Why Russia Needs Armenia and Vice Versa

(Photo credit: Perry-Castañeda Library)

Astute observers know that Russia needs Armenia as much as Armenia needs Russia.  Its dependence on Armenia explains the Kremlin’s extra pressure on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his reformist ‘My Step’ alliance following Armenia’s democratic Velvet Revolution in 2018. Armenia is Russia’s only ally in the strategically crucial Caucasus.  

Russia would, consequently, lose the entire Caucasus (which includes Georgia and Azerbaijan) if Armenia joined the Western Bloc — defined as America/Europe/NATO (sometimes including Turkey and Israel). Here’s why.

Georgia has favored the Western Bloc since independence, desires NATO membership, and no longer depends on Russian natural gas.

Azeris feel hemmed in by Russia and would like to join NATO. Azerbaijan sends its Caspian Sea oil and gas westward through Georgia, Turkey and beyond. Another major gas pipeline is planned. Significantly, at Israel’s behest, top Jewish-American organizations quietly support Azerbaijan.

Russia’s Underbelly

Russia sees its left flank, consisting mainly of NATO and pro-NATO nations, as a major threat.

An even more ominous threat is Russia’s Central Asian underbelly: the five Muslim and largely Turkic countries of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

If Russia loses Armenia, and thus the Caucasus, sooner or later the Western Bloc would penetrate via Turkey straight to the Caspian and create a powerful NATO fleet. Just 150 miles farther lay the vast energy resources of Russia’s Turkic/Muslim underbelly, ripe for NATO’s picking.

This is essentially pan-Turkism. Russia dreads it, while the Western Bloc tacitly supports it. This explains Russia’s acute anxiety over what happens in Armenia.

That is, Moscow pressures Yerevan precisely because its security depends on Armenia.

Military Allies

Russia has two military bases in Armenia, sells it weapons and guards its border with Turkey.  

Armenians rightly welcome this as defense against genocidal Turkey.

But — again — Russia’s primary motive is thwarting Western Bloc/Turkish domination of the entire Caucasus and, from there, the Caspian and Russia’s Central Asian underbelly.

Armenia must, nevertheless, remain militarily (though not always economically) tied to Russia because, for the foreseeable future, Armenia cannot find security in the pro-Turkish Western Bloc.

The Pro-Turkic Western Bloc

Even if Yerevan and Ankara normalized relations, and the former joined NATO — huge ‘ifs’ — Turkey’s belligerence and greater weight would still threaten Armenia.

NATO has, after all, long tolerated Turkish aggression in Cyprus, the Aegean Sea, the Middle East and against its own minorities.

The Western Bloc has, moreover, never offered Armenia any real security and has implicitly consented to Turkey’s ongoing closure of its border with Armenia.

Had Turkey, as planned, invaded Armenia in 1993 during a failed coup in Moscow, the Western Bloc would likely not have stopped the invasion.

The Western Bloc even supports blatantly corrupt Azerbaijan and tolerates its aggression against Artsakh/Armenia.

And, of course, Europe and America provided no significant military aid to Armenians during the 19th and 20th century genocides.

Moreover, Russia has substantial ‘soft power’ to prevent Armenia’s leaving the former’s orbit.  

More Russian Leverage

Russia supplies nearly all Armenia’s natural gas and oil and has a significant position in its energy infrastructure. Russia also limits the amount of natural gas that Iran supplies to Armenia.  

Armenia’s Soviet-era Metsamor nuclear power plant is also controlled by Russia. It generates about 40 percent of the nation’s electricity.

Moscow irrationally worries that its only democratic ally, Armenia, could be a model for unseating Russia’s own leaders.

The Kremlin apparently prefers autocratic, corrupt foreign leaders whom it can intimidate because they don’t answer to the people in free elections.

Added Russian pressure against post-Velvet Revolution Armenia has been particularly unhelpful.

Recent Russian Pressure

(Photo: Press service of the Prime Minister of Armenia)

The Kremlin did not congratulate Pashinyan on his party’s smashing parliamentary victory in December 2018. It did, however, phone ex-president Robert Kocharyan, sitting in jail on various charges, on his birthday.

The Kremlin has also unfairly sided with corrupt Belarus and Kazakhstan in not allowing an Armenian to complete Armenia’s remaining term for the CTSO’s ex-secretary-general, Yuri Khachaturov. Pashinyan’s government had indicted Khachaturov over the March 2008 killings of Armenian demonstrators.

Russia apparently will also raise the price of the natural gas it supplies Armenia by 10 percent.

Now the Kremlin is pushing Armenia to sign a long-term agreement prohibiting the latter from hosting troops from third countries, though Yerevan plans no such deployments.

