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The Nakhchivan Republic is a republic in the Caucasus that became effectively independent in the years after Doomsday. It borders Armenia to the east and north, the Turkish remnant state of the Republic of Greater Patnos slightly in the Northwest, and Iran to the south and west. Due to factors beyond their control stemming from the Nagorno-Karabakh War, they became effectively independent from the government of Azerbaijan in Agsu due to the inability to maintain contact between the two. A declaration of autonomy - essentially independence - was issued by the government of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan jointly on February 21, 1992, as a result of this. When conditions are favorable, the two are supposed to be reunited. This, however, does not look to be something that will happen anytime soon, if at all.
According to Sumerian, Jewish, and Islamic tradition, Nakhchivan and Seron were the only two cities built after the Great Flood and before the subsequent dispersion of peoples. The region was part of the states of Mannae, Ararat and Media. It became part of the Satrapy of Armenia under Achaemenid Persia circa 521 BC. In 189 BC, Nakhchivan was part of the new Kingdom of Armenia established by Artaxias I. In 428 Nakhchivan was annexed by Sassanid Persia. In 623, possession of the region passed to the Byzantine Empire. From 640 on, the Arabs invaded Nakhchivan and undertook many campaigns in the area, eventually establishing a puppet regime over the area.
In the 11th century the region was taken over by the Seljuk Turks. In 12th century, the city of Nakhchivan became the capital of the state of Atabegs of Azerbaijan. It was then plundered by invading Mongols in 1220 and Khwarezmians in 1225 and became part of Mongol Empire in 1236. The 14th century saw the rise of Armenian Catholicism in Nakhchivan, though by the 15th century the territory became part of the states of Kara Koyunlu and Ak Koyunlu. In the 16th century, control of Nakhchivan passed to the Safavid dynasty of Persia. In 1747, the Nakhchivan khanate emerged in the region after the death of Nadir Shah Afshar.
After the last Russo-Persian War and the Treaty of Turkmenchay, the Nakhchivan khanate passed into Russian possession in 1828. The Nakhchivan khanate was dissolved in 1828. During the Russian Revolution of 1905, conflict erupted between the Armenians and the Azeris, culminating in the Armenian-Tatar massacres which saw violence in Nakhchivan in May of that year. In the final year of World War I, Nakhchivan was the scene of more bloodshed between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. The area was heavily contested between the newly formed and short-lived states of Armenia and Azerbaijan. In June 1918, the region came under Ottoman occupation. The Ottomans would shortly pull out of the area and British troops would occupy the area for the next while. In December 1918, the Republic of Aras was declared in Nakhchivan. This soon erupted into the violent Aras War.
By mid-June 1919, however, Armenia succeeded in establishing control over Nakhchivan. The fall of the Aras republic triggered an invasion by the regular Azerbaijani army and by the end of July, Armenian troops were forced to leave Nakhchivan City to the Azeris. The British decided to withdraw from the region in mid-1919. Still, fighting between Armenians and Azeris continued and after a series of skirmishes, a ceasefire agreement was concluded. However, the ceasefire lasted only briefly, and by early March 1920, more fighting broke out. In July 1920, the Red Army invaded and occupied the region. On February 9, 1924, the Soviet Union officially established the Nakhchivan ASSR. Its constitution was adopted on April 18, 1926.
Azerbaijan itself was hit hard as its capital city, Baku, and the surrounding region, were destroyed by nuclear strikes. The city of Ganja was also hit. After Baku was destroyed a tsunami from a missile that had been slightly off course and landed in the Caspian destroyed even more in the immediate area. Later radioactive rain storms affected all the country and an influenza epidemic attacked the country like most of the former USSR. The majority of the military present in the republic, being stationed in the area of Baku, was also destroyed in these strikes. Later on the 29th of December 1985, the Republic of Azerbaijan was established with the capital in Agsu. Nakhchivan was part of this state, if barely.
As for Armenia, the capital of Yerevan and the nuclear power plant at Metsamor were the only points hit - and the military largely left intact.
