Before I get back to analysing the war in Ukraine, and in reaction to a number of related queries, here a ‘few words’ on the latest developments between Armenia and Azerbaijan. One can discuss the ‘who started’ in regards of the Nogorno-Karabakh conflict as long as one wants: I doubt we are going to ever know
"Now everybody has to hope Azerbaijanis are going to stick to their promises regarding safety of Armenians in the NKR."
Are there any indications of the opposite? According to your text Azeri did not do anything like this previously, so why would they now?
During the Soviet Union, soviet leadership had no problem to redraw it's internal borders as they liked (e.g. joining Crimea to Ukraine). Armenia has asked several times the soviet leadership to join Nagorno-Karabakh, but were refused. (Do not know why?) During USSR dissolution, it was a consensus to keep internal USSR borders. If someone disputes Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbajan, then he/her may dispute Crimea belongs to Ukraine as well (and a good portion of other borders, too). So, the UN is last to blame, I think.
Well, Tom Cooper's "holy cows" in any attempts to speak about Nagorno-Karabagh conflict are:
1. Mentioning of Treaty Of Sevres as a "triggering point" for 2020 > not Russian-Azerbaijani-Turkish agreements in the wake of invasion to Ukraine, or arming of the Azerbaijan's genocidal dictatorship by Israel and Russia, but some regular article in the newspaper.
2. Whitewashing Azerbaijan's armed forces from any kind of mass atrocities, executions and tortures and mutilations and all ISIS-style "performances"
3. Speaking about "corruption" > I can bet that in every interview and article Tom ever produced the word corrupted/corruption are prevail over any other noun or verb
One can only guess, how come respected military specialist, so skillfully explaining complex operations of SAM systems, strategic blunders and breakthroughs, authoring so many truly high-class military history books, so short-sighted and incompetent is such a simple "good vs evil" case.
Tom, have you ever heard the name of the villages on the border? Can you please kindly help to find thousands of their inhabitants? Or the location of the pit where their mutilated bodies were thrown ?
All these arguments about the “absence of ethnic cleansing” can only be convincing without context. Armenians went through genocide in Turkey in the early 20th century and several massacres in Azerbaijan during1988-1992. Neither Türkiye nor Azerbaijan condemned this. The situation is similar to Kosovo, and if the Kosovars have the right to protection, then the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh are even more so.
That "special military operation" had all the signs of a staged conflict. Armenia's army proper neither panicked not reacted (even going as far as to issue an "all calm at the border" announcement which they woudn't do if they expected a potential strike any minute), Russia was the same and the west's reaction was something like the minimum amount of condemnation required. And Azeri army's movements were discussed beforehand, Armenia was complaining recently at Russian betrayal, and US/EU negotiators were active a few weeks ago then carefully went silent.
All of this seems to indicate that Armenia was forced at the negotiating table to surrender the NKR, but that was politically impossible without also suffering a military defeat. Maybe not all the details were cleared with Armenia but they definitely knew something was coming and Russia was almost certainly briefed in detail. They're so twitchy nowadays that in any other scenario they'd have threatened Azerbaijan with nuclear war or something.
Hello Tom. Few edits and corrections to propose since I am sitting in Baku and have a lot of first hand information from my colleagues working in Khankendi. Number of casualties of NK side are exaggerated and are not close to 1000. Re RPKF, they were not killed in helicopter ( that happened in November 2020), 5 of them were killed by AZ SoF ( e.g. fog , rain , mistake) and top ranking AZ general in charge for the front line had been dismissed, Aliyev called Putin to apologize and offered compensation to families of dead, sixth RPKF soldier was killed by NK army. GoAZ is calling this " anti terrorist operation" with aim to regain territorial integrity of AZ that Pashanyan on many occasion acknowledged and even signed document in Prague last year. You are right, AR never pulled back army from NK, even now Pashanyan is " cleaning his hands" stating that there are no AR soldiers on the ground what is highly questionable. My personal opinion is that this is well prepared in advance with the aim of removing pro wester PM of AR, installing pro RF puppet, keeping military base of RF in AR and no NATO at the border with Iran and RF. To biggest absurd to the geo politic and the region, Iran was the biggest ally of AR but as soon as AR held join exercise with almighty 187 USA Army they changed narrative. Poor AR is without allies and will not interfere in this localized conflict with big geostrategic implication. Many thanks for good summary
The one very important topic is lost in every recent news from there- Azerbaijan was ready to trade Armenian road to NKR if Armenia allow for Azerbaijan to use road to Nakhichevan according to initial peace agreement. It could be even corridor instead of corridor and seems to me Azerbaijan was ready to provide better autonomy conditions for NKR for it. But probably there was a reason why Armenia preferred to politically support Iran instead of secure their people in NKR.
