Boyajian: The Coming Russian Defeat in the Caucasus

Russia will be well along the road to total defeat by the U.S. and NATO in the Caucasus and beyond if the recently proposed Armenian-Turkish protocols are ratified.

Within two months after ratification, Turkey would be required to open its border with Armenia. Subsequently, or perhaps simultaneously, the Azerbaijani-Armenian border will open if, as appears increasingly possible, an Artsakh (Karabagh) peace agreement is signed.

Regardless of whether the Azeri border opens, a fully open Turkish-Armenian border would inevitably result in the U.S. and NATO penetration and subjugation of Armenia.

Let us look at U.S. and Russian policy in the Caucasus, both past and present.

The West’s Goal: Domination

For two decades, the West, as well as Israel, has dreamt of dominating the Caucasus, which is the gateway from Europe and Turkey into the oil and gas-rich Caspian Sea region. To do so required ripping the Caucasus’ three ex-Soviet countries—Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia—from the Russian bear’s claws.

The U.S. and NATO have largely succeeded in doing so. The West has already built two major gas and oil pipelines—BTE and BTC—from Azerbaijan’s Caspian coast through Georgia and Turkey. The U.S. insists that all pipelines bypass Russia and Iran.

Though Georgia and Azerbaijan are under continual Russian pressure, both are NATO candidates and have aligned themselves with the U.S.

That leaves Armenia, perhaps Russia’s only real ally in the world, as the sole obstacle to total American domination of the western land route into the Caspian.

By coaxing Turkey to open its border, Washington is now trying to lure Armenia away from Russia and into the infinitely richer and more modern, attractive, and democratic Western/NATO bloc.

Wealthier, stronger, and about 30 times larger and more populous than its small, besieged eastern neighbor, Turkey has been picked for the lead role in the West’s seduction of Armenia.

Armenia’s Importance to U.S. Strategy

Until last year’s Georgian-Russian war, the U.S. had been silently pleased with Turkey’s blockade of Armenia. Washington hoped the blockade, imposed mostly due to the Artsakh war, would create economic pressure on Armenians to resolve that conflict.

Note that only an Artsakh peace agreement could fully pry open the Azeri-Armenian-Turkish corridor that NATO and Washington craved. [See “Why Artsakh Matters to the West and Russia” by Boyajian on]

But the war in Georgia cast doubt on that country’s ability to continue hosting western-bound pipelines. For the U.S., the only alternative to unstable Georgia is Armenia. This explains why Washington has been dramatically stepping up pressure and the protocols are part of that pressure—on Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan—to resolve their differences and thereby create a new American path into the Caspian.

How does Russia feel about Armenia’s border issues?

Russia’s Fatal Mistakes

The Kremlin had long been silently pleased with the closed Turkish-Armenian border and the Artsakh stalemate. After all, these prevented the U.S. from penetrating Armenia and dominating all three Caucasus countries.

Now, however, confidential and other sources indicate that Moscow favors both the Turkish-Armenian protocols and an Artsakh peace agreement.

Russia reportedly hopes that trade across the Turkish-Armenian border would enable it to profit from its ownership of Armenian industry, particularly electricity production and transportation.

However, given Armenia’s small economy and size, the extra revenue for Russia would not be considerable.

The Kremlin is also reportedly worried that a new Russian-Georgian war would hurt Armenia’s economy since most Armenian imports/exports must now go through Georgia.

Thus, Russia allegedly hopes that an open Turkish-Armenian border would give its Armenia ally an alternative import/export route in case of a war. Yet, given its alliance with Georgia, Turkey might well close its border with Armenia in such an eventuality. Conversely, were the Turkish-Armenia-Azeri corridor to remain open, this would partly defeat the very purpose of a Russian attack on Georgia.

Moscow and Ankara have developed significant economic and political relations in recent years. And Russia supplies most of Turkey’s natural gas. Thus, the Kremlin apparently believes that it can dictate to Ankara. The Kremlin is wrong. Regardless of how friendly it becomes with Russia, Turkey will stay within NATO, its only protection against its historic, nuclear-armed Russian enemy.

Moreover, Turkey and Georgia, which also depends on Russian gas, will eventually develop alternative energy sources and no longer be vulnerable to Russia pressure. In the meantime, Russia will lose Armenia to the West.

Russia is also trying to buy up future production from Azerbaijan’s oil and gas fields in hopes that, in so doing, the West will lose interest in Azerbaijan. In return, Russia is apparently pressuring Armenia to, in effect, hand Artsakh to Azerbaijan.

This is a grave error. Historically, Azeris have betrayed Russia, as happened in World War I when they sided with Turkey, and will do so again. In the meantime, Armenian anger at Russia for selling out Artsakh, combined with the lure of Western wealth, will permanently drive Armenia away from Russia. Only a true Russian alliance with, not economic and military bullying of, Armenia will keep Armenia as a friend. Armenia’s fear of Turkey is not enough.

Russian Policy Blunders

Russia has a long history of disastrous policies. In the space of 75 years, Russia lost two empires—Czarist and Soviet—and the Cold War. Russia allowed false prophets—the Bolsheviks—to impose on it the inefficient and inhumane political and economic system of Communism. Russians let a deranged Georgian, Josef Stalin, maim and murder countless millions of them. Even today, most of Russia’s wealth comes not from human productivity but courtesy of Mother Nature: oil and gas.

Recent Kremlin policy has been deeply influenced by Aleksandr Dugin, an extreme nationalist ideologue. His political philosophy, neo-Eurasianism, advocates a Russian-led alliance of Asian and Slavic countries. Like most Russian analysts, Dugin saw Armenia as a barrier against Turkey, Russia’s historic enemy. Dugin then changed his mind. He now thinks that Turkey is a Russian ally. This is a clear sign of neo-Eurasianism’s immaturity.

The Kremlin—this time with Medvedev and Putin at the helm—is once again listening to false prophets. Turkey’s arm can indeed be twisted, but not broken, by Russia. Moreover, Turkey is tougher than Russia. During the Cold War, genocidal Turkey would have annihilated Russia had it, rather than the Soviets, possessed nuclear weapons.

While Turks make Russians think they’ve become friends, Russians foolishly throw their only ally, Armenia, to the Turkish wolf. Russia will lose Armenia but will not win Turkey over. Pan-Turkism will continue, pushed by the West for its own purposes.

Moreover, as I noted two years ago, once NATO enters the Caucasus, it “could then jump across the Caspian Sea and march straight into Muslim Central Asia, posing a possibly mortal threat to Russia.”

Reject the Dangerous Protocols

Armenians must openly reject the protocols. Besides abrogating long-standing Armenian rights vis-à-vis its genocidal neighbor, they are a formula for Turkish hegemony over Armenia.

If the Turkish-Armenian border is to open, it must be in a way that does not permit Turks to infiltrate, buy up, Ottomanize, and eventually control Armenia.

Armenians must now publicly and bluntly emphasize to their Russian ally that the protocols will result in Russia’s being surrounded by NATO and ultimately, along with Armenia, destroyed.

The author is an Armenian American freelance writer. Many of his articles are archived at

David Boyajian
David Boyajian is an Armenian American freelance journalist.


  1. Mr. Boyajian is right on — again!
    The West and Israel are just interested in capturing Armenia to promote and exploit their myopic energy, security and trade interests in the South Caucasus and beyond. Worse, they are continuously displaying utter disrespect towards Armenian statehood and democracy by backing unelected, pluto-autocratic presidents and parliaments. And, Turkey and Azerbaijan are dying to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strangle Armenia and to eventually wipe it off the map.
    Considering our nations both face existential threats, it is in Russia’s interest to become a true ally of Armenia by: paying some rent for its military base in Gyumri; helping Armenia enhance civil liberties; recognizing Artsakh’s independence, or at least speaking favorably about the right to self-determination; condemning the Armenian Genocide and genocide denial in international fora; denouncing Georgia’s recent adventures along the Armenian-Georgian border, etc. This is a win-win for both Russia and Armenia!
    And, thank you Mr. Boyajian for your keen analysis and conclusions! I always enjoy reading your articles. They are a breath of fresh air and very important for the Armenian Cause, especially at a time when the Armenian Nation’s future, security and well-being are at stake!

  2. Boyajian understands geopolitics better than the Sargsyan regime does, not to mention the AAA, AGBU, Ramkavar party and other organizations and individuals who falsely insist that there are no preconditions in these “Protocols.” Such organizations and individuals — and the  current administration — were not elected by the Armenian people, do not represent the will of the people, and have no right to bargain on our behalf. They cannot be entrusted with our Armenian patrimony. 

  3. To begin with, the border with Turkey was open for more almost half a century. During that time the US neither “penetrated” or  “subjugated” Armenia. What makes you think it will be able to do so now? Armenia is almost under the same pressure from Russia now, as it was during the USSR. Russia is Armenia’s lifeline in every sense of the word, which the US can and will never become. Second, Russia would never want the surrender of Kharabakh to Azerbaijan. If that is what Russia desired, that would have happened a long time ago.

  4. Armenia should only relay on his own power. Others will eventually betray or exploit him like many time in history. Enough is enough. If you look to other countries who also have lost significant territories, only those who kept focused on economical growth eventually survived.

  5. Russia is being Myopic. To Isolate Georgia they agree to pressure their only Ally in the region;  to capitulate to Turkey, and surrender Karabakh.  Then what?  Turkey is already dictating Armenia as a colony, to severe its ties with Diaspora.  What makes the Russians think that The Turks  will not do the same against the Russians? Armenia will become a puppet colony for Turkey with a puppet government, and then how will  Armenia’s citizens feel about Learning Turkish as a first language like our parents did?  The problem is we are yelling and screaming about penile code 301, but we are forgetting that there is a similar state controlled gag on free speech in Armenia.  Why don’t they publish Diaspora’s national outburst against the protocols?  Why don’t they allow  those Armenian Think tanks like Armen Ayvazian and the opposition to be heard?  The Armenian people in Armenia are very  intelligent people but they are not well informed. 
    Diaspora has to inform them, and lead them to prevent this  national catastrophy that awaits us.

  6. Mr. Boyajian is right on the mark in his analysis above.  However, the U.S. and NATO’s penetration across an open Turkish-Armenian border will also expose Iran to another vulnerable entry point.
    Could American heavy handed pressure on Armenia to normalize relations with Turkey be based more on getting strategically closer to Iran than anything else?  It may only be a matter of time (if not already strategized as that) before the US and NATO peer downwards to Armenia’s border with Iran as a strategically viable military route in their looming endeavors post the “new sanctions”.

