Still wearing the camouflage fatigues in which he had fought against Azeri forces a week earlier, Arsen, an ethnic Armenian, lit a fire on Saturday under his sister’s dining room table in the small village of Charektar.
As the flames took hold with the help of strips of cardboard, he used a wooden chair to smash the low-slung one-storey house’s windows and bedsheets to try to spread the blaze, which soon consumed the whole house.
“They will already be here tomorrow morning. The Azeris. Screw them. Let them live here, if they can,” he said, as the fire got going.
Next door, grey smoke was rising from what was left of his own house.