Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 10, 2020

Russia Achieves Ceasefire In Nagorno-Karabakh

The war over Nagorno-Karabakh has ended for now. The Armenian Autonomous Oblast within Azerbaijan will continue to exist with Russian peacekeepers currently deploying to control its borders. Most of the Armenian occupied territories will be handed back to Azerbaijan. A Russian controlled land corridor will connect Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.


This is the outcome that Russia had long proposed during previous peace negotiations.

Armenia, under the western-installed Prime Minister Pashinyan, has barely managed to defend the ethnic enclave. Azerbaijan did not achieve its hoped for control over all of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan, with its wealth of gas and oil money, had been able to arm itself with hundreds of drones from Turkey and Israel that allowed it to achieve air superiority. The Armenian defenders were not trained to sufficiently camouflage themselves from air threats. Their old air defenses were not capable enough to detect and defend against small drones. They therefore lost hundreds of tanks and artillery pieces to suicide drone attacks.

Azerbaijan, and the contingent of 'moderate rebels' mercenaries it had rented from Turkey, failed to invade the mountainous core of Nagorno-Karabakh. They lost several thousand men, many more than the defending Armenians, while trying to do that.


Armenia had to agree to the ceasefire after Azerbaijan gained control of Shusha, a town on the 'Lachin corridor' supply road between Stapanakert in Nagorno-Karbakh and Armenia. Azerbaijan had to agree to the ceasefire after its forces yesterday shot down a Russian helicopter flying within Armenia. Any further move after that would have brought Russian forces into the war.

After the announcement of the ceasefire Armenians stormed government buildings in Yerevan. Prime Minister Pashinyan, who had neglected the military while trying to make nice with the 'west', is likely to get removed from his office.

With this outcome Russia has strengthened its position in the Caucasus while Turkey's attempt to insert itself into the region had only limited success.

Posted by b on November 10, 2020 at 10:14 UTC | Permalink

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Armenia could have the whole of Nagorno-Karabakh had it negotiated early. Pashinyan didn't budge, Russia waited till he was on backfoot and the inevitable happened - it lost territory in proper NK itself.

The corridor arrangement bet NK-Armenia and the one bet Azerbaijan & Nakhchivan is a master arrangement. Both interest to opposite sides - mean they will be forced to respect the Agreement.

Russia increases its foothold in Caucasus.

Posted by: Seeji | Nov 10 2020 10:37 utc | 1

Thank you for the report and update.. What I don't understand is what is the outcome relative to Isreal Saudi, China, USA.. who won what? Turkey, the UN representative, lost to Russia.. Russia lost a pilot and Turkey gained by its lost of 1000 or so useless mercenaries.. Looks to me like the oil and gas pipeline jocks in Israel, Saudi, and Russia won the war..

Posted by: Snake | Nov 10 2020 10:40 utc | 2

Thank you b. Plus the three nations of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia have quickly neutered further shenanigans by Turkey as USAi proxy to kick off another aggressive assault on Iran/Russia.

Another month and this could have spun out of their control. The USAi transition between Presidents is a rare moment for magic.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 10 2020 10:43 utc | 3

Relevant to this subject, The Duran discusses Putin 'slowing down', and gaze the tea leaves that suggest a successor is on the horizon 1-2 yrs from now, with Putin possibly transitioning to an emeritus position in upper house of Douma.

Posted by: gm | Nov 10 2020 10:59 utc | 4

What about the conflicting reports of Turkey also deploying 'peacekeepers'?

Is it just Baku's and Turkish propaganda for domestic consumption, or is the denial of Turkey's involvement the propaganda from Russia, painting a more palatable picture that doesn't involve Nato troops and jihadist mercenaries settling in between Russia and Iran for the next 30 years?

Posted by: Et Tu | Nov 10 2020 11:06 utc | 5

This was just another tussle in the ongoing war on Russia using entire nations and entire armies as useless idiots.

Asking who won, who lost, who gained, who slipped is like watching a n MMA match and asking who won after every single punch, each block, each kick, each slip, and each fall.

We are watching just another page in the anglo-zio book of war, this one chalked down to testing your servants who would be sultans, testing their war machines, drones, rifles, soldiers and generals. At a minimum, some people gained war-fighting experience, some people died, some people learned how not to make 5-D chess moves against Russia.

Love the way Putin / Lavrov moves so steadily, holding their nerve, biding their time, striking at the optimal moment ( Crimea, anybody? )

And yet, hot heads in the West scream, asking how dare they act so "slowly"? how dare they not send in cruise missiles? how dare they not kill the "bad guys"? like right now, this very moment?

But then, it is a black and white, win-lose world in the West, that marvellously "civilised" place where there are only good guys and bad guys, no room for nuance nor compromise nor win-win possibilities.

Except for a very few educated minds, this is what I glean from reading blogs like this one.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Nov 10 2020 11:54 utc | 6

With this outcome Russia has strengthened its position in the Caucasus while Turkey's attempt to insert itself into the region had only limited success.

Russia continues to be the defining force in the Caucasus but Turkey has made inroads, the Sultan is on a spree and dreaming about the Caspian and further, Kazkhastan, with talks about forming a Turkic military alliance. The agreement guarantees two corridors, one from Artsakh to Armenia guarded by Russian peace keepers, and another one from Nakhichivan to Azerbaijan with Russian customs guards, but that is an open road from Turkey to Azerbaijan and beyond which is was Turkey was looking for. The fact that the agreement is for a five year period guarantees the Russian bases in Armenia proper. The big losers: the OpenNGO's that installed Pashinian to start with, another colorRev that goes sour and of course, causes the deaths of thousands plus destruction. Russia could not play its hand any other way, the historial links with both parties are centuries old and Russia could not afford loosing any one of them. So the results are acceptable but not ideal, plus a lot of military people must be analizing drone warfare.

Posted by: Paco | Nov 10 2020 12:05 utc | 7

One can only marvel at Putin's tactical and political genius. He is matchless among his peers, probably the last of his kind.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Nov 10 2020 12:09 utc | 8

I concur. Putin shows his mettle again. Like watching an adult let two kids fight for a while until he sees it's time to separate them. And a sensible settlement that might last more than a week and even eventually settle things. Another example of Putin's minimalism, to go with Georgia, Syria and Ukraine.

Don't assume Turkey/Erodgan is losing here, it appears Turkey is leaving Syria, bit by bit, and the restoration of Azerbaijani territory is payback for acknowledging Syria's claims. Perhaps, in light of the Armenian PMs getting western ideas Putin offered Turky the option to straighten out the boundaries in N-K in exchange for getting out of Syria. Erdogan can call it a win, so can Aliyev. Anyway, consider it.

Russian media says there will be no Turkish troops in Artsakh.

The Russian have explained their strategic POV several times, you have rising powers and declining powers. The rising powers want to stall so they can keep rising and the other guy can keep declining. The declining powers want to overturn the board and start a new game. The Russians pursue a policy of strategic patience, stabilization, and development, while maintaining an "adequate" deterrent. They don't need Armenia, they just want it to not be a pain in the butt. Same with Georgia, same with Ukraine. Would prefer to be friends, but not a crisis as long as NATO is not going to be being asinine close by there. It's not containment, it's "area denial", they want to keep us out so we collapse in our own space, and to avoid war. War is a losing proposition. They expect to "win" the war, if it comes, but they know that's not winning. Winning is never having to fire a shot.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 10 2020 12:27 utc | 9

Re 7) "So the results are acceptable but not ideal, plus a lot of military people must be analizing drone warfare." I think you meant 'analyzing' but I prefer your term, much closer to the truth.

Posted by: tinheart | Nov 10 2020 12:30 utc | 10

"Russia continues to be the defining force in the Caucasus but Turkey has made inroads, the Sultan is on a spree and dreaming about the Caspian and further, Kazkhastan, with talks about forming a Turkic military alliance."

Well, Erdogan's son in law & finance minister has just (violently) resigned.
With that slap in the face and the current state of the turkish economy/currency those dreams are a little shaky right now...

