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Facing Military Debacle, Armenia Accepts a Deal in Nagorno-Karabakh War

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TVER, Russia — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia signed on Monday a Russian-brokered settlement to end the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, surrendering disputed territory and bowing to other demands as he faced a battlefield defeat.

The agreement signed by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Mr. Pashinyan calls for Armenia’s army to withdraw from the Nagorno-Karabakh region and to be replaced by Russian peacekeepers.

Under the deal, the warring sides were to halt fighting and prepare for the peacekeepers’ arrival. Three earlier cease-fires, negotiated by Russia, France and the United States, have collapsed.

But the agreement Monday suggested a more permanent, sweeping redrawing of the security map of the southern Caucasus, a volatile region wedged between Turkey, Russia and Iran. The settlement sealed a role in the region for an increasingly assertive Turkey, which backed Azerbaijan in the war that began in September.

“I personally made a very hard decision for me and all of us,” Mr. Pashinyan wrote in a statement announcing the agreement. “It’s not a victory, but there’s no defeat.”

Indeed, the agreement ends a quarter century of Armenian military control over the remote, mountainous region that is a touchstone of Armenian national identity. Russia will now guard the borders.

The Nagorno-Karabakh region has a mostly Armenian population but it fell within the Soviet-drawn borders of Azerbaijan. The enclave declared independence before the Soviet breakup.

For the Azerbaijanis, the settlement opens the prospect that at least some of the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people who lost their homes in a separatist war that ended in 1994 could return to the region. That war ended with the shoe on the other foot: a cease-fire seen as catastrophic but inevitable for Azerbaijan after Armenian military victories.

Mr. Putin said the new agreement requires both the Armenian and Azerbaijani armies to stop at their currently occupied positions. That cements in place the Azerbaijani capture on Sunday of a strategic town, known as Shusha to Azerbaijanis and Shushi to Armenians. It is the second-largest town in the region and overlooks the separatist capital of Stepanakert, just about 6 miles away.

Armenia has also lost control of the access road needed for military supplies to reach the mountain enclave, starving its defenders of hope of holding out if the fighting continued.

“I made the decision as a result of a deep analysis of the military situation,” Mr. Pashinyan wrote. He said the deal was “the best solution in the situation.”

Within hours of the announcement, protests broke out in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital. A crowd broke into the government building and ripped Mr. Pashinyan’s nameplate off the door of the prime minister’s office, Russian television news showed.

“Where is Nikol? Where is that traitor?” the intruders screamed.

Mr. Putin said the agreement was “in the interests of the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan.”

For decades, Armenia had drawn support for its defense of the Nagorno-Karabakh region from a large diaspora in Southern California, France and Russia. Azerbaijan has relied on backing from Turkey, an ominous turn of events to Armenians who say the Turks have never accepted responsibility for atrocities committed during and after World War I. Distracted by the presidential election, the United States played only a limited role in the diplomacy over the past month.

The separatist government in Nagorno-Karabakh had for more than 25 years presided over seven occupied Azerbaijani districts outside the Soviet-era borders of the enclave. These were eerie, depopulated regions of deserted villages and ruined stone houses. Armenia defied United Nations resolutions calling for the return of the residents; holding, it seemed, the military advantage, the country had steadfastly refused any settlement allowing their return.

Now, the deal signed on Monday delivers to Azerbaijan much of what the country has sought for years in negotiations, including the return of internally displaced people.

Along with withdrawing its army from the enclave, Armenia agreed to surrender control of small ethnic Armenian areas inside Azerbaijan but not in Nagorno-Karabakh; to open a transport corridor for Azerbaijan through Armenia to the Azerbaijani region of Nakhichevan; and to allow the United Nations to oversee the return of the internally displaced people.

The capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepanakert, was saved from what appeared to be imminent military attack but will rely on Russian peacekeepers for its defense.

The peacekeepers will deploy for five years and also guard the access road over a mountain pass known as the Lachin Corridor, and an approximately three-mile-wide buffer zone along its length, according to the agreement. Underscoring the loss of Shusha, or Shushi, the agreement calls for a new section of access road to be built around the now Azerbaijani-controlled town, a dramatic loss for the ethnic Armenian cause in Nagorno-Karabakh.


