Artsakh’s Prospects for the Future

Special to the Armenian Weekly

Ever since the 1994 ceasefire brought a semblance of peace to Artsakh, its people have made great strides in democratic self-governance and in rebuilding and improving the economic and social infrastructure wantonly destroyed by Azerbaijan during the Karabagh War. During these difficult years the people have maintained a collective esprit and energy that confounds the Azeri leadership.

Ever since the 1994 ceasefire brought a semblance of peace to Artsakh, its people have made great strides in democratic self-governance and in rebuilding and improving the economic and social infrastructure wantonly destroyed by Azerbaijan during the Karabagh War.  (Photo by Arevik Danielian)

Ever since the 1994 ceasefire brought a semblance of peace to Artsakh, its people have made great strides in democratic self-governance and in rebuilding and improving the economic and social infrastructure wantonly destroyed by Azerbaijan during the Karabagh War. (Photo by Arevik Danielian)

The ultimate concern, whether we live in Artsakh or beyond, is the future viability of this historic Armenian land liberated through the heroic efforts of its people. There are several questions that must be affirmatively answered: Would Artsakh (and Armenia) be able to withstand renewed hostilities by Azerbaijan? Can Artsakh’s interests be protected through negotiations? Does Artsakh have the resources to develop a robust economy, not only for its present population, but as a future frontier beckoning Diasporan Armenians wishing to return home?

Confronting renewed hostilities

Any number of reasons would—or should—deter Azerbaijan from renewing hostilities; if they did not exist, President Ilham Aliyev would have already exercised his oft-threatened military option. Yet, there is always the possibility that internal pressures or his outsized ego could override prudent judgment. This analysis will only consider the military strategy that Azerbaijan is likely to adopt if it were to resume hostilities, and the difficulties that a tactical implementation of that strategy would involve. Given these apparent difficulties, one might question why the strategy would even be considered. It is based primarily on the reality that the international community, and especially the neighboring countries, would not tolerate a protracted war. This reality requires a strategy that would (1) seek to occupy strategic objectives within a window of opportunity of from 12-15 days; (2) seek to breach the heavily fortified frontier, preferably at both Agdam and Fizuli, within the first 48-72 hours; (3) engage the defenders along the entire front (the Northern, Central, and Southern Sectors); and (4) require the deployment of all 3 army corps, or significant elements thereof, currently positioned along the Armenian-Artsakh border from Georgia to Iran.

Presently Azerbaijan has five army corps in the field. The first Army Corps is concentrated in the vicinity of Ganja. It is responsible for the Northern Sector and the Armenian frontier. The third is stationed in the vicinity of Barda (Central Sector), and the second in the vicinity of Agdzhabedi/ Beylagan (Southern Sector). The second also has responsibility for the Iranian frontier. The fourth Army Corps is stationed in the capital district of Baku, and the fifth is deployed in Nakhitchevan.

Yusif Agayev, an Azeri military expert who fought in the Karabagh War, doesn’t believe “…the society of my country is ready for war. I think it would be a month or two. That is the amount of time the armed forces could fight for. If it drags on longer, then it will be a war that society will have to participate in, not just the army.” It is not likely that Azerbaijan will have the month or two that Agayev suggests. A window of opportunity of about 12-15 days would be more likely. That is why the first 48-72 hours is so critical. Within minutes of the first shot being fired there would be an international demand for a ceasefire led by Russia, Iran, Georgia, and possibly Turkey supported by Western Europe and the United States (covertly backed by international oil interests). Given the observable signs of an Azeri offensive build-up, these nations would not wait for the first shot to be fired before diplomatic pressure is applied. Although the conflict occupies a limited geographic area, its ramifications—the ‘unintended consequences’—could easily destabilize the entire region. Russia, Iran, Georgia, and Turkey each have ethnic minorities with long-standing socio-economic and political grievances who seek either independence or effective local autonomy. This conflict could be the spark that ignites this historic geographic tinderbox.

Since Azerbaijan realizes a protracted war is not viable, the strategy is to engage the Armenian defenders along the entire frontier. This can only be accomplished by simultaneously committing elements of the three army corps responsible for monitoring the Artsakh border. Given this strategy, the obvious objectives would be Agdam and Fizuli. To support these two major offensives, units of the second and third corps would engage the Armenian defenders in such tactical movements as holding actions to deny the redeployment of Armenian units to critical sectors of the front; diversionary maneuvers that seek to mislead or confuse the defenders; and diversionary attacks that would seek to relieve the pressure on the main forces attacking Agdam and Fizuli.

Diversionary attacks from Tartar toward Mardakert would relieve the pressure on the Agdam forces as well as protect their northern or right flank. At the same time a diversionary attack toward Martuni by elements of the second Army Corps would assist the main force attacking Fizuli and protect their eastern or right flank. The first Army Corps at Ganja would most likely engage in diversionary maneuvers and hold actions along the mountainous Northern Sector. Depending on the resistance encountered, the Azeris could commit elements of the first to a full-scale diversionary attack from Shahumian toward Mardakert.

The former United States ambassador to Azerbaijan, Matthew Bryza, has suggested that “the Azeris can’t retake Artsakh now. They are militarily incapable of doing it.” He further suggested that he “…didn’t think they could dislodge the Armenian forces from the high ground. Wayne Merry, a Senior Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, agrees, saying that “a key factor is the topography, the extent to which Nagorno-Karabagh has created defenses in depth. Progress would come at a high cost.”

In addition to controlling the high ground, the Armenian defenders have had nearly 20 years to develop fortifications in depth, as well as construct obstacles that would impede and channel men and mechanized equipment into prepared fields of fire. To achieve the quick breakthrough required, the Azeris would seek to overwhelm the defenders by deploying a numerically superior concentration of infantry and mechanized units. Against heavily fortified positions a disproportionate ratio of perhaps four to five Azeri casualties to one Armenian casualty could be expected. These excessive battlefield losses would have a demoralizing impact on the Azeri units, keeping in mind that possibly 7 out of 10 men are either 12- or 18-month conscripts in addition to reservists who might be called-up to augment the professional army. Loss of morale would have a debilitating impact on unit effectiveness, which would contribute to an increased casualty count. Every tactical plan is dependent on an integrated hierarchy of units from squad, platoon, on up, with each unit supporting the mission of the next higher command, which could be a reinforced company or a brigade. All units involved must operate as one cohesive force with one overriding objective to have any chance of success.

Engaging the Armenians along the entire front is sound strategy given the realities of the situation, but it is also a catch-22 situation. A phased deployment of units would favor the defenders, while committing significant elements of its three army corps simultaneously in a tactical bid to overwhelm them before an expected ceasefire can be enforced is no guarantee of success, and would most likely result in unacceptable losses in men and equipment. It is highly unlikely that the civilian population (if aware of the losses) or the field commanders (senior officers) who must follow orders would tolerate such losses.

