Frozen conflict

In international relations, a frozen conflict is a situation in which active armed conflict has been brought to an end, but no peace treaty or other political framework resolves the conflict to the satisfaction of the combatants. Therefore, legally the conflict can start again at any moment, creating an environment of insecurity and instability.

The term has been commonly used for post-Soviet conflicts, but it has also often been applied to other perennial territorial disputes.[1][2][3] The de facto situation that emerges may match the de jure position asserted by one party to the conflict; for example, Russia claims and effectively controls Crimea following the 2014 Crimean crisis despite Ukraine's continuing claim to the region. Alternatively, the de facto situation may not match either side's official claim. The division of Korea is an example of the latter situation: both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea officially assert claims to the entire peninsula; however, there exists a well-defined border between the two countries' areas of control.

Frozen conflicts sometimes result in partially recognized states. For example, the Republic of South Ossetia, a product of the frozen Georgian–Ossetian conflict, is recognized by eight other states, including five UN members; the other three of these entities are partially recognized states themselves.

Geopolitics South Russia2
Geopolitics of Eastern Europe, early-2014, showing the frozen conflict zones of Transnistria, Crimea, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia (numbered 1–4), as well as Artsakh (shown as darker shaded region within Azerbaijan), Northern Cyprus (lighter region within Cyprus), and Kosovo (beige region within Serbia). Israel, the Palestinian territories, and the Golan Heights also appear on the map, although they are not highlighted. Frozen conflict zones elsewhere in the world do not appear.


West and East Germans at the Brandenburg Gate in 1989

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History of the Cold War

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World War II
(Hiroshima and Nagasaki)
War conferences
Eastern Bloc
Western Bloc
Iron Curtain
Cold War (1947–1953)
Cold War (1953–1962)
Cold War (1962–1979)
Cold War (1979–1985)
Cold War (1985–1991)
Frozen conflicts
Timeline · Conflicts
Cold War II

In post-Soviet territories

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, a number of conflicts arose in areas of some of the post-Soviet states, usually where the new international borders did not match the ethnic affiliations of local populations. These conflicts have largely remained "frozen", with disputed areas under the de facto control of entities other than the countries to which they are internationally recognized as belonging, and which still consider those areas to be part of their territory.

Since the ceasefire which ended the Transnistria War (1990–1992), the Russian-influenced breakaway republic of Transnistria has controlled the easternmost strip of the territory of Moldova. The republic is internationally unrecognized, and Moldova continues to claim the territory.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed territory, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan,[4] but most of the region is governed by the Republic of Artsakh (formerly named Nagorno-Karabakh Republic), a de facto independent state with Armenian ethnic majority established on the basis of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. Azerbaijan has not exercised political authority over the region since the advent of the Karabakh movement in 1988. Since the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994, representatives of the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group on the region's disputed status.

The Abkhaz–Georgian conflict and Georgian–Ossetian conflict have led to the creation of two largely unrecognized states within the internationally recognized territory of Georgia. The 1991–92 South Ossetia War and the War in Abkhazia (1992–93), followed by the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008, have left the Russian-backed Republic of South Ossetia and Republic of Abkhazia in de facto control of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions in north and northwest Georgia.

In 2014, Crimea was occupied by the Russian troops without insignia while Ukraine was still recovering from large scale violence in the capital, and soon afterwards was admitted into the Russian Federation. This is widely regarded as an annexation of the peninsula by Russia, and is considered likely to result in another post-Soviet frozen conflict.[5] While there are similarities between Transnistria, Abkhazia and the 2014–2015 War in Donbass, where the unrecognized Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic have taken de facto control of areas in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, the conflict in Donbass is not a frozen conflict yet as ceasefire violations are keeping the fighting on a low burner. However, some experts predict a frozen future for this conflict as well.[6]

Name Capital Population Area (km2) Declaration of independence Recognition by UN members Major ethnic groups De jure part of
Transnistria Tiraspol 475,665 4,400 2 September 1990 none[a] Moldovans (32.1%), Russians (30.4%), Ukrainians (28.8%) Moldova
Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Stepanakert 150,932 11,458 2 September 1991 none[a] Armenians (99%) Azerbaijan
Abkhazia Sukhumi 242,862 8,660 25 August 1990 5[b] Abkhaz (50,5%), Georgians (19%), Armenians (17%)[c][7] Georgia
South Ossetia Tskhinvali 51,547 3,900 28 November 1991 5[b] Ossetians (89.9%), Georgians (7.4%). Georgia
Republic of Crimea Simferopol 1,891,465 26,100 18 March 2014[d] Considered part of Russia by 10 others[e] Russians (65.2%), Ukrainians (16.0%), Crimean Tatars (12.6%) Ukraine
Donetsk People's Republic[f] Donetsk 2,302,444[8] [g] 12 May 2014 none Ukrainians (56.9%), Russians (38.2%)[h] Ukraine
Luhansk People's Republic[f] Luhansk 1,433,280[9] [g] 12 May 2014 none Ukrainians (58.0%), Russians (39.1%)[i] Ukraine

Others in Asia

East and South Asia

India and Pakistan have fought at least three wars over the disputed region of Kashmir in 1947, 1965, and 1999. India claims the entire area of the former princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, of which it administers approximately 43%. Its claims are contested by Pakistan, which controls approximately 37% of the region and urges for plebiscite in Kashmir.[10][11] The remaining territory is controlled by the People's Republic of China, with which India is again in dispute and have fought the Sino-Indian War.

The conflict between mainland China and Taiwan remains frozen since 1949. Both the People's Republic of China in the Mainland and the Republic of China in Taiwan consider the other to be part of its territory. While the latter especially is not recognized by a majority of countries and states internationally, it remains a de facto independent administration in Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, and PRC's de facto administration remains in the Mainland.

The division of Korea was frozen from 1953, when a ceasefire ended the Korean War; until 27 April 2018, when the two countries agreed to end the war formally. Both North Korea and South Korea governments claim the entire peninsula, while de facto control is divided along the military demarcation line in the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

West Asia

The Cyprus dispute has been frozen since 1974. The northern part of Cyprus is under the de facto control of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, but this is not recognized internationally except by Turkey.[12][13]

Hostilities of the 1991 Gulf War ended when the United Nations and Iraq signed a ceasefire agreement on April 3, 1991; Kuwait was liberated from being annexed by Iraq and its sovereignty was recognized by the latter. Due to sporadic conflicts through the Iraqi no-fly zones, the war remained frozen for the time being until 12 years later when the United States and its "Coalition of the willing" launched the invasion of Iraq and removed dictator Saddam Hussein from power over the non-compliance with UN Resolutions passed against Iraq following the 1991 war.

The Arab–Israeli conflict is a perennial conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbours, including the Palestinian National Authority. Israel refuses to recognize Palestinian statehood without an assured peace deal, while some Arab countries and groups refuse to recognize Israel. Israel has de facto control of East Jerusalem and claims it as its integral territory, although it is not internationally recognized as such. Similarly most of the Golan Heights are currently under de facto Israeli control and civil administration, whereas most of the international community rejects that claim.

The Syrian Civil War is a multi-sided unconventional conflict fought in the Syria region, being the largest-scale war of the 21st century. As of March 2019, after nearly 8 years of war, the Syrian Armed Forces of the Ba'athist Syrian Arab Republic held 60.2% of Syrian territories; SDF of the Rojava held 28.9%; rebel groups (incl. HTS) & Turkey 8.7%; ISIL 2.2%.[14]

Others in Europe and Africa

The dispute over the status of Kosovo remains frozen since the end of the Kosovo War, fought in 1998–1999 between Yugoslav forces (FR Yugoslavia) and the ethnically Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army. The Kosovo region has been administered independently since the war. Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, but it is not recognized by all countries worldwide, as Serbia still considers Kosovo part of its territory.[15][16]

The Western Sahara conflict has been largely frozen since a ceasefire in 1991, although various disturbances have broken out since then. Control of the territory of Western Sahara remains divided between Morocco and the Polisario Front.[17]

See also


  1. ^ a b Recognized by other non-UN member states
  2. ^ a b Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru and Syria
  3. ^ From Abkhaz government’s official census data (2011). Unofficial estimates believe that the Abkhaz and Armenian populations are roughly equal in number.
  4. ^ Federal subject of Russia
  5. ^ Recognised as part of Russia by Afghanistan, Bolivia, Cuba, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
  6. ^ a b The qualification of "frozen conflict" is debated as the War in Donbass is still ongoing.
  7. ^ a b Moving conflict line
  8. ^ Figures for the Donetsk Oblast.
  9. ^ Figures for the Luhansk Oblast.


