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Russian Jailed For Fighting Azerbaijani Forces In Nagorno-Karabakh

Azerbaijani soldiers march during a military parade dedicated to the victory in the Nagorno-Karabakh armed conflict in Baku in December 2020.

A court in Baku has sentenced a Russian citizen to 10 years in prison on charges of fighting on the Armenian side against Azerbaijan's armed forces in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region last year.

The Baku Court for Major Crimes on July 22 found Sergei Dubakov guilty of terrorism, participation in a criminal group, and illegal border crossing. He was sentenced the same day.

Investigators say Dubakov illegally visited Nagorno-Karabakh, where he joined an illegal Armenian armed group, and took part in military exercises in the Kalbacar district.

Dubakov was detained in January after he arrived in Azerbaijan from Turkey. Investigators say he planned "terrorist and sabotage acts" in Azerbaijan.

Dubakov pleaded not guilty.

Armenian officials have not commented on the conviction.

Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia have continued to simmer after last year's war over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but had been controlled by ethnic Armenians since the early 1990s.

Some 6,000 people were killed in six weeks of fighting that ended in November in a Moscow-brokered cease-fire.

Under the deal, a chunk of Nagorno-Karabakh and all seven districts around it were returned to Azerbaijani administration after almost 30 years of control by ethnic Armenian forces.

The agreement also resulted in the deployment of around 2,000 Russian peacekeepers, and provided for an exchange of prisoners of war and other detainees.

Based on reporting by APA and Sputnik Azerbaijan