Commander of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh replaced

Armenian, Azerbaijani and international media are reporting that the current commander of the Russian peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh has been replaced, with the news having broken late on Tuesday (25 April).

Major General Andrey Volkov, who had held the position for some 15 months, has been replaced by Colonel General Aleksandr Lentsov. 

Until 2020, Lentsov served as the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces, as well as participating in the combat operations in the first and second Chechen wars, and in the Russian military operation in Syria. In 2020, he was also appointed an advisor to Russian Defence Minister, Sergey Shoigu.

Since Azerbaijan's installation of a checkpoint on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border on Sunday (23 April), at the entrance to the Lachin corridor that is ostensibly under the control of Russian peacekeepers, de facto officials in Stepanakert have urged "especially the Russian Federation" to take action "preventing the establishment of an Azerbaijani checkpoint".

Moscow has described the "unilateral actions" of Azerbaijan as "unacceptable", however in the original announcment Azerbaijan insisted that the checkpoint's establishment was "implemented in interaction with the Russian peacekeeping force".

You can read more about the establishment of the checkpoint on Sunday (23 April) here.

source: with agencies
photo: Azemedia