Pathos of this moment in the life of Khankendi, known to Armenians as Stepanakert
A reporter describes the silence as 'eerie', then adds specificity about the lives upended after Azerbaijan’s forces retook control of Nagorno-Karabakh
The pathos of the first stories emerging from Khankendi/ Stepanakert is striking.
The BBC correspondent visiting the largest city in the Nagorno-Karabakh region reports the almost complete silence that has descended on it.
The Al Jazeera reporter describes the silence as “eerie”, then adds specificity about the live upended so suddenly, after Azerbaijan’s forces retook control of Nagorno-Karabakh: “Baby strollers, chairs, and empty boxes are all that remain in the square after more than 100,000 Armenians fled Khakendi in haste, the latest casualties of an old territorial conflict.”
The reference is to the more than 100,000 ethnic Armenians who fled Nagorno-Karabakh after Azerbaijan defeated separatist forces in the breakaway region. The Armenians began fleeing into Armenia.
The Al Jazeera reporter added a further striking detail to the ongoing story of lives in chaos because of modern politics and older rivalries. From Khankendi, he wrote, even the dead are being repatriated to Armenia because the staff at the city’s morgue have also left.
The picture that emerges is of a dreadful period of uncertainty – hungry ppuppies, wandering horses – all left behind by their Armenian masters as they scrambled to leave a region that refused to recognise Azerbaijan’s rule and governed itself as an ethnic Armenian autonomous entity.
The pathos of this moment in the life of a city is unmistakable.
That it is but a moment is also unarguable.