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Narek Aleksanyan

Karvatchar Residents in a Quandary: Stay or Leave

Dear readers, I wrote these lines before the announcement that the deadline to evacuate Karvatchar (Kelbajar), prior to the region being handed to Azerbaijani authorities, had been extended from November 15 to the 21st.

People in Karvatchar are still trying to find whether they will still live in these lands on November 15 or this is the last day. There is no final official information about this yet.

Currently, the only road to Artsakh passes through Karvachar. The two-way flow of cars from Vardenis has been intense in recent days. Some people move things from their homes for safety, sometimes burning down their homes when they leave. Some demolish the roofs of buildings and houses to move to Armenia. There are sounds of electric saws along the road, cutting down trees, loading cars. The sounds of cutting down trees and dismantling roofs near Dadivank are accompanied by the sounds of equipment working to move khachkars and relics from the monastery for safety. Citizens from Armenia stand in line to be baptized by the abbot.

Some residents of Karvatchar still do not know whether to stay or leave․ They are waiting for any good news. The soldier who burned down his house, who came down from his position a few days ago, picked roses from the yard to place on the graves of those who've died. The road leading to hot springs is also full of people wanting to bathe.

Nothing happened on November 15 ․ The deadline was extended.

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