When Azerbaijani Armed Forces launched an offensive on September 27, they also targeted civilian settlements deep inside Artsakh, including the capital Stenapakert. As the fighting rages in other parts of Artsakh, the women and children of the capital continue to shelter in bunkers while most of the men have left for the frontline. Emergency sirens can be heard periodically and those who choose to stay in the shelters are mostly older people, those who have difficulty moving, young mothers and their children for whom it is simply safer to stay in the safety of those bunkers. Most residents living in the older buildings in Stepanakert don't have the luxury of bunkers, they descend into the cellars, some of which have been transformed to serve as spaces of safety.

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Images by Roubina Margossian.

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