By Bianca Bridger, September 12, 2023
The ongoing Azerbaijani blockade of food, fuel, and medical supplies from reaching the Armenian statelet of Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, and home to around 120,000 people has today triggered the creation of a new anarchist group – Anarchist Artsakh.
The blockade dates back to Soviet-era territorial claims both Azerbaijan and Armenia have to the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is situated inside Azerbaijan, but in which, ethnic Armenians make up 95 per cent of the population. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, both nations took up arms against one another over the area.
The first Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, (1991-94) left Armenia with the majority of the autonomous zone. Following a 2010 strategic partnership agreement with Azerbaijan Turkey has become a key player in the conflict, supplying Azerbaijan with military aid when fighting broke out again in July 2020. This material support, alongside the aid of Syrian mercenaries, enabled Azerbaijan to recapture swaths of the Nagorno-Karabakh before a ceasefire was brokered by Russia in November 2020. The gains made by Azerbaijan in 2020 left Nagorno-Karabakh surrounded.