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A total of six focus groups were conducted with the residents of border communities in the three Armenian regions (marz) of Syunik (in Meghri and Goris), Gegharkunik (in Vardenis) and Tavush (in Ijevan), and with people displaced from the towns of Hadrut and Shusha, known as Shushi to Armenians, in Nagorny Karabakh as a result of the 2020 war.  

Discussions covered perceptions on the causes and lessons of the 2020 war, current expectations, and perspectives on future dialogue with Azerbaijanis. This briefing is based on a longer report of research findings prepared by Lusine Kharatyan in collaboration with the Yerevan-based non-governmental organisation Public Agenda, Tatul Hakobyan and Arsen Kharatyan. 

The findings indicate that many people in local communities in Armenia share realistic perspectives on Armenia’s current situation. This realism is founded on critical views of the choices made by leadership in the country over the past three decades, and a widespread demand for more strategic approaches to state-building, security and foreign policy. 

A similar, though separate, piece of research aimed at unearthing Azerbaijani perspectives to a similar set of questions was being undertaken by Avaz Hasanov, a long-standing peacebuilding and human rights activist around the same time. Avaz's sudden and untimely death in November 2021 meant that this piece of research remained unfinished.

The research on which this report is based was implemented with the financial support of the European Union, coordinated by Conciliation Resources. This report’s contents cannot be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

 

Funded by the European Union

 

 

Further reading

The Nagorny Karabakh conflict in focus

This Nagorny Karabakh conflict has lasted for almost three decades, resulting in war, mass displacement, and a state of ongoing instability affecting the whole region.