Riots in Yerevan. Protesters and Police Hurt.

Riots in Yerevan. Protesters and police hurt. Grigor Lusavorich street blocked by riot forces. People are carrying metal sticks, bottles filled with burning substance – to be used as hand granades. Busses and other means of transportation have been used to create barricades, blocking all entries to the Grigor Lusavorich street.

Walking on Lusavorich street feels like in war – police are firing in the air. Organized groups of rioters are up on the barricades. Some are carrying hemlets and shields obviously taken away from the riot police.

President Kocharyan has announced a state of emergency for 20 days. It is not curfew, however, gatherings, rallies and meetings are forbidden. Media are limited in their publications only to official information on everything related to internal political situation. We got some descriptions and videos on Echannel here and here . There’s some video footage on http://www.youtube.com/ditord. Also – check out the Armenia Election Monitor 2008, Unzipped for up to date info in English and the Armenian News Blog in Armenian.

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93 thoughts on “Riots in Yerevan. Protesters and Police Hurt.

  1. There’s a crowd of around 10,000 people standing in front of the Myasnikyan statue – with opposition leaders speaking to them and claiming victory.

  2. BMPs and the real military is coming to disperse the rioters. right now shooting is going on! I’m going out!

  3. thanks for info, will post it in my blog too, keep safe, my heart is with you, will wait for your updates…

  4. OK – I’m back. By this time there’s around 1200-2000 people left at the main site of demonstration, rather few people remaining to protect the barricades.

    A friend who went over to the Mashtots Avenue reports of supermarkets being broken into and robbed. According to his words, Yerevan City Supermarket at the start of Mashtots avenue is almost clean-swipped.

  5. thnx again for the updates. Its tragic to see so much brutality and violence in yerevan. I think both camps knew this was going to happen. but what now? whats going to happen?

  6. From what I understood from Kocharyan’s press conference broadcast a couple of hours ago, military will be brought in, and what little is left of the rioters will be dispersed.

  7. Ditord,

    Blogs are gong to be our sources of information, as the SoE prohibits any discussion of state related news by the media… So, if you had a large readership, expect an even larger one in the coming days.

  8. Just to give an alternative viewpoint – our cameraman came back and said there’s still 5000 people gathered around the Myasnikyan statue. When I had looked at the same crowd, I thought its around 1200-2000 people. However, I want to mention his 5000 figure as well – for the sake of balance, as I’m usually more critical when it comes to estimating crowd sizes.

  9. Haylur says the crowd is 7000. hmmm… ok – obviously its getting bigger, or many of the people dispersed around the Lusavorich street have come back to the centre, because I couldn’t be mistaken by that much.

  10. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Armenia: Riots

  11. Judging from the New York Times article I’d say the United States has chosen sides and it’s not with Sargsyan. The declaration of a state of emergency might now mark the end of the Kocharian-Sargsyan government. Sure, they can choose the path Belarus did, but it’s a little different here, I think. Let’s see.

  12. What a huge relief. This is LTP’s end. Him and Sukiasyan will have to share the cost of the damages done to the City of Yerevan. They’d have to pay from their own pockets.

    HHSh is FINISHED 20 years after its founding! They survived almost as long as the Nazis.
    Bravo to Kocharian. Once again he handled the crisis with a cool head.

  13. On the other hand…

    Mr. Ter-Petrossian, who was president from 1991 to 1998, presents himself as the one to rescue the country. For the past nine days he has slept in his Lincoln Town Car, parked near the protesters’ camp, and he calls the protests “a clear, classic bourgeois, democratic revolution.”

    […]

    Though many Armenians share his frustration, fewer think that he is the man capable of making real changes. As president, he relied on the very methods he is now criticizing, they say, arresting opposition figures, closing news organizations and sending armored vehicles into the streets after a tainted election in 1996.

    “A revolution means there is a principled person from outside the system who wants to change it,” said Avetik Ishkhanyan, chairman of the Armenian Helsinki Committee. “But this opposition created the system. It is identical to the people in power.”

    Please, will someone urge both the government and the radical opposition to stop using the language of hate, confrontation and violence and to resolve this matter peacefully?

    Please, before it’s too late. This situation SHOULD NOT be allowed to escalate for all our sakes and not least the future of this country in what still remains an unfriendly region which will capitalize and exploit the situation.

    Personally I think — as I’ve said before — Ter-Petrossian needs to instruct his supporters to return home, Kocharian should promise in front of the international community not to persecute them, and troops should be ordered to stand down.

    Then, the Constitutional Court should — with international monitoring — assess Ter-Petrossian’s case and a decision made on whether the CEC final results should be annulled. That, as far as I can see, is the only legal and constitutional way to resolve this crisis now.

    Unfortunately, however, I fear that the only outcome foreseen by both sides as long ago as last year was that which we find ourselves in today.

  14. Today there were two failures for Serj and Robert:
    1. Their Saturday early morning crackdown failed as more people gathed later on and the opposition quickly mobalised. It was better mobilised than the whole State machinary.
    2. The SoE has failed. People are still in the streets demonstrating and standing firm.

    The people who are holding the barrickades fought in the war. They know how to keep the lines in sever conditions.

  15. wow hayrenaser,you analyze things quiet interesting!!violence and beating isnt handling crisis cool handedly.

  16. Hayrenaser, sorry, I don’t agree. Indeed, this might actually work in the opposition’s favor. Again, I have to say, when the country and its citizens are involved the issue is negotiation, compromise and foresight. It is not about Serge, Kocharian or Levon. To be honest, I care little for all of them. Now, if they care about the country, they will seek a peaceful solution to what can still spiral out of control if it hasn’t already.

  17. Onnik,
    the only way to resolve the crises is for Serje and Robert to step down. People are very angry. Even if things calm down and Serj becomes the president, he will not represent the people and therfore Armenia will become a rogue state.

  18. HaikN,

    I don’t agree that more mobilized. In fact, the numbers were smaller — at least half the size of the regular rallies. However, given the dispersal, that was a large number.

    However, I agree that such actions by the authorities usually turn people otherwise neutral or apathetic against them, especially those living right in the vicinity of crackdowns.

    With the international community too, this will probably backfire. So, like I said, it’s time for both sides to sit down and see if its possible to negotiate a way out, but I would also agree, this time it’s the turn of the authorities to stand down more than the opposition.

    However, both are needed. Yes, I believe that dispersal of the Liberty Square protest was understandable BUT not in the way it appears to have been carried out. Then, I think the opposition shouldn’t have found another venue for confrontation.

    On the other hand, I also believe this declaration of a state of emergency could have been avoided if the authorities backed off a little and tried to negotiate. However, as was seen recently in Georgia, I have to wonder if the state of emergency doesn’t suit their interests and so the chance was pounced on.

    Still, I also have to wonder if this situation wasn’t also foreseen by Ter-Petrossian. Currently the situation could be to his advantage. Time will tell, but even so, I hope some common sense gets injected into proceedings. Sure, I’m not sure what peaceful solution is available if there is one at all, but all efforts should be made to see if it exists.

  19. HaikN, I understand your standpoint but all legal avenues should be explored first. LTP’s claim at the CC therefore is commendable. BTW: Ditord just sms-ed me and said that protesters have dispersed after Levon requested they do so. I’m glad.

  20. The authorities could wait for another 3 days till CC came with a resolution.

    The only logical thing that CC can do is to call for re-elections. and if that happens neither Serj nor Artur have the chance to go to a 2nd term.
    Lets wait for the sunrise.
    I herd that many army and police commanders refused to attack the people.

  21. Hello Armenians,

    As a neutral observer from September 21st, 2008. This is 75% Levon’s doing. His campaign was pure uncompromising hate and hatred. He said it : Ov inc het chi takanak a. Do you need more info to be convinced that LTP was asking for this to happen risking the lives of thousands of people.

    In most Serge speeches he didn’t utter a word of hatred. I even thought he seemed too weak at times and too respectful of LTP and the people standing with LTP.
    This had to come to an end. I am glad it did.

    The ONLY criticism I have of Kocharian is that he should have started the crackdown AFTER declaring a state of emergency.
    Speaking to my parents about a minute ago, they think the crowd has dispersed. I have a feeling they will try again tomorrow but that will be the end of this saga.CC will refuse Levonik’s claim. By the presidential inauguration everything will be calm people will go on with their lives and this will go down in history as a sad chapter.

