Artsakh today plays a major role in Eurasia’s Great Game. Artsakh’s existence as an unrecognized military fortress serves the geostrategic interests of the Kremlin. While the unresolved dispute over Artsakh ensures Armenia’s political dependence on Moscow, Artsakh has also been the Russian sledgehammer hanging over Turkish heads, the sharp sickle that in one swoop can sever one of the strategic energy lifelines of the West.
Simply put, Artsakh ensures Armenia’s dependence on Moscow and Azerbaijan’s fear of Moscow. As a result, strategic planners in Moscow will not tolerate any military misadventures by Baku. Fearing, however, that Baku may be under intense pressure to resolve its problems militarily, Moscow has been strengthening its military presence throughout the north Caucasus, as well as those located in Armenia.
Armenians of Artsakh are the only major group within the Armenian nation that were not fully subjugated by any power at any time in history, they are the direct genetic decedents of our ancient warrior-aristocracy class. In other words: Armenians of Artsakh carry within their genetic code the traits of our valiant ancient ancestors. It is therefore fully understandable why a vast majority of the greatest Armenian military men in modern times were derived from the general vicinity of Artsakh.
This fact alone speaks volumes about the paramount importance of pedigree. While the rest of the Armenian nation was deprived of its warrior and aristocratic classes and systematically reduced to existing as subservient peasants, artisans and petty merchants during the course of the past one thousand years, Armenians of Artsakh were able to preserve our people’s ancient characteristics: Resourceful, courageous, disciplined, resilient, stubborn, intelligent, patriotic and warlike. Needless to say, Azeris found all this out the hard way during the 1990’s. The land of Artsakh reminded all Armenians that Armenia’s enemy has always been and continues to be the Turk. The land of Artsakh showed us all that the only way forward is through armed struggle.
The land of Artsakh also gave us all a real lesson in genuine patriotism and realpolitik. In a certain sense, Artsakh saved Armenia and the Diaspora, not the other way around.
If Western Armenia is to get liberated someday, it will only come by way of a Russian-Armenian force once again marching westward from the south Caucasus. The road to Western Armenia therefore starts in Eastern Armenia and the keys to Western Armenia are thus found in the Kremlin. We have been dreaming about the liberation of Western Armenia for decades. All of a sudden, it feels as if that dream can become a reality. Are we ready? Are we as a people ready to play a role if Russia does go to war against Turkey?
The Russian army’s lightning advance into the Armenian Highlands during the Caucasus Campaign of the First World War showed Armenians that the liberation of Western Armenia is a possibility, given that it is done under the right circumstances. The heroic campaign one hundred years ago encouraged us to prepare, at least mentally, for the next historic opportunity. That historic opportunity may have already come. What Ankara did on November 24th (2015) was an act of war and it may yet prove to be its death knell.