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Special podcast: View from "fully blockaded" Nagorno-Karabakh during Armenia's conflict with Azerbaijan

Listen: The people of the small Armenian enclave known as Nagorno-Karabakh have no way to get out. Recently, the long-simmering conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has once again heated up with Armenia accusing Azerbaijan of blocking the only road that connects the disputed region with Armenia. The Azeris deny this and blame Russian peacekeepers. There are extremely heated opinions on both sides to this issue. Regardless of where the blame lies, the humanitarian risks to the region are growing. 30,000 kids cannot go to school as roads and gas have been cut off.

Food can't be brought in because the airport is closed. In a special edition of the GZERO World podcast, Ian Bremmer speaks to Ruben Vardanyan, who last month became state minister in charge of Nagorno-Karabakh, which the Armenians refer to as Artsakh.

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Annie Gugliotta

What's happening in Nagorno-Karabakh?

The long-simmering conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has once again heated up, with Armenia accusing Azerbaijan of blocking the only road that connects the disputed region with Armenia.

The Azeris, of course, deny this and blame Russian peacekeepers. But what's clear is that the longer the area remains cut off from Armenian supplies, the higher the risk of a humanitarian crisis in a land that's been embroiled in an unresolved conflict for decades.

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Armenia and Azerbaijan Conflict Flares | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Armenia and Azerbaijan flareup gets Russia involved

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Are Armenia and Azerbaijan on the brink of another war?

Yesterday, it did look that way. The Azeris engaging in drone and artillery strikes literally into the homeland of Armenia, not contested territory, clearly linked to the fact that the Russians have had serious problems over the last several days in Ukraine and they are the big supporter, big ally of Armenia. Fortunately, it looks like we have a cease fire now and the Russians are engaging quite quickly with both sides to try to reduce the temperature. Engage in deconfliction. How the Turks are playing in all of this, because clearly they would've known before these Azeris were going to make those strikes, that's an interesting question. Watch that pretty carefully over the coming hours.

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Kenya's new President William Ruto stands during his swearing-in ceremony.

Baz Ratner via Reuters

What We’re Watching: Kenya’s new leader inaugurated, conflict flares between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Kenya's new leader already stirring controversy

More than a month after winning a nail-biter presidential election and a week after the Supreme Court upheld the result – which had been challenged by his rival – William Ruto was sworn in Tuesday as Kenya's fifth president. Unfortunately, the inauguration ceremony in a Nairobi stadium was overshadowed by two things. First, a stampede outside the gates left at least 60 people injured, some reportedly beaten by cops. Second, Ruto's comms team barred Kenyan media outlets from carrying the event on live TV. Instead, it gave exclusive broadcast rights to a South African pay-TV company — not a good omen for press freedom under Kenya's new leader. During the campaign, Ruto promised to be the champion of the poor — especially what he calls Kenya's "hustlers," young people working multiple gigs in the informal economy. But he faces a stagnant economy and high inflation, with three-quarters of Kenyans struggling to make ends meet. Meanwhile, Uhuru Kenyatta, Ruto's predecessor and former boss, has agreed to be the president’s envoy for peace talks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.

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A rebel fighter holds a Kingdom of Libya flag and a knife during shelling by soldiers loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in a battle near Ras Lanuf, March 4, 2011.

REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

What We’re Watching: Libya’s future, Azeris and Iranians bicker, Shakira fights wild boars

Will Libya's elections go ahead? Should they? Libya, mired in a decade-long civil war, is set to hold elections for a new president and parliament later this year. The US, along with Italy and France, say that elections should go ahead no matter what. But other Western players have pushed back, saying that ongoing civil war means the country isn't yet ready for democracy, and the result of an election won't be deemed legitimate. Meanwhile, an estimated 10,000-20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries are still lurking in Libya, mostly deployed by Russia and Turkey, neither of which are in any hurry to recall their mercs, perhaps just in case the election doesn't work out and Libya slides back into civil war. Complicating matters further, last week the lower house of parliament passed a no-confidence vote against the UN-backed government over misuse of public funds. The interim government has been accused of stalling elections, instead calling for a "stabilization initiative" that would help lay the groundwork for a free and fair vote later on. But that is unlikely to fly with general Khalifa Hafta, who heads the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army and has long been vying for control of the oil-rich country.

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Armenia-Azerbaijan Cease Fire Holds | Europe's Immense Relief About US | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Armenia-Azerbaijan cease fire holds; Europe's immense relief about US election

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on Europe In 60 Seconds:

What's the nature of the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace deal and will it last?

First, it's not really a peace. It's a cease fire that is guaranteed by Russian forces. And those Russian forces are going to be there for additionally five years and then perhaps an additional five years. The question is, will there be a real peace agreement during that particular time period? That remains to be seen. But no one is going to attack the Russian forces. As such, it has ceased the fighting. That's good.

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Peace deal ends deadly conflict in South Caucasus

November 12, 2020 5:00 AM

On Tuesday, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a Russian-brokered peace deal to end weeks of heavy fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh and find a long-term solution to the dispute over the region.

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