Nagorno Karabakh conflict . Armed conflict that had its origin in the population distributions carried out, first, by the Tsarist Empire and later by the extinct USSR .
Nagorno Karabakh is an enclave located in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan . Its population, mainly ethnic Armenians, always expressed their desire to be part of the Republic of Armenia . Throughout the 1980s, these nationalist wishes became more public and as the Soviet Union weakened, the Armenian secessionist claims became more explicit, until February 20 , 1990the Nagorno Karabakh Soviet voted in favor of its annexation to Armenia. In this climate of tension, episodes of ethnic cleansing took place. Finally, the confrontation led to open warfare. After two years of harsh war, in 1994 a ceasefire was signed that was not satisfactory for Azerbaijan since, in addition to control of the Nagorno Karabakh enclave, it lost sovereignty over 7 districts that are also Azerbaijani territory.
The territory is officially recognized by the United Nations as part of Azerbaijan, illegally occupied by Armenia. The United Nations Security Council , in its resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of 1993, condemned the occupation of the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, reaffirmed respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the inadmissibility of the use of force for the acquisition of territories, and also demanded the immediate cessation of hostilities and hostile acts, as well as the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all occupying forces from Armenia in the occupied districts of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
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- 1 Nagorno Karabakh
- 2 Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region of the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic
- 3 Contemporary phase of the conflict
- 1 Military phase of the conflict
- 4 Consequences of the conflict
- 5 Conflict resolution process
- 1 UN Resolutions
- 2 Ceasefire
- 6 References
The Nagorno Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan is part of the geographical area called Garabakh (Qarabağ). The name of this part of the country is made up of two words: “qara” (black) and “bağ” (garden). This area covers the lands of the Aras River from the south to the Kur River in the north, and from the confluence of the Aras and Kur rivers in the east to the Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the west  .
From ancient times until the occupation by the Russians in the early 19th century, this region was part of different Azerbaijani states. On May 14, 1805, the treaty was signed between Ibrahim Khan , the Khan of Karabakh, and Tsitsianov, representative of the Russian Emperor. According to this treaty, the principality submitted to Russian rule.
The occupation of the northern territories of Azerbaijan, excluding the principalities of Nakhichevan and Iraq, was confirmed in the Gulustan peace treaty that was signed by Russia and Iran on October 12 , 1813 . According to the Turmanchay peace treaty , signed on February 10 , 1812 , the principalities of Nakhichevan and Iravan would be occupied by Russia .
After the signing of the Gulustan and Turkmanchay treaties, the Armenians began to rapidly reestablish themselves in the Azerbaijani lands, this situation subsequently generated an artificial territorial division.
Within the Russian empire, the territory that once belonged to Azerbaijan was divided under a number of laws exercised between different administrative divisions. According to the final administrative divisions of Azerbaijan it was divided between the provinces of Baku , Elizavetpol and Iravan and along the Zagatala Okrug. Elizavetpol province included among other things, the area that is currently under the occupation of the Armenian military forces.
In mid- 1905 and 1907 the Armenians undertook a series of large-scale, devastating bloody actions against the Azerbaijanis. The atrocities began in Baku and subsequently spread throughout all of Azerbaijan, including the Azerbaijani villages in the territory of what is now known as Armenia. Hundreds of towns were destroyed and wiped out, and millions of civilians were brutally murdered.
Under the banner of Bolshevism, the Armenians sought to implement their plans, taking advantage of the situation after the First World War and the revolutions in Russia during the months of February and October in the year 1917.. Therefore, under the guise of counter-revolutionary elements, the Armenian commune of Baku began in March 1918 to implement a plan with the aim of eliminating all Azerbaijanis from the Baku province. Regardless of Baku, and exclusively because of ethnic affiliation thousands of Azerbaijanis were annihilated in Shirvan, Karabakh, Zangazur, Nakhichevan, Lankarán, all these regions of Azerbaijan. In these areas the civilian population was massively exterminated, entire towns were burned in flames, and cultural and national monuments were destroyed.
The 28 of maypole of 1918 the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (GDR) was declared an independent country. On that same date the Republic of Armenia was established.
Article 1 of the declaration of independence of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan provided that:
“From this date the people of Azerbaijan will obtain their sovereign rights. Azerbaijan, which is made up of the Transcaucasia of the south and the east, will be a legal and independent state.”
