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Kim K’s message to the world: stop the armenian genocide

Kim Kardashian is a star of the reality TV show, Keeping up with the Kardashians
Wikimedia Commons
Kim Kardashian is a star of the reality TV show, “Keeping up with the Kardashians”

Kim Kardashian, owner of “a beauty line, lingerie label, a reality TV empire,” according to Elle, is often more associated with stardom and business than anything else. However, some superfans and social justice volunteers also know she cares about global rights, and, in her most recent work, she addressed the global rights issue closest to her heart – Armenia.

In her article “Kim Kardashian: My Plea to Joe Biden to Stop Another Armenian Genocide” Kim, along with Dr. Eric Esraillian, asks President Biden to remember that the Armenian-American community largely consists of survivors of the Armenian Genocide of the early 1900s; they don’t want to commemorate another Armenian genocide and grieve for the fallen of the future.

Kardashian and Esraillian write as well that “since December of last year, Azerbaijan has blockaded the only lifeline between the indigenous Christian Armenians of Artsakh (also known as Nagorno-Karabakh) and the rest of the world.” What they are referencing is a paramilitary blockade of the border region of Karabakh which, according to BBC, is populated by 120,000 people. In context, that’s more than 9 times the population of University Heights, according to the Census Bureau – University Heights.

In practice, starvation and exposure to the elements have been a norm for those Armenians now cut off from the main territories of their nation. Because of this, the Council on Foreign Relations states that deaths attributed to the blockade have been mounting since August 14th.

A Why for the War

With casualties mounting, one has to ask why this blockade is happening. Kim Kardashian states in her article that this all goes back to the 2020 Armenian-Azerbaijan War. This war, fought over the Karabakh region, was meant to push all Armenians out of what Azerbaijan considers a core territory while also advancing the career of the President of Azerbaijan, Mehmet Aliyev, as summarized by Radio Free Europe.

Kim Kardashian is quoted as saying in her work that “regional peace should not involve sacrificing the sovereignty of the Armenians in Artsakh.” This is what has been at stake since 2020.

As described in the RFE article, an Armenian governmental withdrawal from Karabakh should have seen the cease-fire agreement at the end of the 2020 war result in a peace treaty. Unfortunately for Aliyev, the Karabakh people had their own opinions, and no war could erase their ethnicity. What can erase that fact though is imprisonment, starvation and death.

The Highway of Life

The main vessel of supplies into the region is called the Lachin Corridor which connects contiguous Armenia with Karabakh. Armenia Weekly, based out of Yerevan, Armenia’s capital has this to say – “Azerbaijanis posing as environmental activists have pitched tents along the Stepanakert-Goris highway” and that, over time, more attempts to dislodge these protesters have led to Azeri troops reinforcing the protesters.

The Red Cross, operating between the Armenian and Azerbaijani governments, was allowed until recently to drive ambulances out of Karabakh. Yet on July 21, those services were shut down by Aliyev. With this new development, deaths have begun to mount as Karabakh is now fully cut off from the world

In effect, there seems to be an uproar on this issue, and perhaps Kim Kardashian and Dr. Estaillian have reached an audience. They write that “The United States has the ability to mobilize a response. Leaders who are effective and help our people will be remembered for their heroism”. On Tuesday, Sept. 19, Bloomberg reported that the Department of State under the direction of President Biden, announced full support for the Red Cross and its assessment condemning the blockade of Karabakh.

Invasion of Karabakh

This was the last peaceful development. Last week, Azeri troops invaded the region and forced local Armenian defense forces to surrender according to Fox News. With this new outright occupation come fears of oppression, expulsion and genocide. The National Catholic Register quoted some refugees in contiguous Armenia as saying some “wells are now poisoned” and that their homes were being occupied by gunpoint. With this new course of events, it seems Kim Kardashian and Dr. Esraillian may have issued their plea too late.

After two weeks of research and review, I see no true justification for the actions Azerbaijan and its military have committed. It is certain to me that this exercise in loss and suffering for the people of Karabakh is little more than a vanity project for nationalists and high-ranking officials in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital. Human lives are the spent cost of this exercise.

With that in mind, a sliver of hope in this crisis in Karabakh exists as the people of Armenia try to survive this attack. Those great and small, from Kim Kardashian herself to unnamed Red Cross medics, try to save lives and help end this assault upon civilians. Maybe we can look to them as examples of change and stand with them to help those now desperately in need of protection.

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