Armenian war dead by places of birth. Map by Hrant Mikaelyan.

Armenian scholar Hrant Mikaelyan prepared an analysis of the known biographical information of the Armenian Karabakh war dead (1991-94) that illustrates the dynamics of the Karabakh war. The analysis was first released on the Political Geography of the South Caucasus blog hosted by the Caucasus Knot.

Mikaelyan notes the estimates for the total Karabakh war dead, typically ranging between 20,000 and 30,000. The Armenian portion of the dead – including 5,865 fighters and 1,264 civilians – is fairly well accounted for in the official Armenian Encyclopedia and published on the site of the Karabakh War Museum in Stepanakert.

Chart of Armenian losses throughout the war by month. Prepared by Hrant Mikaelyan

The monthly data for casualties shows that Armenian losses peaked during defensive battles in the summer-fall 1992 and again in January 1994. Also particularly costly was the Armenian offensive of April 1994. The analysis of the casualty data illustrates how initially Karabakh Armenians (shown in blue) bore the brunt of the war effort and how that began to change between 1991 and 1994, as the war expanded.

Mikaelyan also argues that the Armenian death toll, particularly among the Armenian volunteers from outside Artsakh, is likely to have been under counted.