Baku, Azerbaijan – 28 years later, when Azerbaijani troops entered Shusha, the heart of Nagorno-Karabakh, an earthquake of almost eight magnitude struck Armenia. The bird flight to Khankendi, the capital of occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, was four kilometers away and 15 kilometers from land. International experts say defeat will have political consequences, and positions at the negotiating table will be redefined. Azerbaijan today announced that 23 more villages have been liberated from occupation.

On the forty-second day of the Nagorno-Karabakh War, the retaking of Shusha, the heart of the occupied region, by the Azerbaijani army broke the apocalypse in Armenia. Azerbaijan announced today that 23 more villages have been liberated from occupation.

In the Azerbaijani capital Baku and other cities, thousands of people took to the streets as news of the victory from the frontline broke.

International news agencies served up photos of the celebrations, in which Azerbaijani flags were waved and slogans were shouted.

The BBC’s celebrity correspondent Orla Guerin also shared photos of the joy demonstrations in Baku on her Twitter account.

Speaking to the BBC, One Baku resident said: “I can’t find any words to express the sense of joy. My joy knows no bounds. It was my dream to save Shusha from occupation,” he says.

Celebrations were not only limited to Azerbaijani territory, Azerbaijanis living in the north of Iran also threw fireworks in the evening.

Azerbaijanis living in New York also poured into the streets and took a tour of the city in convoys, accompanied by Turkish and Azerbaijani flags with slogans of ‘Karabakh is ours, it will be ours’.

According to the Armenian side’s statement This Morning, 44 more soldiers died on Sunday, bringing the total number to 1,221. International observers, however, note that the real losses of Armenia, which is running to defeat, are in the thousands.

The Yerevan administration, which is trying to ease the shake-up caused by the defeat, says in its official statements that clashes are still ongoing in Shusha.

The French newspaper Le Monde wrote that Armenian forces had been defeated for the painting in Shusha, and they did not know if they would return to war.

The American Associated Press (AP) News Agency passed photos that proved that Armenians began to flee from Occupied Nagorno-Karabakh towards Armenia.

After the fall of Shusha, the Armenian army again launched missile attacks targeting cities inhabited by civilians, and it is noted that many houses in Terter were damaged.

Ilya Pitalev of RIA Novasti and The Associated Press news agency provided photos of the missiles fired by Armenia for the massacre.

International experts examining the photos say that the launched ballistic missiles are Russian-made R-17 Elbrus, Nato7 Scud-B.

And what does the loss of Shusha mean for Armenians? Political scientist Suren Sargsyan tells the BBC It will be ‘very difficult’ for Armenians to understand the loss of Shusha.

According to Sargsyan, with the fall of Shusha, the Opposition in Armenia can demand a change of government: “I can’t say how it will end, but it is clear that this issue will be raised, because this issue has been raised before.”

According to Sargsyan, with the fall of Shusha, the Opposition in Armenia can demand a change of government: “I can’t say how it will end, but it is clear that this issue will be raised, because this issue has been raised before.”

Political scientist Aleksandr Iskandaryan, head of the Caucasus Institute, told the BBC that in Russian, Shusha has both control over Khankendi and ties with Armenia.

Iskandaryan notes that the political consequences of Shusha’s change of hands depend on how military operations will continue and what decisions will be taken.

Political analyst Fuad Shahbazov also emphasizes that the capture of Shusha will also threaten Khankendi, the capital of occupied Nagorno-Karabakh from the southern front: “Shusha is a kind of buffer zone on the way to Khankendi. The loss of the buffer zone will seriously question whether Khankendi will remain in the hands of the Armenians.”

According to another analyst, Leyla Aliyeva, Azerbaijan’s return to Shusha will change the military balance and affect negotiations on the proposed basic principles for resolving the conflict: “because this requires a reconsideration of the principles of at least some of the provisions.”

Shusha, which Azerbaijanis call ‘the beating heart of Karabakh’, ‘the cradle of music and art’ and ‘the eyes of Azerbaijan’, was occupied by the Armenian army on May 8, 1992.

Sunday (September 27th) clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh began in the morning with Armenia violating the ceasefire. Nagorno-Karabakh is recognized as part of Azerbaijan by the United Nations (UN) and the international community. However, some areas in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, which accounts for about 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory, have been under Armenian occupation since the early 1990s. The region was declared a ‘Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’ in 1991. But no country, including Armenia, has recognized this place internationally.

Nagorno-Karabakh (Upper Karabakh), which covers an area of 4,400 square kilometers in the South Caucasus, has been waiting for a solution for many years as the biggest problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia. So, what is the history of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, both countries of the former Soviet Union? The word origin of the’ Nagorno-Karabakh ‘ region consists of a mixture of several different languages. Even a few languages found in its name show how the region has been exposed to the transition between different cultures throughout history.