In April 1919 , the Allies recognized the temporary government of the General Government of Karabakh period, established by the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1919 and comprising the uezds of Shusha, Javanshír, Jabrayil and Zangazur (uezd – territorial administrative unit of the Empire Russian, enforced by the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic and the then Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic until the late 1920s). The center was located in the town of Shusha, it was under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan and its ruler was Khosrov bay Sultanov . In 1919, the National Assembly of Nagorno Karabakh officially recognized the authority of Azerbaijan.
The 28 of April of 1920 , the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic (later call- Azerbaijan SSR) was established. The facts illustrate that during more than 70 years of Soviet rule, the Armenians managed to expand their territory at the expense of Azerbaijan and expelling the Azerbaijanis from their homeland. During this period, the aforementioned policy was systematically and methodically implemented. As a result during Soviet rule, the territory of Azerbaijan was reduced from 114,000 km2 to 86,000 km2.
On November 30, 1920, the western part of the uezd of Zangazur was incorporated into Armenia. As a result the Nakhichevan region was isolated from the main territory of Azerbaijan.
The 13 of October of 1921 , was held in Kars with the participation of the Republic Socialist Federal Soviet of Russia friendship treaty between the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia and Turkey. In Article 5 of the Treaty, the governments of Turkey , Armenia and Azerbaijan expressed their consent for “the Nakhichevan Oblast to form an autonomous territory under the protection of Azerbaijan.”
From December to March of 1922 to the 5 of December of 1936 , Azerbaijan was part of the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republics of Russia. , (later – RSFS). It was then, until the admission of Azerbaijan to the Transcaucasus Soviet Federative Socialist Republics of Russia. (RSFS Transcaucasus), that the Basarkechar region of the New Bayazid uezd from the borders of the Russian Empire and 2/3 of the Sharur-Daralayaz uezd were incorporated into Armenia. After the admission of Azerbaijan to the Trans-Caucasian RSFS a portion of the Gazakh uezd, and a number of peoples from the Yabraíl uezd and the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (later – Nakhichevan RASS) joined Armenia.
With the intention of reestablishing the Armenians, who came from abroad, the Council of Ministers of the Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) approved, on December 23 , 1947 and on March 10 , 1948 , special decisions related to the resettlement of farmer groups and other Azerbaijani population of the Armenian SSR to the Kur-Araz lowlands of the Azerbaijan SSR. Under these decisions in the period between 1948 and 1953 more than 100,000 Azerbaijanis were taken from their homelands and forcibly re-established in mountainous regions of Armenia to the then arid steppes of Mughan and the plains of Mil.
Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region of the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic
As far as Nagorno Karabakh is concerned , in response to the territorial rights of the Armenian SSR in relation to this part of Azerbaijan, on July 15 , 1921 , the Caucasian Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) decided that [2 ] :
“Taking into consideration the need for a national peace between Muslims and Armenians, the importance of economic relations between upper and lower Karabakh, and the permanent relations of Upper Karabakh with Azerbaijan, the Nagorno Karabakh area will retain within the limits of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan, and a broad autonomy will be granted to Nagorno Karabakh, with the understanding that the city of Shusha will be the administrative center ”
On July 7, 1923, the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region (NKAO) for its acronym in English, was established in the mountainous part of Karabakh, where the majority of the population was Armenia. The town of Khankandi was defined as the administrative center of autonomy. In September 1923, the town’s name was changed to Stepanakert in honor of Stepan Shaumian, the “dashnak” and “Bolshevik” leader.
The borders of the NKAO were defined in such a way, to ensure that the majority of the population was Armenian. According to the population census of; January 12, 1989, the population of the region was about 189,000 people, of these people: About 139,000 (73.5%) were Armenians, about 48,000 (25.3%) were Azerbaijanis, and about 2 000 ( 1.2%) representative of other nationalities. At the same time, about 200,000 Azerbaijanis resided in Armenia at that time, and they were even denied cultural autonomy, both by the central government of the USSR as well as the government of the Armenian SSR.
Allegations of discrimination against the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh are not tenable under scrutiny. In reality, the NKAO possessed all the essential elements of self-government.
