Recent announcements by Azerbaijan and Armenia have spurred hopes that a Nagorno-Karabakh peace settlement is within reach. But on a windswept Karabakh military post northwest of the disputed territory’s capital, Stepanakert, the struggle over this self-declared state seems far from over.
At this position, roughly 300 to 400 meters from the Azerbaijani lines, exchanges of gunfire are a daily occurrence, soldiers said. A seven-person unit that is refreshed every seven days mans the post. An Azerbaijani sniper recently killed a Karabakhi soldier not far from here.
In a recent tour of the frontline organized for international journalists by Nagorno-Karabakh’s de facto Ministry of Foreign Affairs, officers were reluctant to discuss their views on the ongoing Karabakh negotiations, and on the potential impact of a settlement on the separatist government and military they serve.
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Zoe Powell is the pseudonym for a journalist based in Tbilisi. Sophia Mizante is a freelance photojournalist based in Tbilisi.