STEPANAKERT, Nagorno-Karabakh—Stretched on a gurney, a soldier lies wrapped in gauze. Fifty percent of his body is burned, even inside his throat and lungs, says one of the paramedics in the back of the ambulance, which is making a seven-hour drive from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia’s capital Yerevan. War broke out almost one month ago between Azerbaijan and Armenia over a disputed border territory.
The ambulance snuck out of Stepanakert in between air raid sirens, as Azerbaijani shelling of the city picked up again after a six-day break. Only the soldier’s burned lips, a small part of the nose and his burnt eyelashes are showing. His hopes of survival are tied to a beeping respirator and the two paramedics constantly injecting him with morphine and saline solutions.
Reporters have been kept away from soldiers and the direct impact of the war in recent days, but plans scrambled by the reinvigorated shelling of Stepanakert lead to The Daily Beast suddenly finding ourselves in the back of this ambulance, being given an accidental glimpse at the human consequences of the war.