According to the videos posted on the Internet by one of the Azerbaijani users, it can be seen that construction work is underway on the territory of the Kavakavank monastic complex, located in the occupied Hadrut region. From October 12 to 14, 2020, intense fighting took place around Kavakavank, the area was bombarded. The Azerbaijani army used the church as a military base, which significantly damaged or destroyed the structure’s ornaments and Armenian inscriptions. There was no information on the condition of the church after the 44-day war until these videos surfaced.
It can be seen from the video that the church and its surroundings have been significantly damaged by enemy shelling, there are collapsed parts, fallen and scattered stones and the roof is damaged. This damage was not present before the 2020 war. In addition, as the video shows, the soldiers, who used the church as a military base, left dozens of writings in Azerbaijani in different parts of the church . The khachkar dedicated to the memory of the freedom fighters who liberated the region, installed in 1995 next to the church, has disappeared. It is quite possible that the khachkar was destroyed by the Azerbaijani army. Let us note that the Azerbaijani side does not hide its great attitude towards crosses, khachkars, various memorials, as well as newly built churches erected on this side since 1994. It can be seen from the video that the Azerbaijani side has leveled the area around of the church and carried out earthworks.
Judging by the equipment seen in the video, a new paved road is being built to the church. The work inside the church and on the porch is more worrying. Judging from the video, the porch is significantly damaged and the ornate moldings are almost gone. And of course, it is a cheap propaganda trick in Armenian circles to call the church built by the Armenians in 1742 and bearing Armenian inscriptions a church.
It should be noted that according to the 1954 Hague Convention “On the Protection of Cultural Values in the Event of Armed Conflict”, its 1954 Supplement and the 1999 Protocols, it is prohibited to use the cultural value defined by the convention for military purposes.
Article 6 of the Second Hague Protocol of 1999 prohibits transforming cultural values into military objects or using them for purposes that could expose them to the risk of being destroyed or damaged. And according to points c and d of Article 15 of the Second Protocol, such an act is qualified as a war crime. When cultural heritage is used for military purposes, it is deprived of its additional protection defined by the convention above and becomes civilian property.