With the loss of Shushi, the war ended for Armenia, and Russia had to intervene to avoid even worse consequences, this time for itself. With the mediation of Moscow, Yerevan was forced to conclude a shameful peace on Baku's terms.
In a little over a month (from September 27 to November 10), Aliyev decided for Azerbaijan all military and militarypolitical tasks. With which you can congratulate him. Only the status of the NKR remained unresolved. But by controlling the height dominating over Stepanakert and having the opportunity to cut the only road connecting it with Armenia in half an hour, one can dictate conditions to both from a position of strength (both Stepanakert and Yerevan). This is reflected in the document signed on the night of November 10, with which the Armenians are unlikely to ever reconcile, which means that the war will continue in the near foreseeable future. But so far there is no such opportunity for Yerevan. The next big war can be expected in 30 years, but no one knows what will happen in 30 years. Maybe Baku will be under Ankara. At least, the role of Turkey in all these events is dominant, and what the slogan "two countries - one people", recently voiced by Erdogan, is being transformed into, we all have to learn in the near future.
Now let's consider what each of the parties involved in the conflict has won or lost.
Baku is undoubtedly the winner in this conflict. During the 45-day war, he forcibly regained all the territories of lowland Karabakh lost in 1992-1994 in Aghdam, Kelbajar and Lachin regions, which had never been part of the autonomous region (NKAO), and in the NKAO itself increased its presence for account of taking control of the Shushi fortress. Moreover, the very existence of the NKR (NKAO) is now in his hands, nothing prevents him from announcing his withdrawal from the signed agreement after 4,5 years and de facto taking over the rebellious Armenian region. And the Russian peacekeepers will not be able to do anything about it, as the agreement is spelled out. Actually, the Armenian side can do the same to restore the violated status quo, but I strongly doubt that it will be able to do this in the next 30 years.
In addition, as a result of the signed agreements, Baku was also able to restore the violated economic communications and transport links between Azerbaijan and the exclave cut off from it in Nakhichevan (NAR), which will now be controlled by the Border Service of the FSB of the Russian Federation. Those. the last bargaining chips were knocked out of Armenia. And this is a total defeat.
We must pay tribute to Aliyev, he worked very competently, waiting for the elections in America, when the States would definitely not have time for him, and skillfully separated Pashinyan from Russia, using the Kremlin's discontent with his coming to power, thereby ensuring that the Russian Federation was not involved in the flaring conflict. The Russian Federation intervened only when there were threats to its interests. But this could not stop Turkey's creeping expansion into a zone previously dominated by the Kremlin.
For Armenia, the war ended in total defeat. Yes, in fact, Yerevan capitulated, trying to avoid the loss of Stepanakert, Martuni and Askeran, being surrounded by thousands of its soldiers and the inevitable ethnic cleansing of the local population after that, with a possible exodus from the NKR. It would be a complete collapse for Armenia. But all this could have been avoided had Pashinyan been ready for war, and not provoked Baku with his dances on May 9 within the walls of the Shushi fortress (May 9 is not only Victory Day, but also the day of the fall of Shushi in 1992).
However, Yerevan, inspired by the successes in the summer five-day war in the Tavush region adjacent to Azerbaijan, located much to the north of the NKR, when it managed to shoot down a dozen drones and intercept three more (though all of Israel), completely slept through Baku's preparations for the upcoming war. Instead, Pashinyan was busy cleansing the army and special services, when officers were fired in batches only for education received in the USSR or the Russian Federation. As a result, the newly recruited Western-oriented special services completely slept through the August visits of Turkish generals and the Minister of Defense to Baku, the re-equipment of the Azerbaijani army with Turkish UAVs and, in general, Turkey's unprecedented activity in this direction. And the newly appointed combined-arms generals from the former majors and captains who underwent training in the United States showed their complete tactical and strategic unsuitability on the battlefield. This was especially striking against the backdrop of the massive heroism of the Armenian people, who steadfastly and with dignity accepted the battle. But with outdated air defense systems and MLRS, it is difficult to deal with attack UAVs and kamikaze drones. It's like going out to fight with a bow and arrow against machine guns and automatic weapons. This is an objective reality, which was recorded by this military campaign and with which we now have to do something (I mean the staff officers-generals who write plans and counter-plans for future wars, based on the experience of previous ones).
Armenia has not experienced such national humiliation since the 1915 Armenian Genocide. It is clear that the hot Armenian guys could not forgive such a shame to anyone, while knowing exactly to whom they owe all this. As one well-known Georgian said: "Every mistake has its own name and its own surname." And the proud Armenians knew her. As a result, Nikol Pashinyan was forced to hide in the territory of the American embassy the very next morning after the signing of the documents and from there appeal to his supporters for support. I think the Americans will take him out of there by diplomatic mail in a woman's dress. And that's not a fact. In any case, its days are already numbered, the countdown was launched on November 10.
I deliberately do not mention the losses of the parties here, since in this situation they do not matter. In general, Baku does not provide information about military losses, explaining that the information is confidential and will be published after the end of the active phase of the conflict. Yerevan gives the names of the victims, but they also require clarification. In any case, the count goes to thousands. According to unofficial information, up to 2 thousand people died in Armenia, against 3 thousand in Azerbaijan. Which, in principle, seems to be true, since the attacking side always suffers greater losses than the defending side.
