Following Azerbaijan’s annexation of the disputed region last week, an increasing number of refugees of ethnic Armenian descent are leaving Nagorno-Karabakh.
Since the enclave’s majority of 120,000 ethnic Armenians began to enter Armenia, more than 3,000 people have done so.
After the Yerevan government announced intentions to relocate individuals rendered homeless by the violence, they left.
It also foresaw the possibility of ethnic cleansing for those who persisted.
The ethnic Armenians should be reintegrated as “equal citizens,” according to Azerbaijan.
Some of the refugees who arrived in Goris on Sunday spoke with the BBC.
One man said, “I gave my whole life to my country.”
“If they killed me, that would be better than this,” he said.
This was Veronica’s second time becoming a refugee, she said Natalia Zotova of the BBC. The initial incident occurred in 2020 during the battle.
In a statement released on Sunday, the Armenian government claimed that hundreds of the refugees had already received shelter supported by the government.
However, it has not yet made public a detailed plan for how it would handle an inflow of people. Last week, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan declared that arrangements had been made to care for up to 40,000 refugees.
According to Armenians the BBC has spoken to, they are willing to welcome refugees into their homes.
According to the country’s interior ministry, more than 140 people were detained in Yerevan on Monday as a result of the most recent anti-government demonstrations.
According to the Tass news agency, special troops have started detaining protesters who blocked Yerevan’s roadways.
Additionally, police were posted outside the main government structure, where the prime minister’s offices are located and protesters have been attempting to break in.
In response to how the government was managing the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, protests first started last week.
Mr. Pashinyan has been charged with giving Azerbaijan excessive concessions.
Following a swift Azerbaijani military onslaught on Wednesday, the Armenian separatist forces in the region decided to disband.
A huge departure from the area, according to Armenia, would be the result of the Azerbaijani government’s negligence.
In a TV speech on Sunday, Mr. Pashinyan warned that unless Azerbaijan offered “real living conditions” and “effective mechanisms of protection against ethnic cleansing,” many residents of the enclave would “see expulsion from the homeland as the only way out.”
He emphasized that his administration was ready to “lovingly welcome our brothers and sisters” once more.
However, Samvel Shahramanyan, the ethnic Armenian leader of Nagorno-Karabakh, told Reuters that he expected practically everyone to depart. David Babayan.
He claimed that the majority of his people “prefer to leave our historic lands” and “do not want to live as part of Azerbaijan.”
For the Armenian people and the entire civilized world, the tragic fate of our people will be remembered as a disgrace and a shame, he told Reuters.
“Those who brought about our fate will one day have to account to God for their transgressions.”
Although the mountainous area of Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus is recognized internationally as belonging to Azerbaijan, it has been ruled by ethnic Armenians for thirty years.
The enclave has received support from both Armenia and their ally, Russia, which has stationed hundreds of troops there for years.
As Azerbaijan’s troops swept in last week, at least 200 ethnic Armenians as well as dozens of Azerbaijani soldiers perished along with five Russian peacekeepers.
The Azerbaijani defense ministry announced on Sunday that it has seized more military hardware, including a significant quantity of rockets, artillery shells, explosives, and ammunition.
Despite official pledges from Azerbaijan, residents of Nagorno-Karabakh are still under threat; only one assistance shipment of 70 tonnes of food has been permitted through since separatists agreed to a truce and disarm.
Leaders of the ethnic Armenian community claim that thousands are sleeping in basements, schools, or the open without access to food or shelter.
The prime minister of Armenia made a hint on television that Russia had not defended his country throughout the conflict.
His remarks reaffirmed the argument that Moscow had essentially turned over Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan, which Russia’s foreign ministry has called “ludicrous.”
According to Sergei Lavrov, the situation was resolved between Yerevan and Baku. “The time has come to develop mutual trust.”