Inter Milan midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has urged the world of sport to support peace and and end to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
The 34-year-old put out a message in a post on his Twitter account in reaction to recent developments in the conflict. Mkhitaryan has retired from international duty to focus on his club football.
Prior to 2021, however, the former Arsenal and Roma midfielder was the captain of the Armenian national team. And Mkhitaryan is a player who has always felt a strong connection to his country.
Firthernore, he has also spoken out, on many occasions, about political issues related to Armenia and the Armenian people.
120,000 civilians including 30,000 children in Nagorno Karabakh are under military attack.
Azerbaijan has restarted war against Nagorno Karabakh, shelling civilians and civilian infrastructure after 9 months of deliberate blockade, famine and denial of humanitarian access.
— Henrikh Mkhitaryan (@HenrikhMkh) September 19, 2023
The Nagorno Karabakh region has been a site of conflict for decades. The majority of the population there consists of ethnic Armenians. The territory is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
However, it is under the control of the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan Speaks Out For Peace In Nagorno Karabakh Region
The Nagorno Karabakh region has been under a military-economic blockade by Azerbaijani forces for the past several months. And yesterday, Azerbaijani forces initiated a military operation in the region. This military strike has drawn major global news coverage.
The primary targets of the strike have been ethnic Armenians in the region. And Mkhitaryan has used his status as a top footballer in Europe to call for action from the world of sport.
The 34-year-old writes that “120,000 civilians including 30,000 children in Nagorno Karabakh are under military attack. Azerbaijan has restarted war against Nagorno Karabakh” he started.
He continued, “shelling civilians and civilian infrastructure after 9 months of deliberate blockade, famine and denial of humanitarian access.
“As experts have said – this is genocide. I call on my fans, the world of sports and media colleagues to react and help spread the voice for restoring peace.
“Children are NOT a target, and yet 2 children have already been killed and 13 injured,” he concluded.