The predominantly Islamic state sits below Russia, above Iran, and to the East of Georgia and Armenia. At the beginning formation of the Soviet Union—before Azerbaijan was introduced—the USSR took control of Azerbaijan’s neighbor Armenia in the early 1920’s. The now added strength of the Soviet Union forced Azerbaijan to give up three regions to Armenia including Nagorno-Karabakh--an area seated in between azerbaijan and Armenia by the Caucus Mountains. However, as the soviets wished to garner more influence in the central Asian area, they needed more support from the Islamic nations. Turks were upset with the lost regions of fellow muslim nation Azerbaijan, so the Soviet Union granted the regions back to Azerbaijan under Stalin’s orders as it entered the USSR and became a place for manufacturing. This territory however, after years of being under Armenian rule, held most of Azerbaijan’s ethnically Armenian population. That is why in 1988, the region of Nagorno-Karabakh attempted a vote to secede Azerbaijan and return to Armenia. “Many Azeris resented [the] irredentist nationalism...and 30 Armenians were massacred in the Azeri city of Sumgait a week after the Nagorno-Karabakh parliament’s declaration.” (page 109) This conflict wasn’t only caused by the region moving back and forth, but also by the weakening of the Soviet Union and their i...
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...orld Factbook. But, this has not caused cut ties with the Western world. Because Azerbaijan 's placement it has become of high importance to many Western states as a window to the East and a helpful partner.
Azerbaijan is just one state that formed after the collapse of the USSR, however tells a story that rings true with many other former Soviet states. The fall of the USSR left confusion over territory, and ultimately shaped the state into how it is known. Perhaps without being a part of Soviet Union it wouldn’t have prospered with the great industrializations the Soviets brought. Or perhaps the constant fighting and territorial disputes would never have taken place. Regardless of the effects, it is easy to see the effects the USSR had on Azerbaijan still to this day as it continues to develop into a functioning state and opening more into the globalized economy.
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