At the Hakari river checkpoint, crowds began forming as they watched the road that cuts through the mountains, the Lachin Corridor.
They were waiting for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, now refugees leaving their homes for the last time.
The first refugees arrived in ambulances: the wounded, who could not receive sufficient medical care in Karabakh.
Then, they came in cars, in small numbers, with belongings hastily packed, sometimes in sacks tied to the roof.
A handful of cars which drove past were speckled with bulletholes, scars of this conflict, or perhaps the one before.
As of Sunday night, some 377 Karabakh refugees had arrived in Armenia, fleeing the region in fear of ethnic cleansing after Azerbaijan claimed victory in its large-scale offensive over the past week.
They were taken to Goris, the largest town near the border, where they were given food, water and shelter. For the people of Karabakh, these have been in short supply as of late.
Outside the centre where refugees are processed, Benik, who is 73, smokes the first cigarette he has had in months.
As Karabakh has been blockaded, they too were in short supply. He is from a village in Martakert, where he has lived his whole life.
But now, it is too dangerous: “For two full days, the Azeris were bombing us non-stop. We had to go.”
In leaving Karabakh, he has left everything he knows.
“In my own home I could keep up to 10 families safe. Here, what am I supposed to do? I’ve left everything behind,” he says.
Benik, like many others, held no hope for future peace.
“We’ve had three wars back to back with Azerbaijan,” he says.
“They killed our kids, we killed theirs. How can you expect there will ever be peace? We can’t even be neighbours.”
Many Karabakh residents have existed completely at the mercy of Azerbaijan which, over the summer, began a blockade and stopped food and medicine reaching the capital, Stepanakert.
The blockade is the reason that one man, Nairi Chapanyan, could not return home.
From Armenia, he joined a crew to help rebuild Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, after the 2020 war. But when the blockade began, he was not allowed to leave and he spent nearly a year there.
He describes attacks by the Azeris in which children were injured and speaks of villages near his home where the wounded men were decapitated.
“This I have seen with my own eyes,” he says. He adds that he longs to defend Armenia: “All you feel is pride to defend your own country. The homeland is the sweetest thing.”
Angela, in her 40s, knows this feeling well. She worked in the military, as a communications officer.
Born in Armenia, she visited Karabakh with her work. “As soon as I arrived in Artsakh, I felt like I was home,” she says, adding that she lived there for six years.
Uncertain of the direction her life will now take, she hopes to one day rejoin the army and wants to move to Vardenis, a town on the shores of Lake Sevan, where there is a military base.
“But I am worried that I might be too old,” she admits, her voice shaking.
The buses that arrive in Goris are followed by a truck driven by Russian peacekeepers.
Their presence in Karabakh was intended to ensure fighting did not restart, and the Karabakh Armenians were protected. They have not fulfilled their duties.
On Sunday, Nikol Pashinyan, Armenia’s prime minister,said that his country’s foreign security alliances were “ineffective” and “insufficient”.
Some refugees move on from Goris, to families who can take them in. But many more will have nowhere to go.
The town is preparing for an exodus from Karabakh, trying to help in any way they can.
An exclave of ethnic Armenians inside Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh has seen two wars.
The first was between 1988-1994 and ended in a decisive victory for Armenia, which captured not only Karabakh but the seven surrounding provinces, which connected it to Armenia. The provinces are collectively known by Armenians as Artsakh.
In 2020, Azerbaijan started another war, to reclaim Karabakh. Over two decades later, its army was unrecognisable - far stronger after years of military spending funded by oil wealth. This provided a crushing defeat, taking back the provinces surrounding Karabakh.
Nagorno-Karabakh continued to be governed independently, connected to Armenia by the Lachin Corridor, guarded by Russian peacekeepers. But many believed it was only a matter of time before Azerbaijan tried to take back Karabakh as well, despite the 120,000 Armenians who lived there.
In Goris, Aida Avagyan, who runs a small B&B, says she is preparing to host refugees. She knows all too well the pain of those who will soon arrive, having lost her home in Aghavno, a village in the provinces outside Karabakh, in 2020.
She had bought a house in a village with her husband, with a small greenhouse. Here, they would grow cucumbers, tomatoes and courgettes. And even when he was on the front lines, in the war of 2020, he would call her and remind her to check on the vegetables. But one day, he stopped calling. He and his entire unit had been killed.
One of her guests, Ani, is a woman from Stepanakert. Rather than fleeing, she is trying to get back. She left for Yerevan in mid-September, taking her ten year old grandson, who has cancer, for treatment.
But when the fighting started, she could not return. She wants to go back to get her son, who no longer makes sense when they speak on the phone: “He served twenty eight years, he saw many young men die. I think he has lost his mind,” she says.
Ani may hope to return to Karabakh, even if it is brief. But many who make their way down the Lachin Corridor believe it is the last time they will make the journey; they could not live in a Karabakh that is governed by Azerbaijan.
Many believe they would not survive in such a place.
“The one thing to remember about Azerbaijan is that it always deceives,” Angela says. “In the whole nine months of the blockade, they’ve brought a single truck of humanitarian aid. And with it, they brought death. All they know how to do is to kill.”