Why are Armenia and Azerbaijan at war? Kim Kardashian wades into conflict with $1 million aid
The Kardashian sisters have never shied away from proudly displaying and talking about their Armenian heritage. For the past few days, as the tension between Armenia and neighboring country Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh (also known as Artsakh) began mounting, Kim Kardashian decided to intervene and extend her help and support to the Armenian side.
On Saturday, the SKIMS founder took to her social media pages to post a brief clip of herself talking about the dire situation in Armenia and also announcing that she would be donation $1 million to the Armenia Fund, a humanitarian organization that is actively involved in helping the people and families stuck in the disputed region. In her clip, Kim can be heard saying, "I'm so honored to be a part of today's global effort to support the Armenia Fund. I've been speaking out about the current situation in Armenia and Artsakh, and having conversations with so many others to bring further awareness to the crisis that we can not allow to advance." She then expressed how her thoughts and prayers are with the brave men, women, and children stuck in the region.
After announcing about the sizeable donation she would be making, Kim urged her fans and followers to donate whatever they can to the fund, or just to share information about it on social media. She ended the clip by expressing how she hopes that this would be the "most successful fundraiser ever." Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian too followed Kim's footsteps and posted a video clip of their own expressing concerns for the population stuck in Artsakh, and hoping that the international community would step in and address the situation.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been in conflict over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, with both the countries claiming the territory as their own. The Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is a largely mountainous territory is home to nearly 150,000 people. Although the region is located within Azerbaijan, it is mostly populated by people of Armenian ethnicity. The conflict dates back to the pre-Soviet era when the region was at the meeting point of Ottoman, Russian and Persian empires. When both the nations were part of the Soviet Union in 1921, Moscow handed Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan and offered autonomy to the contested regions.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia and Azerbaijan became independent countries, and there were clashes between both nations over the disputed region, which eventually turned into a war that took the lives of thousands of people. The war went on till 1994 until both sides reached a ceasefire. Despite the ceasefire, news of clashes between both the countries occasionally makes news. Earlier this year in July, during one of the clashes, at least 16 people were killed. Both nations began blaming each other for the attacks. While Azerbaijan claims that it was forced to respond following Armenia's attacks on Azeris, Armenia blamed its neighboring country for launching a large-scale attack that targetted peaceful settlements.
Nagorno-Karabakh is viewed by the international community as a part of Azerbaijan. As both nations are engaged in cross-firing, their neighbors Turkey and Russia too have joined the forces. While Turkey has openly extended its support to Azerbaijan against Armenia, Russia is caught in a sticky situation. Russia shares a great trade relationship with both the nations, so they are trying to mediate peace in the region. On Saturday, October 10, Russia tried to broker a truce between both the nations, after 10 hours of talks in Moscow sponsored by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Unfortunately, the truce didn't last for too long. As per an Associated Press report, The Armenian military accused Azerbaijan of shelling the area near Kapan, a town in Southeastern Armenia, that killed one civilian. Azerbaijan didn't take to the accusations kindly and slammed the Armenian accusations as "provocation". They in turn accused Armenia of striking the Terter and Agdam regions of Azerbaijan.