What will Pashinyan do next, demolish the Genocide Museum?

Armenian Genocide Monument and Museum

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his equally incompetent underlings have been making anti-Armenian statements for months. He started with denigrating Mount Ararat and then went on to criticize the Republic of Armenia’s constitutionally-protected official symbols: the national anthem and coat of arms.

Pashinyan also suggested that Armenia needs to adopt a new constitution deleting its references to Artsakh and the Armenian Genocide, which are enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. He repeatedly makes the artificial distinction between “historical Armenia” and what he calls “real Armenia,” meaning today’s Republic of Armenia, which is a small part of the Armenian homeland.

Pashinyan has also been obsessed with begging for peace from hostile Azerbaijan, which has no interest in making peace with Armenia. Pres. Ilham Aliyev’s only goal is the total destruction of Armenia, a country whose existence he rejects, calling it “Western Azerbaijan.” Regrettably, Pashinyan makes the excuse for all of his defeatist and compromising statements, using the scare tactic that if Armenia doesn’t comply with Azerbaijan’s demands, it would start a new war!

Through one of his obedient servants, Pashinyan is now questioning the veracity of the Armenian Genocide, under the guise of confirming the real facts of the genocide. The latest scandal began with a highly questionable statement by Antranik Kocharyan, chairman of the Parliament’s Defense and Security Committee and senior member of Pashinyan’s ruling Civil Contract party. Delving into subjects that are unrelated to his office, Kocharyan cast doubt on the facts of the Armenian Genocide. Naturally, the Azeri and Turkish media were extremely pleased with his statement.

In an interview with Radio Free Europe Armenian Service on April 14, Kocharyan said that Pashinyan’s goal is to build “real foundations” related to the Genocide and to “make the list of compatriots subjected to genocide more objective.” Furthermore, he stressed that it is necessary to have the names of all Armenians subjected to genocide and verify “where, how and under what conditions” they were killed. Insisting on his misguided statement, the very next day he repeated it during a press briefing in Parliament.

Nevertheless, after coming under harsh criticism, Kocharyan claimed that he was expressing his personal views, not those of his political party, thus shielding Pashinyan from his irresponsible words. However, it is clear that Kocharyan would not have dared to make such a controversial statement without the prior approval of his boss, the prime minister, who single-handedly makes all governmental decisions. Besides, Kocharyan himself referenced Pashinyan in his statement about the Genocide.

“This is a simple goal for us to know the addresses and locations of each of our 1.5 million compatriots. It is very important for the building of our relations [with Turkey] in the future as well,” Kocharyan said. “April 24 is approaching. Was it 1.5 million, two million or less? It should be strictly addressed. But if we don’t record it, the other side [Turkey] can always say that no such thing happened. And until today they have been saying so,” he added.

This is a very dangerous statement to be made by a high-ranking Armenian official. It is nothing less than parroting the Turkish denialist thesis, which has for decades minimized the number of Armenian victims, saying that it is far fewer than 1.5 million and cynically asking, where are the bodies of the dead? Now comes a member of Armenia’s ruling party giving credence to Turkish denials.

Seeking to verify the number of Armenian Genocide victims is problematic for other reasons. One hundred and nine years after the genocide, Kocharyan has come up with the ‘brilliant’ idea of counting the number of the victims. It is impossible for anyone to go back in time and document the names and locations of all 1.5 million Armenian victims. There are no graves and no traces of the victims. Entire families with all their relatives were wiped out.

Secondly, if Kocharyan goes ahead with his shortsighted suggestion, I doubt that it would be possible to come up with more than a couple of hundred thousand names of victims. This will be the greatest gift anyone can give to denialist Turks. The minute that relatively small number of victims is collected and announced, Turkish denialists will declare that Armenians just proved that there was no genocide and nowhere close to 1.5 million victims. The Turkish government will tell the world that it has been saying for a century that the Genocide is a big lie, and Armenians finally proved it.

Neither Kocharyan nor denialist Turks have the slightest notion about the United Nations’ definition of genocide, which is based on the intent to kill a particular group of people, “in whole or in part,” without specifying the minimum number of victims. So the whole exercise is not only a waste of time, but also counterproductive.

