The fresh outbreak of fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces along the Line of Contact has seen around one thousand killed in action in battles concentrated on the north-eastern and southern sectors of the line. Within just two weeks, this new conflict reached an attrition rate comparable to the climax of the 1990s Karabakh war after six years of conflict.
The war has come at a moment of intense global distraction due to COVID-19, U.S. elections, and Belarus protests. This is no coincidence. Armenians all over the world are aghast at the global silence at yet more violence against their community, while Azerbaijanis decry Western hypocrisy and neglect of their grievances. Across the divide a new descent into bitterness and toxic cynicism has taken hold.
A significant new feature of this round of violence is Turkey’s more active involvement. Turkey has shifted from moral support to Azerbaijan to active denunciation of mediation of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Minsk Group, co-chaired by France, Russia and the United States.