  1. ^ Simon Tisdall (2010-09-22). "This dangerous new world of self-interested nations". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  2. ^ "North and South Korea: A Frozen Conflict on the Verge of Unfreezing?". Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  3. ^ "Europe: Frozen conflicts". The Economist. 2008-11-19. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  4. ^ "General Assembly adopts resolution reaffirming territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, demanding withdrawal of all Armenian forces". United Nations. 14 March 2008. Retrieved 30 Aug 2015.
  5. ^ Will Ukraine's Crimea region be Europe's next 'frozen' conflict?, CNN, Feb 28, 2014
  6. ^ Rusif Huseynov. Ukraine: Towards a frozen future?: The Politicon, 11 November 2015
  7. ^ "An unlikely home". openDemocracy. 4 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic governs most residents". ITAR-TASS. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
    "Nowhere to Run in Eastern Ukraine". 13 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic governs most residents". 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  10. ^ Irfan Haider (28 September 2015). "PM Nawaz urges Ban Ki-moon for plebiscite in Kashmir". Dawn. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  11. ^ Durrani, Atiq (4 February 2013). "PAK-INDIA Dialogue: Single-Point-Agenda: KASHMIR". PKKH. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  12. ^ Foster, Peter (2016-08-21). "Hopes rise for deal to end 40-year frozen conflict in Cyprus". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  13. ^ Byrne, Sean J. (Winter 2006). "The Roles of External Ethnoguarantors and Primary Mediators in Cyprus and Northern Ireland". Conflict Resolution Quarterly. 24 (2): 149–172. doi:10.1002/crq.164. Cyprus is more of a frozen conflict, and a long-standing one, than Northern Ireland, where the peace process has in a real sense gone much further down the road to settlement.
  14. ^ "More than 570 thousand people were killed on the Syrian territory within 8 years of revolution demanding freedom, democracy, justice, and equality". 15 March 2019.
  15. ^ Bancroft, Ian (2008-06-09). "Ian Bancroft: A new frozen conflict in Kosovo?". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  16. ^ "KOSOVO: RUSSIA'S FIFTH FROZEN CONFLICT? - Jamestown". Jamestown. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  17. ^ Zivkovic, Nikola (26 December 2012). "Western Sahara: A Frozen Conflict". Journal of Regional Security. 7.
2014 Donbass general elections

Elections were held on 2 November 2014 by the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. As a result of a war that started in April of the same year, these internationally unrecognised entities control parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in eastern Ukraine, which are together called the Donbass region. The elections, the first of their kind since the establishment of either republic, were held to choose their chief executives and parliaments. In the Donetsk People's Republic, incumbent leader Alexander Zakharchenko won the post of chief executive, and his Donetsk Republic party gained a majority in parliament. In the Luhansk People's Republic, incumbent leader Igor Plotnitsky won the post of chief executive, and his Peace for Luhansk Region party gained a majority in parliament.

Neither the European Union nor the United States recognised the elections, which violate the terms of the Minsk Protocol, according to which local elections in the areas occupied by the DPR and LPR were supposed to be held on 7 December, in accordance with Ukrainian law. Russia, on the other hand, indicated that it would recognise the results as legitimate, although Ukraine had urged Russia to use its influence to stop the elections and "to avoid a frozen conflict". Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that the election was an important step needed "to legitimise the [DPR and LPR] authorities". Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov later qualified that the Russian Federation's position of respecting the results of the election does not necessarily mean an official recognition of the results.In Ukraine as a whole, following the February 2014 revolution, a presidential election had been held on 25 May, and parliamentary elections on 26 October. DPR and LPR authorities blocked these elections in the areas that they control. Those authorities had previously held largely unrecognised referendums on 11 May to approve the establishment of the two Republics.

