Armenians abandoning Kalbajar in line with the peace agreement brokered by Russia set fire to houses and forestry areas before leaving the region, which was under occupation for a total of 27 years, Anadolu Agency reported.
According to a video footage on Russian media and social media accounts, Armenians damaged the environment and burn houses in Kalbajar, located northwest of Nagorno-Karabakh which was occupied in 1993.
For civil activists, the actions of the Armenians that are leaving the region speak volumes about their blatant disregard for Azerbaijani cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“We thought that Armenians would finally understand that they are being fed false information by the Armenian government. They weren’t aware that they were losing the war in such a short time, so after the agreement they saw the real side of the war which they didn’t expect.” Baku-based civil activist Orkhan Sharif tells Conflict & War Report.
About 60,000 Azerbaijanis living in the region when it was occupied were forced to abandon their homes and they were scattered to various regions of Azerbaijan. Yerevan also brought Armenians to Kalbajar — where no Armenians had been living before — and settled them illegally in the region, Anadolu Agency added.
“During first war, Armenia didn’t give Azerbaijani civilians two or three weeks in order to leave. They just began the war, killing civilians in Khojali and committed genocide against civilians in front of the world.” Sharif adds.
A key part of the peace deal includes Armenia’s return of Kalbajar, as well as the Aghdam district by November 20 and the Lachin district by December 1, which have been held by Armenians since a devastating war in the 1990s, Arab News informed.
Russian peacekeepers began deploying to Nagorno-Karabakh last week as part of the terms of the accord and took control of a key transport artery connecting Armenia to the disputed province.
Russian military officials said the mission consisting of nearly 2,000 troops would put in place 16 observation posts in mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor.