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Azerbaijan: Russian Troop Withdrawal
Country Study > Chapter 9 > National Security > Russian Troop Withdrawal

RUSSIAN TROOP WITHDRAWAL


The continued presence of Russian forces in Azerbaijan became problematic when Russian troops were alleged to have assisted Armenians in an attack that killed hundreds of civilians in the town of Khodzhaly, in southwestern Azerbaijan, in February 1992. In the face of widespread demands from the political opposition in Baku, components of a 62,000-member Russian force began to withdraw from Azerbaijan almost immediately. Striking a contrast to the protracted withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic states, the last Russian unit, the 104th Airborne Division, withdrew from Azerbaijan in May 1993, about a year ahead of the schedule that the two countries had set in 1992.

According to an agreement between Russia and the Transcaucasian states calling for distribution of former Soviet military assets among the participating parties, Azerbaijan would receive most of the matériel of the 4th Army that had been stationed there, together with part of the Caspian Flotilla. The Russians destroyed or removed much of their weaponry upon withdrawing, but a substantial amount was stolen, exchanged, or handed over to Azerbaijani forces. Some Russians answered appeals from Azerbaijani military leaders to serve in the Azerbaijani armed forces. By agreement with Russia, many former members of the Soviet Border Guards also continued their duties under Azerbaijani jurisdiction, with Russian assistance in training and weapons supplies. In January 1994, Russia and Azerbaijan discussed possible use of Russian forces to bolster Azerbaijan's border defenses.

Data as of March 1994




Last Updated: March 1994


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Azerbaijan was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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