A Social Media First—Presidential War Threats via Twitter (8/8)     Print Email

By Armen V. Sahakyan

In what will go down in cyber history as a social media first— president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev threatened Armenia and Nagorono-Karabakh Republics with resurgence of war via Twitter. Screen shot of actual message is below:

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This is one of a series of belligerent tweets by the head of state. It comes at a moment of heightened tensions and cross-border shootings between Armenia and Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan.

At least 30 soldiers have died and dozens have been sounded in the past week. The Defense Ministry of Armenia has reported 5 Armenian and 25 Azerbaijani soldiers dead. The casualties on both sides in one week surpass the number of deaths for the entire year of 2013. This spike in violence is the largest since the ceasefire agreement in 1994.

On August 9, presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan are expected to meet in Sochi with Russian president Vladimir Putin, who will mediate between two regimes, both of whom have good relations with Russia. The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs of Russia, United States, and France tasked with mediating the conflict, has not been invited.

Armen Sahakyan is a Masters student in International Political Economy at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).