Deputy Commander of the Submarine Forces of the Northern Fleet for Military-Political Affairs, Captain 1st Rank Ivan Kovgan, was killed in shelling in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 20, reported the St. Petersburg Club of Naval Submariners and Navy Veterans .
According to the news website SeverPost, Kovgan served as the deputy commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Naval Submariners Club states that Kovgan was deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh two months ago. The Murmansk news website Bi-port, citing an "informed source," writes that Kovgan had been on a mission in Karabakh since May 11. SeverPost clarifies that the officer died two days before his 53rd birthday.
The Kremlin press service reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had a telephone conversation. The Kremlin said that during the conversation, Aliyev "apologized and expressed deep condolences for the tragic death of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 20."
The President of Azerbaijan has also promised that a thorough investigation into the incident will be carried out and "all those responsible will be duly punished". In addition, Aliyev expressed readiness to provide financial assistance to the families of the deceased.
The response from Putin, according to the Kremlin press service, has not been disclosed. The statement only mentions that the presidents discussed "priority steps for further stabilizing the situation and addressing humanitarian issues in the region". Putin "emphasized the importance of ensuring the rights and safety of the Armenian population" while Aliyev "confirmed Azerbaijan's readiness to cooperate on these matters with Russian peacekeepers."