View Full Version : Armenia, Azerbaijan & Nagorno-Karabakh

03-25-2008, 06:17 PM
ICG, 25 Mar 08: Azerbaijan: Independent Islam and the State (http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,ICG,,AZE,,47e90d992,0.html)

Claims that major terrorist acts were foiled in Azerbaijan at the end of 2007 have prompted discussion about the extent to which Islamic extremism is a genuine threat in the oil-rich land. Azerbaijan is a secular state with an overwhelmingly moderate (predominantly Shiite) Muslim population. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union and independence in 1991, independent Sunni and Shiite groups have emerged which refuse the spiritual authority of the official clergy. Some are political, but very few, if any, appear intent on employing violence to overthrow the state. The government, however, expresses concern about these “independents”, and tries to control them, including through repression. Its strategy risks radicalising peaceful activists and believers.....

....The independent communities identified throughout this report do not appear to pose a genuine threat to the government or to a secular way of life. Almost no group in the country can be considered jihadist. The few groups that openly voice a desire to establish an Islamic state lack a significant following and a strategic vision of how to implement their goal. But exaggeration of the Islamic threat has been used to justify repression and control of religious life, which risks leading to politicisation and possible radicalisation of the many more who have suffered from police brutality even if they were originally apolitical and purely religious.....

11-01-2008, 02:03 PM
ICG, 29 Oct 08: Azerbaijan: Defence Sector Management and Reform (http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,ICG,,AZE,,49096ef62,0.html)

....The arms race set off by Baku’s rapidly expanding military budget is dangerous. Nagorno-Karabakh (http://www.silkroadstudies.org/new/inside/publications/1999_NK_Book.pdf) is a simmering conflict – all Azerbaijanis are determined to restore the country’s territorial integrity – not a deep frozen one. It has the potential to destabilise a sensitive region at some point in the next few years far more than the August 2008 events in Georgia. The fundamental need is for all who profess an interest in stability in these areas to take the initiative to ensure that it is diplomacy, not war, that provides the answer to the Nagorno-Karabakh (http://www.esiweb.org/pdf/armenia_ICG_risking_war_Nov2007_187_nagorno_karaba kh___risking_war.pdf) conflict.
ICG, 7 Oct 09: Nagorno-Karabakh: Getting to a Breakthrough (http://www.humansecuritygateway.com/documents/ICG_Azerbaijan_NargornoKarabakh_GettingABreakthrou gh.pdf)

After two decades of conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan and Armenia have moved closer to a preliminary “basic principles” agreement that would create crucial momentum towards an eventual formal peace agreement. Key differences remain, however, regarding the right of return of all displaced, the specifics of Nagorno-Karabakh’s interim status and, especially, a mutually acceptable process for determining its final status. The leaderships of both countries, particularly in Armenia, face significant opposition from political forces that are suspicious or outright opposed to even the broad outlines of a basic principles agreement. Both governments need to do more to counter years of hostile propaganda in their societies. International mediators should reinforce the message that the status quo is not sustainable, given growing instability along the front lines, steady increase in armed skirmishes and dangerous military build-ups in both countries. While the historic move of Armenia and Turkey toward rapprochement after a century of hostility is technically distinct, the processes reinforce each other.

Similar “windows of opportunity” have been missed before, falling victim to public hostility stoked by hostile propaganda and entrenched bitterness on both sides and a mutual lack of political will. This time, a large part of the impetus for progress has come from the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia themselves. Parallel to the efforts at the negotiating table, the Azerbaijani and Armenian leaderships and their international partners should work with the publics to bridge the gap in perceptions of the peace process, so that popular opinion reinforces, rather than challenges the political will of leaders to reach agreements.....

04-27-2010, 11:27 PM
Both states have an unresolved conflict (Nagorno-Karabakh) that doesn't seem to attract decisive international mediation/moderation efforts.

Azerbaijan is (judging by superficial info such as budget and personnel) likely militarily superior and this asymmetry is likely to become more extreme.

