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Over 42,000 refugees return to Nagorno-Karabakh - Russia’s Defense Ministry

Buses have taken 306 people from Yerevan to Stepanakert today

MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. More than 42,000 refugees have returned to their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh since fighting stopped in the region, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Saturday.

In the past 24 hours, 306 people came back from Yerevan to Stepanakert on buses escorted by Russian peacekeepers, the defense ministry added.

"Buses have taken 306 people from Yerevan to Stepanakert today. The buses were escorted on their route by patrols of the Russian peacekeeping contingent and military police," the Russian Defense Ministry said. "A total of over 42,000 refugees have already returned to their domiciles."

On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. Under the agreement, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides maintained the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers were deployed to the region.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the Russian peacekeeping contingent is based on the 15th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Central Military District. Russian observation posts are deployed along the contact line and to the Lachin corridor, which links Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. The headquarters of the peacekeeping operation is located in Stepanakert. The situation is monitored round the clock.