The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Azerbaijan and Ethnic Cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh

Logo for Aftonbladet

CMES researcher Svante Lundgren has been interviewed by Aftonbladet about the ongoing violent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The article "Azerbajdzjan uppnådde målet på ett dygn – etnisk rensning" (English translation: "Azerbaijan Achieved the Goal in a Day - Ethnic Cleansing") is written by Joachim Kepner and was published in Aftonbladet on 20 September 2023. Below are som excerpts from the article translated into English.

With a day's war, Azerbaijan achieved its goal: ethnic cleansing. At the same time, Putin managed to give the pro-Western government in Armenia a rebuke. This is how expert Svante Lundgren describes the one-day war over Nagorno-Karabakh from September 19 to 20, 2023.

My assessment is that the 120 000 Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh will now leave. They have already agreed to disarm and dismantle their defense forces, Svante says.

After brief fighting in September 2022 on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia itself, in December 2022 the Azeris began a blockade of the only road leading from Armenia into Nagorno-Karabakh.

–  The blockade has lasted for nine months and resulted in a severe shortage of food, medicine and petrol in Nagorno-Karabakh, notes Svante Lundgren.

So when Azeri forces launched their “anti-terrorist operation,” the third war in Nagorno-Karabakh, on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, the Karabakh Armenian defenders—basically all men in Nagorno-Karabakh—were already weakened.

– They are significantly fewer and less well equipped. They can offer some resistance for a day perhaps, noted Svante Lundgren when Aftonbladet spoke to him on Wednesday morning.

At 11 a.m. Swedish time on Wednesday September 20, news broke of a ceasefire brokered by Russian peacekeeping forces. The agreement meant that the Karabakh Armenian forces agreed to disband. After lunch Svante Lundgren said:

– The Armenian population must, as it is called, be "reintegrated" into Azerbaijan. They will never agree to that. So that means they all move from there, that's my assessment. This is exactly what Azerbaijan wanted, an ethnic cleansing without too much bloodshed.

Read the article in Swedish

Svante Lundgren's research profile