Pashinyan says Russian military presence “threatens Armenia’s security”

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan hosts his first in-person press briefing in over two years (RA Prime Minister, January 10)

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan questioned Russia’s military presence in Armenia during a January 10 press conference, the latest sign of a growing rift between Armenia and Russia.

During his first in-person press briefing since the 2020 Artsakh War, Pashinyan said that Azerbaijan justifies its aggression against Armenians, including its ongoing blockade of Artsakh, by pointing to Armenia’s close relations with Russia. Azerbaijan has been warning its Western partners that Armenia and Russia could jointly launch military aggression against Azerbaijan, according to Pashinyan.  

The prime minister called these claims “absurd” yet said they could “attract interest” among Western officials in light of the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

“We bring our Russian partners’ attention to this fact, noting that their lack of response means that Russia’s military presence in Armenia not only does not guarantee Armenia’s security but, on the contrary, creates threats to Armenia’s security,” Pashinyan said

The Armenian prime minister has criticized the Russian peacekeeping force in Artsakh for failing to end the blockade. He called the mission a “silent witness to the depopulation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is becoming more and more visible.”  

During the January 10 briefing, Pashinyan also criticized inaction by the Collective Security Treaty Organization in response to Azerbaijani aggression. He said that Armenia will not host the CSTO military exercises in 2023, despite an announcement to the contrary by Russia a week earlier.

The Russian Defense Ministry had announced that the CSTO, a Russian-led military bloc, would hold its annual peacekeeping training in Armenia this year. Pashinyan said that Armenia had informed the joint staff of the CSTO that it had rejected the drills. 

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia had not been informed of Armenia’s decision before Pashinyan’s press conference. 

“In any case, Armenia is our very close ally, and we will continue the dialogue, including the issues that are very complicated at the moment,” Peskov told Russian media. 

Pashinyan said that conducting the exercises in Armenia would be “inappropriate.” He criticized the CSTO for failing to provide Armenia with military assistance. 

“We demand that they specify the zone of CSTO responsibility,” Pashinyan said. “The absence of their response presents a fundamental problem for us.”

Article 4 of the CSTO charter stipulates that an attack on one member will be treated as an attack on all. Armenia appealed to the CSTO following Azerbaijan’s border attacks in September. In November, the CSTO offered what Secretary General Stanislav Zas called “measures to assist Armenia in this difficult situation.” Pashinyan rejected the offer since it did not include an explicit statement condemning Azerbaijani aggression. Zas later said that the measures had included “military-technical assistance,” without specifying what that entailed. 

Artsakh has been under blockade by Azerbaijan since December 12. Government-sponsored Azerbaijani protesters posing as environmental activists have closed down the Lachin Corridor, the sole route connecting Artsakh with Armenia and the outside world. Artsakh now faces a humanitarian crisis amid severe shortages of food, medicine and other basic necessities. 

The Lachin Corridor is normally used to transport 400 tons of food and medicine from Armenia to Artsakh every day. The government has tapped into its strategic food reserves since grocery stores have run out of food. According to the Artsakh government, the transfer of 12,000 tons of basic goods to Artsakh has been prevented by the blockade. 

Artsakh authorities have instituted a food rationing system to preserve food supplies. Families will receive coupons to purchase limited quantities of food from state reserves. Starting on January 20, residents will be able to purchase one kilogram of pasta, buckwheat, rice and sugar and one liter of cooking oil per month using the coupons.   

Primary schools and kindergartens have closed as of January 9 due to insufficient food supplies. 

Artsakh’s electricity supply has also been disrupted. On January 9, an accident took place on the high-voltage power line that provides Artsakh’s electricity supply from Armenia, according to the Artsakh government. The accident occurred near the town of Lachin, which came under Azerbaijan’s control last summer.

Artsakh authorities say that Azerbaijan prevents specialists from visiting the site of the accident and conducting emergency restoration work. A “rolling blackout” has been implemented, under which families will not have electricity for two hours each day. Limited electricity will be supplied through local generating stations. 

“Azerbaijan is not only not letting us bring in food and medication but also preventing our specialists from visiting the site of the accident to restore electricity supplies,” Artsakh State Minister Ruben Vardanyan said on January 11. 

Scheduled medical procedures have also been temporarily suspended in Artsakh. Since the start of the blockade, 16 patients have been transferred to medical centers in Armenia from Artsakh, with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Nine patients are in intensive care in Artsakh, four of whom are in critical condition.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev addressed the closure of the Lachin Corridor for the first time during a January 10 press briefing. Aliyev denied that the road has been closed and called claims to the contrary “another anti-Azerbaijani show.” 

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev hosts a press conference (Azerbaijan President, January 10)

The Azerbaijani president praised the protesters blocking the Lachin Corridor as a “source of our pride.” 

“They are there day and night in frosty and snowy weather, demanding their rights and once again showing the whole world how high the qualities of Azerbaijani youth are,” Aliyev said

Aliyev said that residents of Artsakh who do not want to become citizens of Azerbaijan can leave Artsakh via the Lachin Corridor.