    One good thing that came out of this , is that the new government will know that it can’t keep on ignoring the people, their rights , corruption etc. Serge knows this by now and I have a feeling he will make a great president.

    Levon and Nikol for me are Hitler-Goebbels of modern Armenian history. I’m glad that they failed.

  22. Haik,

    I bet you anything the CC will refuse Levon’s request for 2nd round. If you’re depending on Gagik Harutiunian’s help forget about it.

    As I said the crowd might try again tomorrow but by then Nikol,Aram,Myasnik, Sukyasian will all be in custody. No leaders, no revolution. Forget about it. It’s time to accept Levon lost. The party is over. He lost big and the best he can do is to write another one or two books about Armenian history. That’s the BEST he can do now.

  23. And by the way Hayk, after April 12-13 2004 Armenia did not become a rogue state and it will not become now. People foget quickly.A case in point is the hatred they had for Levon in the 90’s they forgot about it relatively quickly.

    A bit of tears shed, a LOT of disappointment for the 20-25,000 that gathered every day. But life goes on. Spring is around the corner. Cheer up and turn the page.

  24. Here we should have peaceful solution.

    I know that many of rioter are karabakh war veterans.

    The REGIME should not have used force, especially from today’s early morning failed crackdows. They had to understand that people want to protect freedom square until the CC listens the case. Nothing else. They could have patience.

    In this situation, I think authorities hsould step back, and ask Levon to calm down the crowd. Only Levon can do that right now. The other solution is military force, which I do not think is a right decision.

    I think both sides have lost the feeling of reality. Compromisis should be from both sides.

  25. To Hayrenaser

    You are not hayrenaser. If you were, you would not support the use of force against own people.

  26. Hayk,

    If the stability of the whole country is at stake, yes force should be used. Any democratic country would use force in this case. LTP went too far. Now he just told the people go to your homes we will gather again in 20 days.

    This is trying to make his defeat an honorable . No one will gather in 20 days. No one. This is over

  27. Onnik the State of Emergency is only a technicality. True the crowds were larger this time around, the reason for that is the government waited too long, to show the West that it can tolerate. Unlike in 2004 when they acted quickly.

    If, on February 20th they had closed down Azatutyun Square and didn’t let anyone come in or go out we wouldn’t have this. But then again, they would complain that this is against the people’s right to demonstrate. Damned if you do damned if you don’t.

    This had to stop. And it has. If Kocharian hadn’t done this I would doubt his decisiveness as the leader of the country.

    TY

  28. Armen,

    They might not forget. But looking back soberly years later they will see that the decision was right.

  29. I cant see how violence can be right. Remember spain and the violences in the country? the ghosts of those years still is hunting people. i dont say we got the same situation, but in any case,violence is a crime, specially done by government against its people.

  30. Hayrenaser, I agree with you to some extent about the fact that the authorities should have prevented assemblies in Liberty Square after the election to avoid this situation now. However, I don’t agree with the way the protesters were dispersed. They should have been given clear instructions to leave 30-60 minutes before riot police went in and even then, only a minimum of force should have been used.

    Don’t get me wrong, however. I also understand that language of hate used by some of Ter-Petrossian’s people was responsible for getting the crowd this intense as well. However, neither is okay, and I suppose it should also be said that as the matter of a second round is an issue here, that has some impact too. Of course, I also recognize that even in a squeaky clean vote we’d still be in the same situation today as well.

    Damn it. As much as I realize you’re “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” argument, I guess this situation was unavoidable. Now we have a test for Armenia and I hope that all sides choose the path with the best interests of the country in mind. This is the situation, however, and now we have to find a proper way out according to the law and the constitution. Like it or not, it’s the only way we should follow.

  31. It’s like Soviet times all over again. Instead of occupying Soviet army we have the freaking Armenian Interior Forces assaulting people.

  32. I don’t know why my video is taken off. Perhaps because there’s a YouTube regulation preventing people from posting violence. however, I didn’t think its violence – or I mean – I thought its within limits.

  33. there are hundred or thousands of videos in youtube full of violence or ….maybe some people have marked ur video inappropriate,unless i dont see any other reason.

  34. or if you put it in echannel I will download it and host in a 2nd place
    It was a very good video.

