Over 84,700 people cross into Armenia from Karabakh

Over 84,700 people cross into Armenia from Karabakh
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Nearly every three out of four Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh left their home after Azerbaijani takeover of the region

More than 84,700 people have crossed into Armenia from Azerbaijan's Karabakh region, the Armenpress news agency cited Armenia's government as saying on Friday.

The exodus of ethnic Armenians from Karabakh began after the fall of the region's breakaway government last week.

Azerbaijan's lightning military operation triggered an exodus unparalleled in the South Caucasus since the war in which Armenians took over the territory as the Soviet Union broke up, and hundreds of thousands of Azeris fled.

Azerbaijan says it is prepared to respect ethnic Armenian rights as it reabsorbs the region, but with a history burdened by folk memories of alleged genocide, ethnic cleansing, pogroms and at least two wars, the Armenians are fleeing in fear.

Meanwhile, the government of Armenia will provide financial support to the forcibly displaced persons from Nagorno-Karabakh, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced Thursday.

“We will provide a one-time 100,000 drams from the state budget to every one of our forcibly displaced brothers and sisters from Nagorno-Karabakh, regardless of age, for urgent needs,” PM Pashinyan said in a statement on Facebook.

In Soviet times, Nagorno-Karabakh enjoyed autonomy within the Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.

But as the Soviet Union crumbled the First Karabakh War erupted. About 30,000 people were killed between 1988 and 1994 and more than a million people displaced, more than half of them Azeris. In 2020, Azerbaijan struck back, reclaiming swathes of land in and around Karabakh in a 44-day war, and setting the stage for last week's invasion.