NAGORNO-KARABAKH /nəˌɡɔːrnoʊ kɑːrəˈbɑːk/ is a landlocked
region in the
South Caucasus , lying between Lower
Zangezur and covering the southeastern range of the Lesser Caucasus
mountains. The region is mostly mountainous and forested.
Karabakh is a disputed territory , internationally recognized
as part of
Azerbaijan , but most of the region is governed by the
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic , a _de facto_ independent state with
Armenian ethnic majority established on the basis of the
Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the
Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist
Azerbaijan has not exercised political authority over the
region since the advent of the
Karabakh movement in 1988. Since the
end of the Nagorno-
Karabakh War in 1994, representatives of the
Azerbaijan have been holding peace talks
mediated by the
OSCE Minsk Group on the region's disputed status.
The region is usually equated with the administrative borders of the
Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast comprising an area of 4,400
square kilometres (1,700 sq mi). The historical area of the region,
however, encompasses approximately 8,223 square kilometres (3,175 sq
* 1 Name
* 2 History
* 2.1 Antiquity and Early Middle Ages
* 2.2 High Middle Ages
* 2.3 Late Middle Ages
* 2.4 Modern era
* 2.5 Soviet era
* 2.6 War and secession
* 2.7 Post-1994 ceasefire
* 3 Geography
* 4 Demographics
* 4.1 18th century
* 4.2 19th century
* 4.3 20th century
* 4.4 21st century
* 5 Transport
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links
_ The snow-covered
Lesser Caucasus seen south of the Greater
Caucasus. About 1800 the Karabagh Khanate was based in the southeast
corner of the Lesser Caucasus. It extended east into the lowlands,
hence the name Nagorno-_ or "Highland-" Karabagh for the western part.
The prefix _Nagorno-_ derives from the Russian attributive adjective
_nagorny_ (нагорный), which means "highland". The Azerbaijani
names of the region include the similar adjectives "dağlıq"
(mountainous) or "yuxarı" (upper). Such words are not used in the
Armenian name, but they have appeared in the official name of the
region during the Soviet era as
Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast .
Other languages apply their own wording for _mountainous_, _upper_, or
_highland_; for example, the official name used by the
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in French is _Haut-Karabakh_, meaning "Upper
The name _Karabakh_ comprises two words, "kara" (meaning "black" in
Turkic ) and "bagh " (or "bakh", meaning "garden" in Persian ). Thus
_Karabakh_ literally means "black garden". The name first appears in
Georgian and Persian sources of the 13th and 14th centuries.
_Karabagh_, an acceptable alternate spelling of _Karabakh_, denotes a
kind of patterned rug originally produced in the area.
According to an alternative theory proposed by
Bagrat Ulubabyan , the
name _Karabakh_ has a Turkic–Armenian origin, meaning "Greater
Baghk" (Armenian : Մեծ Բաղք), a reference to Ktish-Baghk
Dizak ), one of the principalities of
Artsakh under the rule
Aranshahik dynasty, which held the throne of the Kingdom of
Syunik in the 11th–13th centuries and called itself the "Kingdom of
The names for the region in the various local languages all translate
to "mountainous Karabakh", or "mountainous black garden":
* Armenian : Լեռնային Ղարաբաղ, transliterated
_Leṙnayin Ġarabaġ_ (
IPA : /lɛrnɑˈjin ʁɑɾɑˈbɑʁ/)
* Azerbaijani : _Dağlıq Qarabağ, Дағлыг Гарабағ_
IPA : /dɑɣˈlɯɣ ɡɑˈɾɑbɑɣ/) or
_Yuxarı Qarabağ, Јухары Гарабағ_ (upper Karabakh;
* Russian : Нагорный Карабах, transliterated
_Nagornyy Karabakh_ or _Nagornyi Karabah_ (
IPA : /nɐˈɡornɨj
Armenians living in the area often refer to Nagorno-
Artsakh _ (Armenian: Արցախ), using the name of the 10th province
of the ancient Kingdom of
Urartian inscriptions (9th–7th
centuries BC) use the name _Urtekhini_ for the region. Ancient Greek
sources called the area _Orkhistene_.
ANTIQUITY AND EARLY MIDDLE AGES
Main article: History of Nagorno-
Karabakh The Amaras Monastery
, founded in the 4th century by St
Gregory the Illuminator
Gregory the Illuminator . In the
Mesrop Mashtots , inventor of the
Armenian alphabet ,
established at Amaras the first school to use his script. The
monastery at Gandzasar was commissioned by the
House of Khachen and
completed in 1238
Karabakh falls within the lands occupied by peoples known to
modern archaeologists as the
Kura-Araxes culture , who lived between
the two rivers Kura and Araxes .
The ancient population of the region consisted of various
autochthonous local and migrant tribes who were mostly
non-Indo-Europeans. According to the prevailing western theory, these
natives intermarried with
Armenians who came to the region after its
Armenia in the 2nd or, possibly earlier, in 4th century
BC. Other scholars suggest that the
Armenians settled in the region
as early as in the 7th century BC.
In around 180 BC,
Artsakh became one of the 15 provinces of the
Armenian Kingdom and remained so until the 4th century. While
formally having the status of a province (_nahang_),
formed a principality on its own — like Armenia's province of
Syunik. Other theories suggest that
Artsakh was a royal land ,
belonging to the King of
Tigran the Great , King of
Armenia, (ruled from 95–55 BC), founded in
Artsakh one of four
cities named "Tigranakert" after himself. The ruins of the ancient
Tigranakert , located 30 miles (48 km) north-east of
Stepanakert , are
being studied by a group of international scholars.
