Who we are

Onnik James Krikorian

Onnik James Krikorian is a journalist, photojournalist, and consultant from the U.K. who has been based in the South Caucasus since 1998. He has covered the Karabakh conflict since 1994 and also the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. He has worked as a consultant for major international organizations and facilitated workshops for journalists from Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the South Caucasus.

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Onnik James Krikorian

Articles

Pashinyan Hails Progress in Armenia-Azerbaijan Border Demarcation as Protests Wane

Despite protests in Yerevan, the process of normalizing relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan continues unabated. Since the first opposition rally held on 9 May, the number of people participating in street actions has declined while the international community has welcomed meetings between the two sides.

Opposition Groups Rally with Archbishop Galstanyan Against Demarcation

Thousands protest in Yerevan against Armenia-Azerbaijan border demarcation, led by Archbishop Galstanyan, demanding PM Pashinyan's resignation.

Cup of Life: Tbilisi's Last Chaikhana

In what could be the last of its kind in the city, one teahouse close to the historic sulphur baths in the Georgian capital continues to embody the multi-cultural nature of the surrounding neighbourhood. It welcomes a diverse clientele to play backgammon, share news and memories, and, of course, drink tea.

Historic Accord: Armenia and Azerbaijan Agree on Border Demarcation, Return of Gazakh Villages

Though the return by Armenia of four villages in the Gazakh region of Azerbaijan was expected, the surprise news that it was agreed upon today by both Yerevan and Baku has been publicly greeted positively by both.

Mixed Outcomes for Armenia as Brussels Meeting Highlights Regional Challenges

On 5 April, Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan, European Commission President von der Leyen, and U.S. Secretary of State Blinken met to assist Yerevan in enhancing its economic resilience and diversification as it moves further away from traditional patron Russia.

Georgian-Azerbaijani Communities Embrace Novruz with Joy

This year, Azerbaijani-Georgian communities across Georgia came together to celebrate Novruz with a variety of events and festivities.

Armenia and Azerbaijan Ponder Return of Non-Enclave Gazakh Villages

Last weekend, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister, Shahin Mustafayev, called for the immediate return of those non-enclave villages controlled by Yerevan in the Gazakh region of Azerbaijan. On Tuesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addressed the issue during a live press conference.

Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Türkiye Discuss Peace, Development and Connectivity in the South Caucasus at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum

On 1-3 March, Antalya held its annual Diplomacy Forum, with significant focus placed on peace in the South Caucasus and the normalization of Armenia's relations with Azerbaijan and Türkiye.

Armenia at a Crossroads: Constitutional Speculation Sparks Debate

Amid mounting pressure to reach a peace agreement with Azerbaijan, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan’s renewed focus on constitutional reform has raised suspicions that he is yielding to Baku’s demands. Government officials deny this, instead claiming that reform is necessary to restore public trust in a constitution largely discredited by previous regimes.

Beyond Borders: Parajanov Centennial Marked in Yerevan and Tbilisi

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of legendary ethnic Armenian film director Sergei Parajanov. Very much a child of the South Caucasus, Parajanov’s work encompassed Armenian, Azerbaijan, Georgian, Moldova, and Ukrainian influences, with his legacy living on today.

15 January 2024

Caucasus, Stories

Georgia’s Unique New Year Tradition: The Environmentally Friendly Christmas Tree

In recent years, the Chichilaki, Georgia’s traditional Christmas tree, has made a comeback. Onnik James Krikorian investigates the tree’s history and its modern eco-friendly usage.

20 December 2023

Caucasus, Culture

Time has been Ticking in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Process. But a Window of Opportunity might just have reopened

A comprehensive peace settlement between Azerbaijan and Armenia could unlock a new era of prosperity across the South Caucasus. Once-high hopes of achieving a firm framework by the end of 2023 have been looking bleak. But now there’s a ray of hope.

Policy Shift in Baku: Direct Bilateral Talks Urged Amid EU-US Mediation Frustration

After negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan through various facilitated or mediated foreign platforms faltered, Baku has invited Yerevan to meet on the shared border between the two neighbouring countries for unmediated bilateral talks.

Armenians and Azerbaijanis Dance Under One Sky in Georgian Village

On 18 November, the inaugural multicultural festival ‘Under One Sky’ took place in the Georgian village of Khojorni, celebrating the co-habitation of its Azerbaijani and Armenian population.

21 November 2023

Caucasus, Culture

Europalia 2023: Cultural Diplomacy Strengthens Ties Through Art and Music

Europalia 2023 showcases Georgia's cultural richness, uniting tradition and modernity. With diverse exhibitions, performances, and collaborations, the festival fosters diplomatic ties. Notably, it highlights the Ashiq tradition, promoting inclusivity and strengthening Georgia's path towards EU candidacy.

13 November 2023

Caucasus, Culture

Brussels Meeting Cancelled as Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian PMs Share the Stage in Tbilisi

The Brussels meeting between the Armenian Prime Minister and the Azerbaijani President was cancelled due to time constraints, according to Toivo Klaar's announcement yesterday.

