‘We are starving to death:’ Residents of Nagorno-Karabakh fear for future under blockade
Residents of several villages in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh say they are starving to death due to an ongoing blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey that has cut off food, fuel and other essential supplies. The region has been the site of fierce fighting between Azerbaijani and ethnic Armenian forces since September 2020, when a new armed conflict broke out over the territory, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but has long been inhabited by Armenians. Local residents in the villages of Khndzristan, Avshar, Gantashen and Togh permit have been reduced to eating boiled barley and potatoes for several months, and have only limited access to dairy and fish, which is mostly brought from nearby Armenia. The villagers have complained of a lack of medical equipment and basic food items, such as bread, sugar and pasta, which are unavailable because of the blockade. In addition, many of them have been unable to return to their homes because of the fighting, and have been living in temporary shelters. The Armenian Foreign Ministry has called on Azerbaijan to end the blockade and allow food and essential supplies into the region, but the calls have fallen on deaf ears. The people of Nagorno-Karabakh fear for their futures and worry that the blockade, combined with the ongoing conflict, could devastate the region and leave them without homes or employment opportunities.