Որոնման արդյունքներ - Lika Zakaryan
Day 1 of Peace, Nagorno Karabakh The war is officially over but it goes on for me. Decisions, points, maps -- my mind cannot grasp all these. I don’t realize what is happening. I am in that phase... What do they call it? The phase of denial. I busy myself with some trivial work, do anything only to escape from thoughts. I could handle it until I saw the newly revised map of Artsakh. We lived 44 days in ignorance of who is where, who controls what. But today we faced our reality. Who am I? The citizen of which country? Where will I live? I no longer have the answers to these questions. I ponder that there is a corridor between Armenian and Artsakh with a view to Karvachar. Men in suits decided that they’ll give it away on November 15.
Day 36, Diary of War, Nagorno-Karabakh "Cubes of sugar" Shushi was bombed again. The war continues, more and more refugees and many more wounded. Not to mention the eternal loss... Today I want to tell a story from the first Artsakh war. I will not name the locations, it’s not of importance. War. A group of young and not so young men are fighting to get rid of the enemy and establish independence in their land. Food? Sleep? It was all just a dream... The battle was not for life, but for death. Losing meant the end of everything and everyone. The moment came when one group captured an important city. This city was key in terms of winning the war. The peaceful inhabitants of this city who sympathized with the enemy had already left via a corridor. But there were still those who did not have time to escape. The operation was successful. The city belongs to them. One of the most difficult obstacles to independence has been overcome. How long have they been waiting for this? How important it was, how many lives they saved by this.
Day 35, Diary of War, Nagorno-Karabakh In the morning the weather in Stepanakert was excellent. Autumn, a light breeze, the sun warmed my soul. I decided to leave the shelter for a bit, and it seemed that there was no war at all. But our neighbors, of course, will not let you enjoy this break. Several explosions, and we are back in the hole. In school, I got a B in physical education, to be honest. If my teacher knew that I could run like that, she might change my grade. The situation and I are both becoming more and more tense. The war continues, nothing changes, we are devastated. The sound of bombs became our crying baby at night, and in the morning - an alarm clock. The last days have been very difficult.
Day 33, Diary of War, Nagorno Karabakh Today, I was in the maternity hospital, which was bombed yesterday. To be honest, it was indescribably scary. If it were not for Levon (he is my cameraman and owner of the fish that I take care of), then I would never have left the shelter. They did not let us sleep all night, and also morning, afternoon, evening. We are literally under constant bombing. When we approached the hospital, my hands were shaking. But I tried to hide it because Levon would have regretted agreeing to go there with me. We approached the destroyed hospital: I take photos, Levon takes videos. All this happens under the sound of bombs. With every sound, as they say, “I step into hell and return”. I had not felt so much fear as I did today, in my own hometown, in Stepanakert. At one point, I stood outside, with broken window glass under my feet.
Day 32, Diary of War, Nagorno-Karabakh We had no electricity for most of the day today. I couldn't even send my "diary". Scrambled eggs were cooking on a stove when the lights turned off. Remained undercooked. There was nothing to do, we ate it just like that. Cheese, canned eggplant, and lavash saved us. Stepanakert was bombed the entire day, and we sat in the dark and wondered where the shell hit this time. After a while, many acquaintances called, because they heard that another Smerch exploded near my shelter. Perhaps it did. Another call: “Lika, did you talk to your mother? The maternity hospital was blown up." My mom works at the hospital. No, I didn't talk to her... There are a million thoughts in my head - how? How can someone blow up a hospital, a maternity hospital? I do not want to believe that someone is capable of such a thing. Then I remembered the conversation with my mother. “Mom, can you go to Yerevan, too? At least for a while.”
We’ll Always Have Stepanakert April to May? Hell, at least it took Frank a month to do what Angelika Zakaryan heartbreakingly did right before my eyes in a 15-minute journey from ecstasy to agony. Angelika, also known as Lika, 26, is a journalist from Yerevan-based CIVILNET news agency who has been writing a personal daily diary of the war in her native Nagorno Karabakh for the last month. Her columns are brutally raw, innocent and heartfelt. I met her on Day 27 of the war in what has become her new home: a school with a sturdy basement that has been converted into a bomb shelter. Our meeting had been prearranged by Salpi Ghazarian, the director of the Institute of Armenian Studies at the University of Southern. Before I left Los Angeles, Salpi said “You’ll like Lika.” I said nothing, but thought to myself “No, I won’t.” I almost never like anyone who someone else says I will. But, in this case, I was wrong and Salpi was right.
Day 30, Diary of War, Nagorno Karabakh The third humanitarian ceasefire was as useless as the previous two. The only difference is that this time no one was surprised. Since there is no truce and the war continues, I asked my dad to bring me backgammon. Now, in my bomb shelter, you can hear not only the sounds of bombs, but also the sounds of the backgammon pieces, which sometimes drown out everything else. I remember spending a whole winter in Roots cafe playing this game, just like grandparents. People in Artsakh love backgammon. When the weather is good, you can see elderly war veterans playing board games in the yard. I even have photos of them, I wanted to make a series about this. Usually, two sit in front of each other - the main characters, and three or four men stand side by side and watch the game. Everyone comments, “Oh, why did you make this move? Eh! You will lose!"
