As the military clashes in Armenian occupied Karabakh enter their third week, it is becoming evident that the Armenian regime is suffering serious military and geopolitical setbacks.
The Yerevan regime, however, is unlikely to give up its ultra-right-wing strategy, aiming instead to capitalize on it.
Armenian militias are not receiving the expected military and political support from Russia at the level they did between 1988-1994.
Those familiar with the geographic, military and political circumstances in the Caucasus understand that Yerevan’s chances to put up strong resistance without Russian help is doomed to fail.
The Armenian regime fully realizes this. It appears to do all it can to convince Russia to provide the same level of assistance it did in the 1990s.
As Azerbaijan continues to offer some practical political solutions, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has declared that he sees no diplomatic solution to the Karabakh war and called on all Armenians to take up arms.
Over the past few days, the Armenians have made it quite clear that they will escalate the conflict.
It is not in the regime’s interest to end the war anytime soon.
If it agrees to a ceasefire now, Pashinyan’s regime will collapse because the loss of Karabakh will not be accepted by the nationalistic Armenian society.
Armenian rulers realize that a prolonged war in the Caucasus is detrimental to Russia’s geopolitical interests especially with the involvement of Turkey, a NATO member.
Ongoing conflict will have a negative effect in the North Caucasus and the overall standing of Russia in the former Soviet regions.
It will create openings for NATO to destabilize Russia.
By refusing to accept a ceasefire thereby extending the conflict, Pashinyan is trying to blackmail Moscow.
Pashinyan realizes that the Kremlin wants to punish him but he is prepared to play hard ball and take on Russia.
The issue of Karabakh is part of Armenia’s nationalistic mythology, which is a powerful societal mobilization tool.
Pashinyan feels he can mobilize large numbers of Armenians both at home and abroad in order to keep the conflict going for several more months.
An extended conflict will add to regional instability which all involved parties fear, except Pashinyan and Armenia’s nationalist ruling elite.
For them the loss of Karabakh is equivalent to death.
Those familiar with the internal dynamics of the Caucasus concur that Azerbaijan’s attempt to reestablish its territorial integrity was an agreement reached between Russia, the Aliyev regime and Turkey.
All parties must have assumed that lacking military strength, Armenia would give up quickly.
Most importantly, lack of Russian support would force it to quit.
Pashinyan is trying to prove them wrong.
Armenia wants to extend the conflict to get back at Moscow for selling it out.
The result of this risky gamble, however, may lead to civil war in Armenia.
Yerevan would then become even more dependent on Moscow, essentially becoming a Russian colony.