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Now the Russians have left, and the Soviet Union has disappeared. But the fighting in Karabakh continues, and the death toll rises. The suffering is indiscriminate, with innocent civilians afflicted as often as warriors. Last week, as rockets could be heard falling once again on Stepanakert a few miles away, a small plane landed to evacuate wounded to Yerevan, the Armenian capital. A stretcher bearing a woman in her 50s, her face scarred and swollen, was lifted aboard. She had lost both her legs to a GRAD missile the night before. Her husband, pale and exhausted, said nothing as he bent down to dab her lips with a moist cloth. After takeoff, the plane rose level with the white tops of the mountains that define Karabakh. The sounds of a war in progress fell away, replaced by the soft moan of one more of its victims.