To alarm Armenia and to make it ever more dependent, it’s foreseeable — indeed, may have happened in the past — that Moscow would give Baku the green light for a major attack on Artsakh/Armenia. Russia would then use some pretext to refuse to defend Armenia despite their mutual defense treaty. Armenia would be unable to ask another country for military support if it signs the Kremlin’s proposed agreement.

PM Pashinyan has promised that Armenia’s pro-Russian orientation will not change. He has even vowed allegiance to the CTSO, the ineffectual, Russian-led defense alliance, even though members Belarus and Kazakhstan are hostile to Armenia. Armenia will also stay in the EEU, the Russian-led economic bloc of debatable benefit to Armenia.

Armenians don’t want to break away from Russia — unless Russia betrays Armenians first.

They simply want to eradicate corruption, benefit from the political/economic freedoms people have in democracies, trade with the West and others (as Russia does in the hundreds of billions) and build a stronger Armenia. Diasporan Armenians feel similarly.

A stronger Armenia whose citizens stay in the country is in Russia’s own interests.  

But non-too-subtle Russian threats are no way to treat an ally. No country should be bullied into being undemocratic, corrupt, poor and dependent.

Unfortunately, the two countries often misunderstand the other’s perspectives.

Different perspectives

Russia believes that Armenia lacks gratitude for “defending” it and is too distrustful. Though Armenians actually are grateful, they remember Russian betrayals that include giveaways of Armenian territory to Turkey and Azerbaijan in the 20th century.

Russia is alarmed by Armenian interaction with the Western Bloc and China. Armenia feels similarly about massive Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan and military and energy deals with Turkey, the latter two countries being genocidal enemies of Armenians.

Russia feels that Armenia should have a more positive view of Russians. Armenia generally does regard Russians well. But polls reveal that many Russians view Armenians negatively. Moreover, Armenians rarely hear Russian leaders tell their citizens about Armenia’s importance and the two peoples’ commonalities.

Due to geography and its history of empire, Moscow has often manipulated other ethno-national groups or set them against each other. While Russia sees this as natural, Armenians wonder whether Russia can distinguish between its proven enemies and a friend and ally such as Armenia.

Russia controls and limits the natural gas that Armenia imports from Iran in order to profit from selling Russian gas to Armenia (via hostile Georgia) and to make Armenia more dependent and compliant. Armenia correctly believes this endangers its national security.

Perhaps because it’s far larger and brawnier, Russia too often looks down on Armenia. Armenians regard this as overbearing and ill-mannered. With effort, though, every contrasting perspective can probably be reconciled.

Armenia should always remember, however, its vital importance to Russia. There is no turning back from the path of self-reliance that Armenia is walking. This must be voiced in the most friendly way to Russia. And the two countries must always fully and publicly air their differing perspectives for both their sakes.

David Boyajian
David Boyajian is an Armenian American freelance journalist.


  1. A reasonable assessment of Armenia’s pitiful situation which is part Russia’s fault and part Armenia’s incompetent “leadership” of the past century, but I’m sure our local Apparatchiks won’t approve since they they view even the slightest criticism of Russia as an “illegal transgression against Mother Russia”. Armenia is nowhere near being a free and sovereign state at the hands of “Mother Russia”. In order to understand this, we need to start at the beginning of the disgusting Soviet Union, when the betrayal of Armenia was devised and executed: cut up Armenia like a checkerboard benefiting Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, and landlock Armenia and place it in a permanent desperate situation with the status of a pseudo-state which is essentially just a “Russian Outpost in the Caucasus”. And the USA/NATO has exactly ZERO to do with this, and this misery that was handed to Armenia is 100% on “Mother Russia”. Our local Apparatchiks may be correct in stating that in those days “it was the foreign Zionist elements that did this” – but that argument falls apart when later ethnic Russians re-took all Soviet Union affairs back into their hands – and didn’t do a damn thing to alleviate its past transgressions against Armenia. “Mother Russia” wouldn’t have even cared if Armenians lost the Artsakh war and the whole region was ethnically cleansed in short order like in Nakhichevan. In fact I would even say that “Mother Russia” got taken by surprise at the Armenian victory, and even got disappointed because now it “complicated” it rosy relationship with Turkey and Azerbaijan. So thus, this is the legacy that our “ally” Russia has left us with. Everything else is just noise.

    Also, Russia sitting comfortably in Armenia protecting its own interests for FREE and at the expense of Armenia, we also need to consider that another important reason Russia has bases in Armenia is that it might even have a plan to Attack Armenia and do a quick occupation if ever the need arises where “Armenia doesn’t behave itself” similar to what happened to Georgia.

    Bottom line I agree with the general message of this article, and I still don’t trust Russia for one second. And the problem I have with Pashinyan is that he needs to arrest not one but all three “president” scoundrels and try them for treason for every one of them having sold off Armenia’s security, infrastructure and prosperity piece by piece whether to western or Russian interests.

    • You seem to have the same belligerent anti-Russian response for every article about Russia-Armenia relations and I’m so sick of it. The worst part is that you make the same remarks on every article.

  2. Once again, we thank Mr. Boyajian for a thoughtful commentary.
    His analysis on the region is a most welcomed educational experience.

  3. Russia is the alpha and the omega of Armenian statehood. For the past two hundred years an Armenia has lived not because of Armenians and Diasporans but because of Russia and Russians. Without the Russian factor in the south Caucasus, Armenians would still be herding animals in the eastern Turkey and making carpets in northern Iran as second class minorities. Without Russian support, Armenia today won’t even last a week in a nasty Turkic-Islamic place like the South Caucasus. In a nutshell: Russia is the fundamental reason why we have a homeland the South Caucasus. What I just said is difficult to accept/admit, especially for an arrogant/proud people like us Armenians, but what I said is truth and reality. It’s best to embrace truth and admit reality than continue lying to yourself which inevitably leads to disaster, as it has so many times in the past.

    David, Russians have excellent intelligence agencies, geopolitical institutions and diplomatic corps. Capability wise, these are actually second to none. Their military capabilities are actually also second to none. All this, not to mention, they control 1/4 of all natural resources on earth. Russia is actually the ONLY independent nation-state on earth today. So, taking all this in account, do you seriously think they need advise from someone like you? Do you seriously think the Kremlin does not properly understand what’s going on in the South Caucasus? Do you seriously think that Russia needs Armenia as much as Armenia needs Russia?

    David, I know waht you are trying to do but your article sounds silly and disingenuous. I wish American-Armenians like you would stop misleading our people by giving them false hope. American-Armenians like you are a major part of the reason why Armenia today is hopelessly stuck in the middle of a geopolitical tug-of-war between Russia and the West, and why Armenia is becoming a playing field for Anglo-American-Jewish operations. Instead of spewing mindless nonsense that confuse and mislead people, I wish you would sober up and instead preach closer Russian-Armenian relations and LOBBYING activities inside Moscow, that is if you really care about Armenia and its future.

    Incidentally, have you been to Russia? Have you tried contacting your counterparts in Moscow? Have you tried organizing a convention/symposium of Russians and Armenians to discuss flaws in Russian-Armenian relations, with the intention of fixing them? In other words, have you done anything to contribute to Russian-Armenian relations instead of periodically writing silly threats and ultimatums that any Russian (or Armenian for that matter) with any understand of geopolitics can only laugh at?

    So, David, it should not take a rocket scientist to realize that a massive nation with a very powerful, nuclear armed military can actually survive losing Armenia, even if it has to sow bloody chaos in the south Caucasus to do so. It also does not take a genius to realize that severing Armenia’s umbilical cord with Russia, thereby putting her at the mercy of Anglo-American-Jewish oil interests, Turks, Azeris, Georgians and Wahhabi Islamists, will surely kill Armenia. If Russia for some reason pulled out of Armenia and Armenia descended into chaos as a result, it won’t be the Americanized, self-righteous and politically ignorant American-Armenian community running to the country’s aid. Thankfully, I can’t foresee a reason why Russia would willingly leave Armenia. In any case, we must do everything in our power to keep a strong Russian presence in Armenia, not only politically and militarily but also culturally.

    Russia today is perhaps the last cradle of western/European classical civilization. Russia today is also the last hope for Apostolic Christianity in the world. Not only do we Armenians desperately need Russians for political, military and economic reasons, we also need them for CULTURAL reasons. Armenian culture flourished during the past two hundreds years (e.g. classically trained composers, musicians, poets, writers, painters, sculptors, academics, scientists, etc) because of Armenian raw talent coupled with Russian influences in Armenia. Today, Armenian raw talent is literally going to waste. Armenian culture today is DEAD because of Anglo-American-Afro-Jewish influences that have flooded the country in the post-Soviet period. Sadly, the American-Armenian community has been Uncle Sam’s pack animal (the conveyor of Western toxicity) in this regard. Let me put it to you this way: Soviet Armenia gave us Aram Khachtryan, post Soviet Armenia gave us Aram Asatryan. Soviet Armenia gave us the Alikhanyan brothers, post Soviet Armenia gave us the Kardashian sisters. Western influences during the past 30 somewhat years have all but killed Armenian culture.