In 387 AD, after the partition of
Sassanid Persia , two Armenian provinces
Utik became part
of the Sassanid satrapy of Caucasian Albania , which, in turn, came
under strong Armenian religious and cultural influence. At the time
the population of
Utik consisted of
Armenians and several
Armenian culture and civilization flourished in the early medieval
Nagorno-Karabakh. In the 5th century, the first-ever Armenian school
was opened on the territory of modern Nagorno-Karabakh—at the Amaras
Monastery —by the efforts of St.
Mesrop Mashtots , the inventor of
Armenian alphabet . St. Mesrop was very active in preaching
Artsakh and Utik. Overall,
Mesrop Mashtots made three trips
Artsakh and Utik, ultimately reaching pagan territories at the
foothills of the
Greater Caucasus . The 7th-century Armenian linguist
and grammarian Stephanos Syunetsi stated in his work that
Artsakh had their own dialect, and encouraged his readers to learn it.
In the same 7th century, Armenian poet
Davtak Kertogh writes his
_Elegy on the Death of Grand Prince Juansher_, where each passage
begins with a letter of Armenian script in alphabetical order. The
only comprehensive history of Caucasian Albania was written in
Armenian, by the historian
Movses Kaghankatvatsi .
HIGH MIDDLE AGES
Around the mid 7th century, the region was conquered by the invading
Muslim Arabs through the
Muslim conquest of Persia . Subsequently, it
was ruled by local governors endorsed by the
Caliphate . In 821 the
Sahl Smbatian revolted in
Artsakh and established the
House of Khachen , which ruled
Artsakh as a principality until the
early 19th century. The name "Khachen" originated from Armenian word
"khach," which means "cross". By 1000 the
House of Khachen proclaimed
the Kingdom of
Artsakh with John Senecherib as its first ruler.
Dizak , in southern Artsakh, formed also a kingdom ruled by
the ancient House of
Aranshahik , descended of the earliest Kings of
Caucasian Albania. In 1261, after the daughter of the last king of
Dizak married the king of Artsakh, Armenian prince Hasan Jalal Dola ,
the two states merged into one Armenian
Artsakh continued to exist as a de facto independent
LATE MIDDLE AGES
Main article: Melikdoms of
Karabakh _ The
Askeran Fortress ,
built by the
Karabakh Khanate ruler
Panah Ali Khan in the 18th century
The semi-independent Five Principalities _ (Armenian:
Խամսայի Մելիքություններ) of
Jraberd, Khachen, Varanda, and Dizak), widely considered to be the
last relic of Armenian statehood (15th-19th century).
In the 15th century, the territory of
Karabakh was part of the states
ruled subsequently by the
Kara Koyunlu and
Ak Koyunlu Turkic tribal
confederations. The Turkoman lord
Jahan Shah (1437–67) assigned the
governorship of upper
Karabakh to local Armenian princes, allowing a
native Armenian leadership to emerge consisting of five noble families
led by princes who held the titles of _meliks _. These dynasties
represented the branches of the earlier
House of Khachen and were the
descendants of the medieval kings of Artsakh. Their lands were often
referred to as the Country of Khamsa (_five_ in Arabic). The Russian
Empire recognized the sovereign status of the five princes in their
domains by a charter of the Emperor Paul I dated 2 June 1799.
The Armenian meliks were granted supreme command over neighboring
Armenian principalities and Muslim khans in the
Caucasus by the
Nader Shah , in return for the meliks' victories over the
Ottoman Turks in the 1720s. These five principalities in
Karabakh were ruled by Armenian families who had received the title
Melik (prince) and were the following:
* PRINCIPALITY OF _GULISTAN_ - under the leadership of the
* PRINCIPALITY OF _JRABERD_ - under the leadership of the
* PRINCIPALITY OF _KHACHEN _ - under the leadership of the
* PRINCIPALITY OF _VARANDA_ - under the leadership of the
* PRINCIPALITY OF _DIZAK _ - under the leadership of the
The Armenian meliks maintained full control over the region until the
mid-18th century. In the early 18th century, Iran's
Nader Shah took
Karabakh out of control of the Ganja khans in punishment for their
support of the Safavids , and placed it under his own control In the
mid-18th century, as internal conflicts between the meliks led to
their weakening, the
Karabakh Khanate was formed.
Palace of the former ruler (khan) of
Shusha . Taken from a
postcard from the late 19th–early 20th century. Aftermath of
Shusha massacre : Armenian half of
Shusha destroyed by Azerbaijani
armed forces in 1920, with the defiled Armenian Cathedral of the Holy
Savior in the background.
Karabakh became a protectorate of the
Imperial Russia by the
Kurekchay Treaty , signed between
Ibrahim Khalil Khan of
Pavel Tsitsianov on behalf of Tsar Alexander I in 1805,
according to which the Russian monarch recognized Ibrahim Khalil Khan
and his descendants as the sole hereditary rulers of the region.
However, its new status was only confirmed following the outcome of
Russo-Persian War (1804-1813) , when through the loss in the war,
Persia formally ceded
Karabakh to the
Russian Empire per the Treaty of
Gulistan (1813), before the rest of
Transcaucasia was incorporated
into the Empire in 1828 by the
Treaty of Turkmenchay , which came as
an outcome of the
Russo-Persian War (1826-1828) .