The prize Azeri objective would be Agdam. To the east of Agdam is the Kura River floodplain, part of which is below sea level (the Kura River empties into the Caspian Sea, which is about 90 feet below sea level). From this floodplain the elevation rises westward in a step-like fashion to the high plains just west of Agdam (which is about 1,200 feet above sea level) that give way to the hillier terrain toward Stepanakert. If Agdam is occupied, it would allow the Azeri forces to spill out onto this plain, thereby facilitating the increased deployment of mechanized equipment such as tanks, armored troop carriers, self-propelled artillery, and rocket launchers for a final push toward Stepanakert and Shushi, with a smaller force moving south to join the attack on Martuni.

To the south, a second major offensive would be underway toward Fizuli. A diversionary attack on Martuni would seek to ease the pressure on the Fizuli force as well as protect its eastern or right flank. Holding actions at Hadrut would protect the western or left flank of the Fizuli force. If Fizuli were to be occupied, the main force would most likely split with the larger force wheeling eastward toward Martuni. Should this happen, the Martuni defenders would face a three-pronged enveloping maneuver that would either force them to fall back or be cut off from the main Armenian forces (assuming the Azeri offensive could succeed).

The second smaller force would augment the Azeri units engaged at Hadrut. If Martuni were occupied, the combined Azeri forces would then move toward Shushi/Stepanakert from the southeast to support the Agdam forces attacking from the northeast. The Azeri Hadrut units would be given the mission to protect the western or left flank of this final thrust toward Artsakh’s core area.

While this might be the essence of the Azeri strategy, its success is far from assured; the deterrents are many. First and foremost, this analysis does not consider the defensive and offensive capabilities of the Armenian forces, who have played out the various strategies the Azeris might adopt. An instant problem for the Azeris is the recognition by unbiased observers that the Armenian military force is much better prepared. Also it is unlikely that the Azeri soldier has the emotional and psychological stamina or determination of the Armenian soldier, who is prepared to fight for his family, his land, his children’s future, and for his right to live as an Armenian. What reasons would the Azeri soldier have to sacrifice his life in a war he might neither accept nor understand?

It is the expected immediate international call for a ceasefire that would require Azerbaijan’s massive deployment of men and equipment in a military gamble that seeks to overwhelm the defenders and breach their fortifications. It is this tactical decision that could result in extremely high battlefield losses against a determined, entrenched defensive force. It is not possible for Azerbaijan to gain any advantage from a surprise attack because the intelligence gathering technology available to the Armenian military allows for the real-time gathering of information. This intelligence effort is likely aided by Russian input and, during a conflict, possibly by covert Iranian input.

Every strategic target within Azerbaijan is within the effective retaliatory capability of the Armenian defenders. Pre-selected targets would be engaged immediately, some of which may have a devastating impact on Azerbaijan’s war effort. So much emphasis has been placed on the publicized expansion of its army that it is accepted as doctrine that numerical superiority in men, which is not the same as the principle of force concentration (achieving numerical superiority at a given time at a given place), is the key element on the battlefield. It is not! The Armenian defenders have the ability to achieve force concentration to gain a tactical advantage at any sector of the front based on their shorter interior lines of communication that facilitate the rapid deployment of troops and equipment. In addition, a defending force occupying heavily fortified positions may have a ratio of three- or four- to one advantage over the attacking forces: The Azeri staging areas where units are readied for movement to the front; their approaches to the line of contact; as well as their supply and resupply routes, are all vulnerable to effective Armenian counter-measures.

Adding to the deterrents is the sophisticated level of planning, coordination, and execution required and the real-time evaluation and response to evolving situations at the fronts that may require immediate tactical changes; the augmentation or redeployment of units; resupply; and the evacuation of battlefield casualties. It is highly problematic if the Azeri military command has this capability at the level required. Some of the officers and a smaller number of non-commissioned officers (NCO) may be veterans of the Karabagh War. Assuming the publicized expansion of the army is accurate, most of the junior officers (captain and below) who fill the majority of the combat slots in any unit, as well as the NCO’s, may well be the weak link in the Azeri command structure in terms of training, leadership, and indoctrination. A resumption of hostilities is not likely to provide President Aliyev the solution he seeks.

Can negotiations protect Artsakh’s interests?

The principles advanced by the Minsk Group (represented by Russia, France, and the United States) to guide the negotiations, no matter how nuanced they have been over time, continually stress (1) the inviolability of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and (2) that when and how Artsakh’s final status is determined, it will be no better than limited autonomy under Azerbaijan’s jurisdiction. This raises an important question: If Artsakh had the legal right to declare its independence under the principles of remedial cessation or self-determination, or under the laws of the soviet constitution, the negotiators, including the Artsakh representatives, should be discussing the timing of Artsakh’s recognition; indemnification for displaced people/refugees (both Armenian and Azeri); its final boundaries; and the status of Shahumian, and the occupied border areas of Mardakert and Martuni. It may be difficult to accept, but some adjustments in the area to be included in Artsakh may have to be considered. An offer giving Azeris married to Armenians (possibly including their extended families) the right of return to Artsakh might also be considered.

Azerbaijan continues to claim that its territorial integrity is being violated by Armenia. This is a specious argument ostensibly supported by the Minsk Group. Azerbaijan is purposely misinterpreting Principle 4 under Chapter 2, Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations, which prevents a state from threatening the territorial integrity of a neighboring state. It is the Artsakh Armenians who threatened the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan by having legally declared their independence. However, Principle 4 does not apply to Artsakh. Armenia’s intervention was limited to providing humanitarian and military assistance to protect a beleaguered population from the indiscriminate use of military force by the Azeris. The present Armenian presence in Artsakh represents a stabilizing influence that facilitates the recovery effort and a preventive measure against a renewal of hostilities.

Economic development

Artsakh’s natural resource base is more than adequate to support at least 10 times its present population of approximately 140,000. However, several interrelated factors—a reverse domino effect—represent serious obstacles that must be addressed before a robust economy can develop. The most obvious are (1) Artsakh’s tenuous political status, which (2) inhibits foreign investment, which (3) discourages in-migration.