But I repeat, in this case it doesn't matter, because the winner gets everything and the loser gets nothing. The Soviet Union also won the Second World at the cost of huge losses exceeding the total losses of Germany and its allies, but he won, and Germany lost and drank this cup to the bottom, obeying the famous principle of the Gallic barbarians, conquerors of ancient Rome: "Vae victis!" (from lat. "Woe to the vanquished!").
As a result of the monitored events, Russia, having taken a position of non-interference, even without undertaking anything, managed to fully restore its influence in the region, returning Armenia not even to a friendly, but to a dependent position, when Yerevan without Moscow's support could lose Karabakh within half a day. Now no one is talking about folding the 102nd base. And the days of the one who led, it seems, are already numbered.
However, analyzing the Russian press, I see some bias in the assessment of these events. They say that Russia once again wiped everyone's nose, solely through the efforts of Sergei Lavrov's office, put everyone in a stall again, acting as an arbitrator in this conflict, divorced the opposing sides and forced themselves to respect. Russia is positioned as such a D'Artagnan in a snow-white tuxedo, who returned to the Caucasus again, and all such in white forced someone to drag chestnuts out of the fire with someone else's hands. And this someone is also clearly visible, underneath it is difficult not to notice the suckers from Baku and Ankara. And it’s hard to disagree with that. From the documents signed on the night of November 10, it seems, this follows. Turkey is not there, but Russia with its peacekeeping contingent is.
According to the document, 1960 servicemen (of the 31st Ulyanovsk Separate Guards Airborne Assault Brigade) with small arms and armored vehicles from 00:00 to Moscow time on November 10 move to the line of contact of the conflicting parties along the Lachin corridor 5 km wide in parallel with the withdrawal of Armenian troops from there ... The term of stay of the contingent is 5 years, with automatic prolongation of this period for another 5 years, if none of the parties, six months before the expiration of the term, declares its intention to terminate this provision.
Russia has returned to the Caucasus, and where is Turkey? I answer: firstly, Russia never left the Caucasus anywhere. She fought with Turkey to preserve her positions, which she managed to maintain, even strengthening them somewhat, provoking a political crisis in Yerevan with the hands of Baku, which, for sure, will lead to the resignation of Nikol Pashinyan's cabinet. As a result, we have a win-win situation when both sides won. The only difference is that the Russian Federation fought for a draw in this game, trying to maintain its position, while Turkey played for a victory and won it, climbing on the shoulders of Azerbaijan into a region where it had not been present before. Bloomberg describes this as a triumph for Erdogan, "whose support for Azerbaijan in the fighting allowed him to break into Russia's backyard in the Caucasus." Without loud words, it is worth admitting that this is true.
How was this fact reflected in the signed documents? I show. It is hidden behind the vague wording of clause 5 of the signed agreements:
In order to increase the effectiveness of control over the implementation of the agreements by the Parties to the conflict, a Peacekeeping Center is being deployed to control the ceasefire.
And this is, secondly, the details below.
Of course, Baku cannot be denied subjectivity, but Turkey played the main role in this conflict. Without her participation in the conflict, a positive outcome for Aliyev would be a big question.
The result of this was the deployment of the Turkish military in Azerbaijan on a permanent basis, which we have not seen since the First World War. Then they, having occupied Petrovsk-Makhachkala, reached the coast of the Caspian Sea and the north-western border of Persia (only the British forced them to get out of there in 1918). Moreover, no one asked Russia's consent to the current advancement, they simply presented it with a fact. Of all that has happened, this is perhaps the main trouble for the Russian Federation. The size of the Turkish group is still unclear, but it is unlikely to be inferior in size and combat capabilities to the Russian brigade, which is now deploying in Karabakh. Presumably, the Turks will also deploy at least one brigade "for peacekeeping" in the region.
The maximum that Lavrov managed to achieve was not to include Turkey in the official peacekeeping mission. As a result, the only arbiter here is the Russian Federation. Erdogan was not allowed to play this role, although he really wanted to. But not at this time. Turkey had to limit itself to only an actual presence. But we could no longer influence this.
There will be no Turks in Karabakh itself - only Russian peacekeepers, who for the coming years will become the main and only guarantors of the existence of the NKR within its new borders. From a military point of view, the new borders of the NKR are for the most part unsuitable for defense, even if the issue of the vulnerability of the Lachin corridor is not considered. Our peacekeepers are in it like in a mousetrap, it is not clear who is protecting whom.
According to the signed agreements (item 5), Turkey will interact with the Russian peacekeepers through a coordination center that will operate on the territory of Azerbaijan, not directly adjacent to Karabakh. Within its framework, contacts and interaction between the RF Defense Ministry and the Turkish Defense Ministry will be carried out. The mode of interaction will be determined separately by a direct agreement between the Russian Federation and Turkey (in the spirit of the Syrian agreements).
Turkey's influence in the region is growing, and the Russian Federation cannot yet oppose this. Erdogan is already de facto in charge of our backyard.
And the last - Ukraine
And she has something to do with it, the attentive reader will ask. I explain that Ukraine always has something to do with it. I just warn her not to fall into euphoria against the background of the brilliant victories of her neighbors on the globe and not to draw the wrong conclusions from this conflict, trying on the armor of Azerbaijan. There is no need to compare vodka with oil, and Donbass with Karabakh. Instead of the armor of Azerbaijan, try on a wooden mac of Armenia and make the right conclusions. In the event of an attack on Donbass for the military restoration of its territorial integrity, no one and nothing will save you. You can try it, though. Funeral at the expense of the institution.
This concludes the summing up. Peace for everyone!