The sanctions imposed by the West in addition to the near-sighted attitude of Putin’s regime against its own nation and rest of the world have finally done their job, i.e. Putin’s world is inevitably collapsing. Whether this will happen with a huge geopolitical bang – we may find out soon enough.
The current war in Nagorno-Karabakh has shown that the Kremlin has absolutely no say in the Caucasus, perhaps with the exception of the loyal Kadyrov’s playground – Chechnya. There is no real basis for Putin to be able to fulfill his geopolitical ambition because Russia, being a self-proclaimed “superpower”, isn’t even able to affect the situation in the Caucasus.
A couple of days ago, Azerbaijan assaulted targets near the Armenian border and eliminated another combat-ready short-range ballistic missile system. The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense (MoD) can’t stop rejoicing because the missiles were allegedly targeting “civilian targets” in Ganja, Mingachevir and other Azerbaijani cities.
Now, we see that the Armenian forces are grasping their last straw and shamelessly firing missiles at civilians and civilian infrastructure. I will add that this isn’t the only ballistic missile system Azerbaijan was able to eliminate in the last couple of days. The Azerbaijani military has officially announced that the Armenians are using these missiles for the sole purpose of attacking civilian targets.
However, the Armenian MoD has stated that these are just excuses made up by Azerbaijan in order to eliminate the “innocent” Armenian missile systems and other combat equipment located near the border of Nagorno-Karabakh.
It has finally happened – Azerbaijan has eliminated a military target in the territory of Armenia, i.e. it has attacked Armenia and caused real losses. This means that Armenia is left with no choice than to fire everything it has at Azerbaijan. And this also confirms the fact that Article 5 of Putin’s dear CSTO is useless, as I already wrote before. There is still no reaction on Russia’s part, which is quite unusual.
Armenia’s desperation is understandable because already since late September Azerbaijani forces are eliminating Armenian tanks and soldiers one after another. If this continues, the Armenians will be left only with their kitchen utensils and wooden sticks to try and fend off Azerbaijani tanks and Turkish drone missiles that cut through the Soviet-produced Russian-delivered equipment like a knife through butter.
There is no doubt that Armenia itself will be Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s next target after Nagorno-Karabakh because Armenia did an unwise deed and fired at Azerbaijani villages from its own territory. They shouldn’t have done that, since there are no more doubts about who began the conflict. Maybe Russia will wake up at some point, but currently it acts like nothing is happening and urges its Armenian and Azerbaijani friends to sit at the negotiation table.
In this regard, I was utterly confused by the statements made by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, who said: “We have never considered Turkey our strategic ally,” despite Putin telling everyone in the summer of 2019: “Russia’s partnership with Turkey has reached a strategic level. I maintain regular contacts with Erdogan.”
The funniest thing in all of this is that the Kremlin continued “being friends” with Ankara even when the Turks “lightly” fired at Wagner mercenaries in Syria and began purchasing gas from Azerbaijan, giving Russia and its new pipelines the middle finger. It seems that Putin didn’t object to this in the name of future love, but the Turks went even further and convinced Azerbaijan to take back Nagorno-Karabakh.
Now, Armenia has also joined the conflict. Even more, some time ago Erdogan promised to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he will help him return Crimea. I will add that this may mean the liberation of the Crimean Tatars that are being oppressed by Russia. It looks like Armenia is only the beginning.
Is it possible that this time Russia has decided to resolve the conflict in a civilized and diplomatic manner? I don’t believe that’s true, and in any case it is already too late. I believe that Putin senses that this time he may get his hairy back beaten, so he decided not to engage in the conflict on the side of Armenia against Baku and Ankara. Finally, a more powerful and decisive adversary has stood in the way of Russia, proving to everyone that all this time Moscow was bluffing about it’s influence in the Caucasus and elsewhere and giving fake promises to its “allies”.
By remaining geopolitically passive, Moscow is essentially refusing to fulfill a series of promises made to Armenia as part of the CSTO treaty. I will remind you that the main aim of the CSTO is to ensure the territorial integrity of its member states and protect them against military and political aggressors.
But we see the CSTO doing nothing while Azerbaijan shows Armenia its place. The rest of the CSTO’s totalitarian member states – Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – have most likely realized the truth and could be considering withdrawing from the organization in the nearest future, turning their backs on the Russian world.
Ever since the conflict escalated, Russia keeps saying that Nagorno-Karabakh doesn’t belong to Armenia, therefore there is no need to engage the CSTO. Putin remains silent even when Azerbaijani shells continue exploding near the Armenian border, even killing Major General Artak Tonoyan. It is possible Putin is scheming something but Erdogan is moving forward with such speed that Putin is unable to follow.
Because of its inability to resolve the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Moscow has lost control over the situation in the Caucasus. To everyone’s surprise, a new leader of the Caucasus has emerged – Ankara. It is hard to say what Kadyrov along with the rest of the Kremlin’s Caucasian-blooded servants will do, but one thing is certain – Erdogan’s dream of creating a Turkic world in the post-Soviet space is gradually becoming reality. What is more, Erdogan’s dream is Putin’s worst nightmare because this time due to certain Novichok reasons Putin’s friends in Old Europe won’t be able to come to his aid.
P.S. Ironic, isn’t it – while Putin was defending the “Russian world” from made-up Latvian, Georgian and Ukrainian Nazis/fascists and US imperialists and occasionally poisoning “enemies of the Russian people” with different chemical substances, a drone missile of the long-forgotten Ottoman Empire has found its way into the “Russian world” through the back door.
*Augusts Augustiņš, Reserve Sergeant of the Latvian National Guard,