  7. yet another reason why people who do not have any understanding of geopolitics, should not be making grand statements. The analysis in this piece is flawed and full of errors.
    To start with, there have been many indicators and signs that Russia has been aware of these developments long before anyone else did. The fact remains that the number of Turkish-Russian meetings in Moscow or in Ankara in the last year alone, has been much more than all of the interactions that the two countries had in the last 80 years. Turkey and Russia have a strategic partnership in the region and Russia is willing to accept any Turkish overture in the region.
    Moreover, the “Schism” between Turkey and West has been something that many people have been blind to not see. Starting with the collapse of the USSR and accentuated with the coming to power of the AKP, Turkey has been redefining itself to become a more Eastern and Southern looking country and by playing an increased role in the two region in its own right. Furthermore, the continued growing ant-Western sentiments in Turkey coupled with a government closely associating itself with the Palestinians in the latter’s conflict with Israel, show the extent to which Turkey has “divorced” from the West.
    To use a blanket category “West” and assume that Europe and the US have the same approach and policy in the South Caucasus is nonsensical. Since 1991 the two Wests have actually had different policies in the region and vis-à-vis Russia.
     While it is true that Georgia is strongly entrenched in a “Western” alliance, Azerbaijan is far from doing so. Perhaps one could go as far as to claim that today, Azerbaijan has the most balanced foreign policy in the region by having good relations with Russia, Iran and the West (mostly because of its oil)
     The fact that the author uses vanity references is yet another sign of the rather unprofessional approach to issues.
    The section titled “Russian policy blunders” is ideologically charged while lacks any knowledge of history and current issues (something that could be easily remedied if the author chooses to read texts which are not one sided and serve a political goal rather than a well-rounded analysis).
    The recent developments between Russia and the US (the shelving of the missile defence shield, the unity of Russian and US outlook towards Iran, etc) show the extent to which the two powers meet eye to eye, and the extent to which Russia feels comfortable dealing with the US.
     And finally, after all the verbosity the author uses, trying to show how much pressure Armenia is under and the West, Israel, Turkey, etc are conspiring to force Armenia to sign the protocols, does it make any sense to say that Armenia is able to change its stand by having a fraction of Armenians rejecting the protocols whereas the majority just have colourless views if any at all.

  8. This is almost a fantasy.  A few points in objection:
    1. Mr. Boyajian fails to understand that replacing the Russian element within Armenia cannot be accomplished with half hearted diplomatic measures and “protocols” (or even a full opening of the border).  The Russians have become an almost permanent force within the Armenian army, the Armenian Intelligence Agency, the police, and have huge governmental control over important Armenian energy sources (even within Armenia).  Kicking them out (or even threatening their exclusive access to Armenian markets, as Mr. Vazgen Sarkisian and Karen Demerchian found out) can be deadly.  America is not ready to fight it out in Armenia when the return wouldn’t be much (considering it can satisfy it’s demands in the Caucusus using Georgia).
    2. With the above mentioned in mind, it can be better argued that the United States has almost ceded Armenia to the Russians – realizing how difficult it would be to penetrate the Armenian government.  In 2007, while the Armenian opposition set up the perfect conditions for another “color revolution” – and arguably expected America to step in – the Bush adminstration and the State Department barely condemned the Armenian government, and, ultimatelly, took no steps to materialize the little criticism it spewed (i.e., didn’t deactivate Armenia’s account in the Millenium project like it threatened to do so).
    3. Although at first glance, a growing Armenian economy and the end to the Artsakh conflict seems like it can free Armenia from many sorts of “protections” it might need from Russia; Russia’s support for the Washington supported “protocols”/”dialogue” between Armenia and Turkey/Azerbeijian actually shows how confident Russia is with keeping Armenia in it’s sphere of influence, despite all of these Washington-sponsored iniatiatives.  That is why Russia supports them aswell.
    ON THE OTHER HAND – if this was a nice attempt at Armenian propaganda, I completely see where you’re coming from and support you 100% – though I doubt the Russians are stupid enough to fall for this!

  9. I believe my government’s foreign policy(USA) with regard to the country of my ancestral lineage (Armenia)  is on the right course. It serves the interests of the USA plus an open border and becoming an energy transit route is in the best interests of the people living in Armenia.

    It seems Turkish nationalist zealots, Azeri zealots and Armenian zealots have become bedfellows all wanting the stranglehold on Armenia to continue. Each group weaves fanciful conjecture to serve their own agenda. This is very unfortunate for the people of Armenia. I am pleased my government is working against this unholy convergence.

  10. I thank Mr. Dumanian for his comments on my article.
    Mr. Dumanian says that Armenia cannot be pulled from the Russian orbit because Russia is too entrenched there.  I must disagree.
    As I noted, Russia lost two empires in the space of 75 years.   Russia is rather incompetent at keeping countries within its sphere.  Sooner or later – somehow – they leave. 
    Since the fall of the USSR, Georgia and Azerbaijan have largely fallen out of the Russian sphere, and Russia is extremely nervous about NATO activity in the Caucasus.   I am actually understating the situation, of course.   Russia is in deep trouble in the Caucasus, and it knows it.
     Belarus and Ukraine are on their way out of the Russia sphere, slowly, but inexorably.   It’s a see-saw so far.
    All of the former Warsaw Pact countries that were under the USSR’s thumb –  Poland, Bulgaria , etc. – countries are out.   Most are  in NATO and the EU.   
    Former Soviet Central Asia – the five Muslim republics there – is being penetrated by China and, in various ways, the US.  We shall see what happens there.  (The US is trying to penetrate the region from the south, via Afghanistan, but of course that’s an uphill battle.) 
    The North Caucasus, including Chechnya, is a major Russian headache, to say the least.
    Russia is under siege and desperate.  Its leverage over other countries, such as in Europe, is gas and oil.  That will not last forever. 
    Again, I am actually understating the above cases.
    It is true, as Mr. Dumanian says, that Russia has penetrated and co-opted Armenia.
    But Russia also penetrated all the other countries that left or are leaving its sphere.  Russian penetration can be undone.   It just needs a push.
    The US is not going after Armenia because it loves Armenians, as Mr. Dumanian knows.  Armenia, with all its faults, is the most stable and homogeneous country in the Caucasus.  Armenia is an attractive country.  It is a prize. 
     No, the US is going after Armenia because it correctly sees Armenia as the last of three Caucasus dominoes to be knocked over.   The US is engaged in a major effort now with Armenia.  It is serious.  It wants to open up the Turkey-Armenia-Azerbaijan corridor.   Will it succeed?  We shall see.  With the opening of the border, the trajectory is clear, and that trajectory points to the wealthy, powerful, and highly attractive West, not Russia.
     As for Russia’s “confidence” that Armenia will stay solidly within the Russian sphere: Russia can be as confident as it wants.   It does not mean that its confidence is justified.  Russia has been taking Armenian loyalty for granted.   That is a mistake.  Yes, Armenia needs Russia in various ways, but that need is not absolute.  Russia is a traditionally imperialist country that refuses to make genuine friends with Armenians.  That is a big mistake, and it’s a shame.  This is Russia’s blind spot.   Now, Russia thinks it has co-opted Turkey too.  Dream on, Russia, dream on.
    The problem with Armenia, and I think we all agree,  is that it does not have a well-informed, honest, nationalistic leadership that can maneuver deftly and in the best interests of the country.  
    Again,  I can only thank Mr. Dumanian for expressing his views.

  11. As hhas and Henry pointed out, the argument in this article is quite weak.
    First, the so called ‘soccer diplomacy’ wouldn’t have even got off the ground if the Russians had not been ok with it from the beginning.  Remember in what country Serj announced he was planning on inviting gul to the soccer match… Russia!  As Henry pointed out, the Russians are well placed within Armenia both implicitly and explicitly. 
    Second, Artsakh and the problems with azerbaijan are not once mentioned in the protocols, people should not be jumping to conclusions.  At worst some of the regions around Artsakh may be given to the azeri’s as a consulation, and I would be against that, but since this even this has not been talked about at the highest levels of the Armenian government, I am not going to lose sleep over it and make wild claims. 
    Third, azerbaijan is not on good terms with Iran, as was shown over the recent visit of the israeli president and the Iranian reaction.  Not to mention the help Armenia recieved from Iran during the NK war.  By using the name azerbaijan, which was given to it by the bolsheviks, azerbaijan countinues to harbor territorial claims to the real azerbaijan in northern Iran. 
    Fourth, the Armenia needs to have another opening to the outside world other than georgia, for obvious reasons.  The railway to Iran, when finished, will be a big help and so would an open border with turkey.  It is not difficult to imagine another war breaking out in georgia, which would almost certainly result in the final collapse of georgia as a country.  Does Armenia really want to be caught in this situation and once again pay the price for georgian stupidity? 
    Fifth,  Russian policy blunders are not any more nor any less than those of the other great powers.  But I can tell you that they have managed to be an international power for over 300 years, and through their policies had managed to grow in terms of land and population until quite recently.  Like the turks, they have a long history of imperial diplomacy and this is not their first rodeo.  Russian policy planners do not see turks as a ‘strategic ally’ but rather an ally of convenience at the moment.  As long as turkey harbors pan-turanic ideals, Russia will be opposed to them.  As far as Dugin is concerned, he is allowed to say some of the things which official Moscow wants the world to know but wouldn’t say aloud, other than that he is not a person who’s opinions shape Russian foreign policy.  Russia has always been a land power and many within the Russian foreign policy circle are students of Mackinder’s ‘Heartland theory’, which is why they prize control of Central Asia and the Cauacasus so much.  Dugin’s ideas are therefore only confirming Russia’s foreign policy, not making them.

    Now a question for the Armenians who posted here and are against the protocols full stop.  How many of you have been to Armenia?  How many of you would like to live in Armenia and make sure your family continues to be Armenian rather than assimilate which is what happens in the Diaspora?
    Be honest

  12. There are too many part-time Armenians out there who are not very well read, and by the time you go through Armenian partisan/sectarian brainwashing and pro-SD/NATO education sessions, you get exactly the same weak, illogical and defeatist statements given by the naysayers above.

