Karabagh economy primarily consists of small agriculture, light industry,
and animal husbandry. There is also a substantial reconstruction effort
underway focusing on rebuilding damaged housing and strengthening the war-ravaged
infrastructure. Damage to Karabagh from Azeri military operations has surpassed
$90 million since the conflict's outbreak in 1988. The conflict has also
seriously damaged Karabagh's agriculture, destroying over two thousand
hectares of farm land and orchards, and resulting in the destruction of
18,000 buildings in Karabagh, with more than half of the damage located
in the Mardakert district. Reconstruction costs are estimated at a minimum
of $20 million. The government launched a major program in July 1996 to
rebuild and expand the main transport link connecting southern Armenia
to western Nagorno Karabagh. This route, the Goris-Stepanakert highway,
will be an important impetus to greater trade and commercial traffic.
The government's 1996 budget and
economic plan focused on continuing the reconstruction of housing, the
expansion of its voucher-based privatization program with specific emphasis
on agriculture and small- to medium-business, and an increase in spending
for social services to assist the neediest segments of the Nagorno Karabagh
population. In March 1996, the head of the privatization program announced
the completion of the privatization of 156 enterprises. As of the end of
last year, there were 35 active industrial plants producing an array of
products. The government is faced with the demands of a newly returned
refugee population of 40,000, a daunting challenge for the republic which
has a total population of roughly 150,000.
modernization efforts have led to advances in small scale hydro-electricity
production, primarily at the Sarsung reservoir in northern Karabagh, and
the expansion of water treatment facilities throughout the republic. Similar
to neighboring Armenia, Karabagh is significantly energy-dependent, relying
on imports to meet most of its fuel needs. The need for the securing of
an effective export route for oil from the ongoing projects in neighboring
Azerbaijan has led to calls by Western companies to consider constructing
a pipeline through Nagorno Karabagh as the most cost- effective route.
Although a pipeline through the republic is highly problematic given the
continuing conflict with Azerbaijan, it does reveal the strategic geographic
position of Nagorno Karabagh as a central element in the region's commercial
and economic rebirth.
of events (7th c. - 1996)
"The Karabakh File"
- Zoryan Institute.
Edited by Gerard
-7th Century A.D. - Slow fusion of Armenians and Caucasian Albanians
leads to the creation of Armenian principality of Artsakh, which includes
both today's Mountainous Karabagh and the plains of Karabagh.
- Arabs complete the conquest of Transcaucasia, including Artsakh.
Beginning of conversion of a minority of the plains population to Islam.
- Seljuk Turks, having emerged from central Asia and conquered
Iran, conquer Artsakh and Armenia, extend Islamization and begin Turkification.
Centuries - Invasion by Genghiz Khan's troops. Later, Turkic
invasions by Tamurlane's armies increase the "Tatar" element (a variant
of central Asian Turks), ancestors of Azeri or Azerbaijani Turks. Armenians
increasingly restricted to safe pockets above all mountains.
Century - Ottoman Turks conquer region. Armenians take tentative,
ineffective steps towards liberation.
1639 - Shah
of Persia and Ottoman Empire agree to cede Karabagh to the Khanate of Ganja,
a tributory of Persia.
1701 - Israel
Ori, born in Karabagh, labors for Western, ultimately Russian intervention
to free Armenia of alien rule. He informs Peter the Great of conditions
in Armenia. Gets paper promises only.
- Armenians of the whole of historic Karabagh and the neighboring
district of Sunik rise against the Khans and the Ottoman Empire under the
leadership of David Bey hoping for assistance from Peter the Great, Tzar
of Russia. They receive no help.
1805 - Prince
Tsitsianov of Tzarist Russia secures Karabagh for the Russian Empire before
being assassinated on his way to capture Baku. Karabagh is annexed to the
- Russia signs Treaty of Gulistan with Persia, keeps Karabagh and most
territories currently part of present-day Azerbaijani S.S.R.
1905 - Instigated
by local overlords, racial violence breaks out between Tartars or "Azeris"
and Armenians throughout Transcaucasia. Tzarist officials, hoping to curb
Armenian activism, do not intervene. Armenians put up sustained resistance
but are massacred in areas where Tartars form a majority.
- Karabagh is occupied by Russian troops who remain until fall
of Tzarist regime.
- Tzarist census shows greater Karabagh population to be 317,000
Armenians (72%) and 120,000 Tartars.
- Russian Revolution end of tzarist regime.Departure of troops
leave Karabagh in state of disarray. Inter-party Bureau organized, consisting
of Armenians and Tartars Regional Central Executive appointed to run administration
of united Karabagh-Zangezur region. Harmony and cooperation exist.
Trancaucasian Confederation (with Armenian, Azeri, and Georgian states)
proclaims itself an independent, multi-ethnic republic. Ottoman Turkish
victories in Baku. Armenians of Shushi submit to invading Ottoman armies,
however rest of Karabagh resists.
- Transcaucasian Confederation dissolves. Complete evacuation of Russian
armies leaves a void in disputed areas. In the fact of Ottoman Turkish
penetration into Transcaucasia, Bolsheviks and Dashnaktsakans join forces
and set up the Baku Commune to resist invasion.
Republic of Azerbaijan declared on
Republic of Armenia declared on
Treaty of Batum signed between Ottoman
Turkey and Armenia. Armenia forced to cede large territories to neighboring
Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. Nakhichevan and Karabagh are given status
of autonomous districts under the protectorate of Azerbaijan.
July - British
forces enter Transcaucasia. Fall of Baku Commune. First Assembly of Karabagh
Armenians formed. Elects a People's Government of Karabagh. Rejects demands
that Turkish troops be permitted to enter Shushi.
- To avoid further Turkish massacres, Second and Third Pan-Karabagh
Assemblies decide to keep status-quo under Azerbaijani rule. Turks and
Azerbaijarlis carry out systematic massacre of Armenians. 15,000-20,000
die. Karabagh Armenians submit to Turks; 5,000 Turkish soldiers enter Shushi.