Erdogan has to resolve the mess within Turkey before it can afford to "dream" about any foreign involvement :(

Posted by: SysATI | Nov 10 2020 12:47 utc | 11

Posted by: tinheart | Nov 10 2020 12:30 utc | 10

Yeap, lots of typos, I'm glad you understood. I'm sorry for the Armenians, they lost this round, to hitch your wagon to a losing propositon has consecuences.

Posted by: Paco | Nov 10 2020 12:47 utc | 12

Aliyev is gloating, with good reason, that he had offered the Armenians autonomy for Nagorno-Karabakh earlier, but there is no autonomy mentioned in these agreements. Most of the territory is being given to Azerbaijan.

The Russian peacekeepers in the remaining part are only there for 5 years, at which point the agreement keeping them there can be extended for 5 more years... or nullified if either of the sides gives 6 months notice. So Azerbaijan, soon enough, will get another chance to resume the war should it want to finish the job. Moreover, Azerbaijan now gets a land connection to Turkey going through Armenia proper. And Turkey gets a land connection to the Caspian, and from there to fellow Turkic countries Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Whether Armenians learn from what happened is an open question. Some are now mad at Russia and proclaiming that it needs to join the US security block instead.

Posted by: Esn | Nov 10 2020 13:17 utc | 13

Azerbaijan achieved the cease fire by threatening Nagorno-Karabakh with total defeat, which neither Armenia nor Artsakh could any longer stave off. Russia is now in the awkward position of being the temporary guarantor of Nagorno-Karabakh territorial integrity, though it is unclear if it is committed either to finally liquidating Artrsakh or to finally returning the ethnically cleansed Azeri lands to Azerbaijan. Pashinyan in practice depended on Russia as the great ally and protector and his possible fall will be a blow to Russia's diplomatic role. (Pashinyan's color revolution background doesn't mean his fall is a win for Russia because Russia is not against color revolutions in principle, as witness the acceptance of the Maidan coup.)

Posted by: steven t johnson | Nov 10 2020 13:51 utc | 14

History sometimes repeats itself.
"negleting its military while trying to make nice with the West..." is precisely what Lybia"s Khadaffi did.
We know the outcome.

Posted by: augusto | Nov 10 2020 13:58 utc | 15

Interesting developments.
Perhaps a bit premature to say Russia's position is strengthened and Turkey's largely not.
But certainly things are looking considerably better than immediately after the shoot down.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Nov 10 2020 13:59 utc | 16

Prime Minister Pashinyan, who had neglected the military while trying to make nice with the 'west', is likely to get removed from his office.

Neglected because Armenia is poor or because the U.S. was only willing to give them 2nd tier weapons. They are far enough from Israel that I would think they would be free from the 'must be inferior to Israel' law.

I bet the U.S. defense analysts linked on the neocon portal '' are going to use this opportunity to claim that Russian air defenses are intrinsically inferior to the U.S. because of their susceptibility to drone attacks here and in Libya. They will ignore Russia's performance in protecting their air bases from numerous drone attacks in Syria.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Nov 10 2020 14:16 utc | 17

Armenia did not "prevent" Azerbaijan from capturing Nagorno Karabakh. In fact the loss of Shusha - whose population, 85% Azeri, had been ethnically cleansed by Armenia in 1993 - meant that Stepanakert, just fifteen kilometres away and overlooked from the Shusha hilltop, was defenceless. If Azerbaijan had continued its advance Nagorno Karabakh would have lasted a week.

The only thing that changed was the fact that Russia and Iran finally decided that enough was enough and that

1. Azerbaijan had achieved the minimum that it could project as a total victory (Aliev had announced that without Shusha Azeri war goals would not be met) and

2. Any further Armenian routs would mean an unacceptable level of Ottoman influence over the area.

Overall the result was total defeat for Armenia; it loses not only all the territory captured by Azerbaijan but also all the territory not captured by Azerbaijan but which it has occupied outside Nagorno Karabakh since 1994. Overall its occupation shrinks to a quarter or less of what it held a month and a half ago. And it also has to surrender a corridor through its own internationally recognised territory to Nakhichevan, which it would not have had to if it had negotiated a compromise solution when it still could.

As for casualties, the propaganda on both sides was delusional, and can be totally disregarded. But even if we assume that the Azeri side did suffer all the casualties claimed by Armenia, so what? Wars aren't won or lost by body counts, or else the Nazis would have won WWII and the Amerikastanis in Vietnam.

What happens in Yerevan now will be interesting to watch. If the Pashinyan regime survives, it will only do so by shifting the blame for the defeat to Russia. One assumes therefore that Russia won't be that invested in Pashinyan remaining in power, and won't do anything to protect him. So it comes down to whether the security forces in Armenia remain loyal. Armenians from the start of this war were fed delusional propaganda about victories, and until the final surrender were still under the impression that they not only held Shusha but even Hadrut and Fuzuli, which were taken by Azerbaijan weeks ago. The utter (and predictable) collapse of the lies is what provoked the reaction. Pashinyan obviously does not regret lying or else he would have resigned. Whether the security forces forgive his lies, and how long the protests last, will determine his survival in office.

One last point: this is one of the most egregious of b's prediction failures. From the start he ignored reality and claimed that the Armenians were "fighting the Azeris to a standstill." The facts were clear from the start, the Azeri strategy was as utterly predictable as well as predictably successful, and one can only wonder why when even I could predict it (and did, right here on this comment forum) b didn't. Tunnel vision or a reluctance to face the truth?

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Nov 10 2020 14:25 utc | 18

A major factor has been Iran closing it's border with Armenia. With Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia having their borders closed, too, Armenia became cut off from the outside world.

International law has been served, but also aggression has been rewarded. Erdogan got the foreign policy success he needed to remain afloat. The Turkish public is enthusiastic about their victory and will likely demand more of that kind.

Posted by: m | Nov 10 2020 14:30 utc | 19

Disagree with the author on the part he states Turkey made some gains in Southern Caucasus' geopolitical arena: the Ottomans are clearly overstretched and their economy is nearing a typical neoliberal-style bankruptcy (a la Argentina 2002 and Greece 2014). I interpret this episode as one last, extremely desperate attempt by the Neoottomans to survive politically at home.

The objective fact on the field is that neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan reached their respective strategic objectives (therefore, neither did Turkey), while the whole thing ended up with Russian troops essentially partitioning the region in half and controlling both sides (corridor to Armenia; ultimatum to Azerbaijan). At the end of the day, it is Russians - not Turkish or Armenian or Azeri - who are roaming over NK.

Russia can sustain those kind of interventions because it is geographically advantageous and because it can balance the accounts with increased arms sales. The Turkish don't produce their own weapons - they have to import foreign components to assemble in Turkey (maquilladora effect), which actually rises, not lowers, its trade deficit.

As a result, Turkey will go out of its interventions in more debt than before, while Russia will not. Time is definitely on Russia's side here.

Posted by: vk | Nov 10 2020 14:31 utc | 20

This is a major victory for Turkey as they now have continuous access of the united Turan from the Dardanelles to Xingiang. And a small defeat for Russia as it has strengthened Turkey and weakened Armenia. It's a major defeat for Armenia as they are now completely surrounded by enemies after having lost their border with Iran.

Posted by: Думбо Трамп | Nov 10 2020 14:51 utc | 21

To those who think Russia should be more proactive in interfering with America's color revolutions like the one that has disabled Armenia, know that Russia simply doesn't have the resources. The budget of the US State Department is comparable to Russia's entire military budget, and even more resources pour into the empire's regime change NGOs from "philanthropist" neo-Nazis like Soros and Omidyar. When you throw in the cost of the marketing for the color revolutions donated by global capitalist mass media you are talking about color revolutions being massive efforts that no other country or even block of countries can oppose in a symmetrical fashion. This doesn't even take into consideration the cost of the CIA's dirty deeds that are paid for with "off-budget revenue" from trafficking drugs, weapons, and de facto slaves.

The US has huge armies of "diplomats" and support personnel who provide all kinds of assistance to the color revolution NGOs and coordination with the corporate media. US embassies and consulates in targeted countries will employ many thousands of people to organize and manage these "regime change" events, while Russian embassies will rarely have more than a few dozen staff. The Russians are totally outclassed in this kind of warfare and they know it.

