Aghvan Vardanyan: Armed Occupation Reduces Possibility of Qualitative Change

Calls Hostage Situation ‘the Most Incorrect and Reprehensible Way to Make Much Needed Change in This Country a Reality’

YEREVAN (A.W.)—Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Parliamentary Faction secretary and ARF Supreme Body of Armenia member Aghvan Vardanyan said the anti-government group that has seized control of a Yerevan police station will not gather broad public support, as it has chosen the “most incorrect and reprehensible way” to bring about needed change to the country.

Aghvan Vardanyan (Photo: Photolure)
Aghvan Vardanyan (Photo: Photolure)

Speaking to Armenia’s Yerkir news service on July 17, Vardanyan said that violence is not the correct way to solve issues in Armenia. “Issues are not resolved through weapons, violence, hostage-taking, and terrorism. These people have chosen the most incorrect and reprehensible way to make much needed change in this country a reality,” Vardanyan said, adding that this type of approach only reduces the possibility of real, qualitative change.

One police officer was killed and two others were wounded on July 17, when members of an Armenian radical opposition group seized and occupied a Yerevan police station. There is an ongoing hostage situation at the station, as members of the armed group demand the release of a group of political prisoners and the resignation of President Serge Sarkisian.

“Unfortunately, the news of the attempted Turkish coup has been replaced with the incident in Armenia,” Vardanyan said, adding that it is the responsibility of law enforcement to diffuse the hostage situation. “The rest is the responsibility of the law enforcement, which, in my opinion, have not carried out their job well,” Vardanyan said.




  1. So what is the correct way, if I may ask? Desperate people are forced to adopt desperate measures. The government is directly responsible for this chaotic situation in Armenia. On top of this, the oversized Armenian police, in Gestapo style, is arresting innocent and unarmed citizens, left and right. Shame, to see this happening.

    • { Desperate people }

      A mob of 100-200 individuals do not represent anyone.
      These people are terrorists: they invaded a police station and murdered an Armenian police officer. Two are critically wounded and may yet die.

      {…in Gestapo style…} ?

      People who think like your encourage the gangs that are terrorizing Yerevan.
      You want to see “Gestapo style”?
      Try to do that here in the US: Cops would beat the tar our of you, or worse, and no jury or judge would convict them.

    • Somebody’s freedom fighter is somebody else’s terrorist… So here an anonymous and insignificant internet “hero” calls a real war hero terrorist. Pavlik Manukian commands the respect of many many people in Armenia. And today numerous people who are normally against violence march and protest despite police repressions in support of the group. One has to be extremely clueless or the regime’s agent to not see the utmost self-sacrifice this group has done. Pavlik Manukian also has his son next to him, the same one that’s in the below movie… They are sacrificing the most precious for all of Armenians, though some clearly don’t deserve it.

  2. Այդ խմբակը որ գրաւած է ոստիկանատունը միայն մէկ պատւաւոր ելք ունի այլեւս՝ սպաննել մնացած պատանդները և անձնասպան ըլլալ: Յանձնուիլ արդէն ինքնասպանութեան համահաւասար պէտք է համարել:

  3. I completely disagree, the situation is not good and will not improve under this government. Even more, the security of Armenia is in danger as we saw it in April four day war. The Armenian side uses 80’s armory because the people in power are packeting and spending the tax payers money to arm the police. Armenia became a dictatorship police state.

    • At the same time, we see how well the police and KGB troops are armed with cutting edge riot gear and weapons. It’s clear who is the most dangerous enemy for the regime.

  4. I do not approve hostage taking and violence as methods of resolving issues in general. But let’s face the facts… With all the power in the hands of a group of crooks and criminals who took power in Armenia killing senators and key players of the government, who control each and every significant business in the country, who choke the development of the small business, who are directly responsible for thousands of Armenians fleeing the country in thousands, who can jail anyone who raises his voice against injustice and corruption… what else can be done?

