Was it possible to prevent the NK conflict in the late 1980s? 1987 was the last year when the war between #Azerbaijan and #Armenia could be prevented. Another long thread:
1/ In the Soviet times, when both nations lived in one counry and had many opportunities for a dialogue, when the number of casualties was still low, the chances to solve the emerging conflict were much higher. Why did they fail?
2/ Armenians of NK claimed for unification with Armenia several times before 1980s. Read an interesting thread from Murad here: https://twitter.com/NasibovMurad/status/1314493645433835521?s=20
3/ As for the 1980s, in his interview Rauf Talyshinski recalled the warnings coming from Azerbaijani intelligence since the mid-1980s about the upcoming storm. It was literally ignored by the Azerbaijani leadership.
4/ The first claims for miatsum, or unification with Armenia emerged in August 1987, when Arm of NK sent a petition to Moscow. In Oct 1987 Heydar Aliyev was dismissed from Politburo. In Nov 1987 Gorbachov’s econ. advisor, Eduard Aganbegyan openly supported Arm claims in Paris.
5/ Note: Armenians of NK never claimed simply for more rights within autonomy, like in South Ossetia - which primarily claimed to change the status of autonomous oblast (province in Russian) to autonomous republic. See Svante Cornell’s “Small Nations and Great Powers” (2001).
6/ In “Parts of a Circle” one of the arguments of the NK Armenians for miatsum was the lack of access to Armenian TV. This wish was added to the program of social-economic development in March 1988. It did NOT stop the claim for unification with Armenia.
7/ For more info on the program covering issues such as the protection of Arm cultural heritage, Arm schools in NK, gasification of the region, construction of new buildings, etc. see “Izvestiya”, 25.03.1988, (available here, pp. 179-183 http://library.virtualkarabakh.az/az/book-item/281 )
9/ In Talyshinski’s opinion, back then Armenians had one big miscalculation: nobody expected in 1987-88 that USSR would collapse. Within Soviet borders transfer of territory would not have been as painful for Arm as it was in reality after 1991 (transport and energy routes).
10/ The rise of the movement was sporadic and many people didn’t have any idea what was really going on. Armenians acknowledge many of them joined the protests simply because they “could identify with the cause of Armenians encircled by Turks" - see T. De Waal, Black Garden, p.22
11/ Note: in Armenian language Azerbaijanis and Turks are usually named with the same word.
12/ Also not many people remember that the first wave of violence against Az's in Arm started after the ignominous book by Zoriy Balayan “Hearth”(1981) with his openly racist claims against Azerbaijanis/Turks. Ironically,they had catastrophic consequences for the Arm's of Az, too
13/ According to Zardusht Alizade, for most Az'nis this work was perceived as the actual beginning of the conflict. “Since then revision of historiography was an attempt to counterbalance Arm nationalism expressed in Balayan’s book”. See p. 111 https://pure.uva.nl/ws/files/40165626/Thesis.pdf
14/14 Starting from November 1987 after the first refugees were deported from Armenia and Sumgait pogrom of Feb 1988 the window of opportunities for negotiations and compromise was getting narrower with every new tragedy. Since then the war in #NagornoKarabakh was inevitable. END
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