July 12 again speaks on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border weapon. Another inveterate conflict in the territory of the former USSR reminded of himself. Conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR).
The last serious clash between the Armenian and Azerbaijani military should probably be considered the battle near the villages of Chinari and Berdavan, Tovush region of Armenia in June 2012. Perhaps this sounds strange, but the essence of the conflict over the past time has not become more clear to the average man, but, on the contrary, has moved into the realm of speculation and personal resentment. Meanwhile, this is probably the most inveterate conflict in the territory of the former USSR.
The conflict, which all the then leaders of the country knew perfectly well, but for ideological reasons, was silent and tried in every possible way not to advertise what was happening in the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region (NKAO) of the Azerbaijan SSR.
The Soviet Union brought up the “new historical community of people ”- the Soviet people. The leaders of the country and national republics hoped over time to remove the basis of the conflict on a national basis. To some extent, this problem was really solved. There was really no open confrontation in the NKAR.
The first sprouts of the future war appeared in the 60s of the last century, when calls began to be made in Yerevan to return the historically Armenian lands to Armenia. It was then, in my opinion, that the conflict began to move to the grassroots level, the level of personal relations between Armenians and Azerbaijanis.
Some readers, especially the younger generation, got the impression that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is a product of the perestroika and collapse of the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, if you know the history of this situation in the South Caucasus, then we can say that very soon the conflict will celebrate the “centennial anniversary” of its birth. Think about a hundred years of “frozen conflict”!
A small excursion into the history of Nagorno-Karabakh
The appearance of territorial claims against each other among the republics of the Caucasus has historically been associated with ... the collapse of the Russian Empire and the creation of nation-states. Probably, many of the school history course remember the state that was created in 1918 on the territory of the South Caucasus - the Transcaucasian Democratic Federal Republic (ZDFR). When three nations (Georgians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis) decided to live together. But few will be able to explain where this republic has gone.
Soviet historical science did not explain this question to schoolchildren. There was such a time. Around friends who quickly turn into enemies, and vice versa. Therefore, the creation and disintegration of such state formations is the same objective reality, as, for example, the appearance of clouds in the sky. Meanwhile, the new state collapsed after a month. Three states and many territorial claims to each other appeared on the ruins. Clashes began over disputed territories.
In 1920, the Sovietization of Azerbaijan took place. The Bolsheviks, with the active assistance of units of the Red Army under the leadership of the commander of the Caucasus Front M. Tukhachevsky and a member of the PBC G. Ordzhonikidze, who defeated the Volunteer Army and supported the uprising in Baku in April 1920, seized power in the country. The famous raid of "red armored trains" (commander Efremov) in a short time ensured the establishment of Soviet power.
It was at this time that the fate of Nagorno-Karabakh was decided. The territory passed under the control of Baku, and soon (1921) it was announced that an autonomous region within Azerbaijan would be created in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenia became part of the USSR only in 1922. But time was lost, and the Bolsheviks were not particularly engaged in this in the 20s. Almost the whole of 1922, a new state was built - the USSR. A variant of the Caucasian republics was building its own Union - FSSSRZ (Federal Union of Socialist Soviet Republics of Transcaucasia, the agreement on creation was approved on March 12, 1922 in Tiflis). The status of NK as an autonomous region of Azerbaijan in the agreement was officially approved.
Spilled blood divided peoples
I will consciously miss the Soviet period of Karabakh. Just because the real blood was shed again in modern times, when the USSR began to decay. Perestroika, glasnost, persecution of special services, the practical lack of censorship and the almost complete loss of confidence in the government - all this could not but trigger the activation of nationalists in the republics.
In our case, the Armenian National Democrats were the first to activate. It was Yerevan that raised the issue of NK status. And it was the pressure of Armenian politicians that led to the fact that in 1988 (February 20) Stepanakert adopted at a meeting of the Council of People’s Deputies a document on secession from Azerbaijan and joining Armenia. In my opinion, this resolution should be considered as the beginning of an open confrontation between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Karabakh.
The question arises: why was such a document adopted? It is necessary to consider this issue taking into account the moods that were at that time practically on the entire territory of the USSR. But actually? The answer is on the surface. The ethnic composition of the Karabakh population: 76% are Armenians!
The answer to this decision, in my opinion, was the massacre in Azerbaijani Sumgait (February 27-29, 1988). Of course, other events can also be called the beginning, such as the shooting between the Armenians and Azerbaijanis from Agdam, which were sent to Stepanakert "to restore order" on February 21. Or the mass exodus of Azerbaijanis from the Kafan district, when 2 thousand people immediately left the district in one night. But Sumgayit is in this row especially.
