Artsakh is lost after being abandoned by Armenia, Russia and the West

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet in Nakhichevan (President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, September 25)

Last week, Armenians worldwide experienced one of the biggest tragedies of their lives when Azerbaijan occupied Artsakh.

120,000 Artsakh Armenians—men, women and children—were attacked in their historic homeland with advanced weapons imported by oil-rich Azerbaijan from Israel, Russia, Pakistan and Eastern Europe.

The main evil-doers are Azerbaijan and its partner Turkey who are guilty of committing mass crimes against the people of Artsakh. However, there is plenty of blame to go around. I want to start with the shameful role that Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has played in this disaster. Starting from 2001, when PM Pashinyan was an unknown journalist, he wrote in his Haykakan Jamanak newspaper, “Through diplomacy, it is not possible not to return these [Artsakh] territories to Azerbaijan…Having abandoned our own lands, we are trying to be the owners of someone else’s land.” After becoming prime minister, Pashinyan made numerous contradictory statements regarding Artsakh, first stating emphatically that “Artsakh is Armenia, that’s it,” and then, “Artsakh is part of Azerbaijan.” While the words of a journalist may not matter, his statements as prime minister cannot be dismissed. Game over—Artsakh is lost, and nothing is expected to change that reality for a long time. As always, Pashinyan blames everyone else for his misdeeds, including the former leaders, the domestic opposition and Russia.

To make matters worse, Pashinyan washed his hands of Artsakh and urged its leaders to sort out their differences with Azerbaijan. Pashinyan basically threw 120,000 poorly-armed Artsakh Armenians to the big bad Azeri wolf. How can tiny Artsakh negotiate with powerful Azerbaijan? Pashinyan ignored the fact that since Artsakh Armenians are citizens of Armenia, it was his constitutional duty to protect them. For months, he made the laughable promise that the rights and security of Artsakh Armenians will be protected when they become citizens of Azerbaijan. Ridiculously, Pashinyan announced last week, a couple of hours before the U.N. Security Council meeting, that the lives of Armenian civilians in Artsakh were secure after Azerbaijan’s attack. Shortly thereafter, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan told the Security Council that Azerbaijan is engaged in ethnic cleansing of Artsakh Armenians. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister immediately pointed out to the U.N. the contradictory statements by the two Armenian leaders, thus undermining Armenia’s credibility in front of the whole world. In the meantime, hundreds of Artsakh Armenians were killed and wounded, and thousands are missing as a result of Azerbaijan’s attack.

Last week, when Azerbaijan’s military invaded what remained of Artsakh, Pashinyan announced that Armenia will not get involved in the conflict, thus giving the green light to Azerbaijan to commit all sorts of horrible crimes against the people of Artsakh. Pashinyan has held the mistaken notion that once Artsakh is returned to Azerbaijan, citizens of Armenia will live in peace. Regrettably, this is the farthest thing from the truth. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, seeing in front of him a militarily weak Armenia and a leader who has no idea what he is doing, will not stop after his conquest of Artsakh. Aliyev will keep on demanding concessions from the weakling Pashinyan and occupy more territories of the Republic of Armenia. Aliyev has repeatedly and falsely claimed that all of Armenia is “Western Azerbaijan.” Since the 2020 war, Azerbaijan’s troops have occupied portions of Armenia’s territory and have no intention of leaving. My fear is that Aliyev will continue making incursions into Armenia, until he takes over the whole country. Therefore, Pashinyan’s premise that Armenians in Armenia will live in peace after abandoning Artsakh is absurd.

Aliyev quickly capitalized on Pashinyan’s capitulation and repeatedly told the world that since Armenia’s prime minister admitted that Artsakh is part of Azerbaijan, the region is his country’s internal issue, and no one has the right to intervene. Shortly thereafter, Russia’s leaders, including President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, repeatedly stated that Pashinyan is the one who relinquished Artsakh.

Nevertheless, Russia has its own share of guilt for what has been taking place over the last three years and what happened in Artsakh last week. The Russian peacekeepers, who were mandated by the 2020 agreement to safeguard the population of Artsakh and keep the Berdzor (Lachin) Corridor open until 2025, failed miserably to carry out their responsibilities. Russia did not even try to protect the borders of the Republic of Armenia, as required by the Collective Security Treaty signed by Armenia, Russia and several other former Soviet Republics. Russia’s inaction and Pashinyan’s relinquishment of Artsakh resulted in the massive human tragedy suffered by 120,000 Artsakh Armenians.