    At the end of the day, our Russophobes have to be stopped from lying to our people. Whether they realize it or not, our Russophobes are systematically destroying Armenia from within. The danger here is that Armenians are by nature (i.e. genetic makeup) an emotional, shortsighted and politically naive/ignorant people. By filling Armenian heads with misleading information, empty pride and false hope (hope that Western powers will come to Armenia’s aid in times of trouble, or that Russia needs Armenia just as much as Armenia needs Russia, or that united Armenians don’t need anyone), Armenians will surely destroy their homeland, like they have done so many other times during the past 2000 years. This process, incidentally, is also how we ended up getting Western financed Globalist activists in power in Yerevan today.

    PS: And, since I know it will come up, I have NO PROBLEMS whatsoever with Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan. All the emotional/alarming talk we hear about this non-issue is the cheep scare tactics of our Russophobes. In fact, I rather see more Russian leverage over Baku. Arms sales equals leverage. I want to see Azerbaijan inside Russia’s orbit as well. The alternative (i.e. Azerbaijan fully inside Turkish and/or Western orbit) is disastrous for the entire region. This is why Moscow wants to stay engaged in Baku. That is also works to our benefit. At the end of the day, as long as Russians are providing Armenia with modern and affordable weapons systems and countermeasures to what’s found in the Azeri military, I don’t care about what Moscow sells to Baku. At the end of the day, if Russians don’t sell to them, they will get what they want from elsewhere. I rather see Russia gain leverage over Baku and make money in the process, money that that Moscow will use to provide Armenia with affordable but formidable weapons systems like the Iskander ballistic missile system and SU-30 SM multi-role, heavy fighter.

    • Dear Concerned Hayastantsi:

      As far as I can see, the basic premise of the article is that Armenia has a lot of worth to Russia in terms of security – and that Armenia must continue its alliance with Russia and discuss the 2 countries differences.

      Those ideas make sense. I read the article several times.

      Was the article supposed to say that Armenia is worthless and that Russia should join NATO?

      I don’t understand why you think the article is so wrong.

      It looks to me that you are just talking a lot about your own ideas which have little to do with the article.

      I also don’t care for your smearing of Armenian Americans. Why the anger?

    • In my previous comment, I asked if “Russia should join NATO?”.

      I meant, of course, if “Armenia should join NATO?”

    • Vahagn,
      Are you sure you read David’s article and my reply?
      If so, you obviously have a problem with reading comprehension.
      All your questions are answered in my reply. Please, read some more…

    • Concerned Armenian – After reading your remarks I came to the conclusion that for you a safe and secure Armenia is the one that is not free and independent but one that is nothing more than a province of Russia. Well, they are not that far from achieving that. They already own half the country. They have a couple of military bases there and now control its airspace as well. I can’t help to think how detached from reality one must be to say that Armenia has lived in the last two hundred years not because of the Armenians but because of Russia and Russians. No doubt Armenia received weapons from Russia, as did Armenia’s arch-enemy today next door, but ignoring the fact that it was the Armenians themselves who did the fighting and sacrificed thousands, even though they killed and wiped out five times as many Azeris, is quite amazing and such a disrespect to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to liberate a piece of ancient Armenian territory from seventy years of enemy occupation.

      The reality is that Russia cares about having Armenia but could care less about Armenians themselves. Russia is in Armenia not to protect Armenia and the Armenians but to protect Russia’s interests. In the last hundred years alone they gave away over half the Armenian ancestral homeland to genocidal Turks and their pseudo-Turkish Azerbaijani Tatar criminal collaborators. The genocidal fascist Turks, who murdered 1,500,000 of your kin, were defeated at the end of WWI and the mercy of the Allied Powers who drew new boundaries of Armenia restoring a big chunk of Armenian homeland to the Armenians and it took your beloved Russian backstabbers to make secret deals with the new nationalist Kemalist Turkish rebels, financing and arming them, to scrap the new Armenian boundaries and to attack Armenia retaking the entire Western Armenia and they, the Russians, to act like the “saviors” of Armenians by coming to the “rescue” of the Armenians absorbing what the Turks did not take into what came to be called the Soviet Union.

      They sacrificed Armenia and the Armenians for their political goals in the region. Sacrificing Armenia in hopes of spreading their popular revolution into Turkey and using the Turks to throw out their former superpower allies from their backyard. In 1918 they collaborated with the Turks in the South Caucasus inventing the artificial Azerbaijan republic for the homeless Caucasian Muslim Tatars on occupied Armenian territories as an outpost for the Turks to pursue their pan-Turkic agenda and as a Soviet base to expand into Persia and the Middle East. That was not enough so they gave away to newly invented anti-Armenian artificial Azerbaijan the two ancient Armenian provinces of Artsakh and Nakh-Ijevan in 1921 as part of the good old Russian divide-and-rule policy holding majority Armenian populations there hostage to pseudo-Turkish Tatar enemy effectively planting the seeds for the current Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, they were kicked out and their military bases closed in artificial Azerbaijan and Georgia. Then came the two disastrous wars with Chechnya in their backyard in the Northern Caucasus leaving them with no reliable ally in the entire Caucasus region but Armenians whom they betrayed many times over the centuries.

