Armenians See Russia As ‘Savior’ Not ‘Scapegoat’ In Nagorno-Karabakh War

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

(Article text ©2020 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Ron Synovitz – Nov. 24, 2020 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/armenians-see-russia-as-savior-not-scapegoat-in-nagorno-karabakh-war/30966988.html) As war raged this autumn over Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, some Armenians expressed a sense of betrayal that long-standing ally Russia wasn’t providing more support to ethnic Armenian fighters in the conflict. But any […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal, Russia’s Putin claims a strategic win. But risks are attached” – Washington Post / Robyn Dixon

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“… Under the cease-fire, nearly 2,000 [Russian] peacekeepers have been deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh, a separatist enclave controlled by an ethnic Armenian government within the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan. … reinforc[ing] the Kremlin’s view that its sphere of influence includes Azerbaijan and Armenia …. [and providing] another counterweight to geopolitical rival[] Turkey, a close Azerbaijan ally and key customer for […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Peace, for now; A peace deal ends a bloody war over Nagorno-Karabakh; Azerbaijan wins some land, while Turkey and Russia carve out spheres of influence” – The Economist

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“Brokered by Russia and Turkey …. [t]he peace deal marks one of the biggest shake-ups in a turbulent region at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East since the collapse of the Soviet empire, which also began in Nagorno-Karabakh. … [A]fter 25 years of waiting for the return of its territory, Azerbaijan went back to war. … aided […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Caucasus ceasefire cements Turkey as a power in Russia’s backyard; Azerbaijan-Armenia truce underlines new regional balance between Moscow and Ankara” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy, Laura Pitel

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“… a six-week-long conflict with Armenia over … Nagorno-Karabakh … resulted in major gains for Azerbaijan and its Turkish-backed military …. A truce … freezes the conflict … includ[ing] agreements that [Russian ally] Armenia … must hand over additional land …. While the truce was brokered by Moscow — which has deployed [nearly 2,000] peacekeepers — … Azerbaijan’s success with […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Is a Bad Omen” – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace/ Paul Stronski

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“With the United States shrugging off its erstwhile role as the world’s policeman, can anyone stop the fierce fighting now raging between Armenia and Azerbaijan?” “… The long-running Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, … dat[ing] to the waning days of the Soviet Union, is not going to trigger a global war[] [n]or … affect … [great power] vital interests […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Reported death toll in Armenia-Azerbaijan clashes about 600” – AP

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“The reported death toll in clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over … Nagorno-Karabakh has reached about 600 … [F]ighting continues despite a cease-fire …. More than two weeks of deadly clashes marked the biggest escalation of a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh … in Azerbaijan but … under control of ethnic Armenian[s] … backed by Armenia since the end of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Security Guarantees for Armenia Don’t Extend to Karabakh, Putin Says” – Moscow Times

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

Russia’s commitments to Armenia as part of a Moscow-led regional security bloc do not include the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region where fighting is raging between Armenia and Azerbaijan … Putin said […]

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Armenia-Azerbaijan War: Military Dimensions of the Conflict

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Michael Kofman – Oct. 2, 2020) Michael Kofman is a senior research scientist and director of the Russia Studies program at CNA. On Sept. 27, Azerbaijan launched a military offensive, resulting in fighting that spans much of the line of contact in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is de facto occupied by Armenia. As of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “What Is Russia’s Role in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict?” – Moscow Times

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Sept. 28, 2020) At least 39 troops and civilians have been killed over the past two days in the worst clashes between foes Armenia and Azerbaijan since 2016. Fighting between the ex-Soviet republics over a decades-long territorial dispute threatens to embroil regional players Russia and Turkey. The United States, Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. and Russia have a rare opportunity to work together on a peace deal” – Washington Post/ David Ignatius

Map of Armenia and Environs

“… Russia and the United States … are co-chairs of a group … seeking to broker a peace deal [addressing] …. the long-frozen standoff between Armenia and Azerbaijan … with roots in ethnic and territorial disputes which this month became a hot war with barrages of artillery …. a rare convergence of interest between Russia and the United States, two […]

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Is This The Most Important Geopolitical Deal Of 2018?

