The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh was caused by ethnic and religious hatred, the unfavorable socio-economic conditions, and the imperial policy of Stalin's Russia in the 1920?s. The war was ignited by a decision of Nagorno-Karabakh to secede from Azerbaijan and possibly unite with Armenia. It lasted almost six years, claimed tens of thousands of lives and permanently displaced 1.4 million people on both sides. The lack of interest in the region early on in the conflict left the regional powers (Turkey, Iran, and Russia) with the task of mediating, and they failed for the most part. Thanks to a combination of focused media coverage on the horrifying magnitude of the atrocities and the increased importance of oil in the region, OSCE and a number of leading countries in the world acted to end the war in 1994, but even now landmine and sniper deaths claim hundreds of lives every year. None of the sides is content with the current situation, and only granting Nagorno-Karabakh a high degree of autonomy within the original borders of Azerbaijan would create a stable long-term solution to the conflict.