A region of Azerbaijan in the southern foothills of the Caucasus; population 134,900 (est. 2005); capital, Xankändi.
Formerly a khanate, Nagorno-Karabakh was absorbed into the Russian empire in the 19th century, later becoming an autonomous region of the Soviet Union within Azerbaijan. Fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia began in 1985, with the majority Armenian population desiring to be separated from Muslim Azerbaijan and united with Armenia; the region declared unilateral independence in 1991. A ceasefire was signed in 1994