Averin, who served three years in a Russian prison and was recognized by The Other Russia Party as a political prisoner, is in this way focusing attention on a larger issue which other analysts have mentioned but that most have treated as at most something marginal (svpressa.ru/politic/article/295092/).
The Karabakh war showed that new weapons systems especially when combined with unexpectedness can transform a military situation that most had assumed was frozen. Possessing drones from Turkey and Israel and using an envelopment strategy allowed Baku to defeat Armenians who were well dug in and had expected to enjoy Russian support.
Ukrainians now feel they can take this page from the Azerbaijani playbook and others may as well, Averin says, in an article that suggests that Kyiv will attack first and that Russia must be ready to defend the Donbass against such attacks. But he says Ukraine has lost the element of surprise and can’t be sure of Western backing.
As a result, the opposition politician and former political prisoner says, a Ukrainian move will “hardly come in April.” Kyiv will wait until later, but it will act on the basis of confidence that Azerbaijan’s victory has shown it the way. It is Russia’s responsibility, Averin says, not to allow that to happen.
Whether the Russian activist is right or not about timing, he is certainly correct that the Karabakh war has changed the way many in the former Soviet space think about conflicts there and about the balance of forces. To that extent, the Karabakh factor should now be added to the assessments of any of them.
Window on Eurasia