Kremlin surrogates are pushing the narrative that Turkey is attempting to drive Russia out of the Nagorno-Karabakh region to cement Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s influence in the Southern Caucasus.
Following the Turkish Defense Ministry’s announcement of an agreement with Russia on the creation of a joint monitoring center, Baku said that Turkish troops were already operating in Karabakh as deminers. The Voice of Turkey Telegram channel posted a photo of such a group, assuming that it was an SAS special forces unit, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“Where there is infantry, special forces units may also mix in,” Russian military expert retired Lieutenant General Yuri Netkachev emphasized. In his view, Turkey’s goal is to drive Russia out of Nagorno-Karabakh and the entire South Caucasus. “Turkish special operations forces can do it by carrying out subversive activities and turning locals against Russian peacekeepers,” Netkachev noted. Before the war had broken out in Nagorno-Karabakh, anti-Russian protests had taken place in Azerbaijan with demonstrators holding Turkish flags along with Azerbaijani ones, the expert pointed out.
The Telegram channel ‘Azerbaijani Armed Forces’ wrote on Tuesday that “Armenian and Russia’s pro-Armenian news outlets are spreading reports that people in Azerbaijan are unhappy about the presence of Russian peacekeepers and they are calling for kicking the Russians out of Karabakh, particularly by using military force.” “I think it’s Turkey that benefits from it and its information forces are working in this field,” Netkachev said, added TASS.
Russia has emerged from the conflict with troops on the ground in the disputed region, in addition to military forces in Armenia. The ‘frozen conflict’ of the Soviet Union has finally broken in Azerbaijan’s favor militarily, with Russia getting the sweetener of controlling some former Armenian territory.
Erdogan most likely would love to see Russian peacekeepers as a temporary measure, preferring his Syrian mercenaries to troops from Moscow.
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