“Karabakh before and after occupation” Project
After the open assertion by Armenia in the late 1980s of its territorial claims on Azerbaijan and the launching of armed operations in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, Armenia had occupied 20% of our lands while driving out over 1 million of Azerbaijanis from their native homes as a result of the ethnic cleansing policy. On 27 September 2020, Armenia unleashed indiscriminate attacks on the combat positions of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan and residential areas, using heavy artillery and large-caliber weaponry along the entire frontline. This has become the moment of truth for the Azerbaijani people who launched the Patriotic war aiming at liberating occupied lands under the leadership of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the Commander-in-Chief. The aggressor has got the retaliating blow by brave soldiers and officers of Azerbaijan, demonstrating the unprecedented unity and solidarity with the civilians and the entire Azerbaijani nation. The Iron Fist Operation has obliterated the enemy by bringing the long-awaited victory to the Azerbaijani Army. According to the preliminary estimation, there are more than 2,600 historical and cultural monuments in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan. It was established that overwhelming majority of aforementioned monuments, cultural properties and other objects were demolished, misappropriated and vandalized.
I was one of few photographers who was sent to the liberated territories of Azerbaijan to find and document historical and cultural monuments. Most of my photographs presented in the book “Karabakh Before and After occupation” explicitly demonstrates the pre- and the post- occupation state of the ancient Azerbaijani lands, liberated after almost 30 years of Armenian occupation.