Nagorno-Karabakh has been inhabitated by Armenians for thousands of years. After the Armenian genocide, they made up 90% of the population of the region. Following the Red Army invasion of Armenia, Joseph Stalin ceded this region to Soviet Azerbaijan in 1921 and he attached the landlocked, predominantly Muslim region of Nakhichevan to Azerbaijan.
After the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence after a referendum recognized only by Armenia, the Republic of Artsakh remains De jure Azeri.
Despite a war in 2020 and a blockade since 2022, the Russian peacekeeping force chose not to interpose and Azerbaijan took back Nagorno-Karabakh. Fearing ethnical cleansing, almost all 90 000 remaining inhabitants of the region that had not left before have fled their ancestral land within a week, using the M-12 road between Lachin and Goris.