Our Donation Announcement & Information on the Crisis in Artsakh
The team at IceLink is proud to announce that we have been able to donate a grand total of $55,000 to Armenia Fund, all thanks to everyone who ordered from our Help Armenia Collection. 100% of the proceeds from the Help Armenia Collection were donated to Armenia Fund, a non-profit organization that helps the people of Armenia and Karabakh through humanitarian aid and infrastructure development.
Words cannot express how grateful we are for your support. While our official Help Armenia campaign has ended, we will continue to donate to Armenia Fund monthly. We encourage everyone to keep on donating, praying, and sharing information about the crisis in order to spread awareness.
Thanks to your support, we’ve now raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in aid for Armenia Fund. At the end of October, our Co-Founder Suzy did an impromptu Instagram Live auction to benefit Armenia Fund, raising an astounding $203,000. In early November, Suzy hosted another auction to benefit Armenia Fund, which raised $150,908. Both of these donations have been matched by ONEArmenia, which means that together we’ve raised over $700,000 for Armenia Fund from these two auctions alone! We’re also still making monthly donations to aid humanitarian efforts in Armenia, as well as assisting with fundraising efforts organized by others who are raising funds for the cause.
Through this crisis, a critical moment in time, your continued support gives us strength to continue to unite and push forward. We will continue donating to support humanitarian aid in Armenia and Artsakh, and will continue our efforts to spread awareness of the situation in the region. We again express our gratitude to you-- none of this would have been possible without your support.
Understanding the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict in Artsakh
For those who are unaware of or do not fully understand the current crisis in Artsakh, we would like to give a brief summary of the ongoing situation, which has already caused the deaths of hundreds of Armenian people.
Background on Artsakh
To fully understand the current crisis in Artsakh, one must understand what has happened in the region’s history.
In the Soviet era of 1920s, Joseph Stalin redrew the USSR map and gave the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, known as Artsakh by Armenians, to Soviet Azerbaijan. This was done in spite of the fact that the vast majority of people living in the area were Armenian.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union began in the late 1980s, demands that Artsakh be handed to Armenian control from the now-independent Azerbaijan began. The Armenian people living in the area declared their independence as the Republic of Mountainous Karabakh, with the intention of ultimately reunifying with the now-independent Armenia. Azerbaijan rejected this declaration of independence, leading to the Nagorno-Karabakh war.
From 1991 to 1994, warfare raged in the region, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people on both sides of the conflict. In May of 1994, the war ended in a ceasefire and resulted in de facto independence of the region. Since 1994, the Nagorno-Karabakh territory has been controlled by ethnic Armenians and run by the independent Republic of Artsakh, though the territory is still internationally recognized as a part of Azerbaijan.
In the years following the 1994 ceasefire, skirmishes still have happened sporadically, including a particularly deadly conflict that occured in 2016. The Armenian Defense Ministry alleges that the 2016 clash occurred because Azerbaijan forces launched an offensive in an attempt to seize territory within the area.
The Current Situation in Artsakh
Currently, military forces are clashing in Artsakh after Azerbaijan launched an assault on the region. This puts the lives of hundreds of thousands of citizens who live in the area in great peril. Hundreds of Armenians have already been killed in the current conflict due to artillery, rocket, drone, and ground attacks launched by Azerbaijan forces and their allies. Many more still have been wounded.
The current conflict began on the morning of September 27h, when violence erupted on the edge of the Nagorno-Karabakh territory, also known as Artsakh. Armenian officials and officials from the Republic of Artsakh have stated that Azerbaijan armed forces have unleashed a war on Artsakh in a full-out attempt to recover territory from the region. According to a statement released by the Republic of Artsakh, Turkey and terrorist organizations from the Middle East are supporting Azerbaijani forces in their attack on Artsakh.An official statement from the Republic of Artsakh gave further details on the current conflict, saying:
“The large-scale armed attack by Azerbaijan on the Republic of Artsakh is accompanied by serious violations of the norms of international humanitarian law, as well as the laws and customs applicable in armed conflict. In particular, the Azerbaijani-Turkish armed formations are deliberately shelling cities, villages and civilian objects of Artsakh with the aim of terrorizing and destroying the civilian population. As a result of their criminal actions, there have been numerous casualties among the civilian population.”
In their statement, the Republic of Artsakh also called on the international community to recognize the independence of the Republic of Artsakh “in order to ensure the rights of the citizens of Artsakh to life and peaceful development.”
Members of the Armenian diaspora living across the world, including Armenians living here in the United States, have been speaking out against the violence in Artsakh and asking for support for the Armenian people in the region. In the United States, Armenian Americans have been protesting to raise awareness of the crisis, to call for peace in Artsakh, and to demand that the United States government denounce the actions of Azerbaijan and assist in arbitrating the conflict.
The crisis in Artsakh has already been devastating to the lives of so many Armenian people who have been harmed due to the violent actions of Azerbaijan and their allies. Many experts on foreign policy have said that if the crisis continues for much longer, it is likely to escalate in the extreme, causing a full blown war across the entire region, since Turkey is currently supporting Azerbaijan and Russia is treaty-bound to protect Armenia.
Actions Americans Can Take
Americans who are concerned about the horrific violence happening in Artsakh can take action by calling on Congress and the Presidential candidates to sanction Turkey and cut off U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan. You can also help by spreading awareness about the crisis or by making a donation to humanitarian organizations that are helping Artsakh, such asArmenia Fund.
We’d like to again express our thanks to those who supported our Help Armenia campaign and the fundraisers Suzy has hosted on Instagram. Your support has helped boost the civilian humanitarian aid response efforts in Artsakh, and for that we cannot thank you enough.