Armenia's economy is suffering due tot he poor relations with its neighbours Turkey and Azerbaijan, its difficult geographical situation, the lingering conflict.
Azerbaijan otherwise has easily available revenues from oil exports.

I've heard and read rumour that the conflict could soon become hot again.

Examples include European delegation members returning from Baku and recounting war rhetoric not unlike what was heard a few weeks before Georgia tried to gain control of South Ossetia.

I assume it's worth the effort and time to keep an eye on this. Maybe others can contribute to this thread with info that's beyond google's reach?

06-14-2010, 07:02 PM
MICROCON, 11 June 2010: Engaging Civil Society in the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict: What Role for the EU and its Neighbourhood Policy? (http://www.microconflict.eu/publications/PWP11_LS.pdf)

The conflict over Nagorno Karabakh, opposing Armenia and Azerbaijan, is the longest conflict in the OSCE area and a fundamental security threat to the South Caucasus and surrounding regions, preventing full and inclusive economic development and constraining regional relations. This chapter takes the ENP as a conflict transformation tool and looks at how the EU has used this initiative to reach civil society organisations (CSOs) and improve their performance as peace-builders in this protracted conflict. Building on the theoretical framework presented by Tocci (2008), the chapter assesses EU involvement in the civil society domain, mapping the types of organisations privileged by the EU and the potential impact of their activities on the conflict. It puts forward relevant arguments regarding the suitability of the EUís goals and instruments to the dynamics on the ground and concludes with a categorisation of the EUís approach according to three hypotheses: The Liberal Peace, the Leftist Critique and the Realist hypothesis. It is argues that work with civil society is a crucial part of the EUís approach, despite the difficulties of making such engagement a central part of its peace-building and conflict transformation activities.

02-08-2011, 04:16 PM
ICG, 8 Feb 11: Armenia and Azerbaijan: Preventing War (http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/europe/B60%20Armenia%20and%20Azerbaijan%20Preventing%20Wa r.ashx)

An arms race, escalating front-line clashes, vitriolic war rhetoric and a virtual breakdown in peace talks are increasing the chance Armenia and Azerbaijan will go back to war over Nagorno-Karabakh. Preventing this is urgent. Increased military capabilities on both sides would make a new armed conflict in the South Caucasus far more deadly than the 1992-1994 one that ended with a shaky truce. Neither side would be likely to win easily or quickly. Regional alliances could pull in Russia, Turkey and Iran. Vital oil and gas pipelines near the front lines would be threatened, as would the cooperation between Russia and Turkey that is central to regional stability. Another refugee crisis would be likely.....

08-05-2011, 01:16 PM
From the introduction to an IISS Strategic Comment:
Hopes have been dashed again that Armenia and Azerbaijan might make finally make a breakthrough in their long-standing conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The two countries' presidents left a meeting mediated by Russia's Dmitry Medvedev on 24 June in Kazan, without approving the basic principles for the conflict's resolution. With many recent ceasefire violations in Nagorno-Karabakh and a growing arms race between Armenia and Azerbaijan, this latest failure leaves open the threat of a new war in the region.


04-23-2012, 06:57 PM
The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia is brewing- Azerbaijan is able to spend a lot on its military with oil money, and it does so. The military spending figures grow dramatically.
Reports about the attitudes in Baku are alarming.

This begs the question: are there must-know places (websites, institutions, experts, publications) concerning the conflict and the forces of Azerbaijan and Armenia?
For once, I'd like to know about some obscure region in detail before it blows up and I'm left with lots of 60-minute-educated journalist summaries about it.

04-23-2012, 09:23 PM
Thomas Goltz covered Turkey and the Caucasus as a journalist; he also covered the Karabakh war extensively. Goltz is part foreign correspondent, part scholar, and part madman; his book Azerbaijan Diary is excellent.

04-24-2012, 02:53 PM
This paper (http://www.c-r.org/resources/karabakh-trap-dangers-and-dilemmas-nagorny-karabakh-conflict) is pretty much purpose-built for you.

04-24-2012, 07:35 PM
It's badly lacking maps, mistakes mortars and sniper's (sic!) rifles for sophisticated weapons and is a bit dated, but otherwise fine.

