On the night of 2 April 2016, tensions on the Nagorny Karabakh line of contact erupted. Following four days of intense fighting, several strategic heights surrounding the Armenian-controlled village of Talish, including multiple Armenian positions, came under Azerbaijan’s control.
With its flat rate taxes and sky-high growth rates, Nagorno-Karabakh has been described by some as a Caucasian Tiger. In addition, money from abroad funds a generous, but militaristic social welfare system — combining to keep and grow its border villages, and swell the army’s ranks.
While throughout the region there are debates around compulsory military service — how it applies to students or if it should apply at all — in Azerbaijan, a different debate is raging. Many are demanding exemptions for only sons in a family, who continue the family name, while most politicians oppose the move, calling it unpatriotic.
Azerbaijani authorities are blacklisting Anthony Bourdain, an American chef and CNN host for visiting Nagorno-Karabakh. [Read more…]
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an order on 11 September pardoning blogger Aleksandr Lapshin, who was imprisoned for for visiting Nagorno-Karabakh.
An Israeli defence firm has been accused of carrying out a live fire demonstration for Azerbaijan against an Armenian military target. According to Israeli news site the Times of Israel, a copy of a complaint filed with the Israeli Ministry of Defence against Aeronautics Defence Systems was leaked to Israeli daily Maariv.
Learning Azerbaijani is becoming more and more popular in Armenia. While the two countries remain in a near-war-like state, some emphasise the strategic importance of ‘know thy enemy’, while others seek a better understanding of their disconnected neighbours.
Baku City Court has sentenced blogger Aleksandr Lapshin to three years in prison for visiting Nagorno-Karabakh. [Read more…]