Fire in Transcaucasia – Again

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by Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review:

The Pashinyan circle – very close to the Soros crowd – had in fact abandoned Nagorno-Karabakh for at least the past three years.

It’s fire in Transcaucasia. Literally. All over again.

Azerbaijan went all out against Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh by bombing the regional capital Stepanakert with Israeli surface-to-surface LORA missiles and Israeli Harop kamikaze drones.

The Tor air defense system of the Armenian Armed Forces near the Khankendi-Khojaly road was destroyed by Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones, and all mobile communications were completely cut off in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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This sort of light blitz was compounded with an info war/ soft power offensive: an avalanche of videos nearly in real time extolling the military exploits coupled with a humanitarian subtext – as in we are determined to protect the Armenian population.

Compare it to the Armenian side, led by Prime Minister Pashinyan: not only they totally lost the information war in a flash but only emitted sparse, incomprehensible communiqués.

From the start there were two key questions in the air. Would Baku just be satisfied with the final annexation of Nagorno-Karabakh or would it also attack southern Armenia? To invade an encircled territory would pose no problem – considering that Yerevan, in the past three years, did next to nothing to improve its defense.

Then a more ambitious framework started to take shape. Baku may be implementing a cunning Hegemon-devised plan: to play Pacifier of Nagorno-Karabakh, under the Western aegis, to swing pro-Russian Armenia to the status of pro-Western Armenia while reformatting southern Armenia and Karabakh – either transferred to Azerbaijan or under a newly defined joint control.

Why Russia cannot impersonate Armenia

The crucial fact is that the Pashinyan circle – very close to the Soros crowd – had in fact abandoned Nagorno-Karabakh for at least the past three years (Pashinyan has been in power for five). That directly interferes with the mandate of the CSTO – which in the end is forced to recognize the same facts on the ground; hence CSTO obligations do not apply in terms of “helping” Armenia.

All that would change only in case Yerevan decided to keep Nagorno-Karabakh: this means Armenia would take up arms.

As it stands, Russia will not intervene militarily. At best, diplomatically. Russia won’t impersonate Armenia to solve an Armenian problem. Iran for the moment is “studying the situation”. Tehran would only intervene if Baku decides to cut off southern Armenia and create a corridor towards the Nakhichevan enclave.

Russian peacekeeping forces, on site since 2020, have no right to use weapons. They will remain passive – and only react if attacked. Russian command explains that Moscow is tied up by agreements with both Baku and Yerevan and can only act on joint decisions.

Russian soldiers, incidentally, are the only ones helping Nagorno-Karabakh residents, including over 1,000 children so far, to leave their historical abode, which they may never see again. No Western “power” is helping on the humanitarian front.

In the end, it was Russian peacekeepers who will mediate a Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire, supposed to start this Wednesday at 13:00 local time. Whether it will be respected is a completely different story.

Even before the ceasefire, Pashinyan predictably asked for Hegemon help: that’s the “pivot” scenario in play, reorienting a historical Russian region towards the declining West. Nagorno-Karabakh is just a pretext.

To cut to the chase, Pashinyan’s road to power was facilitated with only one objective: play the Hegemon’s – and Turkish – game. Turkey, predictably, stated via Erdogan that “we support Azerbaijan”.

What Pashinyan is actually working on is preparing the terrain for political repression. Yerevan’s Republic Square was boiling hot. Angry protesters – later dispersed – were chanting “Nikol is a traitor”. “Nikol”, from his bunker, called Little Blinken for help.

The head of the “Mother Armenia” bloc Tevanyan called for an impeachment of Pashinyan. The National Security Service of Armenia warned about the possibility of mass unrest.

Pashinyan in fact was unmistakable: “Armenia will not bow down to provocations and will not fight for Nagorno-Karabakh”. This in fact may seal the end of the story.

For all the discomfort imposed on the Foreign Ministry, Moscow made it clear that what Pashinyan stated in October 2022 and again in May 2023, recognizing Azeri supremacy over Nagorno-Karabakh, changed the terms of the November 2020 armistice.

In a nutshell: the Pashinyan gang sold out Nagorno-Karabakh.

And there’s nothing a UN Security Council meeting on Nagorno-Karabakh this Thursday can do to alter the facts on the ground.

Maidan revisited

After a swiftly victory with its mini-blitz, Baku now is sitting pretty, ready to negotiate. Under its own terms, of course: we negotiate only after you capitulate.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry went straight to the point: the only “path to peace” is the complete withdrawal of the Armenian Armed Forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the dissolution of the regime in Stepanakert.

It’s quite possible that a majority of Armenians may agree with it (no polls yet). After all a thorny, intractable problem will be “solved” and life will go back to normal. Only one thing is certain: Russia will be blamed for it, not the Pashinyan gang.

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