In 1822, 9 years after passing from Iranian to Russian control, the
Karabakh Khanate was dissolved, and the area became part of the
Elisabethpol Governorate within the Russian Empire. After the transfer
Karabakh Khanate to Russia, many Muslim families immigrated to
Persia, while many
Armenians were induced by the Russian government to
emigrate from Persia to Karabakh.
Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast
Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast in the Soviet era. Ethnic
make-up of Nagorno-
Karabakh in the late Soviet era.
The present-day conflict over Nagorno-
Karabakh has its roots in the
decisions made by
Joseph Stalin and the Caucasian Bureau (_Kavburo_)
Transcaucasia . Stalin was the acting
Commissar of Nationalities for the
Soviet Union during the early
1920s, the branch of the government under which the Kavburo was
created. After the
Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917 ,
Karabakh became part
Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic
Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic , but this soon
dissolved into separate Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian states.
Over the next two years (1918–1920), there were a series of short
Azerbaijan over several regions, including
Karabakh. In July 1918, the First Armenian Assembly of
Karabakh declared the region self-governing and created a
National Council and government. Later, Ottoman troops entered
Karabakh, meeting armed resistance by Armenians.
After the defeat of the
Ottoman Empire in World War I, British troops
occupied Karabakh. The British command provisionally affirmed Khosrov
bey Sultanov (appointed by the Azerbaijani government) as the
Karabakh and Zangezur , pending final decision by
the Paris Peace Conference . The decision was opposed by Karabakh
Armenians. In February 1920, the
Karabakh National Council
preliminarily agreed to Azerbaijani jurisdiction, while Armenians
Karabakh continued guerrilla fighting, never accepting
the agreement. The agreement itself was soon annulled by the Ninth
Karabagh Assembly, which declared union with
Armenia in April.
In April 1920, while the Azerbaijani army was locked in Karabakh
fighting local Armenian forces,
Azerbaijan was taken over by
Bolsheviks . On 10 August 1920,
Armenia signed a preliminary
agreement with the Bolsheviks, agreeing to a temporary Bolshevik
occupation of these areas until final settlement would be reached. In
Armenia and Georgia were also taken over by the
in order to attract public support, promised they would allot Karabakh
to Armenia, along with Nakhchivan and Zangezur (the strip of land
separating Nakhchivan from Karabakh). However, the
Soviet Union also
had far-reaching plans concerning
Turkey , hoping that it would, with
a little help from them, develop along
Communist lines. Needing to
placate Turkey, the
Soviet Union agreed to a division under which
Zangezur would fall under the control of Armenia, while
Nakhchivan would be under the control of Azerbaijan. Had
been an issue, Stalin would likely have left
Karabakh under Armenian
control. As a result, the
Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast was
established within the
Azerbaijan SSR on 7 July 1923.
Soviet Union firmly in control of the region, the conflict
over the region died down for several decades. With the beginning of
the dissolution of the
Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s,
the question of Nagorno-
Karabakh re-emerged. Accusing the Azerbaijani
SSR government of conducting forced Azerification of the region, the
majority Armenian population, with ideological and material support
Armenian SSR , started a movement to have the autonomous
oblast transferred to the Armenian SSR. The oblast's borders were
drawn to include Armenian villages and to exclude as much as possible
Azerbaijani villages. The resulting district ensured an Armenian
majority. In August 1987,
Armenians sent a petition for
Armenia with tens of thousands of signatures to Moscow.
WAR AND SECESSION
Main article: Nagorno-
Karabakh War A restored Armenian
knocked out of commission while attacking Azeri positions in Askeran
District , serves as a war memorial on the outskirts of Stepanakert.
On 13 February 1988,
Armenians began demonstrating in their
Stepanakert , in favour of unification with the Armenian
republic. Six days later they were joined by mass marches in Yerevan.
On 20 February, the Soviet of People's Deputies in
Karabakh voted 110
to 17 to request the transfer of the region to Armenia. This
unprecedented action by a regional soviet brought out tens of
thousands of demonstrations both in
Stepanakert and Yerevan, but
Moscow rejected the Armenians' demands. On 22 February 1988, the first
direct confrontation of the conflict occurred as a large group of
Azeris marched from Agdam against the Armenian populated town of
Askeran, "wreaking destruction en route". The confrontation between
the Azeris and the police near Askeran degenerated into the Askeran
clash , which left two Azeris dead, one of them reportedly killed by
an Azeri police officer, as well as 50 Armenian villagers, and an
unknown number of Azeris and police injured. Large numbers of
Azerbaijan as violence began against the
minority populations of the respective countries.
On 29 November 1989, direct rule in Nagorno-
Karabakh was ended and
the region was returned to Azerbaijani administration. The Soviet
policy backfired, however, when a joint session of the Armenian
Supreme Soviet and the National Council, the legislative body of
Nagorno-Karabakh, proclaimed the unification of Nagorno-
Armenia. In 1989, Nagorno-
Karabakh had a population of 192,000. The
population at that time was 76 percent Armenian and 23 percent
Azerbaijanis , with Russian and Kurdish minorities. On 26 November
Azerbaijan abolished the status of Nagorno-
Oblast , rearranging the administrative division and bringing the
territory under direct control of Azerbaijan.
On 10 December 1991, in a referendum boycotted by local Azerbaijanis,
Armenians in Nagorno-
Karabakh approved the creation of an independent
state. A Soviet proposal for enhanced autonomy for Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijan satisfied neither side, and a full-scale war
subsequently erupted between
Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh, with the
latter receiving support from Armenia. According to Armenia's
Levon Ter-Petrossian , the
approach was maximalist and "they thought they could get more."
