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Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

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Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Part of Post-Soviet conflicts
Artsakh Occupation Map.png
Military situation in the region before the 2020 crisis
Date20 February 1988 – present
Location
Result

Decisive Armenian military victory in 1994[14]

Territorial
changes
De facto independence of Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) and de facto unification with Armenia[22]
Belligerents
 Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)[a]
 Armenia[b]
Foreign fighters
Arms suppliers
Diplomatic support
 Azerbaijan[c]
 Soviet Union (1988–1991)[d]
Foreign fighters
Arms suppliers
Diplomatic support
Units involved
Army Artsakh.jpg Artsakh Defence Army
Armmil zinanshan.jpg Armed Forces of Armenia
Coat of arms of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.png Azerbaijani Armed Forces
Strength
2018: 65,000 (active servicemen)[23][e]
1993–1994: 30,000–40,000[26][27]
2019: 66,950 (active servicemen)[28]
1993–1994: 42,000–56,000[27][26][29]
Casualties and losses
28,000–38,000 killed (1988–1994)[34]
3,000 killed (May 1994 – August 2009)[35]
541–547+ killed (2010–2019)[36]
1,132+ killed (2020)[37]

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict[f] is an ethnic[42][43] and territorial[38] conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, inhabited mostly by ethnic Armenians,[44][45][46][47] and seven surrounding districts, inhabited mostly by Azerbaijanis until their expulsion during the Nagorno-Karabakh War,[48][49] which are de facto controlled by the self-declared Republic of Artsakh, but are internationally recognized as de jure part of Azerbaijan. The conflict has its origins in the early 20th century, though the present conflict began in 1988, when the Karabakh Armenians demanded that Karabakh be transferred from Soviet Azerbaijan to Soviet Armenia. The conflict escalated into a full-scale war in the early 1990s.

A ceasefire signed in 1994 provided for two decades of relative stability, which significantly deteriorated along with Azerbaijan's increasing frustration with the status quo, at odds with Armenia's efforts to cement it.[50] A four-day escalation in April 2016 became the deadliest ceasefire violation until the 2020 crisis.[51]

Background

The modern phase of the conflict began in February 1988. During the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1989, ethnic tensions between Armenians and Azerbaijanis increased in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. As of 2017, public opinion on both sides has been noted as "increasingly entrenched, bellicose and uncompromising".[50] In this context, mutual concessions that might lower tensions in the long term could, in the short term, threaten internal stability and the survival of ruling elites, hence leaving little incentive for compromise.[50]

Timeline

Nagorno-Karabakh War (1988–1994)

Graves of Azerbaijani soldiers

The Nagorno-Karabakh War, also known as the Artsakh Liberation War in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, was an armed conflict that took place in the late 1980s to May 1994, in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in southwestern Azerbaijan, between the majority ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh backed by the Republic of Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. As the war progressed, Armenia and Azerbaijan, both former Soviet Republics, entangled themselves in a protracted, undeclared war in the mountainous heights of Karabakh as Azerbaijan attempted to curb the secessionist movement in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The enclave's parliament had voted in favor of uniting with Armenia. A referendum, boycotted by the Azerbaijani population of Nagorno-Karabakh, was held, whereby most of the voters voted in favor of independence. The demand to unify with Armenia, which began anew in 1988, began in a relatively peaceful manner. As the Soviet Union's dissolution neared, the tensions gradually grew into an increasingly violent conflict between ethnic Armenians and ethnic Azerbaijanis. Both sides made claims of ethnic cleansing and pogroms conducted by the other.[52][53]

Photos of fallen Armenian soldiers in Stepanakert, Nagorno Karabakh

Inter-ethnic clashes between the two broke out shortly after the parliament of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) in Azerbaijan voted to unify the region with Armenia on 20 February 1988. The circumstances of the dissolution of the Soviet Union facilitated an Armenian separatist movement in Soviet Azerbaijan. The declaration of secession from Azerbaijan was the final result of a territorial conflict regarding the land.[54] As Azerbaijan declared its independence from the Soviet Union and removed the powers held by the enclave's government, the Armenian majority voted to secede from Azerbaijan. In the process they proclaimed the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh.[55]

Full-scale fighting erupted in the late winter of 1992. International mediation by several groups, including the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), failed to bring resolution. In the spring of 1993, Armenian forces captured territory outside the enclave itself, threatening to catalyze the involvement of other countries in the region.[56] By the end of the war in 1994, the Armenians were in full control of most of the enclave and also held and currently control approximately 9% of Azerbaijan's territory outside the enclave.[57] As many as 230,000 Armenians from Azerbaijan and 800,000 Azerbaijanis from Armenia and Karabakh have been displaced as a result of the conflict.[58][59] A Russian-brokered ceasefire was signed in May 1994, leading to diplomatic mediation.[60]

Some clashes occurred in the years following the 1994 ceasefire.[61]

Border clashes (1994–2020)

The situation in the area after the 1994 ceasefire

The 2008 Mardakert clashes began on 4 March after the 2008 Armenian election protests. It involved the heaviest fighting between ethnic Armenian[62] and Azerbaijani forces[63] over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh[63][64] since the 1994 ceasefire after the Nagorno-Karabakh War.

Armenian sources accused Azerbaijan of trying to take advantage of ongoing unrest in Armenia.[65] Azerbaijani sources blamed Armenia, claiming that the Armenian government was trying to divert attention from internal tensions in Armenia.[65]

Following the incident, on March 14 the United Nations General Assembly by a recorded vote of 39 in favour to 7 against adopted Resolution 62/243, demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Armenian forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.[66]

2010 violence

The 2010 Nagorno-Karabakh clash was a scattered exchange of gunfire that took place on February 18 on the line of contact dividing Azerbaijani and the Karabakh Armenian military forces. Azerbaijan accused the Armenian forces of firing on the Azerbaijani positions near Tap Qaraqoyunlu, Qızıloba, Qapanlı, Yusifcanlı and Cavahirli villages, as well as in uplands of Agdam Rayon with small arms fire including snipers.[67][68] As a result, three Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and one wounded.[69]

The 2010 Mardakert clashes were a series of violations of the Nagorno-Karabakh War ceasefire. They took place across the line of contact dividing Azerbaijan and the ethnic Armenian military forces of the unrecognized but de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Both sides accused the other of violating the ceasefire regime. These were the worst violations of the cease-fire (which has been in place since 1994) in two years and left Armenian forces with the heaviest casualties since the Mardakert clashes of March 2008.[70]

Between 2008 and 2010, 74 soldiers were killed on both sides.[71]

2011–2013 continued fighting

In late April 2011, border clashes left three Nagorno-Karabakh soldiers dead,[72] while on 5 October, two Azerbaijani and one Armenian soldier were killed.[73] In all during the year, 10 Armenian soldiers were killed.[74]

The following year, border clashes between the armed forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan took place from late April through early June. The clashes resulted in the deaths of five Azerbaijani and four Armenian soldiers. In all during 2012, 19 Azerbaijani and 14 Armenian soldiers were killed.[75] Another report put the number of Azerbaijani dead at 20.[61]

Throughout 2013, 12 Azerbaijani and 7 Armenian soldiers were killed in border clashes.[75]

2014 clashes and helicopter shootdown

In 2014, several border clashes erupted that had resulted in 16 fatalities on both sides by 20 June.[76]

On 2 August, Azerbaijani authorities announced that eight of their soldiers had been killed in three days of clashes with NKO forces, the biggest single death toll for the country's military since the 1994 war.[77] NKO denied any casualties on their side, while saying the Azerbaijanis had suffered 14 dead and many more injured.[77] Local officials in Nagorno-Karabakh reported at least two Armenian military deaths in what was the largest incident in the area since 2008.[78] Five more Azerbaijani troops were killed the following night, bringing the death toll from the August clashes to at least 15. The violence prompted Russia to issue a strong statement, warning both sides not to escalate the situation further.[79]