(Oilprice.com – Olgu Okumus – August 13, 2018 – oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Asia/Is-This-The-Most-Important-Geopolitical-Deal-Of-2018.html) The two-decade-long dispute on the statute of the Caspian Sea, the world largest water reserve, came to an end last Sunday when five littoral states (Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan) agreed to give it a special legal status – it is now neither a sea, nor a lake. Before […]

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A Landmark Caspian Agreement — And What It Resolves

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – – Bruce Pannier – August 9, 2018- also appeared at rferl.org/a/qishloq-ovozi-landmark-caspian-agreement–and-what-it-resolves/29424824.html) It has taken more than 20 years. But on August 12, the leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran,  Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan will meet in the Kazakh port city of Aqtau, reportedly to sign a new convention on the legal status […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Front Line Drawn Across Russia’s Backyard” – Stratfor

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“Globalization has changed how we think about time, space and distance, but geography is still the same where it counts: national security. … former Soviet states lining Russia’s border know this better than most … their proximity to the eastern giant renders them more vulnerable to Moscow’s hybrid warfare …. Nations like Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova sit on the front line of […]

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Putin’s Arms Bazaar Is in a Serious Sales Slump

File Photo of Buk-1 SAM

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Tobin Harshaw – April 25, 2017) Tobin Harshaw writes editorials on national security, education and food for Bloomberg View. He was an editor with the op-ed page of the New York Times and the paper’s letters editor. Russian President Vladimir #Putin is mighty proud of his #military’s performance in #Syria. And, as I have written, it’s […]

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On 25 years of postmodernity in the South Caucasus

A quarter century since the collapse of Soviet rule in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, where is the region now and what can come next? (opendemocracy.net – Georgi Derlugian – October 4, 2016) Georgi Derluguian, in his earlier life a Soviet-trained Africanist, studies the evolution of human societies along with practicing expeditionary fieldwork. Among his books are Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in […]

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Russia Says Armenian-Azeri Peace Deal Is Closer Than Ever

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Zulfugar Agayev, Sara Khojoyan – July 12, 2016) Russia is taking the lead in ramping up international efforts to end the conflict between Azeris and Armenians over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh after the worst outbreak of fighting in more than 20 years. “We have reasons to believe that we’re much closer now to success than ever […]

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How Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Could Spark Major International Crisis

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – April 7, 2016) Springtime in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is predictable enough. As sure as the plane trees begin to flower, skirmishes break out between Azeri and Armenian troops. On April 2, however, the typically short-lasting, day-long ritual morphed into the makings of a serious international crisis. Armenia and Azerbaijan have […]

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De Waal: Kremlin ‘Not Primary Actor’ Behind Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Arzu Geybullayeva – April 4, 2016) A noted Western expert on the Caucasus says tensions between Azerbaijanis and Armenians over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh make their dispute one of the most menacing unresolved conflicts from the time the Soviet Union was breaking up in the early 1990s. But Thomas de Waal, a senior associate with Carnegie […]

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Russian expert: Karabakh conflict to go back to frozen state

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(Interfax – April 5, 2016) The ongoing outbreak of tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh will not spark a full-scale armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and complex and problem-ridden negotiations in which Moscow traditionally plays a mediating role are likely to resume, Fyodor Lukyanov, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, has said. “The transformation of current […]

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Interfax: Half of Russians back independence of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Transdniestria

Georgia Beach in Abkhazia Region

(Interfax – September 21, 2015) Half of Russians deem Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be independent states and think that these republics and Transdniestria should have formal independent status, the Levada Center has told Interfax. According to the poll of 800 respondents held in 134 populated localities in 46 regions on August 21-24, practically half (47 percent) of respondents see […]