Tenuous political status

Artsakh declared its independence in 1991 and has, since the 1994 ceasefire, met all of the “unofficial” requirements for de jure recognition. (Unfortunately, recognition is a highly subjective political decision.) Until recognition is granted, it is vital that Artsakh continue to invite foreign government leaders, as it did recently with Uruguayan parliamentarians. While recognition will not come solely or immediately from these visits, they will lay the groundwork as well as the perception that recognition is highly likely to occur. It is an important first step (which Stepanakert already recognizes) if investment is to be encouraged. Dependence on the level of aid presently received is not adequate to stimulate a robust economy that can independently sustain Artsakh. However, this aid has made significant improvements in basic infrastructure that has improved the quality of life for the people—the foundation upon which Artsakh’s future will be built.

To facilitate this process Artsakh must continue to expand its public relations effort through the various political, humanitarian, and philanthropic organizations that are already committed to its cause. Without getting into the political aspects of the Artsakh issue, its long-term viability should represent the most significant issue on the Armenian national agenda. The more the Armenian Diaspora know about Artsakh—its achievements and potential—the greater its response to aid in Artsakh’s development.

Measured population increase

Increasing the population should go hand-in-hand with economic development. However what is required and doable is a measured increase in population as a means to meet political and economic needs. Politically it is difficult to claim “empty” lands however justified that claim may be when the lands are not reasonably integrated with the core area. We should have learned from the Turkish inspired genocide that emptied historic western Armenia of our people to weaken if not eliminate potential territorial claims by Armenia. A program of selective immigration would seek to meet the political and economic objectives identified by a government master plan for strategic resettlement. (See “The Strategic Resettlement of Artsakh,” The Armenian Weekly, February 19, 2011) Stepanakert must be prepared to effectively assist these newcomers to Artsakh. It cannot be expected that these 21st century Armenians are pioneers able or willing to “tame” the wilderness. That type of settlement program is a prescription for disaster.

As Stepanakert increases its connections with various organizations and institutions beyond its borders; as it cultivates relations with foreign governments; and as the world community (including our Diaspora) are given reasons to support Artsakh, an aura of inevitability with respect to recognition will encourage greater interest from foreign investors, including Armenians. Although Artsakh has already benefited from visionary diasporan entrepreneurs, de jure recognition is essential to open the floodgate for foreign investment

Renewable energy sources

Present available data for Nagorno-Karabagh indicate a significant potential for the development of renewable energy. This is important given the absence of carboniferous energy resources. Several sites in the vicinity of Jermajur and Vaghuhas in the north and in the Stepanakert-Shushi region have been identified as “most appropriate” for constructing wind turbines to generate electric power. Other secondary sites exist, as well as sites in Kashatagh that have yet to be fully evaluated.

The region receives an average of about 23 inches of precipitation annually which is sufficient for agriculture supplemented by irrigation if or when necessary. Precipitation generally increases from the south/southeast toward the higher elevations to the north/northwest. In the Kashatagh Region precipitation increases north toward the Eastern Sevan/Mrav Mountains. Surface flow and the many deep narrow valleys provide sites that may be used to construct dams for water storage, hydroelectric generation and irrigation as well as preventing floods from the annual Spring snow melt from the higher elevations that dominate the north and northwestern portions of Artsakh. The average precipitation would suggest a greater proportion of days with less than one/quarter of the sky covered by clouds. This would result in more hours of daily sunlight which would facilitate the development of solar power. Renewable energy would be a boon for the remote villages which could draw upon locally produced energy. In addition Artsakh’s balance of payments situation would benefit by eliminating or reducing payments for energy imports.

Potential sectors of the economy

Artsakh’s farmers should be able to produce a wide variety of field and tree crops (including viti culture). Some specialized products would include processed and comb honey, a variety of berries, nuts, and fresh-cut flowers. Natural and upgraded pastures could support commercial dairy farming including poultry and egg production, cattle and sheep rearing and hog raising. In addition, the by-products associated with each animal are able to support a variety of economic activities. A recent trade report cited the shortage of pork production in China (a potential market). Given present technology, a hog carcass in Artsakh can be deboned and cut-up to reduce its weight and bulk, flash frozen, vacuumed sealed in ‘cryovac’ and boxed to be economically air lifted to a foreign market. Historically the region was home to the Karabagh horse. No reason why rearing horses could not be reintroduced on a much larger scale.

Given the emphasis on the agricultural sector the processing industry could be an important source for exports. In North America there are significant nodes of Armenian population–Boston, New York, Philadelphia, DC, Los Angeles, Montreal, and Toronto–that could be developed as markets for some of Artsakh’s products including wine, vodka, brandy, bottled water and beer. This would require appropriate advertising and maintaining trade representatives possibly in New York and Los Angeles. These markets could also serve as conduits to introduce Artsakh’s products to a wider geographic area and a larger population. If the Stepanakert International Airport could become operational, it would be a significant political and economic triumph that would give Artsakh the potential for direct links to the world. Is it no wonder that Azerbaijan is so vehement in its opposition.

Artsakh’s forests could support an important domestic construction materials industry which would include such products as dimension lumber and timbers, composition board, specialty wood products, and roofing materials as well as furniture manufacturing. This could be augmented by quarrying for building stone, sand and gravel, limestone for cement, and the manufacturing of ceramics and glass. Given its resource base and an educated workforce, Artsakh has many options to pursue in developing a viable economy including an expansion of its incipient information technology industry.

Finally, Artsakh’s history, its ancient structures, archeological sites, breath-taking scenery, and mineral springs are ideal for tourism. Not to be overlooked are the gracious, friendly people and the cuisine. Tourism is a means for visitors, diasporan Armenians included, to become acquainted with the people and their country. Tourism is a catalyst that generates the need for better roads, transport facilities, lodgings, publications, a multitude of support services, a wide range of goods to meet the needs of the tourists, and most importantly, occupational opportunities. Although tourism does not generate high paying jobs, it does provide valuable experiences for first time employees to learn various skills as a way to move up the employment ladder. It is also a means to improve the balance of payments situation.

Several years ago I wrote an article entitled, “Artsakh: The Key to Armenia’s Political and Economic Future” (The Armenian Weekly, January 2010 Special Magazine Issue). Three years later I am even more bullish on Artsakh’s prospects after having witnessed the tremendous progress its people have made. Artsakh is a land of unlimited opportunity that can and will become our nation’s future frontier beckoning Armenians to return home to participate in rebuilding an ancient land that has been reborn.

30 Comments on Artsakh’s Prospects for the Future

  1. avatar Miran Shamlian // January 5, 2014 at 11:42 am // Reply

    Even though I am not a military expert, I believe that Dr. Mensoian should have addressed the financial strength of Azerbaijan. Through this power, Azerbaijan can hire huge number of experienced militants from outside the country especially war plane pilots and other. In addition, Dr. Mensoian should have addressed as well the Turkish military battalions already camping in Azerbaijan, the information that the Turkish military can provide via their satellite(s) and the Israelis provided drones that the Israelis can operate remotely from Israel in military operations. I believe all of the above may neutralize our main strength, as mentioned in the analysis, of “emotional and psychological stamina or determination of the Armenian soldier, …….. for his right to live as an Armenian”.

