The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times

As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia flares into a sixth month, two other former Soviet republics are now engaged in renewed fighting over the remote, mountainous enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

A six-year war between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops had been dormant since a truce was brokered by Russia 20 years ago — until clashes resumed in the South Caucasus region last week.

On Monday, the governments in Yerevan and Baku reported the worst bloodshed over the disputed territory in two decades had taken the lives of 13 Azerbaijanis and six Armenians.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Itar-Tass news agency that he had asked the leaders of both countries to meet with Russian mediators in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday to try to work out a plan to restore peace.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday expressed “deep concern” over the resurgence of fighting and urged the two countries to respect the long-agreed cease-fire conditions.

Russia, the United States, and France spearheaded peace efforts two decades ago, after more than 30,000 were killed in the bitter war for control of the territory that, like some of the disputed land in southeastern Ukraine, was carved up — irrespective of ethnic communities — by Soviet leaders decades before the 1991 collapse of the communist empire.

Nagorno-Karabakh, though largely populated by Armenians, was made part of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic under then-Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. But as anti-communist revolutions swept Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, Armenians in the enclave, backed by government forces from across the border, seized control, sending 700,000 Azerbaijanis fleeing for protection from Baku.

Although organized fighting ended with the 1994 cease-fire, a permanent settlement of the conflict has been elusive and hostilities have continued to simmer between the two neighbors.

Russia and Ukraine have been locked in conflict since Moscow-allied Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted by a pro-European revolt in February and Russian President Vladimir Putin seized Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, which is the base of Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet.

Lavrov’s diplomatic intervention suggested that Moscow intends to take the lead in trying to tamp down the latest flare-up between ex-Soviet neighbors. But Russia’s former alliance with France and the United States in the Caucasus region’s peace talks likely has been complicated by the United States and European Union sanctions imposed on Russia for its role in the deadly Ukraine fighting.

Photo via WikiCommons

Interested in world news? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Dr. Mehmet Oz and Sean Hannity

Youtube Screenshot

Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity is priming his audience to see election fraud in any defeat for Dr. Mehmet Oz, his favored candidate who currently leads the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania with two percent of votes outstanding. If the fast-closing hedge funder Dave McCormick takes the lead and the Oz camp claims the election has been stolen, it could set up a potentially explosive proxy war with Hannity’s colleague Laura Ingraham, whose Fox program favors McCormick and has suggested he is likely to prevail when all the votes are counted.

The GOP primary was a chaotic slugfest that split Fox’s slate of pro-GOP hosts in an unusually public way. Hannity was Oz’s most prominent supporter, reportedly securing the support of former President Donald Trump and using his program to endorse the TV personality, give him a regular platform, and target the challenge from right-wing commentator and Fox & Friends regular Kathy Barnette. Ingraham, meanwhile, used her Fox program (which airs in the hour following Hannity’s) to promote McCormick, criticize Oz, and defend Barnette.

Keep reading... Show less
Youtube Screenshot

Overturning Roe v. Wade is very unpopular, yet another poll confirms. Nearly two out of three people, or 64 percent, told the NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll that Roe should not be overturned, including 62 percent of independents. The poll also includes some good news for Democrats.

According to the poll, the prospect of the Supreme Court striking down Roe in the most extreme way is motivating Democratic voters more than Republicans: Sixty-six percent of Democrats say it makes them more likely to vote in November compared with 40 percent of Republicans. That echoes a recent NBC poll finding a larger rise in enthusiasm about voting among Democrats than Republicans.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}