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Transcaucasia’s “Russian Roulette”: Who Blames Who And Where Is It Coming From?

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Transcaucasia's "Russian Roulette": Who Blames Who And Where Is It Coming From?

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Both sides of the Nagorno-Karabakh War appear to be dissatisfied with the outcome.

Armenia’s point of view is obvious, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and others grossly mismanagement the situation, failed to effectively use their forces, and lost quite a bit of ground in Karabakh, to the benefit of Azerbaijan.

And those gains appear to have been set in stone now, for at least 5 years, while Russian peacekeepers are present.

As such, the protests in Armenia are no surprise. The calls for a resignation from Pashinyan are also understandable.

He, however, refuses to resign and is also replacing individuals on high posts, and other ministers and officials are resigning. He, despite that maintains that it is not the time for protests nor resignations.

He’s blaming everybody for the failures – the army, the old leadership, Russia, the people themselves, the Armenians abroad who didn’t return to enlist and fight in a war.

The only one not to blame is himself.

Protests are on-going in Armenia, and now, there are even those protesters, and especially media figures who are pushing a separate narrative – Russia betrayed Armenia. Years of anti-Russian policy, and protests calling for “Russians to go home” are now forgotten, Moscow should’ve come to pick the slack.

For a region that’s not even officially recognize as part of Armenia, but is also not recognized as an independent republic, in the face of the Artsakh project.

Armenians themselves refused to go to the frontline and fight, but expected the Russians to do so.

They present the situation as an unconditional surrender, which it isn’t. And it is simple why – Azerbaijan only received what it was supposed to get – under the previous Minsk agreements, and the city of Shusha.

It could’ve captured much more if Russia hadn’t stepped in to mediate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin even said so, Russia was not called to help, until it was too late, otherwise it would have done so.

According to the media figures, and some protesters, Armenia should go to war with Azerbaijan, while the Russian peacekeepers are there, in an attempt to force their hand and hope that this time, Moscow would choose the right side and do the heavy lifting in capturing back the region.

It is quite obvious how unlikely that is.

Arrests are taking place of opposition figures, and even simple protesters. The video below shows one such arrest of an individual protesting against Pashinyan. It should be reminded that prior to his ascension to Prime Minister, he was also arrested for organizing protests during the “Velvet Revolution” of 2018.

In Azerbaijan, there were recent protests claiming that Baku actually surrendered to Russia, and that Azerbaijan’s “total victory” was stolen by Moscow.

That’s not too far from the truth, since Baku simply got what it had to get under the Minsk agreements, and one city on top of that.

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev presented it as a significant victory of Azerbaijan and Turkey against Europe and the collective West, but it was simply using an armed offensive to get what was politically already agreed upon.

Anti-Russian rallies were held in Baku demanding the withdrawal of Russians from Azerbaijan: “Let the Russian army leave from Azerbaijan! Turkey come to our aid! “,” Putin – go away! Putin – go away! ”

People with Turkish, Pakistani and Ukrainian flags staged a protest in Baku. The police are quietly watching.

Transcaucasia's "Russian Roulette": Who Blames Who And Where Is It Coming From?

Click to see full-size image

Transcaucasia's "Russian Roulette": Who Blames Who And Where Is It Coming From?

Click to see full-size image

This happens in Azerbaijan, where not a single rally takes place without the approval of the authorities. If the protest is not allowed, individuals would be harshly met by authorities and detained, as is the common practice.

Finally, on November 18th, the director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergei Naryshkin said that some Western countries are trying to foment the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh in order to oust Russia from the Transcaucasus.

“According to the information we have, some Western countries, through the available channels, provoke Armenian and Azerbaijani nationalists to discredit and break the ceasefire agreement,” Naryshkin said.

According to him, they are trying to convince the inhabitants of Armenia that peace in Nagorno-Karabakh is a defeat for Yerevan.

In turn, the Azerbaijanis are told that the Kremlin “stole their victory,” the SVR head explained.

“The United States and its allies are annoyed that the war was stopped with the mediation of Moscow. After all, this, in fact, “nullified” their many years of work to oust Russia from the Transcaucasia,” says Naryshkin said, and his words were disseminated by the SVR press service.

The SVR has information that they are trying to convince the Armenians that peace in the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) is a defeat for Armenia. In addition, the ideology of waging war “to the bitter end” is being promoted.

In Azerbaijan, according to Naryshkin, the idea is spreading that Moscow prevented Baku from winning when the Azerbaijani army had almost reached Stepanakert.

Naryshkin added that this behavior of the West once again demonstrates the desire of the United States and European states to solve “their problems at the expense of the interests of ordinary people.”

The SVR believes that the Americans and Europeans do not think that provocations can lead to the development of a military conflict.

Earlier, on November 17th, it was reported that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian noted during negotiations in Paris that they wanted more clarity from Moscow about Turkey’s role in ending hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as about the terms of the agreement.

As such, the stage appears set, and a potential flaring up is possible, in an attempt to blame Russia for aggression, or meddling, or simply pulling it into a conflict of some sort. Time will tell, but it appears that chaos is obviously brewing in Armenia, but could also be coming to Azerbaijan.

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