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Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

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  • 10-11-2020 5:58pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭


    At the same time as the US Presidential election was sucking up all of the political attention in the world a long dormant conflict erupted in the Caucasus. Azerbaijan and the the ethnically Armenian occupants of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region resumed their decades old war. They had fought a bloody war in the 1990's that resulted in 30,000 dead with the net result that Armenia had effective control of a region that was, and still is, recognised as part of Azerbaijan. Since then there has been sporadic flare-ups but nothing on this scale.

    Azerbaijan is a larger and wealthier country then Armenia but the Armenians have traditionally been supported by Russia. At the same time the Azerbaijanis have been supported by Turkey (both countries are populated by Turkic peoples and share a Muslim faith). Both of these allies have been pivotal in this conflict for opposing reasons. The Turks have essentially green-lighted this war and have supplied modern weaponery to the Azerbaijanis with which to fight it. At the same time the Russians have not been of any help to the Armenians. They have an agreement that they will defend Armenia if that comes under attack but crucially this does not apply to the Nagorno-karabakh region.

    After 6 weeks of fighting and reports of up to 5,000 deaths Azerbaijan has taken a considerable amount of the region as well as it's second largest city Shusha/Shushi. Last night the Armenian Prime Minister signed a peace agreement to stop the fighting which solidified the loss of territory leading to angry protesters to rampage through the country's parliament. In contrast people celebrated on the streets of Baku and the Azerbaijani President make a triumphant address to the nation. Russia who co-signed the agreement have agreed to send in peace keepers. Here's how the map looks now:

    _115331611_8df90093-d7d8-4155-b3b6-1eec24243853.jpg








    There are many interesting questions that this all throws up:
    • Why did Turkey choose to Green-light the operation now?
    • Why did Russia not intervene?
    • According to the residents of Nagorno-karabakh, the capital Stepanakert was mere days from falling - so why did the Azerbaijanis agree to the Peace Agreement now?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,149 ✭✭✭✭StringerBell


    The eyes of the world are busy elsewhere right now being a potential reason for why you see the pieces being moved on the board right now.

    "People say ‘go with the flow’ but do you know what goes with the flow? Dead fish."



  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,499 Mod ✭✭✭✭johnnyskeleton


    Possibly because neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan want matters to escalate and so were happy with a brief skirmish and talk of war but ultimately pulled back from the brink. But I dont know much about it at all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    Putin did nothing because he was ticked off at Armenians having one of those velvet revolutions, he also gets to now have troops and bases on ground in Azerbaijan the only ex USSR country that had none (Russia rolling tanks into Baku in 90s around USSR collapse causing much hate).

    These troops would be strategically positioned near a new East/West corridor which stands to benefit from trade. I bet China already drawing up plans.

    As to why it happened now, us is a bit busy, Russia possibly indicated they do nothing and happy sell weapons both sides (also rumours Putin has serious health issues) and Azerbaijan had 25 years to build a military which as we seen with modern tools like drones performed a modern day blitzkrieg.

    I saw people speculating alright about the Punishment theory. The only thing about that is I recall that when Pashinyan came to power, after his popular march 2 years ago, that he immediately made sure to declare that he saw Armenia's future lay allied with Russia. He had obviously seen what happened to Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia 15 years ago when he had started making noises about joining the EU and NATO. That being said I haven't been following the politics of the country since he came to power so I don't know if he had been diverging away from Moscow since.


    Have you any theory as to why Azerbaijan stopped when they clearly had the whip hand in the conflict? After all, the entire of the region is recognised as their territory and yet the Aremenian's still occupy most of it including the largest city. All of the previous peace agreements, during the 6 weeks, failed because Azerbaijan kept pushing on to press home their advantage. I know they shot down a Russian helicopter by accident a few days beforehand so I wonder if that had anything to do with them finally agreeing to cease their offensive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 40,291 ✭✭✭✭Gatling


    It's complicated. I think Aliev had multiple goals, distract from Covid, take advantage of a unique times, and more importantly retake large chunks of land that were not even part of karabakh which they lost in 90s war. Which they accomplished along with militarily neutering Armenia for next decade.

