Paradise Lost - A local resident Anushavan (62) stands in a pomegranate garden in the yard of his house.He is...
A local resident Anushavan (62) stands in a pomegranate garden in the yard of his house.He is holding an old Kalashnikov assault rifle, which he has kept from the first Karabakh war.Ukhtasar village , Nagorno-Karabakh
Paradise Lost - Part of a rocket after the shelling  of the city of Martuni, Nagorno-Karabakh
Part of a rocket after the shelling of the city of Martuni, Nagorno-Karabakh
Paradise Lost - Azat Gevorkyan and his wife Anaik before leaving their home in Lachin, Nagorno-Karabakh
Azat Gevorkyan and his wife Anaik before leaving their home in Lachin, Nagorno-Karabakh
Paradise Lost - Murad Mvrgaryan and his son Vahak take things out of their house before leaving the city of...
Murad Mvrgaryan and his son Vahak take things out of their house before leaving the city of Lachin, Nagorno-Karabakh
Paradise Lost - During the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh more than four thousand people were killed. A grave that...
During the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh more than four thousand people were killed. A grave that has been excavated and the body removed, in a cemetery in Lachin town. Some residents left their homes and took the remains of relatives to rebury them in Armenia. Lachin town, Nagorno-Karabakh.
Paradise Lost - A local resident of Areg sits outside a burning house in the village of Karegakh,...
A local resident of Areg sits outside a burning house in the village of Karegakh, Nagorno-Karabakh. Some residents burned their houses before leaving.
Paradise Lost - Abovyan Hasmik  (69) cries at the door of her house in the village of Nerkin Sus, Nagorno-Karabakh
Abovyan Hasmik (69) cries at the door of her house in the village of Nerkin Sus, Nagorno-Karabakh
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Paradise Lost -
Paradise Lost -
Paradise Lost - Зоя Теванова, 72 и Тамара Саркисян, 56
Беженцы из села Марага
Живут у родственников в городе...
Зоя Теванова, 72 и Тамара Саркисян, 56 Беженцы из села Марага Живут у родственников в городе Мартакерт, Нагорный Карабах
Paradise Lost -
Paradise Lost -
Paradise Lost - Local residents in the village of Tagavard, Nagorno-Karabakh.
Village of Tagavard was divided in...
Local residents in the village of Tagavard, Nagorno-Karabakh. Village of Tagavard was divided in half between Armenia and Azerbaijan after ceasefire
Paradise Lost - A burning house in the Kelbajar region of Nagorno-Karabakh. According to the peace agreement...
A burning house in the Kelbajar region of Nagorno-Karabakh. According to the peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Kelbajar region came under the control of the Azerbaijani authorities. Some Armenian families burned their houses before leaving Nagorno-Karabakh
Paradise Lost - Hakob Tersyan (60) looks out the window of his house in Lachin, Nagorno-Karabakh
Hakob Tersyan (60) looks out the window of his house in Lachin, Nagorno-Karabakh
The so-called «Perestroika», initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-80s of the 20th century and the collapse of the USSR, turned into a series of territorial and ethnic conflicts throughout the former Soviet Empire, especially in the South Caucasus.
For Nagorno-Karabakh, part of the Azerbaijan Union Republic, perestroika ended in a skirmish. Thirty years ago the balance of peaceful life in the region was lost.
Ethnic Armenians in Azerbaijan declared independence and won during the armed conflict. Most of the territory came under their control. The Azerbaijani population was forced to leave Nagorno-Karabakh.
In the autumn of 2020, the military actions between the armed forces of Azerbaijan and the armed formations of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic with the support of Armenia resumed.
The frozen conflict of the late 20th century suddenly exploded like a dormant volcano. The clashes were the longest and bloodiest in the region since the end of the Karabakh war in 1994. The fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia lasted six weeks and ended on November 10, 2020 with a peace agreement. Azerbaijan regained control over the areas that Armenia seized in the 1990s.
But the balance is not reached. It is difficult to say who lost and who won this war. Truly reconciling and forgiving each other will be incredibly difficult for both sides. And to the Armenians who were expelled from their homes, who lost their homeland and thousands of soldiers. And to Azerbaijanis returning to empty and lifeless cities, to the ruins of two wars,. Although the fighting is over, future generations will continue to hate each other.
«We will not be able to reconcile and live together now. Too much blood spilled on both sides, told me Areg, a local resident of the village of Karegakh. — It will take time. And yet, sooner or later, we must forgive each other. This is the only way to end the war».

Paradise Lost

Profile photo of Valery Melnikov
Valery Melnikov
Photographer/Videographer/Visual Storyteller based in Moscow, Russia
Public Story
Paradise Lost
Copyright Valery Melnikov 2024
Updated Jan 2022
Topics Armenia, Azerbaijan, Conflict, Documentary, Editorial, Essays, Journalism, Karabakh war, Nagorno-Karabakh, Personal Projects, Photography, Photojournalism, Spotlight, War
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