UNTIMELY TURBULENCE


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Issue 378 - 22 Jan 1990
The recent widespread rioting in Soviet Azerbaijan, which Moscow itself has said is approaching the intensity of civil war, has received considerable attention in the foreign press. The upsurge of ethnic tension between the Armenians and Azerbaijanis Is the most violent demonstration of what Stalin used to call the Soviet Union's "nationalities problem". Nationalism is not the only factor. Inevitably, there is a religious element to the clashes, even if it is subordinate to the ethnic dimension, since the Armenians are Christians and the Azerbaijanis are Muslim.

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