Guide to New Nations: Caucasus
by David Johnson
On August 23, 1991, Armenia proclaimed its independence. The former Soviet republic invaded neighboring Azerbaijan to aid ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, who had declared independence from Muslim Azerbaijan. A cease-fire was reached in 1994, but no permanent peace deal has been signed. Armenia effectively controls the area.
Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic, declared its independence on August 30, 1991. In the early 1990s, Armenia seized almost 20% of Azerbaijan's territory, generating 750,000 Azerbaijani refugees. Armenia was acting on behalf of ethnic Armenians in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, who favored independence or unification with Armenia. A cease-fire has been in effect since 1994, but no permanent peace deal has been signed.
Georgia proclaimed its independence on April 6, 1991. At first, the former Soviet republic was unstable. However, a new constitution was adopted in 1995. The following year a cease-fire agreement was signed with secessionist rebels in South Ossetia. Violence periodically flares between Georgian troops and rebels in Abkhazia.
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