Russian Peacekeeping Mission Concludes in Azerbaijan After Three-Year Tenure

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In a significant development, the Russian peacekeeping forces have officially withdrawn from Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, marking the end of a three-year mission. The deployment, which commenced following the 2020 war, was aimed at stabilizing the region and preventing further conflict.

This move comes after Azerbaijan’s successful reclamation of sizeable parts of the region in a six-week war in 2020, which concluded with a Russia-brokered ceasefire.

The peacekeeping forces, numbering nearly 2,000 soldiers, were initially stationed to ensure free passage on the road connecting Karabakh with Armenia. However, tensions escalated when Azerbaijan began blocking the road in late 2022, leading to severe shortages of food and medicine in Karabakh.

In September 2023, Azerbaijan launched a swift military operation that resulted in the capitulation of the Karabakh Armenian authorities after just one day of negotiations mediated by Russian forces. The aftermath saw almost all of Karabakh’s 50,000 ethnic Armenian residents fleeing the region.

The withdrawal signifies a pivotal shift in the South Caucasus region’s dynamics, with Russia relinquishing its peacekeeping role.

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