During the Cold War, no Soviet town was too small for the U.S. intelligence to study. According to documents recently declassified by the Central Intelligence Agency, both satellites and spy planes were used to photograph Stepanakert, focusing on its military barracks, since as early as 1965.
In the case of Stepanakert, accompanied documentation scrutinized the barracks and adjacent infrastructure in minute detail. Other documents included information on the main streets of Stepanakert, school attendance, number of books in the local youth library and other bits of seemingly random data.
Similar analyses were produced for other towns throughout Soviet Armenia and Azerbaijan, with American spy planes flying into Soviet airspace out of both Turkey and Iran since the 1950s and into the 1960s. The flights were discontinued after the Soviet Union shot down U.S. spy aircraft and as satellite technology improved.