The international community is also guilty of ignoring the suffering of Artsakh Armenians, who lost their historic homeland after being starved for nine months due to the blockade of the Berdzor Corridor by Azerbaijan. Other than saying a lot of useless words, no one in the world lifted a finger to rescue these people and defend their rights. All international laws, human rights, and notions of justice were a lot of hot air. Equally useless were the U.N. Security Council, the International Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights, European Union, European Council and statements by officials of many countries, including the United States. As we all know, might makes right. Nothing else matters.

The top priority of Armenians worldwide now is seeking the immediate ouster of Pashinyan, since he is refusing to resign and digging a deeper hole for Armenia with every passing day. Unless Pashinyan is replaced soon by a competent and nationalistic Armenian who protects Armenia’s interests, Armenians may end up losing their homeland, this time for good.

After Pashinyan is replaced, Armenia’s new leader has to put all other issues aside and immediately acquire a massive amount of advanced weapons to defend the country’s borders from further incursions.

After vainly hoping and waiting for thousands of years for a foreign power to come and save Armenia, it is high time that Armenians finally realize that no one will ever come to rescue them. They need to save themselves.

Harut Sassounian

Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, a non-profit organization that has donated to Armenia and Artsakh one billion dollars of humanitarian aid, mostly medicines, since 1989 (including its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund). He has been decorated by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.


  1. ” it is high time that Armenians finally realize that no one will ever come to rescue them. They need to save themselves.”. We need leaders who will organize Armenian society in Armenia and Diaspora to work 24/7 towards that goal. Pashinyan’s peace agenda is in tatters and he should step aside for a capable national leader. But I hope that does not mean going back to Kocharyan/Sargsyan oligarchs.

    • “Peace agenda” that’s a great joke. Making yourself a vassal of a state that exists for little else but to make war in the US, a country that’s been at war for literally it’s entire history as a nation, that has embarked on over 250 military interventions all over the world just since the cold war ended, with the last truly defensive action being in 1812, talk about peace? Peace in American double speak means dropping thermobaric explosives on a wedding and calling it “mission accomplished” with everyone involved being decorated with a medal for valor.

      Like it or not Russia is a great power. Both Turkey and Iran are the natural regional powers. Armenia is stuck between these forces. The US is the world power, meaning they can exert influence here. That is what it is. Both Turkey since the 1980 US backed military coup and AZ since the 1993 coup, and now Armenia since the 2018 color revolution are all inside the US orbit. Armenia still has one leg out, but the process is well under way, this was the first major step. N Territorial issues is a big no no when it comes to NATO. Who do you think matters more for the US, Armenia or the combination of Turks? Armenian GDP is not even 15B US dollars. Turks combined GDP is 1 Trillion with a T. Turks are over 50x the economic importance of Armenia. How Armenians can not understand such basic things is amazing. Leaving Russian orbit, like it or not, is a guaranteed death sentence to the nation of Armenia. You asked for this. Foolish youth tranced by social media lies, you will not end up like Germany, you will end up like Ukraine, if you’re lucky.

    • American Armenians cannot face up to the unpalatable truth that 99.99% of other Americans cannot find Armenia on a map.

      Artsakh was doomed when Pashinyan declared that the Armenian Army would not fight.

      When Armenians will not die for Artsakh, why the heck should any Russian?

      Holding military drills with the Americans was an incredibly stupid thing to do.

      Armenia must cling to Russia because Russia is the only country that can actually provide real security.

  2. A plethora of slippery slope arguments in this article. Absurd to believe any possibility of the Republic of Armenian being overrun by Azerbaijan or ceasing to exist. Simply not going to happen. The obligation of CSTO members (and the UN Security Council for that matter) are limited to defending Armenia to the extent of its internationally recognized borders.

    • Armenia won’t be in the CTSO. That process is well on it’s way. The issue for the US is, we don’t actually care about Armenia at all, aside from a means of further isolating both Russia and secondarily Iran. We struggle with the fact that Armenians, who are now our vassals, and our other vassals in the Turks and Azeris, can not stop bickering with each other like two children with learning disabilities. The US doesn’t really care, and Turks will push the envelope because they can. End result is obvious. Armenia will cry, and US might even make noise, but it wont life a finger and Turks totally absorb Armenia. US won’t care wither way because they still acheive their goals. Armenia has no one to blame but itself. How anyone can be tricked by a color revolution in the 21st century shows that humans are just hairless apes at our core. Most humans seem barely conscious.

