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The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. Jacob Dougherty Geog 308: Russia and Eastern Europe Professor Zoltan Grossman University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire Spring 2005. aze/aze_culture.htm . Where is Nagorno-Karabakh?.

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The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

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The nagorno karabakh conflict l.jpg

The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Jacob Dougherty

Geog 308: Russia and Eastern Europe

Professor Zoltan Grossman

University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire

Spring 2005 aze/aze_culture.htm

Where is nagorno karabakh l.jpg

Where is Nagorno-Karabakh?

  • Located in the southeastern part of Caucasus Minor

  • Landscape very mountainous and rugged

  • Enclave within political boundaries of Azerbaijan

  • Agricultural economy

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Ethnic Diversity in Nagorno-Karabakh

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Armenia/Azerbaijan During the Pre-Soviet and Early Soviet Era

  • 1813- Russian Empire takes control of Caucasus region; Azeri Turks emigrate from Nagorno-Karabakh; Armenian population grows

  • 1917- Russian Revolution; Armenia and Azerbaijan declare independence, fight for control over Karabakh

  • 1920- Soviet Red Army intervenes; Transcaucasian SFSR formed (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan)

  • 1921- Azerbaijan SSR cedes Karabakh region to Armenian SSR ru_transcaucasia1923c.gif

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Why did Stalin give Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan?

  • Gerrymandering: Stalin wanted to pit the ethnic groups in the South Caucasus regions against each other

    • Thus, Karabakh was placed within Azerbaijan SSR, and Nagorno-Karabakh was given autonomy within Azerbaijan, creating the modern border of the region (1924)

    • Stalin made concessions to Azerbaijan SSR because of its economic importance, specifically its oil resources azerbaijan_ssr.90.jpg

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The Soviet Era

  • Azeri policy of systematic removal of Armenians from Karabakh

    • From 1923 to 1979, Armenian population reduced from 150,000 to 120,000, while the Azeri population increased from 7,500 to 38,000

    • Demographic change exacerbates conflict

    • Azeri Communist leader Heydar Aliyev, with strong nationalist sentiments, claims the right of Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh; result is thousands of Armenian displaced persons from 1968 to 1988 armenia31b.jpg

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Perestroika and the Drive for Independence

Azeri groups also organize and protest Soviet rule and concessions to Armenia, 1989

  • Armenian minority given no rights to organize before Perestroika; suddenly after Perestroika Armenian protests against Azerbaijan SSR begin in Karabakh (75% of population) and Armenia protests/protests_89.jpg

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1988-1991: Key Years

  • 1988- Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous government votes by referendum to unify with Armenia

  • 1989- Azerbaijan blockades Armenian fuel and supply lines over Karabakh issue

  • Azeri troops try to keep control of region, Armenian rebels fight for irredentism; true military fighting begins, 1989

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Moscow Gets Involved

  • 1990- Violent Azeri protests against Armenia in Sumgait and Baku (Azerbaijan) prompt Moscow to deploy troops, occupy Baku

  • Azeri militia and Soviet forces target Armenian paramilitaries operating in Nagorno-Karabakh, Moscow sends troops to Yerevan (Armenia)

  • 1991- Moscow suddenly withdraws support from Azerbaijan and Soviet troops leave Nagorno-Karabakh

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The Results of Soviet Withdrawal

  • October 1991- Referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh approves independence, eventual union with Armenia

  • Violence increases dramatically after Soviet withdrawal

    • Over 30,000 killed in fighting between 1992-94

    • Armenian forces seize Susha (historically Azeri city) and Lachin (links Karabakh to Armenia)

    • UN Security Council calls for an end to hostilities, withdrawal of Armenian forces from occupied areas of Azerbaijan

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Occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh

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Images of War

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Cease-Fire, 1994

  • Russia brokered a cease-fire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1994

  • The cease-fire has not been successful, as the goals of both sides have not been met

    • Armenia occupies 20% of Azeri territory, including territory outside of Karabakh; still demands independence for Karabakh

    • Azerbaijan demands its right to self-determination, the end of the occupation and the return of Karabakh to Azerbaijan; perceives Russia as aiding Orthodox Armenia

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Legacy of the Conflict

  • Over 400 people have died each year since the cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh due to the continued conflict

  • The plight of refugees

    • Over 1 million displaced Azeris in Azerbaijan

    • Refugee camps unable to supply refugees with clean water, food

    • Lack of assistance from Moscow, the West

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The Role of Oil

  • Nagorno-Karabakh is essential to both the Baku-Supsa and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline routes

    • Baku-Supsa route (starting in Baku and going through Georgia to the Black Sea) avoids Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia

    • Armenians discuss interrupting the flow of oil as retaliation

    • BTC route also avoids Armenian territory, but goes through territory of two Armenian rivals (Georgia and Turkey)

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Oil Routes from Baku

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  • No end to conflict in sight

    • Both sides unwilling to make concessions

    • “Primordial” claims over territory by both sides

    • The unsolved problem of what to do with refugees

    • Continued fighting despite cease-fire

    • Russia claiming to uphold cease-fire while arming Armenia; U.S. making oil deals with Azerbaijan

    • Building of oil pipelines likely to upset Armenia

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Found at

“Karabakh Conflict”

Found at

“The Office of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the USA”

Found at

“The World Factbook”

Found at

“Armenian Embassy: Nagorno-Karabakh Peace Process”

Found at

“Nagorno-Karabakh: A Case Study”

Found at

Goldman, Dr. Minton F. Russia, the Eurasian Republics, and Central/Eastern Europe. 9th Ed. Guilford: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2003. 67-69.

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