A map shows the South Caucasus region.
Image Long Description

This map shows the Russian Caucasus region, which had been part of the Soviet Union. Three former Soviet republics (Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) gained independence. There has been ethnic tension in the territories that remain within Russia.

Analyze Maps

Which part of Azerbaijan is separated by Armenia from the main part of the country?

Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia

Azerbaijan was plunged into conflict with its neighbor Armenia. Azeris are the majority population in Azerbaijan, except in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, where ethnic Armenians outnumbered Azeris. When Armenians in this region declared independence, fighting broke out. Backed by troops from Armenia, the Armenians of Karabkh gained control of the territory. More than 800,000 Azeris were forced from their homes.

In Georgia, two provinces tried to break away. Russia backed the separatists, which led to a brief war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. International pressure soon ended the conflict, but tensions remained high.

Troubles in Ukraine

Ukraine, Europe's second largest country, was once known as the breadbasket of Europe for its fertile croplands. Recently, it has experienced economic hard times, political unrest, and civil war. Elected governments have tilted back and forth between seeking closer relations with Europe or strengthening ties with Russia. Ukraine depends on Russia for its energy supplies, but many Ukrainians want trade with the EU and even NATO membership.

In 2014, massive street protests led to the collapse of Ukraine's pro-Russian government. Eastern Ukraine, especially Crimea, is home to many ethnic Russians. Backed by Russia, separatists in Crimea broke away, and Russia soon annexed the region despite international condemnation. Elsewhere in eastern Ukraine, separatists armed by Russia battled Ukrainian forces trying to regain control of the region. Separatists even shot down a civilian airplane, killing almost 300 passengers and crew. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine caused severe tensions between Russia and the West.

War in Yugoslavia

The Balkan nation of Yugoslavia was created after World War I out of part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Yugoslavia was multiethnic, or made up of several ethnic groups. The three main groups were Croats, who were Roman Catholic; Serbs, who were Orthodox Christian, and Bosniaks, who were mostly Muslim. In addition, Yugoslavia was home to Montenegrins, Macedonians, Slovenes, and Albanians. Although these groups had distinct customs and religions, most spoke the same language, Serbo-Croatian.


End ofPage 877

Table of Contents

World History Topic 1 Origins of Civilization (Prehistory–300 B.C.) Topic 2 The Ancient Middle East and Egypt (3200 B.C.–500 B.C.) Topic 3 Ancient India and China (2600 B.C.–A.D. 550) Topic 4 The Americas (Prehistory–A.D. 1570) Topic 5 Ancient Greece (1750 B.C.–133 B.C.) Topic 6 Ancient Rome and the Origins of Christianity (509 B.C.-A.D. 476) Topic 7 Medieval Christian Europe (330–1450) Topic 8 The Muslim World and Africa (730 B.C.-A.D. 1500) Topic 9 Civilizations of Asia (500–1650) Topic 10 The Renaissance and Reformation (1300–1650) Topic 11 New Global Connections (1415–1796) Topic 12 Absolutism and Revolution Topic 13 The Industrial Revolution Topic 14 Nationalism and the Spread of Democracy (1790–1914) Topic 15 The Age of Imperialism (1800–1914) Topic 16 World War I and the Russian Revolution (1914–1924) Topic 17 The World Between the Wars (1910–1939) Topic 18 World War II (1930–1945) Topic 19 The Cold War Era (1945–1991) Topic 20 New Nations Emerge (1945–Present) Topic 21 The World Today (1980-Present) United States Constitution Primary Sources 21st Century Skills Atlas Glossary Index Acknowledgments