By Suresh Hanubal
Recently, Armenia and Azerbaijan have been in the headlines due to an escalating conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region between the two Caucasus countries. The conflict began on September 27th and has escalated since then, with both Armenia and Azerbaijan declaring martial law and the mobilization of their armed forces. Armenia and Azerbaijan have long been enemies, so in a way, this conflict is not the least bit surprising, especially as both powers went to war over the same disputed region in the early 1990s with the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, what is interesting, if not surprising, about this conflict is the fact that it is just another crazy thing that has begun in this craziest of years and also the fact that many political analysts see this conflict as just the scene of a proxy war between Russia and Turkey. Russia and Turkey (through their predecessor states the Imperial Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire) have long been enemies, so this can be seen as just another chapter of this long seated struggle between the two powers. This is especially clear when noting that Turkey backs Azerbaijan in this conflict, and Russia backs Armenia. To provide a bit of a historical and cultural context, Azerbaijan and Turkey are both of course Muslim majority countries, whereas Armenia and Russia are both majority Christian nations. Additionally, the Ottoman Empire may have perhaps perpetuated genocide against its Armenian population, which means that Turkey and Armenia are not predisposed to like each other.
Anyways, enough with the outside factors! Armenia and Azerbaijan are going to war!! That’s crazy. I know Kim Kardashian is super upset about it. Maybe she can use her newfound legal prowess to find a basis to stop it? I don’t know. All joking aside, of course, the Armenian diaspora has a clear reason to be upset about this conflict, especially as Armenia is a democratic state and Azerbaijan is very much not. Additionally, Armenia is much poorer than Azerbaijan (that oil money makes countries rich rich). Like yeah obviously Armenia is the underdog “good guy” in this, and Azerbaijan isn’t the best with “human rights,” and yeah of course Azerbaijan’s leader is a Walmart knockoff Erdogan, but it’s multifaceted, okay? It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out for sure. Bye.