By August 5, 2014, the fighting that started on 27 July had left 14 Azerbaijani and 5 Armenian soldiers dead. Overall, 27 Azerbaijani soldiers had died since the start of the year in border clashes.[80]

In a separate incident in July 2014, the NKR Defense Army announced that troops had killed one and arrested two members of an Azerbaijani subversive group that had penetrated the contact line.[81] In addition to spying on Armenian troop movements and military installations and civilian settlements in Karvachar (Kelbajar), the team was charged with the murder of Smbat Tsakanyan, a seventeen-year-old Armenian boy and resident of the village of Jumen. Both surviving members of the group were sentenced to life in prison by an Armenian court. In July 2015, video footage recorded by the team was released to the public and aired on Armenian state television.[82]

On November 12, 2014, the Azerbaijani armed forces shot down a Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army Mil Mi-24 helicopter over Karabakh's Agdam district. Three servicemen were killed in the incident. Armenia's Defense Ministry stated the aircraft was unarmed and called its downing an "unprecedented provocation". Azerbaijani authorities claimed the helicopter was "trying to attack" Azerbaijani army positions.[83] Armenian authorities stated that Azerbaijan will face "grave consequences".[84] With the crash, 2014 became the deadliest year for Armenian forces since the 1994 ceasefire agreement, with 27 soldiers killed in addition to 34 fatalities on the Azerbaijani side.[85] Six Armenian civilians also died in 2014, while by the end of the year the number of Azerbaijanis killed rose to 39 (37 soldiers and 2 civilians).[61]

2015 sporadic fighting

In 2015, 42 Armenian soldiers and 5 civilians were killed as border clashes continued.[86] In addition, at least 64 Azerbaijani soldiers also died.[87][88]

Sporadic fighting primarily took place in: January,[89] June,[90] August,[91] September,[92][93] November[94] and throughout December.[88][95]

Over the years, Azerbaijan had been growing impatient with the status quo. In this regard, propelled by oil and gas windfall, the country embarked in a military build-up. In 2015 alone, Baku spent $3bn on its military, more than Armenia's entire national budget.[50]

Early 2016 clashes

Throughout January and February 2016, four Armenian and four Azerbaijani soldiers were killed in fighting at the Nagorno-Karabakh border.[96] The first casualty of 2016 was a Nagorno-Karabakh soldier Aramayis Voskanian, who was killed by Azerbaijani sniper fire while serving in the eastern direction of the Line of Contact.[97][98] In mid-February, Hakob Hambartsumyan, an Armenian herdsman from Vazgenashen, was killed by an Azerbaijani sniper.[99] In March, two Azerbaijani and one Armenian soldier were killed in clashes along the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia.[100][101]

2016 April conflict

Between 1 and 5 April 2016, heavy fighting along the Nagorno-Karabakh frontline left 88 Armenian and 31–92 Azerbaijani soldiers dead. One Armenian and three Azerbaijani soldiers were also missing. In addition, 10 civilians (six Azerbaijani and four Armenian) were also killed.[102][103] During the clashes, an Azerbaijani military helicopter and 13 unmanned drones were shot down[104] and an Azerbaijani tank was destroyed.[105]

2016–2017 renewed border clashes

Between 8 and 17 May 2016, sporadic fighting left 14 Armenian and three Azerbaijani soldiers dead, as well as one Azerbaijani civilian.[106][107] On 5 October 2016, Armenian artillery shelled Azerbaijani positions on the line of contact with one Azerbaijani soldier being killed.[108] One Armenian soldier was killed on 11 October 2016 in a skirmish on the line of contact.[109] On 15 November, an Azerbaijani soldier was killed on the line of contact.[110] On 27 November, Azerbaijani forces reported shooting down an Armenian drone which had crossed the line of contact.[111]

A Nagorno-Karabakh soldier was killed in action with Azerbaijiani forces on 6 February 2017.[112] On 8 February 2017, one Nagorno-Karabakh soldier was killed and another wounded in a firefight with Azerbajiani troops along the line of contact.[112] On 24 February 2017, Azerbaijani forces shelled the Armenian positions near the village of Talish with artillery.[113] The next day a large firefight broke out with Azerbajiani forces approaching Armenian lines in the same area, 5 Azerbaijani soldiers were killed in the ensuing engagement.[113][114]

On 15 May 2017, a Karabakh Osa air defense system was damaged or destroyed by a guided missile launched by Azerbaijani forces.[115] On 20 May 2017, an Armenian soldier was killed in a firefight with Azeri troops, the Azerbaijani military utilized anti-tank grenades and 60mm mortar fire in the action.[116] On 26 May 2017, a Nagorno-Karabakh soldier was killed in a skirmish with Azerbajiani forces involving mortars and grenade launches.[117][118] On 16 June 2017, three Nagorno-Karabakh soldiers were killed by Azeri forces.[119] On 22 June 2017, four Azeri soldiers were killed by Nagorno-Karakakh soldiers.[120] On July 4 2017, an Azeri woman and her two-year-old grandchild were killed as a result of shelling by Armenian forces.[121] On 10 July 2017, a Nagorno-Karabakh soldier was killed in shelling by the Azerbaijani forces.[122] On 25 July 2017, Azerbaijan claimed that one of its soldiers was wounded by a munition dropped from an Armenian UCAV.[123] On 31 August 2017, Azerbaijani military positions were fired at and shelled at from Armenian military positions. The Armenian military were using large-caliber machine guns.[124]

2018 clashes

A Nagorno-Karabakh soldier was killed by an Azerbaijani sniper near the line of contact on 7 January 2018.[125] A Nagorno-Karabakh soldier was killed by Azerbaijani fire on 7 February 2018.[126] Three civilian volunteers were killed in a demining operation in Nagorno-Karabakh on 29 March 2018.[127] A Nagorno-Karabakh soldier was killed by Azerbaijani fire on 9 April 2018.[128] A Nagorno-Karabakh soldier was killed in a firefight with Azeri forces on 10 June 2018.[129] In September 2018 a soldier of the Armenian Army was killed by Azeri gunfire whilst serving at a border post.[130] In the same month, two Nagorno-Karabakh soldiers were killed by the Azeri army.[131][132]

2020 clashes

Pro-war demonstration in Baku, Azerbaijan, 18 July 2020

Further clashes near Tavush took place in July 2020.[133] Thirteen Azeris, including one civilian, and five Armenians were killed.[134]

In a minor border skirmish on 16 September, one Armenian soldier was killed; [135] five days later, an Azerbaijani soldier was killed.[136]

Resumption of large scale fighting (2020–present)

On 27 September, serious clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh re-erupted, leading to Armenia declaring martial law and mobilization.[137] On the same day, Azerbaijan's Parliament declared a martial law and established curfews in several cities and regions following the clashes.[138] In terms of casualties, the clashes were the worst since the 1994 ceasefire and caused alarm in the international community,[139] with most international actors urging both sides to return to the table and to the United Nations Security Council condemning the resumption of hostilities.[140][141][142][143][144]

Fatalities

1988–1994

An estimated 28,000–38,000 people were killed between 1988 and 1994.[148]

Armenian military fatalities were reported to be between 5,856[149] and 6,000,[30] while 1,264 Armenian civilians were also killed.[149] Another 196 Armenian soldiers[149] and 400 civilians were missing.[150] According to the Union of Relatives of the Artsakh War Missing in Action Soldiers, as of 2014, 239 Karabakhi soldiers remain officially unaccounted for.[151]

