Armenian village split by new frontline: AFP's report from Shurnukh

March 9, 2021 – 11:27 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – The residents of the Armenian village of Shurnukh, who have lost property after the border between and Azerbaijan dramatically shifted in the aftermath of the war in Nagorno-, expect their land to be handed back to them, AFP says in a fresh article. Village resident Stepan Movsisyan, for instance, has been told his house remains in Armenia but half of his cow shed now falls under Azerbaijan’s control.

In Shurnukh the border has been staked out more or less along the road that runs through the middle of this impoverished farming village of 28 families. Across it, Armenian and Azerbaijani forces now eye each other nervously. In between them stands a small contingent of Russian border troops with an armoured personnel carrier parked up.

The villagers of Shurnukh point to old Soviet maps that show the entire village should be in Armenia. “But the Azerbaijani side have used far more modern techniques of satellite mapping to pinpoint where they say the border should be — and so far they have got their way,” the article says.

On the lower side of the village, a dozen houses have been claimed by Azerbaijan and the Armenian families who lived there forced to leave.

Village head Hakob Arshakyan cannot contain his bitterness at the sudden reversal in fortunes. He too had to leave his home and is currently living with his wife and daughter in his office.

“We will hold until they return our land to us that administratively belong to Armenia whichever map you look at,” Arshakyan said.

The Armenian government is building new houses for those displaced further up in the village — but the villagers insist they want their old land back. Even if the residents are allowed back to their homes, having the Azerbaijani troops so close by has put the village on edge.

“Of course it’s frightening having them so close — it’s scary for everyone,” says Arshakyan’s wife Nune, a maths teacher at the village school.

Read original article here