An Armenian position

Nights at Armenia’s Borders Are Terrifying

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VARDENIS, Armenia – In the Vardenis-Karvachar line of contact between Armenia and Azerbaijan, nights do not pass peacefully. Azerbaijan did not even honor the ceasefire reached through Russian mediation 24 hours, and at 3 a.m. in the morning of July 29 recommenced firing with various caliber artillery on Armenian defensive positions. The  response from the Armenian side silenced the enemy fire.

The wounded Armenian soldier

The situation was calm until 7:30 a.m., but after this gradually firing restarted and at 8:40 a.m. turned into battles for positions, during which a lieutenant in the Armenian army was wounded.

The villagers in this region, with one or two hectares of land through which they support their families, a home and a stable for animals are anxious and wonder now whether what happened to Artsakh may happen here.

For example, an elderly resident of Norabak village, who earns his living through raising cattle, expresses his amazement at the recent turn of events, declaring, “Until the parliamentary elections, shooting did not exist the way it does now. The Turks [i.e. Azerbaijanis] have come to seize our communal pastures. We wish to take the herd to the mountains but we are afraid. They will shoot and kill us.”

Another inhabitant of the same village finds that it is now necessary for him to bear a gun, but the state does not want to think in this direction. He said, “The last house of the village is mine. After it are our positions. I live in this house with my parents, wife and children, and am not preparing to desert the village, but, understand, we need weapons. We have asked everywhere so that there are at least 10-20 pistols in the village, which in case of necessity we can use to defend ourselves, but nobody listens to us. We elected him as prime minister, we see his ability. Every day there is firing on us. What does this mean?”

A villager from Norabak

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One of the inhabitants of Sotk village, already having lost hope, said that it is not possible to resist in this situation since there is no chance for progress. The conditions for working in agriculture, animal husbandry, or any other employment do not exist. She said, “What does our leadership think? Who will think about us? If we have to fight, let us fight. If it is necessary to do something else, we will do it, but it is not possible to continue like this. We are people who have children. There are goals connected with those children.”

A woman from Sotk

Nearly all the inhabitants of villages near the border are making similar calculations because their conditions are truly unbearable. The roads leading to the borders have been closed to journalists from yesterday for incomprehensible reasons. In particular, both entry and exit from Kut Village is completely closed.

Entrance to Kut Village

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