Short history of Nagorno-Karabakh

Page 1


Republic of Armenia

Republic of Azerbaijan




29,743 km2

86,600Â km2 (of which 11,458 km2 (13.2 %) is under the control of the unrecognised Republic Nagorno-Karabakh)

11,458 km2 (territory of Azerbaijan under the control of the unrecognised Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh)


5.4% of France

15.8% of France

2.1% of France


Yerevan (pop. 1,121,900)

Baku (pop. 2,064,900)

Stepanakert (pop. 53,000)

177 km of trenches, fortifications, underground tunnels, minefields and permanent snipers. The northern positions are naturally well protected by the roughly 3,000-metre high Murov Mountains, while the lower eastern flanks are mined and fortified by several lines of trenches.

3.3 million

9 million



2,724,975 (89.7%)

475,486 (7.9%)

123,076 (75.9%)


160,841 (5.3%)

4,708,832 (78.1%)

37,264 (23.0%)


3,083,616 (93.3%)

390,505 (5.6%)

145,450 (76.9%)


84,860 (2.6%)

5,804,980 (82.7)

40,688 (21.5%)


3,145,354 (97.9%)

2,000 to 3,000 est. (0.0%)

137,380 (99.7%)


30 to 500 est. (0.0%)

7,205,464 (90.6%)

6 (0.0%)

Displaced Persons during Conflict 1987-1994

353.000 (Armenians from Azerbaijan and border regions)

750.000 (Azerbaijanis from Armenia, NagornoKarabakh and the occupied territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh)


Remaining Internally Displaced Persons

8.399 (2009 est.)

586.000 (2011 est.)

10.000 (2005 est.)

Armenian Apostolic Church (more than 90% nominally affiliated; religious practice in daily life much lower)

Shia Islam (more than 90 % nominally affiliated; religious practice in daily life much lower)

Armenian Apostolic Church (more than 90% nominally affiliated; religious practice in daily life much lower)

Gross Domestic Product (GDP - official exchange rate)

$1,287 billion (1995) $1,912 billion (2000) $4,900 billion (2005) $9,371 billion (2010)

$2,258 billion (1995) $5,278 billion (2000) $13,245 billion (2005) $51,698 billion (2010)

$0.3 billion (2010 est.)


$4.1 billion (2011)

$6,746 billion (2010 est.)

$122,000 (2008)


$1.3 billion (2011 est.)

$26.5 billion (2010 est.)

$160,000 (2007)

GDP per capita (PPP)

$1,228 (1995) $1,952 (2000) $3,904 (2005) $5,100 (2010)

$1,650 (1995) $2,372 (2000) $4,456 (2005) $10,062 (2010)

$1,729 (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line

45% (1999) 30% (2005) 26.5% (2010)

60% (1999) 24% (2005) 11% (2009)


Miltary budget

$390- $600 million (2011 est.)

$3.1 billion (2011 est.)

unknown (shared budget with Armenia)


Demography Population 1979


1999 (2005 Nagorno-Karabakh)

Religion Denomination


Recent casualties along the line-of-contact (both military and civilian): 2008: 30 2009: 19 2010: 25 2011: 30 2012 (January-March): at least 4 [Note: Total amount of frontline-casualties is estimated up to 3,000 since 1994. Neither Armenian nor Azerbaijani defence ministries disclose full information on their losses].

Nagorno-Karabakh Short history

1st century BC-822

The territory that makes up present-day Nagorno-Karabakh and a large part of Azerbaijan are part of Caucasian Albania, a collection of 26 tribes with their own languages. Eastern Azerbaijan belongs to the Persian Empire, while parts of modern Armenia and Eastern Turkey are an Armenian Kingdom.


Arab invasion brings Islam to the Caucasus. From the ninth century most inhabitants convert to Islam. Nagorno-Karabakh also comes under Arab rule.

10th-18th century

Karabakh is governed by Caucasian-Albanian and Armenian principalities (meliks) under Caucasian-Albanian, Arab, Turkish and Persian rulers. The rest of presentday Azerbaijan and Armenia is made up of semi-independent Islamic Khanates.


Shah Ismail I establishes the Safavid dynasty in the Persian province of Azerbaijan. Shi’ite form of Islam becomes the state religion.


The death of the Safavid ruler Nadir Shah ends Persian sovereignty over Karabakh.


Panah Ali Khan dies in Shiraz, Persia. His body is buried in AÄ&#x;dam. Until the early 20th century, his successors are also buried in the grounds of Imaret.

Around 1830

Chambarak founded by Christian Molokans from Russia. Molokans were banished to the Southern Caucasus in the 19th century because they refused to accept the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The timeline published here, is first of all, an attempt to provide historic references to the personal stories in this book. Many of the events presented here have multiple interpretations.


Tiridates III the Great converts to Christianity and declares it the official religion of the Kingdom of Armenia (331 BC-428). St Gregory the Illuminator becomes the first head of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Echmiadzin. Parts of Caucasian Albania are also Christianised.


Sunni dynasty Shirvanshah rules East Azerbaijan. Under the Shirvanshahs, Baku becomes an important trading centre on the caravan routes. The shah builds a palace and the Maiden Tower, which make up the old town of present-day Baku.

11th-12th century

Oghuz Turks from Central Asia settle in what is now Azerbaijan. The Arabs are driven out by Central Asian Seljuks. Turkish begins to replace Iranian and Caucasian languages.


Persian Safavid dynasty conquers Karabakh and most of the Caucasus. Most people convert to Shi’ite Islam.


Panah Ali Khan gains control of five of Karabakh’s Armenian principalities and establishes the Khanate of Karabakh. The first Khan of Karabakh builds fortresses in Shusha and Askeran and a country manor (Imaret) in Ağdam.


Treaty of Gulistan ends the Persian-Russian War. Karabakh is incorporated into the Russian Empire.


First oil well drilled just outside Baku.

100 BC

Karabakh is a historical region consisting of Upper Karabakh, Lower Karabakh and parts of the Armenian province of Syunik. The name Nagorno (Russian for ‘Upper’) Karabakh has been used since the region’s incorporation into the Soviet Union. Karabakh is believed to originate from Persian and Turkish and means ‘black garden’. Other sources claim the word has a western Armenian background.

