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A man walks past a market damaged in a shelling attack in Nagorno-Karabakh. Photo: Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to a limited ceasefire in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced on Friday.

Details: The ceasefire, which will begin on Saturday at noon local time, is intended to allow the two sides to exchange prisoners and recover bodies. The specific parameters of the ceasefire will be determined at a later time.

  • The Russian-brokered agreement also says that the Azerbaijani and. Armenian officials will begin "substantive negotiations" with the aim of resolving the conflict as soon as possible.

The big picture: Hundreds of soldiers, including 376 Armenian troops, have been killed since the recent fighting began in late September, per the NY Times. Azerbaijan has not disclosed how many of its soldiers have died.

  • The UN estimates at least 58 civilians have also been killed, the Times added.

The backstory: Nagorno-Karabakh is a mountainous region of around 150,000 people that is populated mainly by ethnic Armenians but lies within the borders of Azerbaijan. The countries have both claimed the territory since the collapse of the Soviet Union, fought a war over it from 1992-1994, and stood on the precipice of further conflict since.

  • The recent violence is the worst the region has seen since 2016, and began with coordinated air and missile attacks late last month from Azerbaijan, which claimed Armenian forces had been preparing an attack (Armenia denies that).
  • Previous skirmishes, though numerous, have left the stalemate largely unaltered. So has a peace process overseen by the U.S., France and Russia.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 8, 2020 - World

Where U.S. troops and military assets are deployed in the Middle East

An American soldier stands guard during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in the Syrian village of al-Hashisha. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. has maintained a costly presence in the Middle East for decades, with at least 60,000 troops currently stationed around the region, according to United States Central Command.

Driving the news: The killing of Iran's Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a U.S. drone strike has put the world on edge, with Iran promising revenge. The U.S. is preparing to deploy about 3,000 additional troops to the region, and had already sent 750 troops after protesters attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
23 mins ago - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.