Ethnic Armenians in Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh agreed to a Russian proposal for a ceasefire on Wednesday, 24 hours after Azerbaijan began an offensive to take control of the enclave that killed dozens and injured hundreds.
Separatist Armenian forces in Karabakh said Azerbaijan had broken through their lines and seized a number of heights and strategic road junctions while the world had stood by, doing nothing.
The self-styled "Republic of Artsakh" said that in such circumstances, it had no choice but to cease hostilities from 1 p.m. local time on Wednesday.
"The authorities of the Republic of Artsakh accept the proposal of the command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to cease fire," it said.
"With the mediation of the command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh, an agreement was reached on the complete cessation of hostilities from 13:00 on September 20, 2023."
Azerbaijan confirmed that a ceasefire agreement had been reached. It said Russian peacekeepers relayed the Karabakh Armenian appeal for a ceasefire to Azerbaijan. It did not immediately set out the conditions.
Azerbaijan began its operation against Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday after some of its troops were killed in what Baku said were attacks from the mountainous region, which Azerbaijan had blockaded for nine months.
Baku had demanded that the separatist political authorities in Karabakh, which is recognised internationally as part of Azerbaijan, also disband before any talks are held about the future of the region, which Azerbaijan wants to fully integrate.
Nagorno-Karabakh is recognised internationally as part of Azerbaijan, Reuters reports.