Russia’s “RBK” TV Channel has prepared special reportage from the liberated territories of Azerbaijan, Defence.az reports.
The reportage prepared by Artyom Potyomkin touches upon issues such as press conference held by President Ilham Aliyev for local and foreign media representatives, results of the second Karabakh war, reconstruction works in the liberated territories, restoration of historical monuments in these territories and future of Armenian population of Karabakh as Azerbaijani citizens. Showing the photos of destroyed villages and cities, the journalist stated that he first came to these territories immediately after the war in December 2020. Although these territories were turned into ruins during the occupation that lasted for about 30 years, it is impossible not to be amazed by the beauty of Karabakh’s nature. Now Karabakh is being transferred from a battlefield into a construction site.
"The Karabakh conflict ended about four months ago. Now Armenia is in a political crisis. On the contrary, Azerbaijani society is more united. Armenian military equipment looted during the Karabakh war will be demonstrated in the Victory Park in the center of Baku,” the journalist stated.
The journalist also emphasized that the Azerbaijani government organizes press tours to Karabakh for foreign journalists, showing them the villages and towns in the occupied territories. Official Baku is confident that everything will change soon and civilians will return to these lands. At a press conference for media representatives, Potyomkin asked President Aliyev about "the fate of the Lachin corridor after retrocession of Russian peacekeepers from Karabakh." Answering the question, President Ilham Aliyev said: “Now we are astonished by the inapprehensible actions of Russian peacekeepers regarding the entrance of foreigners to Nagorno-Karabakh. We have agreed with the Russian side that foreigners can enter only with our permission. However, the agreement is being violated ... We practically know who can enter and leave. ” President Aliyev said that the integration of Khankendi and other territories inhabited by the Armenian population is an inevitable process, Azerbaijan will further strengthen, and Armenia will only weaken if it refuses cooperation.
Correspondent’s next visit is the Lachin region. Another example of Armenian vandalism - Agoghlan monastery. The reportage shows members of the Albanian-Udi Christian community performing rituals here for the first time after years. The head of the religious community, Rafik Danakari states that the Albanians accepted Christianity in the first century. Speaking of the appointment of the priest to the monastery, Danakair said: “It is still difficult to say now. As you can see, everything is destroyed.
Danakari said he understands Armenians praying in the church, provided that they know that this is an Albanian-Udi church.
“As for the Christian sites – religious and cultural – on the territory that has been liberated, no-one should have any doubts that they will be adequately protected. In fact, Armenian pilgrims can freely visit the ancient Albanian temple of Khudavang, which is located in Kalbajar district,” the author quoted Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev as saying.
A survey conducted by Potemkin among Baku residents on whether Azerbaijanis can coexist with Armenians again suggests that the older generation is ready for it. However, according to the survey, young people born during the Karabakh conflict are cautious about friendship with Armenians, whom they consider enemies.
“The Azerbaijani army started the fighting from Fuzuli district. It was possible to fight only with heavy equipment in these valleys and hills. Far away, the defensive trenches built by Armenian can be seen. There are hundreds of mines planted by Armenian troops. For this reason, it was possible to move in the liberated areas of Fuzuli district only on certain routes. Engineers and specially trained dogs are involved in demining operations. The demining of the road to Shusha was launched in late 2020 and is likely to be completed by this summer,” he said.
The author also pointed out that Azerbaijan is planning to build three airports in Karabakh and will invite companies from friendly countries to join the reconstruction and restoration work there.
“The first runway of the Fuzuli airport will be commissioned in the autumn of this year. A road to Shusha under construction is “Victory” road through which the Azerbaijani army moved toward the city of Shusha. The foundation of a power plant capable of supplying electricity to several districts has already been laid in Fuzuli,” Potemkin added.
RBK’s film crew later arrived in the village of Boyuk Taghlar, Khojavend. “During the Soviet period, Karabakh Azerbaijanis and Armenians coexisted in this village. Azerbaijanis were forcibly displaced from the village in the early 1990s. In November 2020, Azerbaijan liberated these lands,” the report says.