In abandoned mountain villages and small towns shattered by shelling in Nagorno-Karabakh, FRANCE 24 spoke to soldiers fighting in the disputed enclave since the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke out last month. They include local Armenian residents called up to serve on the frontline as well as members of the Armenian diaspora from countries such as France doing what they can to support their homeland.
As renewed fighting this week put a US-backed ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh in jeopardy, reservists and volunteers from the vast Armenian diaspora are determined to support their homeland.
In the Maturni district of the mountainous enclave pockmarked by the scars of war, local reservists recounted how their lives changed overnight. "Three weeks ago, life was peaceful, everyone was busy with their own jobs," said one soldier.
But when the fighting began, there was no question about answering the call to military service - including for some French citizens of Armenian origin. "We left hoping to help with the war, if not in active military service, then in some other way, not necessarily by going to the front and carrying a weapon. Because all Armenian people, the whole country, is involved," explained Sipan Mouradian, a 28-year-old French national.
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