While the world is looking at Ukraine and Russia, a brewing all-out war is happening between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Fighting on the border of Azerbaijan and Armenia has started, and as two troops faced each other today, 99 soldiers were killed in the skirmish, with both sides taking hits. Armenia reported losing 49 of their soldiers, while Azerbaijan noted they lost 50. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a decades-long conflict over the area of Nagorno-Karabakh. This region was considered part of Azerbaijan but had been controlled by Armenian ethnic forces since the separatist war ended in 1994.

During the last week of August, Azerbaijan stated its move and tried to reclaim the city near Nagorno-Karabakh. President lham Aliyev announced that their troops had moved to the city of Lachin and nearby villages.

“I congratulate Lachin residents and the entire people of Azerbaijan,” Aliyev said.

Lachin is a strategic location since it sits on a road that connects Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh. Aliyev’s move to conquer the region allows them to block Armenian troops from receiving any support from the mainland.

Then, in 2020, Azerbaijan reclaimed a large portion of Nagorno-Karabakh during a six-week war that killed more than 6,600 people. However, Russia intervened and brokered a peace deal between the countries. Moscow then deployed around 2,000 troops to help liaise the deal. In the present war, Russia is still keen to be involved even though they have their own problems at home, dealing with the Ukrainians.

Russian Foreign Ministry said they are urging both parties “to refrain from further escalation and show restraint.” Moscow would no doubt be invested in peace-making between countries for political and economic reasons. Armenia is a good trade partner for Russia as well as a host for one of its military bases. On the other hand, Azerbaijan is an oil-rich country that Russia’s looking to partner with in the future.

“We expect that an agreement reached as a result of Russian mediation on a ceasefire … will be carried out in full,” the Russian foreign ministry.