News that the territory surrounding the Kapan Airport will be transferred to Azerbaijan on December 1st in accordance with the trilateral agreement signed between the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia are not true. The mayor of Kapan, Gevorg Parsyan, officially announced that “The Armenia-Azerbaijani border during the USSR passed by the Kapan Airport, but the airport remains in Armenian territory.”
We were at the Kapan Airport on December 1st. Renovations were taking place in the Syunik airport building. The director was on a working visit, and his replacements did not allow us to take pictures saying that we needed prior approval.
To avoid violating the working procedures, we attempted to take photos outside of the airport’s territory. By the way, officials stated that they did not notice anything strange over the past few days, and the situation is calm. There were posts on social media that the airport is being guarded by volunteers. We learned that there are no volunteers at the airport, and the airport security guards are carrying out their duties around the clock.
The taxi driver who brought me to the airport, Artur Khachatryan, is from the border village of Nerkin Hand. According to him, “Azerbaijanis lived in the territories surrounding the airport during Soviet times.”
They ran away after the 1988 Artsakh movement began. Artur participated in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in the 1990s. He is 54 years old now, but he had surgery. Therefore, he will not be able to be involved in the village’s defense. “But I will go if it’s necessary. I will not leave our land and water to the Turks. Our boys are guarding our village’s borders. We are not in danger now,” Artur said, adding that there is only one bad thing. “Now, I will not be able to allow my 12-year-old son to go and swim in the village lake by himself. It’s dangerous, and there is fear. We need to be careful,” he said.
“I think that Nikol is to blame for all of this. Nikol sold Syunik and Artsakh. He sold us along with them,” Artur said, adding that he lived in Kapan and will continue to do so. “And I will die here. Syunik and Kapan belong to us. We will not give them to anyone,” he said.