The struggle over Nagorno-
Karabakh escalated after both
Azerbaijan attained independence from the
Soviet Union in 1991. In the
post-Soviet power vacuum , military action between
Armenia was heavily influenced by the Russian military . Furthermore,
both the Armenian and Azerbaijani military employed a large number of
Ukraine and Russia. As many as one thousand Afghan
mujahideen participated in the fighting on Azerbaijan's side. There
were also fighters from
Chechnya fighting on the side of Azerbaijan,
as well heavy artillery and tanks provided to
Armenia by Russia. Many
survivors from the Azerbaijani side found shelter in 12 emergency
camps set up in other parts of
Azerbaijan to cope with the growing
number of internally displaced people due to the Nagorno-
By the end of 1993, the conflict had caused thousands of casualties
and created hundreds of thousands of refugees on both sides. By May
Armenians were in control of 14% of the territory of
Azerbaijan. At that stage, for the first time during the conflict, the
Azerbaijani government recognized Nagorno-
Karabakh as a third party in
the war, and started direct negotiations with the Karabakh
authorities. As a result, a cease-fire was reached on 12 May 1994
through Russian negotiation.
Madrid Principles , Prague Process
(Armenian–Azerbaijani negotiations) , Nagorno-
Karabakh Declaration ,
Astrakhan Declaration , and Land mine situation in Nagorno-
The final borders of the conflict after the
Bishkek Protocol .
Armenian forces of Nagorno-
Karabakh currently control almost 9 percent
of Azerbaijan's territory outside the former Nagorno-Karabakh
Autonomous Oblast, while Azerbaijani forces control
Shahumian and the
eastern parts of
Martakert and Martuni .
Ilham Aliyev , Dmitry
Serzh Sargsyan in
Moscow on 2 November 2008
Despite the ceasefire, fatalities due to armed conflicts between
Armenian and Azerbaijani soldiers continued. On 25 January 2005, the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted PACE
Resolution 1416 , which condemned alleged ethnic cleansing against
Azerbaijanis. On 15–17 May 2007 the 34th session of the Council of
Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of Islamic Conference
adopted resolution № 7/34-P, considering the occupation of
Azerbaijani territory as the aggression of
Armenia against Azerbaijan
and recognizing the actions against Azerbaijani civilians as a crime
against humanity, and condemning the destruction of archaeological,
cultural and religious monuments in the occupied territories. The
11th session of the summit of the Organization of the Islamic
Conference held on 13–14 March 2008 in
Dakar adopted resolution No.
10/11-P (IS). In the resolution, OIC member states condemned the
occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenian forces and Armenian
aggression against Azerbaijan, alleged ethnic cleansing against the
Azeri population, and charged
Armenia with the "destruction of
cultural monuments in the occupied Azerbaijani territories". On 14
March of the same year the
UN General Assembly
UN General Assembly adopted Resolution №
62/243 which "demands the immediate, complete and unconditional
withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all occupied territories of the
Republic of Azerbaijan". On 18–20 May 2010, the 37th session of the
Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of Islamic
Dushanbe adopted another resolution condemning the
Armenia against Azerbaijan, recognizing the actions
against Azerbaijani civilians as a crime against humanity and
condemning the destruction of archaeological, cultural, and religious
monuments in occupied territories. On 20 May of the same year, the
European Parliament in
Strasbourg adopted the resolution on "The need
for an EU Strategy for the South Caucasus" on the basis of the report
Evgeni Kirilov , the Bulgarian member of the Parliament. The
resolution states in particular that "the occupied Azerbaijani regions
Karabakh must be cleared as soon as possible". On 26
January 2016, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
(PACE) adopted Resolution 2085, which deplored the fact that the
Armenia of Nagorno-
Karabakh and other adjacent areas of
Azerbaijan creates humanitarian and environmental problems for the
citizens of Azerbaijan, condemned alleged ethnic cleansing against
Azerbaijanis and Assembly requested immediate withdrawal of Armenian
armed forces from the region concerned.
Several world leaders have met with the presidents of
Azerbaijan over the years, but efforts to maintain the ceasefire have
2 April 2016 saw reports of renewed military activities between
Azerbaijani and Armenian forces. The Armenian Defense Ministry
Azerbaijan launched an offensive to seize territory in
the region. At least 30 soldiers were killed during the fighting and a
Mil Mi-24 helicopter and tank were also destroyed, with 12 of the
fallen soldiers belonging to the Azerbaijani forces and the other 18
belonging to the Armenian forces, as well as an additional 35 Armenian
soldiers reportedly wounded.
Sarsang Reservoir A view of the forested mountains
Karabakh has a total area of 4,400 square kilometres (1,699
sq mi). Approximately half of Nagorno-
Karabakh terrain is over 950
metres (3,120 ft) above sea level . The borders of Nagorno-Karabakh
resemble a kidney bean with the indentation on the east side. It has
tall mountain ridges along the northern edge and along the west and a
mountainous south. The part near the indentation of the kidney bean
itself is a relatively flat valley, with the two edges of the bean,
the provinces of
Martakert and Martuni , having flat lands as well.
