The early April burst of fighting offered a stark reminder of the unfinished businesses surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. As this photo essay highlights, many civilians who endured the hot phase of the conflict, lasting from 1988-1994, have not been able to escape a sense of loss.
The intensive period of warfare over two decades ago left thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. The early April fighting added to those totals.
Thousands of individuals on both sides are still living in makeshift dormitories, amid sub-standard conditions. All around the disputed territory, roads and other infrastructure remain in a state of disrepair. Private citizens are wary about expending precious savings to improve property, given that, as the early April fighting demonstrated, a day’s fighting can wipe out a decade’s worth of effort.
Among those still haunted by memories of 1988-1994 is pensioner Varya Tunyan. Born in 1928, Tunyan lost her son in 1993, and two years before that, was forced from her home in the village of Pletants. Azerbaijani forces overran the town, Tunyan recalled, on December 24, 1991. According to her, Azerbaijani troops seized livestock and cars, then torched all the houses in the village before withdrawing.
Anahit Hayrapetyan is a freelance photojournalist based in Berlin and Yerevan.