Second half of the 19th century

National identity begins to play a role among Armenian and Azerbaijani intellectuals. Armenian nationalism focuses in cultural terms on ancient Armenian history and the Armenian Apostolic Church and in political terms on the creation of a separate state. The idea of Great Armenia, an Armenian homeland stretching from north-east Turkey to the Caspian Sea becomes popular. The Azerbaijani national awakening that follows is strongly influenced by the Young Turks movement in the Ottoman Empire. The Azerbaijani national movement has liberal, elitist leanings, while the Armenian movement is broader and more militant in nature.


Russian-Turkish war. The Russian army, led by commanders from Armenian descent, takes the Ottoman area around Kars.


The Armenian Revolutionary Federation is founded in Tbilisi. The ARF, better known by its Armenian name Dashnaktsutyun, is a militant party with an ideology that combines Armenian nationalism with socialism. The Dashnaks make a name for themselves with a series of terrorist attacks on Russian tsarist targets.


First World War. The South Caucasus becomes the frontline of the Ottoman and Russian wars. The Ottoman government suspects Armenian nationals of pro-Russian sympathies. Between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians are massacred or die during deportations Anatolia to the deserts of modern Syria.

30 March-2 April 1918

March Days in Baku. A coalition of Bolsheviks and Armenian nationalists (Dashnaks) slaughters Azerbaijanis in Baku in an attempt to seize power. An estimated 3,000 to 12,000 Azerbaijanis and Muslims are killed.

28 May 1918

Azerbaijani liberal intellectuals proclaim the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan in the Georgian capital Tbilisi. The first democratic republic in the Muslim world has its seat in Ganja because Baku is in the hands of a Bolshevik Commune. The nationalist Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) proclaims the Democratic Republic of Armenia in Tbilisi.

15 September 1918

September Days in Baku. Turkish troops capture Baku in the name of the Azerbaijani government and massacre an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 Armenians, in retaliation for the slaughter of Azerbaijanis in March the same year.

20 March 1920

Azerbaijani army captures Karabakh and sacks the Armenian quarters of the capital Shusha. The number of Armenian casualties are estimated from 500 to several thousands.



Karabakh becomes part of the Azerbaijani-Russian province Elizavetpol (Ganja). As a result of Russian migration policy, the number of Armenians in the Southern Caucasus increases, while many Muslim Azerbaijani families emigrate to Iran. The Russians see the ethnic Turks in Azerbaijan as potential allies of the Ottoman Empire, their adversary in a series of consecutive wars in the second half of the 19th century.


The Swedish Nobel brothers start an oil company in Baku. The French family Rothschild, Royal Dutch Oil, John D. Rockefeller and others take substantial interests in the oil industry. Baku changes rapidly. Oil barons build palaces in the centre of the city and the oil fields of Balakhany, Surakhany and Bibi Heybat become surrounded by slums populated by Russians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis from the countryside. Around 1900, Azerbaijan supplies nearly half of the world’s oil.


Armenian-Azerbaijani riots in Karabakh.

7-8 November 1917

Bolshevik October Revolution in Saint-Petersburg. With the Russian Revolution unfolding, central command in the Caucasus disappears. Chaos and violence in various parts of the Caucasus-region erupts, among which Nagorno-Karabakh. The crisis continues until 1922.

13 April-25 July 1918

Baku Commune. The city is governed by 26 Bolshevik commissars from different ethnic backhgrounds, led by the Armenian communist Stepan Shaumyan.

26 July-15 September 1918

Central Caspian Dictatorship in Baku. An anti-Bolshevik government of Russian Socialist Revolutionaries, Mensheviks and Armenian nationalists (Dashnaks), backed by British troops (Dunsterforce), take power from the 26 Commissars. All but one Commissars are killed; Anastas Mikoyan was the only Commissar able to escape and would later become one of Stalin’s most trusted allies in the Politburo in Moscow.


Karabakh under a British mandate.

29 November 1920

Bolsheviks capture Yerevan and proclaim the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR).

13 October 1921

The Russian, Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijan SSRs and republican Turkey sign the Treaty of Kars. Russia gives up control over north-east Turkey.

30 December 1922

The Soviet Union is officially established. The Soviet Union is a combination of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic and the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic.

1928 Football Club Karabakh Stepanakert established in Stepanakert.

1946 Allahverdi Bağirov is born in Ağdam, Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. Levonid Oganisyan is born in Ağdam, Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.

1950 FK Qarabağ Ağdam is established in Ağdam. The club plays in the Imaret stadium on the land of the Karabakh Khans, which had previously been used for horse racing. The club’s name is subsequently changed to the socialist Mehsul (‘Harvest’) Ağdam. The name is changed twice more to Shafaq Ağdam and Kooperator Ağdam, before reverting to FK Qarabağ Ağdam in 1987.


Valide Bağirova is born in Ağdam, Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.


Azerbaijani referee Tofik Bahramov plays a key role in the World Cup final in England. As a linesman he approves a goal by the English player Geoff Hurst, even though the ball does not cross the German goal line. In 2006 the national stadium in Baku is named after him.

Bolsheviks seize power in Azerbaijan and proclaim the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR). Authority over Karabakh is informally promised to the Armenian Bolsheviks, who are fighting to establish a socialist republic. The reward is withdrawn, however, because of the Armenian nationalist Dashnaks’ role in Armenia’s political developments.

5 July 1921

On Stalin’s initiative, the Kavburo declares Nagorno-Karabakh part of the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic.

22 March 1922

The Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijan SSRs form the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic.

7 July 1923

The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast is established within the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In the Soviet Union, some areas were given the status of autonomous oblast if the majority of the population had a different nationality from the republic of which it was part. Not Shusha, but the smaller town of Khankendi (literally: Village of the Khan) becomes the new capital of the region. The name of the capital is changed to Stepanakert, after the Baku Commissar Stepan Shaumyan.


