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Artsakh, the end...
Rise and fall of the Armenian enclave [i]
The story of the Artsakh Republic came to a bitter end. Surrounded, without supplies, food, or ammo, and with thousands of civilians — elders, women, and children left behind once the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh surrendered to the overwhelming Azerbaijani forces. Under the current circumstances, that is the best of the worst solutions. With a brave but tiny military; with a small Russian peacekeeping contingent in some key locations; abandoned by their own patron Armenia; without hope of any help, Artsakh leadership made a fateful and bitter decision. To continue fighting would be a disaster, and as a consequence the local population could be annihilated. Azerbaijan could afford to lose thousands of troops to achieve its objective — full control of the territory which is internationally recognized as a part of Azerbaijan — but Artsakh couldn't. For Armenia, it is a humiliation for which they can blame only themselves. In the case that Armenia intervenes, it would highly likely be a huge defeat because CSTO countries can help only if Armenia is attacked, the West doesn't care at all, Iran may intervene, which will cause Turkey to join the fight and a big war may start. Under the current circumstances, Armenia made a decision not to be involved, abandoning their people but potentially saving the country.
For 30 years, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and a brief but bloody war, Armenia was victorious, effectively taking control of the large territory and establishing the Artsakh Republic.
Azerbaijan was humiliated and defeated, but it never gave up. For 30 years they built their armed forces and, most importantly, secured the support of regional power Turkey, as well as advanced weapon supplies from Israel. Azeries created a situation that worked for them. What has Armenia done in the meantime? In short, their leadership tossed initial success down the drain and attracted NGOs (Soros and other criminals). Corruption, color revolution, and economic decline followed. Armenia’s actions created a fertile land for the incoming disaster:
Making very limited purchases of modern weapons,
Maintaining the false hope that the EU needed Armenia,
And, most importantly, stabbing their traditional ally Russia in the back by pro-western oriented leaders with the so-called pro-democratic movements.
The time worked for Azerbaijan, while Armenia slowly but steadily weakened its foundations.
The first mistake they made was the creation of a new republic as an attempt to act as an independent country instead of creating a referendum and officially incorporating the territory into Armenia. A newly created republic, backed only by Armenia and unrecognized by everyone else, put a burden on the already weak Armenian economy. The armed forces of the new republic were equipped with old but still functional Soviet equipment. To counter weak Azerbaijani forces in the 90s that was sufficient. Fortifying positions created a false hope that the game was over and that Azerbaijan was going to stay idle. These decisions created the stepping stone and a bridgehead to the situation that exists today.
In the meantime, Azerbaijan, with a large oil and gas production, accumulated financial wealth that outpaced Armenia tenfold. The Azeris slowly but steadily strengthened their armed forces and, most importantly, incorporated a new way of warfare using large quantities of drones for which Armenians didn't and still don't have a solution. Azerbaijan amassed large quantities of suicide drones from Israel, UCAVs from Turkey, and artillery and missile systems from Israel, Belarus, Pakistan, and Russia with a firm goal of getting their territories back.
As both countries are members of the CSTO and formally not fighting each other (even though many regular Armenian forces were involved), the recognition of the Artsakh Republic as a territory of Azerbaijan effectively tied the hands of the organization which rightfully didn't intervene. After the Armenian defeat only Russia stood to prevent a full annihilation and buy the time needed to settle the conflict peacefully. Nakhkchivan corridor was still a big issue. Armenia didn't allow Azerbaijan to establish a land connection with the Nakhkchivan autonomous republic. If implemented, that would give Azerbaijan unimpeded access without Armenian checkpoints via Armenia's Syunik Province. In a broad sense that would connect Turkey to the rest of the Turkic world. The concept was not part of the 2020 ceasefire agreement but was introduced later by Aliyev. It has since been promoted by Azerbaijan and Turkey, while Armenia has objected to it. Azerbaijan's response was a so-called ecological blockade of Artsakh — which was nothing more than a political action directed at Baku — and lately amassing troops for a final blow.
The presence of the US forces for the joint exercise with Armenian units, and political support by some Western leaders was nothing more than symbolic. Locals were trained in more or less riot control which can be only used in domestic situations. Armenians politically fighting each other, Pashinyan was squeezed and even he will be treated as a traitor, which to some degree he is because he aligns himself with the WEF and Soros. For the disaster, only Armenians can be blamed. They had enough time to try to find a solution, but on this path something went wrong and the consequences are evident.
What the rest can hope is that this forced "transition" will go as easily as it can, without ethnic cleansing and bloodshed. Some circles in the West would love to see a new war on the Russian border and some on the Iranian border but that is not likely to happen. No matter how antagonizing the parties are, common sense may prevail.
Edited by Piquet (EditPiquet@gmail.com)
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