Nagorno Karabakh, in the South Caucasus, was locked in a frozen conflict resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union. The conflict began in 1988 and intensified into all-out war between 1992 and 1994.

Landmines were laid across large swathes of land by both Armenian and Azerbaijani forces and cluster bombs were dropped extensively by the Azerbaijani Air Force. Around 20,000 people died and hundreds of thousands were displaced.

Nagorno Karabakh has one of the world's highest per capita mine casualty rates, which is on a par with Afghanistan. A ceasefire was agreed in 1994. It held for over two decades but the lack of a formal end to the war left the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh isolated. Fighting broke out again in April 2016.