robertotravan
UNDER SIEGE. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 7 October 2020. - A column of smoke rises after an air raid on the outskirts of the city. For forty-four days, the capital of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh was hit night and day by heavy bombing that spared no civilian targets. The city, nestled in the mountains, was gradually surrounded by Azerbaijani forces and only the ceasefire agreement averted its occupation. From 9 November 2020, access to what remains of Artsakh takes place only through the Lachin corridor: the passage, nine kilometers long, according to the agreement signed by Azerbaijan and Armenia will be protected for five years by two thousand Russian soldiers. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
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UNDER SIEGE. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 7 October 2020.
A column of smoke rises after an air raid on the outskirts of the city. For forty-four days, the capital of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh was hit night and day by heavy bombing that spared no civilian targets. The city, nestled in the mountains, was gradually surrounded by Azerbaijani forces and only the ceasefire agreement averted its occupation. From 9 November 2020, access to what remains of Artsakh takes place only through the Lachin corridor: the passage, nine kilometers long, according to the agreement signed by Azerbaijan and Armenia will be protected for five years by two thousand Russian soldiers. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
THE GHOST CITY. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 5 October 2020 - A disco transformed into an air-raid shelter: sandbags protect the entrance from the splinters of cluster bombs. Stepanakert - once a lively city populated by over fifty-five thousand inhabitants - was completely deserted during the siege, even in the brief pauses of the shelling. In the first week of the offensive, the Azerbaijani army struck a number of vital infrastructure in the capital, including power plants and telephone towers. The destruction in residential districts has been also huge. The inhabitants of Stepanakert has told to Human Rights Watch that "the cluster munitions attacks began on the morning of September 27 in a residential area no more than 200 meters from the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross”. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
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THE GHOST CITY. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 5 October 2020
A disco transformed into an air-raid shelter: sandbags protect the entrance from the splinters of cluster bombs. Stepanakert - once a lively city populated by over fifty-five thousand inhabitants - was completely deserted during the siege, even in the brief pauses of the shelling. In the first week of the offensive, the Azerbaijani army struck a number of vital infrastructure in the capital, including power plants and telephone towers. The destruction in residential districts has been also huge. The inhabitants of Stepanakert has told to Human Rights Watch that "the cluster munitions attacks began on the morning of September 27 in a residential area no more than 200 meters from the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross”. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
THE GHOST CITY. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 5 October 2020 - In the city completely emptied by bombing, the deserted streets are crossed by dozens of stray dogs. In front of a closed shop, someone left a piece of meat to feed them. Stepanakert is a ghost town.  The capital - once a lively city populated by over fifty-five thousand inhabitants - was completely deserted during the siege, even in the brief pauses of the shelling. In the first week of the offensive, the Azerbaijani army struck a number of vital infrastructure in the capital, including power plants and telephone towers. The destruction in residential districts has been also huge. The inhabitants of Stepanakert has told to Human Rights Watch that "the cluster munitions attacks began on the morning of September 27 in a residential area no more than 200 meters from the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross”.None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
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THE GHOST CITY. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 5 October 2020
In the city completely emptied by bombing, the deserted streets are crossed by dozens of stray dogs. In front of a closed shop, someone left a piece of meat to feed them. Stepanakert is a ghost town. The capital - once a lively city populated by over fifty-five thousand inhabitants - was completely deserted during the siege, even in the brief pauses of the shelling. In the first week of the offensive, the Azerbaijani army struck a number of vital infrastructure in the capital, including power plants and telephone towers. The destruction in residential districts has been also huge. The inhabitants of Stepanakert has told to Human Rights Watch that "the cluster munitions attacks began on the morning of September 27 in a residential area no more than 200 meters from the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross”.None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
FORBIDDEN WEAPONS. Shushi (Republic of Artsakh), 8 October 2020. - An unexploded rocket stuck in the asphalt. Towns and villages of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh were hit by hundreds of Russian-made Smerch and Lar 160 rockets, a country that, albeit an ally of Armenia, has freely sold weapons to Azerbaijan. Israeli Lar and Grad Lar rockets and Kasirga manufactured in Turkey were also fired. Many devices were armed with cluster-bomb warheads prohibited by international conventions, fragmentation ammunition that is released by exploding on the target before the rocket hits the ground. Azerbaijan had already used these weapons in 2016, during the "4-day War". According to the report of the Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor: “The information, including photographs of cluster submunition remnants and rockets, was sourced by the Artsakh Ministry of Defense, the State Service for Emergency Situations, the Prosecutor General’s office, and HALO Trust".None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
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FORBIDDEN WEAPONS. Shushi (Republic of Artsakh), 8 October 2020.