      Let’s face it, without Armenia the Russians stand to lose the entire Caucasus region right next door to NATO’s easternmost border and ready to move in. If Russia loses Armenia then Russia ceases to exist as a superpower despite its military arsenal. Stop living in your brainwashed imaginary world!

    • Why did you stuck “Jewish” into your analysis? Why do you think the Jews have anything to do with what’s going on in Armenia and the Caucasus.. That’s what’s silly.

  4. An astute analysis. A highly complex geo-political situation that is influenced by several players, considerations and factors.
    The stark reality is that Armenia is surrounded by hostile countries and sadly it cannot fully trust Russia or the West. Both have betrayed Armenia.
    PM Pashinian has an extremely difficult task in finding the proper and safest “balance” to insure Armenia’s safety and security.
    Skillful diplomacy and self reliance become imperative.
    Vart Adjemian

  5. Thank you for this thoughtful article. Armenia must continue to be quick on its feet to cope with the dynamics it has been ham-handed. I did not get the impression that the author sought to break up Russian – Armenian relations.

  6. What keen insight into the past, present and future of allied Russian-Armenian relations. I could not have done a better job summarizing the state of things.

    PM Pashinyan should always be aware of what will make Russia unhappy and try to smooth things over and be tactful. How about including the Russian language on street signs across the country?

  7. David please let’s come down to earth! The Russian behemoth can defend its interests in the region even if it (God forbid) left Armenia as witnessed in its hitting of ISIS targets using its pinpoint accurate navy based cruise missiles in the Caspian Sea let alone its spectacular successes in Syria as a whole; Russia closed down its basis in Georgia after Sahakashvili came to power there and started singing American and western tunes; and AXErbaijan/Baku Khanate after Ilham khan wanted them out – Russia closed its Gabala base there. Now consider this: Let’s say the current mindless anti-Russian noise in Yerevan “succeeds” or “achieves” its aim and the Russians close down their 2 basis in Armenia and leave. QUESTION: who is going to defend our western borders when (NOT IF BUT WHEN) Turkey launches its invasion – as it has done against so many or all of its neighbours in the last few decades? Indeed the Turks won’t even need to launch an actual invasion but just to station a few of their well-armed divisions near our border forcing Armenia to divide its armed forces between defending its eastern and western borders at the same time which will as sure as hell lead AXErbaijan to start the wholesale invasion of Artsakh and Sunik. So by defending our western borders against Turkey, Russia makes it possible for Armenia to fully concentrate on defending our eastern borders against AXErbaijan. Don’t you agree? I won’t even dwell on Russia providing us with the best weaponry at very affordable prices and great discounts. So how can anyone speak of parity in this equation?! Armenia won’t survive long if Russia abandons its 200 year old presence there.
    A few more disturbing questions: Isn’t it about time we learnt some lessons from the Georgian and Ukrainian examples, let alone our 1918-20 mistakes of allying ourselves with western powers against Moscow to the bitter end? Sahakashvili’s anti-Moscow tunes cost Georgia the loss of Ossetia and Abkhazia and Poroshenko’s western illusions have cost the country loss of the Donbas and Crimea (admittedly both historical Russian lands) and complete chaos in the country; our own blind “alliance” with British and French imperialists’ (Entente Cordial) hostility towards Moscow during the years of the First Republic gave us nothing but tears, hunger, starvation and, eventually, massive loss of territory to the wiser more diplomatic Turks who always know which side their bread is buttered! If only we had stayed at least neutral then perhaps we would not have lost Nakhijevan and Artsakh. I don’t even need to remind you how the French betrayed us in Cilicia (sold us and the Syrians) to the Turks. I think you need to revise your views in light of the very real and critical points raised by Concerned Armenian above. I am sure you will come up with something a lot better as you always do. Thank you.

  8. Do the majority of RoA citizens even care about Western Armenian Diasporans, which mean it well and have contributed tons of funds and other support for decades? Where has all the money gone? How many have made a sincere effort to learn Western Armenian? And how come there is not a single -ian in Pashinyan’s “New Armenia” Government?

    • Speaking of political illiteracy and shallow arrogance…
      Hey Karo, do you speak the ‘official language’ of your homeland? Do you have a “Yan” at the end of your last name? How often do you visit Armenia? RoA citizens have much more to worry about (like annihilation) than your axpar ego…

    • I think Armenians should ally with whomever is in our interest of securing an Armenian nation into the future for generations to come. I leave that to the experts, but I know we have lots of enemies and deceivers and pray these experts know what they are doing. We are proud people, but this is the 21st century, we are not a large powerful kingdom like in antiquity, and another major world war can wipe us out easily. Russia has been a good (not great) ally and I agree that it is due to them we have an Armenia state today — even if it does not encompass historical (western) Armenia, it is still our home.