“The road is not closed,” Aliyev said. “It is open. They can leave. They can go by themselves. No one will hinder them. They can go under the awning of peacekeepers’ trucks, or they can go by bus.” 

The president also threatened to force Armenia to sign a peace treaty by military coercion. He said that Azerbaijani soldiers control key heights in both Armenia and Artsakh that offer them a strategic advantage. These heights were captured during Azerbaijani border attacks in March and September of 2022. 

“Visual observation already allows us the opportunity to see any danger from the very beginning and prevent it,” Aliyev said. “I do hope that Armenia, which has already suffered such military and political failures three times, will understand that a peace agreement is inevitable.” 

The Artsakh Security Council said that Aliyev’s comments prove that the blockade is “nothing but an obvious manifestation of the threat of using force by the Azerbaijani authorities in the process of the Karabakh settlement problem.” 

“We are aware of all the consequences that follow the political line we have embarked on, and reaffirm our position that the sovereignty of Artsakh and the right to live freely and independently in the historical homeland are absolute values,” the January 11 statement reads. “No coercion or threat can deter us from our decision to continue the struggle.”

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian is the assistant editor of the Armenian Weekly. She reports on international women's rights, South Caucasus politics, and diasporic identity. Her writing has also been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Democracy in Exile, and Girls on Key Press. She holds master's degrees in journalism and Near Eastern studies from New York University.


  1. “During his first in-person press briefing since the 2020 Artsakh War”. Was he hiding in a sewer? What an incompetent loser Armenia has as “prime Minister”. I have zero confidence. Is this the best we can do? 2 years since he horribly mismanaged the war by losing land and lives to an ugly despot Turk that was held for 30 years…and now like a child goes on a press conference to criticize the only possible leverage he might have. Sure Russia sucks. They will never stick their neck out for Armenia. Russia will ONLY do whats best for Russia. The only reason they are there is to keep a foothold and not to protect anyone. And yes, the CSTO is a circus side show. But Pashinyan needs to stop blaming everyone else and take responsibility. He is the problem. He needs to be rid before its too late.

    • By the way the 2016 four day war went it was apparent that Azerbaijan would be able to prevail, this happened during the pro Russia government which did use its stronger at the time clout and closer feeling to Armenia to stop the attacks but it exposed the change in the balance of power that was able to be brushed off at the time. In 2018 Pashinyan takes office and in 2020 Azerbaijan takes control of N-K and Russia expands its influence and sidelines treaty partners France and USA. Also significant was the support shown by Central Asian CSTO members to Azerbaijan a former member rather than their legal ally and fellow member Armenia! In 2022 Russia gets embroiled in Ukraine. Opportunistically Azerbaijan moves against Armenia in Armenia itself and Arktash. Armenia faces the conundrum of a weakened ally Russia unable it seems to be able to help in any great way, that is viewed as an enemy by the collective west which allows Azerbaijan slippage in its anti Armenian activities. Brutally put Armenia should cauculate if Russia is going to defend them and win in Ukraine or if it can’t do either and seek security from the west instead. Obviously Turkey would block NATO membership although it is becoming a troublemaker within NATO. NATO like any grouping has its factionalisim but the leadership of the USA is seen as bulwark against threats. Russia isn’t seen as anything like as much of a bulwark and the factionalisim in CSTO, not supporting Russia in Ukraine, nor Armenia under attack and the recurrent clashes between ‘allies’ Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan shows that the pact is a farce and faces collapse in the current circumstances. Rejection of support on the basis that it won’t condemn Azerbaijan does seem petulant yet if they won’t name the attacker are they a friend?

  2. West wont support us because of our hosting Russian bases and membership and good relations with lran,last 30 we nothing benefited from these countries its now time for armenia to change political agenda east to west l grew up in lebanon and married parsakhye living in west l know how useless these eastern countries armenians suffer in lran in russia ln middle east.Armenia must join US pact against lran russia turkey azerbaijan lebanon.

    • Garo Hampirian, first learn how to write correct English before sending comments. Unless you are 5 years old, there’s no excuse for such lousy grammar and language.
      Second, WHEN will Armenians like you ever understand that The West, namely the U.S. and the UK ( Britain ) will never support Armenia politically or militarily against Turkey & Azerbaidjan even if Armenia leaves the CSTO and the last Russian soldier is removed along with the Russian military based from Armenia???
      Leave your comments to yourself, obviously you have ZERO political education.

    • The West has zero incentive to support Armenia. Europe is getting oil and natural gas from Azerbaijan. The US has invested heavily in Turkey. The only two allies that Armenia has (for better or for worse) are Russia and Iran. And this idiot is pissing off one of them.

  3. Nikol and his Western and Turkish financed team of Sorosites are simply preparing the field for the next war. Armenians deserve everything that has happened since 2018. Vive la révolution!!!

