysor.am, mamul.am, blognews.am, panorama.am and others.

Back in December 2020, the Ministry of Environment denied the rumors that any part of the “Sosi Park” reserve was conceded or reduced. Today, the ministry once again disseminated the same clarifying text, adding that the picture published by Aliyev was taken near the habitat of a plantain tree in the territory of Azerbaijan, which continues in the valley of the Tsav River.

It is impossible to say exactly where the photos were taken, as the nature of “Sosi Park” and “Basut-Chay” reserve are very similar. However, Infocom.am wrote that the Aliyev family was probably not in “Sosi Park,” but in “Basut-Chay” state reserve. Aliyev himself stated about it in the video.

From the videos published by Mehriban Aliyeva on the same day, we understand that they were in the Mijnavan community. This community appeared in the zone of influence of Azerbaijan after the second Artsakh war.

As we see, the school in Mijnavan and the structure seen in the video are identical.

It is about 10 km from Mijnavan to Basut-Chay state reserve.

“Sosi Park” state reserve, the area of which is 64.2 hectares, is located in the administrative territory of the Nerkin Hand settlement of the Syunik region of the Republic of Armenia, under the protection of the “Zangezur” biosphere reserve. And Nerkin Hand continues to be under the control of Armenian forces.

In 2018, the Artsakh government made a decision to establish a state-owned “Sosi Park” state reserve in the 164,4877-hectare state-owned state reserve located in the administrative boundaries of the town of Kovsakan in the Kashatagh region, adjacent to the Sosi Park State Reserve in the Republic of Armenia.

Thus, despite the fact that the Azerbaijani military advanced 370 meters in the Martakert region last night, now, according to the Azerbaijani government, they have returned to their initial positions.

It is about 10 km from Mijnavan to Basut-Chay state reserve.

Ophelia Simonyan

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