What Is Nagorno-Karabakh and Why Are They Fighting Over It?


As an all-out war seemingly looms between Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey and Armenia, backed by Russia over Nagorno-Karabakh, much the world is asking where Nagorno-Karabakh is?

We are happy to answer that question!

What is Nagorno-Karabakh? Nagorno-Karabakh is a breakaway state sandwiched between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It was formerly an autonomous part of the Azerbaijan SSR, but is inhabited by Armenians. It is now a breakaway state.

Why Is There Fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh?

To put it very simply. Azerbaijan views Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan. The people of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia do not.

What Started the Conflict Over Nagorno-Karabakh?

After the dissolution of the USSR, in theory, all former republics kept their territorial integrity. Sadly this meant a whole heap of people being part of countries they did not want to be part of. This has lead to several other “frozen conflict zones” in the former USSR. In 1994 there was a war, and Nagorno-Karabakh gained independence. To read about other frozen conflict zones such as Transnistria, Abkhazia, Gagauzia, South Ossetia and Donetsk please follow any of the preceding links.

Is Nagorno-Karabakh a Country?

It depends very much on how you define a country, but it is a country as per the Montevideo Convention. It is though unrecognized by any UN member state (although other unrecognized countries recognize it).

To read about what counts as a country, click here.

Why Are They About to Go to War in Nagorno-Karabakh?

he war never stopped, and there have been constant skirmishes for the last 30 years. This time the skirmishes got a little bit worse than usual, so people have been protesting in favor of war. Good old fashioned nationalism at work. The Azeri president has promised to take back Nagorno-Karabakh! How serious the conflict is remains to be seen.

Will There Be a Conventional War Between Armenia and Azerbaijan?

It is hard to say, but the current rhetoric looks like there might be.

Can You Travel to Nagorno-Karabakh?

Usually, you can, and we have been running tours there for almost ten years, but combining a bit of Coronavirus with war means that right now, you are unlikely to be taking a holiday in Stepanakert (the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh).

And that is the skinny on Nagorno-Karabakh!

If you’d like to travel to Nagorno-Karabakh one day, click here.

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