Witnessing Devastation, Loss, and Resolve in NKR Village
STEPANAKERT, NKR (A.W.)—Azerbaijan continues to break the ceasefire agreement in the direction of the village of Talish, which is located in the northeastern part of the Nagorno-Karabagh Republic (NKR/Artsakh); the Armenian side has reported casualties.
Although the Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces agreed to halt military operations on April 5, the Azerbaijani Army has continued to target Armenian military positions and civilian settlements.
In the village of Talish, north of Martakert, journalists and photographers reporting for several media outlets heard the rumbles of weapons on April 6. The journalists were in Talish documenting the aftermath of the “visit” paid by the Azerbaijani forces—a military incursion that left behind great devastation.
When the journalists arrived, village residents had taken refuge in nearby dwellings, and some—taking advantage of a relatively calm period of time—were gathering some essential supplies to take back to their families.
“I was born in this village, and I will die here too if need be. But I will not leave this place to the Turks. I have small children, and it is for their sake that I have relocated my family. Now, we are waiting for the Armenian Army and the volunteers to respond to the Turks, so that the next time they eye our village, they’ll fear the consequences of repeating their past act,” one villager told the Armenian Weekly.
On April 2, Azerbaijani forces committed a war crime when they killed and mutilated three members of the Khalapyan family.
The homes and building structures were damaged as a result of shelling, but they have not been abandoned. The men of Talish have taken up arms and have joined the NKR Defense Army; some of them are guarding their own village. Earlier, official sources relayed this news; on April 6, reporters visiting the village verified it. The journalists were previously documenting the situation on the southeastern front of the NKR-Azerbaijan Line of Contact (LoC). They also saw the remains of a rocket fired from a “Smerch” 9k58 multiple rocket launcher.
On the evening of April 6, upon returning to Stepanakert, the journalists were informed that the Armenian side stationed near Talish had lost a soldier: Armen Gasparyan—born in 1974—was killed by artillery fire. And then they remembered the rumbles they had heard around noon that day…
This report was filed by Ani Avetyan, the Armenian Weekly’s contributor in NKR.