An unexploded rocket stuck in the asphalt. Towns and villages of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh were hit by hundreds of Russian-made Smerch and Lar 160 rockets, a country that, albeit an ally of Armenia, has freely sold weapons to Azerbaijan. Israeli Lar and Grad Lar rockets and Kasirga manufactured in Turkey were also fired. Many devices were armed with cluster-bomb warheads prohibited by international conventions, fragmentation ammunition that is released by exploding on the target before the rocket hits the ground. Azerbaijan had already used these weapons in 2016, during the "4-day War". According to the report of the Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor: “The information, including photographs of cluster submunition remnants and rockets, was sourced by the Artsakh Ministry of Defense, the State Service for Emergency Situations, the Prosecutor General’s office, and HALO Trust".None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
Republic of Artsakh (2020). The "44-Day War"
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WHAT REMAINS. Shushi (Republic of Artsakh), 8 October 2020. - The ruins of the city theater destroyed two days earlier by a rocket attack. Inside were temporarily accommodated soldiers of the Armenian army on their way to the front. Dozens of dead and wounded as a result of bombing with Russian-made Smerch missiles: the Armenian Ministry of Defense did not want to provide the number of victims. Shushi, a strategic stronghold due to its geographical position that dominates Stepanakert from above, was occupied on 8 November 2020 by units of the Azerbaijani Special forces. Its loss, denied to the last by the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan himself, actually led to the capitulation of Artsakh. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
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WHAT REMAINS. Shushi (Republic of Artsakh), 8 October 2020.
The ruins of the city theater destroyed two days earlier by a rocket attack. Inside were temporarily accommodated soldiers of the Armenian army on their way to the front. Dozens of dead and wounded as a result of bombing with Russian-made Smerch missiles: the Armenian Ministry of Defense did not want to provide the number of victims. Shushi, a strategic stronghold due to its geographical position that dominates Stepanakert from above, was occupied on 8 November 2020 by units of the Azerbaijani Special forces. Its loss, denied to the last by the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan himself, actually led to the capitulation of Artsakh. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
TOWARDS THE FRONTLINE. Lashin Corridor (Republic of Artsakh), 4 October 2020. - Soldiers travelling to the frontline on a scheduled bus from Yerevan. Thousands of Armenians in the first week of the offensive even voluntarily enlisted in an attempt to repel the violent Azerbaijan offensive. Among them many young people not even in their twenties, veterans of the "War of '92 -94" and Armenians of the diaspora who came from all over Europe. The clear numerical superiority of the Azerbaijani army and the use of drones and of forbidden weapons swept the Armenian defenses in just over a month. Turkey’s military support has been essential for Azerbaijan which has also brought Islamist militias from Syria to Nagorno Karabakh. "The inadmissibility of the internationalization of the crisis through the involvement of foreign fighters was noted with particular attention," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared on 27 October 2020, referring to the Islamist militiamen engaged in fighting with the Azerbaijani side. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
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TOWARDS THE FRONTLINE. Lashin Corridor (Republic of Artsakh), 4 October 2020.
Soldiers travelling to the frontline on a scheduled bus from Yerevan. Thousands of Armenians in the first week of the offensive even voluntarily enlisted in an attempt to repel the violent Azerbaijan offensive. Among them many young people not even in their twenties, veterans of the "War of '92 -94" and Armenians of the diaspora who came from all over Europe. The clear numerical superiority of the Azerbaijani army and the use of drones and of forbidden weapons swept the Armenian defenses in just over a month. Turkey’s military support has been essential for Azerbaijan which has also brought Islamist militias from Syria to Nagorno Karabakh. "The inadmissibility of the internationalization of the crisis through the involvement of foreign fighters was noted with particular attention," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared on 27 October 2020, referring to the Islamist militiamen engaged in fighting with the Azerbaijani side. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
THE LONG WAITING. Shushi (Republic of Artsakh), 8 October 2020. - In a basement converted into a bomb shelter, a man sleeps after spending the night on the frontline. Around some women await the return of relatives deployed to defend the city. For over a month, thousands of civilians lived night and day in these precarious conditions due to the violent bombings. The Armenian government has estimated that as a result of the fighting, over 100,000 people, ninety percent of the population of Artsakh, have been forced to flee to Armenia. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
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THE LONG WAITING. Shushi (Republic of Artsakh), 8 October 2020.