After the Second World War, Stalin attempts to reclaim the Kars region from Turkey. To put the Turks under pressure, the Politburo decides to reduce the Azerbaijani presence in the neighbouring Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. Tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis in the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic are forcibly rehoused in Azerbaijan’s central river delta. The Soviet Union invites Armenians from the diaspora to settle in Armenia, offering housing and jobs as inducement. More than 100,000 Armenians, predominantly from the Middle East, settle in the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. One of them is future president Levon Ter-Petrossian.


Geghetsik Kirakosyan is born in Artsvashen, Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic.


Yasem Guliyev is born in Nemirli, Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.


Demonstrations in Yerevan result in the construction of a memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide on a hill outside the city (Tsitsernakaberd).


28 April 1920


‘We Are Our Mountains’ (also known as Tatik and Papik – Grandfather and Grandmother), a sculpture symbolising Armenian heritage in the region, is erected just outside Stepanakert.


Heydar Aliyev, head of the Azerbaijani KGB, becomes first secretary of Azerbaijan’s Communist Party.

1973 Aslan Kerimov is born in Baku, Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. The Armenian football club Ararat Yerevan wins the all-Soviet Supreme League.


The Marxist-Leninist terror group Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) is founded in Beirut, Lebanon. From 1975 to 1990, the group carries out attacks on Turkish targets in Europe, killing 46 people and injuring at least 299. From 1991 ASALA members, including the Californian-born Monte Melkonian, become commanders of the Karabakh-Armenian troops.

5 September 1977

The unmanned American space probe Voyager I is launched. On board is the ‘Golden Voyager Record’, a gramophone record with images and sounds meant to represent life on earth in case it is found by intelligent extra-terrestrial life. The recordings include a fragment of Azerbaijani muğam music.


Growing discontent among the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh over the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic’s policies. The criticism focuses on compulsory Azerbaijani education, repression of Armenian cultural expressions, the enclave’s economic position (which is not worse than the economic average in Azerbaijan but lags behind economic growth in Armenia), and the suspicion of a population policy whereby Azerbaijanis from other areas are settled in the region.

11 March 1985

Mikhail Gorbachev takes office as Secretary General of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party. He introduces the glasnost (openness) and perestroika (political and economic reforms).

August 1987

Karabakh Armenians send petitions asking to become part of Armenia to the Communist Party’s Politburo in Moscow.

Levonid Oganisyan makes his debut in the first team of Mehsul Ağdam, which also includes Allahverdi Bağirov.


Vartan Martirosyan is born in Ganja, Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.


Allahverdi Bağirov goes into hiding after a stabbing. Levonid Oganisyan enjoys a holiday a summer trip in the Crimea with his then still fugitive friend. Allahverdi Bağirov is arrested in 1976 and sentenced to two years in prison.


Levonid Oganisyan makes a transfer from the Ağdam football team to FK Karabakh Stepanakert. In the same year, the predominantly Armenian FK Karabakh Stepanakert becomes champion of the Azerbaijani zone and is promoted to the Soviet Second Division (third level Soviet football).


In a census of the Soviet Union, 123,000 Armenians living in the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) are counted, compared to 37,000 Azerbaijanis.


Azerbaijan’s leader Heydar Aliyev becomes a permanent member of the Communist Party’s Politburo in Moscow and first deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers.


Gorbachev launches an anti-alcohol campaign in the Soviet Union (also known as the ‘prohibition’). Wine production in Ağdam declines, but the city’s black market booms.

November 1987

Escalation of intercommunal violence in Armenia and Azerbaijan. Between 1987 and 1989, an estimated 186,000 Azerbaijanis are expelled from the border regions of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic.



September 1987

In response to the unrest in NagornoKarabakh, football club Kooperator Ağdam reverts to its original name FK Qarabağ Ağdam.

13-20 February 1988

The Armenian separatist Krunk (‘Crane’) movement holds demonstrations in Nagorno-Karabakh. The regional Soviet in Stepanakert votes to transfer NagornoKarabakh to Armenia. Azerbaijani delegates boycott the vote. Demonstrations are held in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, while in the Armenian capital Yerevan a broad Karabakh-movement stages massive solidarity demonstrations.

23 February 1988

Levonid Oganisyan evacuates his mother from Ağdam with the help of his friend Allahverdi Bağirov and takes her to Stepanakert.

26 February 1988

Gorbachev receives the Armenian nationalist writers Zori Balayan and Silva Kaputikian, who urge him to transfer Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. Gorbachev does not respond to the request.

18-20 September 1988

Azerbaijani residents of Stepanakert are driven out. The same happens to Armenian residents of Shusha. Moscow appoints a ‘Special Government’ in Nagorno-Karabakh.

July 1989

Members of the Armenian majority in the Shahumyan district (north of NagornoKarabakh) join the separatists in Stepanakert and demand to become part of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast. The Azerbaijan Soviet government refuses to comply with their demands.

11 September 1989

The Azerbaijan Popular Front is officially registered. It is a nationalist opposition movement with a pan-Turkish ideology. The movement was founded by intellectuals, led by the humanist poet Abülfaz ‘Elchibey’ Aliyev, but also attracted many populists and militants.

16 September 1989

Bomb explodes on Tbilisi-Baku bus. At least five people are killed. The Azerbaijani authorities hold Armenian terror groups responsible, but no one claims the attack.

13-15 January 1990

Azerbaijan’s Popular Front opposition movement holds mass demonstrations on Lenin Square in Baku. In the shadow of the demonstrations, riots and anti-Armenian pogroms claim an estimated number of 90 Armenian lives, 700 people are injured. Most of the 145.000 Armenians from Baku flee the country, among them World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov.Between 1988 and 1991, an estimated total of 335,000 Armenians flee Azerbaijan.

Gorbachev removes Heydar Aliyev from the Politburo. Aliyev returns to his home in the Azerbaijani exclave Nakhichevan.

22 February 1988

March to Askeran. Ağdam residents march towards Stepanakert, but are stopped at the Askeran fortress. In the chaos, two young men from Ağdam are killed. A radio report about the march leads to unrest in the Azerbaijani industrial city of Sumgayit.

