Artsakh War 2020
We stopped for a photo-op in front of the sign with a portrait of Monte—in the middle of a field on the way to Martuni (the village is in the background of the first image). I thought, “Well, I understand this is a once in a lifetime photo-op, but it might be the last photo-op of our lives.”
We were there for less than a minute.
Not ten seconds after the first photograph was taken, the artillery landed less than 100m from us (second shot), a group of journalists with “PRESS” on our vests. There were no military targets around.
You feel the impact under your feet,
before you hear it.
I instinctively drop to the ground.
Then I start photographing with a steady hand.
This is why I am here.
Had it been a cluster munition, well . . .
There was no second explosion
And no blood
Hearing one explosion was a good sign
It meant you were still alive
Every breath is a gift
On the road back to Stepanakert,
we did not hear the suicide drones over us
because of the car.
Five drones dove and exploded
not 50m above us on the hill (fourth shot).
Again, no military targets.
We take photographs and video.
We continue “home”.
Was this to scare us?
Is this a game?
How is this viewed as honorable in any way?
They would kill us simply for existing there.
Once back in Stepanakert, another group of journalists began describing their day and it became clear that they passed us while we were being shelled. A second group of journalists in the area, leaving Martuni on the same road, just ahead of us, were also targets of the Azeris.