Azerbaijan stated 11,557 of its soldiers were killed,[152] while Western and Russian estimates of dead combatants on the Azerbaijani side were 25,000–30,000.[30][153][149] 4,210 Azerbaijani soldiers[150] and 749 civilians were also missing. [150] The total number of Azerbaijani civilians killed in the conflict is unknown, although 167–763 were killed on one day in 1992 by the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh's forces.[154]

1994–2019

Although no precise casualty figures exist, between 1994 and 2009, as many as 3,000 people, mostly soldiers, had been killed, according to most observers.[35] In 2008, the fighting became more intense and frequent.[155] With 72 deaths in 2014, the year became the bloodiest since the war had ended.[61] Two years later, between 1 and 5 April 2016, heavy fighting along the Nagorno-Karabakh front left 91 Armenian (11 non-combat)[156][102] and 94 Azerbaijani soldiers dead, with two missing.[103] In addition, 15 civilians (nine Armenian and six Azerbaijani) were killed.[157][158]

Azerbaijan stated 398 of its soldiers and 31 civilians were killed between 1994 and up to September 2020, right before the start of the 2020 conflict.[159] In comparison, the Caspian Defense Studies Institute NGO reported 1,008 Azerbaijani soldiers and more than 90 civilians were killed between 1994 and 2016.[160]

Year Armenia Azerbaijan Total
2008 N/A N/A 30 soldiers[71]
2009 N/A N/A 19 soldiers[71]
2010 7 soldiers[161] 18 soldiers 25 soldiers[71]
2011 10 soldiers[74] 4+ soldiers,[71][73] 1 civilian[162] 14+ soldiers, 1 civilian
2012 14 soldiers 20 soldiers 34 soldiers[61]
2013 7 soldiers 12 soldiers 19 soldiers[75]
2014 27 soldiers, 6 civilians 37 soldiers, 2 civilians 64 soldiers, 8 civilians[61]
2015 42 soldiers, 5 civilians[86] 64 soldiers[87][88] 77 soldiers, 5 civilians
2016 108–112 soldiers,[163][164] 9 civilians[157] 109 soldiers,[164] 6 civilians[158] 217–221 soldiers, 15 civilians
2017 22 soldiers[165] 19 soldiers[166] 41 soldiers
2018 5–7 soldiers[167][168] 6 soldiers[168] 11–13 soldiers
2019 4 soldiers[169] 6+ soldiers[170][171] 10+ soldiers

2020–present

In the ongoing 2020 fighting, hundreds have so far been killed, primarily soldiers, but also over a hundred civilians.[172]

Between January and September 2020, 16 Azerbaijani[173] and 8 Armenian soldiers,[174] as well as an Azerbaijani civilian, were killed in sporadic clashes.[175] At the end of September 2020, a large-scale conflict erupted. The fighting left 834 Armenian soldiers[176] and 40 civilians dead.[177] 63 Azerbaijani civilians were also killed,[178] while Azerbaijani military losses were not revealed,[179] although the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the deaths of 170 Syrian mercenaries fighting for Azerbaijan.[180]

Foreign involvement

Some commentators see the conflict as a part of the wider Russia–Turkey[181][182][183] and Iran–Israel proxy conflicts.[184]

States

Russia

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on 23 January 2012

Russia is officially neutral and has sought to play the role of a mediator.[185][186][187] In its official statements, Russia calls for a peaceful settlement and restraint during skirmishes.[188] British journalist Thomas de Waal has argued that there is an Azerbaijani narrative that Russia has "consistently supported the Armenian side." According to de Waal, Russia "has more supported the Armenian side," but there have been various "different Russian actors at different times supporting both sides in this conflict." He argues that President Boris Yeltsin did not "want to see the Armenian side be defeated, but he also didn't want to supply them with too many weapons." De Waal concluded in 2012 that "Russia [is] playing both sides", but "ultimately more in the Armenian side."[189] Other commentators have argued that Russia plays both sides in the conflict.[190][191] Svante Cornell argued in 2018 that Russia "had been playing both sides of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict to gain maximum control over both, a policy that continues to this day."[192]

During the war, "Russia was widely viewed as supporting the Armenian position. Much of this perception stemmed from the fact that Russia transferred military support to Armenia."[193] According to Razmik Panossian, Russian forces indirectly supported the Armenian side by "supplying arms, fuel and logistical support."[2] Russia supplied around $1 billion worth of weapons and, thus, "made a vital contribution to the Armenian victory."[1] According to de Waal, "greater Russian support for the Armenians" was one of the main factors behind the Armenian victory.[194] De Waal notes, "Yet it is not entirely clear how this support for the Armenians was translated on to the battlefield; to complicate things further, the Russians also gave some assistance to Azerbaijan."[195]

In the post-war period, Russia is Armenia's main arms supplier and the two countries are military allies.[196][197] Russia is sometimes described as Armenia's supporter in the conflict,[198][199] however, this view is widely challenged as Russia extensively sells arms to Azerbaijan.[39][200][201][202] At the same time, Armenia buys Russian weaponry at a discount, while Azerbaijan pays the full price.[203]

Turkey

Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on 25 February 2020

Turkey is widely considered Azerbaijan's main supporter in the conflict.[204][205][206] Svante Cornell wrote in 1998 that Turkey is the "only country that constantly expressed its support for Azerbaijan."[207] It provided Azerbaijan "active military help" during the war.[208] Turkey also supports Azerbaijan diplomatically.[209][210] Turkish and Azerbaijani armed forces cooperate extensively[211] and regularly hold military exercises.[212][213] Azerbaijan has also bought weapons from Turkey.[214]

Turkey closed its border with Armenia in April 1993 after Armenian forces captured Kalbajar.[215] Prior to that, the border was only open "on demand and only for transferring the humanitarian aid (mainly wheat delivery) to Armenia and for the operation of the weekly Kars-Gyumri train, which had been crossing the Turkish-Armenian border since the days of the Soviet Union."[216] Turkey has repeatedly refused to normalize and establish diplomatic relations with Armenia in solidarity with Azerbaijan over Karabakh.[217][218]

Iran

Iran is officially neutral and has sought to play the role of a mediator,[219] most notably in 1992. In its official statements, Iran calls for a peaceful settlement[220] and restraint during skirmishes.[221] At the same time, Iranian officials have repeatedly reaffirmed their support for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.[g] Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi stated in 2020 that "While respecting the territorial integrity of the Azerbaijan Republic, Iran is fundamentally opposed to any move that would fuel conflict between the two neighbouring countries of the Azerbaijan Republic and Armenia."[227]

During the war, "Iran was domestically torn in devising a policy", but de facto "pursued a policy that combined official neutrality with growing support for Armenia," according to Svante Cornell.[228] Cornell argues that Iran has "pursued policies in the conflict inclined towards Armenia."[207] However, Iran's tacit support for the Armenian side[229][230][231] was limited to economic cooperation.[232][233] Terhi Hakala noted in 1998 that "as a geopolitical counter-weight to Turkey, Iran has strongly supported Armenia, especially by alleviating the effects of the Turkish blockade."[234] Cornell notes that during the war, Iran served as Armenia's "main purveyor of electricity and goods, and once the Armenian conquest of Karabakh had been completed, Iranian trucks began to supply most of the secessionist enclave's needs."[228] According to Bahruz Balayev, "Iran supported the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and gave some humanitarian aid to the [Azerbaijani] refugees, but in the meantime widely cooperates with Armenia and even Karabakh Armenian authorities."[235] Brenda Shaffer wrote that "Iran's cooperation with Armenia and its tacit support in the conflict with Azerbaijan over Karabagh strengthened Yerevan's actual and perceived power and consequently may have lessened its sense of urgency to resolve the conflict."[236]

