Shooting and casualties on the border.  Presidents in Samarkand.

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Undoubtedly, the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization held in Samarkand became the theme of this week throughout the world.  However, at the same time, there is a very fragile situation inside and on the borders of the countries that participated in the summit.  Some observers see this as an attempt to disrupt the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and prevent it.

So, what kind of military processes are going on in 14 countries and heads of government in Uzbekistan? That’s we’re talking about now.

Two days before the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, on 13 September, armed clashes broke out on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border at midnight.  According to Yerevan, on 13 September the Azerbaijani armed forces began shelling Armenian territory with artillery and drones.

«On 13 September at 00:05pm, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces launched intensive shelling from artillery and heavy artillery towards the Armenian positions in the Goris, Sotka and Jermuk regions».

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who was to come to the SCO summit in Samarkand as a guest, cancelled the visit due to the escalation of armed clashes and the deterioration of the situation in the country.

«Due to the current situation, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will not participate in the SCO Summit», the press service of the Armenian government reported.

Uzbek politicians assessed Pashinyan’s inability to participate in the summit as follows:

Sayfiddin Jurayev, professor:

- It is no great loss that he will not come to the summit.  The organization has an online form of communication.  Of course, this would ensure the completeness of the Observer States' dialogues if they participated.

The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, for its part, stated that the armed conflict was initiated by Armenia itself, and the Armenian military, organized a large-scale provocation.  According to Baku, on the night of 12 September «units of the Armenian Armed Forces committed a large-scale provocation in the Dashkesan, Kelbajar and Lachin directions of the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border...».

On 15 September, Azerbaijani media reported that the Azerbaijani armed forces had taken control of eight strategic heights in the area of the State border.
But on that day, President of Azerbaijan, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic Ilham Aliyev arrived in Samarkand to participate in the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a guest.

Fifty soldiers from Azerbaijan and 105 from Armenia were killed in the clashes. The parties agreed to re-establish the ceasefire on the morning of 13 September.

Armed conflict on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border

On the eve of the summit, on 14 September, there was an armed conflict between Uzbekistan’s neighbors, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.  In the exchange of fire that took place in the border village of Bulok Boshi, the border guards of both countries took part and the parties blamed each other for it.

Shortly after, officials of the two countries, the governor of the Botken region of Kyrgyzstan, Abdikarim Alimboyev, and the head of the Sughd region of Tajikistan, Rajabba Ahmadzoda, discussed the situation on the border, and it is known that representatives of the border services of the two countries are in contact, restoration work is under way.

On that day, however, there was another armed clash at another point on the border.

«On 14 September 2022, the border guards of the State Security Committee of Tajikistan opened fire on the border guards of the post «Dostuk» of the Botken Border Guard Detachment in Khak-Sai district of Botken district.  Border guards of the State Security Committee of Kyrgyzstan have returned fire," said the Border Guard Service of Kyrgyzstan.

In both clashes, eight people were reportedly injured and two died.  Among them are civilians, in addition to border guards.

However, the SCO presidents did not withdraw from the Samarkand summit.  President of the Kyrgyz Republic Kadyr Japarov arrived in Samarkand on 14 September, and Head of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon arrived in Samarkand on 15 September.  Both of them visited the tomb of the first President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, and together took part in the pre-am meetings.

This morning, on 16 September, Tajik and Kyrgyz soldiers opened fire in several more border areas.  As always, the parties continue to blame each other.

According to the Kyrgyz Border Guard Service, on the morning of 16 September, Tajikistan began shelling Kyrgyz border guards in the districts of Eki Tosh, Chir Dobo, Kum Mosor and Ortho Boz, as well as the outpost of "Samarkandek.”  According to the Tajikistan State Security Committee, Kyrgyzstan attacked the country’s population centres.

However, on 16 September, in order to prevent an escalation of the conflict, a telephone conversation was held between the Head of the Border Guard Service of Kyrgyzstan, Major General Ularbek Sharsheev, and the State Security Committee of Tajikistan.  Between the commander of the border troops, Colonel General Rajabali Rahmonali.  During the talks, the heads of the border agencies agreed on a ceasefire from 10:00p.m. However, the shootings did not stop.

News and videos on the occupation of the school building by the Tajik military in Kyrgyzstan have started to be disseminated to local media.  They depict Tajik soldiers planting flags on the school building.  It was reported that the Kyrgyz town of Botken was shelled by Tajik rockets.

According to recent information, the number of Kyrgyz military personnel injured during the armed conflict on the border with Tajikistan has reached 18.  Tajikistan has not yet released figures in this regard.

When the situation escalated, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov was unable to remain calm at the Samarkand summit.  So, he decided to leave the hall early.  News of this began to be published in Kyrgyz publications, but after a while Zhaparov again took his place and it was announced that he would not leave the summit.

Uzbekistan served as a platform for the conclusion of an agreement on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border. In Samarkand, the two neighboring countries, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, reached a ceasefire for the third time.

The fact is that the length of the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan exceeds 980 km, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, dozens of disputed areas remain.  To date, more than 660km between the two countries have been identified and agreed upon during the delimitation and demarcation process.  In some regions, there are occasional disagreements and disputes between local residents of border areas.

The War between Russia and Ukraine

As you know, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin also came to Uzbekistan to participate in the SCO summit, talked with the Chairman of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping in Samarkand on the Ukrainian issue.  Many observers assumed that the summit would discuss the issue of Ukraine, and partner countries would propose to Putin an agreement with Zelensky, but only Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was able to win Putin’s heart and talk about Ukraine.

«The crisis in Ukraine caused serious disruptions in supply chains and subjected the world to an unprecedented energy and food crisis», - said Modi.

There are also reports that Russia has begun sending prisoners of war to Ukraine.  According to the information, the first column of prisoners was observed in the Tambov region.  According to legend, 400 people were taken from the Russian colonies to the war.  In short, the situation between Ukraine and Russia is still fragile, and there are signs that the war will not end soon.

For this reason, the US expanded sanctions against Russia during Putin’s visit to Samarkand.

In particular, the commissioner for the rights of the child of the Russian Federation under the US government of Lviv-Belov, the head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov and his relatives, the head of the state administration of the Zaporozhye region Yevgeny Balitsky and Vladimir Rogov.  Chairman of the «We are together with Russia» movement Vladimir Rogov, head of the National Payment Card System «Komlev» has imposed sanctions against Maxim Oreshkin, assistant to the President of the Russian Federation.

Also, today there was a fire in the 42-storey building «China Telecom» in China, the height of which is more than 200 meters.  They say many people were burned alive.  Due to the unexpected situation in his country, Xi Jinping was one of the first to leave Uzbekistan after the Samarkand summit.

There is peace on the borders of the other participating countries.

. Shaxzod Nusratulloyev
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