    • Mihran,

      Please study the geostrategic situation of the region before you make nonsensical claims. Yes, Turkey and Israel are factors in Azerbaijan – but Russia is a huge factor in Armenia. This Russian factor and not Armenia’s small military or the big talking, Democracy and gay rights peddling Diaspora has in fact been the only reason why Baku has not yet resorted to another war. Baku, Ankara, Tel Aviv and Washington are powerless in the region. Moscow’s successful war against the West and Turkey in Georgia in 2008 and Moscow’s recent success in Syria has drastically changed the region’s geopolitical equations. The “great game” between Moscow and the West is over and Moscow is once again the Caucasus region’s only powerbroker. As long as Yerevan allows a Russian presence in Armenia and as long as the region in question continues to be threatened by Western interests, Islam and Turks, Armenia and Artsakh will be protected by Russia as if they are Russian territory. Thank God officials in Yerevan have understood all this and have fully embraced Russia as Armenia’s strategic ally. In fact, purely based on geostrategic calculations, I have more faith in Russia to protect Armenian and Artsakh than I do in Armenians.

      I’m now waiting for some yahoo to bring up nonsense about how “Russians” giving up Armenian lands to Turks…

  2. avatar gaytzag palandjian // January 5, 2014 at 11:45 am // Reply

    Dear major Mensoian,
    As a military your fact based (minisiusamente) described present status quo of Nagorniyi Karabaagh,our Artsakh is near totally correct.There are many more complicated issues involved.One major one is the great Turkey´s over-interest.Which cannot be totally discarded.As is constantly repeated by their FM,Prime Ministre,when relations with Armenia is brought up(especially AND INTENTIONALLY BY TURKEY. I ask you why?
    One answer is quite obvious,she knows that if NK conflict issue is resolved entirely in our version(Armenian). That is if NK becomes internationally a recognized state,then Armenians worldwide would naturally be enthused further 77eyeing Nakhijevan,followed by Kars Ardahan at least. Hence great Turkey is very much indirectly involved in NK staying under their Turco-Azeri jurisdition.To which,let me immediately add, Armenians worldwide would not assent to. So??? what other solutgion to the qtr century Conflict?
    Before I set forth my ¨suggested¨ formula,articulated long ago and offered ,when the issue was first discussed in Lisbon,right after the Nk War´s ceasefire.
    Also referring to the last paragraph of your well prepared post,I have this to say:-Nagornyi Karabagh,I admire your being bullish on Karabagh´s prospect,but I do not think it will become so,as long as the BULLY is -as i explained above-carefully watching it´s outcome to turco-tatar benefit. Now then…..
    We all know that Artsakh´s KHAMSAI MELIKUTYUN-NER, was,is a reality.In latin Melik it is translated as PRINCIPALITY…
    I wrote a piece in Nor Gyank(L.A. Armenian weekly right after Lisbon in this rgd)ARTSAKH-Should be declared as´PRINCIPALITY OF NAGORNIYI KARABAGH¨ AND AS A F R E E TRADE Z O N E.Where all kinds of fare from neighbouring countries would enter without customs duties(PRETTY MUCH LIKE ANDORRA ).Indeed both sides have to cede a bit more and try to come to a common understanding.
    Did we Armenians know???? that Principality of Andorra was a bone of contention between Spain and France for 2 centuries??????
    Then this mode was agreed up.-it would be ruled by both(actually Spain(with its Cataluña Province in next to it)governing it more than the French.Latter,has its president as co- president of it ,whereas Spain is more involved in governing it…
    Thence, Artsakh ought to concede that Azerbaijan be present in the Prinipality´s Parliament with 2 delegates, say from agdam and Fizouli(Panah Khan ,their old time leader is buried in Agdam).Then she would indeed become BULLISH, as you ,me and all Armenians desire.Imagine what tourism would bring to its Economy–
    i have many a time over witnessed that of Andorra.
    Respectfully yourts

  3. avatar gaytzag palandjian // January 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm // Reply


  4. Sireli Gaytzag Palandjian: Please, nothing personal, but your English is not good. Please have someone edit it first so that we can understand what you are saying. Thank you.

    • Dear Vahe ,

      Please take into consideration that Mr. Palandjian already admit that he is respectable “Senior Citizen” like some of us here…I know you don’t mean, but he is well known to older AW readers, and he has some wiser opinion about Armenian Nation weaknesses, and strengths, especially, when we are dealing with Turkic Tribes…he is travelling where ever name of Armenia mentioned, and he is a big plus for AW readers!!

      Sorry if I hurt your feeling my friend!!

  5. Obviously a deeply thought out article and I enjoyed reading it. However, I do not agree with the section on “Can negotiations protect Artsakh’s interests?” – I do not believe for a second that the NKR needs to make any concessions, not one inch of land, and especially not for the so-called “right to return of its internally displaced”.

    Firstly, before discussing its “internally displaced persons”, is Azerbaijan ready to host up to half a million Armenians who also have a “right to return”? If the answer is no, let’s not even waste one second on Azerbaijan’s so-called “internally displaced persons” argument. And second and more important, a more correct term for Azeris who lost the war they started is ‘externally displaced into where they belong’ by the choosing of the actions of their own government. And those “displaced” are not being taken care of by their government.

    Also, Azerbaijan’s belligerent rhetoric and inappropriate arms race must be accounted for, since that money spent could have solved *ALL* of Azerbaijan’s internal problems which coincidentally it created on its own by using terrorism and attempting Genocide against the Armenians of Artsakh.

    I realize that Armenians are small fish among the imperialistic sharks “conducting negotiations” for a territory they never risked life and limb for. That’s easy to do, sitting behind desks with fresh cold bottled water and talking as if they have the correct answers and know what’s good for us. Meanwhile they express zero interest in addressing the terrorist crimes of a country who indiscriminately fired grad missiles at peaceful civilians in Stepanakert in an attempt to conduct another Genocide to kill or drive Armenians out from their native land.

    And since when does a nation who lost a war dictate terms to the winner? Oh wait, I forgot, Turkey did that successfully in her so-called “republic” after WWI, with it’s beneficiaries – the same ones today “conducting negotiations” on OUR BEHALF. We should have learned by now that the backwards formerly nomadic culture is “something special”, compliments of the western imperialists.

    In my opinion all such deals and negotiations are worthless, not valid and not applicable without the approval and involvement of the NKR government acting on the best interests of its citizens – the same people who as former victims of the current Azeri government have not yet themselves acquired justice for Azerbaijan’s past crimes.