In 2013, Mohsen Rezaee, who was commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) during the war, claimed that he "personally issued an order [...] for the Republic of Azerbaijan army to be equipped appropriately and for it to receive the necessary training." Rezaee added that "Many Iranians died in the Karabakh War. In addition to the wounded, who were transported to [Iran], many of the Iranian martyrs of the Karabakh War are buried in Baku."[237] In 2011, Hassan Ameli, a leading Iranian cleric, claimed that Iran provided Azerbaijan with arms and helped Afghan mujaheddin move to Azerbaijan.[238][239] The Iranian embassy in Armenia stated that they would not like unreliable information to affect friendly Armenian-Iranian relations: "We do not exclude the possibility that there are forces, which aim to create hindrances for our friendly relations."[240]

United States

Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with Azerbaijani Minister of Defense Zakir Hasanov on 16 February 2017

Thomas Ambrosio suggested in 2000 that the US "supported Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, but enacted policies that effectively supported Armenia's irredentist policies."[241] Sergo Mikoyan argued in 1998 that the US response to the conflict has been "inconsistent, pulled in different directions by the legislative and executive branches of power." Congress was under the influence of the Armenian lobby, while the executive branch (the White House and the State Department) pursued a pro-Azerbaijani policy, which "reflects Turkish influence and the interests of oil companies."[242] Richard C. Longworth and Argam DerHartunian expressed similar views.[243][244]

Congress's pro-Armenian position was expressed in passing the Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act in 1992, which banned any assistance to Azerbaijan. It was effectively amended by the Senate in 2001 and waived by President George W. Bush starting from 2002.[245] The US provides military aid to both countries. Between 2005 and 2016 Azerbaijan received $8.5 million for counternarcotics assistance and $11.5 million for counterterrorism aid. In the same period, Armenia received only $41,000 for counternarcotics assistance and none for counterterrorism aid. According to EurasiaNet, "Much of the money for Azerbaijan has been targeted toward naval forces, to reduce the risk that it could be used against Armenia."[246] The Trump administration greatly increased the US military aid to Azerbaijan to around $100 million in fiscal years 2018–19, compared to less than $3 million in a year in FY 2016–17. The US aid is primarily "offered in the context of U.S. policy to increase pressure on Iran and focuses on Azerbaijan’s Iranian border, but it also has implications for Armenia," according to Emil Sanamyan. In FY 2018, Armenia received $4.2 million in U.S. security assistance.[247]

The US has also provided humanitarian aid to Artsakh (some $36 million between 1998 and 2010),[248] including for demining.[249] The humanitarian aid has been criticized by Azerbaijan for legitimizing the "illegal regime in the occupied lands and damages the reputation of the US as a neutral mediator."[250]

Arms suppliers

In 1992, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) "requested its participating states to impose an embargo on arms deliveries to forces engaged in combat in the Nagorno-Karabakh area." However, it is a "voluntary multilateral arms embargo, and a number of OSCE participating states have supplied arms to Armenia and Azerbaijan since 1992."[251] The UN Security Council Resolution 853, passed in July 1993, called on states to "refrain from the supply of any weapons and munitions which might lead to an intensification of the conflict or the continued occupation of territory." According to SIPRI, "since 2002, the UN Security Council has no longer listed that it is 'actively seized of the matter'. As such, since 2002, it is assumed that the non-mandatory UN embargo is no longer active."[252]

Armenia

Russia has long been Armenia's primary arms supplier. Smaller suppliers include China,[253][254] India,[255][256] Ukraine,[257] Greece,[258][232] Serbia,[259] Jordan (per Armenian MoD sources,[260][261] denied by Jordan).[262] In March 1992, Yagub Mammadov, chairman of Azerbaijani parliament, accused Syria and Lebanon of supplying weapons to Armenia.[263]

Azerbaijan

According to SIPRI, Russia supplied 55% of Azerbaijan's weaponry in 2007–11,[264] 85% in 2010–14[265] and 31% in 2015–19.[266] Israel has become a major supplier[267], accounting for 60% of Azerbaijan's arms imports in 2015–19.[266] Azerbaijan's other suppliers include Turkey,[214] Belarus,[268] Canada (via Turkey),[269] Ukraine,[257][270] Serbia,[271] and Czech Republic[272][273] (denied by the Czech authorities).[274]

Foreign fighters

Several foreign groups fought on both sides in the intense period of fighting in 1992–94. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), both sides used mercenaries during the war, namely "Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian mercenaries or rogue units of the Soviet/Russian Army have fought on both sides."[275]

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan made extensive use of mercenary pilots. According to HRW, "Most informed observers believe that mercenaries pilot most of Azerbaijan's air force."[276]

Several foreign groups fought on the Azerbaijani side: Chechen militants, Afghan mujahideen,[277] members of the Turkish nationalist Grey Wolves,[278] and the Ukrainian nationalist UNA-UNSO.[279][280] The Chechen fighters in Karabakh were led by Shamil Basayev, who later became Prime Minister of Ichkeria (Chechnya), and Salman Raduyev.[281] Basayev famously participated in the battle of Shusha in 1992.[281][282] Saudi-born Ibn al-Khattab may have also joined them.[283] The Afghan mujaheddin were mostly affiliated with the Hezb-e Islami, led by Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.[284][285] According to HRW, they were "clearly not motivated by religious or ideological reasons" and were, thus, mercenaries.[285] The recruitment of Afghan mujaheddin, reportedly handled by paramilitary police chief Rovshan Javadov, was denied by Azerbaijani authorities.[285][286] They first arrived to Azerbaijan in fall 1993 and numbered anywhere between 1,500 to 2,500[285] or 1,000 and 3,000.[287] Armenia alleged that they were paid for by Saudi Arabia.[284] Afghan mujaheddin constituted the most considerable influx of foreign fighters during the war.[287] Some 200 Grey Wolves were still present in the conflict zone as of September 1994 and were engaged in training Azerbaijani units.[288]

Artsakh and Armenia

Some 85 Russian Kuban Cossacks and around 30 Ossetian volunteers fought on the Armenian side.[289][290] In May 2011, a khachkar was inaugurated in the village of Vank in memory of 14 Kuban Cossacks who died in the war.[291] Ossetian volunteers reportedly came from both South Ossetia (Georgia) and North Ossetia (Russia).[292][293] No less than 12 diaspora Armenian volunteers fought and four diaspora fighters died in the war.[294][295] According to David Rieff, members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaks), "including a substantial number of volunteers from the diaspora, did a great deal of the fighting and dying."[296] Former members of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) also participated in the war.[297]

Diplomatic support

Artsakh and Armenia

Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) has received diplomatic recognition[298] and diplomatic support, especially during the 2016 clashes, from three partially recognized states: Abkhazia,[h][299][300] South Ossetia,[i][301] and Transnistria.[j][302]

During the war, Greece adopted a pro-Armenian position[303] and supported it in international forums.[304][232] During the April 2016 and July 2020 clashes, Cyprus condemned Azerbaijan for violating the ceasefire.[305][306]

Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan reportedly told the Greek ambassador in 1993 that France and Russia were Armenia's only allies at the time.[307] According to a US State Department cable released in 2020, the French ambassador to the UN, Jean-Bernard Mérimée, succeeded in changing the wording of the UNSC Resolution 822 to state that it was "local Armenian forces", not "Armenian forces" that occupied Kalbajar. He also suggested treating the Armenian capture of Kalbajar not under Chapter VII of the UN Charter (an act of aggression), but Chapter VI (a dispute that should be settled peacefully).[308]

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has received explicit diplomatic support in the conflict from several countries and international organizations. Azerbaijan's strongest diplomatic supporters are Turkey and Pakistan,[309][310] which is the only UN member state not to have recognized Armenia's independence in support for Azerbaijan.[311] Turkish-backed unrecognized Northern Cyprus (Turkish Cyprus) also supports Azerbaijan.[312] The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)[313] and the Turkic Council[314] have repeatedly supported the Azerbaijani position. Some member states of these organizations, namely Uzbekistan[315] and Saudi Arabia[316] have voiced support for Azerbaijan's position on their own repeatedly. Lebanon, on the other hand, has not supported OIC's pro-Azerbaijani resolutions.[317]

Azerbaijan has received diplomatic support, namely for its territorial integrity, from three post-Soviet states that have territorial disputes: Ukraine,[318] Georgia,[319] and Moldova.[320] These three countries and Azerbaijan form the GUAM organization and support the Azerbaijani position in the format as well.[321] Serbia, with its own territorial dispute over Kosovo, also explicitly supports Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.[322][323][324]

Two other post-Soviet states, Kazakhstan[325] and Belarus[326] tacitly support Azerbaijan's position, especially within the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), despite nominal alliance with Armenia.[327]

Both Palestine[328] and Israel[329][330] have voiced support for Azerbaijan.

