“The coming days will be decisive,” the de facto leader of Karabakh announced as Azerbaijani forces advanced toward Shushi. Baku may see the capture of the town as critical leverage to achieve a favorable political settlement.
The appearance of the self-defense units is the second time this year that civil society has been forced to hold the line. Where the state repeatedly fails to live up to its obligations, volunteers step in.
Japarov and his supporters have shown little compunction in using violence to try and achieve their ends, although the events in Bishkek today easily outstrip anything that has happened in this crisis to date.