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The Gyumri Killings: Beyond the Legal Arguments

Special for the Armenian Weekly

More than a week since the Gyumri killings, the city and Armenia at large are still struggling to come to terms with the heinous crime that wiped out an entire family. As the massacre’s youngest victim, six-month-old Seryozha Avetisyan succumbed to his injuries on Monday, many questions remain unanswered, chief among them: What happens to the culprit?

A requiem sevice in memory of six-month-old Seryozha Avetisyan took place in Gyumri on Jan. 20. (Photo: Photolure/Hayk Baghdasaryan)

A requiem service in memory of six-month-old Seryozha Avetisyan took place in Gyumri on Jan. 20. (Photo: Photolure/Hayk Baghdasaryan)

Valery Permyakov, a Russian soldier stationed at the 102nd Russian Military Base in Gyumri, is said to be responsible for the multiple killings. Permyakov was captured by Russian border guards trying to flee across the Armenian-Turkish border and remains in Russian custody to this day.

Immediately after the tragic event, angry protests broke out in Gyumri, demanding that Permyakov be handed over to the Armenian justice system. However, announcements made by Russian and Armenian officials indicate that this is unlikely to be the case.

A statement by Armenia’s Office of the Prosecutor General first cited the Russian Constitution that bars the extradition of a Russian citizen to a foreign country. Questions about how and why Permyakov appeared and remains in Russian custody aside, it is incomprehensible why a representative of Armenia’s justice system would refer to the Russian Constitution in relation to a crime committed on Armenian soil.

Facing mounting pressure from the public while in Gyumri, Prosecutor General Gevorg Kostanyan then gave assurances that Permyakov will be tried in Armenia but shied away from promising that he will be prosecuted in an Armenian court. The best he could offer protesters in Gyumri was a promise to appeal to his Russian counterpart asking for Permyakov’s handover. It is unclear what steps Kostanyan has taken since.

The 1997 bilateral treaty between Russia and Armenia, which established the terms under which the Russian 102nd military base is stationed in Gyumri, states that soldiers who commit crimes outside the confines of the base are subject to Armenian law. The same treaty upholds Russian jurisdiction over crimes committed within Russian military facilities in Armenia, a clause that has been cited as one justification for not handing over Permyakov, given that the latter also deserted his base just before allegedly committing the crime.

In essence, however, the criminal’s handover is not about what legal frameworks apply and which loopholes can be exploited. It is about Armenia’s leadership (finally) speaking out for its people; it is about respect between two nations; it is a matter of pride, dignity, and justice for a nation too often overlooked by its own government and too often coerced by its more powerful neighbor.

In essence, however, the criminal’s handover is not about what legal frameworks apply and which loopholes can be exploited. It is about Armenia’s leadership (finally) speaking out for its people; it is about respect between two nations; it is a matter of pride, dignity and justice for a nation too often overlooked by its own government and too often coerced by its more powerful neighbor.

While the country mourns, protests, and demands answers, the silence of its leaders has been deafening. Save for a few meager announcements that expressed condolences and urged restraint, the president, the government, the political parties have, by and large, been silent. Silent and absent.

There has been no condemnation, no outrage, no genuine sympathy. Attempts to declare a national day of mourning have been dismissed. And when the people of Gyumri bid farewell to the Avetisyan family at a somber funeral service, there was no one standing by their side to share their pain and to assure them that Armenian citizens are safe in their homeland, that answers will be provided, that this won’t happen again in a city that has already suffered so much loss.

If the intent of the silence has been to not upset Russia, ironically it has proved counter-productive as evidenced by the protests held outside the Russian diplomatic representations in Yerevan and Gyumri as well as the military base itself. If it has simply been a matter of incompetence, then sadly, that’s a tragedy of its own.

The Armenian government needs to speak up for its people. Rather than citing the Russian Constitution, it has to do everything in its power to ensure Permyakov’s handover. Rather than curbing protests, it should provide the people with a sense of security and assurances that justice will be served. Whatever the end result may be, the people of Armenia need to know that their government made every effort possible on their behalf.

The Russian government, too, has a role to play. At this point in time in particular, it needs to demonstrate respect for the wishes of a deeply wounded nation, an ally and neighbor and hand over the soldier responsible for the killings without any further delay.

