Russian Peacekeepers Find Armenians Leaving Occupied Districts, Burning Homes Behind Them
A column of armored vehicles from Russia's peacekeeping mission entered the Kalbacar district in Azerbaijan (known as Karvachar in Armenian) on November 13. Kalbacar is an occupied district of Azerbaijan northwest of Nagorno-Karabakh that is now being handed back to Baku under a Russia-brokered truce. Russian forces first set up positions in an area adjacent to Dadivank, a ninth-century monastery. Armenians have been bidding a somber farewell to the monastery as they leave the region, with some even burning their houses behind them. One local priest, Father Hovhannes, says he will not leave. Instead, he arranged for two khachkars -- or stone crosses -- believed to be 800 years old to be relocated to Armenia. Hovhannes hopes they will return to the monastery at some point in the future.