Two ceasefires have failed to end the violence. The latest, on Oct. 17, collapsed after hours as each side accused the other of breaching it. While hostilities no doubt continued, misinformation swirls. That day, the Press Secretary for Armenia’s Ministry of Defense shared a
In an Armenian trench in the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh, strings of empty ration cans hang from a rafter jerry-rigged above canted mud walls, intended to jangle in the event of contact from an enemy stationed only a few hundred yards away. The rust on the cans suggests they are a relic of the war that killed some 30,000 people before it ended in a ceasefire in 1992. But for photographer Emanuele Satolli, who took the picture, they evoke conflicts still decades older.
“It’s a very old system, like a Second World War trench,” says Satolli, who returned from the South Caucasus enclave on Oct 17. The Armenian volunteers he met baking bread for soldiers, or sowing fatigues for their country’s war effort in the disputed territory’s main city Stepanakert, also seemed reminiscent of World War II, he says: “Everybody that’s there is trying to contribute.”
Emanuele SatolliA woman speaks with a man through an open window of a shelled building in Stepanakert.Emanuele SatolliDust blankets the yard of a house hit by shelling in Stepanakert.Emanuele SatolliAn Armenian soldier sits inside a vehicle near the town of Karmir Shuka.
It’s not surprising that fighting in what’s often known as Europe’s oldest “frozen war” is viewed as a collective effort in both Armenia and Azerbaijan. While its roots date back to the early 20th century, the land war erupted after the fall of the Soviet Union. A 1992 ceasefire left Armenia in de-facto control of the territory, which the international community regards as being within Azerbaijan. Although the conflict has been mostly dormant since 1992, the dispute at its core was never resolved. Since fighting restarted on Sept. 27, hundreds of soldiers and more than 100 civilians have been reported killed, and a wider regional conflagration remains a possibility.
Those involved see it as existential. Nagorno Karabakh is a “civilizational frontline” Prime Minister Pashinyan told TIME in an Oct. 2 interview during which he doubled down on accusations that Turkey is intervening militarily on behalf of Azerbaijan and has sent thousands of Syrian mercenaries to the front line (Turkey has said it will back Azerbaijan “with all its means” but denies military involvement.) For Azerbaijan too, the conflict is “a patriotic war,” Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Leyla Abdullayeva said in an interview the following day. “We need to eliminate the fact of occupation, otherwise we will not see lasting peace and security in the …read more
Source:: Time – World