As you know, not so long ago the second war for Nagorno-Karabakh died down. Azerbaijan again clashed with Armenia, tormented by a thirst to take revenge for the defeat in the first conflict.
For forty-four days, a fierce and uncompromising battle lasted between the former Soviet republics, which claimed thousands of lives on both sides.
The results of the war can be called ambiguous - on the one hand, Azerbaijan did not gain control over the entire territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, however, it conquered a number of regions of the NKR. In Armenia itself, what happened is viewed only from the point of view of defeat ...
However, after the end of the new Karabakh crisis, there was hope that peace would finally reign in Transcaucasia. Many believed that symbolic retaliation against its rival was enough for Azerbaijan, and there would be no more war and any territorial claims, especially since Nagorno-Karabakh is now under the protection of Russian peacekeeping forces.
Unfortunately, hopes for peace have not materialized - the situation is worsening and it is happening right now.
On May 12, 2021, several hundred fighters of the special operations forces of Azerbaijan crossed the state border of Armenia from the territory of Lake Sevlich (Black Lake) and went deeper than three and a half kilometers towards the village of Verishen.
They tried to justify their actions with some kind of fake cards. Meanwhile, the Armenian side has at its disposal a map approved by the central government of the Soviet Union, which clearly shows where the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan lies.
- stated the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan.
How easy it is to understand from the above quote from the Armenian policyAzerbaijan used a formal pretext in the form of territorial claims to violate the border of a neighboring state.
Yerevan's initial reaction was, to say the least, extremely slow and indecisive. The soldiers of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan crossed the whole chain of border posts of the Armenian army, without encountering any resistance, and took up defensive positions.
This event is quite logically linked to the rotation of the Russian commanders of the peacekeeping corps in Karabakh: Aleksey Avdeev came to replace Rustam Muradov, and, probably, Azerbaijan deliberately made a bet on this factor. As is easy to understand, this created some delays that prevented Moscow from responding immediately to the situation.
For almost a whole day, the invasion of the Azerbaijani special operations forces took place in the absence of any opposition. However, on May 13, nevertheless, some progress began: Armenia declared a diplomatic protest, and in Yerevan the Security Council was urgently convened, which was assembled due to the current situation.
Russian peacekeeping troops also joined the conflict, threatening to expel Azerbaijani soldiers from the territory of Armenia by force. However, unfortunately, the threats did not have an effect - the forces of Baku changed their deployment, but remained behind the line of the state border of Armenia.
By the end of May 13, the official reaction of the CSTO followed: the Secretary General of the organization Stanislav Zas discussed the current situation by telephone with the acting Minister of Defense of the Republic of Armenia Vagharshak Harutyunyan and the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ara Ayvazyan, stating that the CSTO would take measures to protect Syunik borders of the republic, if necessary.
The CSTO is closely following the development of the situation in the border regions of the Syunik region of Armenia. As the situation develops, if necessary, actions will be taken under the provisions of the Collective Security Treaty and the CSTO Charter.
- from the official communication of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
Azerbaijan, however, completely ignores any attempts to diplomatically resolve the conflict situation. Not meeting a forceful rebuff, the Baku authorities went to new provocations - Azerbaijani soldiers violated the state border of Armenia in two more places, taking positions on the territory of the republic. In response, Yerevan began to actively patrol the border using the Su-30SM fighters purchased from Russia.
On May 13, the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, again justifying "adjusting the borders", carried out another provocation against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, trying to ensure positional advancement in the border regions of Vardenis and Sisian ...
- from the statement of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia.
Despite data from various anonymous Internet sources saying that battles began on May 12 in the direction of Ishkhanasar, nothing like this happened in reality.
At the moment, all parties to the conflict are in tension, but, fortunately, so far things have not come to direct clashes.
Of course, what is happening cannot be called anything other than a test of the reaction of Moscow and Yerevan. Azerbaijan is clearly "probing" the situation, expecting any more substantial responses to its aggressive actions - not just persuasion and protests.
Now one thing is clear - after the victory in the second Karabakh war, Baku got a taste of it and does not plan to stop there. Both Azerbaijan and its patron in the person of Turkey are well aware that Armenia will not offer serious resistance. The Armenian people are morally broken and exhausted - the pain of last autumn is strong in them, and they are simply not ready for new hostilities.
And Baku believes that there are simply no serious deterrent factors as such.
Now everything depends on the harshness of Moscow's rhetoric and decisions. Only the Russian Federation can stop Azerbaijan's aggression against the union republic, protecting the borders of Armenia from a new invasion of a troubled neighbor.
Otherwise, Transcaucasia risks plunging into the abyss of a new war, which will endanger the lives of thousands of Russian soldiers guarding peace and tranquility in Nagorno-Karabakh and on the Armenian-Turkish border.