  4. My fellow Armenians, please pay attention to what I have to inform you:
    The crisis in Nagorno-Karabagh and in Armenia is worsening week after week. The problem we have is the total failure of the present Armenian government, namely the clown called Pashinyan, to secure the nation’s defense and military alliance with the Russian Federation. The people of Armenia should take direct responsability of the plight of Artsakh and the loss of 142 square km of land from the Republic of Armenia from the azerbaijani turk aggressors.
    WHY in your sane mind would you, citizens of Hayastan, re-elect a miserable, despicable idiot to head your government in a time of tragedy, crisis and existential threat both from Azerbaijan and Turkey to our nation’s very survival? This clumsy, short-sighted and hated “journalist-turned-politician” moron led the country into a crushing defeat in Sep-Oct-Nov of 2020, caused the death of over 5,500 Armenian soldiers and civilians, another 12,000 wounded and about 250 Armenian POWs in the hands of the brutal enemy in Baku – yet, people still VOTED to keep such a terrible loser in office!
    Do you people realize that Vladimir Putin personally despised of this miscreant Pashinyan, and the Armenian citizens of Russia have long been rallying to remove him from government?
    You CAN’T have a leader in Armenia who is considered a problem-child in the eyes of the Kremlin. You can’t antagonize the Russian Federation with your idiotic hopes of joining the Western camp politically, economically and … militarily. Turkey will NEVER allow Armenia to be considered into NATO. Armenia is too unstable and too poor to be even looked at by the EU. The West has absolutely no economical nor geopolitical interests in drawing Armenia into its ranks, save for perhaps securing a foothold there to combat Iran to serve the interests of Israel and the U.S.
    What needs to be done urgently? Here are the emergency steps that have to be implemented, otherwise both Artsakh and Armenia are in danger of falling off the cliff into The Abyss:

    1. REMOVE Pashinyan immediately and without any conditions, either by political means or by force;
    2. Arrest all of Pashinyan’s present cohorts and influential power brokers who are currently in Armenia and Artsakh;
    3. Hold emergency talks with the leadership of the Russian Federation to create a temporary protectorate over both Armenia and Artsakh, and hold a transparent nationwide referendum whether the citizens of Armenia would accept joining the Russian Federation as a constituent autonomous republic.
    4. Pour billions of money in modernizing the Armenian Air Force, Army and Intelligence Agencies, purchase super-modern drone technology from whichever country that is willing to sell to Armenia presently, and declare Martial Law in Armenia.

    If the above emergency measures are not taken in the next few months, I’m afraid we are risking being overrun both by Azerbaijan & Turkey as the Russian Federation is being alienated by Pashinyan even more this year, and Putin is in no mood to extend any help to the suffering people of Armenia and Artsakh while Pashinyan is still in power.
    People of Armenia, READ THIS in its entirety and take action. The sooner you topple this failure-clad regime, the more chances you have to regain security and safety, thus ensuring Armenia’s and Nagorno-Karabagh’s very survival.
    I am raising this alarm for all Armenians to wake up and be aware of the immense danger facing our nation. PLEASE PLEASE rise up and take action NOW!


    • One more idea: DIASPORA ARMY UNITS. I have been preaching this for years. A mandatory 2-4 year service/training in the Armenian Artsakh military to grow, populate, protect, invest and help secure Armenia from any threat. Israel does this without question. The reason Armenia never did is because the past 2 Armenian leaders were not interested in outside influence as they were too busy robbing the nation and actually caused 1/3 to emigrate. Traitors in their own right. The current “PM” is unfortunately too stupid and incompetent, and some would say a traitor to boot, to implement an idea such as this..

    • JOE!!!


  5. The PM’s lengthy press conference was 3 hours 44 minutes and 41 seconds. It struck me as awfully long when I started listening to the recorded posting. I have listened most of it and I intend to listen to the rest. I was impressed by the cadre of young Armenian reporters posing intelligent questions. Also, I found the PM’s stamina to hold such long press conference commendable. But thus far I did not come across the PM making a statement asserting that Russian military presence – quoting – “threatens Armenia’s security”. Nairi dictionary lists three Armenian synonyms for the verb “threaten”. Like any verb they have contextual meaning, which may have been the reason that I was alerted, should I have heard it. I will appreciate if someone or Ms. Lillian herself indicate the time on the recorded conference at which the PM said that. I would like to hear it in Armenian. Asserting that Russia threatens the security of Armenia is something a concerned Armenian does not expect to hear coming from the PM.V

  6. For the past 30 years Armenia has been betrayed by the past 3 presidents Instead of strengthening Armenia, they first robbed all the buildings for themselves ,then they robbed the people ,and worse of all they robbed the army and they weakened the army. all past 3 presidents should be arrested and shot . WHAT WE NEED NOW IS A COUP D ETAT BRING BACK THE PATRIOTIC GENERALS AND BUILD UP A STRONG ARMY THEN BRING THE WEST TO OUR HELP TO KICK THE Russians OUT. tHE rUSSIANS HAVE BEEN TOTALLY USELESS AND ARE SELLING OUT Armenia TO THE Turks.

    • What is all this based on? Who robbed? Who was robbed? All fantasy, innuendo and propaganda. Nobody high ranking has been sentenced for corruption to my knowledge.

  7. It must be a miserable experience in Arktash to say the least..
    Armenia has to work out if Russia can actually protect them and if it will win or loose in Ukraine and the possiblity of an actual war with NATO and how it will be viewed by NATO members for whose side its on (with the obvious exception of Turkey) not merely the proxy show currently and make decisions upon that basis.

