Artsakh Blockade Nearing 1 Month, Shortages Widespread

Artsakh Blockade Nearing 1 Month, Shortages Widespread

Protestors have locked down the Lachin Corridor for almost a month, causing shortages in the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh. Photo depicts Azeri protestors confronting Russian peacekeepers (Photo from SVOA).

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Since December 12th the sole road connecting Armenia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh has been blocked by self-described Azeri environmental activists. The Lachin Corridor is Artsakh’s only supply route for food, medical supplies, and other essentials.

Already widespread shortages have begun as the Artsakh government has begun to tap into state reserves for essentials. Grocery stores and market places provide nothing but empty shelves. Hospitals are unable to transport highly vulnerable patients to Armenia to receive treatment they do not have the capacity to provide. One such patient has died after being unable to be transported to Armenia.

On the 25th of December a large protest was held in Stepanakert, Artsakh’s capital city, to demand the opening of the corridor. 70,000 people, over half of Artsakh’s population, was in attendance.


Photo from Stepanakert’s December 25th rally. The streets were filled to the brim with people. (Photo from Davit GHAHRAMANYAN / AFP)

On top of Armenia and Artsakh’s diplomatic protests, Spain, France, Ireland, Uruguay, and several other state bodies have issued condemnations and demanded what they say is a blockade by Azerbaijan’s government, be lifted. Armenia itself has filed an « urgent request » to the International Court of Justice, to no avail.

Though Russian Peacekeepers have been monitoring the protestors, they have thus far been unable to clear them in any fashion.

The Azeri protestors blocking the corridor themselves claim to be protesting what they call an « illegal » mining project by Artsakh’s government. The mining project has, since the blockade’s beginning, stopped. Artsakh’s government also offered to allow international observers to come in and assure that the projects environmental standards were up to code. Several protestors have been shown to have connections to Azerbaijan’s military.

The blockade, should it continue, spells a troublesome situation for Artsakh’s 120,000 people, particularly with food shortages beginning and snow having fallen as of last night. Attempts to create an air corridor at Stepanakerts airport have also thus far been unsuccessful.

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray is a published journalist and historicist with over 5 years experience in writing. His primary focus is on East and West African affairs.
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