In a basement converted into a bomb shelter, a man sleeps after spending the night on the frontline. Around some women await the return of relatives deployed to defend the city. For over a month, thousands of civilians lived night and day in these precarious conditions due to the violent bombings. The Armenian government has estimated that as a result of the fighting, over 100,000 people, ninety percent of the population of Artsakh, have been forced to flee to Armenia. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
Republic of Artsakh (2020). The "44-Day War"
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Republic of Artsakh (2020). The "44-Day War"
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HOLY WAR. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 7 October 2020 - A soldier in a bombing-damaged building on the outskirts of the city. The white cloth cross sewn on the uniform underlines the Christianity of Armenia and its Army. At that moment Stepanakert was flown over by an Azerbaijani drone: Azerbaijan used dozens of these means to hit, in addition to military installations, also many civilian targets. In a video interview with the Israeli website Walla News in early October, Azerbaijani presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyev said Azerbaijan has "one of the strongest fleets in the region. We mostly have Israeli reconnaissance and attack drones, and the suicide drones Harop which have proved very effective ". Azerbaijan also used Turkish-made TB2 drones. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
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HOLY WAR. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 7 October 2020
A soldier in a bombing-damaged building on the outskirts of the city. The white cloth cross sewn on the uniform underlines the Christianity of Armenia and its Army. At that moment Stepanakert was flown over by an Azerbaijani drone: Azerbaijan used dozens of these means to hit, in addition to military installations, also many civilian targets. In a video interview with the Israeli website Walla News in early October, Azerbaijani presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyev said Azerbaijan has "one of the strongest fleets in the region. We mostly have Israeli reconnaissance and attack drones, and the suicide drones Harop which have proved very effective ". Azerbaijan also used Turkish-made TB2 drones. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
Republic of Artsakh (2020). The "44-Day War"
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THE LAST BREATH. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 5 October 2020. - A civilian who died in an ambulance just arrived at the city's Civil hospital. The man - Moves Pogosyan, age 63 - died from a shelling that took place shortly before in the outskirts of Stepanakert: the cellar, used as bombing shelter, where detroyed by a rocket explosion. More than fifty Armenian civilians have died, over a hundred injured (the numbers are constantly updated). President Ilham Aliyev in a televised interview with the BBC on 9 November 2020 categorically denied the bombing of civilian targets in Nagorno Karabakh. In reality, Azerbaijan hit towns and villages for over a month destroying homes, schools and public buildings. Hospitals were not spared either: on 29 October 2020, the Maternity ward of the Stepanakert hospital was seriously damaged by an Azerbaijani missile. Martakert hospital was also destroyed. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
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THE LAST BREATH. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 5 October 2020.
