Internationally, Karabakh is recognised as a part of Azerbaijan. However, the population of 120,000 is predominantly ethnic Armenian. The enclave has one remaining land link to Armenia, the Lachin corridor, which is policed by Russian peacekeepers, was first disrupted in December
Residents of Nagorno-Karabakh have said that Azerbaijani blockade of the breakaway region is choking supplies of food, medicines and other essential supplies. The blockade has dragged on in its ninth month. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is slated to discuss the blockade on Wednesday (August 16). A former International Criminal Court prosecutor this month said this month that blockade may amount to a "genocide" of the local Armenian population. Azerbaijan's lawyers have said that these claims are unsubstantiated and inaccurate.
Internationally, Karabakh is recognised as a part of Azerbaijan. However, the population of 120,000 is predominantly ethnic Armenian. The enclave has one remaining land link to Armenia, the Lachin corridor, which is policed by Russian peacekeepers, was first disrupted in December.
Reuters quoted Karabakh residents who said that basic foodstuffs, fuel and medicine were not only in short supply but were almost exhausted.
"It's been a very long time since I've eaten any dairy produce, or eggs," said Nina Shahverdyan, a 23-year-old English teacher quoted by Reuters.
"It's been disastrous because we don't have gas. We have electricity blackouts."
After the blockade, Karabakh's population has tightened its belt and has preferred to eat what can be produced locally.
The residents said even food produced within Karabakh itself is delivered only sporadically to Stepanakert, the region's capital, as farmers lack fuel to bring their products to market.
The crisis is also being taken as an indication that Russia struggling to project its influence in post-Soviet states especially after start of the Ukraine war.
Karabakh was claimed by both Azerbaijan and Armenia after the fall of the Russian Empire in 1917, and broke away from Azerbaijan in a war in the early 1990s.
In 2020, there was another conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia post which Azerbaijan retook territory in and around the enclave. The war ended in a Russian-brokered ceasefire.
The agreement required Russia to ensure that road transport between Armenia and Karabakh remained open.
Since the ceasefire, road links between Armenia and Karabakh hinged on the Lachin corridor, which was blockaded in December by Azerbaijani civilians identifying themselves as ecological activists, while Russian peacekeepers did not intervene. In April, Azerbaijani border guards installed a checkpoint on the route, tightening the blockade.
(With inputs from agencies)