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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

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
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

armenia azerbaijan during the pre soviet and early soviet era
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

why did stalin give nagorno karabakh to azerbaijan
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

the soviet era
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

perestroika and the drive for independence
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

1988 1991 key years
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
moscow gets involved
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
the results of soviet withdrawal
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
images of war
Images of War

cease fire 1994
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

legacy of the conflict
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
the role of oil
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)
  • 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



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.