VIDEO. Russian semi-finalist writes message on camera and that unleashes diplomatic row at the Australian Open

After his Australian Open quarter-final win against Sebastian Korda, Russian Karen Khachanov wrote a message on camera that sparked a diplomatic row. “I just wanted to give my people strength and support,” he defends.

Michael Van Damme

“Keep believing until the end. Artsakh, hang on!!!” Karen Khachanov wrote. He was not referring to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, but to the difficulties in the Nagorno Karabakh region.

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Nagorno Karabakh is an enclave in Azerbaijan where the population consists of Armenians. They are fighting for independence with Azerbaijan. According to the population, the region has been blocked by Azerbaijan since December. 120,000 Armenian Christians can no longer move.

The Russian tennis player Karen Khachanov has Armenian roots and wanted to encourage the people in Nagorno Karabakh. But Azerbaijan does not accept that. The state has asked the International Tennis Federation to punish Khachanov. They call his message a provocation.

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