By Vafa Ismayilova
Relatives of Armenian servicemen, who went missing in a 44-day war in Karabakh in autumn 2020, have blocked a street in central Yerevan, the Armenian media reported on May 31.
They claim that the authorities had long hidden the bodies of the slain Armenian servicemen in refrigerators to avoid unnecessary noise.
"More than 200 bodies were secretly stored in different places, including in refrigerators for fruit, such as in Artashat. The bodies of our children are only now being handed over to their families," protester Arsen Ghukasyan said.
He added that the number of bodies found during the search operations in Karabakh is fewer than those placed in the morgue.
Ghukasyan noted that this means that the authorities do not want to disclose the true death toll among the Armenian soldiers. The protesters demand that a state commission, which will also include the relatives of the military, be set up.
In early April, the Armenian media reported that the bodies and remains of 1,539 Armenian soldiers had been found in Karabakh from November 13 to early April.
On November 10, Baku and Yerevan signed a Moscow-brokered deal that brought an end to 44 days of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
Before the signing of the deal, the Azerbaijani Army had liberated around 300 villages, settlements, city centres and historic Shusha city.
On January 11, the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders signed the second statement since the end of the 44-day war. The newly-signed statement is set to implement clause 9 of the November 2020 statement related to the unblocking of all economic and transport communications in the region.
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