    If the Russians are equally behind these disastrous protocols and normalization efforts, then:

    1. Why are the Swiss, known for decades to be a leading diplomatic conduit for the United States, acting as the mediators? The Russians don’t use the Swiss to advance their interests. They are confident diplomats, and conduct their diplomacy on their own!

    2. How many Russian organizations (on the scale of USAID and various prominent NGOs of EU countries) can you think of that have publicly funded dialogue, reconciliation and normalization initiatives between Armenians and Turks since 2008? I know of none, but can list for your countless initiatives and conferences in Yerevan that were funded by USAID along this thread in 2009 alone!

    3. Why do the protocols not mention a single Russian or Russian-friendly entity, yet list 4-5 prominent Western, pro-NATO and pro-EU entities (e.g. OSCE and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council) through which Armenia and Turkey should advance their cooperation?!

    4. Why “shall” the English text of the disastrous protocols “prevail in case of divergence of interpretation” over the Armenian and Azeri versions? How come there is no Russian version?!

    5. How many articles on these issues have appeared in the Russian press since 2008? Compare that figure to the number of articles in Western newspapers and magazines. I know for a fact that the figures are heavily in favor of the West!

    First, carefully read and reread Mr. Boyajian’s exemplary article. Then, answer these questions adequately.

  13. It’s amazing how people like to project their own lack of knowledge and bias on others.
    First of all as someone educated in the non-West and in social sciences and humanities I reject the notion that if one does not articulate and repeat words and notions of conventional “wisdom” then one is brainwashed by the west or is sold to MI6 or CIA. Furthermore I would never accept claims by so called “Activists” who appear out of nowhere and profess true “armenianness” and challenge the nationalism of others. Having participated in a revolution, fought in a major war and witnessed firsthand the horrors of the war in NKR I don’t expect anyone’s approval or label as to how Armenian or how patriotic I am.
    That being said, I’m more than willing to take on the challenge to answer the questions raised by Aram above, but I do like to point out that my criticism of Mr. Boyajian’s article is based on the style (very journalistic hence shallow), analysis (simplistic) and content (misinformation) of the piece.

    While it is true that he Russians do not rely on any other country to develop a smoke-screen it is not necessarily because of the confidence in their diplomacy rather Russian culture and diplomacy is based on their own version of colonialism hence treating everyone else as backwards and to utilize a frontal attack (militarily or diplomatically). The Russians don’t make any distinction between an Armenian, an Azerbaijani or Georgian, for them these are all “chernye” meaning “Black people”.
    There aren’t many Russian organizations which have PUBLICLY funded events on Turkish Armenian dialogue but I personally am aware of at least four local NGOs in Armenia, which receive funding from Russian government and businesses and have, in the last two years, organized at least a dozen symposia on this issue by inviting Russian and Ukrainian experts rather than western ones to analyze this issue. The reason why these are not publicized is because, like many things the Russians do, they try to keep a low profile. I personally have attended at least two such events in 2008 (after the war with Georgia) where speakers as high ranking as Sergey Ivanov have hinted that Russia would welcome any attempts of normalization between Turkey and Armenia as long as Russian interests are protected. The fact that Russia has not objected the latest protocols means that the Russian interests are protected.
    The reason why the protocols mention any Russian entity is because in such an entity Turkey is not represented. That being said it should be noted that Russia IS an active member in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the BSEC, OSCE and to less extent in Council of Europe. The mentioning of an entity such as the CIS would have been counterproductive since it does not include Turkey.
    As far as I recall, when it comes to international and bilateral treaties, other than the usage of the language of the sides involved almost invariably there would be a copy in English. The clause “in case of divergence of interpretation, the English text shall prevail” is a standard clause added at the end of all treaties to make sure that in the event of “misinterpretation” international courts could use that interpretation themselves. Had this treaty been between Armenia and Azerbaijan, most probably they would have had the protocols in four languages, Armenian, Azeri, Russian and English however I would strongly think that in such a case the above clause would be inserted as well.
    As someone who follows the Russian media (along with Turkish and Western news sources) I can definitive say that this issue is definitely covered in major Russian print media outlets or newswires. ITAR-TASS and RIA Novosti (both of which are Russian state owned) actually have extensively covered the Turkish president’s visit to Armenia for the football match, the announcement of the roadmap in April 2009 and recently the announcements of the protocols. Other than the above mentioned news services, many analytical articles have appeared in Izvestia, Pravda, Novaya Gazeta (a major opposition newspaper in Russia) and I’m sure bunch of other less known papers as well.

    I do not feel strongly (for or against) the protocols. Years of experience (be that as a soldier and as a scholar) have made me cynical about the perils of nationalist rhetoric. My concern with Mr. Boyadjian’s article, as I have mentioned in my previous post, is that it comes across as an analysis which is very simplistic, full of rhetoric, lacks complete objectivity and misdirects the uninformed reader.

  14. Aram – I think calling people “part-time Armenians” is childishly disrespectful.  If you’re going to engage in this type of discourse, please learn some etiquette.  I will answer some of the general points you were making.
    First off, Mr. Boyajian, thank you for taking the time out to reply to our comments.
    Even though the Russians have lost 75 years of empire in just a few years – their palms on Armenia have a much stronger grip.  It is absolutely true that Russia has lost influence everywhere you mentioned (with the exception of Belarus — although that’s a case all onto itself, similar to Armenia only because both Armenia’s and Belarus’s regimes need Moscow’s support to stay in power, but that’s for another time), but Armenia is a special case.  Countries like Ukraine and Georgia don’t have to worry about one huge thing the Armenians have to worry about: the Turks.  In 1993 — when Yeltsin’s Russia still hadn’t even decided whether or not it was going to be the same type of empire it had been or if it was going to be the liberal “friend” Yeltsin invisioned when he lead the revolution on top of a tank — Turkey’s generals were publically speaking of a plan to attack Armenia if things go bad for the Azeris.  In fact, I remember Turkish jets used to fly by my house (I used to live a few miles away from the border between Armenia and Turkey).  In 1994, when Armenia officially invited Russia to monitor the border, the Turkish jets stopped flying by, and they have ever since.  And since then, Russians troops have monitored the Turkish/Iranian border with Armenia.  Poland doesn’t have a Turkey to worry about, and if it did, it has enough soldiers to mount its own offensive — the NATO and CIS estimates claim if the entire might of the Turkish army was thrusted onto Armenia – it would take about half an hour for an Armenian defeat (and this I get from my cousin who is a high ranking officer in the Armenian army).
    The simple fact that we need to be in some sort of military alliance with Russia severely restricts a lot of diplomatic (and eventually economic) ties we would otherwise be able to build with other, more democratic nations.  To add to the dilemma, our good alcoholic liberal friend Boris Yeltsin is gone — and with him any hopes of a more sincere Russia (which isn’t saying much).  The Russia that was able to grab Armenia before all those “color revolutions” started sprouting up was an extremely weakened Russia in 1994 — today, and since 1998 — Russia is more powerful and Putin has been actively playing the same old game of empire and is much more determined.  If we conceeded to a military occupation with 1994-Russia, we are no match for 2009-Russia.
    True, Russia is weaker than it has been since 1917 – but simply put, at this moment, surrounded by three hostile nations, we need Russia more than they need us.
    I also disagree with your assumption that Azerbeijian has fallen to the Americans – the Azeris are, in my opinion, quite the rebels.  They have been the only Transcaucasian state to stay compartively independent in the Russian/American game of influence.  If anything, they are under Ankara’s spell (but that’s even an exaggeration – note how the Turks always run to Baku to reaffirm their committment to the closed border whenever there’s any tension).  In fact, the fact that the Turks are angry with the Azeris and think they’re a thorn on their side is an open secret at this point. Granted, this won’t last long and is only based on oil and pipelines, but what has America been able to arm wrestle Azerbeijian into doing? Open up it’s markets for American companies? Barely!
    As one last sign of how powerful Russia’s word is in Armenia, look at who Robert Kocharian was on the phone with the whole night of March 1, 2007 — when it looked like his regime was about to collapse.  All he needed from Putin was the “OK” sign to launch an all out offensive on the protestors — “who gives a shit what the Americans will say or do, I have your back, and that’s all you need.”  Over the summer, I discussed the mistakes the opposition made in last years election, and the main regret Mamikon (who’s last name I will not mention, but will say that he was suppose to be on the Yerevan city council had the ANC recognized the elections), and a whole host of opposition members had was that they didn’t convince Russia and Putin that their regime was not going to endanger the grip Russia had on Armenia — or even put it back into play the way Sakarashvilli did in the late 90s in Georgia.  Had they done that, they think, Putin would have allowed for regime change.  Even the opposition has accepted the supremacy of the bear in the backyard.
    Trust me, I will be the first person to throw a stone at Russia — history shows that Russia is only the 2nd worst oppressor the Armenians have had.  And I have long advocated for cleaning Hayastantsi political and social cultural from all Russian elements (I try to win battles where I can).  But we need some sort of protection from Turkey — I’m not prepared to invite the United States (as much as I would prefer them over the Russians) to monitor the Turkish Armenian border — who are they going to aim at, NATO troops on the other side?  And for how long? Until the oil dries up in the Caspian?
    I think the opposite would work — Russia will probably enjoy a naturally pro-Kremlin regime in Armenia — a democratically elected one, not one it has to continously prop up and spend money/resources on to make sure all the Is are dotted and Ts crossed.  This will allow the democratic process in Armenia to work without any vote rigging and assasinations (this requires a longer explanation but not today).
    As for Aram’s questions — most are irrelevant and answer/contradict themselves.  But I will address them at a later time.
    Sorry for an typos and lenght, I didn’t proofread.

  15. Mr. Dumanian, thanks for giving us your views. It is always good to hear from people whose opinions come from their experience of living on the frontlines-facing reality.

