Why the Nagorno conflict deal is a win for Putin

The Russian peacekeeping troops deployed to the frontline of Nagorno-Karabakh -- the contested region that until this week was a war zone between Armenia and Azerbaijan -- symbolizes a big win for Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

It leaves Russia's military footprint that much larger, and thwarts expansion by another world power: Turkey.

Six weeks of fighting here killed thousands and threatened to spark a wider war. Russia backed the Armenian side and Turkey the Azeris.

And Putin says the ceasefire, which was also signed by Moscow, should pave the way for a lasting political settlement.

But Russia and Turkey have also been competing for influence in two other conflicts: Syria and Libya.

So the new deal is a sign that Russia is still the main arbiter in at least the South Caucasus, which it sees as its own backyard.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but populated and -- until recently -- fully controlled by ethnic Armenians.

Russia has a defence pact with Armenia and a military base there, though it also sells weapons to Azerbaijan which -- like Armenia -- was part of the Soviet Union for decades.

Turkey's hand in the conflict came in the form of arms and diplomatic support for Azerbaijan which helped to give them the upper hand.

It often putting Turkey at odds with its NATO allies and Moscow.

Turkey says the ceasefire deal is a "sacred success" for its Azeri ally, and the Turkish presidency says it will set up a center to observe the ceasefire along with Russia.

For now, Russian peacekeepers plan to remain in the corridor for at least five years, expanding Moscow's presence even further.