Erasing Signboards Doesn’t Erase History
As a result of military operations from September 19-21, 2023, Azerbaijan took control of the entire territory of Artsakh. Subsequently, numerous videos depicting various actions by Azerbaijani soldiers began to surface on Azerbaijani websites, and their frequency is on the rise. On October 4, 2023, a video emerged depicting the Azerbaijani military removing and relocating road signs directed toward Bri Yeghtsi Monastery and Harav Village with the obvious intention of destroying them (https://t.me/Caucasian_bureau/65735?fbclid=IwAR1q4g3qBSCsC_fLiY68SExnxwh3HeEnodbxk9gpiz44jDo5TYa2Rt4C7nk).
Azerbaijani news media are interpreting this video as the removal of what they consider to be false or separatist place names. There are also reports of signs displaying the names of settlements being removed using military equipment circulating on the internet (https://t.me/Caucasian_bureau/65456?fbclid=IwAR1vLQaG_nywqkgPsXBGu81Y8dq-MyNOaPmE_D1zxEksqMmjHINihH0oowA).
In this case, it appears that Azerbaijani authorities consider the indigenous place names of Artsakh to be separatist and false, and their destruction and intolerant comments reflect an effort to erase the Armenian identity and heritage of Artsakh.