  16. It is a fact that the Armenian Nation is full of either assimilated, part-time, ignorant Armenians or sometimes confused, egoistic, overconfident, “don’t steal my torch” Armenians. Very, very few Armenians stand in the middle: humble, well-read and -educated, inclusive, goal-oriented and passionate.
    Neither Henry Dumanian nor hhas (aka Arthur M., an ardent Russophile) has directly and fully answered any of my questions. A combative approach is certainly destructive. You haven’t proven your points, and a nonresponse is a response.
    For example, Arthur, you say: “The fact that Russia has not objected the latest protocols means that the Russian interests are protected.” This makes no sense whatsoever. Non-objection doesn’t necessarily correspond to the protection of your interests! Using your logic, no country has ever made a strategic or tactical error! So, according to you, Russia is always right. Come on now!
    And, Henry, you claim: “Azerbaijan has not fallen to the Americans – the Azeris are, in my opinion, quite the rebels.  They have been the only Transcaucasian state to stay comparatively independent in the Russian/American game of influence.” This isn’t true. The US has built two major pipelines from Baku to the West and Israel. And, Azerbaijan, like Georgia, has repeatedly stated that it wants to join NATO.
    Properly answering my questions will prove to you that the West and Israel (as well as NATO and pan-Turkism advocates) are much more interested than Russia in opening the borders, and thus much more behind these dialogue, reconciliation and normalization efforts. Once that happens, Armenia — the last pro-Russian bastion in the South Caucasus — will eventually enter the pro-Turkic NATO and EU camp. I don’t think any of us want to see Armenia (remain) undemocratic, swallowed up or wiped off the map.
    If you carefully read and reread Mr. Boyajian’s excellent article, you would have realized that Russia is making a significant mistake by backing the disastrous protocols and not forming a TRUE honest alliance with Armenia that keeps out Turkey.
    So, if his article has hit a nerve with some of you, then take this unique opportunity and write a few yourselves — perhaps more detailed and as logical and comprehensive.
    Remember: Never shoot the messenger. Focus on, strengthen and disseminate the message!
    I look forward to reading your articles on these very important and timely subjects.

  17. Armenia’s situation is that of a client state. It ability to exist is dependent on the largesse of Russia, USA/West, and the Diaspora. It is a client (to varying degrees) to each of these sources of support. It is natural for each to pursue its own agenda and interests. Armenia is threading its way between often conflicting sets of interests while trying to be responsive to the needs of the people living in Armenia. There is an ebb and flow to which of these patrons wins compliance from Armenia. Right now many in the diaspora are angry because Western/USA agenda seem to be trumping the diaspora’s agenda. Compliance is flowing toward opening the border both because of pressure from a key patron and because it corresponds to the economic interests of Armenia. Currently, Armenia imports approximately $250million of Turkish products while exporting just $2million to Turkey. Opening the border will improve this balance and the Armenian economy. As the Armenia economy strengthens it will be able to be more similar to a truly independent country and less of a dependency of its current patrons including the diaspora.

  18. It is delusional and audacious for some commentors on this thread to infer that those who read, comment upon, agree with, and even author this article have not visited, lived and/or worked in Armenia and Artsakh, and hence have no authority or practical background upon which to speak. Nice try, but no cigar.

  19. “It is a fact that the Armenian Nation is full of either assimilated, part-time, ignorant Armenians or sometimes confused, egoistic, overconfident, “don’t steal my torch” Armenians. Very, very few Armenians stand in the middle: humble, well-read and -educated, inclusive, goal-oriented and passionate.”  It is a fact that every nation has people like that.  You need to learn how to attack ideas and opinions without attacking the individual — it is a characteristic of  a “humble, well-read and -educated, inclusive, goal oriented and passionate” person.

    But to readdress your concerns:  As evidence of Azerbaijian’s independence — I cited their threats and anger at Turkey whenever the Turks seem to be on some path of abandoning the Azeri stance regarding the Artsakh conflict.  Your claim that Western financing of the Azeri pipelines is proof of Western domination of Azerbaijian is misguiding.  The West has financed a series of oil-seeking adventures that have, ultimately, remained in the hands of the local government.  (For example, Saudi Arabia shutting off the flow of oil to the U.S. using a completely American-made and financed system of oil-transport in the 70s).  The Azeri president, in fact, controls (and profits from) a huge portion of oil going out of Azerbaijian and can, technically speaking, shut it off the way the Saudi’s did.  (This works, in a weird way, to the advantage of the Armenians — Aliyev knows we’ll be blowing up pipelines in the second war — and thus his profits — and would probably never start another one).

    Your other claims are straight out false.  Azerbaijian has shown no serious interest in joining NATO ( — if I’m mistaken, please point me to a credible news article that can correct me.  Although, the Azeri president has flirted with NATO more than Russia would like it to — and let’s not forget that this “NATO/Israeli dominated” Azerbaijian is STILL in the CIS and STILL sends a considerable amount of officers to train in Moscow (although probably more in Turkey) and STILL has Russian controlled military facalities on its land (including the missle-radar interceptor Russia claimed Bush could use to thwart off any Iranian missiles during the controversy over the missile radar-shield he wanted in Europe).

    And lastly, I never said that America and Europe aren’t more interested than Russia in opening the border.  The West clearly has a lot to gain (including a reason to tell Aram Hamparian and the ANCA that the Armenians and Turks are working on reconciliation, why bother recognizing the genocide and mess things up?).  This, however, doesn’t mean they are going to dominate the Armenian political and military scene — far from it.

  20. Then speak up Harry and let us know if you would move to Armenia, or if you would rather dicate how Armenians living in Armenia should do things while you are safe and sound in the u.s. or europe.

    If I am wrong then by all means let me know, I am not trying to insult you or anyone else, I just want Armenians who are really concerned about this issue yet have never been to Armenia or would never move there to understand that the future of the Armenian people is not the Diaspora but the Republic of Armenia and its inhabitants.  Therefore the say of the citizens of the RA carries more weight.

  21. This accusation repeatedly rears its ugly head on this site, and is getting tedious. Not everyone is an armchair patriot, as some seem to think.   I have lived and worked in Artsakh and Armenia (beyond cushy Yerevan), and will do so again.  If the ROA quit its “we’ll take your money, but not your collaboration ” soliloquy to the Spiurk and made it easier for Diasporans to receive dual citizenship, you would see even greater Diasporan involvement, and repatriation numbers rise.  The current administration’s blatant disregard for the Diaspora as an indivisible part of Armenia isn’t winning Serzh any integrity awards.  Now let’s get back to frank discussion about the article in question.

  22. It is a fact that one of key U.S. strategic goals in the Caucasus is taking control over Azerbaijan.

    Some of the most prominent and influential US geostrategists, such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, have long propagated the idea that, if the US strategic interests in the region should be promoted, then Azerbaijan must not become part of Russia’s sphere of influence.

    In this regard, the Armenian-Turkish protocols will certainly mean that the Nagorno Karabakh issue would be solved according to Azeri interests, making Baku even less dependent on Moscow, which is precisely what the US have been trying to achieve for more than two decades.

    Of course, the grand finale of this policy would be the expansion of NATO with Azerbaijan as its most eastern member, thus significantly eroding the Russian influence and position in the wider Caucasus region.

    Therefore, I wholeheartedly agree with the words of Mr. Boyajian.

  23. Mr. Nolan,
    What you said is a general truth.  Mr. Boyajian’s article is less about IF the Americans want Armenia and Azerbaijian in their sphere of influence (as I’m sure they do) but if they are about to “defeat” Russia in Armenia.  Just because  Brzezinski wants Azerbaijian doesn’t mean they are going to get Armenia — especially in the way Mr. Boyajian argues.  (And you should take what he says lightly anyway, Brzezinski has some financial ties to Azerbaijian).

  24. Having in mind that most of Brzezinski’s recommendations regarding the Caucasus have been adopted as US policy, one cannot take his claims lightly as you suggest, especially when he is an adviser to Obama.

    And, yes, the implementation of the protocols would not only gravely harm Armenia, but would also turn Russia’s current disadvantage into a defeat of its strategic interests in the region. This point is very clearly depicted in Mr. Boyajian’s article.

  25. Sireli Tim,
    You are interested in Azerbaijan so you probably know that a few years ago America created what will someday be a  a NATO navy based in Baku.  It’s called the Caspian Guard.  The US used the excuse that it needed to catch drug runners and other bad guys but the real reason is something else I think.  It was all Donald Rumsfeld’s idea.  He was the American secretary of defense.  You have to read these links to learn more if you don’t know already. 

  26. Sireli Tim Nolan, again,
    There’s a really smart piece that shows that Azerbaijan is serious about NATO, even if it exercises some caution with Russia.  There are lots of pieces like this one.  Here it is:
    Published on Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Analyst (
    By Fariz Ismailzade (04/23/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)

    \”We have been doing this work since 1994, but never made much noise about this\”, said the president, referring to Azerbaijan\’s efforts to join the alliance. In the past, he seldom addressed this issue personally. In 1999, presidential advisor Vafa Guluzadeh was the first to introduce the idea of inviting NATO military bases into Azerbaijan. Since then, Azerbaijan’s relations with Russia have warmed up, prompting many analysts to think that Azerbaijan has put the idea of joining NATO into its backburner. Yet, President Aliyev\’s remarks come as strong evidence of the country\’s steady course toward joining the alliance.
    Bruce Jackson informed the Azerbaijani President that after the Prague summit of NATO, the focus of the alliance shifted toward the Balkans and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Of the latter, he more specifically pointed out Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan. \”If we can draw significant attention to the Caucasus region and start discussions on these countries, we can include these countries into the list of possible candidates for admissions by 2006-2007\”, said the guest. According to Jackson, Ukraine and Georgia have been coordinating their efforts to join the alliance, urging Azerbaijan to do the same.
    Azerbaijan\’s relations with NATO began in 1994, when the country jointed NATO\’s Partnership for Peace program. Since then, Azerbaijan has been an active participant of both NATO\’s military exercises and political summits. The most vivid evidence of Azerbaijan\’s commitment to NATO was in 1999, when the President of Azerbaijan traveled to the Washington summit of NATO in spite of international pressure on the alliance because of the Kosovo war. Yet out of the three Caucasus republics, Georgia has been perceived by the West as the most eager to join the alliance.
    After the September 11 terrorist attacks, the cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO has been on the rise further, mostly due to the boost of military cooperation between the U.S. and Azerbaijan. It was made possible thanks to the waiver of section 907 of the Freedom Support Act by the U.S. Congress, allowing direct U.S. assistance to the government of Azerbaijan for the first time since 1992. Azerbaijan also sent peacekeeping troops to Kosovo and Afghanistan as part of its military cooperation with NATO.
    At the meeting, President Aliyev mentioned the fact that Azerbaijan has been together with the US on the war against international terror. \”You know that we immediately joined the coalition against Iraq. From all this, you can conclude that Azerbaijan has decided to join NATO and join with the US, even at times when other NATO members chose not to\”, Aliyev said.
    Meanwhile, Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan Safar Abiyev is travelling to Washington in May to discuss bilateral military cooperation. The visit will take place at the invitation of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and will include \”many suggestions\” that the American side has to offer to Azerbaijan. Abiyev also expressed his view that the issue of Azerbaijan\’s admission to NATO might also be on the agenda during his visit to the US.
    Recent policies of the Azerbaijani government show that the nation\’s leadership sees the future of the country together with the West and within the western security system. Joining NATO would certainly benefit both sides as it would bring stability and security to the conflict-torn Caucasus region and further integrate the region into European political and economic structures.
    This, however, requires much work ahead, including reforms and progress in the field of democratization. This was the message sent to the Azerbaijani leadership by Bruce Jackson. The latter urged the Azerbaijani government to intensify the fight against corruption and the conduct of free and fair elections. President Aliyev in return, said that these works are being done anyway, not depending on the fact whether Azerbaijan will be admitted to NATO or not. \”We are building a democratic legal and independent country and what you said will certainly be reflected in Azerbaijan\’s life,\” concluded the President.