The Russian government too has a role to play. At this point in time in particular, it needs to demonstrate respect for the wishes of a deeply wounded nation, an ally and neighbour, and hand over the soldier responsible for the killings without any further delay.

It is not the first time that a citizen of one country is found guilty of committing a crime in the other. In July 2013, Hrachya Harutyuyan, a citizen of Armenia working as a truck driver in Russia, crashed his vehicle into a bus, resulting in the unfortunate death of 18 people. Shortly after his arrest, Harutyunyan was brought before a Russian courtroom dressed in women’s clothing, the humiliating photos causing much anger in Armenia. Harutyunyan is currently serving a six-year prison sentence in Russia. It is impossible to not compare the action and reaction in each case.

No, the handling of the Permyakov case is not about jurisdiction. For the people of Armenia, it is about instilling justice and restoring the dignity of Armenia. It is about ensuring that Armenia’s relationship with Russia be based on mutual respect and understanding–not merely on a cold calculation of national interests.

38 Comments on The Gyumri Killings: Beyond the Legal Arguments

  1. In terms of Armenian demonstrations against Russia, it would have been nice to see them when Russia sold a billion in weapons to Azerbaijan, and announced new agreements with genocidal Turkey.

  2. Russia can’t just decide irresponsably to the demands of Armenia, it needs to address for this and future crimes that may happen in all it’s close related countries, whatever he dices will affect to all colaborator nations, he should study carefully so he can come up as government’s policy.

  3. avatar Sarkis Yeretsian // January 20, 2015 at 12:35 pm // Reply

    I totally agree with Houry Mayissian article. Thank you Houry.

  4. times like this its best not to rile up the public and be a tool of anti Russian forces, quite diplomacy works better and if the enemy tries to benefit from this incident we depend on centuries old Russian friendship for protection.

    • avatar Suzan Khachatryan // January 22, 2015 at 10:50 pm //

      I agree with Sam, and I cannot praise Houry Mayissian, who is creating tension between two neighbor countries.

  5. *** this is a sad day indeed..,how weak and incompetent the Armenian government can be?
    *** LONG LIVE FREE & STRONG ARMENIA ***
    the ancient land of beautiful people & colture

  6. The culprit deserves capital punishment, best carried out by his own people.

  7. I claim no legal expertise nor am I knowledgeable of the treaty between Russia and Armenia regarding Russian forces stationed in Armenia. However, its not unusual for a soldier to be tried by his country and not by the host country as was and probably still is the case with the American soldiers stationed in Iraq.

  8. he should be tried in Armenia, no question about it.

  9. I don t think the Russian soldier acted on its own.There has to be a conspiracy behind it The Armenian side beter find the thruth and the trial must be done in Armenia , if not it will happen again.This shows the very weakness of the government.The Armenian government becomes a lion against their own people but when dealing with Russia they are all a bunch of scared mouses.This is not the way a government should act.When it comes to protect their own citizens they should become more courages and more strict with whoever they are dealing with .AS of now I don t see any security for the people of Armenia.

  10. Yes, Permyakov must be turned over to Armenia so that justus may be served. Hopefully, Movses Movsesian.

  11. Houri, I do commend you on a well written Article and there is no doubt that in normal circumstances, no country deserves such disrespect. …..but! Two major area of factual reality needs to be considered: 1- Putin’s active Plans of reeling back the republics that declared independence, and, 2- the way Many Armenians took to the streets and the internet and got ugly with a country that protected us since 1992 in stopping TURKEY to come across the borders and help Azerbaijan.

    There is nothing more that Turkish thieving Erdogann (who’s is making a killing in Syria) Government want then to get back on 50+ years of Armenians attacking them (verbally and in armed militant acts) and making them –DESERVEDLY– the world’s most resented leadership.

    In conclusion, our demands needs to be weighed. Russia could have sold us out for the Azeri oil before Americans got involved. But they stuck by us, therefore (as a favorite American saying states (after considering realities on the ground and over the years): “Beggars can’t be choosers”. We have to proceed with KASPAROV’s IQ, and little by little get us to choose leaders that Will get us under the EUROPEAN UNION flag (not the current Putin’s Puppets).

