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Couple's Forced Escape from Their Homeland Amidst Azerbaijani Occupation & Mass Exodus from Artsakh

Couple's Forced Escape from Their Homeland Amidst Azerbaijani Occupation & Mass Exodus from Artsakh

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 wake of relentless Azerbaijani bombings and chaos, this couple from a bordering village in Artsakh found themselves in a state of utter despair. Fleeing the ever-encroaching Azeri danger, they share harrowing accounts of their escape, shedding light on the dire circumstances they faced in their homeland of Artsakh also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.

"We’re not from Stepanakert, we're from a village," the wife said, her voice filled with grief. "Still horrible conditions over there. Very unbearable. Under all the explosions and bombing, the poor people don’t know where to run or seek refuge. No proper basements, nothing."

Amidst the ethnic cleansing followed by mass exodus, families were trapped, surrounded on all sides, with nowhere to turn. "All the villages were surrounded. And all the posts. My son was serving, and they were attacked from all sides. He survived by the Grace of God," she said, her relief palpable, yet overshadowed by the magnitude of the crisis.

The escape was filled with challenges, with civilians forced to abandon their belongings and even their means of defense. "There were instances where there was panic amongst people, and everyone left all their guns behind. Military guns, personal guns, dumped along the road," the husband gestured, his eyes reflecting the trauma of those moments.

At checkpoints, the Armenian survivors faced Azerbaijani scrutiny and harsh treatment. "They were filming at the checkpoint, asking us questions. There was nothing humanitarian," he recalled, his tone conveying a sense of betrayal. The presence of international peacekeepers did little to alleviate their plight. "The French are standing with Azeris there, so they want to show that they are civilized people. But in Shushi, they were rough, using foul language," he said, his words painting a stark contrast in treatment.

Reflecting on the recent events, he expressed disbelief at the turn of events. "Until these last few days, I said it would be good. Until the Turks and the Russians came to our village. I could never imagine that the Turk would come to my home," he said, his voice laced with sorrow and disillusionment.

Amidst the chaos, some have chosen to remain, their decisions tinged with a lack of understanding or perhaps an unyielding resolve. "There is one guy from my village who stayed. He has no idea of reality. He didn’t know about the first war and he, until this day, doesn’t know what is going on," he said, highlighting the mental instability of those who stayed behind in Artsakh..

In the face of overwhelming adversity, these survivors seek solace and refuge, grappling with the harsh reality of displacement and the uncertainty of the future. Their stories, etched with pain and resilience, serve as a stark reminder of the human toll of conflict and the urgent need for international intervention to alleviate the suffering of Armenians.


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