2008 UN vote

On March 14, 2008 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution which "reaffirmed Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, expressing support for that country's internationally recognized borders and demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all occupied territories there." It was adopted by a vote of 39 in favor to 7 against, while most countries either abstained or were absent. It was backed mostly by Muslim states[331][332] (31 were members of the OIC).[k] Non-Muslim states that supported the resolution included three post-Soviet states: Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and five other nations: Cambodia, Colombia, Myanmar, Serbia, and Tuvalu. Thus, it was supported by seven OSCE members;[l] one NATO member (Turkey) and no EU member state.[333]

It was opposed by Angola, Armenia, France, India, Russia, United States, Vanuatu.[333] The OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries (France, US, Russia) voted against the resolution. They argued that it "selectively propagates only certain of [the basic] principles to the exclusion of others, without considering the Co-Chairs' proposal in its balanced entirety." The co-chair countries called it a unilateral resolution, which "threatens to undermine the peace process," but reaffirmed their "support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and thus do not recognize the independence of NK."[334]

Ceasefire and international mediation

A Russian-brokered ceasefire was signed in May 1994 and peace talks, mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group (Russia, US, France) have been held ever since by Armenia and Azerbaijan.[60] Azerbaijan has repeatedly accused the Minsk Group (Russia, US, France) of being pro-Armenian.[335][336][337] In 1996, when France was chosen by the OSCE to co-chair the Minsk Group, Azerbaijan asked the OSCE to reconsider the decision because France was perceived by Azerbaijan as pro-Armenian.[338] Svante Cornell argued in 1997 that France, the US and Russia are "more or less biased towards Armenia in the conflict."[339] Askerov and Matyok argued in 2015 that the Minsk Group's policy of preserving the "no war-no peace situation has tremendously supported Armenia’s position."[340] In 2018 Azerbaijan accused the US and France of bias for allowing Bako Sahakyan, president of Artsakh, to visit their countries.[341][342]