The status of Nagorno Karabakh as an autonomous region of the Azerbaijan SSR was stipulated in the Constitutions of the USSR of 1936 and 1977. In accordance with the Constitutions of the USSR and the Azerbaijan SSR, the legal status of the NKAO was governed by the Law “On the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region, which was approved by the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR on 15 of June 1981 and being abided by the Soviet of the Regional Council of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region. By virtue of being a national territorial unit, the NKAO enjoyed a form of administrative autonomy, and therefore, a number of rights , which in practice ensured the specific needs of the population Under the Constitution of the former URRS, the NKAO was represented by five deputies on the Council of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. It was represented by 12 deputies in the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR. The Soviet of the Regional Council of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region (NKAO) had a wide range of powers. It decided on all local issues based on the interest of the citizens living in the autonomous region and in reference to their national and other particular characteristics. The Armenian language was used in the work of all government bodies, as well as administrative and judicial bodies, the Office of the Public Ministry, as well as in education, which reflected the language requirements of the majority of the population of the region. Local radio and TV broadcasts, publication of newspapers and magazines in Armenian language were guaranteed in the NKAO. It decided on all local issues based on the interest of the citizens living in the autonomous region and in reference to their national and other particular characteristics. The Armenian language was used in the work of all government bodies, as well as administrative and judicial bodies, the Office of the Public Ministry, as well as in education, which reflected the language requirements of the majority of the population of the region. Local radio and TV broadcasts, publication of Armenian-language newspapers and magazines were guaranteed at the NKAO. It decided on all local issues based on the interest of the citizens living in the autonomous region and in reference to their national and other particular characteristics. The Armenian language was used in the work of all government bodies, as well as administrative and judicial bodies, the Office of the Public Ministry, as well as in education, which reflected the language requirements of the majority of the population of the region. Local radio and TV broadcasts, publication of Armenian-language newspapers and magazines were guaranteed at the NKAO. which reflected the language requirements of the majority of the region’s population. Local radio and TV broadcasts, publication of Armenian-language newspapers and magazines were guaranteed at the NKAO. which reflected the language requirements of the majority of the region’s population. Local radio and TV broadcasts, publication of Armenian-language newspapers and magazines were guaranteed at the NKAO.
The existence and development of NKAO within Azerbaijan and the form of autonomy that it evolved, are a reflection of the specific social, cultural and nationalistic characteristics of the population and way of life in the autonomous region.
Contemporary phase of the conflict
The conflict began at the end of 1987 with the attacks of the Armenians provoked to the Azerbaijanis in Khankandí (known of formal way during the Soviet period like Stepanakert). The result of this generated a multitude of Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced people to the territory of Azerbaijan  .
On February 20, 1988, during the session of the Regional Council of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region, representatives of the Armenian community made the decision to submit a petition to the Supreme Soviets of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic and the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia to transfer the NKAO from the Azerbaijan SSR and annex it to the Armenian SSR.
On February 22, 1988, near the town of Asarán on the Khankandí-Aghdám wagon, Armenians opened fire on a peaceful demonstration by Azerbaijanis protesting against the decision of the Regional Council of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region (NKAO ). As a result, two young Azerbaijanis lost their lives and became the first victims of the conflict.
From February 26 to 28, 1988, twenty-six Armenians and Azerbaijanis died as a result of the disturbances in Sumgait. One of the main figures in this event was Edward Grigorian, an Armenian originally from Sumgait, who was directly related to the murders and violence against Armenians and the progroms, a Russian word that means an attack or disturbance in Armenian neighborhoods. By decision of the Crime Classification of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Azerbaijan SSR issued on December 22, 1989, Grigorian was sentenced to 12 years in prison. The court found Grigorian guilty of being one of the organizers of the riots and massacres. Statements made by witnesses and victims showed that Grigorian possessed a list of apartments inhabited by Armenians and together with three other Armenians, called for reprisals against Armenians, in which he personally took part. His victims (all Armenians) identified Grigorian as one of the organizers and figures active in the acts of violence. In fact, the events in Sumgait were necessary for the Armenian leadership as a means of launching an extensive anti-Azerbaijani campaign and justifying the subsequent aggressive actions, against Azerbaijan, all of these premeditatedly planned. During the period from 1988 to 1989, Azerbaijanis were forced to leave Armenia. in which he took part in a personal way. His victims (all Armenians) identified Grigorian as one of the organizers and figures active in the acts of violence. In fact, the events in Sumgait were necessary for the Armenian leadership as a means of launching an extensive anti-Azerbaijani campaign and justifying the subsequent aggressive actions, against Azerbaijan, all of these premeditatedly planned. During the period from 1988 to 1989, Azerbaijanis were forced to leave Armenia. in which he took part in a personal way. His victims (all Armenians) identified Grigorian as one of the organizers and figures active in the acts of violence. In fact, the events in Sumgait were necessary for the Armenian leadership as a means of launching an extensive anti-Azerbaijani campaign and justifying the subsequent aggressive actions, against Azerbaijan, all of these premeditatedly planned. During the period from 1988 to 1989, Azerbaijanis were forced to leave Armenia. The events in Sumgait were necessary for the Armenian leadership as a means of launching an extensive anti-Azerbaijani campaign and justifying subsequent aggressive actions, against Azerbaijan, all of these premeditatedly planned. During the period from 1988 to 1989, Azerbaijanis were forced to leave Armenia. The events in Sumgait were necessary for the Armenian leadership as a means of launching an extensive anti-Azerbaijani campaign and justifying subsequent aggressive actions, against Azerbaijan, all of these premeditatedly planned. During the period from 1988 to 1989, Azerbaijanis were forced to leave Armenia.
