Officials on both sides claim to have inflicted serious losses on the other’s. Both sides claim the other has killed civilians, including new reports Monday by officials in Azerbaijan that the city of Ganja, home to more than 330,000 people, was being shelled by Armenian forces.
Videos posted online from the battleground show an unprecedented use of heavy artillery, tanks, missiles, and even kamikaze drones as the fighting has escalated. Both countries accuse the other of refusing to agree to cease fire, and neither has shown any willingness yet to reengage in stalled peace talks.
What is behind the dispute?
Armenia and Azerbaijan both used to be part of the Soviet Union, but since that crumbled, the new borders in the Caucasus region have remained in dispute.
When Soviet Communist rule was nearing its end in the late 1980s, the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh’s autonomous legislature voted to join Armenia. As the Soviet Union dissolved, Nagorno-Karabakh proclaimed its independence, which led to a war with tens of thousands of casualties. It has not been recognized by any other country as an independent state
Internationally still recognized as part of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh is predominantly populated by ethnic Armenians.
The long-simmering conflict has been mediated by the “Minsk group,” set up by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 1994 and co-chaired by Russia, France and the United States.