    • We Armenians even didnt succeed create regular company flights between Yerevan to Nyc or LA but meanwhile turks and arabs has unlike armenians

  8. Zeituntsi Vache Achikyan, agree 100% with you. I said about Artsakh joining Russia to survive in previous articles comments via referendum. You are the person thinking about destiny of Armenia and Artsakh and understanding current reality!

    • I have heard that comment often. But what makes those who come with that suggestion think the Russian Federation is interested in integrating Artsakh ? I do not think that they are interested because I do not see any benefit for them to do so. Making Artsakh part of the Russian Federation will pit Russia against Azerbaijan and Turkey. . Russian interests are much better served for Russia to have its forces in the Caucus ostensibly to keep peace among warring nations in the region.

  9. The security of Armenia, as well as Artsakh, is and has been under threat under Armenia’s current incompetent and dysfunctional government ever since this sorry excuse of a leader, a former journalist turned Prime Minister, Nikol unpatriotic treasonous Pashinyan, was voted into office by a whole bunch of politically ignorant and gullible Armenian population. Assuming even remotely that Pashniyan is not a western tool and a puppet to say the least, and also assuming the presidential or prime ministerial elections held were legitimate, it is incomprehensible how a majority Armenian population would elect such a loser with no political, no foreign policy and no military experience not once but twice to lead a country that has been, and continues to be, in a state of war for the last thirty years with a despicable fascist enemy that has recently been emboldened by a direct and full military backing of a terrorist NATO member state unrepentant Turkey that only a century ago committed genocide against the indigenous Armenian population in Turkish-occupied Western Armenia.

    Armenians stand to lose even more than they already have every single day that this inexperienced, clumsy liar and inept ‘leader’ is still in office. He is a narcissistic psychopath without an ounce of Armenian pride. If he had any pride and dignity the least he would have done by now, if not two years ago after that disastrous and unprepared war he instigated with his failed foreign policies and irresponsible announcements, would have been to apologize to the nation and resign and let those who knew how to run the country, those with military experience who, unlike him, had kept the enemy at bay because they knew how to dictate to the enemy and speak at the enemy with a language they understood quite well. Today and for the last four weeks, it is because of this loser’s pacifistic approach to serious matters and his duplicitous behavior that has put the lives of 120K Armenian population in danger and kept in the captivity of a bunch of wolves in sheep’s clothing. This is the same loser who quite loudly and publically stated not so long ago that ‘Artsakh is Armenia’ while visiting Artsakh and now he has washed his hands of Artsakh completely not realizing that security of Artsakh and Armenia are tied together. Armenia is insecure if Artsakh is insecure. Conversely, if Armenian’s security is threatened the security of Artsakh is also threatened because Armenia, unlike the past, can not act as the guarantor of the security of Artsakh. His dealings with the Russians are incomprehensible. It is no secret that Russia, even as the only military ally of Armenia in the region, pursues her own self-interests in the area but ultimately it is the responsibility and the task of the Armenian government to find common language with the Russians to secure the homeland. This guy has got to go. His departure is long overdue. As the old saying goes, if he can’t take the heat he must stay out of the kitchen!

  10. Artsakh was Armenia’s responsibility. Yet, those who abandoned it do everything they can to make it look as if it’s Russia responsibility. It’s also amazing how Armenians are always demanding independence from Russia but every time Turks attack they demand Russia protect Armenians. Cognitive dissonance and political illiteracy at its worst…

    • Arktash and N-K was Armenias responsiblity, Russia for the last few years had wanted Armenia to hand it over to Azerbaijan, (in order to improve its influence on Baku) and whatever that will entail. If unsure look up Andrew Korybko, a Kremlin shill for an insight. Russia has been controlling, narrowing the Iran gas pipeline among other things. Selling weapons to Azerbaijan, pre 2018 (so can’t blame Pashinyan!) not legally an ally to be used against Armenia, an ally? Many Armenians ‘faith’ in Russia has diminished after 2020 when Russia contrived a fudge with Azerbaijan and 2022 where Russia showed it can’t properly uphold its obligations, namely to allow access to Arktash and safeguard the boundary. Holding unrealistic and fatuous views is a cognitive dissonance and political illiteracy that you often quote of Armenia at the end of your postings

      Also uniting with Russia, which is something some desire will wreck Armenian relationships with the EU, USA, Georgia, attract masses of sanctions and allow Turkey and Azerbaijan to persue aggression with near total impunity!

    • Western and Turkish shills do their best to twist and distort the realty. Russia wanted Armenia to return the 5 territories outside Artsakh proper so that it could make lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan and concentrate on the growing Western threat in Ukraine. Selling weapons to Azerbaijan was quite normal. If Russians did not sell, others would. Russia wanted to maintain leverage over Baku. Armenia was also receiving similar weapons at much-much lesser cost. Also, it was not Russian weapons that helped Azeris beat the Armenian side in 2020, it was Israeli and Turkish. At the end of the day, we created this historic mess in 2018 by putting into power a team of street activists that were clearly on the payroll of Western and Turkish interests. And then we preserved the toxic status quo in Yerevan in 2021. So, stop complaining and stop blaming others and simply enjoy the fruits of Russophobe and westernization.

