After the complete depopulation of Artsakh, with the permission of the Azerbaijani authorities, Al Jazeera’s film crew was the first among international media that was allowed to enter Nagorno-Karabakh and visited the capital Stepanakert, presenting the situation there in a live broadcast from the Renaissance Square.
In the opening speech, the anchor of the TV channel introduced Artsakh as the "Karabakh region of Azerbaijan", noting that 120,000 Armenians living there left for Armenia. Both the anchor and the reporter working from Stepanakert, mostly use the name Khankendi when talking about the city (which is how the Azerbaijani call it).
The correspondent regularly quoted Azerbaijani theses in his speech. Showing the chaotic situation in Renaissance Square, he noted that people left, as they could not trust the assurances of the Azerbaijani government that they would not be prosecuted.
He also reported that there are no people left in the city, except for a number of elderly people, people with mobility problems, as well as representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The reporter says that although 120,000 people left Nagorno-Karabakh, the authorities of Azerbaijan are preparing to resettle the settlements completely emptied of Armenians.
Marko Succi, the Manager of the Rapid Deployment Standing Team of the ICRC in Stepanakert, said live on the TV channel that the majority of the population left their settlements.
"The streets are empty, the hospitals are also empty, all the personnel have left, the director of the morgue has also left. Of course, our main concern and goal is to find the most vulnerable people and, in particular, to help the wounded, to provide them with medical care and to organize their evacuation," said Succi.
The ICRC representative noted that mostly old people, disabled people, who are alone and have no family and relatives, remained in Stepanakert.
"These are the people we are mainly looking for. We have several teams that are searching house by house, trying to find these people, to understand if and what kind of help they need," said Succi, adding that their main concern is that the most vulnerable groups are not left without behind.
The ICRC representative found it difficult to estimate how many people remained in the city.
«What we can see touring in the city is self-explanatory. May be a few hundred people have left with the social services still working for the time being but the healthcare system completely not collapsing but without any personnel. This, of course, represents a major need for the population remaining here. Also the need to connect those who left, who are left in the city, in the region with their family, relatives, that’s another major need, so re-establishing family links … the food provision, medicine, medical supplies for those remaining are, of course, among the priorities,” he said.