MOSCOW, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh will leave for Armenia as they do not want to live as part of Azerbaijan and fear ethnic cleansing, the leadership of the breakaway region told Reuters on Sunday.
"Our people do not want to live as part of Azerbaijan. 99.9% prefer to leave our historic lands," David Babayan, an adviser to Samvel Shahramanyan, the president of the self-styled "Republic of Artsakh".
Reuters wrote:In the Karabakh capital, known as Stepanakert by Armenia and Khankendi by Azerbaijan, crowds of people were loading belongings into buses and trucks as they left for Armenia.
Refugees who reached Armenia told Reuters they believed the history of their breakaway state was finished.
"No one is going back - that's it," Anna Agopyan, who reached Goris, a border town in Armenia, told Reuters. "The topic of Karabakh is over now for good I think."
The Armenians of Karabakh said Russia, the West and Armenia itself had abandoned them, and some spoke through tears of the end of an era for the Karabakh Armenians.
Petya Grigoryan, a 69-year-old driver, said his village in what the Armenians know as the Martakert district of Karabakh had been pummelled by Azerbaijan armed forces. There were two KAMAZ-truckloads full of civilian dead in the village, he said.
"There was nowhere to bury them," Grigoryan told Reuters
Of the 500 villagers, he said 40 had got out.
Reuters was unable to independently verify his account but it chimed with the outline given by other ethnic Armenians fleeing Karabakh, which Azerbaijan says will be turned into a "paradise" and fully integrated.
https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-paci ... 023-09-24/
The ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh is underway. 120,000 civilians will be forced to leave their homes behind and move out of Azerbaijan, as Azeri politicians continue to escalate violent rhetoric and begin justifying further invasions of Southern Armenia.
Aliev has been stoking nationalist and xenophobic attitudes for more than a decade now. At the last UEFA final in Baku, Armenian players for teams in the finalist were unable to attend due to fears of arrest or mob violence. The glorification of murderers like Ramil Safarov shows the openly genocidal attitude of the regime.
evnreport wrote: The position of the Azerbaijani leadership and society is more representative. For years, anti-Armenian discourse and propaganda have been part of official state policy. Every day, indoctrination is carried out from schools to state media that demonizes Armenians, presenting them as an absolute evil. In his many speeches, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev himself made openly racist, xenophobic remarks. In one of his famous addresses, he spoke about a “hypocritical global Armenian conspiracy and western politicians, who are embroiled in corruption and bribery,” a direct reproduction of Adolf Hitler’s “global Jewish conspiracy thesis,” reiterated many times in Nazi speeches as a pretext and justification for the Holocaust.
In his pronouncements, Aliyev deprives Armenians of the right to live in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and in the Republic of Armenia, asserting that not only Karabakh but also other regions of Armenia, including the capital Yerevan, should become parts of Azerbaijan. The latest highlight was the menace of nuclear “catastrophe” made by Azerbaijani Defense Ministry spokesman Vagif Dargyakhly, who announced that their weapons “are capable of hitting the Metsamor Atomic Energy Station with high accuracy, which will turn into a catastrophe for Armenia.”
Aliev has long made claims over a corridor in southern Armenia to connect Azerbaijan to its exclave in Nachkivan. With Turkish, Israeli, Iranian, and EU support (Azerbaijan being a major provider of fuel to the EU) and with the attitudes of the Azeri political elite, the war may escalate into an invasion of Armenia proper.
If Russia is unwilling, the US should prioritize raising the issue at the UNSC and ensure a multinational peacekeeping mission is deployed to at the very least prevent the escalation of ethnic cleansing.