Daniel one comes to think about the Caucasus

Daniel Wang @ Wai Phyo AungAP Human Geography Block CMr. Stephen CastagnetoConflicts in the Caucasus Region For as long as humans differentiate each others into groups, conflicts are bound to happen. Some conflicts may be easy  to resolve and some conflicts can escalate quickly into wars and clashes. This region has several thousand years of history. There are a vast variety of cultures and more than 50 ethnic groups residing in the caucasus geographical region. With that much difference, conflicts are bound to happen which causes the infamous unstable Caucasus region. When one comes to think about the Caucasus region, a violent-prone place with conflicts such as war comes to mind. The Caucasus region is located at the border of Europe and Asia and situated between the Caspian and the Black Sea. The region is rich in resources and rare materials such as oil, silk, cotton, metal, etc. which are prized resources on the worldwide market. The Caucasus region consists of three sovereign states such as Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan; self declared states such as South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Nagorno-Karabakh; and seven internal Russian republics such as Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia-Alania, Kabardino-Balkaria, Dagestan, Karachay-Cherkessia and Adygea. The Caucasus region has two sub-regions consisting of Transcaucasia (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan) and the Ciscaucasia which covers the Russian controlled area. After Russian communism control over the Caucasus diminished, the people in the Caucasus are free to explore their history and their roots. During the Soviet period, the history of the Caucasus region was suppressed and left most Caucasian people feeling cheated of their past and deeply concerned about their identity and their roots. With the collapse of Soviets communism, the Caucasians were free to reacquire their history and roots. However, there is a negative impact of this and it is that each ethnic group has different views or versions of its origin and its past which often conflicts with each other’s versions. This is why there has been a great amount of arguments about history and debated in terms of ancient texts, archaeology, and even myths. These arguments tend to worsen disputes rather than settling them.  Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan were formerly part of a larger country called the transcaucasian Federation. After the aftermaths of WW1, the country divided itself into Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and they were integrated into the Soviet Union in 1918. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it created irregular geopolitical boundaries which causes lots of disputes among the people of the Caucasus. The Soviets created a perforated ethnic country of armenians in Azerbaijan called Nagorno Karabakh probably to ensure that Armenians cooperate with the Soviet Union. However, this causes huge conflicts because Nagorno Karabakh has made several attempts to unite with Armenia. After the weakening of Soviet Union in the 1980s, the Nagorno Karabakh declared itself a sovereign state. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan rejected the act which led to a bloody 6 year war which caused an estimate of 30,000 lives lost from both countries. Then in 1994, Armenia gained control of Nagorno Karabakh and the war ended after Russia brokered a ceasefire the same year and Nagorno Karabakh claimed independence. Yet today, Nagorno Karabakh is part of Armenian Separatist control it is still technically part of Azerbaijan because its independence claim is not recognized even by Armenia. It caused a frozen conflict because Azerbaijan and Armenia couldn’t negotiate. Many of these disputes and tensions in the North Caucasus region feed into the Islamist insurgency that causes most of today’s violence. Parts of the younger generation that twenty years ago would have joined nationalist movements to address their grievances have become disenchanted with islamic movements and choose to join the Islamist insurgency instead. “It increasingly operates across the entire region, attracting youth of all ethnicities, and attacking not only federal forces and local police, but also civil servants and elites who disagree with its fundamentalist interpretation of Islam.”Political instability is also a very popular theory for the conflicts in the Caucasus region. Geographists have estimated about $4 trillion worth of oil deposits located in the Caspian Sea Basin which is the second largest oil deposit other than the middle east. The discovery of oil was a global phenomenon because it is a very valuable natural resource and can be used for a variety of purposes. Oil had been the property of the Soviet Union that enabled the country to prosper. Oil in the Caucasus had allowed for the industrial development of poorer regions. The Caspian sea has also started to dry out making oil exploration a lot easier. After the collapse of Soviet Union, that oil in the caucasus has now become the prized possession of the emerging top class of Georgia and Azerbaijan. And now what used to be social property, is 50% owned by 11 large US and EU oil companies. Despite all the oil property foreign powers have gained, neither the U.S. nor their European competitors are satisfied. “Much of the Russian Federation, in addition to the Caucasus, holds vast untapped resources. Breaking off pieces of Russia and the Caucasus, just like breaking up Yugoslavia, is seen as conducive to imperialist domination.” So the Caucasus region has became a center of competition among the American and European countries, and Russia and China. Chechnya used to be an essential part of Russia. After the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991, Chechnya immediately declared independence which was opposed by Russian president. Chechnya allows Russia to access routes to both the Black and Caspian Sea and furthermore, it connects the oil and gas pipeline through Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Therefore, the conflicts had led to a war between the Russian Federation and Chechnya Republic. A series of many wars broke out between the two nations and in the early 2000s, Russia recaptured the capital of Chechnya and reasserted control over Chechnya. In conclusion, the Caucasus is a mess with all the political, economical, ethical, religious, and geographical conflicts. These conflicts has caused the balkanization and displacements in many areas and nations. What is supposed to be a lustful land flourished with vast rich resources, is now a place filled with war and clashes because of all the conflicts and disagreements. Religious conflicts  Other problems // caused by colonies or colonialismBorders drawn by russiaArjejuana is exporting to other places because georgian and Trying to redevelop itself with its culture and heritages Forced migrations Turks People that migrated into that region Silk road and charges tax for the travellers/traders and give safe passage for the traders  China has a lot of things to trade such as porcelain, strong horses, woolBy going to caucasus it was cheaper and safer than passing directly through russia who were not really nice people at the time of the silk road. Then the traders’ products can be loaded onto boats to the black sea and then sold to the Europe The caucasus was the middleman and made a lot of money Georgians started growing their own chinese tea which is a old form of chinese tea Opium from china is sent to england to make morphine