During the mass deportation, at least 216 Azerbaijanis were killed and 1,154 people were injured. Refugees coming from Armenia, eventually counting about 200,000 people, started arriving in Azerbaijan.
On September 23, 1989, the Leadership of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR approved the Constitutional Law:
“On the Sovereignty of the Azerbaijan SSR.” The 5th legal provision which stipulated among other things, “that the Sovereignty of the Azerbaijan SSR shall cover the entire territory, including the integral parts of Azerbaijan: the Nakhichevan Autonomous Region and the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region (NKAO)”. It also established that, “the borders of the Azerbaijan SSR together with other Union of Republics can only be modified with the mutual consent of the republics concerned.”
On December 1, 1989, the leadership of the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR approved the resolution for the reunification of the Armenian SSR and Nagorno Karabakh.
On January 10, 1990, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR approved this resolution:
“On the incompatibility with the Constitution of the USSR, of the acts carried out by the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR related to Nagorno Karabakh”
It establishes the illegality of the unification of the Armenian SSR and Nagorno Karabakh without the consent of the Azerbaijan SSR.
On January 20, 1990, with the approval of the Soviet leadership under Mikhail Gorbachev, the armed army units were dispatched to Baku. Their retaliation, which was carried out with unusual savagery, left hundreds of Azerbaijani citizens injured and dead.
In 1991, the USSR Law Enforcement Agencies apprehended dozens of armed groups of Armenians operating out of Nagorno Karabakh. In this way the Armenian armed groups turned the town of Chaykand in the Janlár district of Azerbaijan into a criminal center from where they bombarded and riddled the surrounding villages and roads, terrorizing the local population of Azerbaijan. In the period from 1989 to 1991 alone, in Chykand and the adjacent areas 54 people were victims of the Armenian armed groups. In 1992, the Azerbaijanis took control over the Goranboy district.
The 30 of August of 1991 , the leadership of the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan, in the light of the constitutional law of the 23 of September 1989 declared the restoration of the rule of Independence established in 1918 by the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan (RDA).
On September 2, 1991, the Joint Session of the Regional Council of the Shaumian Regional District in Nagorno Karabakh declared the establishment of the “Republic of Nagorno Karabakh” within the borders of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region and the Shaumian District of Azerbaijan. .
The Constitutional law: “On the State of Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan”, approved on October 18, 1991, established the political and economic principles of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
On November 26, 1991, the supreme leadership of the Republic of Azerbaijan passed the law on “Abolition of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Province (Oblast) of the Republic of Azerbaijan”.
Military phase of the conflict
In late 1991 and early 1992 the conflict went into a military phase. Taking advantage of the political instability as a result of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the quarrels in Azerbaijan, Armenia began combat operations in Nagorno Karabakh with military assistance.
In February 1992, an unprecedented massacre against the Azerbaijani population took place in the village of Khodyali. This bloody tragedy, known as the Jodyalí genocide, consisted of the extermination and capture of thousands of Azerbaijanis, the village was completely razed. Suddenly from February 25 to 26, 1992 the Armenian armed forces together with the help of the infantry guards of the regiment 366 of the former USSR carried out the capture of Khodyali. The inhabitants of Khodyalí (around 2,500 people) remained in the village before the tragic night and tried to leave their homes after the start of the attack, to flee to the nearest town populated by Azerbaijanis. But their plans failed. The invaders destroyed Khodyalí and with particular brutality carried out a slaughter with the peaceful settlers.