By the way, the technology applied in Sumgait was subsequently applied in Kiev. On the evening of April 27, hundreds of Azerbaijanis heated by the rally and heated with wine (a fact proved and recognized by all parties) began to smash the homes of Armenians. I will give just one example from the book of V. Krivopuskov, “Rebellious Karabakh. From the diary of an officer of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs ”(the author served in the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs, in 90-91 he was the chief of staff of the investigative-operational group of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region):
“The rioters, breaking into groups of several dozen people, burst into the Armenian apartments that were planned in advance. People were killed in their own homes, but more often they were taken to the streets or to the courtyard for public mockery of them. Rarely did anyone die immediately from the blow of an ax or knife. Most were waiting for agonizing bullying. They beat him to a loss of consciousness, doused with gasoline and burned alive. There were frequent cases of gang rape of women and girls, often violence occurred in front of relatives, after which they were killed. Neither the elderly nor the children were spared. ”
Talking about the events in this region is a thankless task. Just because the more you delve into events at the level of ordinary people, at the level of one village, one family, the more difficult it becomes to find a solution. Each side cites many facts that testify to the wrongness of the enemy. It is facts, not speculation and information from the category of "people say."
Try to prove that people are not to blame for this, but the authorities are to blame, if I give you one well-known fact. 1979 census. 475 thousand Armenians live in Azerbaijan! In Armenia - 160 thousand Azerbaijanis. After 10 years, the 1989 census. 390 thousand Armenians live in Azerbaijan. In Armenia - 85 thousand Azerbaijanis. And after two years, these numbers are almost reset! Did this come from the policy of the authorities or from Sumgait and similar things?
Try to explain to the Armenians, whose relatives died in the same Sumgait, that this is simply an uncontrolled outbreak of anger, the stupidity of young people or something else that must be forgotten. Try to explain to a resident of the border village, an adult man over 50, or even over 60, that shooting from that side is a provocation, and you can’t respond to this with retaliatory fire. And he has his own trench in the garden, in which he has already defended dozens of times. I talked to such people. “This is my land! Here my ancestors lived and died. My children were born here. And no one will drive me out of here. I'd rather die, but not leave! ”
Try to explain to the Azerbaijanis why they should lose their land. In the same way, they lived here for many decades, maybe centuries. Why, under the guise of a struggle for the annexation of Nagorno-Karabakh, did the Armenians occupy the Azerbaijani lands bordering Karabakh? Let me remind you that during the three-year war (started in 1992), Karabakh gained independence from Baku, having actually occupied, in whole or in part, seven regions of Azerbaijan! If you calculate the total area (Karabakh, Kelbajar, Lachin, Kubatli, Fizuli, Agdam, Zangelan, Jabrail), an impressive figure is obtained: 19 thousand square kilometers.
The conflict moved to the grassroots level, it becomes difficult to control it. Ten years ago, the Armenians from Karabakh told me about the provocateurs on both sides, who often appeared on the demarcation line, started firing, wounded or killed someone on the other side and disappeared. And local self-defense units continued to “fight”. Often not understanding why.
While the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan will be more Armenians or Azerbaijanis than presidents, prime ministers, deputies and other leaders, the conflict will smolder.
Instead of a conclusion
I will give readers two reports from two defense ministries about what happened at noon on July 12 near Nagorno-Karabakh, right in the very security belt that I wrote about above.
“Starting from noon on July 12, units of the Armenian armed forces, grossly violating the ceasefire on the site of the Tovuz region of the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border, fired at our positions from artillery installations.”
“For reasons unknown to us, the UAZ tried to violate the state border of Armenia in the direction of the Tavush region ... After the warnings of the Armenian side, the Azerbaijani troops, having left the car, returned to their positions. After that, the Azerbaijani military again tried to seize the Armenian position by shelling it. ”
I think that is enough for those who have at least once been to hot spots. A group of servicemen who have an official UAZ at their disposal went somewhere on a day off. Naturally, on official business. The road was "mixed up" for some reason and went straight to the checkpoint of the opposite side.
Crazed by such impudence, the fighters at the checkpoint naturally tried to warn those in the car that this should not be done. But again, for some reason, no one in the UAZ heard a warning. Accordingly, when approaching the checkpoint at the target range, the soldiers opened fire to defeat. The result, according to the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan: two "two hundredths" and five "three hundredths". Most likely, given that the car was abandoned, they still got off with the “three hundredths”. The rest appeared during further firing.
And the explanation is simple. Those who had the right to a company car probably also have the right to command certain units or units ... In short, the sloppiness often encountered in war times the fatigue from the fight against coronavirus, fatigue from nervous tension and other factors.
Today, war is not needed by either side. Just because the objectives of this war are unclear. And just to kill each other, the soldiers are tired. There is no solution on the battlefield! Even Russia, no matter how it appears to both sides, is unable to resolve this conflict. Personally, having friends of both Armenians and Azerbaijanis, I cannot decide for myself who is right and who is to blame. All are right and all are to blame. I think that the Kremlin has about the same mood.
Paradoxical as it may seem, but, in my opinion, the shooting must be stopped, the dead should be buried. Send the wounded for treatment. And then take politicians by the throat and call on them to resolve the Karabakh issue peacefully. And who is “the most-most Armenian or Azerbaijani who will never give up the interests of the country”, let them go to zero and argue with each other through the embrasure of the checkpoint. Enough to live in war.