  12. avatar Mack Vahanian // January 20, 2015 at 11:25 pm // Reply

    I wonder what actions are being taken by our all political parties?
    Haven’t they the courage to raise their their voices in support of the country and the national pride

  13. Contact the famous lawyer Giragos here in the US and see if he can help.

  14. There were many good points made in this article. It is indeed “incomprehensible why a representative of Armenia’s justice system would refer to the Russian Constitution in relation to a crime committed on Armenian soil.” By doing this, the Prosecutor General is implying that the Armenian Constitution has no value to him.

    “In essence, however, the criminal’s handover is not about what legal frameworks apply and which loopholes can be exploited. It is about Armenia’s leadership (finally) speaking out for its people; it is about respect between two nations; it is a matter of pride, dignity and justice for a nation too often overlooked by its own government and too often coerced by its more powerful neighbor.” Unfortunately, the undignified and incompetent leadership of Armenia never speaks out for its people, nor does it represent their interests in any particular way. This explains the reason why over a million people have emigrated out of Armenia since its independence in 1991, and are still continuing to emigrate out of the country in such large numbers. This by itself, is a huge threat to Armenia’s national security. Exactly what sort of a future can Armenia possibly have with so many of its people departing it year after year, resulting in a declining population which has been continuous over the past 23 years?

    “The handling of the Permyakov case is not about jurisdiction. For the people of Armenia, it is about instilling justice and restoring the dignity of Armenia. It is about ensuring that Armenia’s relationship with Russia be based on mutual respect and understanding-not merely on a cold calculation of national interests.” Sadly, Russia’s relationship with Armenia is the exact opposite of a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding. Their relationship is based entirely on Russia controlling and dictating to Armenia what it can and can’t do. If we examine the relationship between Presidents Sargsyan and Putin, it’s most certainly not an equal relationship. It’s the equivalent of a relationship between a powerful kingpin (Putin) and his faithful butler (Sargsyan).

    • I have no idea how the Russians will handle it but in 2012 in Afghanistan, a Sgt. Bales went on a rampage killing 16 civilians in two villages including many children and eleven members of one family. He then attempted to burn the victims. Of course, the Afghanis’ were furious and wanted him tried in their Court (and condemned to death) and relations between Afghanistan and the US hit a new “low”.
      The Americans insisted he be tried in their military court and he pleaded “guilty” to 16 counts of murder (plus other offenses) in exchange for life in prison without the possibiity of parole.
      Sgt. Bales gave no explanation for his actions (he had been drinking and taking steroids). He was considered a good father, husband and soldier before the crime- he simply “snapped”.
      Since I don’t believe Armenia has the “death penalty”, isn’t life without parole the most the Russian killer could receive there?
      Since he damaged relations between Russia and Armenia (and I’m not an attorney), maybe a case could be made for “treason” and under Russian military law he could be executed though I really believe “life without parole”, especially for someone so young, would be a harsher penalty-than a quick execution.
      I couldn’t find any information about American “restitution” to the Afghanis but it would seem (to me) to be required in both cases. I don’t know why the Russian Constitution was mentioned because, like the American case, I think it would be tried under Russian military laws. The jurisdiction issue should have been agreed to before the Russian troops were deployed in Armenia. It’s one of the first things discussed anytime American forces are deployed to other countries.

  15. I’m not in favor of taking pop shots at Russia because of this incident, because at the end of the day, these murders were committed by a crazed individual and not based on Russia’s policy. Still there are good points in this article and Armenia should make a stand against Russia even if our security is connected as the article suggests.

    One thing that did catch my attention though is the mentioning of the case of Hrachya Harutyuyan who was humiliated before being tried by a Russian court. But let us be clear that these two cases cannot be compared or equated, because Harutyuyan in no way committed any crime of this nature and had no intent to kill, his predicament resulting in the death of 18 people was merely an accident. Anyone could have been caught up in those circumstances and had an accident beyond their control. Hrachya Harutyuyan had no intent for crime and had an unfortunate accident and was extremely disturbed and sad for what had happened, Valery Permyakov is a plain and simple murdering criminal who has no regard for Human life.

