77-year-old Zoya Martirosyan and her 83-year-old husband were miraculously saved from the Azerbaijani attack on September 19. They lived in Shosh village surrounded by Azerbaijanis for a week, not knowing that the village was deserted, all the inhabitants left their homes.

“Shots were heard, I was afraid to go out, it seemed to me that the shots were falling on our roof. I locked the door and tied it thinking tht they might open the door and enter the house,” said 77-year-old Zoya Martirosyan in a conversation with Forrights.am.

When the shootings decreased a bit, Zoya Martirosyan went out to the village to get information from the neighbors. However, she met their locked doors.

“I saw that there was no one in the village, everyone had gone, I had no idea. We stayed in the village for six days. Thank god, no Turk entered the village. Wherever I went, there was no one, everyone’s doors were locked. The laundry was hanging, but there were no people. There was no light, there was no gas, so I was burning wood stove. I went to the village head, but he was not there either,” says the woman from Tarsakh, recalling the last days spent in the deserted village.

Shosh village is in Askeran region of NK, close to the occupied city of Shushi. The positions are quite close to the village. During the first shots the inhabitants had to leave their houses. The elderly spouses were also called, but there was no response.

“They announced that people should leave; they took the children, even barefoot, and went out. The neighbor said they called my parents, but they didn’t get out, so they thought that we brought them to the city, and they left them. But they have hearing problems; they did not hear the voices of the neighbors,” says the couple’s daughter, Zoraida Atanesyan. She lived in Stepanakert.

After searching for people in the village for several days, a week later, Zoya Martirosyan noticed a car approaching her from a distance. She thought it was the enemy.

“The car that approached, I thought it was the Turks. Then I saw it was the car of the Red Cross. The Red Cross came and took us. They said there was no time, we should leave,” she says.

“One day, the MES, entering the distant villages one by one, reached Shosh. It was five o’clock. The enemy did not let them saying that the time was up. And then one day they said that they had given five minutes, and they brought them,” Zoraida Atanesyan says.

Zoya Martiroosyan is leaving her home for the second time with her husband. They fled from Baku for the first time, because the Azerbaijanis were killing the civilian population based on their etnicity. They came to Aghdam by train from Baku, and from there to Shosh village. In 1992, when the village of Shosh was shelled from Shushi, the house of the Martirosains was completely burned down. They built a new house in the same village, which they had to leave in 2023. “I want to go back to our house again,” says 77-years-old Zoya Martirosyan.

She and hihers family now live in Tegh village, again on the border, again the enemy’s positions are quite close. In the spring of 2023, the Azerbaijani side invaded the territory of Tegh village, occupied the villages and set up positions quite close to the settlements. They are visible to the naked eye.

“This is border settlement too: there is fear, but we live,” says Zoya Martirosyan.

Narek Kirakosyan

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