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Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh
Following an “anti-terrorist” operation by the Azerbaijani military in Nagorno-Karabakh, what was a blockade has transformed into an exodus of the region’s Armenian population, raising allegations of ethnic cleansing as tens of thousands of people flee to Armenia.
As this tragedy has unfolded, roughly 2,000 Russian peacekeepers have stood by and done virtually nothing. On September 20, a day after Azerbaijani troops forced the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh’s capitulation, thousands of people crowded the Russian peacekeeping base at the now-defunct Stepanakert airport, hoping to catch an evacuation that didn’t really begin for another four days. So many people showed up that a lot of them ended up sleeping in tents or cars.
In November 2020, a Moscow-brokered ceasefire agreement gave hope that today’s tragedy might be avoided or at least delayed another five years. To discuss that deal and Russia’s track record when it comes to peacekeeping in the region, The Naked Pravda turned to Olesya Vartanyan, Crisis Group’s senior analyst for the South Caucasus.
Timestamps for this episode:
- (2:52) The parameters of Russia’s peacekeeping mission in Nagorno-Karabakh
- (5:04) Who actually cares about Nagorno-Karabakh?
- (8:37) Russia’s reputation as a partner in the region
- (12:44) Bad blood between Yerevan and Moscow
- (16:53) When Russian peacekeepers come under fire
- (23:03) Taking “Russian peacekeeping” seriously
- (27:52) Who failed in Nagorno-Karabakh?
Production and mixing by Ania Kovalenko. Sound editing by Kevin Rothrock.
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