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Russian peacekeepers maintaining effective control over ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh: Putin

Volunteer fighters and civilians shelter in the city hall’s basement during the shelling of David Bek on November 9 the day before the cease-fire

Na- gorno-Karabakh (also known as the Republic of Artsakh) is recognised as part of Azerbaijan but has been de-facto con- trolled by an ethnic Armenian administration. The brutal war lasted six weeks, leaving thousands dead and displacing many more.

Most of Azerbaijan's south-western district of Aghdam has been under the control of Armenian separatists since 1993.

In a televised address, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev called Armenians who destroyed property as they fled a "wild enemy".

The West is trying to cancel the agreement reached between Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan to end the conflict centered around Nagorno Karabakh, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia, Sergei Narishkin, warned.

The three territories have been held by Armenia for about 30 years.

In addition to Friday's deadline to cede Aghdam, Armenia will hand over the Kalbajar district wedged between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia on Nov.25 and the Lachin district by Dec.1.

Azerbaijan has insisted on a prominent role for its staunch ally Turkey, which was widely accused by Western countries, Russian Federation and Armenia of supplying Baku with mercenary fighters from Syria over the weeks of fighting.

The Russian peacekeeping mission is maintaining effective control over the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

Heavy fighting that flared up on September 27 marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict between the two ex-Soviet nations in more than a quarter-century, killing more than 1,000 people, including dozens of civilians on both sides.

Armenia's health ministry said this week that more than 2,400 troops had been killed in the fighting.

Before Tonoyan's excusal was declared, an underlying report by Armenian paper Aravot had said he had offered his acquiescence. Azerbaijan has not disclosed its military casualties.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on November 9 announced a Russian-brokered peace accord that ended a six-week war with Azerbaijan over the region that left thousands dead and tens of thousands displaced.

Protesters again on Friday blocked several central streets in Yerevan and demanded Pashinyan's resignation.