Kim Kardashian, 39, has donated $1 million to support an humanitarian effort to help those affected by the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.
The mom-of-four – who is of Armenian decent via her late father Robert Kardashian – tweeted about her sizable contribution on Oct. 10.
“I’ve been speaking out about the current situation in Armenia and Artsakh and having conversations with so many others to bring further awareness to the crisis that we cannot allow to advance,” Kim said in a brief video. “My thoughts and prayers are with the brave men, women and children. I want everyone to be aware that, despite the distance that separates us, we are not limited by borders. We are one global, Armenian nation together.”
Kim went on to explain how the money will be used. “Armenia Fund is directly helping those who have been impacted during this critical time with humanitarian aid – from food, shelter and medical care,” she said. “I will be donating $1 million to assist their efforts on the ground and invite you to join me.”
Kim isn’t the only celeb to draw attention to this decades-old conflict ever since fighting reignited in the territory on Sept. 27. Rockers Elton John and Travis Barker are among those who have called for peace in the region. Meanwhile other famous Armenian-Americans like Cher and Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian have tweeted or posted about the fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region that, to date, has seen nearly 500 people (including more than 60 civilians) killed, according to BBC News.
At the heart of the conflict is Nagorno-Karabakh (aka Artsakh), which is internationally considered to be part of Azerbaijan, but is ruled by ethnic Armenians. The region has long been a source of conflict and the two countries fought over it during a war that began in the late 1980s and ended in 1994 with a ceasefire but not a treaty.
The latest round of fighting has seen civilian territories turned into a war zone after being targeted by bombs and rockets, with both sides blaming the other for the attacks. Meanwhile Armenia has accused Turkey of getting involved, with the country’s defense minister claiming that a Turkish F-16 jet shot down an Armenian war plane on Sept. 29, BBC News reports. It’s an allegation that Turkey has denied.
“We need a House Resolution condemning these unprovoked attacks on #Armenians in #Artsakh by Azerbaijan with assistance from Turkey,” Ohanian captioned an Instagram post on Oct. 3. “What they want is ethnic cleansing.”
The conflict – and Turkey’s alleged involvement – only adds salt to a more than century-old festering wound that is the former Ottoman Empire’s refusal to recognize its 1915 systematic murder and expulsion of 1.5 million Armenians as genocide.
On Oct. 12, Kim tweeted footage of tens of thousands of people peacefully marching in the streets of Los Angeles in solidarity with Armenia. The march, which took place a day earlier, culminated with protestors demonstrating outside the Turkish consulate in Beverly Hills. “So powerful,” the reality TV star tweeted.
The conflict has spilled over on to social media. On Oct. 6 Cardi B apologized for “offending” people after she was accused of taking Armenia’s side. In a Twitter voice recording she told fans she wished “peace over there.”
On the same day, Elton John called for calm on his Instagram page. “I was deeply upset to see that military conflict has broken out in the region between Armenia and Azerbaijan after many peaceful years,” he wrote.
“I’ve personally visited both countries and was welcomed so warmly. It’s devastating that many lives have been lost on both sides – my heart breaks for the affected families. I‘m praying for an end to the violence for both countries.” To learn more about the conflict, please watch our video above.