  3. Some of us were warning about this for the past 5 years. We were called Putin’s agents, traitors, etc. If any of you reading this are looking for someone to blame for what happened to Artsakh, look in the mirror and blame yourselves. As I keep saying, anyone that at any time spoke bad about Robert Kocharyan, Serj Sargsyan or Russia, you partook in making this tragedy possible. Any of you that supported Nikol and his Western financed Turkophiles at any time during the past 5 years, have blood of Armenians from Artsakh on your hands. The past 30 years have proven beyond any doubt that Armenians are not ready for independence. The past 5 years have shown beyond any doubt that Armenians don’t even deserve independence. If Armenia does not join Russia in some form in the near future, there will not be an Armenia on the world map.

  4. Most of the comments above are pro Kremlin Not realizing that this mass was actually architect and stage by Kremlin, known as Lavrov plan, for past 30 years they have been trying to implement the plan, and they have been waiting for the right moments or right opportunities, example: Covid, Ukraine war….

  5. I would like to finish my thoughts about the Lavrov plan, so although in Armenia declared its Independent from USSR it was never true independent Republic of Armenia, more like a colony of Russian Federation, with puppets called; Levon der Petrosyan, Robert Kojaryan, Serj Sarkisian and clown puppet pashinoglou(Turkish agent), Turks first tried and tested their power in 2016, but failed, then in 2020 due to Covid and the world being busy they sow the opportunity. Russia, Turks, Azerbaijan, and every single politician from Armenia and Artsakh since 1990’s have blood on their hands.

  6. Judging from what I have been seeing here and in various other social media platforms in recent times, there is a serious effort being made by internet activists to convince us Armenians that Armenia needs to fully come out of Russia’s orbit, embrace Western powers and make friends with Turkey. This effort is designed to isolate Armenia further by deepening the rift between Moscow and Yerevan. Artsakh’s fall was not enough for them. Their main goal now is to have their way with Armenia when the country is totally alone. Therefore, don’t automatically assume that individuals that post politically motivated comments on these boards (usually along the lines of Russia bad, Westerns good, Turks are potential friends, Russians are covert enemies, etc.) are curious Turks or Westerners, or even “patriotic” Armenians who just happened to stumble across this website. I have no doubt that many of these individuals are paid cyber-activists trying to mold minds, ultimately because they know Armenian minds are easy to mold…

  7. No, sorry not to make friends with Turkey, new alliance with United States and Western Europe yes, piece with Turkey and Azerbaijan, that’s the new brain washing propaganda running in Armenia by the so called Armenian PM who is trying to deceive the public again and again. Piece with Turkish neighbors sure, when they DE-OCCUPY 1918-1920 First Republic Armenia’s lands.

    • News flash: Armenia is a landlocked country in the south Cacucasus and is sandwiched between two large enemies. The West is a thousand miles away. The West is the root cause of all regional problems. Turkey is the region’s NATO representative. Armenia’s indepedence from Russia will by default turn into Armenia’s dependence on Turkey. I am sure you know this…

  8. As far as Armenia being land locked I think we all know that, Turkey being in NATO who cares, Turkey and Russia being brothers and partners are playing their own looser cards.
    Historical facts: Russia for past 300 years has done nothing for Armenia and Armenian people, with the exception of looting Armenian Churches, for past 120 years it’s Russia who brain washed Armenian people with their Bolshevik ideologies, diluted Armenian Education system and Armenian Language. And it’s Russia who has been dividing Historical Armenian lads between Turks left and right.
    As far as your PRO RUSSIAN ideologies, Armenia has trusted Russia for long- long time and the current events are the products of that trust. It’s about time that Armenians trust themselves and adopt a real form of Democracy and build free independent Armenia without Bolsheviks and their oligarchs. As Nezdeh said – Մեր պետք եղած ուժը փնտրենք մեր մեջ! Գարեգին Նժդեհ — Join the – Ազգային Ժողովրդավարական Բեվերին — our only chance for real Democracy.

    • Low-grade Russophobic propaganda. “Azgayin Bever” is a small mercenary group led by Turks and Israelis. “Armenia needs to join the West” is your code for turning Armenia into a Turkish vilayet. With “nationalists” like you, the only thing to pray for is Armenia’s annexation by Russia.

  9. For Gurgen
    It looks like you are running your PRO-KREMLIN, UNTI WEST PROPAGANDAS in a lot of these articles, it seams to me that you are actually the so called paid cyber-activist (ԼՈՎԻԿԻ, ՐՈՒԲԻԿԻ, Եւ ՍԵՐՋԻԿԻ (պուտինի) խամաջիկ ծառան) trying to mold minds of the weak, because some of us are financially independent Եւ Հայրենասեր ու ոչ մեկ գնով չենք ծախի մեր Հայաստանը: Free Independent Armenia Without Terrorist Dictator Putin, Dictator Ordughan and his twin Dictator brother Allyav and the rest of scums dictator puppets who for past 30 years have destroyed Armenia and displaced 3 million Armenians to Russia and to the rest of the world.
    Join the – Ազգային Ժողովրդավարական Բեվերին — our only chance for real Democracy.

