1. Russian Peacekeepers’ Withdrawal from Nagorno-Karabakh –


  • Russian peacekeepers have initiated their withdrawal from Nagorno-Karabakh following Azerbaijan’s recapture of the disputed territory from Armenian separatists in September 2023. The decision for the withdrawal was agreed between Baku (Azerbaijan) and Moscow at the “highest levels.”
  • Nagorno-Karabakh, is a mountainous region in the Caucasus (the transcontinental region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea), internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but predominantly inhabited by ethnic Armenians.
  • The conflict began in the late 1980s when the region declared independence from Azerbaijan, leading to a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. A ceasefire in 1994 left Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas under Armenian control, but frequent violations and failed negotiations followed.
  • In 2020, Azerbaijan won the Second Karabakh War, regaining control of seven surrounding districts and a third of Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia brokered a peace deal and deployed peacekeepers in the region.
  • The conflict has strained relations between Russia and Armenia, as Moscow maintains warm ties with Baku.
  • Armenia announced that it has effectively suspended its participation in the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a defense alliance.



  1. Recently, the Department of Posts opened a second branch of the post office at the Bharati research station in Antarctica after almost four decades –


  • Letters intended for Antarctica will now be addressed with a new experimental PIN code, MH-1718, typical for a new branch. Currently, Maitri and Bharati are the two active research stations that India operates in Antarctica.
  • In 1984, India set up its first post office in Antarctica at Dakshin Gangotri(India’s first research stations).
  • Unfortunately, in 1988-89, Dakshin Gangotri was submerged in ice and was subsequently decommissioned.
  • India established another post office at the Maitri research station in Antarctica on 26th January 1990.
  • India’s two Antarctic research bases, Maitri and Bharati, though are 3,000 km apart but both come under the Goa postal d
  • Letters meant for the post office in Antarctica are sent to the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) in Goa.
  • The existence of an Indian post office in Antarctica serves a strategic purpose. Typically, an Indian post office operates within Indian territory. Antarctica, being foreign and neutral under the Antarctic Treaty, provides a unique opportunity to assert India’s presence on the continent.
  • The Antarctic Treaty neutralises territorial claims, prohibits military operations and nuclear tests, and emphasises scientific discovery.
  • India’s Antarctic Programme is a scientific research and exploration program under the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCPOR). It started in 1981 when the first Indian expedition to Antarctica was made. NCPOR was established in 1998.



  1. Recently, Israel’s multi-layered air defence system defended the country from a major attack, as Iran launched over 300 armed drones and long-range missiles –


  • Air defence systems are basically shields against threats from the sky. They are a combination of different technologies that work together to spot, track, and destroy incoming aircraft, missiles, or drones.
  • Israel’s air defense system consists of Iron Dome and C-Dome. Iron Dome is a short-range, ground-to-air, air defence system of Israel. The Iron Dome has three main systems that work together to provide a shield over the area where it is deployed.
  • Radar: It has a detection and tracking radar to spot any incoming threats.
  • Weapon Control:It has a battle management and weapon control system (BMC).
  • Missile Fire: It also has a missile firing unit. The BMC basically liaises between the radar and the interceptor missile.
  • It is used for countering rockets, artillery & mortars as well as aircraft, helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). It is capable of being used in all weather conditions, including during the day and night. It claims a success rate of over 90%.
  • C-Dome is a naval version of Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system, used to shield against rocket and missile attacks.
  • It was first unveiled in 2014and declared operational in November 2022. It works similarly to the Iron Dome, except that it is mounted on ships.
  • Unlike the Iron Dome, which has its dedicated radar, the C-Dome is integrated into the ship’s radar to detect incoming targets.
  • It ensures full-circular vessel protection and high kill probability against a full spectrum of modern threats—maritime and coastal.