Day 27, Diary of War / Nagorno-Karabakh Sounds of explosions were heard again in Stepanakert today, they were small, but still. There was no siren, so we don't even know what it might have been. When there is no siren, we think it might not be anything dangerous, it could mean we shot down the drone. We comfort ourselves. Seems like it works. A former Los Angeles Times reporter arrived in Stepanakert. He is a freelancer and he also writes for CIVILNET. He is a cool man with a tender heart. He is Armenian. I have been accompanying him, helping with translation. Today we went into one of the shelters. I've been there before and made some friends. As soon as we entered, the children ran up to me, and I forgot why I was there and also ran up to them, leaving behind everything and everyone. Elmira, one of the women in the shelter, was cooking tanav.
Diary of War, Day 25 / Nagorno-Karabakh For 25 days now we have yearned for peace. For 25 whole days we do not sleep in pajamas, we do not go to school or to the university, we fall asleep with Telegram channels and wake up with them. We do not take a shower (we wash as much as possible), we do not go to the store for bread and we do not complain about our salaries. If 24 hours are multiplied by 25 days, we get 600. 600 hours we live in hell. Some of us lost our homes, some of us were forced to leave our homeland. Some have turned into refugees for the second time in their lives (once after Baku and Sumgait). And some have lost their only loved ones. 600 Hours! I haven't seen my brother for 600 hours. From day one, he joined groups to help out on the front lines. His name is Albert, he is two years younger than me. We have been very close since childhood. After the first war, as you might expect, life was a little difficult. While jobs were being created, shops were opening, life was getting better - a certain time passed.
Day 21, Diary of War, Artsakh / Nagorno Karabakh A letter to war. Undear War, A girl is writing to you from Karabakh, a place, where you've settled recently. I know you are not loved anywhere, but I will be honest with you, I want you to know you're not welcome here either. We already know each other, don't we? Aren't you tired of coming to our doors? I am not writing this just to express my anger, really. What I want is to say - go away, please.
CivilNet Reporter On Situation in Stepanakert & Her Diary Documenting the War CivilNet’s Lika Zakaryan spoke on the situation in Stepanakert, as well as about the frequency of shelling and effect on civilian infrastructure. Lika also spoke about her diary entries on her life in Stepanakert, the entries are available both on the CivilNet website and on Facebook, they portray the human side of this war.
Day 19, Diary of War, Karabakh Once, I asked my mother, who got married during the war, how did she decide on this? When dad heard this, he said, “We didn't know when the war would end. If we knew that it would end in 94, maybe we would have waited. But how could we know? The war was going on, but we had to live, and love came.” Today, I live in a war and wait for it to end. All of us, I guess. Life seems to have stopped. We do not remember what day of the week, date, hour... We only remember that this is the 19th day of the war. My calendar has changed, and instead of Before Christ and After Christ, there is Before the War and After the War. But I remembered what my dad said, “We didn't know when the war would end. And life had to continue!”
Day 17 - Diary from Karabakh | We were born in and live with this conflict. But we don't want to die in it! Every day I hope that today is the last day of my "War Diary". But it seems it is not, we keep going on like this. It was unusually quiet in Stepanakert today. Such silence scares me, to be honest. I can't fall asleep at night without the sounds of military sirens and bombardments. I wait for them to start and then try to sleep. Because you know it's better to fall asleep listening to these sounds, rather than to wake up because of them.
Jour 16 - Journal du Karabakh... Nous allons vivre et nous allons sourire C'est une journée relativement calme. Je suis allée retrouver mon père et ensemble nous sommes allés chercher du pain. Ces jours-ci, je trouve à peine le courage de quitter l'abri et de prendre le risque de filmer ou de photographier les destructions. J'ai vu beaucoup de gens - des connaissances mais aussi des inconnus. C'est assez incroyable. Parfois, assise dans un abri, j’ai l’impression que les personnes à côté de moi sont les seules qui existent vraiment dans ce monde. Comme dans les films d'apocalypse.
Day 16 - Diary from Karabakh… We Will Live and We Will Smile It’s a relatively quiet day. I met my dad and we went together to get bread. I hardly found the courage to leave the shelter and risk videoing or photographing something. I saw many people - acquaintances and non acquaintances. This was spectacular. Sometimes, sitting in a shelter, it seems to me that the people next to me are the only ones who really exist in the world. As in the movies about the apocalypse.
Day 15: A Diary from Stepanakert It already looks like Groundhog Day. Stepanakert was not bombed, at least that is how it seems so far, since i’m still in the bunker.. The drones flew, fell, but I did not hear talk of victims. The weather was great today, but it was scary to go outside. Sometimes, it feels like I will never be able to go out into the street.