The resettlement on conquered territories of Azerbaijan was a government-level priority in Armenia and a gross violation of international humanitarian law. Numerous evidences are provided in the 2016 Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's report
titled "Illegal Economic and Other Activities in The Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan".
The document writes that Armenia provided more than a half of occupation regime's budgetary spending from its State budget; that included sustaining the puppet regime and driving illegal activities in the occupied territories. Technical, material and other expertise for projects in these territories was funded from the budgets of Armenia's various ministries, the Ministry of Diaspora one of them.
Backing the resettlement policy was one of the critical items. A large amount of funding is provided by Armenian diaspora entities, foreign private investors, mostly of Armenian origin, and from charity non-profit organizations, like the US-based Tufenkian Foundation, Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), Cherchian Family Foundation and others.
For instance, Armenia-founded and controlled Hayastan All-Armenian Fund designed and implemented a special "Re-population of the villages of Artsakh" project
(occupited territories of Azerbaijan).
It was not only the lands of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Azerbaijan SSR Armenians claimed that the newcomers settled in, but they also moved to Azerbaijani districts occupied back in 1990s, which had never seen Armenian population before.
The districts of Lachin, Kalbajar, Qubadli, Zangilan, and Jabrayil were settled at an accelerated pace.
The final goal of such policy was to maintain the status-quo, create a new demographic situation in the occupied lands, erase Azerbaijan's historical heritage, and ultimately preclude the return of the indigenous Azerbaijani population to these territories.
A scheme of subsidies and incentives has been put in place to encourage Armenian settlers to move to the occupied territories. Various methods were used, including provision of allowances, mainly related to discounted or free utilities, free construction materials etc. People were motivated by low or zero taxe rates, attractive employment opportunities, free provision of housing/apartments, land plots and other material assistance.
Another incentives package included promotion of private entrepreneurship, lump-sum allowances, agricultural grants, loans, cattle etc. The processing and market sale of agricultural produce procured from farmers operating in the occupied territories were not subject to taxation.
The report writes with a reference to Armenian media
that some 3 billion Armenian drams ($5.8 million) were allocated to provide the settlers with construction materials between 2012 and 2015. In 2015 alone, some 350 million drams ($673,000) were allocated for those purposes.
Special social programmes, mainly in the form of one-time financial assistance for each newborn child, were in place to boost birth rates across the occupied territories.
Referring to Guardian's article
dated 2014, the report writes that a family received approximately $234 for the first child, $484 for the second, $1217 for the third and $1732 for the fourth child. Families with six children received a free house.
The settlers signed a contract, whereunder they were granted "legal ownership" of properties they received at no cost on condition that they live there for at least 10 years.
If until 2005 potential settlers were receiving information from their family members and friends who had previously settled in the occupied territories, since 2010 recruitment of settlers from within Armenia and abroad has become more organized and massive in scale, with TV channels in Armenia backing this policy by advertising privileges available and professions needed on spot.
Referring to a representative of the unrecognized "NKR" Armenian news portal Hetq
reported in June 2007 that back in 2001, a 10-year strategic plan was adopted aimed at resettling a total of 36,000 people. This plan included the construction of 10,000 apartments, 200 schools, medical facilities, irrigation channels, roads etc. It allocated as much as $120 million to that end.
According to other Armenian media, various resettlement programs resulted in 7263 families (18,500 people) being settled in the occupied territories between 1994 and 2004. By 2011, some 25,000 - 30,000 people were reportedly living there.
Armenia was also resorting to other tricks to boost the growth of population, like granting the new and existing settlements geographic names with clear historical connotations (like "New Cilicia", "Van" etc.), trying thereby to draw historical parallels, exploit sentiments, and encourage more Armenians to move to the occupied territories.
Armenian media reports and other sources confirm that almost all native toponyms of historical Azerbaijani places in the occupied territories were altered in yet another clear sign of Armenia's annexationist aspirations and purposeful efforts aimed at destroying Azerbaijani historical and cultural heritage in the occupied territories.