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) until 1991.
  2. ^ Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (Soviet Armenia) until 1990 (renamed Republic of Armenia)/1991 (declared independence).
  3. ^ Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (Soviet Azerbaijan) until 1991.
  4. ^ "Throughout the Soviet period, Moscow supported the Azerbaijani authorities against Armenian secessionists."[1] "Until the dissolution of the USSR, the Soviet authorities sided, in general, with Azerbaijan. [...] Soviet troops sent to the conflict area [...] on numerous occasions, took the side of the Azerbaijani forces to 'punish' the Armenians for raising the NK issue."[2] "Soviet troops have been in Nagorno-Karabakh for 2 1/2 years [...] The troops support armed Azerbaijani militias who have imposed a blockade of the region..."[3] Soviet troops directly intervened during Operation Ring in April–May 1991 on the Azerbaijani side.[4][5] It was essentially a "combined Soviet-Azerbaijan operation."[6]
  5. ^ Armenia: 44,800 active servicemen (2019, IISS)[24]
    Artsakh: 18,000–20,000 active servicemen (2008, ARAG)[25]
  6. ^ Also called the Karabakh conflict,[38] Armenia–Azerbaijan conflict,[39] or Armenian–Azerbaijani conflict. Usually referred to as the Artsakh conflict in Armenia[40] and the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Azerbaijan.[41]
  7. ^ These include, among others, President Mohammad Khatami in 2004,[222] Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Mohammad Bagheri in 2019,[223] Chief of Staff of the President of Iran Mahmoud Vaezi in 2020,[224] and Iran's ambassadors in Azerbaijan.[225][226]
  8. ^ Abkhazia is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Abkhazia and Georgia. The Republic of Abkhazia unilaterally declared independence on 23 July 1992, but Georgia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory and designates it as a territory occupied by Russia. Abkhazia has received formal recognition as an independent state from 7 out of 193 United Nations member states, 1 of which has subsequently withdrawn its recognition.
  9. ^ South Ossetia's status is disputed. It considers itself to be an independent state, but this is recognised by only a few other countries. The Georgian government and most of the world's other states consider South Ossetia de jure a part of Georgia's territory.
  10. ^ Transnistria's status is disputed. It considers itself to be an independent state, but this is not recognised by any country. The Moldovan government and all the world's other states consider Transnistria de jure a part of Moldova territory.
  11. ^ Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Comoros, Djibouti, Gambia, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.
  12. ^ Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
Citations
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  2. ^ a b Panossian, Razmik (2002). "The Irony of Nagorno-Karabakh: Formal Institutions versus Informal Politics". In Hughes, James; Sasse, Gwendolyn (eds.). Ethnicity and Territory in the Former Soviet Union: Regions in Conflict. Routledge. p. 145. ISBN 978-1136342042.
  3. ^ Shogren, Elizabeth (21 September 1990). "Armenians Wage Hunger Strike in Regional Dispute: Soviet Union: Five threaten to starve themselves to death unless Moscow ends military rule in Azerbaijan enclave". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Cornell, Svante E. (1999). "The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict" (PDF). Report no. 46, Department of East European Studies. Uppsala University. p. 26. Sporadic clashes became frequent by the first months of 1991, with an ever-increasing organization of paramilitary forces on the Armenian side, whereas Azerbaijan still relied on the support of Moscow. [...] In response to this development, a joint Soviet and Azerbaijani military and police operation directed from Moscow was initiated in these areas during the Spring and Summer of 1991.
  5. ^ Papazian, Taline (2008). "State at War, State in War: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and State-Making in Armenia, 1991–1995". The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies (8): 25. doi:10.4000/pipss.1623. ...units of the 4th army stationed in Azerbaijan and Azeri OMONs were used in “Operation Ring”, to empty a number of Armenian villages in Nagorno-Karabakh in April 1991.
  6. ^ Murphy, David E. (1992). "Operation 'Ring': The Black Berets in Azerbaijan". The Journal of Soviet Military Studies. 5 (1): 93. doi:10.1080/13518049208430053. ...Operation 'Ring' as a combined Soviet-Azerbaijan operation to weaken Armenian resistance in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.
  7. ^ Rudolph, Joseph Russell, ed. (2003). Encyclopedia of Modern Ethnic Conflicts. Greenwood Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-0313313813. When the Soviet Union broke up in 1991 [...] the Karabakh conflict escalated further, from guerrilla warfare to full-scale conventional combat.
  8. ^ Tharoor, Ishaan (April 5, 2016). "The crisis over Nagorno-Karabakh, explained". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 24 July 2020.
  9. ^ "The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: A Visual Explainer". International Crisis Group. Archived from the original on 29 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Armenia-Azerbaijan arms race undercuts peace prospects". Emerald Expert Briefings. Oxford Analytica. August 11, 2017. doi:10.1108/OXAN-DB223736. As low-intensity fighting continues...
  11. ^ Anishchuk, Alexei (December 10, 2010). "Armenia says to recognise Karabakh in case of war". Reuters. Archived from the original on 24 August 2020. Low-intensity skirmishes since 1994...
  12. ^ "The Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict hints at the future of war". The Economist. October 10, 2020. The real war, which began on September 27th,...
  13. ^ Hauer, Neil (October 9, 2020). "Caucasus war a result of US retreat from the world". Asia Times. The past two weeks have provided one of the starkest examples of the consequences of this: the re-eruption of full-scale war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
  14. ^ Broers, Laurence (2005). "The limits of leadership: Elites and societies in the Nagorny Karabakh peace process" (PDF). Accord. London: Conciliation Resources: 8. ISSN 1365-0742. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 February 2017. Retrieved 17 February 2017. Overlaying what is fundamentally a territorial dispute are the consequences of the 1991–94 war: a decisive Armenian military victory resulting in Armenian control of Nagorny Karabakh and the further occupation of seven districts surrounding it.
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  16. ^ The Caucasus and Central Asia: Transitioning to Emerging Markets (PDF). International Monetary Fund. April 2014. p. 72. doi:10.5089/9781484305140.087. ISBN 978-1484305140. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been in a cold war since the cessation of large-scale conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh during 1988–94...
  17. ^ Broers, Laurence (12 September 2012). "Armenia and Azerbaijan: what can societies do when political judgement errs?". opendemocracy.net. openDemocracy. Archived from the original on 24 August 2020. ...as cold war between Armenia and Azerbaijan deepens.
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  21. ^ de Waal, Thomas (3 April 2016). "Nagorno-Karabakh's cocktail of conflict explodes again". BBC News. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. The so-called Line of Contact between the two sides became the most militarised zone in the wider Europe, bristling with tanks and heavy artillery.
  22. ^ Trenin, Dmitri V. (2011). Post-Imperium: A Eurasian Story. Brookings Institution Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0870033452. Armenia is de facto united with Nagorno-Karabakh, an unrecognized state, in a single entity.
    • Mulcaire, Jack (9 April 2015). "Face Off: The Coming War between Armenia and Azerbaijan". The National Interest. Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2016. The mostly Armenian population of the disputed region now lives under the control of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, a micronation that is supported by Armenia and is effectively part of that country.
    • Cornell, Svante (2011). Azerbaijan Since Independence. New York: M.E. Sharpe. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-7656-3004-9. Following the war, the territories that fell under Armenian control, in particular Mountainous Karabakh itself, were slowly integrated into Armenia. Officially, Karabakh and Armenia remain separate political entities, but for most practical matters the two entities are unified."
  23. ^ Abrahamyan, Eduard (8 January 2018). "Russian Loan Allows Armenia to Upgrade Military Capabilities". CACI Analyst. Central Asia-Caucasus Institute. Archived from the original on 5 August 2020. While often portrayed as separate forces, Armenia’s Armed Forces and the “Artsakh Defense Army,” totaling up to 65,000 active personnel, are in practice one force with a single Command-and-Control (C2) system.
  24. ^ International Institute for Strategic Studies (2019). The Military Balance 2019. London: Routledge. p. 184. ISBN 978-1857439885.
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  36. ^ See here
  37. ^ See here
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  176. ^ Artsakh military death toll reaches 834
  177. ^ 8 civilians died in Artsakh following ceasefire agreement
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  267. ^ Murinson, Alexander (October 2014). "The Ties Between Israel and Azerbaijan" (PDF). Mideast Security and Policy Studies No. 110. Begin–Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 November 2014. Israel supported the Azeri side in this conflict by supplying Stinger missiles to Azerbaijani troops during the war.
  268. ^ Rahimov, Rahim. "Azerbaijan Shows off Polonez, LORA Missiles From Belarus, Israel". jamestown.org. Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on 24 July 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
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  270. ^ Azadian, Edmond Y. (1999). History on the Move: Views, Interviews and Essays on Armenian Issues. Wayne State University Press. p. 173. ISBN 978-0814329160. But as subsequent events evolved it became all too apparent that Ukraine has steadfastly stood behind Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict all along. ...it was reported from Stepanakert that Ukraine had shipped 40 tanks to Azerbaijan. Later that number was raised to 59. Ukraine had also supplied Azerbaijan with Mig-21 attack planes....
