​Nagorno-Karabakh profile - English
20 Nisan 2024 - Հակական տոմար - Տարի : 4516 / Ամիս : Ահեկան / Օր : Արագած / Ժամ : Առագոտ

English :

17 Ocak 2023  

​Nagorno-Karabakh profile -

​Nagorno-Karabakh profile ​Nagorno-Karabakh profile

The landlocked mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh is the subject of an unresolved dispute between Azerbaijan, in which it lies, and its ethnic Armenian majority, backed by neighbouring Armenia.

In 1988, towards the end of Soviet rule, Azerbaijani troops and Armenian secessionists began a bloody war which left the de facto independent state in the hands of ethnic Armenians when a truce was signed in 1994.

Negotiations have so far failed to produce a permanent peace agreement. Russia, France and the US co-chair the OSCE's Minsk Group, which had been attempting to broker an end to the dispute but this has been thrown into doubt by Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine, The EU is also seeking to aid a peaceful resolution of the issue.

Capital: Stepanakert
Area: 3,170 sq km
Population: 120,000
Languages: Armenian, Russian
Life expectancy: 75 years[A man walks along a street during the ongoing military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, in the disputed province's capital of Stepanakert] IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGESThe conflict has roots dating back well over a century into competition between Christian Armenian and Muslim Turkic and Persian influences.

Populated for centuries by Christian Armenian and Turkic Azeris, Karabakh became part of the Russian empire in the 19th Century.

The two groups lived in relative peace, although acts of brutality on both sides in the early 20th Century live on in the popular memory.

Soviet rule
After the end of World War One and the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, the new Soviet rulers, as part of their divide-and-rule policy in the region, established the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region, with an ethnic Armenian majority, within the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan in the early 1920s.

With the break-up of the Soviet Union, in late 1991, Karabakh declared itself an independent republic, and as Soviet control loosened the smouldering Armenian-Azeri frictions exploded into a full-scale war.

First Karabakh war
During the fighting between 1992 and 1994, up to 30,000 people are estimated to have lost their lives. Armenians gained control of the region.

They also pushed on to occupy Azerbaijani territory outside Karabakh, creating a buffer zone around Lachin, linking Karabakh and Armenia.

More than one million people fled their homes during the fighting. The ethnic Azeri population - about 25% of the total before the war - fled Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia while ethnic Armenians fled the rest of Azerbaijan.[Nagorno-Karabakh's main city Stepanakert] IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
Image caption,
Stepankert is the largest city and de facto capital of the regionCeasefire

In 1994, a Russian-brokered ceasefire was signed leaving Karabakh as well as swathes of Azeri territory around the territory in Armenian hands.

In a 2017 referendum, voters approved a new constitution, turning the government from a semi-presidential to a fully presidential one. The territory changed its from "Nagorno Karabakh Republic" to "Republic of Artsakh", though both remain official names.

Karabakh is the Russian rendering of an Azeri word meaning "black garden", while Nagorno is a Russian root meaning "mountainous". The ethnic Armenians name for the region "Artsakh", is an ancient Armenian name for the area.

Its de-facto status has not been internationally recognised.

While Armenia itself has never officially recognised the region's independence, it has become its main financial and military backer and the breakaway territory functions as a de facto part of Armenia.

Second Karabakh war
From 1994 a simmering stalemate prevailed - though punctuated by armed clashes - until September 2020, when Azerbaijan launched an offensive that recaptured territory around Karabakh.

Some 3,000 Azerbaijani soldiers and 4,000 Armenian soldiers were killed in six weeks of fighting before another Russian-brokered ceasefire.

Armenian forces agreed to return to Azerbaijan all occupied territory outside of the former Soviet Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast.[Nagorno-Karabakh map]Russian peacekeepers were deployed to monitor a new Moscow-brokered ceasefire, and also to ensure safe passage through the region of Lachin - the so-called "Lachin corridor" - which separates Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia.

Fighting broke out between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border in September 2022, with about 50 soldiers on each side killed in the clashes.

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