Gagik Mkrtchyan, forcibly displaced from Artsakh, has a disability of the first degree. The 47-year-old man lives with bedridden parents in poor social conditions.

“The house is deprived of communal facilities. We live without a bathroom and a toilet; I drew the water and electricity. There is no natural gas,” says Gagik in a conversation with

He has been disabled since 1999. Due to health problems, he speaks and walks with great difficulty. His physical condition does not allow him to do hard work.

The family was forcibly displaced from the city of Martakert after the military operations started on September 19, 2023. “We didn’t go anywhere from our house that day. The next day was unbearable too. I asked the mayor, he sent a car, they took us to the airport area, where we stayed for five days, then we came to Goris [Armenia],” says Gagik.

According to Gagik, there was a chaotic situation in the territory of the Ivanyan airport, where the command post of the Russian peacekeeping mission is located. “People were sad, broken,” Gagik recalls, adding that physical pain and losses were added to the difficult psychological condition.

From the rumors, he got hope that they will return to Martakert in a few days. But, after a couple of days, he heard: “They said: ‘Either you should stay and live with Azerbaijan, or you should leave.’ That’s what they said. We left silently our house and staff, and went out.”

The house where Gagik lives with his elderly parents is old, damp, and shows signs of collapse. In one of the bedrooms, which, if it can be considered such, belongs to the parents. They spend the whole day lying in bed.

“I am 82 years old. My leg was amputated, I have been lying on a bed for two years,” says his father, Manvel Mkrtchyan, and notes that the forced displacement was three times more difficult for him. He could neither mentally nor physically leave the house. “But somehow I got out,” he says.

82-year-old Manvel Mkrtchyan remembers the path of migration. “People were all outside, on the road, hungry, thirsty… somehow we got here.”

Gagik’s mother, Epraxia Mkrtchyan, is 76 years old and has hearing problems.

“These people were thrown here helplessly,” says Gagik, looking at his parents.

Gagik takes care of his elderly parents. He considers having a bathroom as a priority. “Currently, it is impossible to find another house for rent. This house is rented, I pay 80,000 AMD,” says Gagik and notes that the source of their income is the support and pension provided by the Armenian government.

“I barely make ends meet. We have been living in these conditions since 2021,” Gagik says.

The family now lives in Alapars village of Kotayk region, which is about 60 km away from Yerevan.

Narek Kirakosyan

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