Other flatter valleys exist around the
Sarsang reservoir , Hadrut ,
and the south. The entire region lies, on average, 1,100 metres (3,600
ft) above sea level . Notable peaks include the border mountain
Murovdag and the Great Kirs mountain chain in the junction of Shusha
Rayon and Hadrut . The territory of modern Nagorno-
Karabakh forms a
portion of the historic region of Karabakh, which lies between the
rivers Kura and Araxes , and the modern Armenia-
Karabakh in its modern borders is part of the larger region of
Nagorno-Karabakh’s environment vary from steppe on the Kura lowland
through dense forests of oak , hornbeam , and beech on the lower
mountain slopes to birchwood and alpine meadows higher up. The region
possesses numerous mineral springs and deposits of zinc , coal , lead
, gold , marble , and limestone . The major cities of the region are
Stepanakert , which serves as the capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh
Shusha , which lies partially in ruins. Vineyards,
orchards, and mulberry groves for silkworms are developed in the
Demographics of Nagorno-Karabakh
Population statistics for Nagorno-
Karabakh are available from the
18th century. Archimandrite Minas Tigranian, after completing his
secret mission to Persian
Armenia ordered by the Russian Tsar Peter
the Great stated in a report dated 14 March 1717 that the patriarch of
Gandzasar Monastery , in Nagorno-Karabakh, had under his authority
900 Armenian villages.
In his letter of 1769 to Russia’s Count P. Panin , the Georgian
Erekle II , in his description of Nagorno-Karabakh, suggests:
"Seven families rule the region of Khamsa . Its population is totally
Shusha in the 18th century, the Russian
diplomat and historian Semyon M. Bronevskiy (Russian: Семён
Михайлович Броневский) indicated in his
_Historical Notes_ that Karabakh, which he said "is located in Greater
Armenia " had as many as 30,000–40,000 armed Armenian men in 1796.
A survey prepared by the Russian imperial authorities in 1823,
several years before the 1828 Armenian migration from Persia to the
newly established Armenian Province, shows that all
Karabakh compactly resided in its highland portion, i.e. on the
territory of the five traditional Armenian principalities in
Nagorno-Karabakh, and constituted an absolute demographic majority on
those lands. The survey's more than 260 pages recorded that the
Khachen had 12 Armenian villages and no Tatar (Muslim)
villages; Jalapert (Jraberd) had eight Armenian villages and no Tatar
Dizak had 14 Armenian villages and one Tatar village;
Gulistan had 12 Armenian and five Tatar villages; and Varanda had 23
Armenian villages and one Tatar village.
During the Soviet times, the leaders of the
Azerbaijan SSR tried to
change demographic balance in the Nagorno-
Karabakh Autonomous Region
(NKAO) by increasing the number of Azerbaijani residents through
opening a university with Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian sectors
and a shoe factory, sending Azerbaijanis from other parts of
Azerbaijani SSR to the NKAO. "By doing this", Aliyev said in an
interview in 2002, "I tried to increase the number of Azeris and to
reduce the number of Armenians".
Nearing the collapse of the
Soviet Union in 1989, the
Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast had a population of 145,593
Armenians (76.4 percent), 42,871 Azerbaijanis (22.4 percent), and
several thousand Kurds, Russians , Greeks and Assyrians . Most of the
Azerbaijani and Kurdish populations fled the region during the
heaviest years of fighting in the war from 1992 to 1993. The main
language spoken in Nagorno-
Karabakh is Armenian; however, Karabakh
Armenians speak a dialect of Armenian that is considerably different
Yerevan dialect spoken by most in Armenia, but is similar to
the dialects of Southern Syunik and even Eastern
Tavush , areas that
were historically closely linked to Artsakh. Ethnic groups of the
region in 1995. (See entire map)
In 2001, the NKR's reported population was 95 percent Armenian, with
the remaining total including Assyrians, Greeks, and Kurds. In March
2007, the local government announced that its population had grown to
138,000. The annual birth rate was recorded at 2,200–2,300 per year,
an increase from nearly 1,500 in 1999. Until 2000, the country's net
migration was at a negative. For the first half of 2007, 1,010 births
and 659 deaths were reported, with a net emigration of 27.
In 2011, officials from YAP submitted a letter to OSCE which included
the statement, "The OSCE fact-finding mission report released last
year also found that some 15,000
Armenians have been illegally settled
on Azerbaijan's occupied territories." However, the OSCE report,
released in March 2011, estimates the population of territories
controlled by ethnic
Armenians "adjacent to the breakaway Azerbaijani
region of Nagorno-Karabakh" to be 14,000, and states "there has been
no significant growth in the population since 2005."
Most of the Armenian population is Christian and belongs to the
Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Apostolic Church . Certain Orthodox Christian and Evangelical
Christian denominations also exist; other religions include
39°54′05″N 46°47′13″E / 39.90139°N 46.78694°E
/ 39.90139; 46.78694 (
Stepanakert Air Base)
During rule of the Soviet Union, the
Stepanakert ) line connected the Nagorno-Karabakh
Autonomous Region with the main part of Azerbaijan. After the
Karabakh war and the abandonment of Ağdam, the line’s
service was cut back to service only between
without any present section at the Nagorno-
Karabakh Republic. The
former railway line between
Stepanakert has been
almost completely destroyed.
