Founded roughly 250 years ago on a picturesque hillside in what today is the disputed region of Nagorno Karabakh, Shusha was once a celebrated town that embodied the creative energies of both ethnic Azeris and ethnic Armenians. Today, it stands as a haunting reminder of one of the most bitter conflicts that marked the Soviet Union's collapse, the 1988-1994 war between the two ethnic groups over Karabakh.
Separatist Karabakhi forces and Armenian soldiers seized Shusha (known in Karabakh and Armenia as Shushi) from Azerbaijani forces on May 9, 1992, in a fierce fight for its strategic heights that resulted, ultimately, in the town's near-complete destruction. Much of the ethnic Azeri population fled during the final days of battle, leaving the town to be resettled by ethnic Armenians, including a large number of Internally Displaced Persons from Azerbaijani-controlled territory.
To read the full story
Timo Vogt is a freelance photojournalist based in Germany.