  11. This clown needs to be gone. Azerbaijan is afraid of Vardanyan, and they will push harder to keep this clown Pashinyan. Even if someone intentionally tried to harm Armenia could not do what this idiot Pashinyan did.
    1. Removed all competent army commanders as soon as he gained power by thus leaving the Armenian Army unmanageable. The reason he did that was so that the Army later did not stand on his way. He would care less about youngsters dyeing. During the war it was clear about his idiotic but at the same time malicious decision. Nobody knew where to do, what to do, nothing was coordinated, and the army survived only on previous training and Armenian spirit, even though kids first have to become men to show spirit.
    2. Previously by being nobody but a street protester, he made mistakes no reasonable person would think possible. During all time of negotiations both Robert and Vazgen said many times that as soon as we call Karabakh an Armenian territory, they will start the war for obvious reasons. Pashinyan with his IQ of 47 which gets as low as 15 when het gets drunk as usual started spewing this idiotic stance that Karabakh was an Armenian land. This gave no choice to Aliyev than to finally start the war after almost 30 years of occupation. If he did not say that, even though Aliyev already knew that he destroyed Armenian Army structure, still he might not attack with that intensity.
    3. Pashinyan had no clue in what state Armenian Army was the same way he had no clue how to organize anything in life or achieve even small success. According to his own words, even after being elected a president he was making payments for his refrigerator. He had done nothing until 2018 except cause trouble, talk sensational stuff, and make some people to like him and elect as a representative. He could not even finish the university. He did not know any details about Azerbaijani Army. He all the times kept saying that Armenian Army has proven to beat Azerbaijani Army whenever small battles happened. He knew nothing about NATO training, drones, etc. Even more – he requested Russia to remove its air defense from Armenia since according to him it was not “democratic” and when the war started he was not calling Putin – whose Army was protecting Armenia, but Trump and Macron because with his insignificant amount of brain cells he assumed that just because Armenia become “democratic” , USA must come and fight for it not to protect Armenian borders but to help Armenia maintain occupied territories which same USA and France requested many times to return. Never mind Turkey clearly declared to be one country with Azerbaijan, and Turkey is in NATO and crucial USA ally. I still can’t get my head around how Pashinyan saw USA military next to Russian military. If you go a psychiatric hospital and ask 1000 patients how would Armenia protect itself, I don’t think any of them would come up with this insane ideas, but Pashinyan somehow came.
    4. During the all time of the 44-day war he was scamming people in Armenia by misinformation and lies about Armenia gaining more territories. He was so despicable that was offered many times just to get out of surrounding territories to stop the war, but refused because he said that people would blame him. For his despicable, vile, stupid, and fraudulent persona it was more important his political career than lives of thousands of fresh high school graduates.
    4. Now he keeps doing even unthinkable – openly requesting Russia to remove its military. Every person in Armenia knows that if it was not Russia Turkey had occupied Armenia long time ago and converted it into its parking lot in less than a week. Now Pashinyan not only converted a great Armenian Army with much superior commanders a dysfunctional one when parents are sending food and clothing for their kids, but also wants Russia to remove its Army from Armenia and his buddy – Macron come to protect people of Artsakh like France has any interests here.

    Conclusion – Pashinyan becoming a president of country in that situation was like a homeless person winning a billion dollar lottery. Before becoming a president he was an insignificant troublemaker who could nothing in life. After becomming a president he became an insane person whose IQ went down from 47 to 12 since constant alcohol consuption kills little remaing brain cells.
    If Armenia wants to completely collapse so that Turks will come, kill everyone there, then it can keep this clown further too. If people of Armenia are so insane, delusional, ungrateful and stupid, then they don’t deserve to have their state. Let them become like 20 million Kurds. All more or less normal people already left Armenia if not for USA then for at least Russia. So, mostly garbage is left there, so let them go and destroy themselves. If a nation reelects a capitulated president then that nation is destined for extinction.

  12. there is nothing wrong with taking loads of comfort in blaming the defeat in 44-day war on one person, Pashinyan,. it is good for ones sole, sanity and healthy state mind. it is normal among Glen dale Armenians to blame one person for the defeat and feel a bit good about it. their second source of comfort is involving Nato or at least turkey and Israel on Azeri side of the war. but it is far simpler than that. it was all about balance of military power. unlike 1990s when Azeris had almost no weapons compared to Armanis who had free and free of change access to the vsoviet and later Russian arsenal, by 2020 Azerbaijan had bought enough weapons to reach to military parity with Armenia. that is the only reason they won the war. they would have won with any military and political leadership in power in Armenia. Pashinyan did everything he could. he even tried to court marshal some of the 20 000 Armenian soldiers who laid down their weapons and deserted. no one did the same on Azeri side.