  5. Armenia is not US, we can’t expect an Armenia in a hostile surroundings function the way the West functions, the change to better that Armenian developed last 20 years is beyond imagination, Armenians should have patience, anything else will be very risky, Armenians also should remember that Armenia is a country in war.

  6. This action has been a long time in the making. It may not be the right way but it’s born out of frustration with the virtually non-existent pace of change by the government. For the long term ur vial of the nation, the government must face reality and make meaningful progress toward long overdue reforms.
    If these men are captured or killed, the government runs the risk of creating martyrs and more will follow them. Instability in the nation could be fatal. Do we think Turkey would not move to take action against a destabilized Armenia if it happens, or that the Azeries would not do the same at the other border?

  7. Of course, only the “revolutionary” ARF is entitle to armed struggle.

    Violence begets violence. This is the response of the truly fed up Armenian society to the government violence, fraudulent elections and corruption.

    Needless to say – violence must stop with the intervention of civil society. Armed solution is not a good solution. Let this be only the spark of a peaceful movement that would unify the society. The government must come up with real solutions to deep rooted problems they have created over the last couple of decades. They simply must resign and let people elect a new government.

  8. I am very disappointed at the ARF party. They have joined the corrupt government, and making statements as in the article above.I used to have the highest respect to the party in my student days as a member of the Zavarian Student Association. Alas, the proud history of the party is being stained and this hurts me.

  9. ” Armenia became a dictatorship police state”

    Well done arman, go and make the enemies of armenia happy by calling the Republic a police state. A police officer has just been murdered. I would expect. Swift retaliation from police if this happened to a policeman in the UK or USA or in Austria, and these countries are not police states. Stop pouring dirt on these countries. That murdered policeman also had a family.

    • Well said Greg. If this continues, we will have something like Ukraine. No country can be perfect. All countries have a lot of imperfections, that does not mean that we will begin to kill people, for the contentment of the enemies surrounding us.

  10. {Somebody’s freedom fighter is somebody else’s terrorist…}
    (Sassoon Kosian // July 19, 2016 at 10:08 pm //)

    Go tell the widow and family of Police colonel Artur Vanoyan, whom the terrorists murdered, that the murderers are, quote, “freedom fighters” (sic).



  12. Greg,

    The curroped government just relies on people like you. You give them the green light to do whatever they want to by thinking the way you do.

    What amazes me is ARF’s position. There is no single reason to protect this president and government. Let me give you all reasons for it:

    1. The president and his government was not elected by people (iligitamet government).
    2. Spends more money on the police than on army (we saw it during the last four day war).
    3. They are backed by criminals and oligarchs since those are the ones that it needs to keep its power over people.

    Now, let’s see how much each one of thes domages Armenia and its security.

    1. Gives reason to powerful countries to force things on Armenia that suits to their interests. This makes Armenia dependent not independent.
    2. Makes Armenia weak and be able to stand against outside invasions by enymy countries. Currently Armenia in a war.
    3. Destroyes the economy and any kind of progress. This will force people to go out and revolt. Note, this will continue until the people in the power throwen out of power.

    Now I have questions for you:
    Can anyone tell me why we still need to support Serj Sargsyan after the points I gave above?
    Why Serj Sargsyan doesn’t resigne when he knows that he is damaging Armenia?

  13. The entire premise of the armed hostage takers is based on lies. There are no “political prisoners” in Armenia. There are individuals in prison who have been caught planning violence or apprehended in the act of carrying out violence. Moreover, most of these people are foreign funded activists. Also, official Yerevan is NOT planning on returning the “five regions” in Artsakh. These are lies put our by the CIA and their numerous branches inside Armenian society.

    The armed men who attacked the police facility are foreign funded extremists and because they killed an innocent police officer, they are now also murderers and criminals. Whether they realize it or not these people are serving Western interests in Armenia. This attack on the Armenian government is purely geopolitical in nature. Just like how Russia put to an abrupt end to the US sponsored peace negotiations in 1999, the US today is trying to do the same with the Russian sponsored negotiations.

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