Nagorno-Karabakh is a small territory in southwestern Azerbaijan that is controlled by an unrecognized separatist state, the Republic of Artsakh, and is majority ethnic Armenian. Remember the Georgia-Russia war in which Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke away? Same deal.
Keep in mind that the Caucasus is the Balkans on steroids. There are countless ethnicities here, each with their own language, religion, khachapuri recipes etc. For reference, Armenians are primarily Orthodox Christian while Azeris are Shia Muslim. This will be important later.
The South Caucasus came under Russian control over the course of the 1800's as it progressively won wars against the dying Ottoman and Persian empires. Following the 1917 revolutions, the region broke away briefly before being re-annexed by the Soviet Union.
Fast-forward to the 1930's. Joseph Stalin initiates the national delimitation program, in which every ethnic group in the U.S.S.R. gets its own republic or autonomous territory. Billed as a way of giving autonomy to local minorities, it was actually a booby trap.
Stalin deliberately draws the ethnic borders in such a manner to cause maximum tension and chaos. Virtually all of the post-Soviet "frozen conflicts" (Transnistria/Moldova, Abkhazia/Georgia etc.) are the result of the borders Stalin drew back in the 1930's.
Nagorno-Karabakh is one example. Despite being majority Armenian, it was annexed to the Azerbaijan SSR, though it was made an autonomous oblast. Azeris also claim that the region is their historic homeland, the Kosovo to their Serbia. You can guess what happened next.
Stalin kept a lid on ethnic sparring through his usual methods (gulags and executions), but when the Soviet Union liberalized under Khrushchev, the peace started breaking down. Armenians began demanding Anschluss with Nagorno-Karabakh with mass protests in the 1960's.
In the 1980's, things just got worse, with mass riots and ethnic cleansing breaking out in both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Gorbachev sided with the Azeris for political reasons; if the Armenians got their way, every ethnic group in the U.S.S.R. would also demand border revisions.
The Nagorno-Karabakh War formally broke out in 1988, before the Soviet Union even collapsed, due to Moscow's inability to quell the fighting. Mutual massacres and genocides on both sides culminated in full-scale war following the U.S.S.R.'s dissolution in 1991.
The Azeris seemingly had the advantage. They had a larger population to draw soldiers from and far more military equipment; Soviet military planners assumed that Armenia would quickly fall to Turkey in a WWIII scenario, so they put all their equipment in Georgia and Azerbaijan.
However, the Caucasus is a massive mountain range. Mountains are heaven for defenders and hell for invaders (see: Churchill's dumbass WWII campaign in Italy). This gave the Armenians a defensive advantage, as did the wealth pouring in from the Armenian diaspora.
Additionally, the Armenian soldiers had more combat experience. Despite both sides having many Afghan War vets, Azeris had a rep in the Soviet Union for being poor soldiers and were typically shunted into noncombatant roles. As a result, the Armenians won the war.
Russia brokered a ceasefire in 1994, allowing Nagorno-Karabakh to secede. There were countless massacres of civilians on both sides, and since neither Armenia or Azerbaijan had signed any international laws prior to the war's start, both accuse the other of committing war crimes.
Like the Korean War, the Nagorno-Karabakh War is still going on, with border skirmishes killing a few soldiers every year. Driving along the border can be hazardous since Azeri snipers are known to take potshots at cars and buses.

So why is this important? Well...
Armenia is closely aligned with Russia. It's a member of CSTO (Russia's answer to NATO) and hosts a Russian military base in Gyumri. It's also a member of the EAEU (Russia's answer to the E.U.). Vladimir Putin is actually more popular in Armenia than he is in Russia.
This is largely historical: during the 1800's and early 1900's, Russia acted as the protector of Christians in the Middle East. Indeed, one of the motivations for the Armenian Genocide was the fear that Armenians in the Ottoman Empire were a Russian fifth column during WWI.
As for Azerbaijan, they've got powerful allies, too. One ally in particular. Can you guess who they are?

