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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A Second Armenia


The fighting for Nagorny Karabakh has continued with some intervals for several years now. This conflict has deep historical roots stretching back to the Middle Ages.

At various times, Armenians and Azeris lived peacefully side by side in Karabakh, but conflicts broke out as soon as the question arose of which country this small mountainous region belonged to. For example, fighting between the two peoples broke out during the Russian civil war and lasted until the Red Army conquered Azerbaijan in 1920 and made it into a Soviet republic. The Soviet regime preferred to keep Karabakh under Azerbaijan's jurisdiction.

Outwardly, this seemed a good solution, but there was much bitterness at the Soviet repression and hypocrisy.

In 1988, ethnic Armenians in Nagorny Karabakh pressed for unification of the region with Armenia. This lead to guerrilla war and large-scale conflict between the two republics in 1992. This conflict has continued between the Armenians and Azeris in the region.

At present, the efforts to solve the problem are largely dictated by considerations far from the interests of the population of the region -- those of the oil business or the presidential election in Russia.

In any case, it is necessary to take into account that after the tragic events in Sumgait and Baku, the Armenians of Karabakh will never agree to be under Azerbaijan's control again. Those events have precluded a return to the former situation.

A realistic concession on the part of Armenians should be to allow the right of return of Azeris who lived peacefully with their Armenian neighbors. But this is problematic given the bitterness and distrust that has built up as a result of the bloodshed from the conflict.

Now Karabakh has become a de facto independent state. This seems to be a natural course of events. There may be an objection that two Armenias side by side make no sense. However, it is enough to look at the map to see that there are many states with populations that have the same languages and traditions whose existence is the result of some historical contradictions and local differences.

Karren Danielyants