Baku and Saakashvili Respond to Pashinyan’s European Parliament Address

Pashinyan’s statement to the European Parliament has elicited reactions from Baku and jailed former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Azerbaijan Invites Armenia for Talks in Georgia While Yerevan Remains Non-Committal

President Aliyev has invited Armenia for talks involving Georgia, but Armenia's response remains ambiguous. However, Georgia is optimistic about the prospects of a peace agreement in the South Caucasus.

Azerbaijani Authorities Detain Former Karabakh De Facto Leaders Amid Ongoing Tensions

On 3 October media reported various arrests of several high-level de facto officials for crimes during their time working in the separatist region in Karabakh.

“Nagorno Karabakh’s” Demise: A Long-Predicted End to a Bitter Dispute

Samvel Shahramanyan, the de facto leader of the NKAO, has signed a decree dissolving the unrecognized entity, but the writing has long been on the wall, writes Onnik James Krikorian.

Azerbaijan and Karabakh Talk Integration as Partial Evacuation Starts

Talks have taken place in Yevlakh between Azerbaijan and representatives of Karabakh's Armenian population involving military disarmament and regional integration.

Renewed Fighting Overshadows Humanitarian Aid Reaching Karabakh via Lachin and Aghdam 

On 19 September, Azerbaijan has enacted counter-terrorism measures in response to alleged terror attacks in the former NKAO. Onnik James Krikorian analyzes the recent developments

New Route Opens to Supply Aid to Karabakh Amid Lachin Impasse

Humanitarian aid has finally arrived in Karabakh marking a crucial step in addressing the region's humanitarian needs amid ongoing challenges.

De Facto Leader of Karabakh Armenians Steps Down

Following Arayik Harutyunyan's resignation as de facto leader of the former NKAO, the future of the region remains uncertain.

Gardabani’s Ashiqs: Guardians of an Ancient Musical Tradition

Onnik James Krikorian heads to Gardabani to meet leading surviving exponents of the Turkic troubadour tradition in eastern Georgia’s Azerbaijani community. Despite many challenges for exponents, the art form continues to inspire a passionate following.

1 September 2023

Caucasus, Culture

Power Play in Yerevan: Former Mayor Challenges Pashinyan’s Candidate

Although PM Pashinyan’s favoured candidate is still expected to win Yerevan’s mayoral election on 17 September, the return of former mayor and Pashinyan critic Hayk Marutyan to the race could prove decisive in determining the country’s future.

21 August 2023

Caucasus, Opinion

Puppetry Unites Ethnic Communities in Mixed Georgian Region

Georgian-Armenian artist, poet, and puppeteer, Armen Hovhannisyan, uses his puppet shows to unite the Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian communities living in the multicultural municipality of Marneuli, Georgia.

4 August 2023

Caucasus, Culture

Street Punk Legends The Exploited Play Tbilisi, Yerevan and Istanbul

Punk legends The Exploited have been touring Eurasia crossing geopolitical fault lines with concerts in Turkey, Armenia and and Georgia. Onnik Krikorian met the band after their Tbilisi show and reflects on what it means.

20 June 2023

Caucasus, Culture

EU Funded JOLIG Plans to Bring Young Armenians and Azerbaijanis Together for Summer School

Following recommendations put forward by Links Europe, JOLIG plans to gather young Azerbaijani and Armenians together for a Tbilisi summer camp.

Metal Battle Unites Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkiye in Tbilisi

Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, and Turkish bands were united during the Wacken Metal Battle in Tbilisi.

Sevan Bıçakçı: Istanbul’s King of Rings

In the world of fine jewellery, Sevan Bıçakçı is well known, winning multiple awards and having his jewellery worn by celebrities.

Russia Faces Serious Problems in Developing North-South Trade Corridor via Caspian Sea

Russia Faces Serious Problems in Developing North-South Trade Corridor via Caspian Sea

From St. Petersburg to Tbilisi: The Georgian Punk Scene Experiences a Revival

Punks in Georgia: In the wake of the war in Ukraine, Tbilisi’s already imaginative music scene is getting an added boost from an influx of alternative-minded Russians.

22 March 2023

Caucasus, Culture

Beez Theatre's "Qarınqulu Ayı Balası" Spreads Messages of Friendship and Community

Ethnic Azerbaijani children of the small town of Gardabani, Georgia, are spreading messages of friendship and community through the ground breaking new junior theatre, Beez.

10 March 2023

Caucasus, Culture

Analysis-Central Asian Aviation Sees Opportunities in Ukraine Crisis

Analysis-Central Asian Aviation Sees Opportunities in Ukraine Crisis

Armenian and Azerbaijani Leaders Meet Blinken, Participate in Panel Discussion at Munich Security Conference

Happening now: The high-level talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia are currently underway in Munich, Germany, with the mediation of the US Secretary of State Blinken.

Armenian Foreign Minister Visits Turkiye After Earthquake, Rekindles Hopes for Normalization

Armenia’s foreign minister’s visit to Ankara surprised many observers. Was it just a goodwill gesture or does the trip signal an expedited opening of the Turkiye-Armenia border in the near future?

Russian Jews Head for Israel as Kremlin Targets Emigration Group

Russian Jews Head for Israel as Kremlin Targets Emigration Group

18 August 2022

Opinion