During the war in Artsakh from September 27 to November 9, 2020, and following the ceasefire signed on November 10, a number of Armenian monuments were targeted by the Azerbaijani armed forces. There are a number of photos and videos in open sources serving as proof.
The Fact Investigation Platform tried to make a complete list of all them to understand what damage the Armenian monuments of Artsakh have suffered.
Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi
The Primate Church of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi, is considered one of the symbols not only of Shushi, but of the whole Artsakh.
During the war, on October 8, the Azerbaijani armed forces struck the cathedral twice. According to the human rights organization Human Rights Watch, which published a separate study on the double damage to the church, it was most likely damaged by a high-precision weapon. Two blows caused significant damage to the church. A large hole was opened in the roof of the southern apse of the church. The roof stones fell on the floor of the church, as a result of which the interior of the building was damaged, including the walls, the altar, and the benches. The tin roof of the church dome was also damaged.
After the fall of Shushi, a video was spread in the Azerbaijani social networks, in which traces of vandalism can be seen on the walls of Ghazanchetsots Church, such as a black paint graffiti writings, as well as a date “11.10.2020”.
Saint John the Baptist Church (Known as “Kanach Zham”) in Shushi
On November 15, a video surfaced in the Azerbaijani social networks which showed a half-ruined building in Shushi. Fip.am managed to analyze the area and confirm that the half-ruined building in the video is the Kanach Zham Church. It becomes clear from the video that the dome of the church and the bell tower are destroyed. It is not known under what circumstances they were damaged, but it most likely happened during or immediately after the fall of Shushi.
Statue of Vazgen Sargsyan in Shushi
The statue of Vazgen Sargsyan, former Minister of Defense and Commander of the Republic of Armenia, placed in the square in front of the Shushi City Hall, was vandalized by Azerbaijani soldiers, and then “beheaded“. During Ilham Aliev’s visit on January 15, a video was released by his wife, Mehriban, which showed that the statue had been thrown in the square.
Mekhakavan (Jebrail) church
After the ceasefire was established, on November 14, a video appeared on the Internet, in which an Azerbaijani soldier was standing on the roof of a small church, chanting “Allahu Akbar.” The cross was lowered on the church, and the soldier/militant was standing in the place of the cross.
The video showed the church Holy Mother of God, located in Mekhakavan (former town of Jebrail). It was consecrated in early October 2017 by the spiritual leader of the RA Armed Forces, Bishop Vrtanes Abrahamyan.
The village of Talish in the Martakert region, which was heavily damaged during the April 2016 war, came under the complete control of Azerbaijan during this war.
On December 3, the journalist of the Russian “Kommersant” newspaper Kirill Krivoshev published the photos of the Memorial to the victims of World War II and the “Renaissanc of Talish” monument in the village of Talish. In these photos they are both destroyed. The monument “Renaissanc of Talish” was unveiled in June 2017.
Monument in Vorotan (Kubatlu)
On November 9, a video surfaced in the Azerbaijani social pages, in which an Azerbaijani soldier was seen destroying a monument built in Vorotan, in the former Kubatlu, dedicated to the memory of Armenian soldiers killed in the first Artsakh war.
Khachkar in the village of Arakel (Arakyul)
On January 12, a video was circulating on social networks, which showed Azerbaijani soldiers destroying a khachkar erected in 1997 in memory of freedom fighter Slavik Seyranyan in the village of Arakel (Arakyul), Hadrut region.
Monument in the Jebrail region
Several videos depicting vandalism against Armenian graves by Azerbaijani soldiers in different parts of Artsakh have also appeared on the Internet.
The Fact Investigation Platform has already made a publicon about the monuments in Artsakh thta came under Azerbaijani control. Azerbaijan’s policy towards Armenian monuments and the examples brought up in this article prove that the Armenian monuments in Artsakh are in great danger. These videos and photos are mainly spread on the Internet by Azerbaijani soldiers, who are proud of their actions, presenting them as heroism.