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1 May 2024

The Revival of Lachin City—The Joy of Returning Home

Lachin, which was occupied by Armenian Armed Forces in 1992, was returned to Azerbaijan in August 2022. Now, rebuilding work continues in the city. Lachin residents, who were forced to leave their hometown 30 years ago, are returning home.

Lachin resident

Lachin resident Ipek Tahmazova. Photos and text by Konul Shahin

Visiting the Azerbaijani territories, which have been under Armenia’s occupation for more than 28 years, evokes a blend of emotions: the sadness of the destruction and the joy of seeing these lands again.

Such were the feelings that enveloped me upon touchdown at Zangilan airport. It felt as though spring itself was exerting extra effort to heal the scars left by Zangilan's destruction. Nature has rewarded this wounded land with all its colours and every corner is adorned with lush greenery and blossoms.

The true scale of destruction becomes unmistakably clear during the journey from Zengilan to Lachin. Despite this, rapid reconstruction work continues in the city. The best example is the village of Aghalı, which was rebuilt and opened to settlement.

The road that leads to the city of Lachin is very close to the Armenian border, and as the bus nears the Hakari bridge, Armenian posts and flags come into view on the opposite side of the river. Azerbaijan established a border crossing point here last year and took the control of the former Lachin corridor.