  27. Well, I find all this fairs unwarranted. These protocols are not so bad for Armenia and we can convert them into plus – and Armenia never will be Ottomanized – maybe Eastern Turkey will be rearmenized, but not contrary

  28. Dear friends, thank you for the heated discussion.  Don’t let it get personal.  In response to Aram, HHas is, I believe, Michael Jermakian and not Arthur Martirosyan.  Arthur has not participated in any war, and this is the signature of Michael Jermakian from my experience.    

    David’s conciseness is deemed shallow and unprofessional.  I don’t agree.  David has a unique way of attracting comments.  If you read him carefully, he is someone intimately familiar with the US political agenda and the environ in Washington. 

    I will yield on one point and thank HHas for reminding us of the low profile stylings and subtleties of Russian colonialist/imperialist diplomacy, and yet that indeed does not answer the question as to why almost the entirety of the Warsaw pact is lost to Russian Imperialism. 

    Despite the lack of insight on the internal workings of Russia in Armenia, I think that main point needs to be addressed.  Turkey is the main instrument in offsetting the balance in the Caucasus, and, repeatedly stated, the “Neo-Ottoman Revivalism” that is being speculated by high profile intelligence advisors and political analysts in the US is telling.  The US has the interest in expanding Turkish influence, and my belief is that the Central Eurasian project is, when realized to its full political potential, a revival of a “Neo-Ottoman State,” something that  George Friedman – CIA affiliated author – apparently advocates.

    Russia, for the first time in 500 years, as David D stated in the comments section of his article, has seen its head of state visit Ankara.  Such unprecedented “warming of relations” brings to the front Shant Hariyunian’s article which insists that such “warming” of relations means part capitulation on behalf of Russia as in the post-WWI period in order to attract Turkey into its sphere of influence, which, as Boyadjian implies, is a bad gamble and a repetition of the errors made in Eastern Europe.

    Turkey will merely use, as it did in the post-WWI era, Russian complacency in light of loss of control of satellites in this context, to advance their anti-Armenian agenda which is a stepping stone in their ambitions to expand to the East. 

  29. Believe me, we don’t need Armenia to expand to the East. We are already there. Our interest is to have Armenia on our side rather than Russia’a or USs. This whole thing is a cause of real independence for all, not alone for Turks in Asia Minor.

  30. I yet have to see a single rational analysis or something with depth in the diaspora. I can’t believe how out of touch Armenians are with politics. Wake up Boyajian, the warming of relations between Ankara and Yerevan is a Russian project.

  31. I have yet to see a sensible analysis regarding what is occurring in the Caucasus… To imply that Russia is about to undermine their only ally in the south Caucasus, after they have successfully defeated the American, Turkish, Israeli and European backed regime in Tbilisi is absurd to say the least. The entire Caucasus region is now in Moscow’s hands and now they are using Armenia to project their power beyond the Caucasus. To imply that Turkey will outsmart Russians, Armenians and Iranians in the Caucasus when they are in reality dependent on Russian trade, gas and oil is, simply put – stupid. You folks seriously need to study geopolitics and monitor what is occurring in the Russian Federation today. Armenia has not been in a better position, politically speaking, in perhaps a thousand years. Those against the “protocols” are against them for emotional, ignorant and/or selfish reasons. The diaspora’s sick obsession with the genocide has cornered it psychologically. So much so that now it can’t think outside of the “genocide” perspective. And the only one putting a wedge between the diaspora and Armenia is us diasporans. Shame on you for ‘demanding’ things from authorities in Yerevan when it is the natives of Armenia that are to live with the consequences of politics and not you. Shame on you all for being so selfish and narrow minded. Want to complain, move to Armenia first.

  32. After following the debate about the role of Russia, it would be interesting to see the Russian official position on the protocols as expressed by the spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, who believes that “The establishment of good-neighborly relations between Armenia and Turkey will contribute to the lessening of tension, enhancing peace and security in Transcaucasian region”
    if the article still holds true then the Russian government is clearly unaware what their interests are and Mr. Boyajian needs to provide his “sound” advise to the Kremlin to protect their rights.

  33. Boyajian needs to take a few courses in political science, history and geopolitics before he continues writing political essays. Perhaps he can also begin to pay closer attention to developments in Eurasia and work on stopping his fears and emotions from dictating his thoughts. When the big guys begin to get involved in a dispute the smart little guys stays silent, listens and tries to work out something positive for himself. This is what official Yerevan is doing today. Anyone here that thinks Armenians can “strong arm” or “explain” things to the Kremlin is delusional. Trust me, Kremlin officials know what is going on in the Caucasus better than all of us Armenians combined. Sleep well knowing that for the foreseeable future their national interests will correspond with ours. And I have more trust in them to keep the Caucasus free of a Turkish infestation than on us Armenians. Boyajian, when you pray at nights (if you pray) make sure to say a prayer for Mother Russia because the only reason why we have an Armenian republic in the Caucasus today is because two hundred years ago drunk “Ivan” decided to go to the Caucasus. Without a Russian presence in the Caucasus all of us would still be living like Kurds.

  34. “The coming defeat of Russia”?
    Does the author realize just how stupid this title sounds? And he wants people to take him seriously?
    What happened? I thought Armenians were smart. Oh, I forgot, we  are idiots when it comes to politics…
    The supposition in Boyajian’s essay is that Kremlin officials are stupid and Turkey will outsmart Russians in the Caucasus. The fact of the matter is Russia has been in firm control of the Caucasus for two hundreds years, even during the disastrous Bolshevik revolution and during the regime of the Western installed drunkard Yeltsin. The fact of the matter is during the summer of 2008 a ten thousand strong Russian army defeated the combined weight of the Western world and Turkey when it totally crushed the Georgian military in just four days. The fact of the matter is due to this historic defeat of its historic antagonists Moscow has begun to implement various long term economic projects for the Caucasus through its stronghold in Armenia.
    This is a great opportunity for Armenia, maybe the best political opportunity it has had in a thousand years. Yet, due to our narrow minded obsessive minds we want to be left out of progress. As long as our homeland fits our shallow national ideologies we could careless if it remains a Third World nation.
    I agree with Avetis, the authors needs to take a few courses in Russian history and political science before he continues to write geopolitical essays…

  35. Enough with the combative approach and the rigid pro-Russian positions.

    Russia, like every other superpower, is today advancing its own strategic objectives in the South Caucasus apace and with renewed vigor, a process that can often help and sometimes harm the promotion of Armenian national interests!

    Understand that the West and Israel (as well as EU/NATO and pan-Turkism advocates) are more interested than Russia in opening the borders, and thus much more behind these so-called dialogue, reconciliation and normalization efforts. Notice what Hillary Clinton was up to with her anti-Armenian sidekick, Phil Gordon, in Zurich yesterday:

    If the borders are opened, Armenia — the last pro-Russian bastion in the South Caucasus — will eventually enter the pro-Turkic EU/NATO camp. There is little protective, but bullying Russia can do about it. Armenians appreciate and long for a more comfortable, innovative and civil Western lifestyle. And, Turkey, the EU and the US lie exactly to Armenia’s west. That’s where Armenia will be heading — with or without the adoption and implementation of various legislative and reform measures, and official Moscow’s sugar-coated statements!

    If you carefully read and reread Mr. Boyajian’s excellent article (who by the way is one of the very few writers in the West to have received multiple university degrees without becoming a Judeo/Turkophile and/or Russophobe), you would have realized that Russia is making a significant mistake by backing the disastrous protocols and not forming a TRUE, HONEST alliance with Armenia that keeps out Turkey.

    Avetis and Armen, I see that you are quite interested in these very important and timely subjects. Have you written any articles yourself? If yes, I look forward to reading them.

  36. Russia invaded Anatolia in 1876 and again in 1917, but pulled back both times, thus cheating and harming Armenians while losing significant ground.

    Russia repressed the anti-Ottoman Armenian revolution based in the Armenian Caucasus in the 19th century. Is this an example of Russian geostrategic intelligence?

    Turkey was helped by Russia right after WWI, and battered Armenia a lot. Is this an example of Russia taming Turkey?

    Turkey then became a NATO outpost and still is. Is this an example of keen Russian intelligence?

    Russia was even at first helping Azerbaijan in the Karabakh war, and Russia gave Karabakh and Nakhichevan to Azerbaijan. Is this an example of how pro-Armenian Russia is?

    Conclusion: Russia has made several woeful errors in recent centuries. It has yet to be demonstrated that Russia is out for anyone except itself!

    Armen and Avetis are pathetic to see a true friend in Russia. They themselves should take courses in elementary geopolitics.

    Most Armenians are against the ruinous protocols and don’t buy the idea that Russia is coming to Armenia’s rescue!

