Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through Peace and War by Thomas de Waal

By Thomas de Waal

Selection amazing educational name 2003Black backyard is the definitive examine of the way Armenia and Azerbaijan, southern Soviet republics, acquired sucked right into a clash that helped deliver them to independence, bringing to an finish the Soviet Union, and plaguing a quarter of serious strategic significance. It cuts among a cautious reconstruction of the background of Nagorny Karabakh clash when you consider that 1988 and on-the-spot reporting on its convoluted aftermath. half modern historical past, half commute booklet, half political research, the ebook relies on six months touring throughout the south Caucasus, greater than a hundred and twenty unique interviews within the sector, Moscow, and Washington, and certain basic assets, similar to Politburo documents. The old chapters hint how the clash lay unresolved within the Soviet period; how Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders exacerbated it; how the Politiburo didn't do something about the main issue; how the struggle begun and ended; how the overseas group didn't deal with the clash. What emerges is a fancy and sophisticated portrait of an attractive and engaging zone, blighted by means of ancient prejudice and clash.

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BAKU IN FERMENT Baku had always stood apart from the rest of Azerbaijan. It was the largest city in the Caucasus and home to dozens of nationalities. Russ­ ian was the preferred lingua franca and intermarriage was common. At the same time, the city’s rich ethnic mix also made it vulnerable; intercommunal tensions simmered below the surface. The vote by the Nagorny Karabakh Soviet on 20 February to leave Azerbaijan immediately raised the temperature in the city. The situation worsened with the influx of Azerbaijanis fleeing the Kafan district of southern Armenia, many of whom descended on relatives in Baku.

The infant mortality rate was so high that Sumgait had a cemetery set aside especially for children. The average age of its residents was twenty-five, and one inhabitant in five had a criminal record. 6 In 1963, serious trouble had broken out in Sumgait when Nikita Khrushchev was leader of the Soviet Union and dismantling the cult of Stalin. On 7 November, the day of celebrations of the October Revolu­ tion, an unruly crowd from the Pipe-Rolling Factory broke away from the festive march through the central square of the city.

Muradian says that in 1990 he got a message from Demirchian, through a mutual friend: “The main thing we did was to remove Aliev before the beginning of the [Karabakh] movement. ” 18 FEBRUARY 1988: AN ARMENIAN REVOLT Muradian’s work with Party figures was only the outer layer of his activities. At the same time he was also working on another far more subversive track. He made contact with members of the banned radical nationalist Dashnaktsutiun Party (known as the Dashnaks) in their un­ derground cells in Yerevan and abroad.

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Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through Peace and War by Thomas de Waal
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