On 09 May, Nagorno Karabakh marked Victory Day, commonly celebrated throughout post-Soviet countries as the day of victory over Nazi Germany. In Karabakh and Armenia, however, the day is also marked as the day Armenian forces took control over Shushi (or Shusha as it is known by Azeris) in 1992, paving the way for further offensive combat operations that resulted in the control of not only the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast enclave, but surrounding regions as well as a buffer zone.
On this regard, Nagorno Karabakh’s Defence Minister Gen Karen Abrahamyan participated in several events alongside other high-ranking government and military officials, including those from Armenia proper. It is worth noting, that Armenian ex-president Serj Sargsyan was attending the meeting, along with other participants of the war in the 1990’s. Addressing the crowd on the eve of 09 May, Gen Abrahamyan stated:
…This is our nation’s ultimate objective, for which the Defence Army shall not blink, not even for a second, and with great dedication will serve within the framework of its mission, continuing to maintain the Republic of Artsakh’s borders unbroken and provide for our nation’s peaceful and constructive life…
Footage of the event from News.am
After Shushi’s control, Armenian forces were able to advance towards the border region with Armenia, Lachin, essentially gaining control of the only major road linking the two, and breaking the siege. Shushi, according to experts was a turning point in the war, as it lifted the last stronghold looking over Stepanakert. In addition, it opened up the gateway towards Armenia and bordering regions, commonly dubbed “liberated” territories by Armenians and “occupied territories” by Azeris.