With Russian peacekeepers’ facilitation, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces retreated from the border with Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh) village of Yekhtsahogh. Weeks ago the enemy tried to improve their positions at Saribaba hill, says the community head Artak Hakobyan.
Artak Hakobyan, Head of Yekhtsahogh Community: “They are positioned in a cattle farm building which used to belong to our community. Their main base is there, but within the last 10 days they went up the hill and directly targeted the village”.
The Defense Army supported peacekeepers’ initiative. Military analyst, reserve Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Harutyunyan has no doubts - the maintenance of the security zone will ease tensions on the border.
Vladimir Harutyunyan, military analyst. “We must clearly realize that the Russian side has a mission, and has to fulfill it properly, remaining loyal to the reached agreements”.
Eghtsahogh has 45 households and 140 residents. The Defense Army keeps providing security to the village. The Russian peacekeepers monitor the observance of ceasefire by patrolling, not by 24 hour watch duty. Residents of Yekhtsahogh demand permanent support.
Lena Ishkhanyan, Yekhtsahogh resident. “Every time I walk through the village people ask: “Lena, what shall we do? What’s going to happen if there is no watch, how can we stay here?” They feel stronger when there is watch duty here. It will be very appropriate”․
Because of border demarcation Eghtsahogh lost a significant part of its pastures. Zhirayr Tairyan is concerned - it will be difficult to maintain cattle breeding without a strong support.
Zhirayr Tairyan, Yeghtsahogh resident. “When there is no one now, how can tell my child to go and bring the cattle back? If something happens tomorrow, how can I forgive myself?”
The villagers say, the presence of the watch duty is a chance to constantly monitor. They remind us the late 80-s, when Azerbaijanis killed a civilian on the same pastures. In Eghtsahogh people are waiting for Russian side’s actions. The negotiations on the watch duty continue.
By Narek Sahakyan