May 23
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The Azerbaijani regime's brutal conquest of Nagorno-Karabakh and ethnic cleansing exposed the deadly consequences of autocratic expansion. The Freedom House international human rights organization has noted about this in a report.

It is noted that these and other events of recent years have accelerated geopolitical restructuring in the region, the latter’s countries have been divided into two opposing blocs: those loyal to the liberal, democratic order, and those who fiercely reject it.

Freedom House noted that Azerbaijan paved the way for the September 2023 offensive by imposing a months-long blockade that deprived the Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh of basic necessities.

When the military offensive began, the Nagorno-Karabakh local defense forces agreed to lay down their arms, the local government was dissolved, and Russian peacekeepers made no attempt to intervene, forcing 120,000 ethnic Armenians to flee for their lives. On the domestic front, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev moved quickly to exploit his victory in Nagorno-Karabakh. In December, he called for snap presidential elections to be held in February 2024, moving the date of the elections by a full year, the report said.

Aliyev's political and military victories opened his appetite. His inaugural speech included new demands for additional territories in Armenia. In the absence of any credible deterrents imposed by the US or the EU, there is an obvious possibility of an increase in authoritarian aggression in the Caucasus, the Freedom House report also states.

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