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Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

CrisisWatch Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Unchanged Situation

Russian-brokered ceasefire held in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) conflict zone amid tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over release of prisoners of war. Situation inside NK conflict zone remained mostly stable throughout month with minor incidents: car 4 April reportedly stoned on Goris-Kapan road in south of Armenia where Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian forces operate; at southern section of line of separation, two local farmers 12 April said tractor was shot from Azerbaijani military position, prompting involvement by Russian peacekeepers; residential outskirts of NK capital Stepanakert 21 April faced gunfire from Azerbaijani positions close to Azerbaijan’s Shusha city. Both Baku and Stepanakert continued to report civilians and soldiers injured in mine-related incidents in NK conflict zone; mine explosion 26 April injured two Russian peacekeepers inside NK. On diplomatic front, Armenian PM Pashinyan 7 April met Russian President Putin in Russian capital Moscow to discuss post-war issues and assist in release of dozens of prisoners of war captured by Azerbaijan during conflict; Putin next day spoke with Azerbaijani President Aliyev on phone about past agreements. Russian govt 9 April dispatched plane to Azerbaijani capital Baku for transportation of Armenian prisoners of war and detainees to Armenia, but plane same day arrived in Armenian capital Yerevan empty. In response, Armenian Deputy PM Tigran Avinian 9 April accused Azerbaijan of violating terms of Russian-brokered ceasefire by refusing to free Armenian soldiers and civilians captured during conflict; Azerbaijani FM Ceyhun Bayramov same day stated that Baku had no more prisoners or detainees, and all of those detained in Azerbaijan were Armenian terrorists. Head of Russian peacekeeping mission 10 April in short comment to Armenian reporter announced that there was no plan to bring prisoners and detainees from Baku. EU Committee of Ministers 28 April called on Azerbaijan to release Armenian captives.
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Reports & Briefings

In The News

3 Oct 2020
This is a more serious escalation [over Nagorno-Karabakh], much better prepared, with more troops, and happening simultaneously on all parts of the front line. The Economist

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus
28 Sep 2020
We are a step away from a large-scale war (between Armenia and Azerbaijan). Al-Jazeera

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus
27 Jul 2020
At some point there are things that require somebody to set a leadership agenda. [OSCE] can’t do all of that without somebody in charge. Financial Times

Olga Oliker

Program Director, Europe and Central Asia
16 Jul 2020
It seems unlikely the [Azerbaijan-Armenia] crisis would escalate, as neither side has territorial claims on northern border areas and the fighting had not spread to Karabakh itself. Al Jazeera

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus
12 Apr 2017
The chances for the potential escalation [of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict] are very high. And the conflict will be more deadly this time, since both sides know each other’s capabilities Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Magdalena Grono

Former Program Director, Europe & Central Asia
29 Dec 2016
[A border clash between Armenia and Azerbaijan] is really very strange and surprising. There have been very few incidents outside Nagorno-Karabakh this year. Financial Times

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus

Latest Updates

Podcast / Asia

Ethnicity and Conflict in Myanmar

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Rob Malley and guest host Richard Atwood talk about the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh with Crisis Group’s Europe Program Director Olga Oliker and examine Myanmar’s identity crisis with Crisis Group expert Richard Horsey. 

Turkey Flexes Its Foreign Policy Muscles

In this week’s episode of Hold Your Fire!, Nigar Göksel, Crisis Group’s Turkey director, dissects Turkey’s assertive moves in places ranging from Syria and Iraq to Libya, the eastern Mediterranean, and now Nagorno-Karabakh.

What’s Behind the Fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh

In this week’s episode of Hold Your Fire!, Olesya Vartanyan, Crisis Group’s senior South Caucasus analyst, opens up about how the recent flare-up in Nagorno-Karabakh is affecting her personally. It could be the “big war” between Armenia and Azerbaijan that everyone was dreading would happen.

De-escalating the New Nagorno-Karabakh War

Azerbaijan and Armenia are again at war over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. Russia and France may be best-positioned to broker a ceasefire, but would need to offer parties prospects of attaining goals through talks. It will be a hard sell.

Video: Preventing a Bloody Harvest on the Armenia-Azerbaijan State Border

The fresh violence in the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border now threatens the livelihoods of many facing the impossible choice of leaving their crops to rot or risking their lives gathering their produce for market.

Our People

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus

Zaur Shiriyev

Analyst, South Caucasus