The paper mentions an Armenian-Russian alliance. I guess that's the answer to the lingering question about why the powder keg didn't blow up yet.


04-25-2012, 01:39 AM
It's badly lacking maps, mistakes mortars and sniper's (sic!) rifles for sophisticated weapons and is a bit dated, but otherwise fine.

I come to you with an Anglophone journalist fully fluent in Russian and you complain of his grasp of military science and that he is not a cartographer. You ask too much of me, sir!

There are a couple of (admittedly dinky) maps (http://books.google.com/books?id=pletup86PMQC&lpg=PP1&dq=azerbaijan%20waal&pg=PR16#v=twopage&q&f=true) in his book (http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/50959080). A Google Scholar search for the works citing Black garden in 2011 and 2012 (with peer reviewed content of course having been finalized a couple of years before date of publication) returns this result (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_q=&num=100&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_occt=any&as_sauthors=&as_publication=&as_ylo=2011&as_yhi=2012&cites=10642790505205112018&scipsc=1&as_sdt=1.&as_sdtf=&as_sdts=22&btnG=Search+Scholar&hl=en).

Bill Moore
09-07-2012, 02:25 PM
Posted by Fuchs

The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia is brewing- Azerbaijan is able to spend a lot on its military with oil money, and it does so. The military spending figures grow dramatically.
Reports about the attitudes in Baku are alarming.

You definitely called this one correctly, the recent events over the released Azeri murderer being welcomed home as a hero, promoted, and given back pay have brought the level of hatred between the belligerents out into the open for the rest of us to see.

Assuming this does escalate into a conflict it may have significant regional implications that impacts the U.S., Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Georgia, all of which will have interests they'll use the conflict for to pursue.


No evidence from Safarov's 2006 trial in Budapest suggests either claim is true. But some Azerbaijani observers say the legacy of the Nagorno-Karabakh war and a steady diet of government anti-Yerevan invective have combined to cement an almost pathological hatred of Armenians in the minds of many Azerbaijanis.

"It's not only the Armenian soldiers and officers who are occupying our land that Azerbaijanis consider their enemy," says Baku-based political analyst Zardusht Alizadeh. "It's not only the 'Armenian terrorists' who were killed in the fighting. Because of a very skillfully constructed propaganda campaign, it's all Armenians who are considered the enemy. That's why a man who killed an Armenian in his sleep is automatically categorized as a hero."

This looks like we're reading the prelude to war, and I don't see much hope for a peaceful intervention. Seems to have little to do with economic development issues, although both sides are underdeveloped, and everything to do with honor, fear, and hatred.

04-02-2016, 02:48 PM
Footage recorded by Sputnik Armenia shows heavy armor moving in a column along the streets of Stepanakert, the capital and the largest city of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic, amid the recent escalation in the region.

The situation around Nagorno-Karabakh sharply deteriorated overnight, with
Azerbaijan and Armenia accused each other of starting the fighting.

Video here

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for an end to fighting after clashes broke out in the disputed Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan said 12 of its soldiers had been killed and a helicopter shot down. TV pictures showed a burned out vehicle and craters after gunfire and shelling.

Nagorno-Karabakh has been in the hands of ethnic Armenian separatists since a war that ended in 1994.reports of gun and mortar fire coming from the border with Azerbaijan. Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse each other of provoking the escalation.


04-02-2016, 05:19 PM
What is curious is why this long running dispute, a "frozen" matter since 1994, ignited now.

04-02-2016, 06:56 PM
Energy-rich Azerbaijan, whose military spending has exceeded Armeniaís entire state budget, has repeatedly threatened to take back the breakaway region by force if negotiations fail to yield results. Moscow-backed Armenia says it could crush any offensive.




04-03-2016, 06:40 AM
Russian non linear warfare hard at work and the West does not see it......

Fifth proxy front for Putins Russia. The west is an ostrich w head in sand.

Russia has been stoking conflict between Armenia & Azerbaijan and now Putin calls for ceasefire. His typical pattern of "help" in ex-USSR.