On the positive side, it takes lots of Nuland cookies to keep juvenile middle class "color revolutionaries" engaged in America's projects. Without those cookies and other inducements the kids lose interest in American "Freedom!©" projects and the projects falter. Knowing this it becomes clear that there are asymmetrical approaches to defeating imperial color revolutions, but many of these approaches require patience.

Does anyone think the Armenians are so stupid that they don't see it was Russia that bailed them out and not the empire? It certainly isn't US or NATO troops forcing the observance of the ceasefire.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 10 2020 16:09 utc | 22 Shining Hill’s, eye catching exemplary democracy, citizen’s voting rights continues even after their death. Nowadays citizens of this shining city on the hill, wildly known as un-deplorables can now put their voting right in their will, to be executed by the descendants when and if need maybe. May all the dead voters souls Rest In Peace, for resurrecting the democracy back on us all. Amen

Posted by: Kooshy | Nov 10 2020 16:15 utc | 23

Two general observations:

1. The conflict appears to have been pretty well contained to the territory in dispute. Attacks on Armenia proper & Azerbaijan proper were minimal. Armenia could have smashed Nakhchivan, but didn't, etc. I would guess that Russia set the boundaries, and both sides stayed inside the lines.

2. We - Humans of Earth - need new frameworks for governance. Ethnic nation-states are dangerous (they tend to get into genocidal conflicts with neighbors); global Corporatism is dangerous, to humans and the biosphere which sustains us; Empires offer temporary stability, then catastrophic collapse. Nation-states are the top form of political organization (UN doesn't really count, just too weak), and they often cause more problems than they solve. We need new frameworks - Regional, Continental, and Global - but I don't see a way to get there.

Posted by: elkern | Nov 10 2020 16:27 utc | 24

This deal was brokered and backed by Iran, Iran’s deputy FM last week went to all 4 countries involved and proposed the deal that was pre planned between Russia and Iran. After all Russian peacekeeping forces will be supplied through Iran.

Posted by: Kooshy | Nov 10 2020 16:30 utc | 25

Here is the background on how and why this deal was possible
Iran has a plan for Nagorno-Karabakh
November 3, 2020 by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

Posted by: Kooshy | Nov 10 2020 16:37 utc | 26

Nation-states are the top form of political organization (UN doesn't really count, just too weak), and they often cause more problems than they solve. We need new frameworks - Regional, Continental, and Global - but I don't see a way to get there.

@Posted by: elkern | Nov 10 2020 16:27 utc | 24

Do not worry, you will receive unestimable help from the corporate world elites, especially Sillicon Valley billionaires like Thiel, and the Liberal International, lead by Guy Verhosftaft.

The master plan to break up nation-states inot tiny regions where corporate CEOs´will govern over the will of the masses, aminy unemployes has been delineated time ago. In this contrext fits the current intent on disitegration of the US state institutions.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Nov 10 2020 16:44 utc | 27

"With this outcome Russia has strengthened its position in the Caucasus while Turkey's attempt to insert itself into the region had only limited success." -b

I have tried to understand this conflict, as with any conflict that now arises, and I thought I had a decent handle on it. I don't see, in light of how it has shaken out, that b's closing statement is coherent. Surely I don't understand all that is involved there, but how does Russia getting tied down to physically guaranteeing corridors and borders help Russia?

It isn't very clear to me what part the US is playing in all of this; assuming that it is not insignificant, is it like playing Risk where you force your opponent to protect geography that's not important to you, but is important to them?

I'll go back over some of the links provided by b and others to try to see what I'm missing.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 10 2020 17:03 utc | 28

One can only marvel at Putin's tactical and political genius. He is matchless among his peers, probably the last of his kind.

I agree-- when he first emerged as a second rate security guy, looking temporary, I shrugged.

He has overachieved.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Nov 10 2020 17:18 utc | 29

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 10 2020 17:03 utc | 28

In this conflict, Russia, Iran and USA almost have the same geo strategic position, meaning non wants alienate either side and even empower either side. As b said Azerbaijanis have legal UNSC approved claim on all NK region but not only didn’t not gain all their lost territory but now have the Russian troops separating them. Turkey can claim that stood and helped Azerbaijanis win their territories, Iran now don’t have to worry
about alienating his own large Azari or Armenian population as well as letting French and US become involved. Also Russian peacekeepers and Iranians on their side of border can more easily identify the Turkish backed moderate rebels can capture them having Russians minding the region. Iran could not back or support Armenia due to his own internal reasons, but also could not let Azerbaijan become lost to NATO or Erdogan. In a way this was a win win restrain on both for everyone wining something, losers are US, France since they were not allowed to have a say. Russia and to some extent Iran have a lot of leverage on Turkey and Erdo.
After all Russia and Iran save his ass from US cope.

Posted by: Kooshy | Nov 10 2020 17:31 utc | 30

"Most of the territory is being given to Azerbaijan."

Given to Azerbaijan?

The territory is recognized as Azerbaijan's territory-

The problem with being out of touch with reality has been the main reason for so much poor analysis regarding the NK situation.

Posted by: R Rose | Nov 10 2020 17:38 utc | 31

Sounds like Russia intervened to prevent Armenia being totally defeated. I knew something like that was going on, because I was constantly receiving notifications telling me that Armenia was winning, and videos of Armenian victories. However on other news, the Armenians were also denying day-in and day-out that Azerbaijanis were advancing. It's all classic stuff, when you're in the middle of losing a war.

Even b played into the propaganda, in past pieces, and even in this one, that the Azerbaijanis won by somehow 'cheating'. They could only win by having lots of oil money, although no Middle Eastern country has been able to win wars by being an oil country. If you don't know how to use the weapons bought, they're not much use.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 10 2020 18:07 utc | 32

SCO heads of state virtual meeting. has posted in english VVPutin address, I'm listening to Xi Jin Ping speech.

To jointly resist any political virus, a swipe at the China virus definition, and a joint reminder that the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII is not to be forgotten, or distorted.

What really caught my attention: english is absent, so it reads ШОС, Китай, 中国

Posted by: Paco | Nov 10 2020 19:14 utc | 33

William gruff @ 22

The U.S. state dept. budet is in excess of *$200 Billion anually?

I’d like to see those a/c details.

* In real spending terms this is Russia’a military budget, not the 50 or so billion as is estimated by many western commentators. 1 rouble buys a great deal more in Russia than 1 dollar does in the U.S.

I’m open to correction if I am mistaken...

Posted by: Beibdnn | Nov 10 2020 19:15 utc | 34

Anything on the context of the truce? I heard a corridor will be open between NKR and Naxcivan for Azerbaijan, which would explain why the Azeris were so eager to control all the border between Iran and NKR.

Posted by: Innocent Civilian | Nov 10 2020 19:31 utc | 35

What's the matter now LATURK?

Posted by: Wolverin3 | Nov 10 2020 19:32 utc | 36


Couldn't agree with you more. The Instigators(alias The West) would keep on staging these MMA matches as long as there are fools to goad, since they've got nothing to lose.

But such efforts aren't meant only against Russia. They do the same against China. These two nations are the only obstacles in their way to utopia of dominance over humanity. The only way to check them is to make them pay, which is not easy to do because what makes these kinds of shenanigan possible for the wicked operators to take advantage of is the fact that there simply are so many fools in the world who would willingly pay the prices in lieu.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Nov 10 2020 19:36 utc | 37

Gotta remember that lots of Armenians live within the Outlaw US Empire and have considerable resources. With luck, those resources will now be ignored by those living in Armenia, and they'll put any remaining pro-NATO thoughts to rest permanently while talking with Russia and Azerbaijan. From a developmental perspective, Armenia suffered greatly with the USSR's disintegration and the subsequent co-opting of Georgia by NATO that exacerbated the demographic issues related to poorly arranged borders. IMO, Armenia's been in a recession since 1989 and lost a considerable amount of its human capital to emigration. Ranking in the low 80s on the Human Development Index, Armenia has plenty of room to improve itself and cease its reliance on monies sent back to the Old Country by those that fled. Arguably, the N-K conflict has helped to retard Armenia's development. With fresh leadership having vision, perhaps for the first time since 1989 Armenians can get on with improving their lot.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 10 2020 19:40 utc | 38

From this day on, Russia has again troops in all trans-Caucasia former republics of the USSR. Abhasia, South Ossetia (in Georgia), Armenia and Karabakh (Azerbaidzhan). On an official basis, mind you.