    • Why would Garo corrupt his correct Armenian name and spell it with an incorrectly spelled Russian influenced -Yan instead of the real Armenian spelling of -Ian? That would be a DOWNGRADE. And no, RoA citizens are not worried about annihilation… if they were worried about that, their “leadership” would match their concerns and they would be taking care of business for the sake of the nation’s future. Most of the RoA citizens are worried about how they’re going to get their papers to escape from Armenia and to which country in Europe or USA. Same as what you already did, isn’t it?

  9. Well thought and balanced analysis. I think Armenia should maintain the relationship with Russia and at the same time develop and strengthen relationships with other nations, both economic and military. Pashinyan’s government is doing exactly that. However, we need to see more results in the coming 1-2 years.

  10. I demand answers to my legitimate questions:

    1. Do the majority of RoA citizens even care about Western Armenian Diasporans, which mean it well and have contributed tons of funds and other support for decades?

    2. Where has all the money gone?

    3. How many RoA citizens have made a sincere effort to learn Western Armenian?

    4. And how come there is not a single -ian in PM Pashinyan’s “New Armenia” Government?

    • Good questions! Although I am a traditional diaspora Armenian and not a new one from Armenia, I can attempt a few answers. In my view there are two types plus one of Armenians in Armenia, the plus one being Armenians of Artsakh. The other two types in Armenia are: 1. those who know of their roots as Western Armenians and 2: those that don’t and are part of the traditional class of Armenians who jubilantly became Bolsheviks in the last century, mostly because they worship “Mother Russia” and not Armenia. The ones that have roots in Western Armenia are mostly the hayastantsis that care about Western Armenia, and these tend to be ones with roots from Sassoun, Erzroum, Van, etc. Unfortunately for Armenia, the puppets of the kremlin types have been leading Armenia for the past century which is why Armenia is in a pitiful state today. As for the people of Artsakh they are more diaspora-Armenian friendly since they recognize how important we were in the liberation movement and aid that we have given til today.

      The “Russia is the Alpha and the Omega” type Armenians in Armenia are also the ones who ripped off the nation for the past few decades, and the top tier crooks among them have all the stolen money in offshore accounts and Swiss banks. All three crook “presidents” and their extended associates fall in this category.

      RoA citizens generally don’t make an attempt at learning Western Armenian although if they have roots in Western Armenia they generally tend to know it in addition to Eastern Armenian. Also, among the educated hayastantsis, which I’m glad to say is a high number, many of them actually love Western Armenian literature and poetry from the previous century.

      And I agree that it is unfortunate that there are no traditional diaspora Armenians who are part of the Armenian government. That is one reason I as a diaspora Armenian don’t take the Armenian government seriously, nor do I have any desire to help the country any more like in the past because I have come to realize how incompetent Armenian leadership is. It is also very irresponsible for an Armenian government to not have diaspora representatives so that an additional view can be presented as to what Armenians around the world feel and want and need. And the most ridiculous aspect of this is, now they even have ethnic Kurds in the Armenian government. Eh, yet another reason why I don’t care about the Armenian “government”. If a Kurd has entered the Armenian government today, many diaspora Armenians being in the Armenian government would have been OLD news.

    • “Garo” why don’t you at least read David’s article before you write your irrelevant and provocative (INSULTING) “questions”? I strongly suspect a Baku accent in your deliberately provocative and insulting “contribution” and now “demands”!
      If I am mistaken about your AXErbaijani accent then I apologise (perhaps you are a young and not so well read person) but still expect you to read the article (let’s say at least 5 times) then likewise read Concerned Hayrenaser’s (especially his reply to you) and some of the other comments (4 or 5 times and really digest what you have read) before you open your mouth again.
      I actually think you should concentrate really hard on Concerned Hayrenaser’s reply and specific questions to you and try and answer them, for yourself like a prayer and self exploration. You might learn something and grow up a little. I would also suggest you read at least 1 or 2 books about the recent 100-200 years history of Armenia and the ENORMOUS SACRIFICES our people made to keep that little crest of land as Armenia and to develop it from tears, hunger, disease, starvation and complete desolation a 100 years ago through to the extremely hard years of blood and sacrifice of WWII (220,000 brave soldiers who gave their lives to defeat Nazi Germany) to 1988 earthquake, Artsakh Liberation (6,500 martyrs) and then ‘the dark and cold years’, of early 1990s, to today. Google just a few names, like Viktor HambartsumYAN, Aram KhachaturYAN, MikoYAN and AlikhanYAN brothers, Martiros SarYAN, Hovhanes BaghramYAN, Hovhannes IsakYAN (Isakov) – to name but a few amongst literally thousands of world class scientists, engineers, artists, musicians, academics and ordinary folk – who created with their toil and sacrifices a powerful industry, economy and culture, arts and literature, music and strong scientific base for the country that we were all rightly proud of. Perhaps then you will stop whining and crying over the few pennies (peanuts comparatively) that the Diaspora has sent to our homeland in the difficult post-earthquake and post-Soviet years.

