Amid international appeals to end the hostilities and initiate peace talks, Kim Kardashian West, whose late father is Armenian, has added her celebrity star power to shine a light on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The decades old dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the region, reignited again in late September. With both Armenia and Azerbaijan accusing the other side of initiating the attacks, the most recent chapter in this bitter conflict has already claimed more than 600 lives.
The mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh region is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it is mostly populated by ethnic Armenians.
The region in the South Caucasus is of significant strategic importance on the world stage as it is the conduit for the oil and gas pipelines coming from the Caspian Sea to Europe.
Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz is the largest natural gas field in the South Caspian Sea, situated approximately 70 kilometres southeast of the capital city Baku. The field is estimated to contain between 50 to 100 billion cubic meters of gas.
Given the vital importance of the energy supply route to Europe, the regions super powers are keenly following the developments from opposing sides of the board.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports Azerbaijan, urging the world to stand with the country in its “battle against invasion and cruelty”. Azerbaijanis are a predominantly Turkic people with whom Turkey has close ties.
Meanwhile Russia, an ally of Armenia, has called for an immediate ceasefire and talks to stabilise the situation.
Kardashian West has pledged $1 million, and is directing the attention of her 160 million Instagram followers to events in Nagorno-Karabakh. The world famous businesswoman and TV personality has a huge following across all social media platforms and is regarded as the forth most influential woman on Twitter. It remains to be seen whether the collective weight of that social media following will help resolve a dispute that has thwarted political leaders since the beginning of the 20th century.