  35. In my previous posts I said that this will end in a “fist fight” just like most arguments among grown Armenian “men” end. The government tolerance was interpreted as a sign of weakness and even a source of inspiration. Especially after LTP’s call for US and EU to criticize more and their quick response, it became apparent that “foreign sources” are interested in further escalation of the situation in Armenia and not reconciliation. To which the government decided to response quickly and “show” who is in control. This is bad for Armenia in general; however, “intolerant opposition” does not deserve “tolerant government”.

  36. I don’t understand how anyone can pat Kocharian on the back for this. Yes some Levon supporters were hateful and yes he might be using the situation for his own personal gain, sure the authorities waited awhile before turning guns on their own people, but SO WHAT? Would the protests have been out of control if the election wasn’t so blatantly falsified? Sure protests would have followed a perfect election, but to this degree? It was Robert and Serzh’s choice whether to encourage fraud or not. They made their choice, as it was expected, and Levon used that to produce these rallies. While I am 100% behind Levon and do recognize the hypocracy within his protesting for freedom I in no way think ANYONE should congratulate or support the authorities on their conduct either. If anything this was two shameful figures pitted against each other. Do not forget the vast majority of these tens of thousands of protests simply want freedom. To congratulate or support Serzh on what he did, regardless of what you think of Levon, is a complete insult to those tens of thousands who simply want a freer Armenia.

  37. Mike,
    you forget two big things. Firstly it was the government which attacked the peacful campers at the early hours of Saturday March1st.
    Sit-ins are not illegal and do not require a special permission or acknoledgemnt from the State.
    and secondly the elections were hugely falsified. This was something that everybody other than Serj and his mafia family accepts.
    and maybe thirdly the government didnt wait for the CC ruling. they could hold for three or four more days when teh CC would discuss Levon’s application.
    therfore whatever was done by the government was illegal and was for distabilising teh situation and provoking the people who wanted to defend their votes.

  38. We have known that Kocharian was a criminal since what he did in 2003. Now we know that Serj Sargsian is a criminal, too.

  39. Paul,

    Many western governments periodically use force to dispel uncompromising and disruptive rallies. Have you seen protest in France? Have you seen anti-globalization protests at WTO or G8? Search youtube.

  40. HaikN,

    I neither believe what government says nor what opposition. One thing is sure there a lot of unhappy people in Armenia and their problems need to be solved.

    nazarian,

    For fairness don’t forget to mention criminal Levon Ter-Petrosyan for what he did in 1995 and 1996.

  41. Paul,

    I completely agree with you. I am amazed at what some people post here. We can be proud of our fellow Armenians who stood up for their right to freely express their opinions, and for their votes. I am especially proud that we protested so firmly nothwitstanding the West’s initial support for this criminal and illegitimate government. Unlike Georgia and Ukraine where they poured millions of dollars plus huge informational support, here they left us all alone with these animals that thought that they can treat people like sheep. Robik/Serjik are completely responsible for what happened.
    LTP now hopes that CC’s decision will be in his favor and that West at last will react, we’ll see…

  42. Mike
    in 95-96 Manukyan lead people to attack the parliament which has been formed previously and had nothing to do with the presidential elections. It was a failed coup. Manukyan didnt gave a chance to resolve the issue legally. He took the illegal approach.

    Also dont forget that it was the same Serj who was on the control of the army and police forces at that time, so whatever brutality occured was by direct orders coming from Serj. But anyhow not a single shot was fired.

  43. Mike- how can you throw back examples of WTO protests at me?! As I said, Kocharian deserves no applause or congratulations because he and Serge stole the elections!! Are western states blatantly falsifying elections (I know that question is up in the air sometimes but still…)?! That’s why I said there are no heroes in this story- because there AREN’T. Levon isn’t one because he was corrupt and did something similar in 96 and yet talks about freedom now, and the governemnt are just laying in their bed after making it by falsifying elections in 08. This is about the Armenian people who were oppressed under Levon in 96 and oppressed under Robert and Serzh today. Just because you are mad at Levon doesn’t mean you spite the large percentage of the Armenian population who want freedom and are rightfully protesting against them. Forget about Levon, this is the people we are talking about- and it is absolutely disgusting for anyone to disenfranchise them or applaud the way the government attacked them after holding a meaningless election. Just because you don’t like Levon means you should cheer against the people as they are put down like this by today’s corrupt government.

