Arayik Harutyunyan said in a video posted on Facebook that “the enemy is a few kilometers from Shusha, five kilometers maximum,” adding that “the main goal of the enemy is to overrun Shusha and whoever controls it controls Artsakh,” referring to the Armenian name for the Karabakh region.
Shusha is located about 15 kilometers from Stepanakert, the main city in this mountainous region, on a road linking the Nagorno Karabakh region with Armenia.
The control of Shusha, which is located on a high altitude, allows targeting the capital.
"In the coming days, the situation on the front must be reversed and the enemy punished directly at the gates of Shusha," Harutyunyan confirmed in a video clip taken near an Armenian historical cathedral located in this city. "Let us unite and fight together!"
Since the outbreak of the fighting on September 27, Azerbaijani forces have regained lands that have been out of their control since the 1990s, when a war between the two sides resulted in 30,000 deaths and the Armenian-majority Nagorno Karabakh region parted from Azerbaijan.