Geography is Inescapable

The relationship between Russians and Armenians has been a centuries-long one that has seen the incorporation of Armenian lands into the Russian Empire, the creation of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and the present-day ties between the two states. The Russian question in Armenia is as salient as ever following Moscow’s facilitation of the November 9 ceasefire agreement that ended the 2020 Artsakh War. For some, the discussion has turned into a question of whether Armenia should pursue “more Russia or less Russia.” However, the reality of the matter is that geography is inescapable. Although lacking a direct land border, Russia is undeniably Armenia’s most strategically important neighbor. The outcome of the 2020 Artsakh War has left the Republic of Armenia and the Armenians of Artsakh in complete disarray. The results of the war and the subsequent agreements completely altered what had been the status quo for the last 25 years. As is often the case following a devastating loss, the defeated side will search desperately for someone to blame. In Russian history, this question of who is to blame [kto vinovat?] has become a common query in times of trouble [smuta]. As we have seen since the events of the night of November 9, when the cease-fire agreement was signed, both the Armenian state and the Armenian people have been searching for who to blame for their woes.


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