    It makes me wonder though, was it one motivation (out of many) why the Russians did not want to hand over the murderer to Armenia, for fear that their soldier would get the same humiliating treatment they gave to an Artsakh war veteran for merely having an accident? Those images with Valery Permyakov, the criminal Russian soldier, with a woman’s dress and wig would have gone viral of course and satisfied many haters of Russia throughout the world…

  16. Geopolitics trumps emotions. Armenians cannot afford to politicize this tragedy.

    Russia’s 102nd base is the most important single military factor in Armenia. The base acts as a tripwire against an invasion from Turkey. By securing Armenia’s western borders, the base also allows the Armenian military to concentrate its limited resources against a more manageable enemy, Azerbaijan. I would go as far as saying Armenia exists today because of the 102nd base.

    Politicizing this horrible tragedy is not in Armenia’s national interests for it serves to drive a wedge between Moscow and Yerevan. Driving a wedge between Moscow and Yerevan is something Turks, Azeris, Georgians, Islamists and Western oil interests have long sought. We must not allow it to happen. Russians are also shocked at what has taken place in their military. Yes, we want answers from Moscow but Western mercenaries in Armenia are not helping the situation by burning Russian flags and demanding that the 102nd base gets shut down.

    Yes, what happened was a sudden and unexpected blow to Russian-Armenian relations but we must not allow the tragedy to be exploited by Western/Turkish assets in Armenian society.

    We all know that generally speaking Armenians are overly emotional, politically illiterate and very family oriented. You want to seriously piss-off an Armenian and make him do irrational, self-destructive acts, mess with his family. You want to see an Armenian go insane and turn his environment upside-down, mess with his family. Whoever or whatever was behind this massacre knew our people’s weaknesses well. The assault was thus directed against the Armenian family. Now, all of Washington’s shameless lemmings in Armenia are enthusiastically exploiting this horrible tragedy toward self-serving political ends. Now, Turks and Azeris will be impatiently watching from the sidelines to see how self-destructive Armenians will get. Once more, I blame Yerevan’s “complimentary politics” for the volatility in Armenia because. Yerevan’s appeasement toward Western powers has allowed Armenia to become saturated by Western-led mercenaries during the past twenty years.

    Consequently, predictably and alarmingly, we are now seeing a growing trend of Russophobia amongst the new generation of Armenians. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to realize that if Russophobia ever goes mainstream inside Armenian society, Armenia will cease to exist as a nation-state in the south Caucasus. And every single one of the anti-Russian protesters we have been seeing recently would be the first to flee to Russia as soon as the first Turkish army division crossed the Arax River…

    • {“And every single one of the anti-Russian protesters we have been seeing recently would be the first to flee to Russia as soon as the first Turkish army division crossed the Arax River…”}

      I agree.

      Those ‘brave’ hooligans raining rocks and bottles at Armenian police officers in Gyumri, would run like rabbits as soon as armed Turks/Turkbaijanis showed up on their street.

  17. Ladies and Gentlemen:

    While we are collectively ‘debating’ legalities of this or that, engrossed discussing “pride”, “courage”, “dignity”, “respect”, “understanding”…… the Turkic world’s war against RoA and NKR continues unabated, with no regard to their patently illegal nature: almost daily violations of a legal Ceasefire Agreement Azerbaijan signed in May 1994, at their request, with NKR (co-signed by RoA).

    While 3 million Armenians in RoA and NKR are at war for survival with the entire Turkic world, some of their 9 million strong Diaspora compatriots never lose an opportunity to pile on with their despondent, despairing, demoralizing, defeatist rhetoric.
    Instead of working day and night to demoralize and cause damage to the mortal enemies of RoA and NKR, they choose the path of least resistance: to salve their guilty conscience, they convince themselves they are actually doing something positive for their Motherland by endlessly criticizing and critiquing from a safe distance.

    While we were debating, at least 8* of our compatriots were KIA by Turkbaijanis this year.

    RIP brave compatriots:
    2015-1-3: Garen Grigoryan and Vardan Mkrtchyan.
    2015-1-17: Arman Harutyunyan.
    2015-1-20: Suren Pilosyan, 20.
    2015-1-21: Arman Udumyan, 35.
    2015-1-21: Nahapet Artak Asatryan , 32.
    2015-1-23: Lieutenant Garen Galstyan and private Artak Sargsyan.