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U.S. Tried a More Aggressive Cyberstrategy, and the Feared Attacks Never Came

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Another big change in strategy this year was a willingness to expose adversaries publicly. It is something the Obama administration was also reluctant to do in 2016, when it avoided naming China as the country that stole 22 million files on government employees, or Russia as the source of attacks on the Pentagon, the White House and the State Department.

This year, William R. Evanina, the official put in charge of election security by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, called out Russia, China and Iran for their efforts to interfere in the elections.

Though criticized by Democrats for not being specific enough, and appearing to equate Iran with much more talented cyberadversaries, Mr. Evanina’s releases put both the public and America’s rivals on notice about what was afoot, including warning that Russia was again trying to assist Mr. Trump.

Mr. Evanina’s announcements in July and August were followed by an announcement in October by John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, that Russian groups had probed state and local networks and that Iran had tried to influence the election by sending spoofed emails as part of a campaign he said was intended to hurt Mr. Trump.

“Naming and shaming the bad actors that are trying to mess with us is a key part of a coherent deterrence strategy,” said Representative Mike Gallagher, the Wisconsin Republican who along with Mr. King led the Cybersecurity Solarium Commission.

Mr. Ratcliffe’s announcement was followed by Cyber Command’s secret operations to interfere with the operations of the Russian group and take down, at least temporarily, the Iranian hacking group tied to Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

American officials said that while Iran opposed Mr. Trump’s re-election, its hackers were hardly playing at Russia’s level. The emails and text messages they tried to send to Americans contained so many spelling, syntax and grammatical errors that they seemed unlikely to fool their targets. Even had they not been taken offline, they posed no threat to turn the result of the elections.


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Opinion | The Joe Biden I Knew Has Been Humbled – The New York Times

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You no doubt saw or heard at least some of Joe Biden’s pitch-perfect victory speech last weekend, but what about the victory video that his campaign released hours earlier, just after CNN and other networks declared him the president-elect?

It’s a gorgeous two minutes of music (a rendition of “America the Beautiful” by Ray Charles) and images, precisely none of which show Biden. He cedes the frame and the moment entirely to Americans themselves — to Black Americans, white Americans, Native Americans, disabled Americans, young Americans, old Americans — and to the landscapes in the lyrics of the song.

The video made clear that we, not he, were the focus, the story, the point of all of this. His speech hours later similarly elevated the first person plural over the first person singular, which was singularly transcendent under Donald Trump.

Largely to draw a contrast with Trump, Biden ran one of the humblest presidential campaigns I can recall. He claimed victory in the presidential race last weekend with the same radical humility. And that tonic of a tone could be crucial to his agenda.


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Trump shows transition will be as turbulent as his presidency – CNNPolitics

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(CNN)The question is not whether President Donald Trump is leaving. It’s how much destruction, revenge and chaos he will wreak on the way out the door.

Trump’s refusal to concede the election, delusional tweets about states tipping his way and failure to so far grant President-elect Joe Biden access to federal funding and resources to power up his administration mean America is in for a rocky 71 days. Trump may be a lame duck, but he retains the authorities of the presidency until noon on January 20, and his chokehold on the Republican Party was if anything strengthened by winning 70 million votes last week. So the President has the power — institutional and political — and apparently the motivation to create a great deal of disruption before returning to civilian life.
Attorney General William Barr, who has shown a propensity for using his own power to advance the President’s political aspirations, on Monday told prosecutors they should examine unsupported allegations of voting irregularities before states certify results in the coming weeks. The move will raise concerns of a fresh attempt by the Trump administration to overturn the will of voters, but like the President’s campaign, Barr’s memo failed to produce any evidence of fraud/ However, it did lead the top election crimes prosecutor to quit in protest over the change in policy.
    And Trump waited only two days after the election was called for Biden to start exacting retribution on those he sees as enemies inside his administration.
    He sacked Defense Secretary Mark Esper, apparently because he showed insufficient loyalty to the President’s political goals. And a senior administration official told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Esper is worried Trump will next fire CIA Director Gina Haspel and FBI Director Christopher Wray. The pair is said to be at risk for putting US national security ahead of the President’s desire to use the intelligence services to pursue his “deep state” conspiracy theories.

