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NATO ACADEMY 2020 – The Second War over Nagorno - Karabakh in the Context of Hybrid Warfare PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 November 2020 08:38

"The Second War over Nagorno - Karabakh in the Context of Hybrid Warfare” was the subject on the NATO Academy 2020 lecture held on 23th of November 2020 (Monday). Due to the current situation caused by the COVID – 19 pandemic, and in line with the government and health official’s recommendations, this lecture was held online via the ZOOM platform.

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This lecture was held by Mr. Jan Cingel who is the Founder and CEO of the Strategic Analysis, formerly Research Fellow and the Head of the European Neighborhood Program of the GLOBSEC Policy Institute. His areas of expertise are: Western Balkans, South Caucasus, radicalization, violent extremism, NATO, and the EU integration related issues and processes. Jan worked at the Bilateral relations office of the Defence Policy, International Relations and Legislation Department of the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic. He is one of the co-founders of the Bratislava Global Security Forum – GLOBSEC.

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Mr. Ilija Djugumanov, ATA Presidency introduced the lecturer at the beginning of this event, after which Mr. Jan Cingel greeted the participants and started his presentation on the subject with a brief geographical and historical explanation on the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

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Mr. Cingel pointed out that for more than a quarter-century, an international peace initiative has tried and failed to bring a resolution to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh after the cease-fire in the region in 1994. The Armenian “Velvet revolution” in 2018 led into new leadership and raised hopes that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could move towards resolution. Those aspirations have been, however, diminished. Recently, violence flared up again. As the fighting turned deadly, Armenia declared martial law and general mobilization. Azerbaijan announced a state of war in some regions. EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, de-escalation and for strict observance of the cease-fire, as well as emphasized that the negotiations of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs are needed urgently.

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He also mentioned Russia’s major role as Armenia’s main ally in this conflict. He asked for the participants opinion if it stroke after the Azerbaijanis accidentally shot down their helicopter, or if it was Russia’s longer-planned deal. The CEO of Strategic Analysis also explained Turkey’s involvement in this war through Syria’s groups that are supported by this country.

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Mr. Cingel dedicated quite some time on the disinformation, propaganda and online warfare in this conflict and said that both sides used all tools on information warfare: tens of thousands bots spreading the same message in the form of state – level propaganda to debunking efforts of disinformation or vice versa – denying all accusations from the other side with a goal to dilute the truth and facts in the sea of myths, lies and non-senses, as he said.

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At the end, he gave some information on the use of Cyber Warfare during this war, mostly the use of cyber units or hackers to attack opponent’s critical online critical online infrastructure, which resulted in the collapse of number of Azerbaijani government webpages at the beginning of the conflict. On the other hand, Azerbaijan was blocking all social networks except Twitter on its territory.

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The participants showed considerable interest in this subject, posed questions and were active in the discussion that took place in the second part of the lecture.

This project is supported by the NATO Public Diplomacy Division.

 

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