What a coincidence that the same moment EU pipeline is approved, Russian-backed Armenian troops attack Azerbaijan.

What a coincidence Kerry was in Azerbeijan the other day. Did he approve the attack?

Very strange resumption of conflict. Maybe the reason - to prevent a new gas pipeline ?

Map shows conflict spots in post-#Soviet area (+ #Syria), Putin trying to heat up to crash states & restore #USSR

04-03-2016, 01:57 PM
Dangerous turn in Russia/Turkey rivalry: Karabakh fighting escalates via @oijcbrown
http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/198592.aspx …

04-03-2016, 02:33 PM
Turkey to back Azerbaijan 'to the end' in Karabakh conflict
http://caucasus.liveuamap.com/en/2016/3-april-turkey-to-back-azerbaijan-to-the-end-in-karabakh …

A conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh will by definition be a proxy war between Russia and Turkey.

If things go awry in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia can test the equivalent of NATO's article 5 in CSTO treaty.

CSTO chief: Escalation in Karabakh may lead to large-scale conflict

04-03-2016, 04:17 PM
This is in fact a major de facto Russia Turkey proxy war....

Breaking : #Turkey, #Pakistan and #Belarus have offered military assistance to #Azerbaijan -

Next we will hear Article 5 of the CSTO has been triggered and the Russian military is entering the fighting......

04-03-2016, 05:10 PM
Welcome to the new, not-really-new front in the war, not-really-war between Russia and Turkey, not-really-just-Turkey.

04-03-2016, 07:02 PM
A good backgrounder on this dispute and the cold, now hot war:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35954969

04-04-2016, 04:27 PM
Are we heading for a flare-up between #Russia and #Georgia in #SouthOssetia as well?
https://twitter.com/tassagency_en/status/717006928526893056 …

Russian Army TV headline: "South Ossetia has found a way to join Russia"
https://twitter.com/zvezdanews/status/717008516347740161 …

BREAKING: #Azerbaijan says it is prepared to attack #Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno #Karabakh, if fighting continues - Reuters

Drone footage allegedly shows an Azeri strike on an Armenian position in #NagornoKarabakh - @JohnArterbury
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st6bshQjtPU …

MORE: #Azerbaijan's military claims to have used TOS-1 'Heavy Flamethrower System' in combat in #NagornoKarabakh.
http://az.azeridefence.com/azerbaycan-ordusu-ilk-defe-dusmene-qarsi-cehennem-silahini-ise-saldi/ …

Armenia Warns Of ‘Full-Scale War’ (2 hrs ago)

Air Force Freak ‎@AlRFORCEFREAK
#RUAF Il-76 78815 Gvardeyskoye, Crimea -Pskov

Russian-supervised saboteurs plotted bombings in three Ukrainian regions, - Donetsk Pol

04-04-2016, 05:45 PM
If fighting continues Azerbaijani rocket&artillery troops ordered to inflict devastating blows to Stepanakert&other occupied cities

04-04-2016, 05:47 PM
Putin intoxicated by his war cult presses for "referendum" in S.Ossetia
https://twitter.com/ukrainik/status/701268368012083200 …
& war in #Karabakh
https://twitter.com/GorseFires/status/717014821020033024 …

Breaking: Fighting now at the #Armenia-#Azerbaijan border in the #Tavush region.

04-04-2016, 06:17 PM
Russia`s #Putin’s mysterious moving border
http://www.politico.stfi.re/article/vladimir-putins-mysterious-moving-border/?sf=lknzbg …

Another Russian proxy war this time focusing on Turkey........
Turkey President #Erdogan: "#Karabakh will surely be returned to its rightful owner #Azerbaijan one day."

An apparent Azerbaijani drone buzzing near RT correspondent.
BUT WAIT he was just in Palmyra........SO just how did he know to hussle back to Russia to be here now????????