Hint: they're an explicitly religious state known for starting wars and fomenting chaos throughout the Middle East.

Another hint: they're America's greatest ally.
Yep, you guessed it! Israel is real, real close with Azerbaijan. Israel heavily backed Azerbaijan during the Nagorno-Karabakh War and still gives them weapons and other aid. Recently, Azerbaijan became the first foreign buyer of Israeli SkyStriker kamikaze drones.
Israel's love fest with Azerbaijan is purely cynical: weakening Iran. Northwestern Iran is majority ethnic Azeri, and Azerbaijan has designs on conquering it. They openly announced this during the war, which led to the Iranians backing Armenia despite their religious differences.
Israel's alliance with Azerbaijan is the source of much online anti-Armenian animus. Zionist outlets regularly lambaste Armenia for lacking "diversity" (which it does, by Caucasian standards anyway) and praise Azerbaijan for its preferential treatment of its Jewish population.
Azerbaijan is also close to Turkey due to the fact that Turks and Azeris are closely related. Finally, Azerbaijan is also tight with the U.S. Armenia has good relations with the U.S. due to the diaspora, but Armenia is also allied with evil RUSSIA, so you know...
The balance of power in the South Caucasus has recently tipped towards Azerbaijan due to the country's oil wealth, most of which they've poured into the military. If the war went hot again, absent Russian intervention, Azerbaijan would win.
The only thing stopping the Azeris from sending in the tanks is the fact that Russia would bitchslap them like they bitchslapped Georgia in 2008. And trust me: they really, REALLY want to send the tanks in. No country on Earth likes losing wars or land.
The level of hatred Armenians and Azeris have for each other is comparable to how the French and Germans hated each other prior to World War I. But the Azeris take it to a truly psychotic level. Their entire ethnic identity revolves around hating everything Armenian.
For an example of this, look up the Ramil Safarov incident. In 2004, some brainlet decided to invite Azeri and Armenian officers to a NATO summit in Budapest. One of the Azeri officers bought an axe from a Tesco and chopped up one of the Armenian officers while he was sleeping.
The Hungarians gave Safarov life in prison, but in 2012, Viktor Orbán extradited him back to Azerbaijan to serve out his sentence. Before the plane had even landed, the Azeri president pardoned Safarov, declared him a national hero, and gave him a free apartment.
The Armenians were understandably pissed and spent the next few days rioting and burning Hungarian flags. Armenia also broke off relations with Hungary. There's speculation that Orbán extradited Safarov in order to sign lucrative oil deals with Azerbaijan.
The Caucasus isn't exactly known for its dedication to individual liberty, but Azerbaijan takes censorship to the comical extreme in order to keep out all things Armenian. At one point, they had even banned the OLD TESTAMENT because it mentions Armenia.
As for Nagorno-Karabakh, it's still independent, though unrecognized by any other country, and you can visit if you like. If you do so without permission from the Azeri government (which they almost never give), they'll ban you from Azerbaijan and put your name on a public list.
Apparently, if you write to the Azeri government apologizing for going to Nagorno-Karabakh without permission and promise not to do it again, they'll lift your ban. Fun fact: Tulsi Gabbard is one of the many people banned from entering Azerbaijan for visiting Nagorno-Karabakh.
Right now, things are calm on the war front, but that could change at any moment. Back in 2016, Azerbaijan launched an offensive into Nagorno-Karabakh and clawed back a few miles of territory. Nobody on either side is interested in a lasting peace.
For an unbiased and accurate look at the Nagorno-Karabakh War, I highly recommend Thomas de Waal's BLACK GARDEN. It delves into the long history of ethnic tensions in the region and the aftermath of the war. A lot of the info online is garbage due to bias from both sides.
So that's the Nagorno-Karabakh War: a souped-up version of the Yugoslav Wars that is still going on, is totally ignored in the West, and could very well lead to world war thanks to interethnic hatred and Israeli realpolitik.

Boy, I sure picked an interesting place to live.
Long-standing ethnic enmity exacerbated by horribly drawn Soviet borders.
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