  37. To Giorgi,
    I don’t even know where to start refuting your lies and misrepresentations. Just one point, however.  Bolsheviks were not Russians. Speaking Russian does not make one a Russian, just like speaking English does not make one English. The majority of early Bolsheviks were Jews and the rest were a mix of Armenians, Georgians, Uzbeks, Russians, Chinese, etc… Russians were a tiny minority in the Bolshevik movement. Ethnic Russians (Christian/Slavs) suffered by far the most under the Bolsheviks. Communism became Russified as a result of the Second World War. And the reason why the Russian Empire withdrew its forces from within Anatolia in 1916, enabling the Turks to continue their genocide of Armenians was because of the success of the Western funded Bolshevik revolution. Nevertheless, had it not been for the Russian Empire, Armenian nationalistic organization would have never even been formed to begin with. Russian secret services played a great role in organizing and funding Armenia’s independence movement in the late 19th century. Yes, later on there were some political problems between the Armenian revolutionaries and the Russian Czar, but from David Bek to the Artsakh liberation war Moscow was working with us Armenians behind the scenes.

    Again, let’s don’t confuse Soviets/Bolsheviks with the Russian Federation/Czarits Russia, the two have different geopolitical interests. Had Russians not invaded the Caucasus two hundreds years ago Armenians today would still be living like Turks, Kurds or Persians.

    To Aram
    Let me get this straight, you are afraid that Armenians will warm to Turks if borders open? LOL! Your fear is us Armenians – not Turks. That is funny! Its like you not allowing one’s wife in the company of men because one don’t trust her… What an insult to us Armenians. Let me guess, you are an Armenian nationalist?

    And another thing Aram jan, Moscow today already controls the Armenian military, the Armenian economy and Armenia’s energy sector. Moscow defacto runs Armenia today. What’s more, Moscow has mutilated Georgia, has driven out Western interests from the Caucasus and has Azerbaijan held hostage. Let’s also remember that Moscow also has an alliance with Iran. Maybe one day you’ll notice that Moscow today fully controls the Caucasus and it is Armenia’s only lifeline.

    Armenia and Artsakh are independent only in our dreams. The fact of the matter is, Armenia, a tiny, poor, resourceless land surrounded by enemies in the volatile Caucasus simply speaking ‘cannot’ be independent. Thank God that we serve the long term strategic interests of a regional superpower like Russia. Without a Russian presence in the Caucasus not even a million of our fedayees can stop the Caucasus from becoming a Turkic territory.
    With Artsakh secured militarily (don’t let western propaganda fool you Moscow will not force Armenia to give up the land), with Armenia secured militarily, open borders with Turkey can/will  serve Armenia’s long term interests by allowing it to become an integral part of the region’s economic development. With Georgia out of the picture now and with serious problems in the Black Sea, Armenia has found itself in a very geostrategic position. This is what our officials, with Moscow’s backing, are trying to exploit. Moscow has placed Armenia on center stage. So, instead of being narrow minded and hysterical let’s do something about the future of our republic for once. I suggest you put aside your ideological dreams and see better Armenia’s national interests.
    This is the time for our diaspora to actively get involved in Armenia.

  38. Well said Avetis jan!

    I find it ironic too that a number of those who are against the protocols have never been to Armenia or Artsakh.

  39. One topic at a time: “Forever Russia, With Love”
    Avetis, this is far too much faith in Russian invincibility.  Look at little Chchnya, some say an experiment, a litmus test if you will, on Russia by the various western powers (as the number of western operatives among Chechen units was remarkable).  Perhaps for the next 10 years of so this might continue to be the case in that region, but there is a lot of background and foreground work being done to weaken Russia’s hold on their traditional (since Catherine II) Eurasian holdings.
    Some of the background work consists of the slight toward “nationalizing” the Central Asian republics.  Khazakhstan’s electorate already disfavors ethnic Russians at the popular level.  We have seen this have effect on their political system where certain ethnic Russian officials have lost their place due to their ethnicity (and I suspect it has more to do with western operatives than local popular reaction).   In other words, while we have “open minded, avante garde” individuals ridiculing “Armenian nationalists,” we have the entire Turkic block glorifying their racists as heroes.   There is an obvious imbalance there in our “relationship.”   The irony is that one of the most knowledgeable and vocal “experts” on this “Kazakhization of Kazakhstan” now denies this to be fact only because he is part of the pro-protocol block.   Hypocrisy is rampant.
    Who do you think supports and finances this sort of work?   Russia’s current resurgence as a world power after a slight hybernation under Yeltsin caught many by surprise, but if one analyzes the reasons for it at a global scale (which, if you are interested, I can point you to some good writing on the topic) , one will understand that the strengthening of Russia was also partly due to external support from the EU side (after, of course, Britain finally decided it was ‘A Go Green” to join).  This tells me that this is an intentional zero-sum game, while gnawing in the background (at the popular level, at the grass roots indoctrination layer) on the imperial holdings of Russia are a constant.   I can vouch for the fact that Boyadjian knows a lot more than you think about this material. Boyadjian’s message is that it is only a matter of time before Russia’s half-blind political strong-arming will fail.   (NATO is in Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary,  Bulgaria, etc. )
    Anyone buy Russian made microchips, motherboards, laptops, calculators, GPS devices, cars, planes (aside from Hugo Chavez and his 6 or so planes, 90 or so tanks, etc, don’t know the number) ?  No you say?  No industrial and technological output (aside from 3 or 4 software companies grossing in the 100 millions to lower billions).  Is it all about mineral exports?  Yes, it seems so.
    Russia’s current economy also consists mostly of non-industrial output, and it is an austerely oligarch model with no tranparency in government worth mentioning.   This always, always results in severe brain drains.  Its gross national product and per capita income are lower than they were during its brief apex in 1913 on real dollar terms.  You can find this in the UNDPA’s (this is not a western organ, but is one in which Russia plays a significant role as well) painfully extensive economic analysis of Russia from 2004.    Not much has changed since 2004.  The birth rate for ethnic Russians in lower than ever, in the negatives.   Birth rate of Muslim ethnicities is in the 2 percentile or higher, and at this rate the demographics of the Russian Federations will ripen it for dismemberment, guaranteed.   The overall “stagnant” birth rate is currently -0.02 (that’s MINUS 0.02).  Emigration rate of Russians dropped after Putin’s first year in office, but until then the reduction of the Russian Federations population was en par with that of Poland from 1990 to 1999, about 2% per annum (Economist), which was a staggering blow for this country in terms of brain drain, as the higher caliber populations were leaving, same as Armenia, sadly.
    Regardless of what Russia’s bleak future says in the long term (unless they make key changes, which doesn’t seem likely at this time) the last time we put too much hope on Russian support, we ended up losing our own military potential when it truly could have made a difference.  (Refer to this if your Armenian is up to par)
    Today military potential does not have much meaning, but economic potential does.   The best ally in this area is the diaspora, no doubt, as a proven fact.   Diasporan and expatriates like us have sent in funds and helped to often our own detriment (trust me, there is a lot of sacrifice) in droves to keep Armenia alive.   The potential is in our unity as a nation, and the ridicule of any Nationalist Armenian, any well meaning individual, should be considered a crime.  The GDP usually consists of funds sent in from abroad, by the way, according to some honest economists, which is in the low billions by now.
    You mention Russian imperialism and their role in saving Armenia.   Without going into too much detail, let me jus that the Russian empire under Peter I refused to participate in a campaign into Armenia for an independent Armenia until Armenians could manage to raise a sizable force.   This delay was a huge blow to Armenians.  Some consider this one of the reasons there was bloody dissension in the Armenian forces and Melikdoms of the time that caused furthe r Ottoman incursion into Armenian territory.   No one will invest in you if you don’t invest in yourself.  Today we must muster economic and diplomatic strength.  I am not sure how to exploit this situation.  I have been reading this protocol business, and I have been seeing exaggerations and lies on both sides; but more so from the protocols proponents.  At least, now, after reading and thinking through all this mess, we can find a way to exploit this diplomatic moment to our advantage if it is possible.  Maybe that’s why Aznavour signed the open letter.   Maybe he knows something we don’t–:)

  40. Hagop jan,
    Yes, let’s look at “little” Chechnya. The Islamic insurgency there was an operation conceived, organized and funded by the CIA, MIT, MI6, ISI and Al Qaeda. The operation was put into motion when Russia was down on its knees as a result of the Soviet collapse. The operation’s main goal was to expel Russians from the greater Caucasus region by handing the territory to the region’s Islamic and Turkic peoples, although Georgia was also a part of the agenda. Had this initial operation succeeded Armenia/Nagorno Karabagh would have been next. At the time, during the Yeltsin years, Russia suffered a series of setbacks in Chechnya but kept their stance in adjacent regions, not allowing the insurgency to spread further. Needless to say, Russia got its act together under Putin and managed to crush the insurgency in a single massive campaign in the year 2000. Caucasus’ fate was sealed during the summer of 2008 when Russia crushed Georgia. Today the Islamic movement in Chechnya is nothing but a localized nuisance that will gradually disappear altogether, especially now that money, men and supplies no longer reach the area via Georgia and Azerbaijan. If you want to familiarize yourself with the geopolitical gravity of the Western funded Islamic movement in the Caucasus, and see how brilliant the performance of the Russian FSB/GRU was in defeating the Western backed Islamists,  read the excellent book titled “Chechen Jihad” by Yossef Bodansky. And I have news for you Hagop jan, had the West’s intentions succeeded in the northern Caucasus – Armenia would not exist today. And no one here is ridiculing Armenian nationalists. However, one needs to define what “Armenian nationalist” means. Trust me, most of you here, by definition and by action, would not be qualified to be called Armenian nationalists.
    The rest of your commentary does not warrant a response from me. You are attempting verbal gymnastics in an attempt to make a point where a point does not exist. I suggest you stop watching FOX news (or any other mainstream news media in the US) and begin closely monitoring developments in Eurasia.

  41. Avetis writes–“let’s look at “little” Chechnya. The Islamic insurgency there was an operation conceived, organized and funded by the CIA, MIT, MI6, ISI and Al Qaeda”

    Right, the Chechens would be sitting home having tea if they were not manipulated by MIT and the CIA along with their buddies in Al Qaeda  into insurgency. 

    Wild conjecture linked to wild conjecture does not make a convincing argument.

  42. Avetis, your Russophilia is blinding you terribly.  You have immediately and irrationally taken on an adversarial position with a fellow Armenian and have managed to repeat the stupid cliche: “I am a true nationalist while you are a fake nationalist.  My dad can beat up your dad.” etc.  

