Forty-five Afghan war veterans are on a hunger strike in Makhachkala, the capital of the Russian Republic of Daghestan, demanding improved housing conditions.
The Nagorno-Karabakh war left thousands in Azerbaijan with lasting scars — both physical and psychological. For many of the loved ones of disabled veterans, being a carer is a full-time task. But carers say they receive little support, and they must get by on the small disability benefits available.
Daghestan’s minister of labour and social affairs has come under fire for failing to spend money meant to provide housing for veterans of the war in Afghanistan. At a meeting on Tuesday, Daghestan’s acting Prime Minister, Artyom Zdunov, questioned where the funds had gone. Veterans protested in August over the lack of promised housing.
Despite the veneer of patriarchy and the respect for the elderly, the life of old people in Azerbaijan is hard, especially when they are lonely. With an average pension of $100, they can only hope for help from shelters, kind neighbours, and volunteers.