Sandwiched between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the reason for the intense hatred between the two countries is the republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. Formerly a part of Azerbaijan, after a brutal ethnic and territorial war broke out during the collapse of the USSR in the 1990’s, the region fell under the control of Armenians who declared the republic of Nagorno-Karabakh which is only recognized by the other breakaway states of but has been recognized by Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Landlocked and nestled in the lower Caucasus mountains, the region boasts incredible natural beauty through its winding mountain roads, forests, lakes, and ancient monasteries all of which are contrasted by a mixture of ethnically cleansed and war torn ghost cities, burnt out tanks and discarded military equipment lying around.
Security situation in Nagorno-Karabakh:
Due to being locked in a standoff conflict with Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh is the most volatile breakaway state alongside South Ossetia in terms of warfare erupting. The last escalation in violence was in 2016 when full scale warfare erupted once again and thirty soldiers were killed.
Petty crime is rare but the biggest threat is corruption and harassment from police and intelligence services who are fully aware that there is no diplomatic support for foreigners in the republic, this can be an issue to unaccompanied foreigners who don’t speak Russian.
Access for filmmakers and journalists in Nagorno-Karabakh:
Entry to Nagorno-Karabakh for foreign citizens is not so difficult provided you have a good grasp of Russian. Entry requires being granted an entry permit at a mountain checkpoint before entering the republic and applying for a visa in the capital. Pioneer Media have been operating in the republic for the past three years and through our mixture of on the ground contacts, we can guarantee entry permits, journalist and film permits as well as access to local fixers. We will deal with all the bureaucracy and visa applications on the ground. Similarly, we can arrange film logistics within the country at ease. Staff and translators can be found for very affordable rates.