Self-Defense of the Village of Karintak, Artsakh

There is a small village near the city of Shushi in Artsakh called Karintak. Translated from Armenian, the name of the village means “under the stone”. And this village is indeed located in a mountainous area directly under the rock on which Shushi is located.

Several hundred residents of the village became famous during the years of the Karabakh war. They did not leave their native homes despite the fact that they were regularly bombarded with bullets, burning tires, and stones directly from above, from the city of Shushi.

Karintak was clearly visible from Shushi. People were afraid to leave their houses. It was dangerous to even approach the windows. But the villagers not only did not leave their homes but also defended themselves, sometimes to death. Old men, children, and women stood shoulder to shoulder with the men of the village who organized heroic self-defense.

On January 26, 1992, large forces of Azerbaijanis attacked this small, strategically located village. The battle for Karintak lasted two days and led to the defeat of the Azerbaijani troops commanded by the then Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan.

Having lost a whole battalion and 123 soldiers, the Azerbaijanis were forced to retreat from the village. Armenians lost 22 people – most of them were residents of Karintak. Residents of nearby villages of Shosh, Syznek, Skhnakh, and Karmir Gyugh also came to the aid of Karintak residents…

Karintak’s legendary self-defense is often compared to Musa Ler’s (Musa Dagh) defense. “Karintak demonstrated that it is possible to win under unbearable conditions, doing what would seem impossible. Karintak also led us to a glorious victory in Shushi,” said Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, head of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

In fact, it was the victory in Karintak that showed that the one who defends his home, his hearth, his family wins the war. And this wonderful victory raised the heroic spirit of the Karabakh people who realized that they should fight for their land…

Today, more than 650 people live in the heroic village of Karintak.

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