A tenuous ceasefire may still be holding in Nagorno-Karabakh, but civilians living in the conflict zone remain traumatized, with many being forced to relive painful decades-old memories of loss and displacement.
On the Azerbaijani side of the frontline, many women and children were evacuated from villages within artillery range. The male heads of households tended to remain behind to keep an eye on property.
There are no official estimates for the number of Azerbaijanis displaced by the April 2-5 fighting. Frontline villages visited by EurasiaNet.org – including Qapanly, Qaradağlı, Qaragaci, Sarijali, and Marqushevan – remained partly empty after a ceasefire was declared on April 5.
“Every time [shelling broke out], we moved our relatives to other regions, as far away as possible, depending on the situation,” said 57-year-old Novruz Aliyev, a farmer from Qaradağlı, a village located about 500 meters from an Azerbaijani army post.
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Visalia Alibayli is a freelance journalist based in Azerbaijan. Famil Mahmudbeyli is a freelance photographer based in Azerbaijan.