The South Caucasus can now move on to mutual development. The North-South corridor, bypassing the Suez to the Indian ocean, the Turks gaining more direct access to Central Asian markets through the Nakhichevan-Lachin-Baku highway (with Russian troops sitting on it, by the way). We can even imagine Russian re-supply convoys to Hmeimim going overland from Dagestan-Azerbaidzhan-Turkey one day.

This is a win for everybody, except for the Georgians, who lose transit fees and geostrategic position being by-passed by trade and cargo traffic.

Even the Armenians gain by "resolving the Karabakh problem" and moving along in economic development with their neighbiors.


Posted by: BG | Nov 10 2020 20:13 utc | 39

Beibdnn @34

Yes, a ruble buys more cookies in Russia than a dollar does in the US, but the opposite is the case in Kiev or Benghazi. Middle class revolution LARPers in Hong Kong and Caracas seem to have a fetish for US$ too. While your point is valid that what the Russian military gets for their investment is of greater value than what the US military gets for bleeding the taxpayers, the economics of color revolution is a little different from that and a good exchange rate goes a long way when bribing politicians and buying goons abroad. You cannot really benefit from import substitution when your objective is exporting chaos.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 10 2020 20:41 utc | 40

William Gruff at #22 - nice!
I appreciate that kind of writing and clarity about the color revolution schemes and coup d'etat scenarios so often carried out by the US and its nato slaves I mean allies, especially since the 'fall' of the Soviet Union.

All of that in cahoots with the NGOs, the CIA scoundrels and the world capitalist mainstream medias.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Nov 10 2020 21:34 utc | 41

Amazing that Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan, took the Nato gambit, same one taken by Gadaffi to make nice to US/Nato. Historically, Armenia has only God and Russia for protection. Pashinyian put a knife in Putin's back as trying to make nice with US/Nato.Armenia has only God for protection. There is no forgiveness for Pashinyan's imbecility. If Pashinyan is smart, he has packed his bags, unlikely.

Posted by: El Cid | Nov 10 2020 21:52 utc | 42

Another shameful betrayal by the Putinist - Yeltsinist Russia of a friendly orthodox nation and a historical friend. As the Muslims have come forward to openly help and support their own, all of them deeply anti-Christian and anti-Russian, Russia betrayed its own ally once again. It's Serbia, Ukraine, Cuba etc. all over again. It's nothing short of shame and cowardice. The Russians strategy seems to be that since Armenia is geographically squeezed between its enemies and therefore it has nowhere to turn but to Russia, it can treat it any way it wants. It is short-sighted and, obviously, it is one of the main reasons that today's Russia has no friends among Christian nations? Pandering to Muslims will dearly cost the Russian people in the future because they are inexorably losing those remaining few and precious true friends. So, unless they find strength and conviction to finally, after almost 4 decades, free themselves from the rule of oligarchy and former apparatchiks of the communist regime for Russia things will get only worse. After so many lives and equipment has been lost by the acts of "partners" like Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and now Azerbaijan, the policies of Russian government must be felt with deep pessimism, skepticism and humiliation in the Russian army as well as among the Russian people.

Posted by: Popan | Nov 10 2020 22:11 utc | 43

Off Topic:

After giving glorifying media blitz to big pharm Pfizer/BioTech's vaccine , MSM start to trash the credibility of Chinese vaccine.

Just LOVE to see how "creative" and manipulative these MSM presstitutes are!

Bloomberg Headline: China Vaccine Trial Halted in Brazil After Serious Adverse Event

After lots of bullock, the fact buried here one volunteer has died, but the death is not related to the vaccine.

In total lockstep: MSM & big Pharm.

Posted by: lulu | Nov 10 2020 22:20 utc | 44

lulu @ 44

though off topic it should be noted

That wasn't the "Chinese vaccine" that killed the Brazilian.
To my knowledge the Brazilian died while being a guinea pig for the Astra Zeneca vaccine- In the control group- where he may have received a meningitis vaccine

"A source familiar with the matter told Reuters the trial would have been suspended if the volunteer who died had received the COVID-19 vaccine, suggesting the person was part of the control group that was given a meningitis jab."

Control groups don't get a placebo- they get a different vaccine, apparently? Charming

Also reported Oct. 21/20

Posted by: R Rose | Nov 10 2020 22:32 utc | 45

Thank god you're back to world affairs, b. You've been coming off as a right wing "Soros is destroying america with his Antifa army" nut this last week.

This stuff is great, but you should really stay away from domestic American affairs. You really come off as an out of touch boomer when talking about them.
Your accurate assessment of American foreign policy never seems to falter though.

Posted by: Gorem | Nov 10 2020 22:37 utc | 46

I wish to ask about the OSCE.....after decades of it failing to solve the failure to attend Belarus elections .....its very dubious success and abilities in Donbass.....has Putin now recognised that it is valueless....defunct..discredited.and has been forced to abandon it when there was no assistance from the Minsk co-chairs in trying to solve the crisis? Surely Turkey totally ignored its mechanisms and protocols( whatever they are someone please explain)and actually openly defied and subverted it by moving around the Idlib terrorists into Azerbaijan and surely planning such arms sales to work cohesively with its turco fellow country to support a military attack. That is not appropiate for an OSCE member surely? Putin seems to at the moment wish to listen to Erdogan asking please let me play more with the big boys....but is Putin beginning to say to him ....wait outside until I open the door then you can go stand in the corner?? I am thinking that most russian peoples are now thinking Turkey should be more firmly dealt with by this kind of manner and wondering how much longer they actually support any in depth dealings with Turkey?

Ps: note the peace agreement enforced just before the critical but vulnerable road linking Armenia and Art. could have been lost to Azerbaijan eg a couple of missiles would have done the trick. Apart from soldiers...was Armenia running short of ammunition and military supplies eg vehicles we probably have no accurate accounts of losses but Azerbaijans claims at times seemed totally ridiculous( but the drones and Turkish military planning support worked for them.....Turkey has learnt a lot via its operations in Syria)...Armenia's seemed optimistic. Was Azerbaijan still being supplied via Georgia? I think Armenian and N-K forces did the best they could considering a lot of senior military had been got rid of years ago. But surely the turco brothers are backslapping at the moment in celebration.

Posted by: Jo | Nov 10 2020 22:57 utc | 47

I guess now the main results of the trilateral ceasefire agreement are that Turkey managed to dispose of the more extremist jihadis it was babysitting in Idlib province in NW Syria, Azerbaijan got most if not all the territory it wants back from Armenia, and Armenia now realises who its allies and friends really are. This surely means that Nikol Pashinyan's days as Prime Minister are numbered as he will have to explain why Armenia has failed to upgrade its military equipment and ammunition and train its forces in new strategies to deal with drone warfare and other new warfare technologies. For the Armenian general public, I guess there'll be no more visits from their new royal family: the Kardashian sisters and their entourages.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 10 2020 23:05 utc | 48

@Popan: You are a real armchair strategist1 LOL!
Russia is still a multiethnic nation. It's not a good idea wage a war for anything. Stopping a war is harder but a better solution every time. Yes, some victims or losses claimed but a full scale war is even worse.

Posted by: Wolle | Nov 10 2020 23:25 utc | 49

What's It All About Erdo? (*)

This was probably the best outcome possible.

Did US/NATO/Turkey/Israel hope that the large Azeri population in Iran would be 'triggered' by a Russia-Iranian intervention on behalf of Armenia.

If so, the 'Azeri gambit'(tm) was probably hatched after Russia refused to give in to USA+Israel demands that Russia allow bombing of Iran. Russia insisted that Iran was an ally (and thus protected by Russia's nuclear shield).

