Northern Eurasia 2024: Northern Eurasia Today
Despite the disruption in Russia caused by the Wagner Group rebellion and Ukrainian efforts in their 2023 counteroffensive, there were only minor changes to the Russian–Ukrainian front over the course of the year. Elsewhere, near the periphery of Europe, 2023 saw the Azerbaijani elimination of the ethnic Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh enclave and the outbreak of a major war between Israel and Hamas.
19–20 Sep 2023 Azerbaijani suppression of Nagorno-Karabakh▲
On 19 September 2023 Azerbaijan launched a full-scale military offensive against the ethnically Armenian breakaway Republic of Artsakh in Nagorno-Karabakh, violating a ceasefire made in 2020. The following day the Russian peacekeeping contingent mediated a new ceasefire agreement, in which Artsakh agreed to surrender and to disarm its armed forces, resulting in the republic’s dissolution by 1 January 2024. In the wake of this defeat, over 100,000 ethnic Armenians—almost the entire Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh—fled Azerbaijan in what has been described by the International Criminal Court as a second Armenian genocide.
7 Oct 2023–pres. Israel–Hamas War▲
In response to Hamas’s 7 October 2023 attack, Israel blockaded, bombarded and then, on the 27th, invaded the Gaza Strip, with the expressed intention of destroying Hamas and demilitarizing Gaza. By early 2024 over 22,000 Palestinians had been killed in the invasion, with the accompanying destruction of infrastructure leading to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Meanwhile, smaller scale but related clashes broke out across the region, with Israel facing off against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, Palestinians in the West Bank, and Houthi militias in Yemen.