The South Caucasus after Nagorno-Karabakh

In September 2023 Azerbaijan regained control of Nagorno-Karabakh, prompting more than 100,000 Armenians who had been living in the territory to flee to Armenia. This development marks a significant change for the South Caucasus, and while it adds to existing tensions, it may also result in the long-term in a more stable region that is less dependent on Russia.

The South Caucasus countries of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia rarely make the headlines in western news sources. However, that changed in autumn 2023. On September 19th, Azerbaijan launched an unexpected 24-hour military offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh that resulted in the region’s de facto government surrendering to Azerbaijan. Those who have followed the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh for decades know that the outcome of September’s military offensive has the potential to upend security in the South Caucasus.

February 7, 2024 - Jennifer S. Wistrand