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Karabakh war hero: Blocking Lachin-Khankandi road, we deprived enemy of support

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During the Patriotic War, I participated in the battles for Khojavand. We managed to prevent several enemy attacks. Having suffered significant losses, the enemy was forced to retreat. Then we rushed into battle in the Fuzuli direction. Hero of the Patriotic War, Captain of the Azerbaijani army Ramazan Xudulov told Report's correspondent in Dashalti.

He noted that he was wounded in the battles for Fuzuli, however, despite this, he did not leave the battlefield: “On November 3, our troops concentrated in the Topxana forest near Shusha. And in the morning, we began to liberate the surrounding heights of Dashalti. Our troops withstood the enemy cannons, artillery, and the heights were recaptured during the battles. By the evening of November 4, the command was given to penetrate into Dashalti, destroy or expel the enemy from there.

“We made our way along sheer cliffs, which was quite difficult, given the fog and the gathering dusk. A path led through one of the heights to the village of Dashalti, along which, we descended as part of a group of 27 people. In the course of the advance, we got into a minefield. Five of our fighters were killed, the rest received injures of varying severity. Having provided medical assistance and evacuating the wounded, on November 5 at dawn, we set off again.”

As the hero of the patriotic war noted, the Azerbaijani army attacked Dashalti from three directions: "One of our units began to move deeper into Dashalti, the second – along the rocks in the right direction, and the third, which I led, moved in the direction of the Lachin-Khankandi road. In the morning, we received the task to block the Lachin-Khankandi road, through which supplies were supplied to the Armenian troops. Moving deep into Dashalti, we were surrounded. The Armenians defended from a hill, so they had a tactical advantage. In spite of everything, we blocked the Lachin-Khankandi road and cut off the enemy’s supply lines.

“During the Dashalti operation, our special forces troops, moving in parallel, went behind enemy lines in order to block another exit from Shusha. Because the Armenians were focused on us, they lost sight of the commandos. After blocking all routes, the enemy troops stationed in Shusha were surrounded. The enemy was destroyed, some managed to escape from the battlefield by flight.

“Thus, along with the village of Dashalti, the pearl of Azerbaijan, Shusha, was liberated from the enemy. For the successful operation to block the Lachin-Khankandi road, by order of Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, I was awarded the title of Hero of the Patriotic War. May the Almighty rest noble souls of our martyrs; May He send healing to the wounded."

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Azerbaijan’s economy grows over 7%

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In January-April this year, Azerbaijan produced gross domestic product (GDP) worth nearly 40 billion manats ($23.5 billion), up 7.2% compared to the same period last year.

Report informs, citing the State Statistics Committee, that the value added in the country's oil and gas sector increased by 0.2% and in the non-oil and gas sector by 11.4% over the past year.

Industry made up 54.8% of GDP, trade, and repair of vehicles each constituted 7.7%, transport and warehousing were responsible for 6%, construction accounted for 4%, agriculture, forestry and fishing for 2.4%, information and communication for 1.4%, tourists accommodation and catering for 1.3%, other areas accounted for 14.5%, while net taxes on products and imports amounted to 7.9% of GDP.

During the year, the country's GDP increased by 57.15% to 3,938 manats.

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Vice-speaker of Iranian Parliament visiting Azerbaijan

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A delegation led by Iran's First Vice-Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Parliament) Ali Nikzad visited the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan on May 16, Report informs.

During the visit, the Iranian Vice-Speaker Ali Nikzad will meet with the Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Vasif Talibov. The officials will discuss the prospects for the development of bilateral relations.

Then Ali Nikzad and his delegation will leave Nakhchivan for Baku to attend the 3rd session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).

During his two-day visit to Azerbaijan, the Vice-Speaker of the Iranian Parliament will hold several bilateral meetings.

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Stop calling Putin, Estonia’s PM says

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There is no point in talking to Vladimir Putin if we really want him to understand he is isolated, Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told EURACTIV in what can be seen as a thinly veiled criticism of largely unsuccessful phone diplomacy with Moscow, Report informs.

“I feel that if everybody is constantly calling him, he doesn’t get the message that he’s isolated. So if we want to get the message through that actually ‘you are isolated’, don’t call him – there’s no point,” she repeated a message she had told an international audience the same day.

“He feels that he’s the center of attention because everybody wants to talk to him. But what do we get out of this? I don’t see any results, because after all these talks, Bucha happened, Irpin happened – we don’t see any signs of de-escalation,” she added.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who together with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been trying to negotiate a resolution to the conflict in Ukraine, said earlier this week that Russia and Ukraine would have to come to a negotiated truce and that peace efforts would not be served by Russia’s “humiliation”.

Asked if it would make sense to ‘keep diplomatic channels open’, Kallas told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview said she personally does not see “any point in talking to him”.

Over the past few months, France and Germany have faced increased criticism for being responsible for a failed Minsk peace process, which has sought to halt the war in Ukraine’s east that began when Russia-backed separatists seized swaths of territory following Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

But years on, there has been no full political settlement and Ukrainian officials have made the diplomatic efforts responsible for opening the door to Russia’s 24 February invasion.

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