    • very well said Hagop D.

      regarding internally displaced persons: if the issue comes up, Azerbaijan will absolutely agree to the return of Armenians to Azerbaijan, knowing full well that not a single Armenian will return to the killing grounds of Armenian civilians.
      On the other hand, they will force their civilians back on Armenian lands to win with demographics what they lost during a war they started.
      So that item is off the table.
      And no foreigner has a ‘right to return’ to Armenian lands from which Armenians were previously ethnically cleansed, after which foreigners were brought in to take their place. Even today, Azerbaijan is busy bringing in people to populate the occupied portions of Shahumian Region, which were ethnically cleansed of indigenous Armenians during the war.

      Turkey and Greece had a large population exchange of about 2 million in nearly 1920s.
      India and Pakistan had a massive population exchange of about 10 million late 1940s.
      And there was a population exchange between Azerbaijan, RoA, and NKR during 1988-1994.
      Azerbaijanis living on Armenian lands returned to Azerbaijan.
      Armenians living on Azerbaijani lands (Sumgait, Baku) returned to Armenia and NKR.

      Azerbaijan started a war that cost RoA and NKR $10s of billions in infrastructure and other material damages.
      The war they started cost Armenians thousands of troops KIA, thousands of wounded troops, thousands of Armenian civilians dead, wounded, maimed. Countless children grew up without a father.
      The medical and social care for the wounded and crippled is coming out of RoA and NKR budgets.
      They owe us billions for our dead and wounded during the war: a war Azerbaijan started.

      Azerbaijan owes us for murdering, wounding and terrorizing Armenian civilians after the 1994 ceasefire.
      Azerbaijan owes us for killing and wounding hundreds of Armenian troops after the ceasefire: a ceasefire that they asked for.
      Azerbaijan’s illegal interference in NKR’s development, e.g. preventing civilian air service by threats of terrorism, is costing NKR revenue.
      Azerbaijan’s threats against visitors to NKR is costing NKR revenue.
      Azerbaijan destroyed 1000s of priceless, irreplaceable Armenian Khachkars.
      Just a couple of months ago Azerbaijan’s Presidential spokesman Elnur Aslanov called Armenia ‘cancer’ of the region.
      Not some random private individual, but the Presidential spokesman.
      How do you even sit down at the same table with these criminals, let alone negotiate anything ?

      Let the Turkbeijani nomads go pound sand.


      Turkey demands US$1 million for each of the 9 Turkish citizens killed by Israel on Mavi Marmara.
      Israel is offering $100,000 each.

  6. avatar gaytzag palandjian // January 6, 2014 at 10:56 am // Reply

    Thanks Vahe,
    You are right.I write in a hurry and do not pay attn to my English.Be informed that my English may not be to your others´satisfaction,as I lived some 24 yrs in Spain and my daily use of language there(almost no Armenians ,was Spanish.
    I shall try to type slower and use my best English.
    Now then, I would like to add, if I may,speculating here what may be a more agreeable prospect for NK (Artsakh)is to by and by let go of the OSCE Minsk Group trying to solve the conflict to no avail….
    Which let me add immediately,so far has NOT accomplished anything.
    The Truce,or ceasefire that was arrived at after the 4 yr war is there with no thanks to them,but because the sides agreed to it .
    None the less,their ¨formality¨ like visits to the area may go on for long yrs ,if the sides do not reach any agreement.
    I¨suggested¨above the declaring it as a PRINCIPALITY, such as Andorra, Monaco, Liechtensein and other such.That may work,since the other side,i.e.,will not loose face. They are very much hawkish and will in no way wish to admit their first real defeat.Real, because it was resulted in WARFARE, not old Ermeni Fydai like defensive or small attacks to ottoman Turkish armies.They still have to come to….they thought the Armenians would continue to be their RAYAS(even in little brother Azerbaijan).They had never fought against (more or less organized Armenians) who did indeed have a few well trained leading generals and officers amongst them.
    At any rate the mode or rather the model that I have suggested has precedent(see above,please) and it has worked for near a century now in Andorra….
    It is not to our benefit to carry on this no war no peace situation.Our resources,unfortunately cannot match theirs.Both Azerbaijan and great Turkey are ¨allies¨ to whom we have SERVED A LOT BETTER,however not being appreciated.Thence we must ourselves begin to think ,contrive of a more flexible policies ,in order to come to some sortof understanding with these two neighbours of us.Time ,indeed is on their side.Are you people following what goes on in a wider spectrum in the area?????
    Pres.Putin´s Russia is cozing up with great Turkey..(a no heard of manner) even offering over a TEN Billion dollar Loan and Technicians to build Nuclear Power stations(a few) for Great Turkey.As though the aid pumped into it by uncle Sam was not enough. I tell you, Turks and Azerkis are just plain Lucky people!!
    being pampered so to speak…
    The only way out then for us is to strike up much better relations with Iran, Greece and perhaps try to modernize as much as possible our WAR Machine,in case we do not come to a compromise(as suggested) by this servant of the Armenian people
    Shad Barev hasgcoghin

  7. avatar Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte // January 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm // Reply

    Thank you for a thoughtful, thorough piece, Dr. Mensoian.

  8. Mr. Mensonian, you make things so much more complicated than it is. I agree with Gurgen … Essentially, Russia owns the place. We Azeris will never start a war, knowing Russia is in your corner. This is why Sarkissian was so eager to sign the Custom Union with Russia. In any scenario without Russia’s support, Azerbaijan would win, either thru protracted warfare or superior arms. Please do not claim it to be otherwise, because otherwise it makes no sense as to why Armenia would give up its independence … if not for survival. Only survival could trump lack of independence. I digress… So, no war will be fought … in the open. We will just drain Armenia’s resource and population thru a long cold war, until such a time when we can wage the war to take back our land. The author asks: “What reasons would the Azeri soldier have to sacrifice his life in a war he might neither accept nor understand?” This is astounding … How about the reason that hundreds of thousands of them have their homes, real physical homes (and not from grandma’ fary tales about Tigran the Great from 50000 years ago) under occupation.

    Another point … Analysts put too much weight on Armenians occupying a higher ground. Take Shusha … We had it before, and yet in panic, it was taken. The same can happen to you. If you think Armenians are inherently incapable of losing land, then, well, you are contradicting the stories of Western “Armenia.”