Those bitching about Putin's lack of support for Armenia and Iran's closing the border to Armenia are barking up the wrong tree. The worst outcome was averted.

Will US/NATO/Turk/Israel press ahead? Will the Russian troops guarding corridors come under fire from Turk-irregulars/terrorists?

<> <> <> <> <> <>

(*) What's It All About Alfi?

In the movie Alfie, Michael Caine is portrayed as a young dude just wanting to get laid. That was portrayed as the key to his existence. It was, for him, “what it (life) was all about.” Of course, we all know from experience that getting laid was NOT what was important to Alfie. What was IMPORTANT to him was the power he felt in “conquering”. He might as well have been Genghis Khan.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 11 2020 0:01 utc | 50

I still find it odd that the whole affair kicked off right after Pompeo's public rebuke in Baghdad (within a day, or two, if I remember right), he was whining about his embassy or some such thing...
Hopefully undesirable and negative elements which might have vibed are less of a factor.

Posted by: Josh | Nov 11 2020 0:45 utc | 51

Less now than before, or even withdrawn/removed. One can always hope so.

Posted by: Josh | Nov 11 2020 0:46 utc | 52

@48 Jen

I enjoy reading your posts...good stuff!

Not only is Turkey disposing troublesome Jihadis but it is dismantling some of its observation posts in Syria (six that I know of to date). At least 5,000 troublesome Jihadis have been moved between Libya and Azerbaijan. These Jihadis leaving Syria are important as they act as cannon fodder for the regular Turk Army when push comes to shove. It leaves me thinking some sort of deal has taken place between Russia and Turkey regarding Idlib?

Idlib is partially controlled by American backed Al Qaeda, and it would behoove Russia to clear them out before a possible Biden Administration, fingers crossed that the Turks are pulling out.

Posted by: Haassaan | Nov 11 2020 2:33 utc | 53

thanks b... good overview... we'll see how long the armenian leader sticks around...

@ Думбо Трамп | Nov 10 2020 14:51 utc | 21.. i think you are wrong as the border still remains with iran..

Posted by: james | Nov 11 2020 2:46 utc | 54

Posted by: Haassaan | Nov 11 2020 2:33 utc | 53

"It leaves me thinking some sort of deal has taken place between Russia and Turkey regarding Idlib?"

Yes, I wonder that too. I actually wondered if they had colluded a bit in the whole thing. Not necessarily instigated it - I think Trump/Pompeo did that - but took advantage of the situation once it had arisen. Putin's relationship with Erdogan is interesting, a lot goes on under the table at times.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 11 2020 3:00 utc | 55

@ 21 perhaps you meant the N-K border?? if so, yes - no longer an iranian border now..

Posted by: james | Nov 11 2020 3:01 utc | 56

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 11 2020 3:00 utc | 55

"Putin's relationship with Erdogan is interesting"...yes it is indeed! Your post at @9 is a good one.

On the world stage, I think Erdogan is a fairly independent actor. Despite being a major pain in the butt, Putin would certainly prefer him over a western installed puppet.

Posted by: Haassaan | Nov 11 2020 3:07 utc | 57

A take from a professor from Ottawa:

Nagorno-Karabakh peace: Battlefield victory for Azerbaijan, diplomatic win for Russia; Armenia saved from catastrophic defeat

Make whatever you want from it.

Posted by: vk | Nov 11 2020 3:18 utc | 58

"Putin would certainly prefer him over a western installed puppet."

Posted by: Haassaan | Nov 11 2020 3:07 utc | 57

Yeah, at least that much. You can make a good argument that it's just a matter of needing a stable cooperatative Turkey and Erdogan being the man in Turkey, but I think it is more than that. Turkey being in NATO is pretty useful to Putin. But out here in TV-land one can only speculate, news media is worthless. Nevertheless, you can see they work together well despite the supposed strains in the relationship. I suppose you saw the piece in Sputnik where Erdogan praised Russia's role in this war? It's something to keep in mind.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 11 2020 3:23 utc | 59

Posted by: vk | Nov 11 2020 3:18 utc | 58

Usually Professor Robinson is spot on...

Posted by: notlurking | Nov 11 2020 9:50 utc | 60

Nation-states are the top form of political organization (UN doesn't really count, just too weak), and they often cause more problems than they solve. We need new frameworks - Regional, Continental, and Global - but I don't see a way to get there. by: elkern @ 24

I think the new government is going toward eliminating many top down management nodes moving instead to one world human government managed collectively by bottom up democracy..
people are tired of living their lives in fear of national leaders with military weapons and secret police state politics.

Posted by: snake | Nov 11 2020 13:54 utc | 61

I still find it odd that the whole affair kicked off right after Pompeo's public rebuke in Baghdad (within a day, or two, if I remember right), he was whining about his embassy or some such thing...
Hopefully undesirable and negative elements which might have vibed are less of a factor.

Posted by: Josh | Nov 11 2020 0:45 utc | 51

There was a false flag in the making, Pompeo threatening iran again if somebody else did something in iraq, and it could escalate very fast. The israeli cooperation and military in azerbaijan made it a perfect second/third front. Azerbaijan got his approval to attack but somehow iran and russia let it develop and neutralized it and erdogan played his part.
Well played.

Posted by: gary | Nov 11 2020 15:05 utc | 62

Continuing from @Nov11 0:01 #50 ...

The Armenia-Azeri conflict was not just an opportunity to anger Azeris in Iran but it seems clear that it was meant as a sore point for Iran-Russian relations via Christian-Shia conflict. And with Turk irregulars (aka takfiri terrorists) in the mix, it's an opportunity to cause trouble in a strategic location on the Caspian Sea too.

The Problem with the Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire Agreement

This is not the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict; it is just the beginning of a new chapter.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

As it's in their nature to conquer (like Alfi), we can expect that the egotistical leaders that pretend to godhead (via a religious/racial/cultural-centered populist mission): Erdo, Bibi, Trump will do what they can to pour salt on the Nagorno-Karabakh wound.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 11 2020 16:26 utc | 63

Although it is regrettable to see the Armenian defeat in a territory with deep roots for them - I think, for example, in the case of Kosovo for the Serbs - it is necessary to emphasize that Turkey is the winner of the conflict. Its drones have proved their worth once again and, as others have pointed out here, Erdogan's ambitions will now extend to Central Asia. There is a danger that he will encourage Islamic extremism in Chechnya and Dagestan.
Another winner of the conflict is Israel, which was also key in providing military support to Baku and is now consolidating a base on Iran's doorstep.

Posted by: gabriel moyssen | Nov 11 2020 16:39 utc | 64

This is not the end of the [------------] conflict; it is just the beginning of a new chapter.

Put any name within the brackets, it will do for any conflict, remember de cold war and the end of history?

That's why avoiding wars and not promoting them is the most important task.

Posted by: Paco | Nov 11 2020 16:56 utc | 65

Thank you for using the term 'godhead' Jackrabbit@ 63, as that lets me know you did read my post on that - and the word 'pretend' absolves you from any recrimination from me. I appreciate the reference, and also the respite from interminable conflict that is the meme here in the US at present. We are in a rut; bravo to the Armenians and Azeris!

To those following events from afar, let me warn that even small conflicts such as the one being discussed here can have resolutions that are in fact compromise and are so much healthier than the interminable ones which carry on destructively generation after generation. Sports are one way to resolve this tendency, though sports can be brutal as well. However, the positive aspects to them have been celebrated since the time of the Iliad, so perhaps the Azeris and the Armenians should mark this ceasefire with a new contest of athletic proportions that both sides can celebrate.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 11 2020 17:24 utc | 66

@Posted by: Paco | Nov 11 2020 16:56 utc | 65

Meanwhile...the class war continues unabated, and nobody, not even Putin, tries to stop it..

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Nov 11 2020 18:03 utc | 67

What has happened is a pretty fair outcome. The Azeris get corridor access to Nakhichivan, the Armenians continue to get corridor access to NK, NK continues as an Armenian enclave for an Armenian population, the other occupied territories deservedly get returned to the Azeris - who would have taken them (and NK) eventually, with their oil-funded military. Russia and Iran score a diplomatic success, Turkey is edged out and gains no credit, and just as well for it, given its financial position. All in all, good result - justice is done.

