The Armenian police broke up a protest rally organized by the National Democratic Pole near the 102nd military base of the Russian Federation in Gyumri. According to the organizers themselves, more than 100 people were detained .
The protesters demanded to open the Lachin corridor blocked by Azerbaijan, the only road linking Armenia with the republic. The road is in the zone of responsibility of Russian peacekeepers in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).
“We demand from the so-called peacekeepers to open a corridor for which they are responsible. Putin is acting in conjunction with Turkey and Azerbaijan against Armenia, and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan does not protect the interests of our people,” the NDP said. People came to the action with posters “Down with the Russian-Turkish occupation” and “We demand UN peacekeepers in Artsakh”. The police blocked the approaches to the base and detained the protesters.
On the morning of December 12, the road was blocked by people with Azerbaijani flags, who said they were eco-activists. They claimed that the Armenians in Karabakh illegally extract resources and harm the environment. However, soon some of the protesters were recognized as people associated with government agencies, and environmental slogans were replaced by political ones: “Karabakh is Azerbaijan!”, “The best soldier is an Azerbaijani soldier!” According to the BBC, outwardly the activists did not look like environmentalists, some participants came to her in fur coats.
Due to the blocking of the Lachin corridor in Nagorno-Karabakh , a humanitarian catastrophe has begun, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said earlier. Armenia blames Azerbaijan for this, which, in turn, laid the blame on Russian peacekeepers who were brought into the territory of the unrecognized republic in 2020, after a 44-day war.
It is alleged that as a result of the closure, the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh were "deprived of the right to free movement." Armenia claims that Azerbaijan grossly violated the Trilateral Statement, in which, in addition to them, Russia is also involved. According to him, the Lachin corridor is under the control of Russian peacekeepers, and Azerbaijan guarantees the safety of movement along it.