2018 Eritrea–Ethiopia summit

The 2018 Eritrea–Ethiopia summit (also 2018 Eritrea–Ethiopia peace summit) was a bilateral summit that took place on 8–9 July 2018 in Asmara, Eritrea, between Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and officials from the two countries.

The two leaders signed a joint declaration on 9 July, formally ending the border conflict between both countries, restoring full diplomatic relations, and agreeing to open their borders to each other for persons, goods and services. The joint statement was also considered to close all chapters regarding the Eritrean–Ethiopian War (1998–2000) and of the following Eritrean–Ethiopian border conflict (2000–2018) with sporadic clashes.


Abkhazia ( (listen); Abkhazian: Аҧсны́, translit. Apsny [apʰsˈnɨ]; Georgian: აფხაზეთი, Apxazeti, [ɑpʰxɑzɛtʰi]; Russian: Абха́зия, tr. Abháziya, IPA: [ɐˈpxazʲɪjə]), officially the Republic of Abkhazia, is a de facto and partially recognized republic on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, south of the Greater Caucasus mountains, in northwestern Georgia. It covers 8,660 square kilometres (3,340 sq mi) and has a population of around 240,000. Its capital is Sukhumi and it is recognised as a state by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria. While Georgia lacks control over Abkhazia, the Georgian government and most United Nations member states consider Abkhazia legally part of Georgia, whose constitution designates the area as the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia.

The status of Abkhazia is a central issue of the Georgian–Abkhazian conflict and Georgia–Russia relations. The region had autonomy within Soviet Georgia at the time when the Soviet Union began to disintegrate in the late 1980s. Simmering ethnic tensions between the Abkhaz—the region's "titular ethnicity"—and Georgians—the largest single ethnic group at that time—culminated in the 1992–1993 War in Abkhazia which resulted in Georgia's loss of control of most of Abkhazia, the de facto independence of Abkhazia, and the ethnic cleansing of Georgians from Abkhazia. Despite the 1994 ceasefire agreement and years of negotiations, the dispute remains unresolved. The long-term presence of a United Nations Observer Mission and a Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) peacekeeping force failed to prevent the flare-up of violence on several occasions. In August 2008, Abkhaz forces fought against Georgian forces during the Russo-Georgian War, which led to the formal recognition of Abkhazia by Russia, the annulment of the 1994 ceasefire agreement, and the termination of the UN mission. On 28 August 2008, the Parliament of Georgia declared Abkhazia a Russian-occupied territory, a stance supported by the vast majority of the international community.

Community of Democratic Choice

The Community of Democratic Choice is an intergovernmental organization established on December 2, 2005, by nine states of Northern, Central and Eastern Europe in Kiev. It was mainly signed by countries from the region between the Baltic, Black Sea and Caspian Sea ("The three Seas"). Its main task is to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law in that region.

Flag of Transnistria

The flag of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic consists of three horizontal bands of red, green and red, of vertical width 3:2:3, with the golden hammer and sickle and a gold-bordered red star in the upper canton. Transnistria adopted this design that comprises a version of the 1952–1990 flag of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in the 2000 Law about State Symbols.

Geography of Europe

Europe is traditionally defined as one of seven continents. Physiographically, it is the northwestern peninsula of the larger landmass known as Eurasia (or the larger Afro-Eurasia); Asia occupies the eastern bulk of this continuous landmass and all share a common continental shelf. Europe's eastern frontier is delineated by the Ural Mountains in Russia. The southeast boundary with Asia is not universally defined, but the modern definition is generally the Ural River or, less commonly, the Emba River. The boundary continues to the Caspian Sea, the crest of the Caucasus Mountains (or, less commonly, the river Kura in the Caucasus), and on to the Black Sea. The Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles conclude the Asian boundary. The Mediterranean Sea to the south separates Europe from Africa. The western boundary is the Atlantic Ocean. Iceland, though on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and nearer to Greenland (North America) than mainland Europe, is generally included in Europe for cultural reasons and because it is over twice as close to mainland Europe as mainland North America. There is ongoing debate on where the geographical centre of Europe falls.