Posted by: Jams O'Donnell | Nov 11 2020 18:13 utc | 68

As perejil de todas las salsas, Pompeo will be in Georgia ( Caucasus ) next week...Most probably to promise something to the contested elected government of Georgian Dream Party..
This government, although clearly pro-Western, did not seem to through stones to their own roof and had adopted a pragmatic stance. Pompeo will try to recruit them to the completely russophobe one.
The people I met in Georgia, plain citizens, did not seem to me idiots at all..

Nobody is taking advantage of the transition period as Pompeo is doing, to stir things up around the world...The Russians must keep an eye on this...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Nov 11 2020 18:13 utc | 69

juliania @Nov11 17:24 #66

I was choosing between "demi-god" and "godhead". "Messianic/sarc" may have been a better term.

The leaders I mentioned claim leadership of Movements (Muslim Brotherhood, Zionist, White Christian Nationalists) that assume the backing of the God that their followers worship.

The danger of quasi-religious Movements led by a demagogue is abundantly clear to any student of history.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 11 2020 19:00 utc | 70


I should add that:

  1. I did read your 'godhead' comment and it may have influenced my choice of words.
  2. all rulers desire the imprimatur of God but 'messianic' one's try to bend that imprimatur to their own ends.

<> <> <> <> <>

I read all moa comments, though sometimes I have to skim when the number of comments is high (like now with the elections).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 11 2020 19:23 utc | 71

Absolutely not a win for Putin or Russia. Big win for Erdougan and the West, who once again manged to create more chaos along Russia's borders and in Central Asia. This has been in planning for over a decade now. Once again Putin/Russia was caught with its pants down, unsure what to so, standing by the sidelines, helplessly watching the fire and not doing much(Ukraine/belarus/Syria/Lybia)

0. Russia's S-300 were proven to be totally useless by Israel's drones.
1. Armenians now hate Russia and are calling for ties to the West and NATO. How can that be a win for Putin/Russia? This isnt the end of this war, just the beginning.
2. Azerbaijan has tastes victory and will start up the war once again in a few years, they want the whole nagorno area. Israel and Turkey will keep on helping them.
3. Islamist terrorists will now have a path to central Asia, going as far as Kazakhstan, Turkestan, and even China. Expect many terrorist attacks and chaos in those places.
And so on and so on.
Its getting amusing all those Putin fanboys trying to turn negative into positive, the way the fake Saker does, by using clever big words and putting clever sentences together.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Nov 11 2020 20:29 utc | 72

All four of your points are nonsense, but you start with the biggest doozy of them all! S-300 isn't an anti-drone weapon. S-300 and Azerbaijan's success using drones is not related. Starting with that point shows you have a complete lack of understanding of the situation.

Can you tell me what weapon's systems, Russian or otherwise are used to combat drones?

As to your second point...Armenia betrayed Russia in 2018, why waste resources defending a country that has already chosen to backstab? Like a good parent, Putin lets neighboring countries make their own decisions and live with the results. The abandonment of Russia as a strategic partner has been shown to be a disaster for the countries that choose the west. In time, these wayward sons and daughters will come back or dissolve.

Let Armenia choose NATO. NATO Armenia bordering NATO Turkey should be even more fun than NATO Turkey bordering NATO Greece!

Posted by: Haassaan | Nov 11 2020 22:56 utc | 73

All four of your points are nonsense, but you start with the biggest doozy of them all! S-300 isn't an anti-drone weapon. S-300 and Azerbaijan's success using drones is not related. Starting with that point shows you have a complete lack of understanding of the situation.

Can you tell me what weapon's systems, Russian or otherwise are used to combat drones?

As to your second point...Armenia betrayed Russia in 2018, why waste resources defending a country that has already chosen to backstab? Like a good parent, Putin lets neighboring countries make their own decisions and live with the results. The abandonment of Russia as a strategic partner has been shown to be a disaster for the countries that choose the west. In time, these wayward sons and daughters will come back or dissolve.

Let Armenia choose NATO. NATO Armenia bordering NATO Turkey should be even more fun than NATO Turkey bordering NATO Greece!

Posted by: Haassaan | Nov 11 2020 22:56 utc | 74

Haassaan @ 73:

Best not to waste time and effort on trolls whose only knowledge and experience with war and military strategy come from playing videogames.

With Russian peacekeepers controlling the Lachin corridor between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh / Artsakh, and the land corridor between Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan for five years, and perhaps another five years if Yerevan and Baku have no objection, it's clear who the adult is in that particular room.

... According to a source, the Russian peacekeeping contingent will consist of 1960 military personnel, 90 armored personnel carriers and 380 pieces of equipment. The basis of the contingent will be units of the 15th separate motorised rifle brigade, which will be transferred by Il-76 aircraft from the Ulyanovsk airfield.

The Russian military will be deployed along the line of operations in Karabakh and along the Lachin Corridor, which connects Armenia with the capital of Karabakh, Stepanakert. The peacekeepers will remain in Karabakh for 5 years with automatic extension for the next five years, if Baku and Yerevan do not object.

It looks like Pashinyan will soon be on the way out. It is possible that Pashinyan may bear some responsibility for instigating this conflict and that it should not be sheeted home entirely to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev because he was supplied with drones and other equipment and weapons by Israel and Turkey. It may very well be that further co-operation with Turkey will be a headache for Aliyev if he wants to preserve his country's independence and his own freedom of action.

Thanks for your compliment @ 53. (Took a while for me to reply, I was blushing so much.)

Posted by: Jen | Nov 11 2020 23:27 utc | 75

Honestly, with some sensible land swaps this issue should be able to be resolved.

An Armenian controlled corridor (of sufficient width - 20km? 50km?) to Nagorno-Karabakh. In reality whatever is required here to bind Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.

An Azerbaijani controlled corridor to Nakhchivan (along the Iranian border).

As part of this process Azerbaijan should also hand over parts of North-Western Nakhchivan to Armenia such that Armenia retains a land border with Iran.

All in all - 3 land deals that add up to a neutral outcome in total area - or even an advantage to Azerbaijan if structured properly given one could fairly claim they have been the "victim" from the early 1990s with Armenia occupying Azerbaijani territory.

Get some cartographers in a room - Azeri, Armenian, Russian and maybe Turkish - and thrash it out - and solve this problem once and for all.

Looking at a map - it is only actually a sliver of North-Western Nakhchivan that shall need to be acquired by Armenia to retain an Iranian border.

If this doesn't happen, all that will occur in future is that when Armenia falls out with Russia at some point, the Azeris will spot their opportunity and launch another war.

How long has Putin got anyway?

Posted by: Julian | Nov 12 2020 6:58 utc | 76

@Oriental Voice | Nov 10 2020 19:36 utc | 37

The Instigators(alias The West) would keep on staging these MMA matches as long as there are fools to goad, since they've got nothing to lose.

Actually, the West has much to lose. The Ukrainians, the Kurds, and now the Armenians were useful fools who moved towards the West but learned, to the fools' vast dismay, that the West can offer little help. And many such potential idiots are definitely noticing that Pashinyan the Western puppet is now hiding from mobs that want to lynch him.

Each time the West provokes another regime change and fails to support the new regime, the West's prestige and influence and trustworthiness all go down quite sharply. If they continue trying, they will lose the geopolitical contest.

So the West indeed has much to lose.

Posted by: Cyril | Nov 12 2020 7:12 utc | 77

@ Julian 76

Your idea of a new Armenian border with Iran in NW Nakchchivian would have the effect of cutting it off from Turkey. Not sure Azerbaijan would welcome that.

Posted by: robin | Nov 12 2020 7:34 utc | 78

1) It's worth remembering that the main hurdle to negotiations was Turkey. Erdogan, echoed through puppet Aliyev, insisted on many occasions that negotiations would only occur with Turkish participation and that Turkey had to become a co-chair of Minks Group.

