The armed aggression against Azerbaijan and occupation of the one-fifth of its territories that lasted almost for 30 years severely damaged the socio-economic sphere of Azerbaijan. It led to large numbers of casualties and ethnic cleansing of the occupied territories from all Azerbaijanis thus leaving deep marks on the minds of the country population. It resulted in extensive destruction of physical infrastructure, disruption of economic and social networks, supply chains, illegal exploitation and pillaging of natural resources.
The total destruction and damage, in particular full breakdown of urban systems in the territories subjected to occupation is shocking.
According to evaluations made yet in 2019, 900 settlements, 150,000 houses, 7093 public buildings including 1107 education facilities, 855 kindergartens, 521 healthcare facilities, 4 sanatorium and treatment facilities, 927 libraries, 706 historical monuments, 22 museums, more than 100,000 museum exhibits, 12 state archives and 401,000 files of state archive documents were destroyed, pillaged and plundered. In addition, over 4,300 private houses and apartment buildings and 548 other civilian objects were either destroyed or damaged as a result of direct and indiscriminate attacks carried out by the armed forces of Armenia between 27 September and 9 November 2020.
2000 km long gas pipelines, 34 gas distribution facilities, 76940 km of electricity lines and 7586 km of water pipelines, 598 communication facilities, 3052 km communication lines, 28980 km of cable facilities and 325.8 km of railroads were destroyed, pillaged and plundered.
There are a wide range of reports on notorious stripping of scrap metals, pipes, bricks and other construction materials from the Azerbaijani households and public buildings, abandoned in early 1990s by fleeing Azerbaijani population.
Armenia dismantled and demolished buildings, houses and other facilities both for private gain and for supporting the prolongation of the occupation of these territories and preventing the return of expelled Azerbaijani population to their homes. As part of this policy, it also used the appropriated construction materials for houses built for illegally settled Armenians.
Socio-economic consequences of Armenia’s aggression are not only limited to the above-mentioned facts of destruction, pillaging and plundering. Armenia’s aggression also caused socio-economic losses for Azerbaijan due to deprivation of the country of the productive factors located in its occupied territories. Azerbaijan was unable to use these factors for its socio-economic development for decades.
For instance, the territories of Azerbaijan subjected to occupation had mineral water bottling plants (the Tursh Su and Isti Su in the Kalbajar district), factories producing Karabakh and Aghdam marbles, sawn stone factories, vineries producing popular and high-quality Aghdam wines and other wine products. Moreover, dairying, weaving mill, shoe factory, Karabakh silk complex and other enterprises were also operating in the territories of Azerbaijan subjected to occupation. More than 50 branches of Baku-based companies and over 300 industrial and construction sites remained in the occupied part of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan has always been well known for cultivation of grape, wheat and other agricultural crops that played a predominant role in the food provision to the population of the country. Before the aggression, 14.3% of grain, 31.5% of grapes, 14.5% of meat, 17.1% of milk, 19.3% of wool and 17% of silkworm were produced in the territories of Azerbaijan subjected to the occupation of Armenia (185 000 ha of cultivated areas and 645 000 ha arable lands remained under occupation).
Over 300 agricultural enterprises, the Aghdam horse farms breeding the well-known Karabakh pedigree horses, hundreds of other collective and inter-farm enterprises, over 7000 hydraulic pumps, 40 pumping stations, more than 30 irrigation systems, 1200 km of inter-farm irrigation channels were destroyed in the occupied territories.