Headlines You May Have Missed This Week

Azerbijan Invades Armenia

On Sept. 12 Azeri and Armenian forces engaged each other on their immediate border. Fighting did not stick to this region for long as Azeri forces crossed into regions of Armenia proper.

The Armenians claim the Azeri’s advanced as far as 7.5 kms inward towards the city of Jermuk; the Azeirs say they only captured strategic heights on the immediate border. The fighting has since been stopped by a ceasefire.

The conflict is part of the wider Armenian-Azeri border dispute over the regions of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azeri access to their Nakhchivan exclave.

Kyrgyz-Tajik Border Clashes

On Sept. 14 border clashes broke out between the Central Asian states of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. These clashes follow outbreaks of violence from earlier this year in January and in 2021.

Kyrgyzstan claims that the Tajik Armed Forces occupied one border town and shelled a minor airport in the town of Batken. Both sides agreed to a ceasefire that proved fragile and was quickly violated.

Despite this, the Presidents and foreign ministries of each country, while blaming each other for the resumption of hostilities, have openly stated the resolution of this conflict is through diplomatic measures rather than military ones.

Russia Prepares Referendum to Annex Occupied Ukrainian Territory

On Sept. 20, the Russian Federation and its occupation authorities in Ukraine announced plans to hold referendums concerning the annexation of the regions into Russia.

The referendums are set to be held in the Ukrainian oblasts of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya. All four oblasts hold their own significance: Luhansk and Donetsk being home to the self-declared sepratist republics, Kherson oblast being home to its namesake Kherson City, while Zaporizhzhya is home to Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant.

The annexations are notable as it further broadens the role the Russian military can play in these regions in accordance with Russian domestic law.

According to Reuters, Ukrainian and Western authorities have vowed to not recognize the annexations, similar to the approach taken in regards to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Biden Vows US Will Defend Taiwan Should China Invade

In a recent interview with 60 Minutes, US President Joe Biden stated that the United States would come to the defense of Taiwan should the Peoples’ Republic of China invade the island.

This is not the first time Joe Biden has made these remarks; Biden stated back in May of this year that the US would defend Taiwan militarily. Both times figures behind him in the White House came out saying he misspoke or that the answer was taken out of context.

Regardless, Biden’s statements have drawn strong reactions from the Chinese government in Beijing, with their foreign ministry stating the President’s comments “severely violate” previous US commitments and policy.

United Nations General Assembly Meets in New York

The United Nations General Assembly is convening in the UN building in Manhattan for their annual meeting to discuss ongoing issues affecting the world at large.

Topics expected to be covered by the assembly include the war in Ukraine, and the spillovers of said war, such as price and supply impacts on the food and energy markets.

The seeming gridlock in Western-Iranian negotiations over the latter’s missile and nuclear program are expected to be mentioned, alongside discussion on re-integrating Afghanistan into the international system.