Thanks. The situation regarding the internationally recognized borders is clear and it's noteworthy that those countries backing Ukraine have muddied those waters given that its the basis of the support of Ukraine. But - "Safety of Armenians in the NKR" - *now, that's the question!*
Surely we shall see a migration crisis due to emigration from NKR to Armenia. The population of Armenia is very homogenous maybe because of former conflicts with Turkey namely the genocide of 1920 when 5 millions of Armenians were killed by Turks.
Next part will be azeri will occupy part of Armenia to get access to their zone. They already talked about this in Russia and i don`t think Putin had something against.It`s funny how post USSR politics, split the land of such terrible manner. Karabah was obvious Armenian land and thinking Turkey was forced to do anything sound unreasonable, just like they have intervened in Syria just to get some extra land and kill kurds. The big guys play and the small guys just get destroyed in this games.
Oh, the Treaties of Ouchy, Sevres and Lauzanne...
Upto a few years ago one could, while registering on the Ryanair website as an Italian resident, choose the province of Rodi (or Fiume, but that's another story...)
Thank you very much for this report.
As long as the Russian “peacemakers” remain, I doubt that the NKR will be integrated (i.e. NKR authorities will cease to exist) in Azerbaijan. Also, everything started shortly after a joint exercise in Armenia with the US army - could be a coincidence but unlikely. And Putin not answering calls...
Anyway, if the issue in NKR is resolved in any possible way, Russia will lose its foothold in that area and hence its attempts to keep the conflict alive (albeit “frozen”)
For Armenia, the ultimate loss of NKR can be a chance to finally liberate themselves from Russia, join “the Western” institutions and raise the living standards of Armenians to at least the level of Romania and Bulgaria. I think that one reason why USSR/Russia has so often mistreated Armenia is because it actually refused to join USSR unlike Azerbaijan, and has been quite independent-minded.
On the other side I think that the chances that Armenians would make the right choices in this situation are slim. In their constant victimhood and unrealistic “upholding” of the treaty of Severs, it looks that they will follow the fate of the Palestinians which failed to establish any semblance of proper governance in their quite-limited-autonomous territories.
I had forgotten Pashinyan went full retarded with Sevres prior to the October. In my memories it was the Armenian initiating a deadly skirmish in which they killed an Azeri general which prompted the Azeri-Turkish alliance. Thanks for the refresher.
Armenians acted with complete lunacy. They were acting as if the 44 days war never happened. I guess this is what happen when a people is so thoroughly drunk on warmongering and bigotry. I have never seen something like this. By the look of it the Azeri side could completely annihilate Armenians forces if they truly wished to.
Gotta say I am deeply disappointed by th way so many Ukrainian supporters and even proper Ukrainians were suddenly okay with foreign occupation of an other state. I would be lying if I was pretending this + the recuring bigotry professed by some of them did not affect my perception. I so a disturbing amount pro Ukrainian folk hopping Russian occupational forces would prevent AZ from re establish its integrity.
They act this way and latter wonder why so many people outside Europe and North America remain, at best, ambivalent regarding Ukraine. Either international law protects all or it does not exist at all. But it can't be protection for the West and free for all whenever westerners want to pertain to their recurrent crusade fantasy.
I was watching the feed on Twitter this morning. Half the European government were meeting between themselves and Pashinyan to discuss how NK should be occupied by Armenia and AZ should totally not enter its own territory. It had no difference to how Putin orchestrated his meeting with Lukashenko to discuss the fate of Ukraine prior to February 2022. In other words, it was gross.
Side note : Back in 2020 the consensus among French military commentators (journalists and ex military officers) was that despite Azeri superiority in equipment and numbers, the Armenians would win thanks to their superior skills. You know, being superior white Christians people against the inferior Muslims Asiatic slave like barbarians. Racism and sectarism sure arent good counsellors in military affairs ...
Didn't follow the build-up. Thank you for the summary.