The exodus continues. In a matter of days, roughly half of the ethnic Armenian population of the highland enclave Nagorno-Karabakh have now fled their homes to nearby Armenia. They lived for decades in isolation and de facto independence within the territory of Azerbaijan, but a surprise offensive last week by Azerbaijani forces swiftly overwhelmed the mismatched defenders of the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, known to Armenians as Artsakh, and triggered a new wave of displacement in a part of the world that has witnessed generations of ethnic strife and forced population transfers.
Journalists on the ground along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border reported Wednesday that some 47,000 people of Nagorno-Karabakh's more than 100,000-strong population had already crossed into Armenia. They were crammed into trucks and cars, their possessions piled high. Many more are expected to follow them; few may return.