Azerbaijan will retake control of Lachin city and some villages on the route between Khankendi city of Azerbaijan and Armenia at the end of August, 2022 in accordance with a joint declaration signed by Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia.
Russian troops and the Armenian population will leave the areas along the route known as the “Lachin corridor,” where Lachin and the villages of Zabukh and Sus are located and Russian peacekeepers have temporarily been stationed in accordance with the tripartite declaration signed between the three countries on Nov. 10, 2020.
According to the declaration, Azerbaijan would build a new road passing outside Lachin city which the Armenian population in Karabakh would use on their way to and from Armenia within three years. Azerbaijan completed the 32-kilometer road earlier than planned.
Russian peacekeepers providing security on the route of the old “Lachin corridor” will also move the checkpoints to the new road.
Lachin city is the capital and the largest city of Lachin District of Azerbaijan which is located in the west of the country and belongs to the East Zangazur Economic Region.
Lachin and its villages were occupied by Armenia in 1992, and then, Armenians brought from Syria and Lebanon were illegally settled there in the following years. Azerbaijan has repeatedly declared it as a war crime and violation of the Geneva Conventions.
Although Armenians who leave the region were warned not to burn buildings or harm the environment, images have been circulating on social media showing some Armenians burning houses and nearby forests.
While some media outlets have been portraying Armenians to be leaving Lachin in a disadvantaged position, they did not touch on the core issue of when they settled there and who lived in these lands before. The reports did not include the information that there was no Armenian population there before the occupation and that Azerbaijanis were forcefully expelled from their homeland in 1992.
Speaking on August 12, 2022 to Azerbaijan state television on the evacuation of Armenians from Lachin, President Ilham Aliyev said he had already ordered the State Committee for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons of Azerbaijan to contact the original inhabitants of the city of Lachin and the villages of Zabukh and Sus and to start work to return them to their ancestral homeland.