    The fact that Turkbaijanis lose many times more KIA is of little consolation: each one of our warrior young men and women is precious and irreplaceable.

    In 2014 about 40 or so Armenian young men were KIA, defending their Motherland. Killed in action by Turkbaijanis. Many specially trained in Turkey to kill Armenians.
    So far, in January 2015 alone, Armenian Nation has lost 8* young men KIA, who instead of writing beautiful articles or elegant posts, actually put their lives on the line.

    I guess nobody will be writing articles on their behalf anytime soon.

    On a more positive note, some excellent news:

    An Armenian sniper killed the commander of a Turkbaijani snipers group on Jan 23, 2015.
    Nice. Thank you very much.
    It gets much better: our sniper is an Armenian woman warrior (!)
    Congratulations.

    (Of course we will never hear even a smidgen of praise for the same RoA Gov for creating and maintaining the most combat ready military force in Caucasus. And did all that on a shoestring budget. Why praise, when you can criticize: much more soothing for one’s psyche that way; always easier to criticize, then give praise.)

    —-
    * some Armenian sources write that 11 Armenian KIAs so far in 2015, but I cannot find the names.

    • avatar Yerevanian // January 25, 2015 at 4:40 am //

      Avery,

      In addition to “demoralizing and causing damage to the mortal enemies of RoA and NKR,” what’s wrong with also confronting the enormous and harmful domestic problems which affect Armenia today? On the subject of criticism, this is actually something which you criticize about endlessly. Why does it irritate you so much whenever articles and comments are written about Armenia’s threatening domestic problems? In order to begin the improvement of Armenia’s current domestic situation from negative to positive, its problems must therefore be brought out to the attention of the Armenian community. And in regard to those courageous, fearless Armenian soldiers who’ve died in defense of their Fatherland, numerous articles have been written about them on AW.

    • avatar Random Armenian // February 2, 2015 at 5:00 pm //

      Yerevanian,

      I concur with your post. A nation that can handle open discussion of issues is a country that does not fear facing its issues and more open to fixing.

      It’s disheartening to see the killed Armenian soldiers used to stifle discussion by some people here. That goes the other way as well. While these soldiers are defending the borders, behind their backs, corruption is stealing from the country.

  18. A very timely interview with an Armenian military man who’s been there and done that (in Armenian). About 10 minutes.

    Please pay attention to what he says about year 1952/1953, and extrapolate about the future of Western Armenia.

    [Military base carries out its duties – former Deputy Defense Ministry]
    http://www.panorama.am/en/all-videos/2888/

  19. Harutik,

    By rightfully demanding that Permyakov face trial in a Yerevanian court for that horrible tragedy committed on Armenian soil, and outside of the Russian military base, has absolutely nothing to do with politicizing the situation. This has to do with obtaining Armenian justice.

    Exactly which Western mercenaries in Armenia are you referring to? A mercenary is a soldier who is paid by a foreign country to fight in its army. Besides Russian and Armenian soldiers, there are no other soldiers in Armenia. And exactly how has the leadership of Armenia been appeasing toward the Western powers when it ended up joining Russia’s EEU? As a matter of fact, the Western powers were very unhappy about that.

    “We are seeing a growing trend of Russophobia amongst the new generation of Armenians.” By saying “Russophobia,” you’re implying that these Armenians from the new generation have an irrational dislike of Russia. Why is their dislike for Russia irrational? On the contrary, it’s very rational. These young Armenians are angry at seeing how their homeland is continuously controlled and bossed around by Russia. That’s an injustice! Just because Armenia truly needs Russia’s military presence on its soil, does not mean that the Armenian leadership should do and act as the Russians tell it to. What about Russia needing Armenia? It truly needs Armenia due to the fact that it’s right next to NATO’s Middle Eastern headquarters (Turkey). And for this reason, the very last thing that Russia would ever want to do is leave Armenia. Yes, this is true! However, that butthead of President Sargsyan doesn’t believe this. He really believes that Russia will pack up and pull out its military force from Armenia if he disobeys Putin’s orders. And as a result, President Sargsyan continues to play the role of “the butler” to his master up in Moscow.