  11. I was in Armenia the morning of September 23, 1991 at 5:30 in the morning I witness the Russian convoys leaving Armenia. There is one issue that all of you have failed to see if by example Armenia should fall into the hands of the turks it would be the Russians who would have to fight all of these Muslim countries which would bring condemnation from the world i.e. look at the Russians being aggressive towards our fellow Muslims. By maintaining Armenia in a strong military position the Armenians can do the dirty work which is sad to say and not receive condemnation from the world because of our past genocide.it is a win win situation for both country’s.if in the event Armenia is atack by turkey who would fault the Russians for helping.of course the United States Zionist controlled government would scream but who cares if they complained.the Russians need Armenia but will never say it publicly but they know that this is the case.besides the Armenians are with out a doubt the finest fighting force in that region.i have relatives who fought on the Russian side in Afghanistan and they told me that the arzeris were very incompetent in learning to use military weapons.bottom line if it is a love hate relationship who cares as long as they work together to maintain military strength.just my opinion

  12. The fact that Armenia is in this kind of difficult position. If I were in the position of P.M. Pashinyan, I would be bolder and assertive in that Armenia should not be beholden to Russian interests, and to its own interests, as an independent republic. Clearly, Putin is oppressing Armenia, though not via military offense, he uses the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to retrieve profits from the military sales. Pashinyan should seek to open Armenia’s hands up to the West, the U.S., and the E.U., who are clearly leading the path for democracy and progressive change.

  13. Garo,
    You are looking for sympathy. Armenians are united forever. Soviet-era corruption will be gone slowly and definitely! There are few dialects among Armenians, but they are Armenians! We have Armenian dialect in Artsakh, but they use the same alphabets that you and I reading! Monte learned “Gharabaghi” accent at the end!



    • To Concerned Russian,
      Your post does nothing but praise Russia. It seems nothing has changed for you before or after the war. Russia can do no wrong. End of story. Now if your done talking about Russia let me bring you back to reality comrade.
      Russian currency is toilet paper (actually less), Russia does not control 1/4 of the worlds resources (dude, what? Your confusing land mass with resources), majority of Russia is frozen tundra (25% + of the entire country is proparly habitable), Russian military has near NIL capabilities in terms of overseas expeditions (“its military is 2nd to none”). Do you know anything about how militaries work? It has 1 extremely outdated aircraft carrier, MOST of it’s equipment is 70’s and beyond. No one cares about nuclear weapons in this day and age, they will never be used again (the world will bury the county that uses it)…

      I can go on but you get the message. Russia is a craphole. The western world is the future for our planet. Deal with it.

      Let me ask you something. Do you excuse or even agree with Russia giving away Armenian lands back in the day? You never touch on this subject. Now I don’t know whether you like abusive relationships or your in fact Russian but no amount of protection justifies one treating the other with disrespect or even harm when it sees fit. Russia needs to look after Armenian interests or just get lost. Armenia is a worldwide official country. We are not going to invade anything. But just to be on the safe side Armenia can work on its military capabilities and make friends with it’s neighbors just like many other countries around the globe.

      Millions of Turks visit Russia every year and not the other way around! The alpha and omega… It’s lands so valuable that it sells it off to other countries. We Turks can’t wait to invade Siberia. Who doesn’t want beautiful 40 degrees weather. That was + right? Why do you think Russia stole Crimea? Because no one wants Russian lands. Russia needs everyone elses.

  14. Honestly, getting tired of reading the same headline over and over, in various publications,” WHY ARMENIA NEEDS RUSSIA”? Well, it’s no secret that tiny Armenia with a population of three million naturally needs an ally. On the other hand, I have a suggestion to Mr. Boyadjian. David, could you please, if all possible, tell us as to,” WHY 87 MILLION TURKEY NEEDS THE WEST, NATO, UNITED STATES, and RUSSIA”? After all, they claim to be tough and rough, superpower. I can’t wait to hear the answer.