    In the chechen war, just like any Armenian, I was waiting for Russia to finish the job and stop the (essentially) Wahhabist “rebellion” obviously sponsored by the Anglo-American-Zionist (and Saudi, of course) block, obviously.   That is what I meant by “litmus test” of a sort, where these mongrels, under the Chechen proxy, were testing Russian resolve, and had in fact declared war against Russia at the conventional level under the Chechen flag.  This is a given.  Of course Armenia’s interest lied in the resumption of Russian control of the region.  

    Georgia and her sponsors were humiliated recently.   This “humiliation” in Georgia resulted in a temporary gain for Russia, but the Warsaw Pact is long gone, and NATO control is expanding.  Anti-Russian sentiments have peaked ot just in the caucasus, but also in Central Asia as described above.  

    Then comes my next point which you and all other Russophiles seem to avoid due to another sort of prejudicial bias.   The ease with which you condemn “nationalists” and then use that as pretext to “categorize” fellow Armenians in a disdainful tone is indicative of how little value you put in your fellow Armenians, particularly those who do not share you Russophiliac world view.   I see this same phenomenon in some Armenians from Iran and their Iranophilia and so on.   I wish I had a dime each and every time I heard said or implied this statement: “If you don’t speak Russian, than you are ignorant.  I don’t care how well you speak Armenian,” and its “Iranophile” variety, its “Francophile” variety, its “Anglophile” variety, and so on.  It’s just not enough for you to be Armenian for Armenians these days.

    This stems from the fact that we place undue hope on external forces, foreign powers, and for this reason we keep on losing territory and national sovereignty in stages.  

    The fact that Russia is a dying empire is no illusion, nor is it the propganda effort of FOX.  UNDPA is not by any means a biased source on Russia.   It is partly controlled by Russia.   The demographics analysis is correct.  Russia is being bred out of dominance. 

    Russia is the number one weapons exporter, and we are supposed to see this as some sort of sustainable economic achievement.   Weapons are the main industry, and probably the only industry worth mentioning.  The mineral and energy sector are for the time being the largest sector of the economy. 

    All this sounds grand until you do a comparison of GDPs.   The UK, Germany, and India are in fact larger economies.  France is only behind by a smal percentage.  The US economy is 7 times larger.   China is 3 times larger, and so on.   The NATO block can outfinance Russia by a factor of at least 10 to 1, and they have managed to strip from the Warsaw pact all eastern european states and 5 FSU republics.  Turkey is only 0.6 of Russia’s total output, putting Turkey not far behind Russian economic strength.  Moreover, Turkish military is subsidised by NATO, thus making Turkey capable of further re-investment in the private sector for further growth.  

    Russia’s industry was far more advanced in global relatives terms during Stolypin’s tenure than it ever has been, and even some soviet economists agreed to this.  Now, Russia is mainly a raw materials exporter, which makes Russia weaker than a potential it has reached in the past by far.

    Boyadjian is correct.  Russia is aggressive and for time being strong, but not very diplomatically adept at maintaining an empire.   It’s gutting itself by maintaining a greedy oligarchy and no transparents government.  It is in fact still suffering from a brain drain.  We hear about the “prosperity of Moscow” from fellow Armenians, but when asked how the rest of Russia is doing, the same answer comes up:  Well, some parts of Siberia are thriving.  The hint is  that this is “doing well” based on the weapons industry, diamond production, minerals, and no consumer technology product, no cars, no commercial planes (they have lost miserably there).

    Russia’s place in the world is not what it once was.  Russia’s total population is less than half that of the US alone.   A good percentage of Russia’s population are in fact Muslims (some say 15%) who will work to gain autonomy once the balance is in their favor.   Less than 80% are considered ethnic Russians.   Exponents indicate that Russia’s ethnic Russian population will be less than 50% in a matter of a few decades.   I hope Russians don’t lose their strength for now, for the sake of Armenian survival at this stage, but the reality is disconcerting.

    I am not anti-Russian in my attitudes by ay means, not even close, but I cannot agree with this overreliance on foreign support.    Again, it is a distrubing thing to see Armenians flinch from internecine cooperation because of a misguided complacency resulting from placement of too much hope on foreign sponsorship and suzereignty.   Our history says that we have lost much because of this.   Denial of history is a dangerous thing.

  43. Gary, it is a fact that foreign operatives were far too numerous to dismiss Russian allegations that the NATO block, Israeli and Saudis were heavily involved.  The Wahhabi movement in the Caucasus is directly and openly sponsored by the Saudi, and anytime there is the need to destroy Russian power, the strange bedfellows of the Saudis are always there.

  44. The Suren up above is assumably Suren Sarafian.   The tone of condemnation of diasporans and “genocide obsessive maniacs” is his cliche signature.  Turkey in this case is not merely Turkey.  It is not a matter of whether “Turkey is outsmarting Russia.”  It is a matter of a hodge-podge of financial interests within Russia, the US, the EU, who are interested in certain redrawings of maps, and Russia is a nation state controlled by a bureacracy who is in turn controlled by an oligrachy that is not driven by patriotism and “Mother Russia” sloganism by any means.  It would be naive to state that Russia is not the instrument itself of these financial interests, these controlling conglomerates and oligarchs to set a certain pace in Eurasia to their favor.   The largest commercial empire (and that is precisely what she was) in the late 19th and early 20th century, the period which saw so much bloodshed for us Armenians, was the British, and the British were avid Turkophiles for the reason that they saw the Ottomans as a tool and not as competition.  They saw the Russian Empire and its controlling monarchy and nobility as direct competition.  After the huge bloodletting during the “internationalist” Bolshevik regime, the very character of Russia has been largely transformed to be a denationalized landscape baesd on commercial concerns, and the “Mother Russia” rhetoric is truly merely the frosting on the cake whenever there is a party.   The cake itself is controlled by finance, commerce, which is a global phenomenon increasingly so.    The naive outlook of “this country versus that country” is superficial at best.  Russia is, in my opinion, being driven toward further self-inflicted suicide, and the signs are all there.   It is no longer a first worlder with the completementary infrastructures to maintain a first worlder population and socio-economic level.    it is drifting into 2nd world oligarch driven model.   Turkey, on the other hand, is being increasingly consolidated at the popular level as a nation-state model, and the nation-state status and its enforcement are not being criticized by the customary critics of nation state building: i.e. the usual Anglo-American “leftist” media lambasts against “fascism” everytime there is a country that wants to consolidate their internal socio-political status and demographics.   “Russia” is not facing “Turkey” in this instance.  It is facing the huge block that sponsors Turkey and its impending neo-ottomanism. 

  45. Hagop jan, I did not insinuate that I was a nationalist. I don’t take that term lightly. I did not fight in the war for Artsakh’s liberation, I did not serve in Armenia’s military, I currently do not reside in Armenia, I don’t work for Armenia, I am not proficient in Armenian, etc… I am not good enough to be consider an Armenian nationalist. But I do love my homeland dearly. However, most self-proclaimed nationalists here and elsewhere, not necessarily you, are far from being Armenian nationalists in my opinion.
    I’m impressed that you are aware of the West’s intimate role in the Islamic insurgencies that have ravaged Central Asia, Caucasus and the Balkans for the past twenty years. An overwhelming majority of “Armenian nationalists” are in the dark about this very important topic. The funny part is that had Russia been defeated in the Caucasus all our wannabe Armenian nationalists would not have known what hit them…  Again, I ask you to read the book “Chechen Jihad”.
    Me, a Russophile?
    I don’t speak Russian too well. I am not too familiar with Russia’s national heritage. I would never live in Russia, nor would I get along with the average Russian. I am a political realist. I see that Armenia’s existence in the Caucasus for the foreseeable future is directly related to how well Armenia attaches its national interests to that of Moscow’s. We, simply speaking, don’t have another option. If this makes me a Russophile, then so be it.
    Russia, not adapt at maintaining an empire?
    Looking at it from a historic perspective, that’s a silly comment you made. In about four hundreds years of rule as an empire Russia had only one major screw-up – the Bolshevik revolution. The Soviet collapse was basically the inevitable, prolonged, downfall of the Bolsheviks. Had it not been for the Third Reich, I don’t think the Soviet Union would have lasted even into the 1950s… Today’s Russia is beginning to resemble the Russian Empire of old. So, in a certain sense, the Russian Empire is back after about seventy years of a hibernation. Just be happy that for Russia today Armenia serves a vital strategic role. It was Russia’s presence in the Caucasus in the 18-19 centuries that enabled us Armenians to create a nation-state. For better or for worst, under Soviet rule we were able to develop our nation from a dusty Islamic desert to a modern republic. And it is Russia’s presence in the Caucasus today that is helping us maintain our current republic as well as Artsakh. Had it not been for Russians we Armenians would be lamenting Western Armenia as well as Eastern Armenia…
    Let’s look at economics now:
    All indicators suggest that the West is in a gradual decline. Simply put, there are no vast amounts of raw materials for its massive economies to exploit anymore and its populations are far too complacent  to be effective in the competitive global market.
    Indicators also suggest that the East – China, India and Russia in particular – is in a gradual rise. As far as Russia is concerned, for the past five to ten years Russia has been buying up all sorts of major corporations and industries – from the United States to Asia.  They have been restructuring their industrial capacity. They are improving their banking system. They are monopolizing control of energy distribution networks. They are overhauling their military. They are working on their demographic problems… Moreover, the Russian Federation, by far the largest nation on earth, controls something like 20% of all natural resources on earth – not counting the massive oil/gas reserves found in the Arctic region. From precious metals to precious stones, from oil/gas to wood, from fresh water to arable land – Russia, even if it does not develop its industry, it can sustain the globe for generations to come. And if they ever get their act straight within the next couple of decades, which is what it looks like they are trying to do currently, expect them to be ‘the’ dominate force on earth. Russia’s gargantuan natural wealth is why the West, since Napoleon’s time, has coveted Russia and has tried to dismantle it.
    I am convinced (perhaps hopeful) that Russia will be in the driving seat in 21 century and beyond and I simply want my tiny, poor and landlocked republic in the Caucasus to be at least in its passenger seat. I look at the current political process taking place between Turkey and Armenia as an extension of what I am discussing here. Russia is in control in the Caucasus and it is using Armenia as a staging ground to project its economic-military-political power in the region. Armenia has not had a political chance like this in centuries.

  46. Avetis jan,  first let me apologize for the massive amount assumptions on your identity.   Now that both of us are in agreement that this part of “dialog” is useless, permit me to comment, partly in agreement, to what you have written.  Let me remind you once more that I have the same hopes you do. 

