On November 25th 2020, Derby City Council unanimously passed a resolution to formally recognise the Independence of the Republic of Artsakh ( Nagorno-Karabakh).
The 1st City in the United Kingdom to pass such a resolution
On 18th October, and after 3 weeks of War in Artsakh , Russell Pollard ( of Derby News) and the sister publication Artsakh.Org.UK, wrote to the political leaders of Derby City Council requesting that a resolution be passed, at the next available Full Council meeting on November 25th, to Recognise the Independence of the Republic of Arsakh. Cllr Baggy Shanker, Leader of the Labour Group agreed to move the motion which was supported by Cllr Ruth Skelton, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group.
Almost exactly 2 years ago on November 21st 2018, the Council passed a resolution to recognise the Armenian Genocide; the 1st City in England to recognise these tragic events in 1915 as a Genocide against the Armenian people. This action was also promoted by Russell Pollard, in conjunction with the local Holocaust Memorial Day group.
Notes for editors/ overseas readers
Derby is located in central England with a population of around 260,000 people. It is an industrial City being home to Rolls-Royce, Toyota, Bombardier and many other international companies. A diverse City with nearly 200 nationalities, and many spoken languages, but with no Armenian community.
The Republic of Artsakh / Nagorno-Karabkh is a state in the South Caucasus populated by Amenians. Just prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 it declared its independence during a period of war with the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. Following a ceasefire in 1994, it developed as a functioning state albeit unrecognised by all other countries. This unrecognised status left it vulnerable to further attack from Azerbaijan.
On September 27th 2020 Azerbaijan, together with Turkey, and mercenaries from Syria, initiated a full scale war against Arsakh. The combined forces bombed the capital, Stepanakert, and other major areas of population for 44 days. On November 10th 2020, a truce was agreed which left Artsakh with a much reduced territory, with many people homeless and seeking sanctuary in neighbouring Armenia. The status of Artsakh remains unclear leaving its Armenian population vulnerable to further aggression, ethnic cleansing and the continuation of the Amenian Genocide of 1915..also perpetrated by Turkey.