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The Riga summit of disappointment

EU Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – May 21, 2015) Several plucky countries of Emerging Europe have put their necks on the block by defying Russian bullying to join its Customs Union, turning instead to the EU and its promise of a better life. But most of these countries are likely to be disappointed, or could […]

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End Of South Stream: Winners & Losers

Black Sea Satellite Photo file image

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – December 02, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin rarely makes an uncalculated gesture or concedes defeat. So his announcement on December 1 that Russian energy giant Gazprom was pulling out of plans to build the South Stream natural gas pipeline to southeastern Europe took many by surprise. Russia had long sought a direct route […]

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Business New Europe: Putin plays peacemaker in South Caucasus

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – August 11, 2014) While the world’s attention is focused on the fighting in Iraq and Ukraine, a threatened resurgence of the long frozen conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh looks to have been averted. Following several small-scale clashes around the separatist republic in recent weeks, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed at a meeting hosted by […]

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Nagorno-Karabakh: Crimea’s doppelganger

Map of Armenia and Environs

(opendemocracy.net – Thomas de Waal – June 13, 2014) Thomas de Waal is a senior associate for the Caucasus at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) in Washington. He is the author of The Caucasus: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010). His earlier books include Chechnya: Calamity in the Caucasus (NYU Press, 1999) – with Carlotta Gall; and Black […]

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South Caucasus states shun Moscow’s influence

Tblisi, Georgia, file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yuri Simonyan, special to RBTH – May 3, 2014) When it comes to its relations with former Soviet republics in the Caucasus, Moscow has a delicate balancing act to play. It’s virtually impossible for Russia to play the role of a mediator in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Karabakh, but at the same time, […]

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Presumption of innocence violated in Biryulyovo murder suspect’s case – Azeri Foreign Ministry

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(Interfax – BAKU, October 17, 2013) Azerbaijan’s Embassy in Moscow has lodged a protest with the Russian Foreign Ministry over what it called violations of the rights of Azeri native Orkhan Zeynalov, who is suspected of killing ethnic Russian man Yegor Shcherbakov in the Biryulyovo district in southern Moscow. “The brutal detention and brutal treatment of Orkhan Zeynalov, whom they […]

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Azeri Presidential Election Shows the Power of Oil

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – October 10, 2013) Ilham Aliyev was headed to win Wednesday’s presidential election in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, in what some analysts say is the perfect demonstration of how oil revenues can strengthen a country’s leader both domestically and internationally. During the decade that Aliyev ruled the country after succeeding his […]

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Putin’s Visit to Baku Highlights Russia’s ‘Clout’

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 14, 2013) President Vladimir Putin met with his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Baku on Tuesday in what proved to be a fruitful visit, but one which led some to express caution about Russia’s influence in the republic. The visit came just a few weeks before presidential elections are set to […]

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Putin to Bolster Ties With Azerbaijan During One-Day Visit

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 13, 2013) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay a one-day working visit to Azerbaijan to discuss a wide range of bilateral issues, including trade, energy and transportation, a presidential aide said. The talks are expected to result in the signing of several agreements, including a document on cooperation between emergencies ministries. “The presidents will […]

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Five Years After The War, South Caucasus Still Caught Between Russia, The West

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – August 7, 2013) Azerbaijan is arming to the teeth. Armenia is growing increasingly disillusioned with Russia, its main protector. And the potential for armed conflict in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region appears higher than it has been in years. The increased tensions surrounding the Armenian-controlled separatist enclave inside Azerbaijan — where there have been […]

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Russia in the Caucasus

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(International Relations and Security Network (ISN) – www.isn.ethz.ch – Aglaya Snetkov for the ISN – February 25, 2013) Aglaya Snetkov is a senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies (CSS). Despite the attempts by Western powers to penetrate the Caucasus, Russia continues to exert unmatched influence over the region. In today’s Questions and Answers presentation, the CSS’ Aglaya Snetkov […]

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