A civilian who died in an ambulance just arrived at the city's Civil hospital. The man - Moves Pogosyan, age 63 - died from a shelling that took place shortly before in the outskirts of Stepanakert: the cellar, used as bombing shelter, where detroyed by a rocket explosion. More than fifty Armenian civilians have died, over a hundred injured (the numbers are constantly updated). President Ilham Aliyev in a televised interview with the BBC on 9 November 2020 categorically denied the bombing of civilian targets in Nagorno Karabakh. In reality, Azerbaijan hit towns and villages for over a month destroying homes, schools and public buildings. Hospitals were not spared either: on 29 October 2020, the Maternity ward of the Stepanakert hospital was seriously damaged by an Azerbaijani missile. Martakert hospital was also destroyed. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
SURVIVED. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 10 October 2020 - Arman Mkrtchyan - 27 years old, volunteer, from Yerevan - prays in Stepanakert Cathedral. He was wounded at the frontline. The Christian tradition is very deep and rooted in this region. The foundation of the Armenian Apostolic Church dates back to 301 and it is among the oldest in Orthodox Christianity. The war with Muslim Azerbaijan and the systematic destruction of churches, Christian monuments and even cemeteries - which already took place in the conflict of the 1990s - was repeated again in the course of the latest offensive: on 5 October 2020, the Cathedral of Shushi was bombed and five people, including some journalists, were seriously injured. Numerous other religious sites were vandalized after the Azerbaijani occupation. "This is not a religious war but an ethnic war", however, confirmed the Archbishop of Stepanakert, Pargev Martirosyan. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
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SURVIVED. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 10 October 2020
Arman Mkrtchyan - 27 years old, volunteer, from Yerevan - prays in Stepanakert Cathedral. He was wounded at the frontline. The Christian tradition is very deep and rooted in this region. The foundation of the Armenian Apostolic Church dates back to 301 and it is among the oldest in Orthodox Christianity. The war with Muslim Azerbaijan and the systematic destruction of churches, Christian monuments and even cemeteries - which already took place in the conflict of the 1990s - was repeated again in the course of the latest offensive: on 5 October 2020, the Cathedral of Shushi was bombed and five people, including some journalists, were seriously injured. Numerous other religious sites were vandalized after the Azerbaijani occupation. "This is not a religious war but an ethnic war", however, confirmed the Archbishop of Stepanakert, Pargev Martirosyan. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
Republic of Artsakh (2020). The "44-Day War"
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DESPERATE EARTH. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 11 October 2020 - The pain of the parents of a soldier just buried in the Monumental cemetery of Stepanakert, where the fallen heroes of Nagorno Karabakh rest. The soldier was Aram Mkrtchyan, forty-six years old, three sons. He participated the “War of Independence” in 1992, then at "4-Days War" in April 2016 and the last one on September 2020 as volunteer. Recently he was working for HALO Trust and during a demining operation he were injured. Aram has been killed on 9 October 2020 on the frontline four days after his last birthday. According to statements by Azerbaijan Defense Minister Hasanov Zakir Asgar Oglu, Baku lost 2,783 men in the conflict. The Armenian counterpart, on the other hand, stated that the casualties of Yerevan and Karabakh would amount to 2317. However, these are provisional figures because many are still missing. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
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DESPERATE EARTH. Stepanakert (Republic of Artsakh), 11 October 2020
The pain of the parents of a soldier just buried in the Monumental cemetery of Stepanakert, where the fallen heroes of Nagorno Karabakh rest. The soldier was Aram Mkrtchyan, forty-six years old, three sons. He participated the “War of Independence” in 1992, then at "4-Days War" in April 2016 and the last one on September 2020 as volunteer. Recently he was working for HALO Trust and during a demining operation he were injured. Aram has been killed on 9 October 2020 on the frontline four days after his last birthday. According to statements by Azerbaijan Defense Minister Hasanov Zakir Asgar Oglu, Baku lost 2,783 men in the conflict. The Armenian counterpart, on the other hand, stated that the casualties of Yerevan and Karabakh would amount to 2317. However, these are provisional figures because many are still missing. None of my pictures is posed or influenced.
Republic of Artsakh (2020). The "44-Day War"
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Republic of Artsakh (2020). The "44-Day War"

On 27 September 2020, Azerbaijan, aided militarily by Turkey, began the violent offensive against the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh (the former Nagorno Karabakh) in the southern Caucasus. The fighting ended on November 9, 2020 with the ceasefire agreement signed with the mediation of Russia. In forty-four days, the Azeris regained the seven provinces that were occupied by Nagorno Karabakh in the 1990s to break the isolation with Armenia. The Karabakh war to regain independence from Azerbaijan - of which he had become part in 1923 and from which he decided to break away in 1988 with a referendum recognized by the Soviet Supreme Court - broke out in 1992 and in two years caused over thirty thousand deaths and a million refugees and internally displaced persons. It should be stressed that no country, not even Armenia, has ever recognized the independence of Karabakh. Since then a low-intensity conflict began that lasted over twenty-five years, until the recent offensive that caused at least five thousand deaths (at the moment there are still hundreds of prisoners and missing) and more than one hundred thousand displaced. I was in Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh, in the initial phase of the “44-Day War" to document the siege experienced by the population.
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https://www.robertotravan.it/republic_of_artsakh_2020_the_44_day_war-p22675

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