  15. Mr Boyajian, this was a thoughtful and well written article. However, I have a few complaints about your general views on Russia that I have noticed from reading your other articles here and elsewhere:

    1) Turkey is mindlessly supportive of Azerbaijan only because it despises Armenia. This is Turkey’s only focus, destroying Armenia.
    2) Russia is not interested in exterminating Turks or Azeris, just in maintaining its influence over the Caucasus.
    3) You rightfully point out that the Western Bloc has betrayed or shown no interest in helping Armenia, but seem to be rather biased as implied by your disappointment.
    4) I can see a future U.S.-Russia-Iran deal regarding Armenia’s safety ONLY if America drops its British-like foreign policy that it has maintained since the end of WW2.
    5) Most Armenians in the Republic have a pretty good view of Russia, even with their complaints of its foreign policy and CSTO role.
    6) The EU is not an organization that can be trusted. Historically, the U.K. and Germany have been total disasters as far as the safety of Armenians is concerned. The British forced Andranik Ozanian to retreat from Artsakh in WW1, and Germany provided weapons and diplomatic cover for the Ottomans and Turks.
    7) When Russia sells weapons to the Azeris, it is trying to maintain its influence rather than help Azerbaijan. The NATO countries, Israel, Pakistan, etc. would sell Azerbaijan weapons if not Russia.

    So my main point is that you expect Russia to be biased to the point of absurdity in favour of Armenia, while not thinking that the EU nations have any role in making Armenia the volatile country it is today. I want a reformed U.S. policy to align with Russia and Iran as far as Armenia goes rather than just hope for EU countries to restrain Turkey.

  16. I applaud the article, the Armenian Weekly for bringing it to me, and the varied comments and opinions. Being a second generation Armenian, I am attempting to learn about my ancestors past and hope to water my ancestral roots by educating Americans about Armenia and its noble people who suffered, survived, and still maintain their faith. Thank you to all who participated.

  17. This kind of empty pride expressed by Armenians is what got us to where we are today. Armenia was created by Russia, Armenia always needed Russia more than Russia needs Armenia. When will Armenians learn politics?

  18. Pashinyan has already proven to be an incompetent puppet leader of the west – now it seems he will try to play it both ways between Russia and the west: if the artsakh debacle, which is all on him and his cronies, is any indication he will fail. It is right to have strong ties to Russia and good relations with the west but this is not the person to handle it. Pashinyan should stick to writing second rate propagandist articles.

    To those that believe Armenia should distance themselves from Russia and move toward the west – do you really think the west would protect Armenian interests at turkey and Azerbaijan’s expense?

    At best they would force Armenia to give up any historical claims to western Armenia and turn it into a free travel and trade zone for the Turks – at best. The Turkish language would soon be as common as Armenian in the streets of Yerevan

  19. As expected, this article did not age well. Yes, when will Armenians learn politics…

    • Although this post and comments section is dated I agree with you, Concerned Armenia that regardless of whatever ill-fortunes we suffered in the hands of the Soviets and Russians they were the only ones that created the state and prevented us from being wiped out becoming a Jewish like people with no homeland. The West has done nothing but morally and socially corrupt and degenerate its own society taking down other Western nations like the nations of Europe as well and its pushing its globalist influence towards other countries like Ukraine. Armenians have yet to learn the results of their idiocy and what the end result of Westernization will be. A degenerate European like state such as Belgium. Russia is the only nation that stands up to Western values and Armenians are only digging their own grave with their mass exodus to the US and selling their identity in exchange for token culture while producing degenerate culture and labeling it as proud Armenian societal contributions. I understand that people move for a better life but with every decision their is a compromise or loss. In a few generations they will see the full effects of their migration decisions if they have not realized already. Mass racial intermixing with lower peoples, moral decadence, token culture, and not knowing their mother tongue. That will be the end result

  20. Only Russia can protect Armenia, Why because they are strong and close to Armenian with their borders.

    In case of war…, not a single western country is logistically able to protect Armenia. In WW1 and in 2020 Western countries have even not tried to protect Armenia.

    In Case of war even for Russia is logistical support for Armenia is very hard and only possible through Air, Iran, or Georgia.

    Turkey is in the west. Azerbaijan is in the east. In the south, you have Iran who wants to help Armenia….but in Iran, you have 40 Miljoen Azerbeycani Turks. They will always support Turks.

    Turkish influence in Georgia is very strong.

    Turkish military defence technology made Azerbejcan win the war against Armenia in only 44 days by destroying 80% of the Armenian Army. This happened for the first time in the military history of mankind. Not only Armenia but all the countries around Turkey with the potential war against Turkey are all afraid of the Turkish military hard power.

    Armenia is economically isolated by the Turks. Oil and gas are going through Georgia instead of Armenia. The new Silk road could go through Armenia… but will instead go through Georgia. Armenia is missing great economic profit from all these projcts. If the relations would have been good, Armenia could have become like Dubai…But now…they are really poor.

    If Armenia would decide to have peace with Turks….all problems would be solved.

    Within 10 years…against Turks also Russia can not protect Armenia… Because Turks will be strong enough to resist Russian Army.

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