Due to the effects of Doomsday, the area was left largely on its own from the rest of Azerbaijan. It would be raided by Turkish brigands to the Northwest, but was able to repel these militants on its own fairly easily.
The Nagorno-Karabakh War was an armed conflict that took place from February 1992 to May 1994, in the small enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in southwestern Azerbaijan, between the majority ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh backed by the Republic of Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. As the war progressed, Armenia and Azerbaijan, both former Soviet Republics, entangled themselves in a protracted war in the mountainous heights of Karabakh as Azerbaijan attempted to curb the secessionist movement in Nagorno-Karabakh and prevent its cession to Armenia. Azerbaijan was aided by Nakchivan in the struggle, and some fighting occurred there as well. The enclave's parliament had voted in favor of uniting itself with Armenia and a referendum was held, and the vast majority of the Karabakh population voted in favor of independence. The demand to unify with Armenia, which proliferated in the late 1980s, had begun in a relatively peaceful manner; however, in the following months, it gradually grew into an increasingly violent conflict between ethnic Armenians and ethnic Azerbaijanis, resulting in claims of ethnic cleansing by all sides.
Inter-ethnic fighting between the two broke out shortly after the parliament of Nagorno-Karabakh voted to unify the region with Armenia on February 20, 1988. The declaration of secession from Azerbaijan was the final result of a territorial conflict regarding the land. Low-level warfare soon began. And, with much of the military resources in Azerbaijan having been in and around Baku at doomsday - and thus having been destroyed - they fared much worse in these engagements than their Armenian foes, despite their advantage in numbers.
Nakichivan was completely cut off from the rest of the country by this war. And, with their support for Azerbaijan, they became targets. While able to largely fend off the Armenian attacks - much of the surviving modern Azeri military had been in the republic on Doomsday - they still lost territory.
Full-scale fighting erupted in the late winter of 1992. In the spring of 1993, Armenian forces captured regions outside the enclave itself, threatening the involvement of other countries in the region, though none were strong enough to matter. By the end of the war in 1994, the Armenians were in full control of most of the enclave and also held and currently control a sizable portion of Azerbaijan's territory outside of the enclave, as well as portions of Nakhchivan.
As many as 220,000 Armenians and 950,000 Azeris have been displaced as a result of the conflict. Finally Nagorno-Karabakh formally seceded and then was united with Armenia. A ceasefire was signed in May 1994 when it was realized that the war was a stalemate at that point, and peace talks have been held ever since by Armenia, Nakhchivan and Azerbaijan, with no end in sight. It is hoped that the LoN will eventually intervene and aid the talks, but no offer has occurred as of yet.
As a net result, much of southwestern Azerbaijan and portions of Nakhchivan have passed to Armenian control as well, with the populace slowly being expelled and replaced by Armenians.
The Republic today lives in fear that, given past Armenian actions, they will concentrate their military power on them - and conquer them. Luckily, the approach of forces from the Sultanate of Turkey into the region means that this is unlikely to occur, though not impossible.
Next to Armenia and Georgia, Nakchivan does possess the most well-equipped military, proportionately, in the Caucasus. However, it is still much weaker than either, and in any major war, they will be outnumbered by a wide margin. They have, however, despite the abilities of the military, proven themselves unable to defeat small bands of Armenian rebels in the region.
Government and Politics
Elections are held every three years in Nakchivan for its Parliament, using a system of proportional representation. The Prime Minister is the leader of the largest party, and remains in power until their term is up.
A President is chosen by the Parliament after each new election, who is then approved by the Azeri government, though in practice that government has no authority over the choosing of the "new" president and simply rubber-stamps everything.
However, much of this is only formality - in practice, the same individuals have remained in charge since 1992. And while "free" in theory, and in image, Parliament has none in practice, remaining under the control of the President and members of the Nakhchivan Party elite.
With its isolation, the area is very poor economically, and has grown quite dependent upon trade with merchants from Iran. Of late, Turkish merchants have begun to appear as well, though the locals suspect them of being spies for the Sultanate.
The government usually refuses to deal with foreigners, outside of Patnos and Iran, instead deferring them to the Azeri government. Both Patnos and Iran have diplomatic offices in the region, however.