Yerevan -Naxçıvan -
) main railway was also dismantled from the NKR between
Horadiz , and a by-line from Mincivan to the Armenian city of
Currently, the Azerbaijani trains only travel to Horadiz. The
Horadiz section has been demolished, leaving the NKR with no
intact, active railway line in their territory. The railway at the
Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic still operates, but it is separated
from the main Azerbaijani lines, and only has connection to
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* Disputed States
Index of Nagorno-Karabakh-related articles
List of active separatist movements in Europe
Janapar - the hiking trail across Nagorno-Karabakh
* Outline of Nagorno-
* ^ "Population of NKR as of 01.01.2013". NKR. 1 January 2013.
Retrieved 20 February 2014.
* ^ "Official Statistics of the NKR. Official site of the President
of the NKR". President.nkr.am. 1 January 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
* ^ "General Assembly adopts resolution reaffirming territorial
integrity of Azerbaijan, demanding withdrawal of all Armenian forces".
United Nations. 14 March 2008. Retrieved 30 Aug 2015.
* ^ Robert H. Hewsen. "The Meliks of Eastern Armenia: A Preliminary
Study". _Revue des etudes Arméniennes_. NS: IX, 1972, pp. 288.
* ^ Robert H. Hewsen, _Armenia: A Historical Atlas_. The University
of Chicago Press, 2001, p. 264. ISBN 978-0-226-33228-4
* ^ The BBC World News. Regions and territories: Nagorno-Karabakh,
BBC News Online _. Last updated 3 October 2007. Retrieved 21 November
* ^ _A_ _B_ (in Armenian) Ulubabyan, Bagrat. _Karabagh_
Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia , vol. vii,
Yerevan, Armenian SSR, 1981 p. 26
* ^ C. G. Ellis, "Oriental Carpets", 1988. p133.
Robert H. Hewsen , _Armenia: a Historical Atlas._ University of
Chicago Press, 2001, pp. 119–120.
* ^ PanArmenian Network. Artsakh: From Ancient Time to 1918.
PanArmenian.net. 9 June 2003. Retrieved 21 November 2007.
Strabo (ed. H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A.) .
_Geography_. The Perseus Digital Library. 11.14.4. Retrieved 21
* ^ Viviano, Frank (March 2004). "The Rebirth of Armenia".
_National Geographic Magazine_.
* ^ John Noble, Michael Kohn, Danielle Systermans. _Georgia,
Armenia and Azerbaijan_. Lonely Planet; 3 edition (May 1, 2008), p.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Hewsen, Robert H. (1982). "Ethno-History and the
Armenian Influence upon the Caucasian Albanians". In Samuelian, Thomas
J. _Classical Armenian Culture. Influences and Creativity_. Chicago:
Scholars Press. pp. 27–40. ISBN 0-89130-565-3 .
* ^ Hewsen, Robert H. _Armenia: a Historical Atlas_. Chicago, IL:
University of Chicago Press, 2001, p. 32–33, map 19 (shows the
territory of modern Nagorno-
Karabakh as part of the
Orontids ' Kingdom
* ^ R. Schmitt, M. L. Chaumont. _
Armenia and Iran_. Encyclopædia
* ^ Hewsen, Robert H. "The Kingdom of Artsakh", in T. Samuelian
Book II, chapter 3.
* ^ Н.Адонц. «Дионисий Фракийский и
армянские толкователи», Пг., 1915, 181—219
* ^ The Oxford History of Historical Writing: 400-1400 / Edited by
Sarah Foot, Chase F. Robinson. —
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press , 2012. —
Vol. 2. — p. 189. _"The section on Juansers exploits concludes with
the earliest piece of secular Armenian poetry since the adoption of
Christianity to have reached us, in the form of an abecedarian elegy
extolling the prince and bewailing his passing."_
* ^ Movses Kalankatuatsi. _History of the Land of Aluank_,
translated from Old Armenian by Sh. V. Smbatian. Yerevan: Matenadaran
(Institute of Ancient Manuscripts), 1984, _Elegy on the Death of
* ^ _A_ _B_ Agop Jack Hacikyan, Gabriel Basmajian, Edward S.
Franchuk. _The Heritage of Armenian Literature_. Wayne State
University Press (December 2002), pp. 94–99
* ^ The Cambridge History of Iran. —
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press ,
1975. — vol. 4. — p. 506 "_He was handed to Afshin's troops by
Sahl b. Sunbadh, an Armenian prince in 222/836-7, and executed in
Samarra (223/837) while his brother and assistant 'Abd-Allah was
delivered to the prince of Tabaristan, Ibn Sharvin, who had him put to
death in Baghdad._"
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_
Robert H. Hewsen , _Armenia: A Historical Atlas_.
The University of Chicago Press, 2001, pp. 119, 155, 163, 264–65.
* ^ Christopher Walker. The Armenian presence in Mountainous
Karabakh, in John F. R. Wright et al.: _Transcaucasian Boundaries_
(SOAS/GRC Geopolitics). 1995, p. 93
* ^ Hewsen, Robert H. "The Kingdom of Artsakh", in T. Samuelian
">(PDF). (1.05 MB). Uppsala: Department of East European Studies,
* ^ (in Russian) Abbas-gulu Aga Bakikhanov. Golestan-i Iram;
according to an 18th-century local Turkic-Muslim writer Mirza Adigezal
bey, Nadir shah placed
Karabakh under his own control, while a
19th-century local Turkic Muslim writer Abbas-gulu Aga Bakikhanov
states that the shah placed
Karabakh under the control of the governor
* ^ (in Russian) Mirza Adigezal bey. Karabakh-name, p. 48
* ^ (in Russian) Просительные пункты и
клятвенное обещание Ибраим-хана.