    • dinosaurian,
      It amazes me how out of touch with reality you are. Azerbaijanis took the lion’s share of the weapons the Soviets had left behind. They had oil wealth. They had three times the population of Armenia. Early on during the war before the Soviet collapse the enemy had the Soviet Red army on their side invading and encircling Artsakh along with the enemy internal police force, since neither the Armenian side nor the enemy side had an army of their own at the time, and arresting and turning over to the enemy Armenian fighters and military leaders leaving the Armenian population unprotected and then the enemy forces would move in and kill defenseless Armenian populations. This was part of the Soviet-Azerbaijan military operation code named ‘Operation Ring’ which at the time was in occupation of three-quarters of the conflict zone.

      What you described is a fairy tale. For over a decade with massive petrodollar revenues Azerbaijan was spending more than the entire Armenia’s annual state budget on military upgrade and purchases and openly boasting about it. We saw what happened when they tried their luck back in April of 2016, using just about the same kinds of weapons used in 2020, and their entire operation lasted four days and was over within a week. What changed within four years during the 2020 war that was so different from their failed 2016 attempt? The terrorist defense ministry of NATO member terrorist Turkey took over the task of the war. Azerbaijan had already made military alliances with terrorist Turkey a couple of years prior to their failed 2016 attempt post failed Armenia-Turkey reconciliation process back in 2010. With joint Turkey-Azerbaijan military alliance they began rebuilding the Azerbaijani army based on the NATO model. Azerbaijan engaged in false diplomacy for peace with Armenian only to buy time to prepare for war. When the time was right and they were ready they scraped the entire peace process and began their invasion of liberated territories. Terrorist Turkey left behind all NATO supplied weapons after 2020 joint military exercises with Azerbaijan, leading up to the 2020 undeclared war, which they conducted in enemy-occupied Armenian province of Nakhijevan only 50KM from the Armenian capital and later transferred those weapons to Genge, enemy-occupied Armenian Gandzak, among them NATO F-16 jets later used in the 2020 war as well as over a thousand Turkish troops and top military generals who preplanned, provoked, initiated and conducted on incompetent Azerbaijan’s behalf. For 44 days Azerbaijan neither had a government nor an army. They were both turned over to terrorist Turkey. Who was it in Baku if not the Turkish mullah and terrorist-in-chief Er-dog-an himself who right after the war glorified the past killers of the Armenians and gave credit to joint Turkish-Azerbaijani Islamic Turkic armies liberating territories from the Armenian enemy?

      What did Pashniyan with no foreign policy and military experience, and through regime change, do when he seized power from Sargsyan who along with former Armenian leaders had kept the enemy at bay for thirty years? He let go of all the battled-hardened Armenian generals who had fought in the 1990 Liberation War with countless victories and replaced them with inexperienced generals subservient to him and his government. He spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying military jets without firing capability he never used and could use in the 2020 war. Before the war he made irresponsible statements such as scrapping all the negotiations the former leaders had conducted and that he was starting from ‘zero’ and that ‘Artsakh is Armenia’, which we all already knew, but making such statements publically giving the enemy the excuse it needed to resort to military action is utterly irresponsible if not deliberate and even treasonous. Did you even know the night before the 2020 war there was a military plan in Artsakh, devised by former Armenian military heroic leaders and liberators, to conduct a preemptive attack on the enemy and neutralize them knowing full well what path the enemy had to take to reach Shushi, their prime target, because these Armenian leaders had already done that themselves and Pashinyan’s military generals scrapped and put a stop to that plan later the very same night? Think about that. The plan was to encircle the enemy at the gates and wipe them out.

      I suggest you do some serious research and understand what really happened before you try to explain what you think happened, all based on your lack of information and imagination, reducing such serious matters into such primitive and simplistic fairy tale! I’m no expert in these matters but I take the time and try to understand what’s going on from various angles and then make my conclusions instead of saying things I could not explain. P.S. not every Armenian with whom you disagree lives in your stereotypical Glendale and among them myself!

    • “This gave no choice to Aliyev than to finally start the war after almost 30 years of occupation. If he did not say that, even though Aliyev already knew that he destroyed Armenian Army structure, still he might not attack with that intensity”….You say 30 years of occupation? Those are ARMENIAN LANDS occupied by Asian invading Turks. Azerbaijan is made up gas station nation invented by British Petroleum on Armenian soil after they helped concoct the genocide with the help of Donemehs who were the CUP. We are not all stupid. We know who the actors are.. England today doesn’t even recognize the Armenian genocide. They were complicit. Lets be clear about that now. Yes this moron Pashinyan was a perfect opportunity as yes he did dismantle the military structure and yet couldn’t manage his way out of a paper bag. “gave Aliyev no choice”??? Turks are ultra opportunists. Aliyev isn’t a military mind at all. hes a human right violating despotic thug that can care less about his own people let alone Armenians. Hes an effin criminal yet gets a pass from the west because of oil and allows Israel a close watchful eye on Iran. Who Iran BTW was perfectly clear that it wont tolerate its borders with Armenia compromised. THANK YOU IRAN! I do agree that Pashinyan himself was the perfect OPPORTUNITY because of his incompetence. Turks don’t miss opportunities. He needs to be rid.