25-29 February 1988

Pogroms against Armenian residents in Sumgayit. The official death toll, released by Azerbaijani Soviet authorities, is estimated at 32; other estimates exceed several hundred. Almost all of Sumgayit’s 14,000 Armenian residents leave the city and flee to Russia and Armenia. Several thousand Armenians in the rest of Azerbaijan follow their example.

18 July 1988

Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in Moscow decides that Karabakh should remain part of Azerbaijan.

7 December 1988

An earthquake hits Spitak in North Armenia. At least 25,000 people are killed and around 500,000 are made homeless.

16 August 1989

At a meeting in Stepanakert’s theatre, Karabakh Armenians elect 79 delegates to the National Council of Nagorno-Karabakh.

1 December 1989

The Armenian Supreme Soviet and the Karabakh-Armenian National Council declare unification without consent from Moscow.


Under the name of Artsakh Stepanakert, FK Karabakh Stepanakert withdraws from Azerbaijani Soviet League football and takes part in the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic football league in 1990 and 1991. No football is played from 1992 to 1995 because of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.


21 October 1987

13-20 January 1990

The 17-year-old Aslan Kerimov takes food to his father who is guarding the barricade blocking the entrance to Baku in the Bilajari neighbourhood. At dawn on 20 January he sees Soviet tanks break through the barricades.

10 August 1990

Bomb explodes on the Tbilisi-Ağdam bus. The blast, which claims 15-20 lives, is attributed to Verzh (‘Revenge’ in Armenian), a terrorist group linked to the Armenian nationalist Dashnaktsutyun party.

30 April 1991

Start of Operation Ring. Azerbaijani Soviet troops invade Nagorno-Karabakh to subdue armed Armenian rebels. Since 1988 there had been daily skirmishes between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh. Fighting had intensified in early 1990, mostly because more and better weapons had become available. Operation Ring marks the start of open war between Azerbaijani military troops and Karabakh-Armenian separatist forces.

30 August 1991

Azerbaijan secedes from the Soviet Union and declares independence.

23 September 1991

Zheleznovodsk Communiqué: peace plan for NagornoKarabakh mediated by Presidents Yeltsin (Russia) and Nazarbayev (Kazakhstan) is signed in Zheleznovodsk, Russia. The plan is based on the principle of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. Nagorno-Karabakh is promised a far-reaching autonomous status within Azerbaijan.

20 November 1991

Shortly after take-off, a helicopter carrying Russian and Karabakh observers and Azerbaijani diplomats and journalists is shot down above Nagorno-Karabakh: 22 people are killed, including members of Nagorno-Karabakh’s Soviet leadership. The Zheleznovodsk peace plan is scrapped.

8 December 1991

Commonwealth of Independent States is founded. The CIS is a loose association of former Soviet states led by Russia. Armenia joins in 1991, Azerbaijan in 1993.

26 December 1991

Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as leader of the Soviet Union.

Black January. Soviet troops break up the demonstrations in Baku, killing at least 137 Azerbaijani citizens.

28 May 1990

Eldar and Allahverdi Bağirov are among the founders of the Ağdam branch of the Azerbaijani Popular Front.

17 March 1991

In a referendum on the Soviet Union’s continued existence, 78% of voters in nine participating Soviet republics vote to continue as a federation. In Azerbaijan, 94% vote in favour. Armenia boycotts the referendum.

19-21 August 1991

Failed coup in Moscow. Boris Yeltsin, leader of the Russian Soviet Republic, plays a major role in the coup’s failure and increases his power at Gorbachev’s expense.

21 September 1991

Armenia secedes from the Soviet Union and declares independence.

31 October 1991

Eldar Bağirov (b. 1953) is murdered in Baku.

26 November 1991

Azerbaijani parliament revokes Nagorno-Karabakh’s autonomous status and reconfirms Azerbaijani control of the region. The capital Stepanakert’s name is changed back to Khankendi. In reality, Armenian separatists still control Stepanakert and the majority of the Nagorno-Karabakh area. Shusha becomes Azerbaijan’s stronghold.

10 December 1991

Karabakh Armenians vote for independence in a referendum, in which no Azerbaijani citizens of Nagorno-Karabakh take part.

31 December 1991

Soviet Union is dissolved.


19-20 January 1990

25-26 February 1992

Khojaly massacre. In the aftermath of the seizure of the Azerbaijani populated town of Khojaly, Armenian troops open fire on civilians trying to flee across the mountains to Ağdam. The number of deaths is estimated from 213 to 636 people.

Allahverdi Bağirov negotiates with the Armenian army command and is given permission to evacuate the survivors and bodies of Khojaly. Back in Ağdam, he makes a statement on Azerbaijani television.

12 April 1992

On his return from the front, Allahverdi Bağirov, former captain of FK Qarabağ Ağdam and military commander of Ağdam during the war, drives over a mine and is killed near the mountain village of Nakhichevanik (Ağdam).

15 May 1992

The Collective Security Treaty Organisation, a military alliance of countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), is created. The treaty is comparable by nature, but less stringent than the NATO-treaty and contains the clause that aggression against one member state would be perceived as aggression against all. Signatories cannot become full members of any other security organisation. Armenia is one of the signatories, Azerbaijan is not.

June-September 1992

Azerbaijani army launches a counteroffensive in the north of Nagorno-Karabakh. On 1 September, Azerbaijan again controls half of Karabakh’s territory.

Early September 1992

Vartan Martirosyan and Ramilla Ghazaryan meet at a party. Ramilla becomes pregnant.

January 1993

On the beach at Bilgeh, Aslan Kerimov prepares for his first season as a player for FK Qarabağ Ağdam.

17 March-5 April 1993

Armenians occupy the Kelbajar region on Azerbaijani territory outside Nagorno-Karabakh.

Spring 1993

Yasem Guliyev’s mother Naile takes her daughter-in-law Kamale to a safe place behind the front line. Yasem stays behind to defend his village Nemirli. For months the women live on the side of the A317, the main road running from Yevlakh via Ağdam to Stepanakert.

At the OSCE Conference in Minsk, the Minsk Group is established with a mandate to mediate in the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is represented in the peace negotiations by negotiators from the Republic of Armenia.

