On Tuesday, September 19, Azerbaijan announced the start of "anti-terrorist measures of a local nature" in Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia has been going on for more than a century.

TSN.ua has collected information on why Azerbaijan and Armenia are at war, how long the armed confrontation between the countries has been going on, and who owns Nagorno-Karabakh.

Whose territory is Nagorno-Karabakh?

Each of the countries considers Transcaucasia to be its historical lands. According to Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh is a territory inhabited mostly by ethnic Armenians. According to Baku, these territories legally belong to them. If we rely on historical facts, then the name of Karabakh comes from the Azerbaijani words "gara" - black and "bah" - garden. The name of a part of the district - Nagorno-Karabakh - appeared in the early 1800s. In Azerbaijan, Karabakh is not divided into mountainous and plain, for the country the entire region is integral - Karabakh.

After the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, the Republic of Northern Azerbaijan appeared, which claimed Karabakh. Armenia also put forward its claims to the district. Since then, clashes have begun, which have continued to this day.

Armed confrontation in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020 / Photo: Associated Press

What is the cause of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh

The reason for the armed confrontation between the two countries is the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia and Azerbaijan were part of the Soviet Union, while Nagorno-Karabakh was autonomous and controlled by Azerbaijan. The conflict between them broke out in the late 1980s, when the Armenian parliament announced the entry of Karabakh into the Armenian SSR, which, of course, Baku did not agree with.

A decade later, in 1991-1993, a new war broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh. It ended with the signing of a peace agreement, according to which the territories of Transcaucasia became an unrecognized republic. However, de facto they are controlled by Armenia, and de jure they are part of Azerbaijan. Since then, armed clashes have been considered "frozen", but which flare up from time to time.

The last time the armed confrontation escalated was in 2022. After midnight on Tuesday, September 13, the states exchanged accusations of provocations and shelling. Baku accused the Armenian armed forces of "large-scale sabotage" in the Dashkasan, Kalbajar and Lachin directions. And the Ministry of Defense of Armenia reported that on the night of September 13, units of the Azerbaijani armed forces fired intensively from artillery and small arms at the positions of the Armenian armed forces.

Armed confrontation in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020 / Photo: Associated Press

What is Ukraine's position in this conflict?

The official position of Ukraine was adopted at the UN level. The document says that the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh is not recognized, as well as the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia. Thus, in 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in its statement directly wrote about "respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan."

Why Azerbaijan attacked Armenia

On September 19, 2023, the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan announced the start of "local anti-terrorist measures" in Nagorno-Karabakh. Among the goals of the "operation" are "restoration of constitutional order", "cessation of large-scale provocations", "disarmament and withdrawal of formations of the armed forces of Armenia from our territories", "neutralization" of military infrastructure and ensuring the safety of peaceful Azerbaijani citizens.

The Ministry of Defense of Armenia claims that "there is no army of the Armed Forces of Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh."They deny reports of the Azerbaijani media about the presence of "units of the Armed Forces, military equipment and personnel" in Transcaucasia.

Meanwhile, local Armenian media write that

To recap, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also stated that Armenia can no longer rely on the Russian Federation as a guarantor of its security, because its "capabilities have changed" as a result of "events in Ukraine".

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