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    White House Instructs Agencies to Ignore Biden’s Transition Team Until Trump Accepts Defeat, Says Reprt

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    from The Daily Beast Latest Articles.


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    The National Interest (США): Турция и Россия ведут борьбу за власть на Южном Кавказе

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    from ИноСМИ – Все, что достойно перевода.

    По мере того, как Реджеп Эрдоган обращает свой взор на Южный Кавказ, Россия пытается сдержать растущие неоосманские амбиции Турции. По мнению автора, конфликт говорит о более широкой модели турецкого проецирования власти на Южном Кавказе — той, которая будет представлять каскадную угрозу интересам безопасности России.


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    Политолог: Россия свела роль Запада в Закавказье к нулю

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    from Взгляд.

    «Москве удалось вбить очередной гвоздь в гроб ОБСЕ – бессмысленной организации, обслуживающей интересы противников России, и свести роль Запада в Закавказье к нулю», – заявил политолог Тимофей Бордачев, комментируя подписание главами России, Армении и Азербайджана соглашения о прекращении войны в Карабахе

    «То, что произошло сегодня ночью – это очень хорошая новость. Во-первых, наступил мир между двумя народами, с которыми Россию связывают дружественные и добрососедские отношения. Во-вторых, ликвидируется один из реликтов эпохи, когда внешнеполитические позиции Москвы были очень слабыми – Минская группа с участием двух лидеров стран Запада – США и Франции», – написал на своей странице в Facebook программный директор международного дискуссионного клуба «Валдай» Тимофей Бордачев.

    Эксперт уверен, что вместе с этим «роль Запада в Закавказье сводится к нулю». «Вбит очередной гвоздь в гроб ОБСЕ – бессмысленной организации, обслуживающей интересы противников России. Существенно усиливается российское военное присутствие в Закавказье. Азербайджан получает обратно большую часть отторгнутых 30 лет назад территорий, а Армения – гарантии российских миротворцев и шанс на более благоразумное правительство», – отмечает эксперт.

    Он также отметил, что «Турция, если этого захочет Азербайджан, получит доступ к мониторингу исполнения договоренностей, которые были достигнуты под решающим влиянием России». «Но именно сейчас это не имеет значения. За эту чистую победу Россия заплатила жизнями двух своих солдат, но не вступила в боевые действия непосредственно», – заключил политолог.  

    Напомним, во вторник ночью премьер Армении сообщил, что вместе с президентами Азербайджана и России подписал заявление о прекращении карабахской войны. При этом президент Армении Армен Саркисян узнал об этом из СМИ.

    Пресс-секретарь президента России Дмитрий Песков подтвердил, что лидеры России, Армении и Азербайджана подписали заявление о прекращении военных действий в Карабахе. Позже российский лидер Владимир Путин раскрыл детали договоренностей между сторонами конфликта.

    Сразу же после этого началась операция по переброске российских миротворцев в Нагорный Карабах. При этом президент Азербайджана уточнил, что миротворцев в Карабахе разместят Россия и Турция. Позже в МИД России уточнили, что на линии соприкосновения в Нагорном Карабахе будут размещены только российские миротворцы.

    Смотрите ещё больше видео на YouTube-канале ВЗГЛЯД


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    12 самолетов с российскими миротворцами отправлены в Нагорный Карабах

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    from Новости Кавказского Узла.

    Из России в Нагорный Карабах вылетели 12 самолетов военно-транспортной авиации для выполнения миротворческой миссии после вступления в силу заявления о перемирии прекращении военных действий.


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    В Москве задержали участниц Pussy Riot

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    from The New Times.

    В Москве на выходе из кафе задержали участниц Pussy Riot Марию Алехину и Маргариту Флорес, а также бывшего фигуранта «московского дела» Самариддина Раджабова


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    Ankara to Control Karabakh Ceasefire Implementation, Turkish Foreign Minister Says

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    from Sputnik News – World News, Breaking News & Top Stories.

    Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan yesterday adopted a joint statement on a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh and paved the way for a peacekeeping mission in the embattled region. The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier in the day emphasised that only Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to Karabakh.


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