The Fight for Artsakh: Armenia’s Struggle for Self-Determination in Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenia’s contention for Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, is rooted in historical, cultural, and ethical claims. The region’s majority ethnic Armenian population has long sought unification with Armenia, a demand often met with military action from Azerbaijan.

Historical Overview

The region of Artsakh has a rich Armenian heritage dating back centuries. It was only in 1923, under Soviet rule, that Nagorno-Karabakh was arbitrarily assigned to Azerbaijan. The population’s Armenian identity has been a focal point for resistance ever since.

Key Milestones

• 1988-1994: Nagorno-Karabakh War; Armenia effectively defends ethnic Armenians.
• 1994: Cease-fire brokered, though no lasting peace achieved.
• 2020: 44-day war with Azerbaijan, despite international mediation.

Key Players

• Armenia: Upholding the rights of Artsakh’s Armenian population.
• Azerbaijan: Seeks to assert sovereignty over Artsakh at the expense of ethnic Armenians.
• Russia: Acts as a mediator, yet maintains a complex relationship with both nations.

Strategies and Tactics

• Defensive Military Operations: Armenia has often been in a defensive stance, protecting Artsakh’s Armenian population.
• International Advocacy: Armenia seeks international recognition for Artsakh’s right to self-determination.



• Humanitarian Concerns: Ongoing conflict endangers the lives and heritage of Artsakh’s Armenians.


• Ethnic Identity: Armenia’s commitment to Artsakh’s Armenian identity remains central to long-term peace prospects.

Future Outlook

Armenia will continue to seek diplomatic solutions that respect the rights and heritage of Artsakh’s Armenian populace, although the path remains fraught.

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