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Nagorno-Karabakh Region of Azerbaijan in the Caucasusis. Legally, it is recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but from 1994 until the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, most of it was militarily controlled by Armenians as the Republic of Artsakh, which is not officially recognized by any other country, including Armenia which supports it.
On September 28, 2023, the administration of the Artsakh Republic, which was affiliated with Armenia in the region, decided to dissolve itself on January 1, 2024, and Karabakh came completely under the control of Azerbaijan.
The names for the region in the different local languages all translate to "mountainous Karabakh", or "mountainous black garden". The word "nagorno" is Russian for "mountainous/on the mountain", "kara" is Turkish for "black", and "bakh" means "garden" in Azerbaijani.
The region became a subject of dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1918 when both states gained brief independence. Two years later, Soviet Union conquered both of the new states and created the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast within Azerbaijan.
When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in Moscow and started campaigns of publicity and democratic reforms at the end of the 20th century, Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh sent letters to Gorbachev demanding him to move the autonomous oblast to the control of Armenia. When it was declined, the Armenians started an independence movement.
In November 1991, seeking to stop this movement, the Parliament of Azerbaijan abolished the autonomous status of the region. In response, the Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians held a referendum on December 10, 1991, which was boycotted by Azerbaijanis living in Nagorno-Karabakh and none of them participated in it, therefore the overwhelming majority of the population voted for independence.
In the 1500s
Map of the war in 2020
The Gandzasar monastery, built in the 1200s