* ^ Muriel Atkin. _The Strange Death of
Ibrahim Khalil Khan of
Qarabagh_. Iranian Studies, Vol. 12, No. 1/2 (Winter – Spring,
1979), pp. 79–107
* ^ George A. Bournoutian. _A History of Qarabagh: An Annotated
Translation of Mirza Jamal Javanshir Qarabaghi's Tarikh-e Qarabagh_.
Mazda Publishers, 1994. ISBN 1-56859-011-3 , 978-1-568-59011-0
* ^ Tim Potier. _Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South
Ossetia: A Legal Appraisal_. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2001, p. 2.
ISBN 90-411-1477-7 .
* ^ Leonidas Themistocles Chrysanthopoulos. _
Nation-building and Diplomacy in Armenia, 1993–1994_. Gomidas
Institute , 2002, p. 8. ISBN 1-884630-05-7 .
* ^ _The British and Foreign Review_. J. Ridgeway and sons, 1838,
* ^ Taru Bahl, M.H. Syed. _Encyclopaedia of the Muslim World_.
Anmol Publications PVT, 2003 p. 34. ISBN 81-261-1419-3 .
* ^ _The penny cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of
Useful Knowledge_. 1833, Georgia.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "_The Nagorno-Karabagh Crisis: A Blueprint for
Resolution_" (PDF). , New England Center for International Law &
* ^ Circular by colonel D. I. Shuttleworth of the British Command
* ^ _Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia: A
Legal Appraisal_ by Tim Potier. ISBN 90-411-1477-7
* ^ Walker. _The Survival of a Nation_. pp. 285–90
* ^ Service, Robert . _Stalin: A Biography_. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 2006 p. 204 ISBN 0-674-02258-0
* ^ Audrey L. Altstadt. _The Azerbaijani Turks: power and identity
under Russian rule_. Hoover Press, 1992. ISBN 0817991824 ,
* ^ Black Garden, Thomas de Waal, page 292
* ^ Elizabeth Fuller, _Nagorno-Karabakh: The Death and Casualty
Toll to Date_, RL 531/88, 14 December 1988, pp. 1–2
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ de Waal, Thomas (2003). _Black Garden:
Azerbaijan Through Peace and War_. New York: New York
University Press . ISBN 0-8147-1945-7 .
* ^ Lieberman, Benjamin (2006). _Terrible Fate: Ethnic Cleansing in
the Making of Modern Europe_. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee. pp. 284–92. ISBN
* ^ _The Encyclopedia of World History_. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
2001. p. 906.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Miller, Donald E. and Lorna Touryan Miller. _Armenia:
Portraits of Survival and Hope_. Berkeley: University of California
Press , 2003 p. 7 ISBN 0-520-23492-8
* ^ Roeder, Philip G. (2007). _Where nation-states come from:
institutional change in the age of nationalism_. Princeton University
Press. p. 51. ISBN 0-691-13467-7 . Retrieved 2011-10-10.
Human Rights Watch . _Playing the "Communal Card". Communal
Violence and Human Rights_: "By early 1992 full-scale fighting broke
out between Nagorno-
Armenians and Azerbaijani authorities." /
Karabakh Armenian forces—often with the support of forces from
the Republic of Armenia—conducted large-scale operations..." /
"Because 1993 witnessed unrelenting
Karabakh Armenian offensives
against the Azerbaijani provinces surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh..." /
"Since late 1993, the conflict has also clearly become
internationalized: in addition to Azerbaijani and
forces, troops from the Republic of
Armenia participate on the
Karabakh side in fighting inside
Azerbaijan and in Nagorno-Karabakh."
Human Rights Watch . _The former Soviet Union. Human Rights
Developments_: "In 1992 the conflict grew far more lethal as both
sides—the Azerbaijani National Army and free-lance militias fighting
along with it, and ethnic
Armenians and mercenaries fighting in the
Popular Liberation Army of Artsakh—began."
United States Institute of Peace . _Nagorno-
for a Solution_. Foreword: "Nagorno-Karabakh’s armed forces have not
only fortified their region, but have also occupied a large swath of
surrounding Azeri territory in the hopes of linking the enclave to
United States Institute of Peace . _
Sovereignty after Empire.
Self-Determination Movements in the Former Soviet Union. Hopes and
Disappointments: Case Studies_ "Meanwhile, the conflict over
Karabakh was gradually transforming into a full-scale war
between Azeri and
Karabakh irregulars, the latter receiving support
from Armenia." / "Azerbaijan's objective advantage in terms of human
and economic potential has so far been offset by the superior fighting
skills and discipline of Nagorno-Karabakh's forces. After a series of
offensives, retreats, and counteroffensives, Nagorno-
controls a sizable portion of
Azerbaijan proper ... including the
* ^ "By Giving
Karabakh Lands to Azerbaijan, Conflict Would Have
Ended in ’97, Says Ter-Petrosian". _Asbarez_. Asbarez. 19 April
* ^ "Ter-Petrosyan on the BBC:
Karabakh conflict could have been
resolved by giving certain territories to Azerbaijan". _ArmeniaNow_.
ArmeniaNow. 19 April 2011.
* ^ "Первый президент Армении о
распаде СССР и Карабахе". _BBC_. BBC. 18 April
* ^ _A_ _B_
Human Rights Watch . _Seven Years of Conflict in
Nagorno-Karabakh_. December 1994, p. xiii, ISBN 1-56432-142-8 ,
citing: Natsional'nyi Sostav Naseleniya SSSR, po dannym Vsesoyuznyi
Perepisi Naseleniya 1989 g., Moskva, "Finansy i Statistika"
Azerbaijan closes last of emergency camps, _
* ^ No End in Sight to Fighting in Nagorno-
Karabakh by Ivan
Watson/National Public Radio. _Weekend Edition_ Sunday, 23 April 2006.