  271. ^ "We sell weapons to Armenia and Azerbaijan to save military industry, Serbian president says". Vestnik Kavkaza. 1 August 2020. Archived from the original on 4 August 2020.
  272. ^ Ljubas, Zdravko (18 September 2019). "Czech Weapons end up in Azerbaijan Despite Embargo". occrp.org. Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020.
  273. ^ Dawkins, David (October 18, 2019). "Meet 27-Year-Old Arms Dealer Michal Strnad, The Czech Industrialist With 'More Tanks' Than The Army". Forbes. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Weapons that Jaroslav Strnad and Excalibur sold to Israeli firm Elbit had immediately arrived in Azerbaijan...
  274. ^ "Milan Štěch: Czech Republic did not sell weapons to Azerbaijan (video)". a1plus.am. A1plus. 4 October 2017. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020.
  275. ^ HRW 1994, p. 106.
  276. ^ HRW 1994, p. 110.
  277. ^ Sneider, Daniel (November 16, 1993). "Afghan Fighters Join Azeri-Armenian War". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 12 August 2020.
  278. ^ Chorbajian, Levon; Mutafian, Claude; Donabedian, Patrick (1994). The Caucasian Knot: The History and Geopolitics of Nagorno-Karabagh. Zed Books. p. 34. ISBN 978-1856492874. Alpaslan Turkesh, founder of the Turkish fascist Grey Wolves, acknowledged that his followers were fighting in Karabagh with Azerbaijani forces, though it was reported in late 1992 that they had returned to Turkey.
  279. ^ In a 2010 interview, Mykola Karpyuk, a leader of the UNA-UNSO said that "many Ukrainians", including members of the organization fought on the Azerbaijani side. Baiyev, Bakhram (17 September 2010). "В случае войны мы окажем Баку посильную помощь". vesti.az (in Russian). Archived from the original on 12 August 2020.
  280. ^ Norat Ter-Grigoryants, Deputy Defense Minister of Armenia in 1992–95, stated in 2016 that the following foreign groups fought on the Azerbaijani side in Karabakh: "Chechen militants, radical Islamists from Afghanistan, 'Gray Wolves', Ukrainian Nazis from UNA-UNSO." "Армянский эксперт: В Первую Карабахскую войну украинские неонацисты служили в армии Азербайджана летчиками и артиллеристами". eadaily.com (in Russian). 5 July 2016. Archived from the original on 31 July 2020. Кроме чеченских боевиков, радикальных исламистов из Афганистана, „Серых волков“ и других, отметились в Карабахе и украинские нацисты из УНА-УНСО.
  281. ^ a b Taarnby 2008, p. 9.
  282. ^ de Waal 2003, p. 179.
  283. ^ Khalilova, Konul (May 14, 2002). "Chechen Fighter's Death Reveals Conflicted Feelings in Azerbaijan". eurasianet.org. EurasiaNet. Archived from the original on 19 August 2020. Some say he joined the Chechen guerrillas fighting on Azerbaijan's side during the 1992–93 Nagorno-Karabakh war, though Ashurov and the Ministry of Defense's spokesman dismiss this idea.
  284. ^ a b Taarnby 2008, p. 6.
  285. ^ a b c d HRW 1994, p. 81.
  286. ^ Taarnby 2008, pp. 5–6.
  287. ^ a b Taarnby 2008, p. 7.
  288. ^ Center for Strategic and International Studies (1997). Brzezinski, Zbigniew; Sullivan, Paige (eds.). Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States: Documents, Data, and Analysis. M.E. Sharpe. p. 616. ISBN 978-1563246371. It is also revealed that a new force of 200 armed members of the Grey Wolves organization has been dispatched from Turkey in preparation for a new Azeri offensive and to train units of the Azeri army.
  289. ^ "Памятник-хачкар погибшим за освобождение Карабаха кубанским казакам открылся в НКР [Monument-khachkar to the Kuban Cossacks who died for the liberation of Karabakh opened in NKR]". newsarmenia.am (in Russian). Novosti Armenia News Agency. 30 May 2011. Archived from the original on 17 August 2020. В самый разгар Карабахской войны в 1992 году на помощь Карабаху пришли казаки из Кубани, 85 человек. 14 из них погибли, защищая Арцах.
  290. ^ "Осетинский батальон в арцахской освободительной войне [Ossetian battalion in the Artsakh liberation war]". tta.am (in Russian). time to analyze. 13 March 2013. Archived from the original on 8 July 2017. 36 героев – осетин, навсегда вписали свои имена в одну из ярчайших страниц армянской истории – Арцахскую освободительную войну. В целом, в осетинском батальоне насчитывалось 30 осетин (26 христиан и 4 мусульман), один кабардиниец, татарин, русский и три армянина.
  291. ^ "В карабахском селе открылся памятник погибшим в войне кубанским казакам [A monument to the Kuban Cossacks who died in the war was opened in the Karabakh village]" (in Russian). REGNUM News Agency. 30 May 2011. Archived from the original on 17 August 2020.
  292. ^ According to Leonid Tibilov, President of South Ossetia in 2012–17. "Президент Южной Осетии: В борьбе за свободу и независимость народу Карабаха помогали волонтеры-осетины [President of South Ossetia: Ossetian volunteers helped the people of Karabakh in the struggle for freedom and independence]" (in Russian). PanArmenian.Net. 2 September 2016. Archived from the original on 17 August 2020. В борьбе за свободу и независимость на помощь народу Арцаха пришли и волонтеры из Южной Осетии.
  293. ^ "Осетинские хроники Нагорного Карабаха [Ossetian chronicles of Nagorno-Karabakh]". osinform.org (in Russian). 13 April 2016. Archived from the original on 17 August 2020. Наибольшей известностью в Арцахе пользовался Мирза Абаев. В 1992 году он прибыл добровольцем в Нагорный Карабах из России.
  294. ^ According to Emil Sanamyan, an analyst at the USC Institute of Armenian Studies:
  295. ^ Beglaryan, Artak (September 2011). "The Main Directions of the Artsakh-Diaspora Relations". theanalyticon.com. Archived from the original on 24 August 2020. The contribution of the volunteer-fighters from Diaspora into the military victory of the Artsakh struggle is invaluable.
  296. ^ Rieff, David (1997). "Case Study in Ethnic Strife". Council on Foreign Relations. Archived from the original on 2017-03-12.
  297. ^ Arasli, Jahangir (Spring 2007). "The Rising Wind: Is the Caucasus Emerging as a Hub for Terrorism, Smuggling, and Trafficking?". Connections: The Quarterly Journal. Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes. 6 (1): 22. doi:10.11610/Connections.06.1.02. Many members of ASALA fought against Azerbaijan during the war over Karabakh as part of the Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh militaries. PDF, archived
  298. ^ Blakkisrud, Helge; Kolstø, Pål (2012). "Dynamics of de facto statehood: the South Caucasian de facto states between secession and sovereignty". Southeast European and Black Sea Studies. 12 (2): 295. doi:10.1080/14683857.2012.686013. S2CID 153522424. ...the three South Caucasian de facto states have mutually recognized each other, as well as being recognized by (unrecognized) Transnistria.
  299. ^ "A telephone conversation between Foreign Ministers of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Republic of Abkhazia". nkr.am. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh. 7 April 2016. Archived from the original on 24 August 2020. Vyacheslav Chirikba asked to convey his condolences to the families of those killed in hostilities and voiced the support of the people and authorities of Abkhazia to Artsakh.
  300. ^ "Conversation of Viacheslav Chirikba with Karen Mirzoyan". old.mfaapsny.org. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia. 7 April 2016. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020.
  301. ^ "Press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Ossetia". mfa-rso.su. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of South Ossetia. April 6, 2016. Archived from the original on 24 July 2020. The Minister assured his colleague that South Ossetia people follow the development of situation and offered words of support to people of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
  302. ^ "Telephone conversation with NKR Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan". mid.gospmr.org. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PMR. 4 April 2016. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. The head of the Pridnestrovian diplomacy expressed compassion and support to the people of Artsakh in connection with the escalation of tension on the part of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
  303. ^ Yiallourides, Christodoulos K.; Tsakonas, Panayotis J., eds. (2001). Greece and Turkey after the End of the Cold War. New York and Athens: Aristide D. Caratzas. p. 412. ISBN 0892415649. Greece, on the other hand, had no particular reasons to shun Azerbaijan, but its historical friendship with the Armenian people, and shared concerns over Turkish aggression, naturally induced a pro-Armenian Greek policy.
  304. ^ Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, Ambassador of Greece to Armenia in 1993–94: Chrysanthopoulos, Leonidas (2002). Caucasus Chronicles: Nation-building and Diplomacy in Armenia, 1993–1994. Gomidas Institute. ISBN 978-1884630057.
    • p. 66: "I told him that they should be very careful on the Fizuli issue, because if it were to fall into Armenian hands, the international condemnation would be so strong that Greece would no longer be able to support Armenia in international forums and particularly in the European Union.
    • p. 68: "Greece was doing everything possible in all the other international forums to help Armenia and to bring peace to the troubled area.
  305. ^ "Cyprus Denounces Civilian Casualties in Artsakh; Urges Turkey Not to Destabilize Situation". Hetq. 4 April 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2020. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus monitors closely the worrying developments in Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh, following the violations of the armistice line from Azerbaijani military forces.
  306. ^ "The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Nikos Christodoulides, had a telephone conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Mr Zohrab Mnatsakanyan". pio.gov.cy. Press and Information Office, Ministry of Interior, Republic of Cyprus. 15 July 2020. Archived from the original on 15 July 2020. Minister Christodoulides expressed to Minister Mnatsakanyan his concern about this development, condemned the ceasefire violation by Azerbaijan...
  307. ^ Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, Ambassador of Greece to Armenia in 1993–94, wrote: "Ter-Petrossian [...] told me that at the moment Russia and France were the only allies of Armenia. Both countries had reacted in an effective way to Turkey within the United Nations Security Council and the CSCE, and they forced the United States to adopt a more objective position on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue." Chrysanthopoulos, Leonidas (2002). Caucasus Chronicles: Nation-building and Diplomacy in Armenia, 1993–1994. Gomidas Institute. pp. 67–68. ISBN 978-1884630057.