    I say between Putin putting pressure to maximise advantage to Russia without completely alienating Armenia and a realisation that occupation of the most populated of karabakh would mean years of insurgency, this is probably the best outcome for all involved. Sadly it took loss of life on all sides, to arrive at similar enough position which would have been achieved if OSCE Minsk Group plan was implemented.


    The biggest issue was turkey and Israel to degree , without turkey backing Azerbaijan likely wouldn't have seen this latest conflict , russia likes when they are the only show in town and your only option is sign a treaty with us or we come in to protect our citizens (Georgia and Ukraine ) prime examples passportisation followed by troops and tanks ,but when you have a military force who have numbers and modern equipment and have the ability to hit back just as hard while causing massive losses to russia the game suddenly changes , erdokan is just as much a rouge as Putin is and he's shown he will have no issues hits russian military targets in Syria ( several aircraft lost to Turkish and Turks supported forces )
    Putin has never had to face a strong military opponent ,yes he pokes his nose at US forces every now and again with unsafe military interceptions but he knows if one of his pilots caused the downing of a military aircraft or ship he would face dire consequences .
    Turkey are more than happy to shoot first and ask questions later


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 207 ✭✭Rolo2010


    At the same time as the US Presidential election was sucking up all of the political attention in the world a long dormant conflict erupted in the Caucasus. Azerbaijan and the the ethnically Armenian occupants of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region resumed their decades old war. They had fought a bloody war in the 1990's that resulted in 30,000 dead with the net result that Armenia had effective control of a region that was, and still is, recognised as part of Azerbaijan. Since then there has been sporadic flare-ups but nothing on this scale.

    Azerbaijan is a larger and wealthier country then Armenia but the Armenians have traditionally been supported by Russia. At the same time the Azerbaijanis have been supported by Turkey (both countries are populated by Turkic peoples and share a Muslim faith). Both of these allies have been pivotal in this conflict for opposing reasons. The Turks have essentially green-lighted this war and have supplied modern weaponery to the Azerbaijanis with which to fight it. At the same time the Russians have not been of any help to the Armenians. They have an agreement that they will defend Armenia if that comes under attack but crucially this does not apply to the Nagorno-karabakh region.

    After 6 weeks of fighting and reports of up to 5,000 deaths Azerbaijan has taken a considerable amount of the region as well as it's second largest city Shusha/Shushi. Last night the Armenian Prime Minister signed a peace agreement to stop the fighting which solidified the loss of territory leading to angry protesters to rampage through the country's parliament. In contrast people celebrated on the streets of Baku and the Azerbaijani President make a triumphant address to the nation. Russia who co-signed the agreement have agreed to send in peace keepers. Here's how the map looks now:

    _115331611_8df90093-d7d8-4155-b3b6-1eec24243853.jpg








    There are many interesting questions that this all throws up:
    • Why did Turkey choose to Green-light the operation now?
    • Why did Russia not intervene?
    • According to the residents of Nagorno-karabakh, the capital Stepanakert was mere days from falling - so why did the Azerbaijanis agree to the Peace Agreement now?

    1) Turkey is desperate to become a dominant power in the region. They are jealous of Israel and the Arab powers in the Middle East. The EU lies to the west. Russia controls the Caucasus. Throw in a weak economy and crap currency. A war against an old enemy is a good distraction.

    2) Russia sat back and let Armenia lose so they would have no one else to turn to. Now Russia has strengthened its hold over Armenia and blocked Turkey from having any further military presence in NK.

    3) Azerbaijan were getting very close to taking NK. The risk of additional incidents like the shooting down of the Russian helicopter was increasing. Russia was always going to step in. Divide and conquer was the approach. Now they have a large "peacekeeping" force in Armenia and NK. They've also blocked Turkey's ambitions.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    It's difficult to see this agreement as anything but a stepping stone to yet another conflict at some point down the line. The hatred runs so deep.

    In the town of Karvachar in Nagorno-Karabakh, Vahe Mkrtchyan watched his home burn down.

    He set fire to it himself after learning that it now lies in a region ceded to Azerbaijan in a ceasefire brokered by Russia to end recent hostilities with Armenia.

    “I don’t want to leave something for terrorists - who killed my brothers and sisters and who stole my home from me," Vahe told Euronews.

