Project

Armenia and Azerbaijan at War

Armenians and Azerbaijanis are currently fighting in what appears to be an all-out war for Nagorno-Karabakh, the land they both claim. This war has been nearly 30 years in the making, after a war in the 1990s over the same territory ended in a ceasefire. Azerbaijan has accused Armenia of refusing to negotiate a final resolution of the conflict in good faith, and this new war appears to be their attempt to win back by force what they couldn’t at the negotiating table.

The stakes are even higher this time. Turkey has gotten heavily involved, adding Azerbaijan to the expanding geography of its self-assigned strategic backyard. Russia, nominally an ally of Armenia, became disillusioned with Yerevan after the arrival of a new, mildly pro-Western government in 2018. Its approach to the conflict has been conspicuously distant.

Aside from the foreign intrigue, the situation on the ground is heading toward a humanitarian catastrophe, with far heavier weapons being used this time compared to the 1990s. Hate has only hardened in the 30 years since the first war and there is a specter of a new round of ethnic cleansing—following the expulsion of all the ethnic Azerbaijanis of the region in the 1990s, now there is a very real risk that the same will happen to the region's Armenians.