It was not until action against Turkey's drone production and energy sectors happened / was threatened and until Russia pulled Turkey to its side to begin negotiations outside the Minsk group that headway was made.

Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan. were willing to back down granted, but to claim as some have that, "Had Armenia entered into negotiations earlier ..." is wholly biased and inaccurate.

2) Let's also remind ourselves that the main aggressor in this conflict was Turkey, a foreign party. And again it was not until the international community completely isolated Turkey and applied pressure to the arms and energy sectors that negotiations became possible. Add to that the downing of the Russian helicopter and all aggression came to a halt because the conflict threatened to enter a completely new phase. (Russia will of course extract a price for this attack, and it shall do so, in my opinion, by ensuring Azerbaijan's compliance in further talks and probably its closer proximity to Russia, rather than Turkey.)

The pressure placed on two key Turkish industries, arms and energy, was highly tactical but went more or less unreported. As b has mentioned, the former ended the drone attacks and has scuppered Turkey's drone production for a period. While the latter passed pretty silently it was a very specific threat of withdrawal of Russian finance from the Akkuyu project, Turkey's flagship nuclear plant project. (Remember Putin's speech praising the importance of Turkish Russian business relations!)

This occurred a couple of weeks ago and was reported in the respected Turkish financial paper 'Dunya', though it has been variously denied and confirmed. Igor Chekin, chaiman of Inter RAO, one of Putin's most closely allied businessmen and former Deputy Head of the Executive Office to Putin, withdrew Inter RAO's from the Akkuyu Nuclear Plant project on the 31.11 citing concens over Turkey's role in NK, Libya and Syria. While the move will not affect the plans financially on its own, Sechin's close proximity to Putin meant that it was understood as a threat to instruct all other Russian investors to pull out if necessary which would have brought the project to a halt. A massive blow for Turkey.

It seems to me that only by reining in Turkey's aggression - after all it caused the death of thousands for the sake of a drone showcase and Syrian jihadist extermination campaign - were Azerbaijan and Armenia able to be brought to the table for Russian diplomacy to work its pragmatic magic.

I agree with @bemildered that Turkey has not 'lost' as such, but I believe that its positions regionally and internationally have been diminished, and Turkey has been once again been reminded of the limitations of its reach. But it is too early to say. There are conflicting reports about the corridor and the Turkish peace force. If the latter comes to fruition, then I am probably wrong about Turkey's diminished influence as a result of its own campaign, but I have not read one Russian report which talks about Turkish peace keeping, nor do the more 'serious' Turkish media outlets discuss it. So, it seems to be more howling at the nationalist population on Erdogan's part.

As others have said, Russia has once again shown that it is the regional power and put everyone back in their places while reasserting and strengthening its own position regionally. Masterful and to the benefit of regional peace.

3) One last thing: when I read about the helicopter being shot down I immediately remembered the Jet incident with Turkey and my initial thoughts then that it was a planned 'sacrifice'. This helicopter incident caused me to think exactly the same, that this was also a planned sacrifice to entrap Azerbaijan and put a halt to all aggression. Does anyone else think this?

Posted by: AtaBrit | Nov 12 2020 7:50 utc | 79

@Bemildred / @Haassaan / @Jen
Great posts from you all.

Fully agree on Idlib.
(Why media always insist on portraying each conflict in isolation is beyond me, they of course never are.)

And Putin - Erdogan is indeed interesting. It seems to me it is highly pragmatic and and centred around key sectors in which there is significant interdependence - though Russia seems always to manage closely the 'balance' in these sectors ensuring leverage when required.

What is striking also about Russia's approach is that it does not seek to dominate, exploit and consume - the US approach. Rather it seeks a much longer term cooperation and cohabitation regionally.

And yes, I too have learned the hard way to steer clear of the trolls! ))))

Posted by: AtaBrit | Nov 12 2020 8:03 utc | 80

If the side that Turkey is winning territory, how can this be a victory to Russia?

Posted by: Zico the Musketeer | Nov 12 2020 14:01 utc | 81

Posted by: AtaBrit | Nov 12 2020 7:50 utc | 79

"Does anyone else think this?"

Yeah, I think like that all the time but don't usually talk about it. No need to give anybody ideas. I think a couple other things like that about this conflict, but theories are a dime a dozen, so better to shutup and pay attention. In particular here I considered that Putin, seeing Pompeo stirring trouble, used Erdogan to instigate a restructuring of the problem in the Caucasus.

It's seems strange but I think there is a kind of trust between Putin & Erdo, like Assad says: "I trust Russia". It's not exactly trust, I'm reminded of Aslan in Narnia: "Dangerous, of course he's dangerous, but he's Good!" Not being an asshole can have its benefits.

The last I saw on the "peace force" was it was going to be a "monitoring center". I think the idea is the illusion of participation by Turkey. Be interesting to see what Aliyev's attitude is to Turkey & Russian going forward.

Agree about Turkey's position, has problems, Russia has them on a leash, sort of. It is more a matter of keeping Turkey together than worrying about conquering Central Asia any time soon.

Handling of the Kyrgyzistan color revolution was notable too.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 12 2020 14:26 utc | 82

There is Turkey's involvement; due to President Erdogan's Ottoman resurgence efforts. He has been quite active in pursuit of his dreams here. The tactics used has weakened Turkey's reputation in the eyes of those who pay attention. I point out also Sun Tzu: "When the Army Marches Abroad, the Treasury is emptied at Home."

Posted by: Michele Baillie | Nov 12 2020 15:18 utc | 83

AtaBrit @Nov12 7:50 #79

It was not until action against Turkey's drone production and energy sectors happened / was threatened and until Russia pulled Turkey to its side to begin negotiations outside the Minsk group that headway was made.

And what of Russian bombing in Idlib? Wasn't that also meant to pressure Turkey as it was a warning that the Russian-Turk agreement wrt Idlib was in jeopardy.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 12 2020 15:43 utc | 84

@Jackrabbit 84
I don't doubt that the strikes pressured Turkey as many other events have done recently, but I am not clear aa to what extent it is direcrly related to the NK conflict to be honest.
If I remember rightly, the heavier strike toward the end of October happened when the US was brokering or had brokered a show piece peace deal and I don't see why Russia would want to involve itself in that, also it happened after Turkey had already begun to withdraw from its observation posts which I dare say was not coincidental, so the strikes may have been part of a different agreement/ coordination. That Russia has long since lost patience with Turkey's doing bugger all to resolve the Idlib issue is well known.

What do you think?

Posted by: AtaBrit | Nov 12 2020 20:39 utc | 85

So Armenia lost, and Azerbaijan won. Un-objectionable that a country recover its territory lost in the 1990s. However Posted by: AtaBrit | Nov 12 2020 7:50 utc | 79 doesn't like it. It is not turkey who won but Azerbaijan, perhaps with Turkish aid.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 12 2020 20:59 utc | 86

Sun Tzu :)

So is this all either or both 1. direction of their enemies (which did not include Armenians but probably does now) to where you want them (seemingly Azerbaijan), or 2. containment of something that was already underway? (Which also explains the Iranian military movements and perhaps also their current status?).

The first seems insane to me and the second means their hands were forced.

. . .

Artsakh (Azerbaijan, Armenia) isn't so special. Are people unaware of South Ossetia (Georgia, Russia), Abkhazia (Georgia, Russia), and Baluchistan (Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan) and let's throw in Transnistria (Moldova) for fun and a shitload of places and regions in the Russian north Caucasus?

. . .

Nope, no one (except maybe the better "trolls") seems to have much of an idea of what actually happened or why and a lot of interested people across the internet don't seem to grasp much of what little is known either. Isn't that in itself too strange?

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Nov 13 2020 1:17 utc | 87

To clarify: by "their" I mean Russia's and Iran's and I treat the two as one in this matter since they so obviously closely cooperated and synchronized.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Nov 13 2020 1:35 utc | 88

Posted by: Jen | Nov 11 2020 23:27 utc | 75

"Best not to waste time and effort on trolls"

Thanks for the reminder!

The Saker has a good article up "Understanding the outcome of the war for Nagorno-Karabakh" that I think is worth a read.

