Russian state officials have confirmed that multiple Russian peacekeepers were killed in an attack in Nagorno-Karabakh. (EPA-EFE/RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY PRESS SERVICE HANDOUT)


Russia confirms peacekeepers killed in Nagorno-Karabakh attack


Russian state officials have confirmed that a number of Russian peacekeepers were killed in an attack in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The confirmation follows claims from Armenia’s Ambassador-designate to the European Union that Azerbaijani forces active in the region had attacked a bus belonging to Russian peacekeepers said to be transporting civilians to safety at the time.

In a statement forwarded to Brussels Signal, the Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed that a fatal attack on Russian peacekeepers did occur in the region.

“On 20 September 2023, while returning from an observation post of the Russian peacekeeping force near Dzhanyatag, a vehicle carrying Russian servicemen came under small-arms fire,” the statement read.

“As a result of the shelling, the Russian servicemen in the vehicle were killed.”

It added that authorities from both Russia and Azerbaijan were now investigating the incident in order to “clarify all the circumstances” surrounding it.

Russian officials did not share any information regarding how many troops were killed in the attack, nor who is believed to be responsible for the killings.

The Kremlin has said that Azerbaijan’s President, Ilham Aliyev, has “apologized and expressed deep condolences” over the deaths of the peacekeepers during a call with Vladimir Putin, adding that “all those responsible will receive due punishment”.


The announcement follows a claim by Armenia’s Ambassador-designate to the EU Tigran Balayan that Azerbaijani forces were behind an attack on Russian peacekeepers active in the region.

Speaking to Brussels Signal, Balayan described a Russian military vehicle transporting internally displaced persons as being “targeted by Azerbaijani occupying forces”.

A representative from Russia’s EU press service said in a statement to Brussels Signal that they could not verify the Ambassador-designate’s claims, saying that they had “no information on the incident”.

Having close ties to both Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russia has repeatedly tried and failed to broker a long-lasting peace between the two in the region.

The Russian foreign minister has described its peacekeepers as working in “good faith” to maintain a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan signed after the war between the two countries in 2020.