Cases of vandalism reported in Azeri-occupied Stepanakert

The Azerbaijani state policy of appropriation and destruction of Armenian historical and cultural heritage continues to grow exponentially in occupied Artsakh, Cultural Ombudsman of Hayk Hovik Avanesov warns.

On February 4, the Azerbaijani REAL TV channel published a video from occupied Stepanakert on its YouTube platform. Preliminary studies of the video show that the cross of St. Hakob Church in the Hekimyan district of Stepanakert, the capital of the Artsakh Republic, has been removed, and the khachkar in the yard is also missing in the video. In the future, in case of other information, we will make an additional announcement. The foundations of the church were laid in September 2005, and the construction work lasted for about 1.5 years until May 6, 2007.

“On February 6, Facebook user Mkhitar Karapetyan said that Facebook user Rafik Mekhtiev published another video from occupied Stepanakert on his page, in which the bust of Admiral Isakov was missing. Karapetyan added that it was also published in the Telegram channel. From the relevant monitoring, we found out that the mentioned video was published by Rafik Mehdiyev on January 30. In that video, it is clearly seen that the bust of the hero placed in Stepanakert’s Admiral Isakov Street also became a victim of the cultural genocide carried out by Azerbaijan at the state level. A bust of Admiral Isakov was placed on the street named after him in 2018. The author of the bust is sculptor Albert Harutyunyan,” Avanesov wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

Sergey Shahverdyan, chairman of the NGO Public Council for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Artsakh, warned about another vandalism in Stepanakert by publishing photos of the statue of Alexander Myasnikan demolished by Azerbaijanis on his Facebook page.

On February 9, the Ararat Telegram channel published a photo of another desecration in occupied Hadrut. The tombstone of one of the monks in the yard of St. Harutyun church of Hadrut was desecrated by an Azerbaijani occupant in the historic Dizak area of Hadrut, Artsakh. You can learn more about the church here.

“All this once again proves that Azerbaijan is destroying the historical and cultural heritage of Artsakh at the state level,” Avanesov underscored.


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