As for the Karabakh conflict the two villages were swapped

As for the Karabakh conflict the two villages were swapped

30, 15 June 1988, the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR adopted a resolution on joining of Nagorno Karabakh to the Republic — a decision which was then overturned by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. A result of the Karabakh conflict has killed tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands became refugees. Russian service Bi-bi-si tells how the inhabitants of the two villages managed to avoid such a fate.

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In the South Caucasus there are two villages difficult fate: Kerkenj in Azerbaijan and Dzyunashogh in Armenia. 30 years ago in Kerenge the Armenians lived, and Junsok (then it was called Kyzyl-Shafag) Azeri.

But relations between the then Soviet Union imploded, and tens of thousands of people became refugees. In a period of chaos and mistrust, the villagers decided to take matters into their own hands.

By the end of 1988, after the outbreak of the Karabakh conflict, the Azerbaijani villages of Armenia and Armenian villages of Azerbaijan were empty.

On the spot remained only the residents of two villages — Kerkenj and Kyzyl-Shafag. The only thing that saved both villages is their extreme remoteness from major settlements.

Kerkenj and Kyzyl-Shafag, located far from civilization, where it is not easy to get without spoiling the suspension of the car. The winding roads that lead to them, has never been paved. In cold weather, the village covers a blanket of thick fog.

“It all started in’ 88, recalls the former in those years the Chairman of the farm Kyzyl-Shafag Fitr of Allazov. From Azerbaijan came news that the Karabakh Azerbaijanis Armenians deported, deported from places around Yerevan and that we’re next.”

Neighbors from other villages, he said, just “boarded the car and fled”.

Residents of Kyzyl-Shafag to leave did not want and was thinking to ride out the tough times. It got to the point that to communicate with the outside world had through a friend of the Armenians, and the village authorities were sent from Moscow to the young cadets to defend from possible attacks.

Once, in a conversation with a friend the official Allazov asked: “where will it all end? You tell me we are close friends, together, bread and salt were divided”. And he said, “Allazov, don’t you understand?”.

“Only then did I realize that we have to leave,” after a pause, says Allazov. But to leave together — so decided in the Council of the village.

Difficulty moving

Allazov learned about Karkanja through mutual friends in Baku. Then, he recalls, in the two republics was dominated by mutual distrust. And he barely managed to convince the authorities miss it in Kerkenj — in exchange for assurances that they are going in just for the sake of sharing and that no bloodshed will not allow it.

With a colleague from Karkanja the trout with Caturano they exchanged delegations. Those looked at and evaluated at home.