Former Nagorno-Karabakh commandant: ‘All illegal armed groups were disarmed during my time’
Major-General Vladislav Safonov, first commandant of the special situation district of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of Azerbaijan SSR who now lives in Russia is on a visit to Baku.
Vladislav Safonov held a press conference in Baku on Wednesday.
Safonov said he left Nagorno-Karabakh in December 1990.
“Until then, all the illegal armed units in Khankendi had been disarmed,” he noted.
Safonov said Azerbaijan was not ready for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, stressing that with his personal participation, stability was maintained in a very difficult situation and major clashes were prevented.
"During that period, illegal armed groups were being disarmed in Khankendi. Armenians residing in the Oblast were trying to hinder what I was doing. There were armed people wandering all over the area. I was concerned about the possibility of provocations," he added.
The Russian general said that the conflict arose as a consequence of the collapse of the USSR.
"Soviet authorities, as well as the Azerbaijani leadership showed inability to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Baku, as well as the then-leadership of Azerbaijan were silent about what happened 30 years ago in Nagorno-Karabakh. They did not take any pragmatic steps to prevent the conflict,” he added.
It should be noted that Safonov served as the commandant of the special situation from May 1988 to December 1990.
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