Vicken Cheterian

Israeli has not only participated in denying the Armenian Genocide of the past, but also taken an active part of the ethnic cleansing of Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh. The spat between Israel and Turkey is taking place as the Israeli army is accused of committing war crimes and crimes of genocide, in its war in Gaza.

It is of course difficult to predict how Azerbaijan might organize the COP29 in 2024. Azerbaijan is not known for its expertise in environmental matters, for innovations in fighting climate change. But Baku is historically associated with oil. Remember, in the year 1900 Baku produced half of the total global oil. Azerbaijan has expertise in hydrocarbon production and export even today over 90% of the total national exports are oil and gas.

The fatal mistake was that Armenian politicians did not follow the changes in international policies. They relied on Russia to moderate the conflict and stop it from escalating. But Russia under Putin was different from Russia under Yeltsin. Armenians especially relied on Russia to stop direct Turkish intervention in the South Caucasus. This would guarantee the balance-of-power between Armenia and Azerbaijan, they thought. They were mistaken.

The siege of Karabakh imposed by the authorities of Azerbaijan is nearing its ninth month. Cases of death from lack of food, fuel and medication has been recorded. As winter approaches the entire population of Nagorno Karabakh – or the Armenian Artsakh – is threatened by the policies of Azeri authorities. This siege is the outcome of a specific ideological vision dominant within Azerbaijani ruling circles. In the meanwhile, alternative voices are taking shape, while in minority yet powerful.

According to journalist Jafar Talafari, ISIS kidnapped 1300 Turkmen civilians among them 460 women and girls and 120 children. Just like ISIS kidnapped and enslaved Yazidi women, they treated Turkmen Shiite women in the same manner. Yet, Turkmen society out of conservatism does not publicize this crime, and the fate of the majority of kidnapped remains unknown.

ISIS spread its horrors on Sinjar from August 3, 2014, until November 13, 2015, when Kurdish and Yazidi fighters, supported by Coalition airstrikes, retook the town. Yet only a minority of its inhabitants went back home. The city itself which once had 70 thousand inhabitants, has no more than 2 thousand now.

In Bakhmut, Russia and Ukraine are locked in a war of attrition. All sides seem determined to continue a war in which thousands of young soldiers are sacrificed, for unrealistic objectives. Political will to end the war is lacking, which makes any ceasefire agreement difficult to achieve.

Azerbaijan, the economy of which is completely based on hydrocarbon production and exportation, and a contributor to global warming which is devastating our planet, a country where the slightest protest movement is repressed by police, is suffocating Karabakh Armenians by organizing a siege under slogans such as “stop ecocide”, “save nature”. When Orwell wrote 1984 and coined the term “doublespeak”, he had exactly this into consideration: totalitarianism deforming language and thought: the independent activities of civil society are replaced by soldiers of an authoritarian state.

Russia was not the guardian of peace, nor a side favouring conflict resolution. In fact, Russia tried to maintain its influence by balancing between conflict parties – as in Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Russian military presence in Armenia did not hinder Azerbaijan from launching the Second Karabakh War. When this balancing act was not possible, then Russia opted direct military intervention, as in Georgia in 2008.