On Stamps, the Karabakh War is not over

Only shortly after the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, both parties issued postage stamps depicting the conflict from their own perspective. Hence, the propaganda war continues.

In November 2020 Azerpost, the company responsible for the postal services in Azerbaijan, issued franked covers with the text ‘Karabakh is Azerbaijan!’ in both the Azerbaijani and English language.

Franked covers with the text ‘Karabakh is Azerbaijan!, Azerpost, November 2020.

Collection Jan Heijs
This happened only days after the war officially ended by a peace deal brokered by Russia. Azerbaijan and Armenia fought for 44 days over the enclave Nagorno-Karabakh, which is officially part of the former, but controlled by Armenians since they declared the de facto republic independent in 1991. In the latest conflict over 140 civilians from both sides lost their lives.

In December 2020, Armenia followed by issuing postage stamps in a bloc, depicting national symbols such as the sculptural group ‘Mountain Dance’ (220), the circus artist Leonid Yengibaryan (230), painter Martiros Sarian (330), composer Arno Babajanyan (380) and Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the local alphabet (500). These stamps come with a surcharge of 5000 dram for an insurance fund for Armenian soldiers in Nagorno Karabakh.

Stamp bloc, Insurance Foundation for Servicemen, Armenia, December 22, 2020. Designers: ‘Domino Production’ LLC, Rem Sahakyan, printer: Cartor, France, size: 30,0 x 40,0 mm.

Collection Jan Heijs
On the lower part we can see a photo of Albert Havhannisyan, an Armenian soldier who died on the 8th of October. The surcharge of 5000 dram is indicated together with a bilingual text ‘My name is Artsakh and we will win’.

This seems to be rather optimistic, as Armenia was clearly defeated by Azerbaijan. But this political propaganda promises that this conflict has not yet ended.

Jan Heijs has been collecting postage stamps depicting “disputed political propaganda” since 1980. Sometimes correct franked mail with such postage stamps is accepted by another country, sometimes not. Not accepted mail is called “postal war”. For more examples see: www.postalwar.info.