This brutal annihilation of hundreds of innocent inhabitants of Khodyali was one of the most heinous crimes during the armed conflict in the surroundings of the Nagorno Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Armenian armed forces and foreign military units made virtually no reparation against all those who failed to flee from Khodyali and the surrounding areas. As a result of this, 613 people were killed, including 106 women, 63 children, and 70 elderly people. 1,275 inhabitants were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people is unknown to date. In the course of the tragedy, 487 inhabitants of Jodyalí were severely mutilated, including 76 minors. 6 entire families were exterminated, 26 children were orphaned, and 130 children lost at least one of their parents. Among those who perished, 56 people were killed with extreme cruelty. They were burned alive, their scalps were pulled while they were alive, they were decapitated, their eyes were gouged out of their sockets, and pregnant women were impaled on the abdomen.
The Armenian officials denied responsibility for the crimes committed during this conflict, including those against the population of Jodyalí, blatantly falsifying the facts and sharing their own interpretations about what happened, which distorted not only reality but also simple logic. However, even the most subtle propaganda would never manage to disprove the facts that speak of a situation diametrically opposed to what the Armenian side presented.
In addition to the considerable information in the possession of the Public Order Bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the responsibility of the Armenians is also documented by numerous independent sources and eyewitnesses to this tragedy, who were also recognized by the direct perpetrators of the massacre.
But much more important was what the elected president of Armenia, Serse Sarkisián, had to say about what happened:
“Before Khojali, Azerbaijanis thought that we Armenians were joking, they thought that we were not people who could raise their hands to attack the civilian population. We have been able to break with this (stereotype). And that is what happened. And the most important thing to consider is that among those boys there were some who fled from Baku and Sumgait ”
The facts confirm that the international massacre of the civilians of the town of Jodyalí that took place during the days of February 25 and 26, 1992, including children, the elderly and women, was aimed at mass extermination, solely because they were Azerbaijanis. The people of Khodyalí were chosen as the scene for subsequent occupation and for the cleansing of the Azerbaijani territories, sowing terror in the hearts of the people and causing panic and fear before the horrible massacre happened.
In May 1992, they occupied Shusha, the administrative and population center of the Azerbaijan region, within Nagorno Karabakh and Lachyn which is the region between Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. In 1993, the Armenian armed forces captured six other regions of Azerbaijan around Nagorno Karabakh including: Kalbajar, Aghdám, Fuzulí, Yabraíl, Gubadlí and Zangilán.
There is ample evidence proving the involvement of the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia and their hostile actions carried out against Azerbaijan.
In January 1994, the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan defeated in combat the subdivision of the separate motor rifle regiment â-555 (with Military unit No. 59016), of the Republic of Armenia and captured many Armenian soldiers. According to the document taken in pursuit of the combat operation, one of the units of this regiment made an escape in April 1993 from the town of Vardenis. Among the assets captured during combat operations in Kalbajar, Azerbaijan region, were combat maps with battle orders addressed to the commander of the separate motor rifle regiment â-555 and to the leader of the operational group, signed by Lieutenant-General G. Andresian, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia. Combat work maps of the officers of the 3rd motor rifle battalion of the 3rd separate motor rifle brigade of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia were also found. These maps showed the handwritten decision to launch the attack and capture the Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan on April 1, 1993. Azerbaijani troops also seized many personal documents from the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, who were called upon to the combat ranks and sent to Azerbaijan to participate in combat operations. Among these were national passports, military identifications issued by the different bodies in charge of calling the ranks (“military commissars”) of the Republic of Armenia, Call papers to join the military service forces and participate in the assembly meetings called by the bodies in charge of calling up the different districts of the Republic of Armenia, as well as identifications of the employees of the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia, special contracts for offering service in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia, transfer orders, petitions to grant military ranks, draft orders, leave orders and military teaching permits. From the year 1992 to the year 1994, the Armenian Armed Forces occupied the following administrative districts of the Republic of Azerbaijan: special contracts for offering service in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia, transfer orders, requests to grant military ranks, draft orders, leave orders and military training permits. From the year 1992 to the year 1994, the Armenian Armed Forces occupied the following administrative districts of the Republic of Azerbaijan: special contracts for offering service in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia, transfer orders, requests to grant military ranks, draft orders, leave orders and military training permits. From the year 1992 to the year 1994, the Armenian Armed Forces occupied the following administrative districts of the Republic of Azerbaijan:
- May 1992-Shusha District
- May 1992- Lachín District located between the former Nagorno Karabakh autonomous region and the Republic of Armenia.
- April 1993 – Kalbajar District (situated between the former Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region and Armenia, north of Lachin)
- July 1993 – Agdám District
- August 1993 – Fuzulí District
- August 1993 – District of Yabraíl
- August 1993 – District of Gubadlí
- October 1993 – Zangilán District
Consequences of the conflict
The armed conflict in the Nagorno Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan has resulted from the occupation of almost a fifth of Azerbaijan’s territory and has resulted in at least one in eight people becoming an internally displaced person or refugee. 20,000 people were killed, 50,000 people were injured or disabled, and an estimated 5,000 Azerbaijani citizens whose whereabouts are still unknown.
The aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan seriously affected the socio-economic spheres of the country. In the occupied territories 871 settlements, including 11 towns, 848 villages: hundreds of hospitals and medical facilities were destroyed or burned. Hundreds of thousands of houses and apartments, and thousands of business and medical buildings were destroyed or looted. Hundreds of bookstores were looted, a large number of valuable manuscripts were burned or, failing that, destroyed. Several state auditoriums, hundreds of clubs and dozens of music schools were also destroyed. Hundreds of factories in the agricultural sector, manufacturing industry and other sectors were also looted. An irrigation system of hundreds of kilometers was also destroyed. Hundreds of heads of sheep and thousands of heads of cattle were taken out of the occupied territories and brought to Armenia. About 70% of Azerbaijan’s summer grasslands were in the occupied zone. The regional infrastructure, which included hundreds of bridges, hundreds of kilometers of roads, thousands of kilometers of pipelines for water supply, thousands of kilometers of pipelines for gas supply, and dozens of gas stations were destroyed.
The war against Azerbaijan also had catastrophic consequences for its cultural heritage both in the occupied territories and in Armenia.
The damage inflicted in the Republic of Azerbaijan as a result of the Armenian aggression is estimated at tens of billions of dollars. On May 12, 1994, the ceasefire was determined. However, Armenia continues to violate this truce. Since the summer of 2003, there has been a serious increase in ceasefire violations by Armenians. In addition to bombardments and killings of Azerbaijani soldiers who were on the ceasefire line, the Armenians also attacked civilians who were residents of adjacent territories.
Conflict resolution process
Since February 1992, the process of mediation efforts for the resolution of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan was raised within the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, later (CSCE). At the Additional Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe, held in Helsinki on March 24, 1992, the decision was agreed to convene a conference in Minsk on Nagorno Karabakh, under the auspices of this entity. The purpose of this conference was to provide a continuous forum for negotiations in favor of a peaceful resolution of the crisis, based on the principles, commitments and laws stipulated by the CSCE  .
In general, the political and legal component for said resolution of the conflict is based on the norms and principles of international law established in resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the United Nations Security Council, as well as in the documents relevant issues and decisions of the later formed Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as other international organizations. The United Nations Security Council resolutions, agreed in 1993, in response to the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories, reaffirmed the respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the international borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan and all the other states of the region.
The Council demanded the immediate cessation of hostile acts, the immediate unconditional and complete withdrawal of the occupying forces in order to vacate all regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan and called for a restoration of economic, transport and electricity links in the region. Thus, the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes would be ensured.
The United Nations Security Council also endorsed the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group to achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict and called for exploration of ways to resolve the conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group process. Armenia did not implement any of these resolutions.
On 30 April 1993, the Security Council adopted UN Resolution 822 in its 3205 a meeting, demanding the immediate withdrawal of Kalbajar and other occupied areas of Azerbaijan by the occupying forces.
On 29 July 1993, the Security Council of the UN adopted Resolution 853 in its 3259 a session, which demanded “absolute, unconditional and immediate withdrawal of Agdam and other districts of Azerbaijan occupied by the occupying forces involved.”
