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Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev attend a meeting in Moscow, Russia, April 22, 2024.

Gavriil Grigorov/Reuters

Armenia and Azerbaijan move toward peace deal as Russia’s influence dwindles

Armenia and Azerbaijan, historic rivals that have fought several wars since the collapse of the Soviet Union, are finally moving toward a peace settlement.

In a significant concession to Baku, Armenia said late last week it would hand over several border villages it’s controlled since the 1990s. “This is one more positive step toward a broader peace deal likely getting signed before the end of this year,” says Tinatin Japaridze, an expert on the region at Eurasia Group.

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Two men cast their votes in the early presidential election in the Azerbaijani capital on Wednesday.

DPA via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Azerbaijan “votes” for Aliyev, UN seeks Sudan aid, Marines missing in California, Orcas swim to safety off Japan, Marianne Williamson calls it quits

94: Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev was “reelected” almost unanimously on Wednesday, garnering 94% of the vote to secure his fifth term in office, according to a state media exit poll. Aliyev likely called the snap election to leverage any good feelings he generated with his quick war last September to take control of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. While Azerbaijan’s elections are neither free nor fair, it’s a step up from 2013, when the country released election results before the polls opened.

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Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev speaks during a military parade of his armed forces in Nagorno-Karabakh region's capital city on November 8, 2023.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan/Handout via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Azerbaijan targets journalists, Brazil feels the heat, deadly stampede hits the Republic of Congo, flooding kills in Somalia

2: Two journalists investigating government corruption in Azerbaijan were arrested this week, the latest in a long trend of crackdowns on dissent under the rule of the Aliyev dynasty. Police arrested Abzas Media’s editor-in-chief, Sevinj Vagifgyzy, and director, Ulvi Hasanli. Abzas Media has been digging into how senior government officials and the family of President Ilham Aliyev have generated their wealth. Rights groups have condemned the arrests.
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Ari Winkleman

What’s Nakhchivan, and could it spark yet another war in Europe?

OK, you may only recently have learned what “Nagorno-Karabakh” is (and if you didn’t, you can go here.) But when it rains it pours, especially in the Caucasus. So now it’s time to learn about a small exclave that could trigger the region’s next big conflict. Today, we are meeting “Nakhchivan.”

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Kosovo-Serbia tensions worsen, hurting EU membership hopes
Kosovo-Serbia escalation | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Kosovo-Serbia tensions worsen, hurting EU membership hopes

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics - this week from Stockholm.

Are Serbia and Kosovo heading towards a confrontation?

It looks very bad. What happened in northern Kosovo the other day was distinctly bad. A collection of fairly well-armed and well-organized Serb thugs did an operation that was eventually beaten back by Kosovo police. It follows a cycle of escalation that was initiated on the Kosovo side, has to be said, last year, and has not been brought under control by rather intense diplomacy, both by the Europeans and by the Americans. At the moment, things look very bleak. This, of course, is damaging the EU integration prospects for both Serbia and Kosovo. Let's see what happens.

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Refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh region ride in a truck upon their arrival at the border village of Kornidzor, Armenia, September 27, 2023.

REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

Hard Numbers: Armenians flee Nagorno-Karabakh, GOP debate falls flat, Evergrande stock drops, tragedy strikes Iraqi wedding, Commander strikes again

50,000: A torrent of at least 50,000 ethnic Armenians have fled Nagorno-Karabakh after Azerbaijani forces occupied the hotly contested enclave last week. The refugees constitute approximately one-third of the pre-war Armenian population. Among those fleeing was Russian-Armenian billionaire Ruben Vardanyan, who Azerbaijan’s border guard service said Wednesday it had arrested.

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A map of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas in the South Caucasus.

Jess Frampton/ GZERO Media

Is the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict over?

After more than a century of bitter clashes, the long-simmering conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the contested territory of Nagorno-Karabakh came to a boil last week as Azerbaijan seized full control of the enclave.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a historically Armenian enclave that is internationally recognized as part of Muslim-majority Azerbaijan but had been de facto governed by its ethnic Armenian Christian population since 1994. That is, until now.

So, how did we get here? What just happened? And is the conflict over?

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Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attends a 2024 presidential election campaign event at Sportsman Boats in Summerville, South Carolina, U.S. September 25, 2023.


Hard Numbers: Trump liable for fraud, Kenya signs a big defense pact, Thailand jails king’s critic, Mexican exports get stranded, Nigeria rescues students

2.2 billion: Donald Trump was found liable for fraud Tuesday by a New York judge for lying about his wealth on financial statements to banks and insurers, inflating his net worth by approximately $2.2 billion dollars. Justice Arthur Engoron stripped the former president of control over some of his properties and sanctioned his lawyers for their behavior. Despite extensive legal troubles, Trump remains the frontrunner – and by a wide margin – for the GOP 2024 presidential nomination.

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