M. Hakan Yavuz and Vasif Huseynov
Dr. Yavuz is a professor at the University of Utah; and Dr. Huseynov is a senior fellow at the Center for Analysis of International Relations and an adjunct lecturer at Khazar University in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The Karabakh region and surrounding territories — occupied by Armenia for the last 26 years — represented a classic “frozen” ethno-territorial conflict in the post-Soviet world. The conflict erupted in September 2020, and Azerbaijan managed to liberate the occupied territories. This article examines the causes and consequences of the recent Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. After summarizing the historical origins of the conflict, the article offers an analysis of four main causes that renewed hostilities. The 44-day war resulted in a military victory for Azerbaijan and catastrophic defeat for Armenia. The outcome not only shook up the Armenian political establishment, but also revealed a contentious dimension in the alignment between Turkey and Russia. The article concludes by analyzing the motives of Turkey’s extensive involvement in the conflict and the Russian-imposed truce deal, both of which are likely once again to freeze the dynamics that hold the central parties hostage to Russia.
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