June 26, 2008
By RFE/RL analyst Liz Fuller
Over the past 10 days, representatives of ethnic minorities in Azerbaijan have issued two separate public statements affirming their fear of assimilation and soliciting international support. Azerbaijani commentators have dismissed those appeals as unfounded and orchestrated by Moscow.
The ethnic groups in question are the Avars, Tsakhurs, and Lezgins, and according to official statistics together they constitute less than 1 percent of Azerbaijan’s total population of 8.65 million. They live compactly in several districts of northern Azerbaijan bordering on the Russian Federation. Continue reading