  20. avatar Hagop TELFIZIAN // January 25, 2015 at 4:37 am // Reply

    Abris Houry jan!
    The worst is the lack of reaction and compassion of the armenian government and judicial authorities.

  21. [Avery //] “In 2014 about 40 or so Armenian young men were KIA, defending their Motherland”.

    And every time I see stats like that it makes me sad to know that those young men, in the case of 2014, 40 of them, would have had families of their own and strengthened and populated the homeland. Think of it as in 2014, 40 Artsakh families were destroyed through acts of terrorism, and all because we have a couple of insane neighbors hell-bent on realizing their pan-turkism dream.

  22. Yerevanian,

    I suggest you learn from our history and try not to repeat the mistakes of our self-destructive forefathers. There is a time and place for everything. Armenia is surrounded by predators. This is the time to rally around the state regardless of who is at the helm in Yerevan. Also, Armenia’s domestic problems are being blown out of proportion by an army of Western funded and led agencies and activists with their 24/7 coverage of every single bad thing that happens in Armenia. This mass hysteria caused by the political opposition, as well as our people’s gypsies-like tendencies to seek greener pastures when things are not to their liking, are the real reason why around 40% of Armenians want out of the country. In stark contrast, less than 10% of Uzbeks and Tadjiks want out of their country. Ask yourself: Are Uzbeks and Tadjiks living that much better than Armenians?

    Finally, the current “regime” is the best of all evils in the country. Those waiting on the political sidelines in Yerevan to take advantage of an regime change are those who are directly and indirectly serving Western and Turkish agenda. The Western-led political oppositions main task in Armenia is to dive a wedge between Yerevan and Moscow. No, thanks. I’ll stick with our “oligarchs”. Had it not be to a handful of pro-Russian Armenian officials, primarily the Karabakh clan, Armenia would have been a cheep brothel servicing Turks, Azeris, Islamists and Western oil interests.

    What Armenia needs is a sociopolitical evolution, not a Western sponsored revolution. And what Yerevan needs to do is begin cracking down on its Western-led political opposition – specially Preparilament which is planning on carrying out a bloody revolution during commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24.

    • avatar Random Armenian // January 27, 2015 at 10:45 am //

      Harutik,

      I’m not crazy about revolutions myself. It means that the process of governing has broken down and the people feel a drastic action needed to be taken to put the government back on track. A democratic government should be run such that the will of the people is carried out in a non-disruptive manner in the parliament and through elections. A government that for the most part, responds to what the people want.

      But there should be a demand for better from the government in Yerevan. How about cracking down on corruption? People in Armenia want less corruption and to have the laws followed. There are real issues in Armenia who the people living there are feeling, no matter how much you want to blame the West. People in Armenia don’t need the West to tell them how their everyday lives are impacted.

      Why should people in Armenia rally around the Yerevan leadership when they’re powerless against Russia?

      There has been a reaction from Russia to the protests in Armenia regarding the mass shootings. The trial is to be held in Armenia even if in a Russian court. And the Russians were pointing to the Russian constitution regarding

    • avatar Yerevanian // January 28, 2015 at 7:56 am //

      Harutik,

      By attempting to connect the past mistakes of our forefathers with the wish of the vast majority of Armenians (both in the homeland and diaspora) to have an Armenian government who’s attentive and devoted to its citizens as opposed to the current Republic of Armenia government which continuously neglects its citizens in every possible way, just shows how little you know about our history. And because Armenia has Turk enemies to its east and west, means that we should continue overlooking the Armenian government’s neglect of its citizens? That makes absolutely no sense. And when you really think about it, by continuing to stay in power, the leadership of Armenia is actually serving the interests of Turkey and Azerbaijan. As a result of so many Armenians emigrating out of Armenia year after year, its population continues to decline as it’s been doing over the past 23 years. This is exactly what Turkey and Azerbaijan desire. They desire an Armenia with very few Armenians, which would therefore make it totally powerless.