    Anyways … it would be extremely stupid for Aliyev to start a war. The time is on our side. We can wait … till one of these things happen: (1) Russia leaves us alone for whatever reason, (2) there is a total regional mess we can capitalize on, such as an Iran-Israel war, (3) Russia is in turmoil, (4) Russia has a new leader who does not share Putin’s megalomania, (5) US has a new president who wants to put Russia back in its place by forcing it out of the areas that Obama has essentialy conceded influence, (6) Armenia is in big political distress and mess (like we were in 1990s when you took advantage of the situation), etc, etc. So we will wait. DOn’t worry about it. And by the way, it is an act of war crimes to repopulate occupied lands prior to settlement.

    • @Karim, first off, fairy tale is your wild imaginations, your fake Azeri nation and the artificial state of Azerbaijan. Show me a country called Azerbaijan before 1918 on the world map if you can. You can’t because it never existed. It was invented at the end of WWI by the genocidal pan-Turkic and fascist Turks. Look at world maps from any era and Armenia will stare you in the face. Today, Armenia is in the situation it is because of Turkish wolves with their big appetites and because of their pseudo-Turkish coconspirator hyenas. As far as we Armenians are concerned, you pseudo-Turkish Azeris and your genocidal Turkish step-cousins-in-crime from Mongolia can never claim the right to Armenian lands no matter how hard you try to fabricate history in your favor. You can spin all you want but eventually we will set you straight and put you in your place.

      Speaking of survival, be reminded that whatever is left of your fake and artificial country is because of the Armenian agreement to a cease some twenty years ago and so desperately begged and pleaded by coward Azeris so they can survive to fight another day. That day will never come because we took away your hearts and the will to fight for good. That’s why cowards like Safarov become heroes in your fake country for killing an Armenian in his sleep. That’s why 1,300 year-old Armenian cemetery in Julfa was razed to the ground and sacred Armenian stone crosses dumped in the Aras River. You can’t fight us in the battlefield and that’s why like sadistic cowards you kill an unarmed man in his sleep and destroy anything that reminds you of us. You people are such pathetic cowards indeed. We have broken you and shattered your spirit. Knowing the true Azeri racist character, I would never have agreed to any such cease fire until Baku was under Armenian control if I was in charge of the Armenian army. You see, there are two kinds of enemies: One that accepts his defeat with honor and dignity, the other that has neither dignity nor honor so when he is down he pleads for his life like a coward and a heartless beggar in the hopes to live another day so he can try again not knowing that next time not only there won’t be any plea bargains but he will get his teeth kicked into his mouth. Azeris belong to the latter kind.

      I wonder how long you are going to go on with your lame excuses for your humiliating defeat. I can’t wait to read your future lame excuses when we liberate the reaining Armenian territories under the occupation of the artificial state of Azerbaijan. One day you were in a panic so you lost the sacred Armenian town of Shushi. The next day your army was in shambles so you lost something else. Yet the next day the Russians were in your way. You had twenty years to correct all those mistakes and put those billions of petrodollars where your mouth is but all we hear from you is more excuses. Here is the real reason plain and simple: We took away your hearts double-talking Azeri cowards. If we had the billions and the resources you have, we would have long reunited you with your ancestors in Tabriz.

      I am not in the least bit surprised to read the various scenarios you have outlined to even remotely have the ability to grow a pair to face us. They are all imaginary and delusional because that’s all you can do, to imagine things in order to give yourselves hope to carry on. Interestingly, all the scenarios have the same thing in common: You need something else to happen to make a move and that’s because on your own and legitimately you can’t do a damn thing and all your big talks and posturing is as genuine as the ink on a fake dollar bill. Keep on dreaming.

      Having liberated Artsakh from the fake Azeri nation and the artificial state of Azerbaijan, the liberation of Nakhichevan MUST be next!

  9. Karim Khan,

    How was your Christmas holidays?? Did you find Armenian made Ararat brandy?? You are right, they don’t make these stuff, for turkic tribes..they can evaporate your brain, the way Armenians evaporate Axeri terrorists, Wahhabi Islamists, Afghan Mujaheddin, Chechen terrorists, and of course your halal Turkish half brother missionary fighters 20 years ago…if it was not, for Russia, who stop out advance we could have liberate Baku and install another Baki Khanat regime, for next oil Sheikhdom generation…it was 20 years ago, when your army was begging the world to ask Armenians to halt their advance..people like you can bark, but can’t bite, especially in AW!!

  10. To liberate Nakhichevan, Armenia will have to deal with Turkey. We Armenians have not even liberated NKR yet, not in a final sense. Until NKR is recognized internationally, the “liberation” is only a temporary occupation which could be reversed any time. Any one of the scenarios stated by Karim could very well happen. In fact, Russia abandoning Armenia is not a possibility, it’s a certainty. Russia has done it many times before, and it’s only a matter of time that it happens again. The only way Armenia can be ready for that scenario is if Armenia is stronger, and the only way to be stronger is democracy. Switzerland, a small landlocked state, was the only country neighboring Germany that Hitler did not even dare to invade. And Hitler invaded, well, pretty much everyone on the continent. And Switzerland was federal democracy whose constitution borrowed a lot from the U.S. model of democracy. That is how Armenia will be if it becomes a democracy.

    Armenia needs to adopt the U.S. model of democracy, the most successful, enduring, and stable democracy in the world. Armenia needs to be a federal democratic republic. For that, Armenia just needs to copy the U.S. constitution, and all else will fall into place. If Armenia is a democracy, we can deal with Turkey and Azerbaijan, and we can liberate NKR, Nakhichevan, and much more. In fact, I am certain that democratic Armenia will extend from Euphrates to Kura. The U.S. was a country of 3 million at the time of its independence, just like Armenia. And it was surrounded by enemies. And yet it expanded with spectacular success. Only because people wanted to come to, live in, work for, and die for the U.S. That is the future that awaits a democratic Armenia.

    Armenians are not leaving Armenia because of the blockade. They are leaving because of the lack of rule of law, inability to change the government, and corruption, i.e. lack of democracy. The moment Armenia is democratic, fewer people will leave the country, and more Diasporans will move in and invest. Just as in the movie “Field of Dreams,” if you build it (i.e. democracy), they will come. This will mean economic strength, which will lead to military strength. Otherwise, both Armenia and Artsakh are doomed.

    • Democracy…..blah…blah…Democratic Armenia….blah…blah…blah…
      Go and spread your fake democracy in your fake homeland of Turkbeijani Sultanate, Yıldırım քոչվորoğlu.

      {“ We Armenians have not even liberated NKR yet, not in a final sense. Until NKR is recognized internationally, the “liberation” is only a temporary occupation which could be reversed any time.”}:
      that’s a good one, Nomad.

