Key Facts about Nagorno-Karabakh Region

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Overview:

Russian peacekeepers have begun withdrawing from Nagorno-Karabakh following Azerbaijan's recapture of the disputed territory from Armenian separatists last year.

About Nagorno-Karabakh Region

  • Nagorno-Karabakh, known as Artsakh by Armenians, is a landlocked mountain ousarea in the South Caucasus.
  • It was claimed by both Azerbaijan and Armenia after the fall of the Russian Empire in 1917 and has remained a point of tension ever since.
  • The territory is internationally recognised as part of oil-rich Azerbaijan, but its inhabitants are predominantly ethnic Armenians and have their own government, which has enjoyed close links to the government in neighbouring Armenia but has not been officially recognised by it or other United Nations member states.
  • Armenians, who are Christians, claim a long historical dominance in the area, dating back to several centuries before Christ.
  • Azerbaijan, whose inhabitants are mostly Muslim, links its historical identity to the territory, too.
  • What is the history?
    • Over the centuries, the enclave has come under the sway of Persians, Turks, Russians, Ottomans, and Soviets.
    • After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought over the region.
    • When the Bolsheviks took over Azerbaijan, Armenia agreed to Bolshevik control, ushering in the Sovietisation of the whole of the Caucasus.
    • Karabakh, with its borders redrawn to include as many Armenians as possible, remainedpart of the Azeri Soviet Socialist Republic but with autonomy.
    • Its name was “Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast”.
    • Under the Soviet Union, Nagorno-Karabakh became an autonomous region within the republic of Azerbaijan.
    • As the Soviet Union crumbled, what is known as the First Nagorno-Karabakh War (1988-1994) erupted between Armenians and their Azeri neighbours.
    • Azerbaijan lost a chunk of its territory, with Armenians left in control of most of Karabakh, alongside extra territory around Karabakh’s perimeter.
  • The 44-day war in 2020:
    • In 2020, after decades of skirmishes, Azerbaijan began a military operation that became the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, swiftly breaking through Armenian defences.
    • Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, wona resounding victory in the 44-day war, taking back parts of Karabakh.
    • The region is of key strategic importance as well, surrounded by Turkey, Iran, and Russia, and the hydrocarbon deposits of the Caspian Sea.

Q1: Which countries border the Caspian Sea?

The Caspian Sea is bordered by Russia to the northwest, Kazakhstan to the northeast, Turkmenistan to the southeast, Iran to the south, and Azerbaijan to the southwest.

Source: Russian peacekeepers started withdrawal from Nagorno-Karabakh: Kremlin