Posted by: Haassaan | Nov 13 2020 3:01 utc | 89

Re: Posted by: robin | Nov 12 2020 7:34 utc | 78

Yes, I understand that, which is why the land deal would be weighted in Azerbaijan's favor....

The Armenia/Iran and Azerbaijan/Turkey situation would need to be worked out obviously, and would probably be the hardest part to work out.

Posted by: Julianq | Nov 13 2020 5:27 utc | 90

@theeverdelightful laguerre

"perhaps with Turkish aid."

It was that 'aid' as you so modestly frame it (reminds me of that 'aid'that Turkey provided to Syrian 'opposition' for all those years) that was the point of my post. I was not talking about the conflict as a whole but the need to remove Turkey from the fray in order to find a solution.
Maybe you would like to comment on my post?
Maybe you would even dare hazard a guess as to whether this conflict would have happened at the time it did if Turkey hadn't provided such 'aid'.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Nov 13 2020 8:34 utc | 91

Posted by: Haassaan | Nov 13 2020 3:01 utc | 89

RE: Saker on N-K war, thanks, that was useful and I would have skipped it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 13 2020 11:59 utc | 92

ISW thinks the Kremlin won against Turkey.

Evidently everybody, including Atabrit, thinks it's an international war between Russia and Turkey for influence. But the basis was really Azerbaijani resentment that so much of their territory was being occupied by the Armenians following the 1990's war. Well, this time the Armenians lost. And Nagorno-Karabakh is reduced to a very small area. Turkey helped, but was not the leader.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 13 2020 21:13 utc | 93

@theeverdelightful Laguerre

I have not once stated that this conflict is one between Russia and Turkey for influence. However, I did say, as have many others, that Turkey's continued diminishing influence and Russia's increased influence are outcomes of the conflict. There is a striking difference between the two as I am sure you'll agree.

And what about
"Maybe you would even dare hazard a guess as to whether this conflict would have happened at the time it did if Turkey hadn't provided such 'aid'."

Do you have an answer to this or not?

Posted by: AtaBrit | Nov 14 2020 5:36 utc | 94

The comment thread on this YouTube is entertaining
Nagorno-Karabach villagers burn down their houses before Azerbaijan handover

I don't think I've ever seen such a bunch of Azerbaijani trolls crowing over their victory over Armenia; it's something rare to see. Of course, the Armenians burning their houses had only moved in after the conquest of the area by Armenia in 1994, and the forced departure of Azerbaijanis.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 14 2020 14:27 utc | 95

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 14 2020 14:27 utc | 95
Which suggests they are burning down Azeri's houses. Nice people, ain't they?

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Nov 14 2020 15:57 utc | 96

Russia is not a collapsed Soviet Union. They are trying their best to hold onto their satellites countries. When an empire falls apart, there will always be a lot of fire nearby. They will destroy themselves on their own.

Posted by: Mirror Info | Nov 15 2020 14:59 utc | 97

Poor Armenia! Surely they are the big losers in this. Armenia is very little, landlocked and surrounded by hostile or at best neutral powers, lacks resources, is densely populated for so arid and barren a land (although very beautiful in its way, with its mountains and lovely big lake), and most of all is saddled with a backward-looking set of national grievances that are so big that they have constantly led the Armenians into disastrous behavior, the last of which was their failure to take what they could get for NKAO before this war whittled it down and possibly rendered it unviable. Apart from the Armenian diaspora, which was completely unable to alter the outcome in this case, Armenia has for really sincere sympathizers only Greece and Cyprus, which likewise are hostile to Turkey for obvious historical reasons. Otherwise, it has to rely on the lukewarm support of Russia, its perpetual savior, and Iran, both of which have to consider their relations with the Turkic world as well, a world bigger than Armenia in population by about 50 times. Everyone else sides with Azerbaijan, which has the writ of the UN that it is sovereign over NKAO, so the Artsakh project is out of luck. Part of the reason for the US supporting the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is so that they can needle Russia over Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Crimea, and Eastern Ukraine. But also, the US is more interested in keeping all those Turks on its side, or at least neutral, than in the fate of isolated Armenia, which no one needs. In particular, it and Israel are interested in getting at Iran through Azerbaijan, possibly even disrupting the national unity of Iran by attracting the 25% of the Iranian population that is Azeri to separate. What can Armenia possibly offer the US? Unlike Georgia and Ukraine, it doesn't even border Russia. From the strategic viewpoint, it is as worthless as Afghanistan to the US. Armenia is therefore lucky to have had Russia intervene to save a shred of NKAO for the time being. Whether the Armenians will really get to keep it remains to be seen. It had only 150,000 inhabitants, of whom 90,000 are said to have fled, and others may be doing so. It will take a big settlement effort of Armenians to keep that little shred, and, although they are stubborn, they may not be willing to risk living under any kind of Azeri rule, even nominal.
As to blame for the Karabakh mess, one could look to Stalin, who vetoed the idea of uniting Karabakh with Armenia under the Soviet Union, placing it rather under Azerbaijan as an autonomous region as early as 5 July 1920. Even then, it is probable that the Turkic preponderance played a role in his decision to leave Karabakh under Azerbaijan. Once this decision was made, it was never reversed. So, poor Armenia!
Another issue is the road, which has to be considered the big Turkish success. The suggestion made by a commenter above that the northwest corner of Nakhchevan be ceded to Armenia to give it a different border with Iran is not possible. As a result of the Turkish-Soviet settlements of 1920-1921, Turkey not only had retroceded to it Kars and Ardahan, an area as big as present-day Armenia, that had been part of Russia since 1877-1878, but also gained a strip of territory from Iran, eventually formally ceded by Reza Shah, to give it a very short common border with Nakhchevan. Turkey also thereby formally became the protector of Nakhchevan from Armenia, which has always coveted Nakhchevan but never tried to attack it, even during the warfare of 1991-1994. So that little border has a rather tortuous history and is definitely not up for grabs. Now, with transit rights across the narrow strip of southern Armenia, the Turkish road to Central Asia is opened up. Also, Armenia, with all its wounds and losses, would never give up an inch of its sovereign territory, and in allowing transit rights, although it hates even to do that, it is not losing any sovereignty and eventually might even make a little money through a trade corridor.
Armenians' bitterness at the way they have been treated is understandable, and it is true that the Republic of Armenia certainly constitutes only a little bit of the wide area where Armenians historically lived, mixed among other populations. There is no doubt that in the age of nationalism, the Armenians ended of with the short end of the stick in their region. But they maybe should be thankful to their protectors that they have a republic at all, and they certainly can look ahead and build on what they have, not forgetting the past, but moving on into the future.

Posted by: James Davis | Nov 16 2020 5:11 utc | 98

"...both of which have to consider their relations with the Turkic world as well"

Tell me what exactly is the threat to Russian and Iranian relations with Central Asia's Turkic communities? Are you even aware of the depth of Russian and Iranian relations with these communities? It goes far deeper than and far further back in time than some politically convenient Turkish heralded revisionism!

And you might want to look into the management of the corridors that will supposedly be created and under whose control they will remain!

Posted by: AtaBrith | Nov 16 2020 12:01 utc | 99

I just noticed that this thread is not closed and cross post a comment from "Al Qaida #2 ..." thread. A discussion related to NK war is also going on in that thread with another angle of view for anyone who is intressted.

@ 74 Sunny Runny Burger
Thanks for your input. I think we all should avoid to let our mind be captured by a “believed” world view. The best approach, I believe, is what Marxists do, think dialectic. Identify all pieces of a process and their properties, then put the pieces together and look at the picture.

My picture show Turkey and NATO are the ultimate winners of NK war.
- Russia have to use resources on another hotspot
- Russia have to grant Turkey’s access to central Asia
- Iran lost a lot of potential regarding the BRI
- Iran got much more difficulty regarding the access to Black sea
- Armenians lost territory
- NATO can instrumentalize the Armenian loss to offer Armenia an Oil-Gas-BRI cooperation with Azerbaijan and Turkey, bringing Armenia definitely into own camp

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 16 2020 12:19 utc | 76

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 16 2020 13:01 utc | 100

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