    • Pretty much everyone in “Glendale” would go and enlist today if there was a structure to do so. Unfortunately there isn’t. the idiot posing as Armenia’s PM dismantled the seasoned generals one by one before the war. He did everything he could by weakening the Armenia’s military. So when exactly does he take any responsibility for the massive losses of lives and ancient Armenian lands? I guess never. I remember the 4 day war well when Azerbaijan was using Israeli Kamikaze drones and hit a bus load of volunteers going to the front lines. Sarkisyan was PM then, and then we saw videos of the Armenian military using their own drones destroying Azeri military on the ground. Azeri soldiers were scattering everywhere like rats. I also remember before the 44 day war the Armenian military, along with the Russian military, practicing drills specifically for drone warfare perfecting them and even practicing how to bring the enemy drones down. I didn’t see one video of Armenia using drones in the 44 day war. But the Turkish operated Bayraktar drones supposedly were the difference in this war because they flew too high and were untouchable. Armenian soldiers were sitting ducks. Again a horribly mismanaged war by the guy “who did everything he could”.

  13. Justifying Russia selling arms to Azerbaijan the basis of if they didn’t someone else would is what’s known as the thieves excuse and Stockholm syndrome. IF the USA was to sell arms to Lebanon and Syria, Israel would rightly question if it is really an ally. The Turkish strike and the Israeli attack drones were the most serious foe and suggesting it wasn’t Russian weapons in Azeri hands might imply that they aren’t an effective asset or were too few to be effective. Any victorious nation like Armenia in 1994 does have the risk of an old guard of military commanders developing over time something that could happen to Azerbaijan in time aswell! Pashinyan stating Arktash is ours was a poor choice of words bit like Putin annexing parts of Ukraine Russia does not control and in retreat from. Pashinyan might have been deceiving the public about the level of military misfortunes in the 2020 conflict but too many Armenians had unrealistic optimisim of their situation aswell. Turkey might consider itself one nation with Azerbaijan but Turkey is seen as an enfant terrible in NATO playing hardball about Swedish and Finnish applications and Azerbaijan isn’t a member so its not like Armenia would find itself against NATO in a conflict with Azerbaijan either. Perhaps despite public impressions of disgust many Armenians knew that the notion that their loss in 2020 was all because of Pashinyan wasn’t the case hence his reelection.

    • I would counter argue that despite public expressions of disgust many Armenians put the blame on the Russians, rather than on Pashinyan, for doing nothing while allowing the war to take place, not to mention turning a blind eye on the military presence of terrorist Turkey in Armenia’s backyard, after a century of absence, and in alliance with enemy Azerbaijan. They convinced themselves of this and gave incompetent unpatriotic Pashinyan a pass and reelected him. But ultimately it is the responsibility of your own government to ensure the security of the homeland and there is so much blame you can put on others for your own lack of preparedness and inaction. Basically, they slowly but surely and eventually realized they had been duped by Pashinyan himself for all his excuses and misconduct of the imposed war and all they could now do was to hang their heads down in disgust and deal with all its consequences. That is why today, unlike four years ago, you don’t see anyone flocking in the streets to rally around Pashinyan or listen to his lies anymore. His former supporters who elected him into office today conduct themselves in silent shame. They also see the stooge they elected as their leader twice, who was previously roaming the streets freely surrounded by large crowds of enthusiastic and eager supporters, is now being surrounded by hundreds of armed guards just to go from one government building to the next!

  14. Western and Turkish shills do their best to twist and distort the realty. The US is not trying to win Lebanon over as an ally. Israel is a superpower. Comparing Israel to Armenia shows just how little people understand politics. Russia wanted Armenia to return the 5 territories outside Artsakh proper so that it could make lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan and concentrate on the growing Western threat in Ukraine. Selling weapons to Azerbaijan was quite normal. If Russians did not sell, others would. Russia wanted to maintain leverage over Baku. Armenia was also receiving similar weapons at much-much lesser cost. Also, it was not Russian weapons that helped Azeris beat the Armenian side in 2020, it was Israeli and Turkish. At the end of the day, we created this historic mess in 2018 by putting into power a team of street activists that were clearly on the payroll of Western and Turkish interests. And then we preserved the toxic status quo in Yerevan in 2021. So, stop complaining and stop blaming others and simply enjoy the fruits of Russophobe and westernization.

    • İt could be better for armenia enter EU instead being ally russia and lran which is hated by west

    • @Harry Aghavian / Concerned Armenian
      Armenia had been insolent in failure to return parts of Azerbaijan outside NK it held subject to minor tweaks that was an entrenched literally position since 1994. Although Azerbaijan insisted on all being returned with no autonomy and Armenia presumably feared a partial return would enable Azerbaijan to encircle the rest so like many things not always so simple. Russia has been eager to improve its relations with Azerbaijan, and was happy to compel Armenia to yield as brutally put Azerbaijan with plenty of oil and gas, land link to Iran is more important to Russia than Armenia; not linked to Russia and no oil or gas it’s land links to Turkey and Iran can be substituted by Azerbaijan or Georgia or forcing passage across southern Armenia to Naxihievan and onto Turkey. Russia might have wanted a settlement between Armenia (to its detriment) and Azerbaijan with the intention to create the conditions for Azerbaijan become an ally like Armenia to join post soviet and sentimental CSTO and the Euroasian Economic Union as we know Azerbaijan isn’t taken in by this ploy and Russia will find that by trying please everyone it ends up pleasing no one just like cold war Yugoslavia that was all things to everyone and found itself nothing to anyone! I don’t have animosity to Russia and know like many people in Europe that incessant NATO expansion “safeguarding Europe” has partially brought on the very thing it was allegedly supposed to prevent. For Armenia it must make its judgements upon the basis of whether Russia can protect them and win in Ukraine its quite plausible if Russia fails in Ukraine it will be compelled to withdraw from foreign deployments there is no doubt that wider global issues far beyond Armenia and Arktash will affect the local situation.

