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Artsakh Families Forced Escape: Tales of Horror, Betrayal, & Devastation While Surviving Unthinkable


Artsakh Families Forced Escape: Tales of Horror, Betrayal, & Devastation While Surviving Unthinkable

On September 26, 2023, The Armenian Report traveled from Yerevan to Kornidzor village in Armenia’s Syunik Province, where thousands of Armenians fleeing their homeland of Artsakh due to Azerbaijan’s mass ethnic cleansing were arriving.


The Armenian Report spoke with many refugees from Artsakh in the border village of Kornidzor as they crossed the border at Hakari bridge after a harsh 40-hour commute into Armenia. In the midst of an unfathomable crisis, families who have fled the besieged city of Stepanakert are bearing witness to the indescribable horrors they endured.



As they seek refuge and safety, their voices are full with pain, fear, and a deep sense of betrayal. The Armenian Report spoke with one woman who is a young mother of two boys. She described her horrific journey as she was forced to flee her homeland of Artsakh. "It was unbearable. I cannot describe it with words," she said, her eyes reflecting the trauma of the past days.


"I ran out to get my kids and took them to the basement. They weren’t home when it (bombing) started. I had picked them up early from school because we had heard that the situation was tense at the border." The survivor recounted the sheer terror of that moment, when explosions shattered the streets of Artsakh.


"Within 15 minutes, it started. I don’t know, it’s awful," she said, her voice faltering. Amidst the chaos, leaving their homes behind was marked by inhumanity. "They were inhumane. If we were dogs instead of us, they’d probably be dead by now," she said, her anger palpable. "They (Armenian government) lied to us.


If this was going to be the case, why take us back in 2020?" The survivor's words highlighted the heart-wrenching reality faced by countless families who had returned to Stepanakert upon assurances from the government, only to be met with devastation and betrayal. "We believed their promises, whether it was the Russian peacekeepers or our own government officials.


They made us trust them, and we went back," she said, her voice filled with regret. The arduous journey to safety was marked by hunger, thirst, and desperation. "The children were hungry. They hadn’t eaten anything. We had brought food with us, but it ended up not being enough for the kids," she said, her anguish evident.


"My son kept saying, 'Mom, I don’t want us to die.' For that, I will never be able to forgive myself." The survivor's account mirrors the experiences of countless others who have been forced to flee, leaving behind their homes, belongings, and a sense of security. As they seek refuge in unfamiliar places, their resilience in the face of unimaginable tragedy stands as a testament to the strength of the Armenian spirit.

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