On 14 October 1993, the Security Council of the UN adopted Resolution 874 , in its 3292 a meeting, calling for “the immediate implementation of urgent measures and are reciprocal stipulated in the revised schedule of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which included the withdrawal of forces from the recently occupied territories. ”
On 12 November 1993, the Security Council of the UN adopted Resolution 884 , in its 3313 a session which condemned the occupation of the district Zangilan and the village of Horadiz, attacks on civilians and bombardments of the territory of Republic of Azerbaijan, and demanded the unilateral withdrawal of the Zangilán and Horadiz district from the occupying forces and the withdrawal of the occupying forces from other areas of recently occupied Azerbaijan. Likewise, the UN General Assembly, guided by the purposes, principles and provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and recalling the resolutions of the Security Council previously listed, as well as its resolutions 48/114 (1993) , of 20 Decemberof 1993, entitled International emergency assistance to refugees and displaced persons in Azerbaijan , and 60/285 (2006) , of September 7 , 2006 , entitled The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan , also recalling the report of the mission of investigation of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe into the occupied territories of Azerbaijan bordering Nagorno Karabakh and the letter from the co-chairs of the Minsk Group to the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on the fact-finding mission, approved at its sixty-second session held on March 14 ,2008 resolution 62/243 (2008) entitled The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, in which it is reaffirmed that no State will recognize as lawful the situation created by the occupation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, nor will it provide aid or assistance to maintain that situation; respect and support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders, the inalienable right of the population expelled from the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan to return to their homes and emphasizes the need to create adequate conditions for their return, including the full rehabilitation of the territories affected by the conflict; demanding the immediate, total and unconditional withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
On May 12, 1994, the ceasefire was determined. According to the decision taken at the OSCE summit in Budapest (from December 5 to 6, 1994), the Heads of State and Government of the OSCE participating States created the institution of the Joint Presidency of the Minsk Group Conference for the coordination of mediation efforts within this framework. The Budapest summit appointed the OSCE chairman to lead the negotiations aimed at the conclusion of a political agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict, a stipulation that would eliminate the consequences of the conflict and allow an agreement of the Minsk Conference . The Summit in turn agreed on the decision to form the multinational OSCE forces charged with making peace prevail, once an agreement has been reached between the parties on the cessation of the armed conflict. The High Level Planning Group (HLPG) located in Vienna was established for the purpose of preparing for the peacekeeping operation. It replaced the Initial Operation Planning Group (IOPG), which was established in May 1993.
On March 23, 1995, the OSCE acting chairman issued a mandate for the Minsk Group Joint Chair process. (Document 525/95).
During the Lisbon summit, held from 2-3 December 1996, the Joint Chairmanship of the Minsk Group of the OSCE together with the OSCE Chairman-in-Office suggested the principles that would be the basis for the resolution of the conflict. Nagorno Karabakh. However, Armenia did not accept these principles, thus becoming the only one of the 54 OSCE participating States that did not support this.
Furthermore, the OSCE acting chairman made a statement of the following principles:
- Territorial integrity for the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan;
- The legal status of Nagorno Karabakh defined in an agreement based on self-determination that confers on Nagorno Karabakh the highest degree of self-government within Azerbaijan;
- Guaranteed security for Nagorno Karabakh and its entire population, including mutual obligations to ensure compliance with the laws of the resolution in what corresponds to all parties involved.
After the Lisbon Summit, the institution of the Triple Joint Presidency was established in 1997, including Russia , France and the United States of America , (since in 1992 they took place in Italy from 1992 to 1993, in Sweden in 1994 and in Russia and Finlandfrom 1995 to 1996, the presidential conferences of the Minsk group). Since April 1997, the negotiations were suspended and replaced by visits by the Presidents to the region. On June 1, 1997, the Joint Presidency presented a preliminary document of the comprehensive agreement for the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, which consisted of the agreement for the cessation of the armed conflict and the agreement on the status of Nagorno Karabakh. Despite the willingness of Azerbaijan to start constructive discussions within the framework of the aforementioned documents, Armenia definitely rejected the proposed approach.
From September 19 to 23, 1997, the Joint Presidency presented new proposals based on the “stage by stage” approach to resolution during its visit to the region.
In the first stage, the proposal stipulated the liberation of 6 occupied districts, deploying the OSCE operation to make peace prevail, return the displaced persons to the liberated territories and restore the main communications of the conflict zone.
In the second stage the problems with Lachin and Shusha had to be resolved and the basic principles of the status of Nagorno Karabakh had to be agreed. As a result, the OSCE Minsk Group Conference should be convened. In Strasbourg on October 10, 1997, the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia jointly stated that:
“The recent proposals of the Joint Presidency were the promising principles for the resumption of negotiations within the framework of the Minsk Group”
In February 1988, Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossian resigned and this opened the possibility for Robert Kocharian to come to power, which in turn generated a change in policy. Subsequently, when the next Joint Presidency visit to the region took place, Armenia had already officially withdrawn consent to the proposals of the “stage by stage” approach to conflict resolution.
On November 9, 1998, the Joint Presidency presented the proposals based on the concept of “Common State”, according to this concept, Nagorno Karabakh would have the status of a State and a territorial unit in the form of a Republic, which together with Azerbaijan would constitute a common state within the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan rejected these proposals because they violated its sovereignty and contradicted the Lisbon principles. Since that time, new proposals have been made and the Minsk process has practically reached a standstill.
In order to give additional impetus to the negotiations, direct talks have been held since April 1999 between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, in order to achieve a resolution of the conflict.
