Nation profile

Nagorno-Karabakh
Lernayin Gharabagh o Artsakh

General information
Population
146.573 inhabitants (2013 est.)
Area
11,458 km² (self-declared republic), 4,400 km² (according to Soviet boundaries)
Institutions
Government of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) and National Assembly
Major cities
Stepanakert (capital), Shushi, Merakert, Martuni
State administration
Azerbaijan (de jure), independent republic (de facto)
Territorial languages
Armenian
Official languages
Armenian
Major religion
Armenian Christianity
National day
2 September (Independence Day)

Introduction

Nagorno-Karabakh, or Artsakh, is an Armenian-majority territory which lies within the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan.

Formerly part of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh was included in Soviet Azerbaijan in 1923, where it was granted the status of an autonomous oblast. Armenian leaders and intellectuals denounced, throughout the Soviet era, that the government of Azerbaijan was carrying out a policy of Azerbaijanization in their territory.

In the 1980s, a broad-based popular movement called for Nagorno-Karabakh's reunification with Armenia. The Soviet Union did not meet the request and, in 1991, the government of Azerbaijan annulled Nagorno-Karabakh's limited autonomy.

As a result, the Karabakh Armenians proclaimed independence and war pitted an Armenia-Karabakh alliance against Azerbaijan. The conflict lasted until the 1994 ceasefire.

During the war, Karabakh annexed several surrounding Azerbaijani districts that now allows it to have territorial continuity with Armenia. The non-Armenian population was expelled from those districts. Since then, Karabakh has been acting as a de facto independent state, with very close links with Armenia.

No UN member state -not even Armenia- has recognized Karabakh independence in hopes that the various peace initiatives that have been taking place bear fruit.

POLITICS

President: Bako Sahakyan (since 2007).
Distribution of seats in Parliament (33 seats). 2015 election:
Free Motherland - 15
Armenian Revolutionary Federation - 7
Independents/nonpartisans - 6