Last fall, Prime Minister of the Republic Nikol Pashinyan signed the recognition of Azerbaijan’s 1991 borders in Prague.
When Baku announced the start of a “local anti-terrorist operation” at noon on Tuesday, I personally had no illusions about its borders. And when the Yerevan official directly said that he was not going to interfere, all doubts about the outcome of this operation disappeared. Azerbaijan has been consistently pursuing its goal for 30 years and can finally celebrate complete victory. Which was possible not only thanks to military superiority.
The reason for the current operation is nominal. Azerbaijan accused the Armenians of strengthening their positions, transporting ammunition, increasing the amount of equipment and extracting mines, resulting in casualties among both military and civilians.
Stepanakert had to accept conditions that can be called capitulation.
Photo: Alexander KOTS
For 24 hours, Baku carried out targeted attacks on the infrastructure of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army from a safe distance, methodically destroying the air defense systems, electronic warfare, artillery and fortifications of the Armenians. At the end of Tuesday, the Azerbaijanis clearly indicated the transition to the ground phase.
Destruction after the outbreak of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Given the lack of communication with greater Armenia and its reluctance to participate in the conflict, Stepanakert had no chance. Yes, local fighters could fight to the last drop of blood; I worked with them in 2020, they are true warriors. But without outside help, it would have been a massacre. Therefore, with the help of Russian peacekeepers (and not Blinken or Macron, to whom Pashinyan is so attracted), a ceasefire agreement was reached.
Stepanakert had to accept conditions that can be called capitulation: withdrawal of equipment and complete disarmament. This means that, in fact, Karabakh falls completely under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan as one of the regions.
Yes, local fighters could fight to the last drop of blood. But without outside help, it would be a massacre.
Photo: Alexander KOTS
Why it happened? Because the current authorities of Armenia have apparently decided to sacrifice Artsakh for the sake of a new Western path. Last fall, the Prime Minister of the Republic, Nikol Pashinyan, signed in Prague the recognition of Azerbaijan’s 1991 borders. All 86,000 square kilometers. And this means: together with Karabakh. It happened then, not now. He did not bargain and demanded at least autonomy for the region within Azerbaijan, at least culturally. He simply took it and sold it, placing responsibility for Karabakh’s future solely on Russia.
Russian peacekeepers evacuate civilians
Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
Well, then don’t be surprised that today his destiny was decided without you. The accusations against Moscow are completely inappropriate. Outraged Armenians can hold their protests at the French embassy or at the EU mission, which pushed Pashinyan to make this decision a year ago. Maybe they even promised something, but traditionally they threw it overboard.
Nagorno-Karabakh. City of Shusa. Cathedral of Saint Christ the Savior
Photo: Alexander KOTS
Be that as it may, Azerbaijan carried out an operation on its soil not even from the point of view of the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration, but from the point of view of official Yerevan, which in turn handed over Artsakh along with its inhabitants . Today they are being evacuated, housed and fed by Russian peacekeepers. We can do little in this situation.
The mandate of the Russian mission in the region expires in November 2025. It is difficult to guess what will happen next. Perhaps, at the initiative of one of the parties, it will not be extended. In the next two years, Baku will finally integrate Karabakh into its state. Most likely, the majority of the Armenian population will leave the region: too much blood has been shed and too little time has passed for reconciliation.
Protests in Yerevan against Azerbaijan’s operation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
In two years, Azerbaijan’s appetite may increase. And if a person who sees the future of the country without Russia remains in power in Armenia, then the algorithm is quite predictable. Anti-Russian demonstrations with the intensification of Russophobic sentiments, the expulsion of the Russian military base, the withdrawal of the CSTO and other agreements… What will then prevent Baku from wanting to force a corridor towards Nakhichevan, which is now isolated from the rest? from Azerbaijan through the Syunik region in Armenia?
The hope for Western protection is, of course, touching. But, as practice shows, this is unsustainable. And flirting with new clients who are far away promises serious problems with nearby neighbors. Iran, for example, will not be happy if it has a US military base in its most vulnerable part. But the emergence of a Russian base in Syunik as a guarantor of the territorial integrity of Armenia is a completely valuable alternative. As long as the state authorities do not think about their own future, but about the future of the country.
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