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Former Nagorno-Karabakh Armenian Leader Arrested as Over 50,000 Refugees Flee Region

Aleksey Chalabyan a.k.a Xelgen
Ruben Vardanyan, a former high-ranking official in the ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, was arrested by Azerbaijan authorities on Sept. 27, 2023, as he attempted to flee the region along with over 50,000 other ethnic Armenian refugees.

Vardanyan is a former state minister of the Republic of Artsakh, Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian separatist government that was defeated by a short but intense Azeri military offensive on Sept. 19.