      Let us remind our viewing audience what the ‘We Armenian’ thinks about NKR:
      {“ and then there is that piece of aborted fetus called “nkr”. “} (Vahagn // December 18, 2013 at 8:52 pm //)
      {“(oh, and in that terrorist entity called “nkr”.) “} (Vahagn // December 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm //)

      The piece of aborted-fetus is your own fascist terrorist abortion called Turkbeijan, քոչվորoğlu.
      That terrorist entity is your own fascist terrorist homeland of Turkbeijan, քոչվորoğlu.

      btw: buddy boy; are you ready for the new semester ?
      I sincerely hope you do better this year: despite my best efforts to educate you last year, you failed miserably: F-.
      And I have to see about getting paid by Sultan Aliyev for trying, really trying, to educate one of his Turkbeijani citizens he let loose on unsuspecting US taxpayers. We Americans are generous people, but there is a limit to our generosity.

    • If you want to talk democracy to Azerbaijan, gyavuroghlu, go ahead. They are your masters anyway (either past, current, or future). As an Armenian, I am concerned with the Armenian people.

  11. [Gurgen // January 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm // “Democracy and gay rights peddling Diaspora … I have more faith in Russia to protect Armenian and Artsakh than I do in Armenians.”]

    This is a key difference between those supporting democracy in Armenia and those against it. And it is a key factor as to why a non-democratic Armenia will face a disaster. Armenia’s regime and its supporters have little faith in the Armenian people. Yet, only the Armenian people have a vested and enduring interest in a strong Armenia. Great nations are great because they believe in themselves. Russia will eventually abandon Armenia as it has done before. Only Armenians (and yes, including gay Armenians) can make Armenia stronger. And for Armenians (including gay Armenians) to want to live in and die for Armenia, Armenia needs to be a democracy.

    • Vahagn (the Turkish cyberwarrior in service of Uncle Sam)

      We have seen what “democracy” has done to Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and India. We saw what it did to Russia in the 1990s. No thank you! We have also seen what authoritarian rule has done in places like China and Russia more recently. We have also seen what post-war Anglo-American “democracy” has done to western Europe: The decline of western civilization. Democracy and prosperity are not interrelated, never has been, never will be. The Anglo-American world is powerful and wealthy as a result of centuries of genocides, slavery, wars for plunder and land exploitation. It will be a deadly mistake on Armenians’ part to think Armenia’s neighborhood is similar to that of Switzerland’s. The only hope Armenia has for salvation and prosperity is Russia. Yerevan made a strategic decision to join CSTO and the Russian led Customs Union.

      God bless Armenia and God bless Russia.

    • Putin (probably an Armenian self-hater in service of Kremlin).

      We have not seen what democracy can do to Iraq, Libia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Russia, and Syria because it has not been tried in these countries. Russia was a mafia oligarchy in the 1990s. Now it’s a pathetic dictatorship. Armenians would dream to live in Western Europe with all its flaws, that is why many abandon Armenia go there. The other countries listed by you have flawed democracies. None of them applied the U.S. model of democracy, the most optimal and successful one. That is what Armenian needs.

      Many countries have committed genocide, but they did not grow as powerful and wealthy as the United States. Therefore, America’s success is due to its democratic system, not genocide. Plus, Armenians would much prefer to be at the giving rather than receiving side of the genocide. We got rid of Azeris, so it’s not like we are above it.

      Switzerland’s neighborhood is worse than Armenia’s because Switzerland’s neighborhood had Hitler. Russia can’t be Armenia’s hope because Russia has and will throw away Armenia like a piece of used cloth the moment it does not need Armenia.

      We need democracy precisely because of Armenia’s neighborhood. Without democracy, Armenia will depopulate and weaken further, and Armenia’s neighbors are waiting for that. In that neighborhood, Armenia needs strength, and for that, Armenia needs democracy.

  12. Your delusionism and bipolar comments are not unusual for Armenian readers in AW anymore…most brainwashed Axeri tatar-turks, don’t have a clue, that their artificial oil Sheikhdom, Baki Khanat created, just less than 100 years ago… but You don’t have to worry about Axerbaijan anymore, because you won’t be around to see the dark side of corruption..

    For sure the newer OSCE co-chairs will elect another oil man in the next 30 years who will be more corrupted than previous one.. in the meanwhile Axeri very old rusty military equipments will be sent to newly built Artsakhi metal refinery, where Armenian specialists will transform them to farm equipments, for Artsakhi Armenian farmers!

  13. Karim,

    It’s rare… but you do seem like an intelligent Turk/Azeri. I don’t hate you for who you are, but I do see you as the enemy. Therefore, it’s nothing personal.

    Anyway, don’t mind the armchair generals here. They are mostly talk. Had Armenia been in the hands of people like this the country would have disappeared many years ago. But I have to say you are lucky. While Armenia has Russia on its side, believe it or not, you have the entire political opposition in Armenia and quite a large segment of the Armenians Diaspora on your side (including most of those in this forum). Weather you know this or not, the aforementioned are indirectly assisting your officials in your long term plan to drive a wedge between Armenia and Russia, depopulate Armenia and keep it politically unstable. They are going this with their constant doom&gloom rhetoric about conditions in Armenia, anti-Russian hysteria and information war against the Armenian state. Under the banners of “Democracy”, “Fighting Corruption” and “Human Rights” these are serving a dangerous Western (thus indirectly Turkish) agenda in Armenia.

    Having said that, I would not hold my breath if I were you. After twenty years of indecision, on September 3, 2013 Armenia finally made its wise choice. Armenia’s decision to join the Russian-led Customs Union and Armenia’s decision to allow Russians a bigger footprint in Armenia has sealed Arstakh’s fate (Artsakh will remain Armenian) and it has saved Armenia economically, militarily and politically. If you did not succeed in starving Armenia until now, don’t expect it to happen going forward. But you are right in thinking Baku will not make a Saakashvilian error by trying to resume large scale Artsakh or Armenia. Any misadventures by your officials will result in Armenia establishing a direct land link with the Russian Federation through your territories. This last point of mine is the only real alternative in this discussion.

    • Magnificent reply to the Turk, Harutik.

      You have fully expressed my thoughts. Waiting to starve or depopulate Armenia? LOL! That train left the station back in the 1990s. They are dreaming. Let them. As long as Russia is powerful in the Caucasus Armenians have nothing to fear and everything to look forward to. As long as the region is threatened by Turks, Islamists and Western interests, Russia will protect Armenia as if it is Russian territory. Bolshevik are long gone. Russians aren’t stupid nor do they have the apatite for another empire. Trust me, no harm whatsoever can come by the way of closer and deeper relations between the fraternal nations of Russia and Armenia. Nation building in Armenia will begin, now that Yerevan (after a long delay) has decided to join the Customs Union. Nation building in Armenia will begin, now that Moscow is in the process of establishing Pax Russicana in the south Caucasus. God bless Armenia. God bless Russia. And may God protect Russo-Armenian relations from all enemies both foreign and domestic.