Nagorny (or Nagorno) in English is Karabakh. The word’ Nagorny ‘means’ mountainous ‘ (нагорный), in Russian. In Azerbaijani, just like in Turkish, it is referred to by the words ‘dağliq’ or ‘yuxarı’, which means ‘mountainous’. Karabakh, on the other hand, is a common word in Turkish and Persian, meaning ‘black garden’.

When Azerbaijan and Armenia joined the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922, Nagorno-Karabakh developed into a structure that seemed accepted, but was not adopted by Armenians. In Nagorno-Karabakh, which was granted autonomous region status under the Republic of Azerbaijan in 1923, the status quo was maintained until the end of the 1980s, when the Soviet system came to a standstill, although ethnic Armenians living in the region raised their discomfort with the Azerbaijani administration from time to time.

Along with the process of openness (glasnost) and reconstruction (perestroika), which Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, initiated in 1985 to pave the way for a blocked system, Nagorno-Karabakh, like all the problem areas of the Caucasus, came to light. Evaluating the ever-weakening authority of the Soviet administration, the Autonomous Administration of Nagorno-Karabakh demanded annexation to the Republic of Armenia in 1988. While this demand was not reciprocated, after Azerbaijan and Armenia declared their independence in 1991, the secession attempts of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh also intensified.

During this period, the Azerbaijani population in Karabakh had fallen by up to 20 percent due to forced migrations. In a referendum held on December 10, 1991, which was boycotted by Azerbaijanis remaining in the region, Armenians voted to leave Azerbaijan. After the referendum, the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh was declared, but this initiative did not find a response in the international community. Tensions between the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, supported by the Armenian army, and the Azerbaijanis living in the region increased with the declaration of independence. In 1992, the conflict turned into a hot war between the Armenian army and the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Azerbaijani army.

At the end of the war, the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh took control of the entire region, as well as occupied seven neighboring regions (Rayons). Thus, the direct contact points of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan were quite limited. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been described in academic circles as a ‘frozen conflict’ for years. Despite the ongoing settlement negotiations at intervals, violations of the mutual ceasefire are frequently repeated both on the Nagorno-Karabakh-Azerbaijan contact line and on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border. August 2014 saw the bloodiest clashes in 20 years. 13 Azerbaijani soldiers were killed in two days of fighting on the Nagorno-Karabakh border. The Armenian Defense Ministry also announced that 20 soldiers were killed.

Half a million refugees took refuge in Azerbaijan and Armenia, and about a million people were forced to relocate. Some towns and villages that existed before the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were completely abandoned and destroyed. More than 14 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory is still under occupation. Azerbaijanis say that the region has historically been under their control and therefore belongs to them, while Armenians claim that Armenians have always lived in the region and that Azerbaijani rule is illegitimate.

Other states were reluctant to intervene because it was seen as a domestic issue. Since 1992, the conflict has become interstate due to the fact that it took place between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Defense spending in Azerbaijan has increased by about 50 percent every year since 2003. In 2012, defense spending accounted for a fifth of Azerbaijan’s total public spending. Armenia also expanded its arsenal with the help of Russia.

Although the exact numbers are not known, it is believed that the population of Lachin and Kelbajar with small settlements totaled about 14 thousand people. According to the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, there has been no significant increase in the population since 2005. Ethnic Armenians settled in the region have limited access to infrastructure, economic activities and public services. Many of them are also missing identity documents.

The weakest part of the problem is the contact line, which is 175 kilometers long. This line, filled with minefields, resembles the trenches of the first World War. 30 thousand soldiers have been deployed to the contact line by the Armenian side and slightly more than this number by Azerbaijan. The negotiations, conducted through the OSCE Minsk Group, have been difficult, as leaders are approaching a compromise, but are backing down out of concern that their country may not meet the demands of the public. Azerbaijanis and Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh cannot influence the process. Armenian and Azerbaijani public opinion has more influence on the process than the locals of the region.

The Minsk Group Co-Chairs have no spokespersons or media secretaries. For this reason, the talks have little media coverage. Russia, having previously taken a position close to Armenia, now prefers to stand at an equal distance from Azerbaijan and Armenia. This strategy strengthened after the war with Georgia in August 2008. The strategic priority has become the isolation of Georgia. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is less important to the United States than the conflicts in the Middle East. The Armenian Lobby in Congress, the energy security of the Caspian Sea Basin, the ‘fight against terrorism’ and the ability to use Azerbaijani airspace on flights to Afghanistan are priority issues for the United States.