lessons from an unending conflict

In late September, one of the world’s most intractable conflicts ended suddenly and brutally when Azerbaijan seized the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh and tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians fled their homes.

Andrew Higgins, the New York Times bureau chief for East and Central Europe, explains how the conflict started, why it lasted for more than 30 years, and what its end can tell us about the nature of seemingly unsolvable disputes.

Andrew Higgins, the East and Central Europe bureau chief for The New York Times.

In the back of a truck, a handful of people are looking out over the landscape. They are wearing winter coats.
Refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh arriving in the border village of Kornidzor, Armenia, in September.Nanna Heitmann for The New York Times
  • After decades of wars and tense stalemates, almost no one saw it coming: Azerbaijan seized Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenian control seemingly overnight.

  • The military offensive prompted an exodus to Armenia.

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Andrew Higgins contributed reporting.

Special thanks to Alina Lobzina, Ivan Nechepurenko, and Nyree Abrahamian.

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