Korean War

The Korean War (in South Korean Hangul: 한국전쟁; Hanja: 韓國戰爭; RR: Hanguk Jeonjaeng, "Korean War"; in North Korean Chosŏn'gŭl: 조국해방전쟁; Hancha: 祖國解放戰爭; MR: Choguk haebang chŏnjaeng, "Fatherland: Liberation War"; 25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953) was a war between North Korea (with the support of China and the Soviet Union) and South Korea (with the support of the United Nations, with the principal support from the United States). The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.As a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea had been split into two sovereign states in 1948. A socialist state was established in the north under the communist leadership of Kim Il-sung and a capitalist state in the south under the anti-communist leadership of Syngman Rhee. Both governments of the two new Korean states claimed to be the sole legitimate government of all of Korea, and neither accepted the border as permanent. The conflict escalated into warfare when North Korean military forces—supported by the Soviet Union and China—crossed the border and advanced south into South Korea on 25 June 1950. The United Nations Security Council authorized the formation and dispatch of UN forces to Korea to repel what was recognized as a North Korean invasion. Twenty-one countries of the United Nations eventually contributed to the UN force, with the United States providing around 90% of the military personnel.After the first two months of war, South Korean and U.S. forces rapidly dispatched to Korea were on the point of defeat, forced back to a small area in the south known as the Pusan Perimeter. In September 1950, an amphibious UN counter-offensive was launched at Incheon, and cut off many North Korean troops. Those who escaped envelopment and capture were forced back north. UN forces rapidly approached the Yalu River—the border with China—but in October 1950, mass Chinese forces crossed the Yalu and entered the war. The surprise Chinese intervention triggered a retreat of UN forces which continued until mid-1951.

In these reversals of fortune, Seoul changed hands four times, and the last two years of fighting became a war of attrition, with the front line close to the 38th parallel. The war in the air, however, was never a stalemate. North Korea was subject to a massive bombing campaign. Jet fighters confronted each other in air-to-air combat for the first time in history, and Soviet pilots covertly flew in defense of their communist allies.

The fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when an armistice was signed. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, and allowed the return of prisoners. However, no peace treaty was ever signed, and according to some sources the two Koreas are technically still at war, engaged in a frozen conflict. In April 2018, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the demilitarized zone and agreed to work towards a treaty to formally end the Korean War.

List of bloodless wars

A bloodless war is generally a small conflict, crisis, or dispute between rival groups that is resolved without human death or injury, although the threat of violence usually seems very likely at the time. (Intentional property damage may still occur.) Typically, these events are recorded in history as wars even though the term "war" generally implies violence. Therefore, the term "bloodless war" is somewhat of an oxymoron. Nevertheless, there have been many conflicts throughout history labeled as such.

List of ongoing armed conflicts

The following is a list of ongoing armed conflicts that are taking place around the world and continue to result in violence.

Post-Soviet conflicts

This article lists the Post-Soviet conflicts, the violent political and ethnic conflicts in the countries of the former Soviet Union since shortly before its official breakup in December 1991.

Some of these conflicts such as the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis or the 2013 Euromaidan protests in Ukraine were due to political crises in the successor states. Others involved separatist movements attempting to break away from one of the successor states.

According to Gordon M. Hahn, between 1990 and 2013 the post-Soviet conflicts led to the death of at least 196,000 people, excluding pogroms and interethnic violence.

South Ossetia

South Ossetia (, less commonly ), officially the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania, or the Tskhinvali Region, is a disputed territory in the South Caucasus, in the northern part of the internationally recognised Georgian territory. It has a population of 53,000 people who live in an area of 3,900 km2, south of the Russian Caucasus, with 30,000 living in Tskhinvali. The separatist polity, Republic of South Ossetia (or the State of Alania), is recognised as a state by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru, and Syria. While Georgia lacks control over South Ossetia, the Georgian government and most members of the United Nations consider the territory part of Georgia, whose constitution designates the area as "the former autonomous district of South Ossetia", in reference to the former Soviet autonomous oblast disbanded in 1990.Georgia does not recognise the existence of South Ossetia as a political entity, and therefore its territory does not correspond to any Georgian administrative area (although Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia was created by the Georgian authorities as a transitional measure leading to the settlement of South Ossetia's status), with most of the territory included into Shida Kartli region. The area is often informally referred to as the legally undefined Tskhinvali Region in Georgia and in international organisations when neutrality is deemed necessary.