  44. Serj is criminal? Why? Because police has tried to crack down riots today? But why don’t you start from the beginning? The fact is that Serj Sarkisjan has been asking opposition parties for negotiation, which Ter-Petrosyan so sternly refused. He has been asking to resolve the problem in political way, particularly in court, but opposition still refused to stop demonstrations. So how do you suppose the situation could be resolved? Probably Serj had to give up and proclaim Levon as a president? Ridiculous!
    Propaganda of Levon Ter-Petrosyan was completely based on hatred and disloyalty toward the government which logically flooded into today’s violence. It was not the violence from police only, people were showing even greater aggression, and if being well armed, I’m sure, numbers of victims from police side could be much bigger.
    Putting aside the past of Levon Ter-Petrosyan (but definitely his past can not be neglected in our context), I see dangerous movements in his politics even today. While Serj says he does not put difference between people who chose him and who did not, Levon just talks about revenge on Kocharjan and Serj and people who support them. He even does not give any clear statements on how he is seeing further development of the country after revenge is made!
    It seems, Serj’s main crime is his being from Karabach.

  45. Paul, what is that freedom that Armenians don’t have and which they will gain with Levon? Just the fact, that Levon speaks about “freedom” does not mean, that he will bring that “freedom”. He is good at talking and always been. Definitely he promised freedom in early nineties, but what he brought?

  46. Tadevos,

    What is ridiculous is the talk about the courts. Do you have any doubt that the judges nominated by Kocharian would make decisions against LTP? Remember what happened when a judge dared to overturn a decision of a lower court about coffee company – he lost his job in no time. Further, LTP, during every rally, was at pains to urge the people to stay away from violence, be friendly with police, etc. We all know that LTP was to blame for the rigging the elections in the past, but the fact is, he never called for violent overthrow of the current regime. Now, let’s talk facts here, Serje never included LTP in his call for negotiations. He said he is willing to negotiate only with those who accept his victory which LTP never did, of course. But again, I agree with Paul, this is not about LTP, Serje, or Robik, this is about people who do not want to be slaves any more. And they won last night, as they showed that even severe and cruel beating would not stop them from the desire to be free. Cavet tanem, hayer jan!

  47. Electorial fraud? Hmm. On the one side there was an opinion from international observers, then recounting of votes, which did not discover fraud and there are also some opposition candidates which recognized victory of Serj. On the other side, there is a rumor which is manly spread by Levon’s part, that election was totally rigged. I’m doubtful.
    But I’m sure, that Levon could not gain more than 50% votes, as he claims himself as a winner, just because I know many people, and no one gave his vote for him.

  48. Tadevosy,
    You are a fool. The worst part is that you sound like you know it, which in this case makes you a slave as well. Who cares about LTP or anyone else – you are defending violence upon your own people by your own people. What have Armenians become?

  49. Nazarian,
    You are full of hatred too. You and LTP prefer Turks over Serge and Kocharian . Admit it. As a citizen of Armenia, I am proud of the president who put order in the country.

    You talk about electoral fraud. Give me facts where are the facts? until now what LTP’s gang has wanted is recounts here and there. The result: hundred more votes here hundred less there: Totally irrelevant to the end result. The rest are lies by LTP propaganda: like “500,000 more ballots were cast than actual num,ber of people participating”. This is not serious. LTP is the same criminal when it comes to the numbers game like: “Armenia can feed only a million people” , “population of Armenia is under 2 million people” etc etc. Or inflating the number of people attending his rallies (a couple of days more and we would have heard about 1 million attending his “theatrical shows” at Theater Square.) The man has totally discredited himself and he will be thrown in the garbage of history.
    It is true that there was bribe giving to some extent (I don’t think there has ever been an election in Armenia without bribe-giving including LTP’s times. But what LTP was doing with his lies and brainwashing misinformation was not better than bribing. Constant lying constant hatred, I take bribing over that.
    I say it once again HHSh is finished and mark my words by the end of this year Sargsyan will have the highest approval rating of any president in the history of Armenia.

  50. Hayrenaser, i don’t think people will actually forgive them, what Kocharyan and Sargsyan did today was just plain stupid. Firing at people, bringing army in? What is this? Soviet Union? I think at the end of the day, only Armenian people will loose if something is not done NOW. If they let it for tomorrow it will be too late!

