Secretary of the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Security Council, Vitaly Balasanyan, has issued a statement. The announcement particularly says:

“Reports are circulating that an Azerbaijani flag will be placed on state buildings in [the capital] Stepanakert city’s Renaissance Square; I consider it necessary to categorically deny these. There are reports being disseminated in some media and social media that the Artsakh Defense Army will be disbanded, and according to the logic of those reports, there will be no organization to protect the borders of Artsakh. In this regard, I would like to inform that the state bodies of Artsakh are currently engaged in the matter of organizing professional [military] units on a contractual basis in order to protect our borders.

There are fears in some circles of the society that, for example, the Krkzhan, Ajapnyak districts of Stepanakert, or the village of Ivanyan of Askeran will soon be populated by Azerbaijani families. There are also rumors being circulated that Azerbaijanis are shopping, especially in the shopping outlets of Stepanakert. I assure that such rumors have no basis.

Dear Artsakh people, on behalf of the Artsakh authorities, I assure you that despite the irreparable losses inflicted on us as a result of the hostilities, the state is always committed to fulfill its obligations to ensure the safety and normal life of the population. Accordingly, I urge not to heed fake news and to believe that everything has been done and is being done to create and expand the necessary conditions for a dignified life of the Artsakh people.”