RETURN TO KARABAKH
A survey of internally displaced persons (IDP) by the Social Research Center was conducted following the start of the counter-military operations by the Azerbaijani army against Armenian armed forces. There were several objectives of the survey; a) to explore expectations about the outcome of the war; b) to find out the plans of displaced families to return to their liberated lands, as well as their attitudes toward Armenians and living together with Armenians in the future; c) attitudes to the Azerbaijani army and military strategy of the state.
The survey was conducted by computer-assisted telephone interviewing technique (CATI) with 464 displaced families living in the Gobu settlement between 9-13 October, 2020. The key findings are presented;
• Against the backdrop of Armenia's ongoing military provocations, almost a year ago, 57.3% of respondents expected a wider war to begin in 2020, while 42.7% did not.
• The main subjective reasons cited by the respondents for the large-scale counter-offensive of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are: military provocations committed by Armenians in the last 3 months (57.3%); Approximately a year ago, The quote of "Karabakh is Armenia" by the Prime Minister of Armenia rendered talks useless (48.5%); Azerbaijani people's increasing demand for the liberation of occupied lands as soon as possible (46.3%).
• 62.1% of respondents think that counter-attacks was launched just on time, whereas 33.4% feel that counter-attacks were bit too late.
• The majority of respondents (96.3%) feel that it was impossible to return the lands through negotiations with Armenians.
• The following factors are mentioned as reasons for the failure of negotiations with Armenia over the past 28 years: The lack of interest of global powers in solving the problem (69%); Ineffectiveness of the OSCE Minsk Group (57.1%); The continuing aggression policy of the Armenia (72.7%).
• The majority of IDP respondents (84.1%) want the war to resume. Only 13.2% of respondents expressed the opposite opinion.
• 97.9% of respondents whose lands have already been freed always believed that all occupied lands will be liberated in the near future.
• The majority of IDPs (97.5%) whose lands have not been freed yet believe in liberation have this hope.
• 93.8% of respondents believe that all territories will be liberated in the near future.
• Most of the respondents (95.9%) believe that the Azerbaijani army will restore our territorial integrity without the support of any foreign state.
•83.2% of the respondents plan to return to the liberated areas with all of their family members.
• Almost all IDPs surveyed (99%) said that the liberation of their lands gave them optimism and an enthusiasm of returning home.
• The half of the respondents (51.1%) keep the keys / documents of their house in the occupied territories while 48.9% do not.
• While 86% of respondents have watched pictures (photos, videos, etc.) of the once-occupied, but currently liberated territories, 13% have not seen these images. Among those to have seen clips, the vast majority (91%) who assess the infrastructure poor believe that the Armenian government has always been reluctant to invest in these areas because of their hopelessness of maintaining territories for long-term. As the second reason, 62% of respondents felt that Armenia did not have enough financial means to develop all the occupied territories under its control.
• Although 72% of respondents view the coexistence with the Armenian population in Karabakh possible, 14% believe that this will only be possible after quite some time.
• One in 20 respondents (5.2%) think that the coexistence between these two population groups is possible in the future, as they have lived with Armenians in those lands before.
• 90.3% of respondents said that they would not live with Armenians in those lands in the future, while about 8% of respondents expressed possibility of living with them.
• Attitudes towards both the Armenian people (99.4) and the Armenian state (99.4%) are unequivocally negative. 4.5% of respondents hold a neutral attitude towards the Armenian people.
• The majority of respondents (97.8%) believe that the war has strengthened the unity of the People's Commander-in-Chief. 96.6% of respondents believe that the war has strengthened the unity of the people and the army. 95.5% of respondents think that war strengthens national unity, whereas 56.7%, said that the war had strengthened the unity of the government and the opposition. 19.4% either preferred no to respond or did not know how to respond.