It is billed as “four unforgettable days of entertainment.” But some Azerbaijanis wonder whether the most unforgettable aspect of the June 16-19 Formula One Grand Prix Europe, hosted in their capital city, Baku, will be the event’s cost.
The upcoming June 17-19 Formula One race in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, may be another image-booster for the Caspian Sea country’s government. But for many city residents, the race is associated with potential hassles, including persistent gridlock and air pollution.
For several days in early April, Azerbaijani villages near the frontline with Nagorno-Karabakh were hit by shells during the escalated fighting between Azerbaijani troops and combined forces of Armenia and separatist Nagorno-Karabakh.
Officials with Azerbaijan said more than 162 homes were damaged or destroyed during the shelling in the frontline villages of the Tartar region.
A tenuous ceasefire may still be holding in Nagorno-Karabakh, but civilians living in the conflict zone remain traumatized, with many being forced to relive painful decades-old memories of loss and displacement.