Assessing the Performance of Russia’s Peacekeeping Forces in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan

The deployment of Russian peacekeepers to the mountainous part of Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region has brought with it questions about the performance of these forces, questions that necessitate a detailed analysis. In seeking to assess the operational success of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, this article takes Duane Bratt’s criteria and evaluates the Russian peacekeepers’ activities based on three of these: their fulfilment of the given mandate, ability to contain conflict and limit casualties, and contribution to facilitating the normalization process. On the one hand, this article argues that the mandate performance of the peacekeepers is unsuccessful owing to the numerous technical breaches and unilateral stretching of the agreement terms. On the other hand, despite noting moderate success in conflict containment, the findings reveal no reduction in casualty numbers after the peacekeeper deployment and highlights the limited steps taken by the peacekeepers to achieve the normalization process between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Note that this paper addresses only the first five months of the peacekeepers’ work. 

Authors: Arzu Abbasova