  308. ^ "From the Archives: How France Influenced UN's Karabakh Resolution". USC Institute of Armenian Studies. May 28, 2020. Archived from the original on 16 August 2020.
  309. ^ "Pakistan condemns Armenian attack on Tovuz district in Azerbaijan". mofa.gov.pk. Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 15 July 2020. Archived from the original on 15 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  310. ^ "Pakistan will continue supporting Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh". Daily Times. 14 March 2015. Archived from the original on 23 January 2016.
  311. ^ Korybko, Andrew (July 21, 2020). "Why is Pakistan the only country that does not recognise Armenia?". The Express Tribune. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020.
  312. ^ "Prime Minister Tatar stressed support of the Turkish Cypriot people for Azerbaijan". pio.mfa.gov.ct.tr. TRNC Public Information Office. 15 July 2020. Archived from the original on 11 August 2020.
  313. ^ "OIC General Secretariat Condemns Armenia's Attack On The Tovuz Region In Azerbaijan". oic-oci.org. Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. 14 July 2020. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020.
  314. ^ "Turkic Council Secretary General on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict". turkkon.org. Turkic Council. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  315. ^ Kangarli, Gulu (20 October 2017). "President Mirziyoyev: Uzbekistan supports Azerbaijan's fair stance on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict". azertag.az. Azerbaijan State News Agency. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020.
    • "Узбекистан и Азербайджан наращивают сотрудничество [Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan are increasing cooperation]". old.president.uz (in Russian). Press Service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. 25 September 2010. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020. В этой связи позиция Республики Узбекистан по решению проблемы Нагорного Карабаха остается твердой и неизменной. Узбекистан открыто ее подтверждал при голосовании инициированных Азербайджаном соответствующих резолюций Генеральной Ассамблеи ООН в 2008 году. Узбекистан последовательно выступал и продолжает выступать за мирное, политическое решение нагорно-карабахского конфликта и при этом главным условием урегулирования считает обеспечение территориальной целостности и суверенитета Азербайджана.
    • "Joint press statements of Presidents of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan". en.president.az. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 27 September 2010. Archived from the original on 23 November 2017. While describing Uzbekistan’s position on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, Islam Karimov said: [...] Uzbekistan considers the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan as one of the key preconditions for its settlement. I believe that this position is absolutely consistent with international standards, meets historical parallels. Uzbekistan's position on this issue remains unchanged: the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is a sacred concept, and it must be followed in all solution options of this problem.
    • "Uzbekistan supports Azerbaijan's fair stance on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Uzbek Envoy Ergashev". azertag.az. Azerbaijan State News Agency. 5 September 2007. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020.
  316. ^ Alrmizan, Mohammed (September 2019). "Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia: Bilateral Opportunities in a Changing Middle East" (PDF). kfcris.com. King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 August 2020. In this matter, the Saudis have backed the right of Azerbaijan in the United Nations General Assembly meetings and in the OIC, asserting its internationally recognized authority over Nagorno-Karabakh. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia does not have yet any level of official or even unofficial ties with Armenia. This is because the Saudis have tended to side with Azerbaijan, especially on this particular issue.
  317. ^ Stepanian, Ruzanna (December 9, 2011). "Yerevan Decries Azeri Push For Muslim Support On Karabakh". azatutyun.am. RFE/RL. Archived from the original on 25 August 2020. Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman "stressed that Lebanon has never supported OIC statements on Karabakh."
  318. ^ "Armenia Summons Ukraine Envoy Over Pro-Azeri Statement". azatutyun.am. RFE/RL. 14 July 2020. Ukraine’s current and former governments have repeatedly voiced support for Azerbaijan in the Karabakh conflict.
  319. ^ Malysheva, Dina (2001). "The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh: its impact on security in the Caspian region". In Chufrin, Gennady (ed.). The Security of the Caspian Sea Region. Oxford University Press/Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. p. 264. ISBN 0199250200. Because of its proximity to the Karabakh conflict zone, Georgia is vitally concerned with the settlement of the conflict. It is officially Azerbaijan’s strategic partner, upholds the preservation of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and supports the latter in its conflict with Armenia on most contentious issues. [...] ...Georgia’s obviously pro-Azerbaijan approach to the Karabakh problem...
  320. ^ "Republic of Moldova confirms its support for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan". mfa.gov.md. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Moldova. 17 April 2020. Archived from the original on 24 July 2020.
  321. ^ Secretariat of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM (July 15, 2020). "Secretariat expresses deep condolences to the families of the perished Azerbaijani militaries, as well as solidarity with the people of the Republic of Azerbaijan". Twitter. Archived from the original on 5 August 2020.
  322. ^ "Baku seeks to widen its contacts in Balkans". dailybrief.oxan.com. Oxford Analytica. May 11, 2015. Serbia backs Azerbaijan's stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and enjoys its support on Kosovo.
  323. ^ Aliyev, Huseyn (December 15, 2014). "Azerbaijani-Serbian Relations Booming Thanks to Mutual Interests". jamestown.org. Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on 25 August 2020. Serbia’s position toward Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Karabakh [...] is that of unconditional support for Azerbaijan’ territorial integrity.
  324. ^ "Serbia 'supports Azerbaijan's position on conflict'". Hürriyet Daily News. 5 May 2011. Archived from the original on 13 May 2016.
  325. ^ Falkowski, Maciej (28 June 2016). "From apathy to nationalist mobilisation: politics makes a comeback in Armenia". osw.waw.pl. OSW Centre for Eastern Studies. p. 5. Kazakhstan’s de facto pro-Azerbaijani policy had previously been a source of serious concern in Armenia. PDF (archived)
  326. ^ Bohdan, Siarhei (29 September 2011). "Why Belarus Sides With Azerbaijan, Not Armenia". Belarus Digest. Archived from the original on 11 August 2020. Belarus has explicitly supported Azerbaijan's territorial integrity in joint statements
  327. ^ Shiriyev, Zaur (March 14, 2017). "The "Four-Day War": Changing Paradigms in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict". Turkish Policy Quarterly. Archived from the original on 11 August 2020.
  328. ^ Mahmoud Abbas: "There are common problems between us. Azerbaijan and Palestine have similar problems. Your lands are also under occupation." "Presidents of Azerbaijan and Palestine made statements for the press". president.az. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 28 June 2011. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016.
  329. ^ Cornell, Svante E. (August 1999). "Geopolitics and Strategic Alignments in the Caucasus and Central Asia" (PDF). Perceptions: Journal of International Affairs. Center for Strategic Research of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. IV (2): 9. ISSN 1300-8641. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-08-25. ...Israel from the start took on an overtly pro-Azerbaijani stance in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
  330. ^ Khalifa-zadeh, Mahir (2012). "Israel and Azerbaijan: To Counteract Iran" (PDF). Central Asia and the Caucasus. Institute for Central Asian and Caucasian Studies. 13 (3): 76. Israel has repeatedly declared that Tel Aviv supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.
  331. ^ "Azerbaijan Withdraws Draft Karabakh Resolution From UN". rferl.org. RFE/RL. September 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 12 August 2020. The U.S., Russia, and France had opposed a similar resolution which Baku managed to push through the UN assembly in March 2008. It was backed by 39 countries, most of them Islamic.
  332. ^ Mir – Ismail, Alman (January 21, 2009). "Azerbaijan, Trapped Between Palestinians and Israel, Takes a Pragmatic Position". jamestown.org. Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on 12 August 2020. As a result, on March 14, 2008, it was mainly the Muslim nations that supported Azerbaijan’s resolution on the Karabakh conflict at the UN General Assembly.
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  334. ^ "Statement of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group". osce.org. 17 March 2008. Archived from the original on 12 August 2020.
  335. ^ Rahimov, Rahim (July 22, 2020). "Armenian-Azerbaijani Border Clashes: The Russian Dimension and Beyond". jamestown.org. Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on 11 August 2020. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had lambasted the Minsk Group co-chairs (Russia, France and the United States) in an unusually explicit manner for what he described as their ineffectiveness and alleged pro-Armenian bias (President.az, July 6).
  336. ^ "Aliyev Again Lambastes 'Pro-Armenian' Mediators". azatutyun.am. RFE/RL. March 21, 2016. Archived from the original on 11 August 2020.
  337. ^ Greene, Richard (March 25, 2002). "Armenia/Azerbaijan: As Minsk Group Marks 10 Years, Karabakh Peace Appears More Elusive Than Ever". rferl.org. RFE/RL. Archived from the original on 11 August 2020. ....Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Vilayat Guliev publicly accused the body of pro-Armenian bias.
  338. ^ Cornell, Svante (2005). Small Nations and Great Powers: A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus. Routledge. p. 102. ISBN 978-1135796693.
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