Now that the fighting has subsided in the contested territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, civilians on the Armenian side are struggling to restore a sense of normalcy.
Thirty-four-year-old Lilit Ohanian, a teacher in Mataghis, one of the frontline villages that was caught up in the April 2-5 fighting, recounted that an intensive Azerbaijani assault prompted her to flee from her house in her nightgown, taking her four children in hand.
Ohanian, who is now living with her children in a village outside of the Armenian capital, Yerevan, described the experience as “déjà vu.” She was also displaced, she said, during the hot phase of the conflict, lasting from 1988-1994. “When I was 10, I can remember my mom holding my hand and fleeing in the same way to save our lives. Now, I did the same with my 10-year old,” she recounted. “History gets repeated.”
Many Armenians interviewed by EurasiaNet.org said that the brutality of the early April bout of fighting eclipsed that which they remembered during 1988-1994, a period when hundreds of thousands of people were displaced and tens of thousands killed.
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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter based in Armenia and editor of MediaLab.am.