Putin: Number of Nagorno-Karabakh Dead Towards 5000
The number of dead in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh is approaching 5,000.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that on Thursday. He says there have been more than 2,000 casualties on both sides since the conflict flared up in late September.
Putin is in daily contact with the leaders of both countries. Russia has traditionally been an ally of Armenia but also supplies weapons to Azerbaijan. Agreements on a ceasefire made under Moscow supervision do not stand.
The two ex-Soviet republics have been fighting for decades over the mountainous area, which is home to some 145,000 people. Nagorno-Karabakh is controlled by Armenia but belongs to Azerbaijan.
The enclave itself says that 874 soldiers and 37 civilians were killed. According to the Azerbaijani government in Baku, 61 of its citizens have died. Figures on military casualties are not provided.
A truce has been widely called. Putin expressed the hope that the United States will help Russia find a solution to the conflict.