The mother of a cancer-stricken child is among those sounding the alarm on the disintegrating situation inside Nagorno-Karabakh, a small, landlocked region between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Listen to the latest episode of CBN’s Quick Start podcast 👇
Gayane Beglarian has spent the past few weeks worrying about her 4-year-old daughter, Monika, who suffers from liver cancer.
Her fears began Dec. 12, when Azerbaijani protestors reportedly blocked that road, known as the Lachin corridor, preventing food, medicine, and essential transport in or out of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, also known as Artsakh.
The 28-year-old, who lives in Nagorno-Karabakh, told CBN’s Faithwire she was initially unsure if she would be able to transport her daughter for necessary medical treatments and appointments.
“She still needs treatment … and there is nothing to do in Artsakh, because we have no necessary equipment; we have no doctors,” Beglarian said. “We don’t have doctors who can come there and have necessary treatment.”
Watch Beglarian tell her story:
The mom said she had been scared about being unable to leave to get Monika to her doctor appointments.
“We were frightened,” Beglarian said. “And we were really worried about the situation, because her life depends on this treatment.”
She and her family have been waiting since the Dec. 12 blockage began to see if something would be done to remedy it. Fortunately, the Red Cross reportedly mediated a way for the family to exit and get Monika the medical assistance she needs.
Beglarian spoke with CBN’s Faithwire Tuesday, just hours after exiting Nagorno-Karabakh. She said she is unsure if the family will be able to return home after Monika’s treatment due to the ongoing blockage.
The mother also passionately spoke about the conditions on the ground inside the region, noting food and resources are scarce as the blockade has persisted for a month.
“They are really in need of food,” Beglarian said. “There is no supply of necessary elements for living.”
Supplies typically coming from Armenia can no longer reach the 100,000 people living there. Beglarian said vegetable markets are closed, and people use a ticket system for food.
“Every day, there were hundreds of tons of food of good coming from Armenia … and now it’s closed,” Beglarian said. “People are dying there. Really, it’s awful the atmosphere [and] really, really tough.”
She said she’s hoping the international community, which has focused heavily on Ukraine, will pay more attention to what’s happening in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Everyone is talking about Ukraine. We want the world to hear our voices, too,” Beglarian said. “We speak about it loud. We try to reach the international community … but nobody’s answering us.”
As Faithwire previously reported, deadly battles between Armenians and Azerbaijanis have raged for decades, and an ongoing blockade has reignited those tensions.
“The last big war in Karabakh happened in 2020 and, at that time, Azerbaijan conquered most of the territory all around the enclave,” Joel Veldkamp, head of international communications at persecution watchdog Christian Solidarity International (CSI), told CBN’s Faithwire. “And so there’s only one road that connects the 120,000 Christians who live in this enclave to the rest of the world, and it’s protected by a Russian peacekeeping force.”
The blockade sparked immediate condemnation, with critics calling Azerbaijan to halt the obstruction. Read more about the humanitarian crisis here.
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***