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TOPIC: caucasus

THE CONVERSATION

How Russia's Setbacks In Ukraine Could Reignite Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict

Azerbaijan’s recent shelling of Armenia is the worst hostilities since the war in 2020 over the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute. While in the past, Russia, a historic ally of Armenia, sought to restore peace, the Kremlin may make a different calculus this time.

-Analysis-

Almost two years ago, what is now referred to as the “Second Karabakh War” broke the uneasy truce which had been in effect between Armenia and Azerbaijan since 1994. After 44 days of intense fighting – with thousands of dead on both sides – it ended in a precarious, Russian-mediated ceasefire on November 10, 2020.

The nine-point document setting out the terms of the ceasefire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region of the South Caucasus largely cemented the gains made by Azerbaijan during the war. Among others, it provided for a withdrawal of Armenia’s troops from Azerbaijan and the restoration of economic and transportation links between the two countries.

This is particularly important for Azerbaijan, whose access to its Nakhchivan exclave is separated by Armenia’s Syunik province. The agreement also included arrangements for the stationing of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh until at least 2025.

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From Ukraine To Syria, Mercenaries With A Cause

Troops fighting around the world are often chasing enemies from somewhere else. A global tour of how the shards of 'broken nations' are fed into the conflicts of others.

ISTANBUL — I was speaking last week with a local leader of the Circassian community who told me about a Caucasian militant injured in Syria while fighting on the side of the opposition. After he was brought to Turkey, the injured militant was asked: “What is your business in the war in Syria?” He answered “Actually, I am fighting against Russia there.”

Fighting an ally of Moscow (the Assad regime) serves as an act of hostility against Russia. Of course, there is more to it: the Caucasian resistance movement has also undergone an ideological metamorphosis, and joined the global jihad network. Unfortunately, nations which have been torn apart by war and chaos may easily provide soldiers for others' causes. They are brave, loyal and fit for battle, precious human resources for warlords. Add to that an ideological or religious connection, and the deal is done.

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