Azerbaijan's State Security Service has arrested and brought to Baku the former separatist leaders of the so-called 'Nagorno-Karabakh Republic' or 'Artsakh', Arkady Ghukasyan, Bako Sahakyan and Araik Harutyunyan. Arkady Ghukasyan was the leader of the region from 1997 to 2007, Bako Sahakyan succeeded him and led the unrecognised republic from 2007 to 2020, and Araik Harutyunyan served as the so-called 'President of Artsakh' from May 2020 to 1 September 2023.
These separatist leaders, especially Ghukasyan and Sahakyan, were "famous" not only for their crimes against the Azerbaijani people and their involvement in ethnic cleansing, but also for their extensive support for the separatists in Sukhumi and Tskhinvali, with whom the so-called "Artsakh" regime had "friendly and allied" relations.
In addition to these figures, other former key officials of the so-called "Artsakh" separatist authorities have been detained, among the most "significant" being the Russian billionaire, former so-called "Minister of State" of "Artsakh" Ruben Vardanyan, former Speaker of the so-called "Parliament" of "Artsakh" David Ishkhanyan and so-called "Foreign Minister" David Babayan.
Former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who had first-hand experience of the huge role played by the "Artsakh" separatists in fomenting separatism on Georgian territory, reacted very eloquently to the arrest of the "Artsakh" separatist leaders: "Right now there is a conflict of good and evil going on around us. Azerbaijan has arrested Ruben Vardanyan, who actively supported the war in Ukraine, as well as the so-called 'foreign minister' David Babayan, who developed relations with so-called Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Today, the above-mentioned occupied territories have lost their partners - because the so-called "Artsakh" has been liquidated".
The fate of the separatists from Khankedi is a reason to think about their "comrades-in-arms" from Sukhumi and Tskhinvali, who are still at large and still have the illusion that the Kremlin will protect them.
However, the ease with which the Azerbaijani security forces arrested the high-level "Artsakh" criminals suggests that the Kremlin has decided to simply "hand them over". Although not so long ago it was planning, with the help of the same separatist leaders, to stage a coup in the Republic of Armenia and bring them to power in Yerevan as "its" proxies. In any case, many analysts said that Ruben Vardanyan was being groomed for the role of the Moscow-backed Khair leader.
But events are moving fast, and the anti-terrorist operation carried out by the Azerbaijani army did not leave the separatist leaders much of a chance to escape. The capabilities of the special services of the Russian Federation are certainly not unlimited, but if the Kremlin was really interested in the freedom of Ruben Vardanyan or Bako Sahakyan, they would have been somehow "evacuated" from Karabakh with the help of the same peacekeepers. But apparently Moscow decided not to "save" the already "trained" separatist puppets and thus not to come into conflict with Azerbaijan.
As for the Kremlin's plans for Armenia, it seems that they have already come to terms with the fact that this "ally" parasite is withdrawing from Russian influence and that it is no longer realistic to install pro-Russian puppets in Yerevan. And they have already begun to show the Khayyas that they are only making things worse for themselves by picking fights with Russia. Russia has begun its punishment of Armenia with the "genocide of Armenian brandy" - Pashinyan's sources report that for two weeks there have been about 60 trucks from Armenia at the Upper Lars checkpoint, which are not allowed to enter Russia.
Under such conditions, potential "agents of Russian influence" in Armenia are simply "thrown overboard" as unnecessary ballast.
In general, it can be said that Bako Sahakyan and Araik Harutyunyan were "lucky" in some respects. The Russian security services have a "habit" of "removing" separatists who have served their time. For example, almost all the separatists of the "first wave" in Ukraine's Donbass have been liquidated, including the so-called "president" of the so-called "DNR", Alexander Zakharchenko. And the separatist "president" of Abkhazia has probably also been "removed", only "cured" in order to install a more obedient puppet, Raul Khajimba, in his place.
So the separatists in Sukhumi and Tskhinvali really have little choice. Either end up in a Georgian prison or in the grave with the help of their "Moscow" friends. The latter is becoming increasingly likely, as the Kremlin does not want to make public much of what the separatist leaders know.
Today, the "Artsakh" separatists have finally been "written off", as evidenced by the recent response of the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, to an Armenian journalist's question as to what Russia was doing to free the "Artsakh" leadership and why it had not "withdrawn" the detained separatists. Maria Zakharova said quite sharply: "And you have not confused the addressee of the question? "This question should not be addressed to us, but to the Armenian side. These people are citizens of Armenia", - stressed the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, who also pointed out that Ruben Vardanyan had renounced the citizenship of the Russian Federation.
In general, there is a certain cynicism on the part of the Russian authorities. Ruben Vardanyan, no matter how we treat him, renounced his Russian citizenship in order to get out from under the sanctions and, through his structures in Armenia, to establish a "supply channel" to Russia for military products and microchips necessary for the war in Ukraine. So "Ruben has done his job, Ruben is no longer needed".