Artsakh: We Are Our Mountains

By: The PH Team

Republic of Artsakh

The Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) is an unrecognized country, internationally recognized as part of neighbouring Azerbaijan.

Once part of the Soviet Union, the region declared independence following the dissolution of the former State. A war quickly broke out between ethnic Armenians and Azeris, leaving the region in the hands of ethnic Armenians.

The unrecognized country is the focal-point of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which is known today as a 'frozen conflict.' Once called 'the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the unrecognized country officially changed its name to the Republic of Artsakh.

It is only recognized by three other post-Soviet unrecognized countries; Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria.

'Tatik & Papik'

"We Are Our Mountains" is a large monument north of Stepanakert, the capital city of the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh. The sculpture, completed in 1967 by Sargis Baghdasaryan, is widely regarded as a symbol of the Armenian heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The monument itself has become another point of friction between Armenians and Azerbaijanis - who both claim the land as their own.

The monument depicts an old Armenian man and woman hewn from rock, representing the mountain people of Nagorno Karabakh. It is also known as "tatik-papik" in Armenian, which translates to "Grandma and Grandpa."

The sculpture is also displayed in Artsakh's coat of arms and controversially in the past in Armenia as well.

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