  51. Rb, I don’t think there is anything to forgive. Any glxavor hramanatar’s duty is to protect the country from external and internal enemies in Armenia’s case BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. If a president does not do that he is a weak president , in fact not fit to be a president.
    LTP does not represent the people. LTP represents a brainwashed section of society , whose justified discontent he used for his own purposes.

    There are already a lot of people among the protesters who are calling him a traitor.

    If you or anyone else in ANY Western democracy hold unsanctioned illegal “theater shows” on PUBLIC property, the police will say it nicely first if you don’t obey they will use force. ANY country… I think Kocharian was incredibly patient giving them NINE days! Warning them numerous times. And I’m so glad that he cleaned that mess in such a swift and abrupt way. Azgi iskakan takank-e ir dghyak-i mech nstats , hima inch e mtatsum. Lyudmilayi Tornikneri het Dan-e yergoom baroom en te menak mnatsads gorrooom a baikar baykar minchev verch.
    Levon Srika, Tagavor Amenayn Hayots

  52. shame on arminias people they are distroying our beutiful contry and by the way serg and levon should get off their lazy asses and do something about it ,if u think they really care about the sake of our people u are so wrong my friend.And if they do its too late arminia’s distroying itself . love arminia but imglad im not their

  53. But not a single country nowadays except china, does not bring army in! How is that a warning? The morning cleanup of opera should have been warned! I am just happy i am not there to witness it. Mexken mer hayer@, mi 3 million marda mnacel etel en uzum vari tan. Yes chem asum levon@ surpa, esa ena, yes asum em vor Kocharyan@ chpetka aner inch vor arec aysor!

  54. Rb

    That’s because not a single country has policemen without guns like they do in Armenia. If you have noticed most policemen in Armenia do not possess guns (like they do in the U S A Canada or other Western countries). How do you expect police to control an angry crowd full of hatred? Were they supposed to have talked to them nicely, served them tea coffe and asked them to leave? Special regiment was brought in and it was finished in one day.

    Kocharyan-e inch aner . 9 or a ink-e Serge-e asoom en Operayi hraparak-i metch deghi unetsadse ANOREN e. Serge-e yerp asac Azatutyan Hraparakoom gtnvoghnere mery quyrer expayrnern en, ankexds er.. urish inch asee mard-e? Toghnel vor Yerevan-e katvadsahar anogh meetingnere sharunakven 1-2 -6 amis ? 1 tari?

    Katarvadsee lman patasxanatvootioon-e Levoni vzin e. Amot iran!

  55. Hayrenaser, are you proud of Kocharyan who knows nothing but to kill and supress? The president is responsible for stability, that is right. But even a dumb can keep stability by using guns and brutal force. He was the one who has already for five months nurturing conflict by his stupid remarks and partaking. Instead of organizing elections and controlling candidates, including his favorite SS, he was behaving as a cinic and he was rediculing one part of his people (regardless if it is a majority or a minority). He was spreading lies and trying to terorize people. This does not contribute to stability!
    LTP told people to leave to avaid causalties. Don’t you think he could have commanded to attack police or to stay in the square? Yes he wants to come to power as every normal politician does. But for his poser he will not pass over certain things, unlike those twin brothers and sons of the same bitch (SS & RQ).
    You are saying where are the facts of election falsification. Are you out of your mind? Isn’t unfair propaganda, use of state resources, informational blockade, violence during election day, multiple voting, bribes, post-election arrests of opposition a falsified election? Then what is your definition of falsification? Do not be naive when talking about recount process, you should know what’s behind it if you have an ability to think.
    I want to thank LTP for not sending people to battle although they were ready and that was what SS and RQ desrved. They should be punished for their crime but no one should be killed for that. I regret and truely sorry for those people who were killed yesterday (and for the policeman if my information is correct). I believe that those two bustards and their criminal companions understood that not everything is allowed and that our proud people can stand up for its rights, regardless if there is a leader to guide or even if it is left alone. I hope that both constitutional court and the government will be wise enough to organize a second tour or a new election and will make efforts to organize it right. Otherwise our nation will stand for itself, even if it take months they will not tolerate usurpators. Let LTP, SS, VM, VH, AB or anybody else run again and win in a fair election. But do not rape nations will. The nation will respond and the response will be cruel.
    Let GOD be with us (although Echmiadzin does everything to disappoint GOD) and let peace return to our country and our homes.