South Ossetia declared independence from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991. The Georgian government responded by abolishing South Ossetia's autonomy and trying to re-establish its control over the region by force. The crisis escalation led to the 1991–92 South Ossetia War. Georgian fighting against those controlling South Ossetia occurred on two other occasions, in 2004 and 2008. The latter conflict led to the Russo–Georgian War, during which Ossetian and Russian forces gained full de facto control of the territory of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast. In the wake of the 2008 war, Georgia and a significant part of the international community consider South Ossetia to be occupied by the Russian military.

South Ossetia relies heavily on military, political and financial aid from Russia.South Ossetia, Transnistria, Artsakh, and Abkhazia are sometimes referred to as post-Soviet "frozen conflict" zones.

Teodor Atanasiu

Teodor Atanasiu (Romanian pronunciation: [te.oˈdor atanaˈsi.u]; born 23 September 1962) is a Romanian engineer and politician. A member of the National Liberal Party (PNL), he was Minister of National Defence in the Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu cabinet from December 2004 to October 2006. He was a member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies for Alba County from 2008 to 2016.

He and his first wife had one daughter before divorcing in 2005 after twenty years of marriage. Soon afterward, he married Laura Bișboacă, a 25-year-old employee of the Alba County Council whom Atanasiu brought to Bucharest as an adviser at the Defence Ministry after being named to head that institution. The two married shortly thereafter, and have one daughter. Atanasiu later drew controversy for having Bișboacă's brother hired at the Agriculture Ministry (then controlled by a PNL colleague) and at the Authority for State Assets Recovery once Atanasiu was in charge there; as well as giving out jobs to his best man and business partner and to a business partner of his wife's.

Territorial dispute

A territorial dispute is a disagreement over the possession/control of land between two or more territorial entities or over the possession or control of land, usually between a new state and the occupying power.

Timeline of the Syrian Civil War

This is a broad timeline of the course of major events of the Syrian Civil War. It only includes major territorial changes and attacks and does not include every event.

The uprising against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad gradually turned into a full-scale civil war, with two significant milestones being the initial March 2011 Arab Spring protests and the 20 July 2006 declaration by the International Committee of the Red Cross that the fighting had gradually become so widespread that the situation should be regarded as a civil war.It has been 8 years, 1 month, 1 week and 2 days since the Syrian Day of Rage protests were staged on 15 March 2011.It has been 7 years, 6 months, 1 week and 2 days since the Red Cross declared the situation to be a civil war.The more detailed timeline of the Syrian Civil War is contained in the articles linked to in the infobox on the right and in the list below. A chronological narrative of some of the main events and developments follows the list of years, but it is not comprehensive.


Transnistria, or Transdniestria, officially the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, is a primarily unrecognised state that split off from Moldova after the dissolution of the USSR and mostly consists of a narrow strip of land between the river Dniester and the territory of Ukraine. Transnistria has been recognised only by

three other mostly non-recognised states: Abkhazia, Artsakh, and South Ossetia. The region is considered by the UN to be part of Moldova.

Transnistria is designated by the Republic of Moldova as the Transnistria autonomous territorial unit with special legal status (Romanian: Unitatea teritorială autonomă cu statut juridic special Transnistria), or Stînga Nistrului ("Left Bank of the Dniester").After the dissolution of the USSR, tensions between Moldova and the breakaway Transnistrian territory escalated into a military conflict that started in March 1992 and was concluded by a ceasefire in July of the same year. As part of that agreement, a three-party (Russia, Moldova, Transnistria) Joint Control Commission supervises the security arrangements in the demilitarised zone, comprising twenty localities on both sides of the river. Although the ceasefire has held, the territory's political status remains unresolved: Transnistria is an unrecognised but de facto independent semi-presidential republic with its own government, parliament, military, police, postal system, currency and vehicle registration. Its authorities have adopted a constitution, flag, national anthem and coat of arms. It is the only country still using the hammer and sickle on its flag.

