Azerbaijan apologizes for shooting down a Russian military helicopter in Armenia
Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Monday that one of its military helicopters was shot down by a shoulder-fired weapon in the Armenian village of Yeraskh, near the Azerbaijani border. The Mil Mi-24 went down well outside the region’s current war zone, about 60 miles from the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, where Armenian and Azerbaijani troops have clashed in an escalating war over the contested territory. Yeraskh is also just six miles from Iran and Turkey.
According to preliminary reports, two people died in the helicopter crash and a third person managed to escape with only moderate injuries. The helicopter was accompanying a vehicle convoy headed toward Russia’s military base in Gyumri.
The Azerbaijani government promptly apologized for downing the Russian aircraft, calling it a “tragic” mistake.
Full-scale fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia resumed in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 27, 2020, and has escalated to levels not seen in decades. Russia and other major powers have repeatedly called for an end to the fighting.
Also on Monday, November 9, a spokesperson for the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic confirmed that the Azerbaijani army now controls the city of Shusha, a cornerstone of Armenia’s entire defense of the Karabakh region.