From same RT reporter......
Armenia artillery position minutes before Azerbaijan shells fall
pic.twitter.com/wyAo2TgIE5 http://twitter.com/MuradoRT/status/717046906053124097/video/1 …
http://caucasus.liveuamap.com/en/2016/4-april-armenia-artillery-position-minutes-before-azerbaijan …

Unconfirmed #Azerbaijan use of #Israel Harop #UCAV/loiter munition
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmHCQg5sveA …

04-05-2016, 11:53 AM
I was struck by the usual map the BBC uses which shows Nagorno-Karabakh being an enclave within Azerbaijan, which suggests vulnerability.
Link and a useful update too:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35964213


Then elsewhere I read that the 'frozen' war actually meant Armenia took considerable territory so the enclave was not surrounded.
Link and again a useful commentary:https://theconversation.com/how-war-in-nagorno-karabakh-could-spread-and-become-a-major-problem-for-europe-57241? (https://theconversation.com/how-war-in-nagorno-karabakh-could-spread-and-become-a-major-problem-for-europe-57241?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20 for%20April%205%202016%20-%204616&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20f or%20April%205%202016%20-%204616+CID_02251bff9086dd599188a0e977dea868&utm_source=campaign_monitor_uk&utm_term=How%20war%20in%20Nagorno-Karabakh%20could%20spread%20%20and%20become%20a%20 major%20problem%20for%20Europe)

https://62e528761d0685343e1c-f3d1b99a743ffa4142d9d7f1978d9686.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.c om/files/117330/area14mp/image-20160404-27115-1n4qbuy.jpg

04-12-2016, 07:37 PM
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is too dangerous for both EU and U.S. to ignore >>>
@BryzaMatthew https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/nagorno-karabakh-conflict-is-too-dangerous-to-ignore/2016/04/11/1e32fc44-ff23-11e5-9d36-33d198ea26c5_story.html Ö

04-13-2016, 12:16 PM
The first shows the terrain and the road that links Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh, albeit from one position:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35967341

The second is interesting, the BBC's explanation:
A BBC team visited one of the artillery positions of the Karabakh Army and spoke to the soldiers there

I noted the sleeping quarters are a concrete bunker; the connecting trenches to the artillery positions are very wide and have timber revetments. The artillery - not sure what type - are in freshly dug positions. One soldier says they had only been there a day before being shelled, so I expect the artillery were moved in as the crisis developed.

04-21-2016, 10:47 AM
A non-military article 'What the people of Nagorno-Karabakh think about the future of their homeland' drawing upon a 2013 opinion poll in Nagorno-Karabakh, which provides much of the context. Even if the map shown fails to show the full extent of Azerbaijan's lost territory.
Link:https://theconversation.com/what-the-people-of-nagorno-karabakh-think-about-the-future-of-their-homeland-57535? (https://theconversation.com/what-the-people-of-nagorno-karabakh-think-about-the-future-of-their-homeland-57535?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20 for%20April%2021%202016%20-%204714&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20f or%20April%2021%202016%20-%204714+CID_b4bb031e1800ee938e3b11f74bccbdfc&utm_source=campaign_monitor_uk&utm_term=What%20the%20people%20of%20Nagorno-Karabakh%20think%20about%20the%20future%20of%20the ir%20homeland)

04-24-2016, 12:56 PM
There has been an exchange of artillery and tank fire between #Azerbaijan and #Karabakh forces during last night.

11-16-2016, 12:16 AM
Armenia and Azerbaijan, technically at war over the Nagorno-Karabakh region despite a cease-fire brokered by Russia 22 years ago, are beefing up their arsenals just seven months after the worst fighting in two decades. Armenia has acquired Russian-made Iskander ballistic missiles, while Azerbaijan says it's tested combat drones produced with Israel and is in talks with Pakistan to buy high-tech weapons.
"We have a much more serious arms race," said Zaur Shiriyev, an academy associate at Chatham House in London. "It will significantly increase the chance of future outbreaks."
The rearmament is raising the stakes should tensions flare again between Russian ally Armenia and Azerbaijan, close to NATO member Turkey, after the two neighbors spent almost $27 billion on defense in 2005-2015. The conflict, within striking distance of a BP Plc-led oil pipeline, is once more showing signs of boiling over as talks mediated by Russia and the U.S. run aground and uncertainty mounts after Donald Trump's election as American president.