Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh victory highlights limits of Russia’s power

Featured in The Guardian



Azerbaijan’s military victory in the extended 35-year conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is a notable geopolitical setback for Russia, traditionally Armenia’s partner and ally. ... By then it had long been clear Russia had become embroiled in a quagmire in Ukraine – and so would be unable to prevent Azerbaijan from finally regaining control of an enclave of territory in ethnic Armenian hands over which it had wanted to assert control since the fall of the Soviet Union. ... “In a way, Russia chose the wrong country,” said Neil Melvin, a director at the Royal United Services Institute thinktank. “Azerbaijan is much closer to Russia: the two share a border. It is clear who is now the dominant force in the south Caucasus, and looks like it wants to align to them.”