    Russian imperial history is, and I can tell you this from fanatically extensive reading on the subject, (8 biographies and primary discourses of of Peter I, for example, love the guy) at best rocky with a series of miraculous results.   Certainly the Russo-Armenian relations and cordiality, cooperation on equal footing even, go back very far.   Vladimir’s successes against the Khazars is the first instance where a majorly important breakthrough for Armenian security came from the north under the Rus banner.    I personally like the Russians a lot–:)

    I take with a grain of salt the statement “Russian imperialism is a flawless swim save for a couple of screwups.”   Russian imperial “screwups” includes the murder of the core of their original identity, the Kievan principality/kingdom at the hands of Mongols who ruled over the majority of Russian states, save for some isolated pockets, for 3 centuries.   

    Russia was not merely hybernating, of course, but Russians suffered greatly during this period.  Their societal model drastically changed to a decadent feudal one, as, almost like the present day scenario, the landowners who cooperated with the Tatars ended up as the nobility of the remerging Russian empire which first saw its rebirth under Ivan III.  It reminds one of the “uber-capitalists” of today, the “Novii Russkii” and oligarchs who, after the Soviet collapse, wrested the formerly public capital and established new “Boyar estates” of today.   However, the “oligarchs” of today differ from the old in important ways, but I will not touch that topic here.

    This ugly feudal model is also attributed by many historians to the eventual success of communist ideas.   I think the ambitions of financial interests commanding Prussian/German, French, British, etc politics had much more to do with the “success” of communism and the ensuing mass murder of Russia, particularly the Russian (and Ukrainian, and Armenian, and Lithuanian, and so on) middle classes, but I will again refrain from offering alternative history at this moment.  Russia, in effect, could be viewed as a screw-up miracle. 

    Now, let’s look at their background in brief:

    1. Kievan Rus, very aggressive but noble characters who knocked out an ugly Khazar pirate empire out of existence, much to the relief of Armenians I tell you.   Movses Kaghankatvatsi, the Armenian historian who chronicled this period,  is very unambiguous about this. 

    2. The Kievan Rus are murdered, Kiev is completely massacred.  Mongols rule for 300 years.

    3. During this “yoke” a strange class of “nobility” arise from the ashes, mostly composed of those who were able to cooperate with, and eventually bribe away power from the Mongols.  This phenomenon is exemplified by Ivan “the Moneybag” III, the first important Moscovite who founded the long-standing Romanov line, which, in its corrupted state eventually fell and was murdered in cold blood at the hands of Bolsheviks.  

    4.  Peter I comes into the picture and modernizes Russia and builds the new imperial foundations of Russia, which are still in effect today.   There is no doubt he is the greatest Russian.   His fanatical and obsessive zeal to go to Holland to learn how to build ships with his own hands in order to carry out his solemn oath of building a Russian navy (which, when he took the oath to himself, Russia was landlocked – which should make us Armenians think on these lines as well), this is still an inspirational model for me personally! –:) 
    5. I’ll skip many details and point out that the Russian court becomes a Francophone institution, considering Russian a “commoners tongue but still the mother tongue” in a quasi-schizoid and implicit manner.  There came the first signs of serious disengagement with the populations, which had already taken root during Peter’s reign (seemingly trivial items such as the “beard tax” and so on, offensive to the pious “muzhik”).  A lot of things occurred, but the most important was this in my opinion where the emulation of Europeanism, copycatting French standards, caused for problems in domestic relations.  A Versaillesque model was adopted of centralization of power far too much into the Tzar’s hands at the expense of especially the Boyar landowning gentry in general.   Just as Colbert was ignored in France in the 18th century for warning Louis XIV against this, so was later Stolypin ignored in Russia in the early 20th, and these divisions and decadent intrigues eventually dominated Russian domestic politics, yielding to pathological conditions such as associations with Rasputin and so on, not to mention the famous hemophilia inheritance which weakened an already weak monarchy.  The “rotting door” so to speak, was coming down.
    6. Then came the Bolsheviks.  The door came down, with a lot of “western” (let’s just be satisfied with that term in today’s politicized context) financing behind the hacks such as Lenin.  A wholesale murder of Russia’s middle class ensued.  Think about what the consequences were of this. 
    7. Then came the “break-up of the evil empire” blah blah during Reaganomics, the disastrous era for Americans as well although without their knowledge, which is doubly fascinating to watch “Reagan fans” today.   Boris “the Drunk” I sits in the new throne, having lost all holdings outside the Federation due to the “break-up.”   Putin (Rasputin, Putin, similarities end there in those five letters I guess), comes in and sells a bunch of oil and gas, pays off all debts to the loan sharks at IMF, jails and exiles (with large “severence packages”) a bunch of “oligarchs,” secures alliances with more oligarchs more loyal to their own economy, perhaps finally following Stolypin’s advice after 90 years, and revives a good chunk of Russia’s ailing economy.  Army morale goes up, and “Chechens” are knocked out.     

    Yet, one thing he has not done is achieve what Tzar Alexander II had done during his reign: “Kill (at least incapacitate and exile) the bankers” and reject devaluation of old and new of his currency and economic assets.   But the looming “death of the Dollar reign” in cooperation with China makes one think very hard on what you have written about Russia’s rememergence.  On that note, I will address the rebuilding of the empire and economic model in another post.  

    Armenians, however, have always been servants, but not equal contributors for their own sake, in this framework of Russian imperialism, and this is what I am proposing we change. 

  47. Hagop jan, you wrote –
    “Armenians, however, have always been servants, but not equal contributors for their own sake, in this framework of Russian imperialism, and this is what I am proposing we change.”
    A tiny, impoverished nation, a dependent nation, landlocked, blockaded with no natural wealth, no economy and surrounded by enemies in perhaps the worst geopolitical environment in the world… Please tell me, how can it be an equal relationship? Armenia/Armenians are as big as our imaginations. We need to truly understand who we are, where we are and what we can do – and learn to work with what we got until the day we are strong enough to be truly independent. This realization is the key to our national success.
    Our relationship with Russia has given us, is giving us, an opportunity to stand on our feet. This is not the time to rock the boat so to speak. Let’s make the most of what our relationship with the second most powerful nation on earth (perhaps soon to be ‘the’ most powerful) can provide us. We need to be in Moscow what Jews are in Washington DC. Instead of the Armenian diaspora bitching and complaining about Russia, instead of the diaspora wasting time, effort and money in pursuit of “genocide recognition” in the West, it should instead be investing all its pan-national efforts in forming an intimate relationship with the Kremlin. This is key to our success as a nation in the region. However, how many Armenians understands/realizes this fundamental/crucial political concept?
    Armenians may be very capable when it comes to business or academia but we are total idiots when it come to political foresight. This is one of the reasons why we are seeing so much hysteria and paranoia regarding the political process taking place between Armenia and Turkey.
    I am deeply impressed with your profound knowledge of Russian history as well as your knowledge of regional geopolitics . However, whether you realize it or not, your convictions/thoughts concerning modern Russia are somewhat tainted/altered by the consistent anti-Russian propaganda you are exposed to by the corporate controlled news media in the US. You may not realize it but the political conditioning of the West does effect people like you subconsiously. Nonetheless, seldom I run into diasporans as well read as you (assuming that you are a disporan). Although we differ in approach its been an absolute pleasure conversing with you.

  48. Avetis ջան,
    On the effects of western propaganda, I don’t deny it.  I am in the process of learning Russian (which is not as easy for me–:)) to bypass this trash media, the Weapon of Mass Deception here.   I also tend to follow more foreign media than the US “media,” which is like a default mouthpiece for the Banking Cartel (which is the ultimate contoller of the “corporatocracy” so often mentioned these days) and its minions on the Capitol Hill and White House, not to mention the Judiciary with that “Sodomgomor” recently appointed.
    I don’t even attempt to make the point that we can be equals in anything at this point (well, we are showing – at least for now – to better at chess—:).
    I think that we need to shift our psychology from accepting this “slave status” which we have come too accustomed to, and, in order to achieve what you propose, we need to think as masters of our own destiny.
    We are overreliant, OVERreliant on others, to the point where we don’t even consider the proper “protocolization” of our internal divisions and problems.   Is there a “protocol” between the Republican and ANC block?  Not at all.  Such stupid and debilitating divisions are still defining our political identity.   Are we pushing for an administration that is capable of organizing worldwide Armeniandom?  Give me a break.  We will need 100 “protocols” for that one.  Well?  Where are those “protocols” to resolve intranational divisions, grievances, and disputes?
    – Imagine a typical conversation of slaves.
    –  “Ah, we don’t need that crap!  We got Russia
    –  “No, you moron, we got the USA and the EU.”
    –  “Diasporans don’t care about Armenia.  Erdogan just said so, and so did LTP (a.k.a. “King Levon”) in 1991.”   We need Russia.
    –  ” No, you both are idiots.  I am an expert.  I say we need the protocols, the EU, Russia, and US, who will blow us up if we don’t pass the oil.”

    Will anyone discuss the “Procotols” between, say, the “People” and “Oligarchs?”

    As to our potential alliances, to whom we will mean nothing since we are not investing in ourselves worth a damn, Moscow or Washington, hard to tell where the balance will shift to, but it is clear that a Eurasian Russo-Chinese (and possibly even joined by India and hopefully Iran) alliance can be beneficial to Armenians, and, if what you say is correct, then it is likely the power centers we need will be Moscow and Beijing, in that order.
    The Chinese have already shown to have a favorable outlook toward relations with Armenia, and that is a huge potential powerhouse as well.   India is still far too much entangled in its British colonial past and existing patrilineal ties to “Her Majesties clubs.”  Iran’s islamism is a major handicap, but again the Shah’s “Americanism” was also a handicap in its own way.

  49. Հավատա թէ ոչ լիովին՛ համաձայն եմ քո հետ Հակոբ ջան. շատ ճանապարհ ունենք գնալու մինչև հասնենք համ-ազգայնության: Նրա համար միշտ ասում եմ որ մեր ինչ լինելը պետք է լաւ ճանաչենք… Համենայնդեբս հետաքրքրական անձնավորություն դուրս եկար. խնդրում եմ միքանի խոսքերով ասա ո՞վ ես ի՞նչ ես…

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