      Exactly how are the Republic of Armenia’s harmful domestic problems “being blown out of proportion by an army of Western funded and led agencies and activists”? By making this kind of statement, shows your lack of compassion for the citizens of Armenia where 1/3rd of its population lives in poverty; and where its unemployment rate is over forty percent; and where its health care continues to be in horrendous shape; and where opportunities are not abundant for the majority of its people. All of this explains the reason why over a million people have emigrated out of Armenia since its independence in 1991, and are still continuing to emigrate out of the country in such large numbers. Again, this is a huge threat to Armenia’s national security; and again, what sort of a future can the Republic of Armenia possibly have with so many of its people departing it year after year, resulting in a population decline which has been continuous over the past 23 years? Maybe we should ask the government of Armenia this question? But then again, they’re totally unconcerned about this particular issue. Instead, they seem to be far more concerned about stuffing their pockets with more money.

      “The Western-led political opposition’s main task in Armenia is to drive a wedge between Yerevan and Moscow.” That’s not true! First of all, these political opposition groups are not led by the West in any particular way. Furthermore, they agree that Russia’s military presence is needed in Armenia, and that these two countries need to continue being business partners. On the other hand, they absolutely deplore how the leadership of Armenia continuously allows itself to be unjustly controlled and dictated to by the Russians. They also deplore how Russia goes behind Armenia’s back and sells billions of dollars of military weapons to Armenia’s mortal enemy, Azerbaijan.

      Whoever said anything about a Western sponsored revolution taking place in Armenia? That’s absurd! If there ends up being a revolution, it won’t be because of the West. It’ll be because the citizens of Armenia will no longer tolerate the widespread corruption of their government who has persistently neglected them for all these years. And what’s even more interesting about all this, is that the vast majority of Armenian veteran soldiers from the 1991-1994 Artsakh War are opposed to President Sargsyan who happened to be a participant in that very same war. As a matter of fact, several of them have given speeches in Yerevan, stating that President Sargsyan and his entourage must leave office or else violence will be employed to remove them.

      It’s rather amusing how you try to imply that the current leadership of Armenia prevented the country from becoming a brothel serving Turks, Azeris, Islamists, and Western oil interests. To begin with, Armenia doesn’t have any oil to offer the West. Furthermore, have you already forgotten that it was President Sargsyan who foolishly attempted to establish the “Armenian-Turkish protocols”? Just imagine what would’ve happened if Turkey had ratified those protocols? As a result of open borders, a huge pile of Turks from Turkey would’ve arrived across the Armenian border; and it’s quite evident what their mission would’ve been. However, that luckily did not happen as a result of Turkey not ratifying those protocols. On the other hand, the leadership of Armenia has certainly been very successful at turning its country into a brothel serving its Russian master.

    • avatar Gokor Yegnukian // January 28, 2015 at 2:49 pm //

      Harutik jan;

      1) “best of all evils” is an absurd statement, it is tantamount to saying “a pleasant rape”. when something is recognized as evil, every effort must be taken to do away with it not to tolerate it simply because there may be worse evils.

      2) the pro-Russian Armenian officials are the whores not the other way around. how about trying to be pro-Armenian. consider it.

      3) since you are condemning the Preparliament (at this point you meant to say Founding Parliament) as “Western-led political opposition” i would ask you to present one single smidgen of evidence to support your accusations. if you can’t i suggest you keep silent about that which you do not know.

      lastly, if you are so fond of Russia and clans and oligarchs and regimes and lesser evils then you should move to Russia – plenty of all that and no Preparliamnet to rectify the situation.

  23. Gokor jan,

    I’ll ignore your rantings against me and just tell you that instead of moving to Russia (too cold over there for me anyway) I rather concentrate my humble efforts on freeing Armenia of its Western mercenaries before they destroy the country. So, my big talking friend, my pro-Russianness will help Armenia live whereas your kind of pro-Armenianness can surely put an end to the country’s existence.

    Actually, your kind of patriotism reminds me of the cat that looked in the mirror and saw a lion. God forbid this cat ever goes out to compete with the wolves and the hyenas thinking that its a lion…

    I will be pro-devil if it will help my homeland survive.

    • avatar Random Armenian // February 2, 2015 at 4:52 pm //

      Harutik,

      You’re simply putting Armenia under the control of one global power instead of another.

      Why is the current Sarkisyan government still trying to get some sort of trade agreement with the EU despite joining the Russian trade union? The EU and the west might not be as bad as you portray it.

