The Occupation in Figures
Nagorno-Karabakh: 1988-1992, territory 4400 km2; Shusha: may 08, 1992, territory 289 km2; Lachin: may 18, 1992, territory 1840 km2; Kalbajar: april 2, 1993, territory 3054 km2; Aghdam: july 23, 1993, territory 1150 km2; Fizuli: august 23, 1993, territory 1390 km2; Jabrayil: august 23, 1993, territory 1050 km2; Gubadli: august 31, 1993, territory 802 km2; Zangilan: october 29, 1993, territory 707 km2.

CIA: Gorbachev’s wrong policy led to Karabakh conflict

CIA: Gorbachev’s wrong policy led to Karabakh conflict



The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict occurred as a result of wrong policy of General Secretary of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, according to the document RDP91B00776R000600150001 declassified by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

According to the document as of July 25, 1988, the continuing unrest in the Caucasus is the most extreme example of the nationality tensions.

“Moscow's initial failure to discourage Armenian aspirations led Arme­nian nationalists to press their demands; its subsequent hard line—by dashing heightened expectations—radicalized the movement,” the document said. “Wide­spread civil disobedience erupted, with control over the protests passing into the hands of more outspoken and uncompromising protest organizers.”

“Gorbachev’s policy - glasnost (openness) has led to an expanded discussion by minorities of legal, economic, and cultural rights, as well as a greater public discourse on the past "wrongs" perpetrated against them,” the document said.

Gorbachev has now had time to see the aggressively independent form nationalistic aspirations have taken; while he does not want to crush the spirit of these movements, he cannot be confident of the regime's ability to control their direction, the document said.

According to the CIA, Moscow also appears to be groping toward a long-term plan that just might prove acceptable to both sides.

“This would be some new administrative arrangement whereby Nagorno-Karabakh is not transferred to Armenia but is given some degree of genuine autonomy in Azerbaijan, perhaps accompanied by some measures to give national groups living outside their national "homelands" expanded cultural and economic rights,” the document said.

According to the document, a major problem Gorbachev faces is that working out the details of this plan may take some time—requiring endorsement by a Central Committee plenum and probably approval of constitutional amendments by the Supreme Soviet.

“With passions at fever pitch, it has been difficult to sell the plan even to those concerned parties who would in calmer times be amenable to compromise,” the document said.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.