7 May 1992

Tehran Communiqué. Mediated by the Iranian President Rafsanjani, Armenian President Ter-Petrossian and the Azerbaijani representative Mamedov sign a statement intended to end the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. The plans fail when Karabakh-Armenian troops capture Shusha a day later. Iran is regarded in Azerbaijan as being partly responsible, while Iran hardens its stance towards Armenia. The Karabakh-Armenian army’s capture of Shusha, thought to be impossible, signals a reversal in the war.

8-9 May 1992

Karabakh-Armenian forces capture Shusha.

18 May 1992

The Karabakh-Armenian army captures Lachin, establishing a direct link between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia (the Lachin corridor).

8 August 1992

The Azerbaijani army occupies the Armenian enclave Artsvashen, as part of the offensive in the north of Nagorno-Karabakh. The inhabitants are deported to Armenia. Geghetsik Kirakosyan is also forced to flee and ends up in Chambarak.

24 October 1992

Under pressure from the Armenian lobby in the United States, the United States Congress adopts Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which prohibits any assistance by the American government to the Azerbaijani government. The resolution is still in force, but declared ‘not applicable’ by Presidential Decree every year since 2001 (the so-called waiver).

24 February 1993

Allahverdi Bağirov is posthumously declared an Azerbaijani National Hero.

30 April 1993

The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 822, demanding the withdrawal of Karabakh-Armenian troops from Kelbajar. A timetable for the withdrawal is agreed at the diplomatic level.

12 May 1993

Semi-final of the Azerbaijani Cup; FK Qarabağ Ağdam - Turan Tovuz 1-0; (Ağdam, Imaret stadium, 8,000 spectators) It is the last match in the Imaret stadium in Ağdam.


24 March 1992

28 May 1993

Final of the Azerbaijani Cup; FK Qarabağ Ağdam - Insaatchi Sabirabad 1-0 (after extra time); (Baku, Respublika stadium, 10,000 spectators)

4-15 June 1993

Army commander Surat Husseinov marches from Ganja to the capital Baku in a coup-attempt against Azerbaijani President Elchibey. Heydar Aliyev is appointed parliamentary chairman to avert the coup.

24 June 1993

Aliyev is given extraordinary presidential powers; incumbent President Elchibey flees to his native Nakhichevan.

23 July 1993

Karabakh-Armenian troops occupy Ağdam. In protest, Turkey closes its borders with Armenia indefinitely.

1 August 1993

Final of the Azerbaijani Championship; FK Qarabağ Ağdam - Khazar Sumgayit 1-0 (Baku, Respublika stadium, 5,000 spectators) Aslan Kerimov celebrates the victory with a can of Coca Cola on the promenade in Baku. The victory is not officially celebrated.

24 September 1993

Azerbaijan joins the CIS military alliance. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan are now members.

11 December 1993

Heydar Aliyev sharply criticises the leadership of the Azerbaijani army, in what is reminiscent of Stalin’s show trials of the 1930s.

April 1994

Karabakh-Armenian army gains ground everywhere and begins a new offensive outside Nagorno-Karabakh (Terter to the north-east of the autonomous oblast).

3 July 1994

A second bombing in the Baku metro kills 13.

David Martirosyan is born in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh.

12 June 1993

Karabakh-Armenian forces start their attack on Ağdam after months of shelling.

18 July 1993

Semi-final of the Azerbaijani Championship; FK Qarabağ Ağdam Turan Tovuz 1-0 (after extra time); (Sumgayit, 1,500 spectators)

29 July 1993

The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 853, which denounces the violation of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and calls for immediate withdrawal from Ağdam. The resolution is ignored by the Karabakh-Armenian leadership.

4 September 1993

Vartan Martirosyan is reported missing after an Azerbaijani army ambush near Khanlik. His son David Martirosyan is three months old.

3 October 1993

Heydar Aliyev is elected president of Azerbaijan.

19 March 1994

Baku metro bombing kills 14 people.

12 May 1994

A ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh is signed in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The governments of Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Armenian leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh sign the Bishkek Protocol, the outcome of a series of negotiations led by Russian President Boris Yeltsin. A temporary ceasefire goes into effect immediately; a final peace treaty will be negotiated later. The agreement ‘freezes’ the conflict. Based on the military positions occupied at the time, both armies dig themselves in. A front line (called ‘line of contact’ in diplomatic communications) of approximately 177 km is created, with fortifications, trenches, underground tunnels, minefields and snipers. 14% of Azerbaijani territory comes under the control of the Karabakh-Armenian authorities, comprising the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (with the exception of 300 km² that remains in the hands of Azerbaijan) and seven adjacent Azerbaijani provinces around the region. The district of Ağdam is partially occupied (77%). The war claims an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 lives; over 20,000 on the Azerbaijani side and more than 6,000 on the Armenian side. A further 350,000 Armenians and 750,000 Azerbaijani civilians are displaced. Incidents along the front line between 1994 and 2011 claim an additional 3,000 lives. Even in recent years, some 25 to 30 soldiers and civilians have been killed annually along the frontline.


Early June 1993

4 May 1994

Azerbaijan joins the Partnership for Peace programme, a NATO initiative intended to increase mutual trust between NATO and former Soviet republics.


Levonid Oganisyan rings his old friend and teammate Adil Nadirov. Nadirov makes it clear he never wants to speak to him again.

Ramin Guliyev is born in one of the refugee camps between Ağdam and Barda, Azerbaijan. At the time the family lives in an abandoned train carriage.

January 1997

The OSCE Minsk Group’s rotating presidency is replaced by a presidium of three superpowers. France and the United States join Russia, which has been a permanent member of the Minsk Group since 1994. This construction is met with suspicion in Azerbaijan, because all three countries have a significant and influential Armenian population.

September 1997

Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev and Armenian President Levon TerPetrossian accept the OSCE proposal for a phased diplomatic solution to Nagorno-Karabakh. Ter-Petrossian is heavily criticised for allegedly making too many concessions and resigns.