I have a better idea. I wrote a column years ago suggesting that Armenians set up a “Wall of Shame” and list on it all those who have denied the Armenian Genocide since 1915, including denialist Turks and non-Turks as well as some Armenians.

To make matters worse, Zareh Sinanyan, Armenia’s Chief Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, in a TV interview last week shockingly welcomed Kocharyan’s unwise words, stating that he “likes the idea very much.” We should not be too surprised since, contrary to his title, Sinanyan has made several statements that are contrary to Armenia’s and the Diaspora’s interests.

If Pashinyan continues making his anti-Armenian statements, what will he announce next? The outlawing of the burning of the Turkish flag on April 24 in Yerevan or closing down the Genocide Monument and Museum, using his usual scare tactic that otherwise Turkey will attack?

It is sad that on the eve of the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, we have to deal with Armenians who are serving the cause of Turkish genocide denialists rather than advancing our just demands from Turkey.

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. The University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies has compiled figures by province and district that show there were 2,133,190 Armenians in the empire in 1914 and only about 387,800 by 1922.
    https://www.nytimes.com › ref › t…
    Armenian Genocide of 1915: An Overview – The New York Times

    So to save Kocharyan and Sinanyan some time: 2,133,190 minus 387,800 equals 1,745,390. Since Armenian men were not allowed to serve as combatants in the Ottoman military during World War 1 that is a reasonable estimate of Armenians who were killed or escaped from the Ottoman empire during the Armenian Genocide.

    Now these two officials can concentrate their efforts on mobilizing the Armenian people to defend their country.

  2. If Armenia has been trying demonstrate that a genocide took place then it has to be able to state who the victims were. Obviously such an undertaking has many difficulties first the passing of time all survivors and witnesses (and perpetrators!) are now deceased. Access to records, obviously Turkey won’t allow access and it’s understood that some of the ottoman Turkish census records have been destroyed. It appears Turkey didn’t compile a list of those deported. Proving negatives hence if persons whom there is no proof of live beyond 1915 it must be assumed they had died but was it from hardship or murder and where did their actual death take place. Family and community testimonies can help fill in gaps. Was there attempts to build a database by Armenian community associations in other countries? In Armenian SSR prevented by the USSR from recognising the killings as a genocide until 1988 it appears there was no state supported body to collate information. When Armenia became independent in 1991 while the conflict with Azerbaijan was the priority, effort should have been made to try and start with such persons existed and no evidence of them being alive beyond 1915 hence must be considered as having been killed as a result of ottoman policies and with known cases, naturally it would be spotty but at least would be a sincere attempt to ascertain who was actually killed. Just saying X number of people were killed without being able to name them because ” we don’t who they are and we’ve never tried to compile a list” helps Turkey evade censure. Say the sebrenica massacre 1995 while is called a genocide despite childern, women and old men being spared but around 5000 men appear to have been shot but those killed were indentified and this proves a case of murder at the least. Part of the Holocaust case is to demonstrate that various persons were deported to certain places and when they were last known to be alive hence can be presumed to have been killed if not known to be alive upon the liberation of such places .

  3. To those who may read this and have the proclivity to side with these traitors’ viewpoint:

    It is absolutely not a crucial element to list the names, addresses, and what became of every single one of the 1.5 million victims in order to prove genocide. The very term “genocide” was coined by Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin to describe what happened to the Armenians in Ottoman Turkey. Don’t take it from me, take it from his own mouth in a recorded interview he gave regarding the topic. The fates of our ancestors literally gave conception to the word “genocide.”

    The legal definition of genocide itself, with every single requisite element to meet the burden of proof, is as follows:

    1. The perpetrator killed one or more persons.
    2. Such person or persons belonged to a particular national, ethnical, racial or religious group.
    3. The perpetrator intended to destroy, in whole or in part, that national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.
    4. The conduct took place in the context of a manifest pattern of similar conduct directed against that group or was conduct that could itself effect such destruction.