During the visit to the region in March 2002, the Joint Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group proposed to conduct negotiations with the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia through special representatives. The proposal was accepted by the Governors of the two States. From March 13 to 15 and July 29 to 30, 2002, two such meetings of special representatives of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia were held near Prague.
Since 2004 direct talks between the ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia have started with the so-called “Prague Process”. Despite the positive signs of the course to find a resolution to the conflict, the parties are unable to achieve substantial progress. The Joint Chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group reported in June 2006 to the OSCE Permanent Council that over the past seven months, mediation efforts had intensified and hard work had been done to reach an agreement on basic principles by of both sides of the conflict. For this purpose they visited Baku and Yerevan three times jointly and others more each on their own.
For the first time since 1997, when the format of the Joint Chairmanship of the Minsk Group was established, a joint mission of the representatives of these countries, at the level of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, traveled to the region in May to be able to clarify the presidents of both countries, that 2006 would be the window of opportunity necessary to envision reaching an agreement on Nagorno Karabakh.
According to the Joint Presidency, a set of essential principles was proposed to Presidents Aliyev and Kocharian. They clarified that their approach did not manage to resolve all aspects of the conflict in a single phase. Instead of being so, repeating the words of the Joint Presidency:
“Its principles sought to achieve a greater degree of progress, but postponed some difficult problems that would arise in the future and provided for subsequent negotiations”
The Joint Presidency reported that the two presidents failed to acknowledge that they had reached the limits of creativity in identifying, formulating, and finalizing these principles. They clarified that if the two sides could not agree on those principles that had been set out, now the two parties should be subject to working together to reach an alternative agreement that both consider acceptable. The Joint Presidency pointed out that there was no point in continuing with the intensive visits by the diplomatic corps and initiating subsequent presidential meetings.
In response to the notifications of the Joint Chairmanship of the Minsk Group and comments made about it by the Armenian side, who distort the reality of the negotiation process, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan clarified, among other things , that the definition of the legal status of the Nagorno Karabakh region of Azerbaijan is practically impossible under the conditions of continuous occupation and ethnic cleansing. The Ministry also provided for the liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the demilitarization of the entire conflict zone, the laws of international guarantees on appropriate security and the return of the Azerbaijani population, who were violently displaced from their homes. .
The Azerbaijani side once again reaffirmed its readiness to guarantee Nagorno Karabakh the highest status of self-government within the internationally recognized territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan and based on its Constitution.
The Ministry also noted that Azerbaijan aims to establish inter-communal peace, harmony and create favorable conditions for the definition of status, taking into consideration the future development prospect of the region. Furthermore, the Ministry added that Azerbaijan would be prepared to review existing precedents in international practice, and implement initiatives for the population of Nagorno Karabakh, once their ethnic composition is restored to the way it was in the pre-conflict period. Along with this, the Ministry reaffirmed on the part of Azerbaijan, its readiness for continuous talks to achieve a lasting and just peace in the region.
On July 13, 2007, the Joint Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group issued a statement providing an assessment of the emerging situation in the conflict resolution process, due to the meeting between the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and the President of the Republic of Armenia, Robert Kocharian, held in Saint Petersburg on June 9, 2007. The Joint Presidency stated that during the meeting, the Presidents focused their discussion on a limited number of obstacles that have prevented the agreement of a group of “basic principles” for the peaceful resolution of the conflict. The Joint Presidency subsequently declared that the presidents could not overcome these remaining differences. The Joint Presidency noted the initiative of a group of Armenian and Azerbaijani intellectuals to organize a visit to the Yaravan and Baku region in Nagorno Karabakh during its statement. The Joint Presidency welcomed this highly appreciated event, which they considered the first concrete measure to establish trust.
In its statement, after the General Assembly of the United Nations, held on March 14, 2008, agreed to resolution A / RES / 62/244, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan clarified that the preliminary document on the “basic principles” for the peaceful resolution of the conflict, contained much more disagreement and problems not raised than clarity. The problem of conflict resolution is dealt with on a daily basis at OSCE Summits and Ministerial Council Meetings, who emphasize the importance of a peace dialogue and efforts to achieve a conflict resolution based on the norms and principles of international law.
The Assembly clarified that the occupation of foreign territory by a member state constituted a serious violation of the state’s obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and reaffirmed the right of persons displaced from the conflict area to return to their homes with dignity and safety. The assembly also recalled the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and urged interested parties to obey them, particularly by withdrawing military forces from the occupied territories.