Artsakh Brandy Company is established in Askeran, Nagorno-Karabakh. The factory specialises in fruit vodka and employs 16 to 50 people.

July 1999

Azerbaijan and Armenia become part of the European Union’s European Neighbourhood Policy. The ENP is a foreign relations instrument, which seeks to tie countries to the east and south to the political and economic principles of the EU. The EU offers financial assistance, on strict conditions of government reform, economic reform and democratic transformation.

27 October 1999

Shooting in Armenian parliament. Six leading politicians are shot during a parliament session in Yerevan. Among the victims are Karen Demirchian, speaker of parliament and former leader of the Armenian Soviet Republic and Vazgen Sargsyan, the Armenian primeminister and former minister of Defence during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. The motives of the shooters, led by the young extremist journalist Nairi Hunanian, remain unclear. FK Qarabağ Ağdam is the first Azerbaijani club to survive a (qualifying) round in Europe. They defeat the Israeli side Maccabi Haifa in the Intertoto Cup.

20 September 1994

5 October 1994

Armenia joins the Partnership for Peace programme.


FK Qarabağ Ağdam finishes at the top of the league, but has to look on as the title is awarded to Neftchi Baku based on the results of reserve teams which are calculated by exception that year. FK Qarabağ Ağdam does, however, qualify for European matches for the first time. In its first appearance in the Europa Cup, FK Qarabağ Ağdam scores a European victory, the first Azerbaijani club ever to do so. Despite this, FK Qarabağ Ağdam is eliminated by the Finnish side MyPa after extra time. In the 1995/1996 season, FK Karabakh Stepanakert returns to the Armenian Premier League. Due to FIFA regulations, the club is forced to move to Yerevan. Until the end of the season, the club plays as Karabakh Yerevan in the Armenian Premier League, but never finishes higher than seventh place.

20 March 1997

Robert Kocharian, the first president of the unrecognised Republic of NagornoKarabakh, becomes prime minister of Armenia.

12 November 1997

The first oil from the ‘Contract of the Century’ is produced.

11 October 1998

Presidential elections in Azerbaijan. Heydar Aliyev (YAP) wins with 92.8% of the votes. The international community criticises irregularities in the run-up to and during the elections.


FK Qarabağ Ağdam is taken over by Azersun Holding, a Turkish-Azerbaijani multinational specialised in food-products. The sponsorhip enables the club to professionalise. For the next three seasons, the club takes the name of its sponsor: FK Qarabağ-Azersun.


President Aliyev signs the ‘Contract of the Century’, a series of lucrative contracts worth at least $7.4 billion to develop oilfields off the coast of Baku. Western companies invest tens of millions in the development of oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea. The Azerbaijani economy is focused entirely on the exploitation of raw materials. It takes years, however, before the population benefits from the oil revenues.

Before the start of the 1999/2000 season, Karabakh Yerevan changes its name back to Karabakh Stepanakert. As a result of financial problems, the club is unable to finish the competition and is disqualified. The club does finish the next two seasons as Karabakh Yerevan.

25 January 2001

Armenia and Azerbaijan join the Council of Europe.

6-7 June 2001

Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova establish GUAM, an association aimed at limiting Russian influence in the region.

7 October 2002

The military alliance of former Soviet states led by Russia signs the treaty converting the Collective Security Organisation into a Treaty Organisation. Part of the treaty is a collective security guarantee stating that aggression against one member would be considered aggression against all members. Armenia militarily commits itself to Russia. Azerbaijan does not become a member.

12 December 2003

Heydar Aliyev dies in a hospital in Cleveland, Ohio (United States).

May 2004

FK Lernayin Artsakh (Karabakh Stepanakert) returns to Armenian professional football and for the next two years plays out of Yerevan at the highest and second-highest level.


Launch of programme aimed at improving living conditions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in view of a future return to Nagorno-Karabakh and the occupied territories. The Azerbaijani government starts replacing refugee tents with prefab settlement housing.

May 2006

FK Qarabağ Ağdam wins the Azerbaijani Cup for the second time.

July 2006

The first oil flows through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. Thanks to the new pipeline, Azerbaijani oil can be transported directly to the West, without the intervention of Russia or Iran. The pipes are deliberately laid around Armenia’s territory.


3-7 April 2001

A series of informal meetings between President Aliyev of Azerbaijan and President Kocharian at Armenia lead to peace talks in Key West, Florida (United States). Despite considerable expectations based on signs of good will by both parties, the summit fails.

May 2002

Azerbaijan’s premier division clubs refuse to play under football federation chairman Musayev, who is accused of corruption and match-fixing. Instead, they organise their own league, won by FK Qarabağ Ağdam. UEFA and FIFA do not recognise this shadow league. In fact, the entire Azeri federation is suspended for the 2002/2003 season over corruption concerns. In May 2003, the Azerbaijani professional league is resumed. In the 2002/2003 season, FK Karabakh Yerevan decides to play its home games in Kapan, a short 50 km from Stepanakert. Despite ending in ninth place in the Armenian Premier League, financial problems once again force the club to withdraw from the 2003/2004 season.

15 October 2003

In early October, the terminally ill Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev appoints his son Ilham as his successor. On 15 October, Ilham Aliyev is elected with 77.9% of the votes.

19 February 2004

Armenian army-lieutenant Gurgen Mangaryan is murdered by Azerbaijani army-lieutenant Ramil Safarov during an English language course in the frame of the NATO Partnership for Peace program in Budapest. In 2006 Safarov was sentenced to life imprisonment.

29 December 2004

Azerbaijan and Armenia send troops to Iraq as part of the American Coalition of the Willing. Both countries also supported international peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

27 January 2006

During the draw for the qualifying stage of the European Championship 2008 in Montreux (Switzerland), Armenia and Azerbaijan are placed together in Group A. The two teams have not played against each other since the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

18-20 May 2006

Armenia takes part in the Eurovision Song Contest in Athens (Greece) for the first time and finishes eighth.


The Azerbaijani Ministry of Agriculture drafts a 15-year plan for the preservation of Karabakh horses.

July 2007

The Azerbaijani capital Baku officially announces its bid to host the Olympic Games in 2016. The costs are estimated at around $20 billion. Ultimately, Baku does not make it through the first selection round.