After a 2005 agreement between Moldova and Ukraine, all Transnistrian companies that seek to export goods through the Ukrainian border must be registered with the Moldovan authorities. This agreement was implemented after the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) took force in 2005. Most Transnistrians also have Moldovan citizenship, but many Transnistrians also have Russian and Ukrainian citizenship. The main ethnic groups in 2015 were Russians (34%), Moldovans (33%), and Ukrainians (26.7%).

Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Artsakh are post-Soviet "frozen conflict" zones. These four partially recognised states maintain friendly relations with each other and form the Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations.

Transnistria (geographical region)

Transnistria (Romanian: [transˈnistria]) - region in the east Europe, a narrow strip of territory to the east of the River Dniester. The PMR controls main part of this region, and also the city of Bender and its surrounding localities on the west bank, in the historical region of Bessarabia.

After the dissolution of the USSR, tensions between Moldova and the breakaway Transnistrian territory escalated into a military conflict that started in March 1992 and was concluded by a ceasefire in July of the same year. As part of that agreement, a three-party (Russia, Moldova, Transnistria) Joint Control Commission supervises the security arrangements in the demilitarised zone, comprising twenty localities on both sides of the river. Although the ceasefire has held, the territory's political status remains unresolved: Transnistria is an unrecognised but de facto independent semi-presidential republic with its own government, parliament, military, police, postal system, currency and vehicle registration. Its authorities have adopted a constitution, flag, national anthem, and coat of arms. It is the only country still using the hammer and sickle on its flag.

After a 2005 agreement between Moldova and Ukraine, all Transnistrian companies that seek to export goods through the Ukrainian border must be registered with the Moldovan authorities. This agreement was implemented after the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) took force in 2005. Most Transnistrians also have Moldovan citizenship, but many Transnistrians also have Russian and Ukrainian citizenship. The largest ethnic group is Moldovans (32.1%), who historically had a higher share of the population, up to 49.4% in 1926.

Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Artsakh are post-Soviet "frozen conflict" zones. These four partially recognised states maintain friendly relations with each other and form the Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations.


War is a state of armed conflict between states, governments, societies and informal paramilitary groups, such as mercenaries, insurgents and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using regular or irregular military forces. Warfare refers to the common activities and characteristics of types of war, or of wars in general. Total war is warfare that is not restricted to purely legitimate military targets, and can result in massive civilian or other non-combatant suffering and casualties.

The scholarly study of war is sometimes called polemology ( POL-ə-MOL-ə-jee), from the Greek polemos, meaning "war", and -logy, meaning "the study of".

While some scholars see war as a universal and ancestral aspect of human nature, others argue it is a result of specific socio-cultural or ecological circumstances.

