Armenians ‘lose motherland’ in blow to Russia’s influence abroad

Last week, Vardan Tadevosyan was still the health minister of a small if unrecognised republic in the south Caucasus mountains, managing dozens of government employees and running one of the busiest medical facilities in the region.

But in a span of 24 hours, the government of Nagorno-Karabakh ceased to exist. Soon, Tadevosyan’s staff began to leave their offices; patients vacated their hospital beds; doctors and nurses disappeared. There were so few police officers left that the streets started to feel unsafe.

Only the roads out of the region’s capital, Stepanakert, were busy — jammed with the tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians fleeing the city after Azerbaijan retook the breakaway enclave by force in a brief but bloody war last week. About 200 people were killed, according to local officials; the injured were soon ferried to Yerevan, the Armenian capital.

Read more: Financial Times