November/December 2007

The last refugee tentcamps in Azerbaijan are closed. Self-made housing and poor living conditions, however, remain abundant along the frontline.

19 February 2008

Serzj Sargsyan, former Nagorno-Karabakh defence minister and kindred spirit of the incumbent President Kocharian, defeats former president Levon Ter-Petrossian in the presidential elections. A ten-day demonstration against the election results starts the next day. On 1 March 2008, the demonstrations are brutally dispersed and President Kocharian declares 20 days of martial law. Ter-Petrossian is placed under house arrest and all anti-government activities are prohibited.

29 July 2008

FK Qarabağ Ağdam makes a formal request to the football association to be allowed to play home games in Guzanli. At the same time, plans are presented for the construction of a new training complex near the airport in Baku.

6 September 2008

At the invitation of Armenian President Sargsyan, President Gül of Turkey attends the Armenia-Turkey football match (so-called ‘football diplomacy’). Since Armenian independence in 1991, the two countries have not established official diplomatic relations. After the Karabakh-Armenian army captured Azerbaijani districts in the summer of 1993, Turkey also closed its border with Armenia.

16 October 2008

Mass wedding in Nagorno-Karabakh: 675 Armenian couples get married simultaneously, encouraged by the local government’s efforts to boost the birth rate. Private investor Levon Hairapetian sponsors the happening by rewarding the couples with large sums of money and a living cow.

FK Lernayin Artsakh Yerevan ceases to exist. As a result of FIFA rules, almost all links to its home base in NagornoKarabakh have disappeared and no one is willing or able to invest in the club.

23 June 2007

At a meeting in Heerenveen (the Netherlands), UEFA decides to cancel the European Championship qualifiers Azerbaijan-Armenia (8 September) and ArmeniaAzerbaijan (12 September) because the two countries cannot reach an agreement on security. UEFA allocates both countries 0 points.

November 2007

At the OSCE meeting in Madrid, the ‘Document on Basic Principles’ (also known as the ‘Madrid Principles’) is announced. The main points in the document are: —  phased return of all occupied Azerbaijani areas around Nagorno-Karabakh —  an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh with security guarantees and self-governance —  a corridor connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia —  a referendum at an unspecified time to determine Nagorno-Karabakh’s final status —  the right for all internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees to return —  international security guarantees, including a peacekeeping operation.

17 January 2008

President Ilham Aliyev opens the new Ağdam Olimpiya Idman Kompleksi, a football stadium in Guzanli (Ağdam region).

20-22 May 2008

Azerbaijan debuts at the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade (Serbia) and finishes in eighth place.

7-16 August 2008

Georgian-Russian war over South Ossetia. Georgia attempts to invade South Ossetia, but is halted by a Russian counteroffensive which is continued until Russian troops reach the outskirts of Tbilisi.

15 October 2008

Ilham Aliyev wins a second term as president of Azerbaijan. The elections are accompanied by reports of irregularities.

November 2008

‘Azerbaijani muğam’ is added to UNESCO’s list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The traditional music is closely related to the tradition of troubadours (ashiks/ashougs).




After years of growth, the Armenian economy shrinks by 14.4%. The sharp decrease is due to the global economic crisis. The Armenian economy relies heavily on external investment from the diaspora and support from national governments (in particular the United States) and international funds. Azerbaijani economic growth stalls in 1999 as well, but is still 9.3%.

30 April 2009

Georgian-Azeri shooter kills 13 people in the Oil Academy in Baku. The government prevents memorial initiatives by students.

4-10 June 2009

FK Qarabağ Ağdam plays three home games in Guzanli (Inter Baku 1-1, Khazar Lenkaran 1-0 and Olimpik Baku 0-0). Shortly thereafter, FK Qarabağ Ağdam wins the Azerbaijani Cup for the third time in its history and earns a ticket to the second qualifying round of the Europa League.

8 July 2009

Azerbaijani authorities arrest bloggers Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade for making a satirical video about the government’s purchase of two donkeys for $41,000 each. The ‘donkey bloggers’ are sentenced to 2.5 and 2 years in prison respectively.

October 2009

‘Azerbaijani ashik’ included on UNESCO’s list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

14 October 2009

Football diplomacy part II. Armenian President Sargsyan and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gül both attend the Turkey-Armenia football match (2-0) in Bursa, Turkey. Turkish fans jeer and whistle during the Armenian national anthem.

11 January 2010

FK Qarabag Ağdam striker Vagif Javadov signs a contract with the Dutch football club FC Twente.

22 April 2010

Prime Minister Erdoğan declares that Turkey will not ratify the Armenian-Turkish treaty as long as Armenia does not withdraw from the seven occupied territories around Nagorno-Karabakh. In his turn, President Sargsyan withdraws the treaty for ratification by the Armenian parliament.

15 May 2010

FK Qarabağ Ağdam fails to turn the football season’s nerve-wracking climax to its advantage. The team draws 0-0 against an upgraded youth team from Neftchi Baku. Inter Baku is crowned champion, while FK Qarabağ Ağdam finishes in third place, qualifying once again for the first stage of the Europa League.

18 March 2009

Referendum in Azerbaijan on abolishing the law limiting a presidency to two terms of five years is adopted by nearly 92% of the votes. This allows Ilham Aliyev to run for a third term.

May 2009

The Football Federation of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh organises its own junior football league (Artsakh League) for the first time in years. The youth teams from eight regions take part. Lernayin Artsakh Stepanakert wins the competition. Despite annual appeals to FIFA, professional senior football is still prohibited.

23 June 2009

On the date that Ağdam was captured in 1993, FK Qarabağ Ağdam defies expectations by defeating Norwegian team Rosenborg BK in the Europa League (0-0, 1-0).

27 August 2009

FK Qarabağ Ağdam’s impressive run in the Europa League comes to an end in the decisive play-offs against FC Twente (3-1 and 0-0).

10 October 2009

Negotiations between Armenia and Turkey in Zürich (Switzerland) result in a treaty that provides for establishing diplomatic relations between both countries. The treaty will not come into effect before ratification by both parliaments.

