Nagorno-Karabakh's call for self-determination in the late 1980s was one of the earliest events of democratic fervor signaling the fall of the Soviet Union. It resulted in a backlash of pogroms against Armenians in the streets of Baku, Sumgait and other cities in Azerbaijan. More than thirty years later, the conflict between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan remains unresolved and, after a 2020 war that left thousands dead, it is no longer "frozen" but in active eruption.
Thirty years after the war in Abkhazia (1992-1993), the Armenians of Abkhazia are embedded in the fragile process of Abkhazian national construction. Within this young ethnic democracy, they are thus regularly questioned on several aspects of their identity: Are they Abkhazians or Armenians? Are the Hamshen and Armenian identities contradictory? How do they identify themselves and how are they identified by the Abkhazian State? Finally, what might their relationship to the Republic of Armenia be?