    Other ethnic-Armenian residents in the town did the same thing, taking what belongings they could manage then setting fire to their own homes rather than hand them over to Azerbaijan.


    link


  • Registered Users Posts: 40,291 ✭✭✭✭Gatling


    Rolo2010 wrote: »
    Divide and conquer was the approach. Now they have a large "peacekeeping" force in Armenia and NK. They've also blocked Turkey's ambitions.

    They have been allowed 1600 troops , that's not by any stretch of the imagination a large force ,they could be wiped out in Few Hours , turkey is also putting peacekeepers in so already russia was countered , Azerbaijan backed by turkey and others means there is no russian aggression towards Azerbaijan forces who Will likely massively increase their presence in the Nk area


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    Armenia has always been in a difficult spot. It's a land locked nation where it's two largest land borders are with countries that it has no diplomatic relations with. One of those countries undertook a genocide against its people 100 years ago and it's on a constant war footing with the other.

    2020 though has been an unmitigated disaster for them though. It has been particularly badly hit by Covid-19 (top 10 in the world in cases per capita) and has just suffered a national humiliation. As well as losing territory in this war it also has to deal with an influx of refugees from the conquered territories. Add to that a government that is teetering on the edge of collapse and a complete lack of any real allies. Tough times ahead.


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 1,105 ✭✭✭Limpy


    Conclusion, Putin and Erdogan adding more territory to there respective spheres of influence. Like Syria, Libya. Putin/Erdogan dont mind a few dead soldiers, if there's no opposition at home it won't matter about the dead. Maybe the duo were worried Joe would gain influence in Armenia. No chance of that now.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 207 ✭✭Rolo2010


    Gatling wrote: »
    They have been allowed 1600 troops , that's not by any stretch of the imagination a large force ,they could be wiped out in Few Hours , turkey is also putting peacekeepers in so already russia was countered , Azerbaijan backed by turkey and others means there is no russian aggression towards Azerbaijan forces who Will likely massively increase their presence in the Nk area

    Azerbaijan/Turkey are not going to attack Russian troops. They don't want a war in the Caucasus. Turkey isn't strong enough to take on Russia. Azerbaijan has taken a large part of NK but the area which remains under Armenian control will be policed by Russia.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 40,291 ✭✭✭✭Gatling


    Rolo2010 wrote: »
    Azerbaijan/Turkey are not going to attack Russian troops. They don't want a war in the Caucasus. Turkey isn't strong enough to take on Russia. Azerbaijan has taken a large part of NK but the area which remains under Armenian control will be policed by Russia.

    No .

    See your wrong Turkey could hold its own it's got one of the largest Militaries in the world ,they don't to attack Russia ,but Russia won't take on the Azerbaijans with Turkey in their corner and possibly nato(highly unlikely) as their back up Armenia has a weak russia a failing leader an economy in the gutter for years ,and they have suffered more losses in local conflicts not against real armies than America suffered in the 10+ years fighting in the middle East , Afghanistan and elsewhere ,
    Again russian peacekeepers will only be policing a small corridor that's it ,
    If Azerbaijan wanted they could push right up to the border with Armenia and then stop ,


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 207 ✭✭Rolo2010


    Gatling wrote: »
    No .

    See your wrong Turkey could hold its own it's got one of the largest Militaries in the world ,they don't to attack Russia ,but Russia won't take on the Azerbaijans with Turkey in their corner and possibly nato(highly unlikely) as their back up Armenia has a weak russia a failing leader an economy in the gutter for years ,and they have suffered more losses in local conflicts not against real armies than America suffered in the 10+ years fighting in the middle East , Afghanistan and elsewhere ,
    Again russian peacekeepers will only be policing a small corridor that's it ,
    If Azerbaijan wanted they could push right up to the border with Armenia and then stop ,

    I'm not wrong. Turkey won't be able to take Russia on in its own backyard. Azerbaijan has already agreed to Russia's terms so that shows you their influence in the region. Turkey's economy is also weak and their currency is worthless. NATO won't back Turkey in a war against Russia if Turkey attacks first.


  • Registered Users Posts: 40,291 ✭✭✭✭Gatling


    Rolo2010 wrote: »
    I'm not wrong. Turkey won't be able to take Russia on in its own backyard

    Again they don't need to Azerbaijan got it's territory back and several weakened Armenia's military and government without having to go into Armenia itself ,
    What did Russia influence get refugees and a government that may well collapse it's a loss for Armenia and putin ,
    And a win for Azerbaijan and the Turks ,
    Belarus , Armenia , some powerful allies there for a weak Putin
    Is almost a trumpism fakes news we won .