  14. Reading comments above by a couple “patriots”, one renders Armenians incompetent in defending themselves and wants to shut down Armenia and Artsakh altogether and hand over the keys to Russia. The other wants the US State Department to rush in before that happens. It would make an interesting two-act play… in a circus.

  15. Hagop D,

    When in the minds of idiots, a noble concept like nationalism can become blinding, and a very dangerous thing for the nation. It’s very easy to make lofty yet shallow statements (especially when one know little about international relations) yet very difficult to provide realistic solutions to real problems. Armenians need to better understand themselves and the world they live in. Whether Armenians like it or not, Armenia’s fate lies with Russia. Armenia’s relationship with Russia far outweighs its relationship with the Diaspora. We Diasporans need to learn to put aside our egos, biases and political ignorance and seek to work with our reality for Armenia’s long term benefit.

  16. Most commentators including “vahagn” keep forgetting that Armenia’s geopolitical location..volatile complex South Caucasus is not in the heart of Europe.

    Armenia surrounded with sea of Muslim nations and of course this is not a big advantage for our survivals..Azerbaijan officially is an Islamic oil Sheikhdom, democracy will never work there, either there will be dictatorship regime as they are today, or will be run by Islamic Shari laws like Saudi Arabia…Armenia first and most needs a strong and powerful military presence in South Caucasus, where interest of Russia and China and US is there already..and when we come for democracy and rule of law this will take time and investment and contribution of Armenians around the globe, eventually and slowly Armenia will become a “real” democratic country..and I have no doubt about that!! God Bless Armenia!

    • GB:

      Please, let us not conflate (Muslim) Turks with other Muslims.
      Mustafa Kemal was not particularly religious, but he ordered the annihilation of Armenia and Armenians to his General Karabekir; which he almost succeeded in doing.

      Islamic Republic of Iran is a friend and ally of RoA.
      Our peoples’ historic and generic ties transcend our different religions.
      Let us not forget that during the horrible days of the NKR war and blockade, IRI provided Armenia with humanitarian aid: heating oil, foodstuff, other materiel. Islamic Iran did more to help RoA in those years than our Christian neighbor Georgia.

      Let us not forget that Islamic Arab nations, particularly Syria, took in 10s thousands of Christian Armenian survivors of the Armenian Genocide: we owe an eternal debt of gratitude to Arab Muslims for sheltering our people.

      Descendants of AG survivors, mostly from Syria and Lebanon, immigrated to Armenia SSR in 1946-47 and saved Armenia from being reduced from SSR status to AR or AO, and being parceled out to Azerbijan SSR and Georgia SSR: slow and certain end to Armenia and Armenians.

      Turks are Turks.
      Muslims are Muslims.
      Let us not conflate the two.

    • Commentators such as “gb” forget that Switzerland had much worse neighborhood during ww2 than Armenia (i.e. Hitler and Mussolini), and yet neither even attempted to invade it. These chaps further forget that Armenia needs democracy urgently precisely because of its neighborhood. Its neighbors are waiting for Armenia to weaken and empty more so they can finish it off. The only way to ensure that Armenians want to remain and return to Armenia is to have democracy there.

  17. avatar gaytzag palandjian // January 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm // Reply

    Right ho Avery,
    Keep pumping some brains to the brainless.Rather to the misinformed or those pretending that they DO NOT KNOW what you have described.
    There is a lot of difference between the noble Iran/Iranians and the Turkic individuals/nations.We must navigate clear of these stormy/muddy waters,lest some amongst )even our people) fall into the trap set by them… the Truk byu nature is very CUNNING,even if not clever and will make up many a lie,or set an otherwise harmless looking trap.Let´s be aware of these.Right now , though ,we must not TOTALLY neglect the Euro-Ams….(Americans)..we are to be a more Civil society people ASAP and strive to some other values as well. It is not just being well fed and oil-sufficient…we need to be more civilized and aspiring for the advantages offered by see Russia has also undergone what I call an OVERNIGHT transition from ultra Dictatorial communist regime to an ultra ¨wild free market economy¨,not desirable by any measure.I would have preferred a transitional long period before becoming a totally capitalistic(let us not chew the words) country.If our ARF made up their minds to become AEF(Armenian Evolutionar(ies) Federation,thus gaining more Rank & File members especially in Ra,we might as yet pick up the Scandinavian mode of Governance -in my version- Democratic Socialism(latter rather mild).It is not too late….otherwise the wild system at present at work in Ra will drive country to be emptied from population and become rather weak..we need CHANGE IN ARMENIA A ND FAST AT THAT.One should always heed what the enemy or the adversary is (tramando) sort of conjuring up… i AM WRITING TO ag IN aRMNEIAN TODAY MY SUGGESTIONS,THOUGH NOT SURE THEY WILL PUBLISH SAME.Then I shall look for smaller publications this side of the ocean.

  18. Avery,

    Nobody brought name of Iran or Syria…

    Northern part of Iran I do not consider 100% Noble Persians!! There are some elements in Iran’s Azerbaijan provinces, where some “individual” Turkified Islamic clerics talk openly about “Gharehbagh” every day, due to Sultan Alyiev people working and spreading anti Armenian slogans in Iran’s Azerbaijani provinces!!

    Avery, I know Persian history more than you think, but I can’t describe in details here in AW!!I am from that area as well…I travel entire Iran and I know exactly who is who there. All I hope that Iran’s clerical regime get some moderation and closer to Western world, where most noble Persians dreaming for that, and for sure Armenia will get the most benefit from our historical Armenia’s noble “Iranian” people, where Armenians are part of that family!!

  19. Color commentator like “vahagn” keep forgetting, that in the last 100 years there was only one Hitler, who screw entire Europe, including Switzerland!!

    Armenia surrounded with millions “Hitler” type personality and mentality in Caucasus region, where anti Armenian feeling sky rocketing! For hundred years after collapse of Ottomans, Turkey still run by “deep state” title, even with the help of “Christian” Europe, they have never achieved to become part of European civilization.

    Turkey’s fake democracy effect directly to Armenia’s national security and democracy, that is included your favor tatar-turks, fake Axeri oil Sheikhdom.

    Armenia and Artsakh surrounded with these type of Turkic tribes. You should compare Israeli democracy success VS Armenia, where geopolitically we are much closer to them than Switzerland!! Israel never achieved democracy right after independence, took 60 years to gain, militarily, economically, democratically maturity!! Right now Armenia is in the process of first step and that is defensive security!!

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