On November 7, while answering the questions of journalists in the parliament, Vayots Dzor region Governor Ararat Grigoryan said that the Azerbaijani soldiers who invaded the territory of Jermuk during the war unleashed by Azerbaijan on September 13 continue to remain in their occupied positions.
“The Chief of the General Staff says that they have gone, in any case, we see them (Azerbaijanis) in a certain visible area, which can be seen with the naked eye,” Grigoryan emphasized.
When asked if they are not worried about the situation, Grigoryan answered: “It’s natural, we can’t help but be worried, just the set of possible measures that we have taken, gives a reasonable judgment that if there is possible aggression, God forbid, we have a chance to resist it. Because of defense capability, additional measures, additional forces, the work with the citizens is completely done, and if there is an emergency, we will try to give an adequate response.”
When asked whether he alerted the Ministry of Defense or the General Staff, Grigoryan answered. “I have not spoken with the Minister of Defense or the Chief of the General Staff. I am talking to the commander of our corps, our work is daily. We have the information. I cannot inform you in more detail under the current circumstances.”
The governor also conveyed that they informed the observers of the European Union about the situation.
Speaking about the situation in Jermuk after the aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan on September 13, the governor noted that as a result, around 70% of the population was displaced from the city. According to him, as of now, normal life has been restored, displaced people have mostly returned, except perhaps 15-20%, but tourist flows have been disrupted. The governor said that the ropeway, which was completely damaged by the Azerbaijani shelling, is still not working and there is a danger even after the restoration because it is under the surveillance of the enemy. Pastures are also under the observation of the enemy, which can no longer be used.
3 days after the attack of the Azerbaijani armed forces, still, on September 16, the head of the RA de facto General Directorate Edward Asryan informed the meeting with the representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in the RA that the groups of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces have located 4.5 km from the gates of Jermuk city, the former 11 km. instead of The chief of staff, however, assured that those Azerbaijani forces are surrounded by the Armenian armed forces and if that group does not receive nourishment, then within a few days their resources will be exhausted and they will have to leave there.
On October 31, Asryan told journalists in the National Assembly. “The adversary’s units retreated, having suffered losses, and currently we have a front line drawn in the direction of Jermuk, which ensures the security of the city of Jermuk. Also, after September 16, I visited Jermuk two more times, everything is coordinated there and the situation is relatively stable.” Meanwhile, the residents of Jermuk assure that the Azerbaijani unit located near the city continues to stay in their place, and this can also be seen with the naked eye.
The de-facto head of the General Staff did not comment on the controversy, but it is a fact that Jermuk has turned into a front line. Instead of evicting the enemy from the sovereign territory of the RA through the use of adequate force, the de facto authorities make abstract statements, and by preparing the residents of Jermuk for confrontation in case of another aggression, they force them to come to terms with the created situation and the fact that they are under the surveillance of the enemy. As for the return of most of the population, “except for 15-20%”, which, according to the governor, is not a significant number, it is necessary to record that if 15-20% of the city’s population does not return after every possible aggression, then the depopulation of Jermuk, as well as many other settlements that have become the front line, is inevitable. And the risk of possible aggression in the case of having anti-Armenian authorities, as the de-facto PSC states: “not only is maintained but also remains quite high”.
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