FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — Images of war; not of violence on the battlefield, or the wounded in a hospital, or debris left in the wake of a cluster bomb. They are images of a family sheltering underground to save their lives. Images captured by photojournalist Ryan Tellalian of Fresno.
KSEE24 first spoke to Tellalian a week ago on the eve of his journey into Armenia. He traveled there to document the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno Karabakh– and the toll it’s taking on the Armenian people. He spoke to us from his hotel room in Stepanakert, Nagorno Karabakh’s capital city.
“There are a lot of people that have fled,” Tellalian says. “They have gone to Armenia– women and children especially. The men who can fight are on the front lines or are in service.”
Tellalian says he’s seen much damage in Stepanakert. Buildings and cars destroyed. Yet life goes on. Even a wedding in the city of Shushi. The bride in a gown and the groom in fatigues.
“They are still hopeful. And they are still remaining as strong as they can,” says Tellalian.
While Azerbaijan has received military support from Turkey and others, Tellalian says the Armenians recognize they are fighting this battle alone. But he says they are resolved to win and preserve this territory for its predominantly Armenian population.
“They just want to be heard. They want people to hear their cry for peace,” he says.