* ^ Проект заявления по Нагорному
Карабаху ожидает одобрения
парламентских сил Армении
* ^ Резолюция ПАСЕ по Карабаху: что
дальше?. BBC Russian.
* ^ Resolutions on Political Affairs. The Thirty-Fourth Session of
the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.
* ^ Resolutions on Political Affairs. Islamic Summit Conference.
13–14 May 2008
* ^ The text of the resolution № 62/243
* ^ RESOLUTIONS ON POLITICAL ISSUES ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL OF
FOREIGN MINISTERS (SESSION OF SHARED VISION OF A MORE SECURE AND
PROSPEROUS ISLAMIC WORLD) DUSHANBE, REPUBLIC OF TAJIKISTAN 4-6 JAMADUL
THANI 1431H (18-20 MAY 2010)
* ^ "FM:
Azerbaijan welcomes resolution \'Need for EU Strategy for
South Caucasus\' adopted by European Parliament." _Trend.az_. 21 May
* ^ "EU\'s Ashton Says Nagorno-
Karabakh Elections Illegal."
_RFE/RL_. 21 May 2010.
* ^ Bulgarian MEPs Urge EU to Be Proactive in South Caucasus.
* ^ "Inhabitants of frontier regions of
Azerbaijan are deliberately
deprived of water". _Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe_.
* ^ "PACE Adopts Anti-Armenian Measure, Rejects Another". _Armenian
* ^ "Resolution: Inhabitants of frontier regions of
deliberately deprived of water". _sarsang.org_.
* ^ "
Azerbaijan military threat to Armenia." _The Daily Telegraph
_. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
* ^ http://lenta.ru/news/2016/04/02/karabah/
* ^ Hodge, Nathan (April 2, 2016). "A Dozen Dead in Heavy Fighting
Reported in Nagorno-Karabakh". _
Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal _. Retrieved 2
* ^ "Dozens killed in Nagorno-
_www.aljazeera.com_. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
* ^ Country Overview
* ^ _A_ _B_ Zürcher, Christoph (2007). _The post-Soviet wars:
rebellion, ethnic conflict, and nationhood in the Caucasus_. NYU
Press. p. 184. ISBN 0814797091 .
* ^ DeRouen, Karl R. (ed.) (2007). _Civil wars of the world: major
conflicts since World War II, Volume 2_. ABC-CLIO. p. 150. ISBN
1851099190 . CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link )
* ^ "Nagorno-Karabakh".
Britannica . Retrieved 2010-11-30.
* ^ Bournoutian, George A.
Armenians and Russia, 1626-1796: A
Documentary Record. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 2001, p.
* ^ Цагарели А. А. Грамота и гругие
исторические документы XVIII столетия,
относяшиеся к Грузии, Том 1. СПб 1891, ц.
434-435. This book is available online from Google Books
* ^ Bournoutian, George A.
Armenians and Russia, 1626-1796: A
Documentary Record. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 2001, page 246
* ^ Semyon Mikhailovich Bronesvskiy. Historical Notes... St.
Petersburg. 1996. Исторические выписки о
сношениях России с Персиею, Грузиею и
вообще с горскими народами, в Кавказе
обитающими, со времён Ивана
Васильевича доныне». СПб. 1996, секция
* ^ George A. Bournoutian. The 1823 Russian Survey of the Karabagh
Province: A Primary Source on the Demography and Economy of Karabagh
in the Early 19th Century. Mazda Publishers; Bilingual edition (15
September 2011). United States of America.
* ^ _Description of the
Karabakh province prepared in 1823
according to the order of the governor in Georgia Yermolov by state
advisor Mogilevsky and colonel Yermolov 2nd_ (_Opisaniye Karabakhskoy
provincii sostavlennoye v 1823 g po rasporyazheniyu
glavnoupravlyayushego v Gruzii Yermolova deystvitelnim statskim
sovetnikom Mogilevskim i polkovnikom Yermolovim 2-m_), Tbilisi, 1866.
* ^ Bournoutian, George A. _A History of Qarabagh: An Annotated
Translation of Mirza Jamal Javanshir Qarabaghi's Tarikh-E Qarabagh_.
Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 1994, page 18
* ^ (in Russian) "Гейдар Алиев: \'Государство
с оппозицией лучше\'." _Zerkalo_. 22 July 2002.
* ^ (in Russian) Anon. "Кто на стыке интересов?
США, Россия и новая реальность на
границе с Ираном" ("Who is at the turn of interests? US,
Russia and new reality on the border with Iran"). _Regnum _. 4 April
* ^ _A_ _B_ Ethnic composition of the region as provided by the
* ^ Regnum News Agency. Nagorno-
Karabakh prime minister: We need to
have at least 300,000 population. Regnum. 9 March 2007. Retrieved 9
* ^ Евразийская панорама
* ^ "Azerbaijani Party Appeals To OSCE About Armenian
RFERL _. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
* ^ "Airports in Azerbaijan". Worldaerodata.com. Retrieved
* Ali; Ekinciel (1 August 2015). _
Karabakh Diary_ (1 ed.). Russia:
Sage. ISBN 9786059932196 .
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