War in Donbass

The War in Donbass is an armed conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine. From the beginning of March 2014, protests by pro-Russian and anti-government groups took place in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, commonly collectively called the "Donbass", in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and the Euromaidan movement. These demonstrations, which followed the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation (February to March 2014), and which were part of a wider group of concurrent pro-Russian protests across southern and eastern Ukraine, escalated into an armed conflict between the separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR respectively), and the Ukrainian government. In the Donetsk People's Republic, from May 2014 until a change of the top leadership in August 2014, some of the top leaders were Russian citizens. According to the Ukrainian government, at the height of the conflict in mid-2014, Russian paramilitaries were reported to make up between 15% to 80% of the combatants.Between 22 and 25 August 2014, Russian artillery, personnel, and what Russia called a "humanitarian convoy" crossed the border into Ukrainian territory without permission of the Ukrainian government. Crossings occurred both in areas under the control of pro-Russian forces and in areas that were not under their control, such as the south-eastern part of Donetsk Oblast, near Novoazovsk. These events followed the reported shelling of Ukrainian positions from the Russian side of the border over the course of the preceding month. Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko characterised the events of 22 August as a "direct invasion by Russia of Ukraine", while other western and Ukrainian officials described the events as a "stealth invasion" of Ukraine by Russia. Russia's official position on the presence of Russian forces in Donbass has been vague: while official bodies have denied presence of "regular armed forces" in Ukraine, it has on numerous occasions confirmed presence of "military specialists", along with other euphemisms, usually accompanied by an argument that Russia "was forced" to deploy them to "defend the Russian-speaking population".As a result of the August 2014 events, DPR and LPR insurgents regained much of the territory they had lost during the Ukrainian government's preceding military offensive. Ukraine, Russia, the DPR and the LPR signed an agreement to establish a ceasefire, called the Minsk Protocol, on 5 September 2014. Violations of the ceasefire on both sides became common. Amidst the solidification of the line between insurgent and government-controlled territory during the ceasefire, warlords took control of swaths of land on the insurgent side, leading to further destabilisation. The ceasefire completely collapsed in January 2015, with renewed heavy fighting across the conflict zone, including at Donetsk International Airport and at Debaltseve. Involved parties agreed to a new ceasefire, called Minsk II, on 12 February 2015. Immediately following the signing of the agreement, separatist forces launched an offensive on Debaltseve and forced Ukrainian forces to withdraw from it. In the months after the fall of Debaltseve, minor skirmishes continued along the line of contact, but no territorial changes occurred. This state of stalemate led to the war being labelled a "frozen conflict"; the area stayed a war zone, with dozens of soldiers and civilians killed each month. In 2017, on average one Ukrainian soldier died in combat every three days, with the number of Russian and separatist troops remaining in the region estimated at 6,000 and 40,000 respectively. By the end of 2017, OSCE observatory mission had accounted for around 30,000 individuals in military-style dress crossing from Russia to Donbass just at two border checkpoints it was allowed to monitor.Since the start of the conflict there have been more than twenty ceasefires, each intended to remain in force indefinitely, but none of them stopped the violence. The most successful attempt to halt the fighting was in 2016, when a ceasefire held for six consecutive weeks. The latest ceasefire came into force on 8 March 2019, which led to a significant decrease of fighting in the following days (according to both combatants).

Zaur Shiriyev

Zaur Shiriyev is an Azerbaijani academic in the field of international affairs. He is an Academy Associate at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London. He is a senior research fellow at ADA University, Baku, where he has worked since May 2014. Prior to joining ADA University, he worked as leading research fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2009–14). He founded and has served as Editor-in-Chief of the first English-language academic journal in Azerbaijan, “Caucasus International”, in 2011. Caucasus International was the first English-language foreign policy journal to which academics from all three of the South Caucasus countries contributed. It is rare if not unique for a dispassionate academic journal to be created by and for the main parties to one of the world’s “frozen conflict zones,” which is what the Caucasus certainly is.Prior to this position, from 2004 to 2008 he worked in Turkey as a researcher at the Caucasus-Middle East Study Department of the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM) in Istanbul, and as a senior researcher for the Caucasus-Central Asia Department at the International Strategic Research Organization (ISRO) in Ankara.

Shiriyev became a columnist for Today's Zaman newspaper in Turkey and has participated in and spoken at several conferences on regional issues, conflict resolution and European Union policy. He was awarded the “Black Sea Young Reformers Fellowship” in 2011 and was elected by the Atlantic Forum as a young leader from Azerbaijan for the XII European Young Leaders Conference in 2012.

He is currently a contributing analyst for the Jamestown Foundation's Eurasia Daily Monitor and Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program's Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst in Washington DC. His areas of expertise include security issues and conflict resolution in the post-Soviet space, Turkish foreign policy, and the foreign and national security policies of the South Caucasus states, with an emphasis on the domestic determinants of such policies. Zaur Shiriyev has published numerous articles and commentaries and co-edited The Geopolitical Scene of the Caucasus: A Decade of Perspectives (Istanbul; 2013) and Azerbaijan and the New Energy Geopolitics of Southeast Europe (Washington, DC; 2015).

Frozen conflicts
Foreign policy
See also

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