The Republic of Artsakh, otherwise known as Nagorno-Karabakh, is an Armenian-majority separatist State that governs approximately 3,000 sq. km of Azerbaijani-claimed territory. The disputed area is located in the southeastern Lesser Caucasus Mountain Range where rugged terrain dominates the landscape along with plateaus, densely forested areas, and valleys which generally decline in altitude from west to east.

During the collapse of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) and the Armenian-inhabited Shahumyan region merged to form the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which declared independence from Azerbaijan in 1991. In the decades since, Artsakh has received no official recognition aside from other self-declared republics, however, its independence is supported by Armenia militarily, economically, and politically.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have a complicated ethnic and religious history and the two States have fought a multitude of wars, and control over the Nagorno-Karabakh region has often been a source of conflict. The two States went to war over Nagorno-karabakh shortly after World War II, then again during the dissolution of the USSR, and, most recently, in the fall of 2020. From September to November 2020, Armenia and Azerbaijan engaged in a three-month conflict that ended in a peace agreement brokered by Russia. As part of the peace deal, Russia established a militarized, peacekeeping presence along the de facto borderline between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Artsakh that will remain in effect for a minimum of five years. Armenia and Artsakh lost control of much of the territory that had been gained following the First Nagorno-Karabakh War.

The border between Artsakh and Azerbaijan has never been officially defined. As it currently stands, Artsakh lays claim to the boundaries of the NKAO and the Shahumyan region. Following the 2020 conflict, Azerbaijan now maintains de facto control of Shahumyan in the north and portions of the NKAO in the south.

Map showing the land boundary between Artsakh and Azerbaijan

Purchase the Artsakh–Azerbaijan Land Boundary Brief

$15.00Add to cart

Linked In YouTube
Subscribe to our newsletter (and receive a free map!) SUBSCRIBE