  56. Tiko,

    What Kocharian has said in the last 6 months is NOTHING compared to the lies and hatred spread by Levon every single day. He used the lowest expressions lies without end. Do you remember this statement?
    “Ov im het che takank e”
    Only a Hitler could have said that.
    I say it again. Kocharian did the right thing.
    And LTP not sending his people to fight? Give me a break…Did he have a choice?Do you think people went home because LTP told them to? Ridiculous. They were finished, they were about a thousand left near the French Embassy.

    Democracy? Look at who Armenia’s neighbors are. I don’t sacrifice Armenia for democracy. This election was pretty fair and Serge won, the right person won.

    I am glad this is over with. I believe Serge will make avery good president.

  57. Hayrenaser, I completely disagree.
    Where you there and saw it yourself that people were finished or you just trust our truthful public TV? People were ready to fight even by default, without any actions or commands needed from LTP. If you read postings in blogs and news you will recall that people were willing to move to LTP’s house to free him. It was him to contact opposition leaders and to warn them to pass to people to stay in place.
    About the lies, let distinguish what LTP said from what every newspaper or lournalist said. If you remember LTP started his speeches with impersonal analysis of the situation. Do not you agree that there are monopolies in Armenia supported by Customs, Tax officals, Central Bank and Police? Does not that hurt our economy? What was the lie there? Also, even let’s assume that LTP told lies (although I do not agree with that), compare his limited reach to audience to continuous broadcasts of Qocharyan’s “pearles” on all TV stations. Even more, when LTP was a candidate in the race, Qocharyan as the incumbent was responsible for organizing elections. Of course nobody argues about his right to endorse his favorite candidate. Nut becoming an active anti-agitator against one of the candidates does not contribute to stability for which he is responsible as you rightfully noted.
    So it was him to create this instability and tension and by using force he just tried to correct his mistakes for 5 months if not for ten years.
    About democracy. It is my belief (I accept that many people dissent with me) that democracy is a good thing and we deserve to leave in democracy but not in feudal society. And you are wrong if you think that democarcy and our security are mutually exclusive. Vice versa, if we were more democartic we would be more stable, more developed and stronger therefore more secure. But in case if there is some situation (I cannot imagine of any) when we should choose between democracy and our security, then I will not doubt a second to throw democracy away. Serjik’s victory was not fair at all and he uses perceived threat to security only for his presidential ambition. I hope you do not think that LTP is running for presidency to “sell” Armenia to Turkey. If you do, I will stop discussion not because I admire LTP (which I do not) but because such a stupid idea insults my intelligency.

  58. Hey guys

    Just ignore this hayrenaser. This is Brainwashed Robik supporter. No matter what argument you bring he sites “Hailur” or state propaganda information. He says that 350.000 who voted for Levon are brain washed. (350.000 is the official figure but the actual was a lot more, becuase only my 3 friend who were observers, saved 300 ballots of Levon, but another 500-600 was stolen from the at the night of election).

    Hey Hayrenaser, you need some kind of shrink to get rid off state propganda Haylurakan misinformation.

    If you do not go to shrink you are lost forever.

    Today’s events were about our people. Our qaxaqciner-e chen sirum gexacinerin. Our authorities are “gexaci”, by their mentality. So, the urban population does not want them anymore. This is clash of a class and “gexaci Regime”

    The Robik and Serge wanted to build RUSSIAN MODEL society and government, but this not going to happen. Our people “qaxaqaciner-e” will not let them.

  59. I would also like to thank all the people who were defending the barrickades.
    They were people who were in Mashtots street looting and burning cars and they didnt represent the people.

  60. Mashtots street is 500 meters away from the demonstration area where the real events took place.

  61. tm
    I’m not supporting violence, but I’m trying to look at the sources of all that. If you are neglecting the fact, that Levon Ter-Petrossian deliberately seeds hatred among his followers, than you are even the greater fool. According to his statements, he definitely put difference between people who support him, and who do not, so separating the whole nation. Today’s violence was logical outcome of his propaganda.

  62. The BBC had this to say:

    “Demonstrators hurled stones and petrol bombs, setting vehicles on fire, and police and troops responded with truncheons, tear gas and by firing bullets in the air.”

