The issue over Nagorny Karabakh is protracted and largely stems of each side’s perceptions of exclusive ownership. The parties to the conflict often refer to historical facts from antiquity and the Middle Ages to prove the veracity of their claims, but despite their continued relevance and presence in the media, they should not be relied upon.
The origins of the conflict lie in the attempt of the political elites of the three South Caucasian peoples to restore statehood after ruining of the Russian Empire and appearing of the Soviet Union at the end of the First World War through a separatist peace with Germany.
In ethnically mixed Yerevan and Baku, there was a struggle for political dominance, often with an ethnic and religious connotation, accompanied by the ethnic genocide of disloyal populations.
Despite the internal political processes, the conflict with Turkey trying to retake the territories governed by the Armenians. It developed into the Armenian-Turkish war to begin after the start of the Turkish liberation movements.
The violent nature of the issue, the facts of massacres, ethnic genocide, and resettlement led to the segregation of mixed populations on the sides, which was halted after the violent Bolshevization of Azerbaijan and Armenia in 1920.
When the perestroika (restructuring period) in the Soviet Union came, controversies and contradictions, successfully localized and contained for a long time, began to escalate to the level of political conflict.
The status of the frozen conflict in Nagorny Karabakh until September 2020 was notional and did not correspond to reality. The biggest clashes of recent years occurred in 2016 and 2020, with exchanges of fire on a regular basis.
In the context of the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the conflict has escalated and is not yet resolved. Years of frozen status have actually led to an enormous frustration, the governments of both countries living in a certain vicious circle over the past 20 years.
Last modified: October 25, 2022