Karabakh Front – What’s Next?

The head of Nagorno-Karabakh addressed Putin with an open letter. But it’s too late. The war was lost by the Armenians. Which makes you wonder when it will stop.

By now, the toothlessness of the notorious world community has become clear. The fighting has been going on for a month, the cease-fire agreements have been disrupted at least twice, and the UN has not adopted even the most general resolution on Karabakh.

This, however, is understandable. There’s no point in kicking up a fuss if it doesn’t affect anything at all. Any kind of peacekeepers, even Russian ones, can appear in Nagorno-Karabakh no sooner than all active participants in the process agree to it.

This raises the question – when and in what form can such a thing happen there at all? RUSSTRAT experts voiced the current scenario of events even back then, when the hostilities had just begun. And now these forecasts are fully confirmed.

The occupation of Karabakh itself is not the goal of the current war for Baku. Azerbaijan’s military actions are aimed at fundamentally changing the external conditions for further political settlement of the territorial dispute. Since in the past, the negotiation process could not move for almost three years, even with the participation of all the leading actors in big geopolitics, including the US.

The Azerbaijani authorities are well aware of the impossibility of reaching a compromise without the unequivocal consent of both sides. As well as the unattainability of a final solution to an old problem, even after several rounds of negotiations. The ultimate maximum of diplomatic efforts is to stop the shooting and cement the current position of the parties. In the hope of achieving a complete denouement sometime in the long term.

Hence, it is necessary for Baku to achieve such a configuration of conditions, the infinitely long preservation of which would be at least completely neutral for the current government. Ideally, it played in favor of Azerbaijani interests. This is the complete encirclement of Karabakh with its reliable logistical isolation from the territory of Armenia.

The task is solved by cutting three highways, of which the key is the highway that passes through the Lachin Corridor and connects the Armenian city of Goris, through Lachin and Shusha, with the capital of the NKR – Stepanakert.

At the moment, Azerbaijani troops have completely broken through the southern flank of the long-term defense line of the NKR defense army and have completely taken control of the entire length of the border line with Iran, all the way to Armenia. This effectively completely isolates both the NKR and Armenia from the outside world. Theoretically, they still have a border with Georgia, but the Tbilisi leadership has now significantly reduced contacts with Armenians.

Having repulsed two Armenian counterattacks with heavy losses to the enemy, which the Artsakh defense army threw its last reserves into, the Azerbaijani troops methodically and without serious resistance develop an offensive to the south. They have less than 20 kilometers to go to the Lachin Corridor.

It is difficult to say how long it will take them to do this. But hardly long. Armenia has almost no way of countering this. And as soon as the Azerbaijani infantry straddles the Lachin highway, the strategic goal of the war for Baku will be achieved.

It will be possible to sit down at the negotiating table on the status quo, agree to cease fire and start a new discussion of the disputed territorial issue indefinitely. Since every day of delay will stifle the economy of the NKR, which is not viable without economic and material assistance to Armenia.

There is the desire to emphasise that this forecast was made by RUSSTRAT experts in the first days of October and so far events fully confirm it.

RUSSTRAT Institute of International Politics and Economic Strategies

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