December 2009

Azerbaijan and Turkey sign a military treaty of cooperation. Turkey promises support if the war in Nagorno-Karabakh flares up again.

7 February 2010

The draw for the European Championship in 2012 takes place in Warsaw. Azerbaijan and Armenia are initially drawn in the same group again. Considering the past, UEFA decides to put the countries in two different groups.

Early May 2010

Yasem Guliyev buys a lottery ticket for the Taleh Açari Lotereyasi, the top prize for which is a furnished apartment in Baku.


At the same time, the ‘Armenian duduk and its music’ is added to UNESCO’s list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The duduk is a type of flute that was also used by the ashiks/ashougs.

23 July 2010

The fall of Ağdam is commemorated at the new memorial near Guzanli. The monument is the first in Azerbaijan with a picture of National Hero Allahverdi Bağirov.

16 August 2010

Turkey and Azerbaijan sign an agreement for strategic partnership and mutual support in the event of aggression.

September 2010

British Petroleum announces plans for a gas pipeline from Azerbaijan via Georgia and Turkey to Europe. The Nabucco project is intended to reduce European reliance on Russian gas supplies.

2 November 2010

The authorities of the unrecognised Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh officially change the name of the ghost town Ağdam to Akna.

12 November 2010

Armenia and the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh hold a large-scale military exercise in the occupied Ağdam region. After visiting the exercise, Armenian President Sargsyan says: ‘I have no doubt that if the time comes, we will not only do again what we did in 1992-1994 but will go even further and solve the issue for once and for all; the issue will be closed for good.’ ‘The Azerbaijani carpet’ is added to UNESCO’s list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The Karabakh carpet is considered one of the four variants of the Azerbaijani carpet.

11/12 March 2011

In Azerbaijan, several hundred opposition members also take to Baku’s streets to protest against the government. The demonstrations are crushed.

18-19 June 2010

July/August 2010

FK Qarabağ Ağdam defeats Metallurg Skopje (Macedonia), Portadown (Northern Ireland) and Wisla Cracow (Poland) in the first qualifying rounds of the Europa League. In the play-offs, the team is eliminated after losing both matches against Borussia Dortmund (Germany; 0-4; 0-1).

18 August 2010

Russia and Armenia sign an agreement to extend Russia’s use of a military base in Gyumri to 2044. Russia promises to help Armenia modernise its arsenal.

12 October 2010

FK Qarabağ Ağdam defender Reshad F. Sadigov scores the winning goal against Turkey in Baku (1-0) in their qualification group for the European Championship 2012. Also Belgium is unexpectedly kept at 1-1 in Baku. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan plays no significant role in the qualifying group. The team finishes in fifth place with seven points.

11 November 2010

Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev says in a speech to internally displaced families in the Ağdam region: ‘Our army will act at any moment. We do not want to have war. But we will never reconcile with this situation. Armenia knows and should know that our patience also has limits.’

19 January 2011

Inspired by the Arab Spring, Armenian activists take to the streets to demand democratic reforms. It is the beginning of a long series of anti-government protests in Armenia in 2011 and 2012. Demonstrations focus on political reforms, police conduct and the release of political prisoners jailed after the elections in 2008. President Sargsyan is able to keep the situation under control by complying with a number of demands

14 May 2011

The duo Ell & Nikki win the Eurovision Song Contest for Azerbaijan in Düsseldorf (Germany).


Azerbaijani soldier Mubariz Ibrahimov crosses the front line and kills at least four Armenian soldiers near the abandoned village of Chaylu. Photos of the dead soldier with his hands tied in an Armenian trench provoke emotional reactions. Ibrahimov is posthumously declared an Azerbaijani National Hero.

26 May 2011

Deauville Statement: Presidents Obama (US), Sarkozy (France) and Medvedev (Russia) jointly call on the Armenian and Azerbaijani authorities to bring the dispute over NagornoKarabakh to a definitive end.

July/August 2011

FK Qarabağ Ağdam defeats FK Banga (Lithuania) and EB/Streymur (Faroe Islands) in the first qualifying rounds of the Europa League. In the third round, a 1-0 victory in Baku is not enough to go through against the Belgian side Club Brugge (1-4, 1-0).

11 October 2011

The Armenian national football team surprises the football world with resounding victories over Slovakia and others, but fails by a very small margin to qualify for the play-offs for the European Championship 2012. A win would have been enough, but the team loses unfortunately 2-1 to Ireland in Dublin. Armenia finishes in third place with 17 points.


The number of people in Azerbaijan internally displaced as a result of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is estimated at around 593,000 (including some 230,000 children born to internally displaced families). In 2009, more than 40% (at least 249,024) of the internally displaced people (IDPs) in Azerbaijan lived less than 50 km from the ‘line of contact’. In Armenia, the number of remaining IDPs is estimated to be at least 8,000 in the Republic of Armenia and 10,000 in the unrecognised Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh.

1 February 2012

Baku, Azerbaijan submits a bid to host the Olympic Games in 2020.

7 March 2012

Armenia announces it will boycott the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku.

Peace talks held in Kazan (Russia) to find a permanent solution for the NagornoKarabakh conflict fail after only four hours, despite high hopes. Both parties assume that postponing a solution is in their advantage. Armenia takes the stance that constitutional development in the unrecognised Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh will eventually be regarded as a fait accompli by the international community. Azerbaijan expects that the economically weaker Armenia will eventually have to drop out of the arms race.

Autumn 2011

David Martirosyan has to stop playing football on his 18th birthday. As his father is missing, he is temporarily exempt from military service in the unrecognised Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. He enrolls in the University of Stepanakert.

24 October 2011

The General Assembly of the United Nations elects Azerbaijan as a new non-permanent member of the Security Council for 2012 and 2013.

January 2012

Aslan Kerimov retires from professional football.

7 March 2012

Azerbaijan and Georgia announce preparing a joint bid to host the European Football Championship in 2020.

22-26 May 2012

Eurovision Song Contest held in the new Crystal Hall in Baku, Azerbaijan.


24 June 2011