Azerbaijan, which won the 2020 Karabakh War with the help of Turkish and Israeli military equipment, promised a peaceful integration of the 120,000 Armenians in the region. Baku’s seemingly ‘goodwill gestures’ have recently come under international scrutiny over their blockade of the Karabakh region.

For the past seven months, Azerbaijan has repeatedly rejected calls from human rights groups, various nations, and international governing bodies to lift their blockade on Karabakh, as the de facto siege has quietly starved the Armenians of the region.

Azerbaijan’s Blockade in Nagorno-Karabakh

Baku implemented the blockade on the breakaway unrecognized state of Artsakh on December 12th, 2022. The longtime autocrat of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, enacted the closure of the Lachin Corridor to force even more concessions against Armenia and cruelly make it aware the Armenians of Karabakh would never have autonomy.

Initially, under the guise of civilians acting as “eco-activists,” the Azerbaijani military has taken over the blockade, forbidding vital goods such as food, medicine, and gas to 120,000 Armenians in the region. Russian peacekeepers have done little to mitigate the situation as the continuous ceasefire violations continue.

The Deteriorating Humanitarian Situation

The ongoing blockade has continued to deteriorate to where international aid organizations have attempted to intervene. Armenia has warned of a new war as fears of famine reach the enclave. The International Committee of the Red Cross has been unsuccessful in bringing in necessities, including a recent massive convoy blockaded by the Azerbaijani military.

Amnesty International and Crisis Group have both released statements calling for lifting the blockade and the cooperation of the Azerbaijani government to ensure the safety and human rights guarantees of the Armenians of Karabakh.

Reports of malnutrition, miscarriages, and minimal medical equipment have been documented in the region. Armenians of Karabakh now have to travel to Armenia for medical and food aid as Azerbaijan has done little to help them. Nevertheless, the Karabakh Armenians remain under siege while Azerbaijan’s diplomats continue to mock their situation and use ‘caviar diplomacy’ to bribe international correspondents and politicians towards their side.