Nagorno-Karabakh: Turkey Instigates An Old War With Older Ambitions | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Nagorno-Karabakh: Turkey Instigates An Old War With Older Ambitions

For more than ten hours, from Oct. 9 to Oct. 10, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov presided over tough and grueling negotiations between Armenian foreign minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Azerbaijani foreign minister Jeyhun Bayramov. The talks focused on ending the recent war over the breakaway republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (known by Armenians as Artsakh). They resulted in a humanitarian ceasefire and a commitment to further peace talks. It seemed to be a remarkable feat for Moscow’s veteran diplomat. At the time of this writing, the ceasefire has “largely held,” albeit by a thread.

The war over Karabakh is new. The conflict, however, is not. Its complex origins can be traced deep into history, but the more contemporary conflict dates to the 1980s when Mikhail Gorbachev embarked on reforming the Soviet Union. In response to Gorbachev’s call for glasnost and perestroika, the Armenians of majority-Armenian Karabakh, then autonomous within Soviet Azerbaijan, sought to unify their region with Soviet Armenia. Peaceful demonstrations in Yerevan and Stepanakert were met with anti-Armenian ethnic violence in the Azerbaijani town of Sumgait, not far from Baku.

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