The Swiss newspaper, Le Temps, said that a network of sites run by young fighters is impeding the Azerbaijani advance in the Nagorno Karabakh region, indicating that these young men are unaware of the setbacks their camp suffers from; Because the information received from both sides is conflicting.
The newspaper’s special correspondent in Stepanakert, Filippo Rossi, said that things are changing rapidly every day in the “Artsakh Republic,” as residents call their unilaterally declared state in Nagorny Karabakh, especially since the wheel can turn very quickly, and without warning in the turmoil of war. .
The correspondent explained that the conflict is taking a delicate turn on the Armenian side, as “we hear in Stepanakert that the Azeris have entered the region on the southern front, which is inaccessible”, and some reports have stated that the Armenians have suffered great losses; But nobody wants to talk about it.
According to official Armenian sources, the information provided by the Azeris is false, and the representative of the separatist republic in the United States, Robert Avitisian, says that the Azeris “did not make any progress”, and that “they lost thousands of men, tanks and guns and were expelled, and failed.” However, it is difficult to distinguish between true and false, as the reporter cautions.
The reporter quotes Karen, who occupies an important position in the separatist army and who is aware of the development of the conflict, as saying, “What will we be without this land? Nothing. We will fight to the death,” noting that he met him on vacation in an underground shelter in Stepanakert, where they are sheltering from Azerbaijani drone attacks.
Despite the pessimistic image presented by Karen, the Armenian authorities believe that things will not be that bad. Miles of trenches prevent the Azeris from advancing.
Barbed wire and cans
When moving towards the front – as the reporter says – the mountains give way to the plains in the Lower Karabakh region, where fertile lands extend and vineyards are spread. However, the scene changes hundreds of meters from the line of contact between the belligerents, and high piles of sandbags appear that are supposed to protect the movement of soldiers, from which the trenches branch out, and around them hideouts and mines are everywhere.
When describing the front, the reporter likened it to pictures of narrow trenches in the First World War, and said that the ground there is paved with cement to facilitate movement, and that on the dirt walls there are barbed wires and rusty cans that serve as alarm bells in the event that the enemy breaks into the lines, indicating that the area’s beacon lights up at night at night. When soldiers occupy observation points in turn.
Despite the fortifications, no one is safe from snipers, and “the biggest danger is artillery,” says David, who leads a group of Armenian volunteers between the ages of 18 and 20, “every Armenian should understand that every family It has a connection to this place, and that we are here to protect our country … it is our common duty. “
The group of 12 sleeps in a room with 4 mattresses placed on wooden boards, and each soldier keeps his rifle nearby – as the reporter says – as for the guards, they do not sleep, while Artur prepares lunch in the next room, which is canned food that he cooks in A small gas stove, he says, “After the war, I will become a chef. But the first thing I will do when I go home is give flowers to my mother.”
As for the north, a few kilometers away, there is another command post – according to the reporter – but the Azerbaijani artillery is active near it, and mortar explosions can be heard, says Hamlet, 25, who wanted to become a priest, “They targeted us this morning for 4 hours, There will be no peace without war … We have to fight. “
This recruiter, who has been staying in this trench for a month, says that they are often attacked, and that they have lost 3 of their comrades, and “Nevertheless, we cling to our land, despite their attempt to destroy our artillery, which we depend on for defense.”
In the trenches – as the reporter explains – the landline phone is the only means of communication between the various sites Because cell phones are prohibited, they allow drones to locate them.
The reporter concluded that the role of these soldiers is limited to repelling the attacks, otherwise they do not know anything, as Hamlet says, “It is difficult to think of anything else at the moment. I am only thinking about fighting.”