Armenian and Azerbaijan have traded heavy fire, mortars and artillery in the disputed Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh since Saturday, when at least 30 soldiers were reported dead plus civilian casualties. The region is embedded inside Azerbaijan but controlled by ethnic Armenians. Since 1994, when a Russian-brokered ceasefire left Karabakh and swathes of Azeri territory in Armenian hands, they have run their own affairs with Armenian military and financial backing, but clashes break out on a regular basis. The latest outbreak is the worst in decades.
President Vladimir Putin called on the two sides to stop fighting and renew negotiations. DEBKAfile: Russia is Armenia’s main arms supplier, whereas Israel sells arms to Azerbaijan.