    • Your “Azgayin Bever” is indirectly serving Nikol’s regime. Your accusations that Nikol is a Russian spy is simply a smokescreen to hide Nikol’s real handlers. Your “war hero” Sefilian is now better known as an Israeli Mossad asset. Your Garegin Chugaszyan is a well known Sorosite. Your Ara Papyan makes a living as a Western grant recipient. Your “Azgayin Bever” is simply a foreign intelligence operation that seeks to turn Armenia into a Turkish vilayet.

  10. Is that what your boss MICHIK and Leavon Kocharov been teaching you and making you watch their stollen BILLION DOLLAR blood money Media and TV channels, the only Media that exist in Armenia.
    You’re 100% wrong about “BEVER” You are not only a Pro-Kremlin, Anti-West, but, you are also a Turkish – Vilayet supporter and it is obviose that you have not heard a word from “BEVER” at all.
    BEVER wants NO TURKS, NO KREMLIN, NO KREMLIN PUPPETS from past 30 years INCLUDING the latest ignorant, illiterate, incompetent CLOWN PUPPIT NICOL and NO ARTSAKH’s CORRUPTED CLAN, whom Russia after using them shipped them all to bacu JELL.
    If you are that brain – washed ignorant and haven’t got my point from all my comments above, then please stop wasting my time.
    Armenia does not need to be in a useless Bolshevik Russ CSTO or E(A)UE (what ever these two useless and nonsense packages are) or be friends with it’s historical enemies Turks, now or in future, Bolshevik terrorist Putin should pack his rusty arms from goumry and go home. We need US, France and Western Allies who can really help us to build and protect Armenia and Armenias sovereignty.
    As for you and your like, PRO-RUSSIAN propagandists and PRO- TURKISH VILAIT Propagandist what are doing in a free speech, Democratic country, shouldn’t you pack your backpacks and head to Russian OCCUPIED region of Ukraine and fight for your mother Russia, isn’t TERRORIST Bolshevik Putin worth fighting for.
    Free independent democratic Armenia, ՎԵՐՋ!

    • What you were told about your mercenary group is public knowledge. You are either insane or a foreign agent.

  11. Dear Gurgen – So you don’t understand the meaning of “ՎԵՐՋ” or “Free independent democratic Armenia”, ՎԵՐՋ!

    As far as being AN AGENT hmmm! sure here you go;

    1- I could be an agent of GOD, who is wishing that ARMENIAS enemies; TERRORIST DICTATORS TURKS, and TERRORIST DICTATORS KREMLIN will live ARMENIA alone or live ARMENIA in piece.

    2- I could be an agent of “ՀԱՅԿ ՆԱՀԱՊԵՏ” who being Noah’s grandson setteled near mount ARARAT Valley and called Armenian Highlands “ՀԱՅԱՍՏԱՆ”.

    3- I could be an agent of ԱՐՅՈՒԾ ԴԱՎԻԴ or SASOUNTSI DAVIT who splits Mesra- Melik into two half and saved the Armenian people and Armenia from the occupation of Egypt.

    4- I could be an agent of Tigran the Great, who was incredibly strong and made Armenia thrive, expanded Armenias teretories and made Armenia strongest state in the Roman East.

    5- I could be an agent of all the Armenian Heroes, who sacrificed their life’s to save ARMENIA and Armenian people from TURKISH, AZERIS, and BOLSHEVIK RUSSIA, who committed Genocide, Displacement and Occupation.

    However, I am certainly not a brain washed coward, ignorant or insane to believe that TERRORIST TURKS, and TERRORIST BOLSHEVIK RUSSIA for past 300 years has done anything but harm for Armenia and terrorized the Armenian people, and they are still collaborating together to exterminate Armenian people from their ancestral home lands.

    You can believe what ever you want!

    Currently “ԱԶԳԱՅԻՆ ԺՈՂՈՎՈՐԴԱՎԱՐԱԿԱՆ ԲԵՎԷՐ” are the only collective group of people who are trying to bring Armenian people into the right path or “ՀԱՅՐԵՍԻՐԱԿԱՆ ՀՈԳԻ” into the Armenian people who have been betrayed by Russia for past 30 years, with false promises of guaranty military production or their nonsense Military production.
    A perfect example of that, is what we sow in Artsakh and are seeing with the current events in Armenia.

    AGAIN “Free Independent Democratic Armenia”.ՎԵՐՋ!

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