On April 13, the Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan was on a working visit to the northeastern border. According to the Ministry of Defense, he walked around the military positions, visited the directions from where Artsvashen is visible.
Artsvashen was captured by the Russian-Azerbaijani forces on 8 August 1992. It was a period when after the displacement of the Armenian population of Northern Artsakh and Shahumyan Moscow hurried to help Azerbaijan which could not wage the war alone.
The ex-president of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan called on the heads of Collective Security Treaty (currently CSTO) to intervene because Artsvashen was an Armenian territory, even though it was an enclave. Certainly, there was not any help and could not be.
Then the representative of Armenia to the UN Alexander Arzumanyan called for a meeting of the UN Security Council. “With the assistance of the Russian troops Azerbaijan attacked NK, a significant part of the region of Martakert had been captured. We called on the UN Security Council to condemn the aggressive policy implemented against the population of NK, as well as expected a political statement on the blockade of Armenia.”
At the same time, after the victories of Shushi and Lachin, such sudden turns aroused doubts among the civilians and the military, particularly the behavior of then the military-political leadership of Armenia on Artsvashen, Shahumyan, Martakert.
Later, after the war, Levon Ter-Petrosyan said on one occasion that we did not lose Artsvashen but exchanged with Azerbaijani enclaves in the territory of Soviet Armenia, and territory-wise we won.
When it comes to the military-political importance of Artsvashen and the importance of the “Azerbaijani enclaves”, it is a matter of discussion. By the way, there are questions to the leaders of Soviet Armenia as to why Artsvashen became an enclave as it had not been one upon the formation of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia, and why “Azerbaijani enclaves” formed in the territory of Armenia.
Looking at the map, one can understand the strategic position and importance of Artsvashen. It is the “key” to Northern Artsakh.