Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan surprised his country and the world tonight by announcing that he had agreed to end the war in Nagorno-Karabakh on terms that were “unbelievably painful for me personally and for our people.”
Why it matters: The announcement followed confirmation that Azerbaijan had taken a critical town in the breakaway region, which is majority ethnic Armenian but lies within neighboring Azerbaijan.
- Pashinyan said he had agreed to the terms of the deal along with the leaders of Russia and Azerbaijan.
- In a deeply emotional Facebook post, he conceded that this was "not a victory," but the best outcome Armenia could hope for under the circumstances. The precise terms of the deal are unclear.
The big picture: Azerbaijan has made significant gains in and around Nagorno-Karabakh during the six-week-long war and vowed to change the status quo through military force after three decades of failed diplomacy.
- With the help of its ally Turkey, it seems to have now done so.
Driving the news: The announcement has sparked chaotic protests in Armenia's capital, Yerevan. Protesters have reportedly stormed government buildings.
- "One protester yells at me 'Nikol has sold us out. He has betrayed this country,'" reports journalist Neil Hauer, who is on the scene.