    • avatar Random Armenian // February 2, 2015 at 4:54 pm //

      And who exactly are these mercenaries?

      You have such an anti-West hatred that it’s blinding you to the problems Russia poses to Armenia. Including the development of a better government in Armenia.

    • avatar gokor yegnukian // February 3, 2015 at 4:34 pm //

      Harutik, still waiting for proof of the “Western-led political opposition”. you continuously ignore what i or others write and instead speak of cats and lions without addressing questions and thoughts directed to your rantings. maybe it is you with blurry vision and comprehension problems.
      once again, present proof/facts or be silent.

  24. Random Armenian and Yerevantsi

    No nation is born fully developed. No nation is free of internal problems. No nation has it easy when it comes to nation building, especially a nation like Armenia. No self-respecting Armenian will sit back and allow Armenia’s growing pains to be exploited by Western operatives. No self-respecting Armenian will allow today’s “regime” be toppled by a bunch of Western mercenaries. Wake up and learn from other people’s mistakes. Examples are many. I understand that people these days have blurry vision and reading comprehension problems. I would therefore like to reiterate the following: Armenia needs sociopolitical evolution not a Western sponsored revolution.

    • avatar Random Armenian // February 2, 2015 at 4:49 pm //

      “Armenia needs sociopolitical evolution not a Western sponsored revolution.”

      I agree. And this needs to be done through elections, open and free press where issues are discussed without fear and reduction of corruption. And no beatings and veiled threats either.

      And yes it will take time but there can only be forward progress and this can only happen through the people in Armenia putting pressure on their government to stay straight and deal with the needs of the country.

      You focus on Western pressure, but there is also Russian pressure, correct? This worries me given how undemocratic and corrupt Russia is.

    • Harutik,
      If you read Random Armenian comments you will be able to open up your eyes…nobody wants revolutions..unfortunately those Armenians, who are under influence of others constantly mentioning and talking about “revolutions”. Armenia is perfect Christian European nation, we are not part of Middle Eastern Islamic nations made for revolutions!

      Armenia belongs to Armenians of the world only, no East and no West!

      I wonder, when we are going to learn from our sad past history, where our enemies divided us and forced us to call ourselves Easterner or Westerner!

    • avatar Yerevanian // February 3, 2015 at 7:03 am //

      Harutik,

      In terms of Armenia being in need of a sociopolitical evolution, that would certainly be the most desirable choice as opposed to a revolution. As a matter of fact, a sociopolitical evolution is exactly what Armenia needed 23 years ago, right after its independence. Unfortunately, nothing ever materialized in that department; and 23 years later, it’s still the same old situation. In the meantime, Armenia’s threatening domestic problems continue on with widespread corruption within its government, while more and more people continue to emigrate out of Armenia on a yearly basis which is crippling the country. Furthermore, those political opposition parties such as the ARF and Heritage do not have the combined power nor resources to overpower the current mafia-style government of Armenia. These pro-Russian gangsters within the Republic of Armenia government will never permit any kind of sociopolitical evolution. So therefore, it’s now up to the citizens of Armenia to rise up and stand up against their perverse government.

      “No self-respecting Armenian will sit back and allow Armenia’s growing pains to be exploited by Western operatives.” Actually, Armenia’s growing pains have been caused by its all-out dependence on Russia who continuously exploits this little country in every possible way. As a matter of fact, one of these growing pains has to do with the disgusting manner in which Russia lures Armenians out of Armenia and into Russia. If we compare populations, Russia’s current Armenian population (2.5 million) is just about equal to Armenia’s entire population (2.5-2.8 million). And, it’s perfectly clear why the Russians are attempting to lure Armenia’s citizens into Russia. By having fewer people in Armenia, it’ll enable Russia to have stronger control over it.

      By persistently attempting to falsely establish that the West is the reason for so many citizens of Armenia wishing to dismantle their neglectful, corruption-infested government again shows how extremely blurry your vision is. Those enraged citizens of Armenia that you’re talking about, don’t even like the West. They dislike it just as much as Russia. What they truly desire, is a pro-Armenian government who’s devoted to the citizens of Armenia.

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