    • To be a superpower you have to be able to project power. What power projection does Israel have that I am unaware of? Russia is not a superpower nor is China. Both are defensive militaries.

  15. Ararat added one more major military power to the mix of countries that attacked unarmed Armenia on behalf of Azerbaijan, as if azeri-nato-Turkish-Israeli alliance was not big enough or it didn’t create desired level of comfort and consulation for him. Azerbaijan neither had an army nor any meaningful amount of arms, but, ironically, Armenians provided her with both(not literally thought) by their arrogant, unintelligent and intransigent negotiation strategy. they created immense amount of legitimate anger among Azeris which the government took and turn into sizeable and determined army and used the occupation as a legitimate justification to buy weapons and, yes Ararat; to boast about it. isn’t that what you do when your land is under unending occupation? they didn’t stop there, they also told Armanis to get out of our land or we will force you out. unfortunately Armanis blinded by misperseption and complacency did not took them seriously which resulted in a short but bloody war. they did it on their with weapons they bought from different countries.

  16. if any political leader thinks he can brush off Russian influence in Armenia that easily then he should think again because it would not go well for Armenia. The amount of infrastructure both physical and economical that Russia controls in Armenia will lead to a lot oa avenues for retaliations.

  17. Hey everyone. on Jan 19th Fifteen soldiers were killed, and three others seriously injured, in a fire at an Armenian military unit’s barracks in the country’s Gegharkunik province as a result of fire. Not sure why no one is reporting it. In fact some say its because the military structure is in disarray. THIS NEEDS TO BE REPORTED

  18. Armenia won’t survive a single day without Russia. Independence from Russia will only result in dependence on Turkey. Our professional Russophobes understand this very well. Our anti Russian activists are therefore carrying out a Turco-Western agenda. The only thing our 30 year old independence has shown us is that we are not ready for independence. The last 4 years has shown us we don’t even deserve independence. Armenia would be much-much better off inside the Russian Federation. The only question is, after all this, would Russians be willing to take us back.

    • @Gurgen
      and get the same sanctions that Russia has, rump Yugoslavia (Serbia) under the deluded Milosovic reached out to unify with Russia in the late 90’s got attacked by NATO and Kosovo wrested away…

      There is a wider world out there pay more attention to it. Russia quite friendly with Turkey and Azerbaijan BTW so if Armenia as you desire unify with Russia they might even help Armenians get along better with them as part of the Russian Federation Armenian Republic would have the same national policy (friends and enemies) in Yerevan as Moscow in such circumstances even if the sentiment of Armenians is generally negative towards Turkey and Azerbaijan

  19. Independence from Russia? I thought Armenia had already declared its independence from Russia in 1991 and has been an independent state since. Your statement implies that Armenia is not an independent state. If that were the case, Armenia would not have any representation and legitimacy in the United Nations and would instead be represented under the Russian flag just like in Soviet times when Armenia and fourteen other former Soviet republics had no such representation and were all collectively represented under the Soviet flag. You don’t have to give up your independence in the name of survival and be absorbed by a foreign state in order to survive. You are making a false equivalency in the sense that you are equating the incompetence of the country’s leadership to its inability to be independent and secure. It is this kind of mentality that hinders progress in Armenia and portrays Armenia as an incapable vassal state of some other foreign state. That is slave mentality. You don’t sacrifice your independence in the name of security just because you have incompetent leaders who are unable to guarantee the security of your country. You correct the problem by electing competent leaders who can forge effective alliances and conduct proper foreign policies to maintain your independence and remain secure at the same time. It does not always have to be one of the other.

    Besides, the former leaders seem to be doing just fine if, for the sake of discussion, we ignore their lack of effective leadership internally which ultimately lead to their fall. We need a patriotic leader who puts the interests of Armenia and the Armenian nation above all else. At the same, he conducts an independent foreign policy while maintaining strong relations with the Russians as equal partners. You don’t sign a 49 year old treaty with them and turn the country’s key security functions and responsibilities over to them. They own you once you do that and they, and not you, decide when and how the country reacts to enemy threats, assuming even they consider enemy actions as threats. You make the treaty conditional and renewable every five years or so instead. Armenia would never have found itself in the situation it is in if the Russians were made to understand that Armenia is as much important, if not more, to them as Russia is to Armenia because they had already been kicked out of the other two South Caucasian states and had two wars with their North Caucasian provinces. Armenia had been the only stable and reliable Russian ally in the region!

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