Thu. Oct 29th, 2020
At Front Lines of a Brutal War: Death and Despair in Nagorno-Karabakh


Azerbaijan has not been disclosing its military death toll. But the government mentioned Saturday that 14 civilians had been killed in Ganja, Azerbaijan’s 2nd-greatest city, in an overnight missile assault by Armenia.

Officials say that much more than half the persons of Nagorno-Karabakh have fled their houses, even though the martial law at this time in impact bars males of military age from leaving the territory. People who stayed behind consist of girls who want to be shut to their husbands, sons and fathers sent to the front lines. The coronavirus is far down the record of people’s worries, even even though global help organizations warn that cramped bomb shelters are spreading infection.

Alyona Shakhramanyan, 33, and her neighbors from the fifth floor of an apartment constructing in Shusha, the hilltop town, moved 3 weeks in the past into a area of their grime-floor basement. They fashioned a door out of a sheet of corrugated plastic and taped cardboard more than the openings in the concrete walls. A single of the girls is sick — a cold, they say, that she caught simply because of the drafty air.

Ms. Shakhramanyan’s brother, who, like her husband, is at the front, has not been answering his cellphone. When she went outdoors to do laundry the past day, she was frightened by the buzz of a drone. Rocket artillery hit the close by Holy Savior Cathedral twice earlier this month, and the paving stones outdoors it had been even now stained with the blood of a Russian journalist critically injured in the 2nd strike.

“No 1 assists us right here,” Ms. Shakhramanyan mentioned. “We are on our very own.”

At the military cemetery in Stepanakert, the resting location of fighters who died in the 1990s, the authorities eliminated a retaining wall and dug into a hillside to make way for the new casualties. Amid the artificial-flower wreaths and basic grave internet sites on the freshly graded, rocky grime, a guy whose brother was gone spread his arms in grief.

“These are fresh — our guys,” he cried, his voice trailing off. “What is there to say?”

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