"We categorically reject all attempts to blame the Russian side and the Russian peacekeepers (in Nagorny Karabakh) who are acting valiantly," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, rejecting any "shortcomings" or accusations of negligence.

Peskov added that "Russia is working to guarantee the rights of all Armenians in Nagorny Karabakh," stressing that "Armenia will remain an ally of Russia and dialogue continues between the two countries on several levels."

Armenians in Karabakh, an internationally recognized region as part of Azerbaijan but previously outside Baku's control, were forced to declare a ceasefire on September 20, after a lightning military operation by Azerbaijan's most numerous and powerful army, which lasted 24 hours.

The separatist leadership said the 120,<> Armenians in Nagorny Karabakh would leave for Armenia because they did not want to live under Azerbaijan's sovereignty, feared persecution and ethnic cleansing and began fleeing the region.

The Armenian government said in a statement that at least 4850,08 people had left the Nagorny Karabakh region for Armenia as of 00:<> GMT on Monday.

That comes up from about 3,7 people who left seven hours ago.