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 207 ✭✭Rolo2010


    Gatling wrote: »
    Again they don't need to Azerbaijan got it's territory back and several weakened Armenia's military and government without having to go into Armenia itself ,
    What did Russia influence get refugees and a government that may well collapse it's a loss for Armenia and putin ,
    And a win for Azerbaijan and the Turks ,
    Belarus , Armenia , some powerful allies there for a weak Putin
    Is almost a trumpism fakes news we won .

    Okay. I can see you're not interested in having a reasonable discussion so we'll end it here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 40,291 ✭✭✭✭Gatling


    Rolo2010 wrote: »
    Okay. I can see you're not interested in having a reasonable discussion so we'll end it here.

    Another day , another account


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 1,105 ✭✭✭Limpy


    NATO will be Sick of turkey eventually. They are only obliging them as they are in Nato with a large Muslim Army.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 207 ✭✭Rolo2010


    Gatling wrote: »
    Another day , another account

    No idea what you're talking about.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    It appears things are kicking off again between Azerbaijan and Armenia



    I wonder where the Russian peace keepers are?



  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭petronius


    I always felt the Armenians were abandoned by the West and by Russia, for pragmatic political reasons, the west wants turkey onside to deal with Syria and Iran, and Russia wants both the Azeris and Turks onside



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    The Armenians are really cursed by geography. It's a tiny landlocked country whose largest borders are with two nations that it has/is having existential issues with. They've been forced to ally with Russia....and that hardly ever works out well for any country.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭petronius


    The patchwork of nationalities in the Caucususes - Armenia has few options - after the genocide of their people in turkey 100 years ago, the collage of communities over the area led to the territorial disputes after the soviet union collapsed, Russia and the west needed to do more for them. And not allow Turkey to supply weapons to the Azeris!



  • Registered Users Posts: 23,954 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34


    The impending collapse and chaos of the current Russian administration is certainly an opportune time to reassert internationally recognised status to each of these coveted regions in the Russian sphere of influence.

    NK must be fully integral to Azerbaijan and Abkhazia and South Ossetia must be returned to the full control of their Country of Georgia, while the illegal Russian occupation of Transnistria with a small force and Moldovan national government control returned, by force if necessary.

    The West must also begin to threaten Kaliningrad as a bargaining chip. Russia must know they could lose it at any second if they don't comply.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout



    I'm not surprised the Armenians wouldn't want to participate in a commission created by the people who perpetuated the genocide against them and now deny it ever happened.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    Whatever about the others the West should certainly not threaten Kaliningrad. It's internationally recognised as Russian territory therefore that would be seen as a threat to Russia itself - that's when you start getting into existential threat territory and the obvious escalation that that entails.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout



    How about Turkey enter into an independent commission rather than one that they control themselves?



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    Ha ha. Wow what a meltdown.

    Ok I shouldn't really have responded to such an obvious troll account but I'm done now.



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,867 ✭✭✭✭Zebra3


    Was there years ago.

    Interesting place.

    Azerbaijan is sadly run by a criminal. He needed a war to distract from his family looting the state.

    If Azerbaijan took all of NK, then focus could return to his crimes. A short war suited him, but not an outright victory.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    So it seems like Azerbaijan launched rockets into Armenia proper last night.




    Seems like a big escalation if they are targeting Armenian territory beyond Nagorno-Karbakh.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    Armenia asking Russia to help out:


    Let's see how that works out for them. Kazakhstan invoked this in January to quash mass protests and the Russians sent them some paratroopers. Given Russia is quite "stretched" at the moment this is an entirely more tricky prospect. I guess theoretically one of the other CSTO members could send troops. Big difference between facing down some civilian protesters and looking to take on a well equipped army though.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,032 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    Big developments in this story. A few days ago Armenia said that it was ready to recognise Nagorno-Karabakh as belonging to Azerbaijan so long as Azerbaijian guarantees the rights and security of the Armenian population who live there (ie not go in and slaughter them all).

    Now it looks like this agreement is proceeding:




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