Publication Date 20.10.2020
Starting from the early morning of 27 September, 2020 Azerbaijan began launching indiscriminate airstrikes (including UAV strikes) and artillery assaults against the Republic of Artsakh (Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh) along the entire line of the border.
Villages, towns and the capital Stepanakert have been intensively attacked, which caused numerous casualties and wounds among civilians. As of 20 October 2020, 37 civilians were killed, including children, women and person with disability. Large-scale damages have been caused to civilian objects, such as residential buildings, schools, etc. as well as infrastructure vital to the survival of the civilian population. Life and health of children, women and the entire population of Artsakh are still under an imminent and real threat.
During this aggression Azerbaijan is also intentionally targeting the cultural and religious heritage of Armenians in Artsakh. This is a part of the cleansing of ethnic Armenians living in Artsakh.
On 8 October 2020, Azerbaijani armed forces launched two intentional assaults on Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots Cathedral of Artsakh in the town of Shushi, which is the recognizable cultural and religious symbol of Artsakh. The Azerbaijani forces struck the cathedral for two times within a few hours with use of striking and manageable drones. This act of Azerbaijan is in line with its continuous practice of destroying Armenian cultural heritage of Artsakh. It also demonstrates radical disrespect towards Christian element of Armenian identity.
The current report presents the facts on targeted attacks on the St. Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots Cathedral, analyzing it in the context of the International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law.
For the purpose of preparation of the report fact-finding missions, as well as monitoring of the official and media publications were conducted.