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 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?”