    Nowhere in there does it say that the names, addresses, and fates of every single victim of a genocide have to be proven. Nor is a number (beyond one) a relevant factor in determining genocide. It can be 1.5 million or 15. It is irrelevant.

    Moreover, the genocide has already been “proven.” A Turkish tribunal convicted the CUP and their underlings of “crimes against humanity” in absentia and condemned them to death in 1919. There are certified court records of this in the Turkish archives. Telegrams of orders to deport and kill Armenians have been uncovered by Turkish historians themselves, namely Taner Akcam. Eye-witness testimony and authenticated memoirs have been provided by people who had seen it and who came from all around the world to the Ottoman Empire during WWI. There is also eye-witness testimony and authenticated memoirs have been provided by people who had interacted with Turkish officials at the time who admitted to their intent to destroy the Armenians in the empire. Photographs have been preserved showing the gruesome killings, the deliberate starvation, etc.

    An entire generation of Armenian orphans were left behind in Aleppo and other places. All of my great grandparents were orphans because their parents and elders were murdered in front of them or hauled off to be killed somewhere else. This is not a coincidence. This is not some unfortunate unintended result. It’s clear cut genocide.

    The only reason it is not “proven” in the eyes of political discourse is because Turkey is a much more important geopolitical player than Armenia, and because Turks know how to use leverage. We don’t. It’s not about the truth, it’s about politics.

    For someone like Andranik Kocharyan, who, given his position, is supposed to be a public servant to the constituents of Armenia and a leader for all Armenians, to say something like this…he is raising the burden of proof beyond what is actually required to prove genocide. So much so that his proposal raises the burden of proof to a prejudicially impossible level. Either he is a moron, or more likely, he is doing so deliberately to break the Armenian people further and make it seem like proving the genocide is some impossible task. We can make comparisons to other genocides with his proposal in mind. When the Nuremberg Trials took place, did they provide the names and addresses of every single one of the 6 million people?

    The Speaker of the Parliament on *Defense and Security* saying something like this is terrifying….

    • Thank you for your input here, like you and million others, I’m one of the desendent of a surviving member of 1915 Armenian Genocide, my grandfather was the only survived male child of age 14, from a large sizable family from Sassous and Moush of Western Armenia. his grand parents, parents, uncles, aunts were all butchered while he with other young boys were hiding with their rifles in the mountains, his 6 sisters all kidnapped and were never seen again.
      So therefore, some one like Antranik Kocharyan, who was born in Soviet era in occupied so called Soviet Armenia who grow up singing Lenin songs “Լենին դու կյանքես հառավետ” Would not know anything about the other side of our MOUNT ARARAT or the horrors of THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE. Same goes for all Pashounyan Government.

  4. That terrorist traitor, idiot Nicole as you have stated in this article, “using his usual scare tactic that otherwise Turkey will attack” has being convincing some soviet left over brainwashed and young zombi Armenians, just like his predecessors, the other 4 Kremlin pupits were using a similar dangerous tactic, that without the Russian backing Turks will swallow as over night, the question now is, how did that work for Armenia? did Russians or Russian piece keepers left a finger on Azerbaijan for past 6 years when Azerbaijan took over Artsakh, and 30 or more Armenian villages?
    Pashinyan or shouldn’t we start referring him as Pasha Nicole or PASHOUNOGHLOU is gift from haven for TALAL PASHA and all the Turkish Pashas of today and yesteryears. If not stoped these inner anomies of Armenia will annihilate Armenian people and Obliterate the tinny remaining left over current Republic of Armenia.

  5. The massive irony, for this disgrace of a human being, is that He was elected in a grassroots “for the people” platform and ended up being the very same puppet and stooge that he pretended to oppose. The truth is, the Armenian genocide does represent a massive inconvenience for smooth globalization for good reason – it is a mass crime – not simply metaphorically or spiritually, materially as well.

    We must now add Pashinyan’s name to the “we will never forgive or forget” mantra.

    PS- NP just banned that statement it seems

  6. We should get rid of him! I have doubts even that he is Armenian with a name like that! He looks like the Czech leader so much so that they must be related. Ursula Von Der Lyon is probably at the bottom of this too

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