YEREVAN (A.W.)—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) released a statement on Oct. 19, mourning the untimely death of Armenian businessman and philanthropist Levon Hayrapetyan.
“Mr. Hayrapetyan was a patriotic figure who was concerned with the fate of the nation and worked towards its prosperous and secure future. One may recall his several initiatives directed at the revival and strengthening of Artsakh, which inspired and broadly addressed the hearts of grateful compatriots,” read a part of the statement.
Hayrapetyan, who contributed tens of millions of dollars to causes in Armenia, Artsakh, and the Armenian Diaspora, passed away in a Russian prison overnight on Oct. 18. He was perhaps best known for spearheading a mass wedding in Artsakh, which he co-sponsored with fellow Russian-Armenian businessmen. Some 700 couples were married in the ceremony in an effort to encourage an increase in Artsakh’s population. Hayrapetyan subsequently became a godfather to 250 newborns
“[Hayrapetyan’s] unselfish devotion was also demonstrated by his steadfast readiness to support the activities of the Armenian Cause,” the ARF statement continued.
Hayrapetyan’s arrests and convictions are widely believed to have been a part of a politically motivated campaign against prominent Russian businessmen. Following his 2016 conviction, factions of the National Assembly of Artsakh, as well as several prominent individuals and organizations in and out of Armenia, issued a statement urging Russian law enforcement bodies release Hayrapetyan.
The 68-year-old died in a prison cell in Mordovia on Oct. 18.