    Which side started first?

  63. Rhyne,

    I think the beatings started when the police chased people away from the Liberty Square in the morning.

  64. Rhyne,
    Police had every right to chase away and clean the Opera Square.

  65. Just got a call from Yerevan. Shooting was done by a particular battalion from Karabagh — the Shushi battalion. This battalion, run by Vatcho and his clan, are about taking and keeping power so they can live comfortably. These are not nice guys, not particularly educated nor sophisticated. They shot into a crowd of people without warning. They also shot out store windows and set fire to vehicles.

    Mar 3rd, 2008 at 9:51 am

  66. Hayrenaser, listening to you means- all the 8 or 9 or I would suspect more deaths were justified??!!! Where are you and who are you to judge whether things are right or wrong?! I wish you would be there and see people innocently dying in front of your eyes! You seem to be living in a state of Serj and Robert’s family and “devoted” clique, who satisfy you with their actions.. I don’t support whatever was done by LTP, but I support the people who rose their voices and said “NO” to corruprtion ruling and cutting of foretsts and throwing people out of their houses for the sake of business centres and prestigous houses, killing soldiers during their military service and keeping people in poverty and artificially bringing down the currency rates and endless other actions that brougt those people to THAT Opera Sq. They had the right to express their dissatisfaction with the life and realities… so, look around if you live in Armenia and shut up!

  67. artsagh girl, any idea who shot the police from Levon’s side? Also, is your call reliable? There is lots of disinformation coming from the opposition as well. No source from Armenia can currently be considered totally reliable. It’s a war and civil society as well as the local media took sides and forgot about reporting the truth long ago. Indeed, when you consider how much propaganda and misinformation was being spread by some pro-opposition outlets it’s understandable why the government would move against them. Of course, don’t get me wrong. The pro-government media wasn’t much better but the quality and partisan politics of RFE/RL’s English service, Hetq Online and to a lesser extent, Armenia Now, was disappointing. All of these outlets had staff who were either supporters of Levon or directly linked to his campaign team.

  68. My call is extremely reliable. Both the caller and I were in Karabagh from the early days of the struggle. We know names, faces, who was at which battles, and who got rich from Tallan (war booty). There is no mistake. As to who shot the police from “Levon’s side”, what makes you assume that there was anyone shooting on”Levon’s side”? My informant says that the police were shot by the Karabagh soldiers. The informant is a physician, who put the wounded back together — for over 20 years. The informant knows what kind of weapons inflict what sort of wounds.

    You write “Indeed, when you consider how much propaganda and misinformation was being spread by some pro-opposition outlets it’s understandable why the government would move against them. Of course, don’t get me wrong.” !!!!!

    Getting you “wrong” or “right” – I don’t really care. I do care about the truth. You’ve been there since 1998 — your task was to sift through the disinformation on all fronts.
    The idea that it’s all false so we can’t tell the truth is an excuse. As an expat, you have an extra obligation to be particularly attentive because you had access to training and education most Hayastansi’s did not have.

    I first went to Armenia during the Cold War era — I saw the 1988 demonstrations. I saw the Spetznast in Yerevan. I hung out with real fedayeen, not the asphalt ones. Real fedayeen never ever used their position to hurt other Armenians. No excuses.

    If you bloggers really want to contribute, a important place to start is with your own attitudes. Armenia is not a “living museum” for your own fantasies about your identity.
    Some of the things that make (made) Armenia extra-ordinary were not some mystical element of a mythic (in the larger than life sense, rather than the sense of being false) Armenian identity. It was due in large part because this was a primarily homogeneous society within a larger empire, and there was a relative lack of inequality for decades.
    Most of us in the diaspora didn’t know what that would look like until we came to Yerevan.

    Hmmm, do I digress? Perhaps I do. Anyway, I have seen too many diaspora Armenians who sing fedayeen songs and rant on about Turks, but when the real work has to be done, they back off because “you don’t know who is telling the truth”. Figure it out. Stand up for something. Go to Yerablour, look at all those graves, and get over your own ego. Those of you in Armenia — do something — get at the truth no matter how much you fear it will threaten your preconceived ideas of Armenia and Armenian-ness. Around the world, Truth and Justice Reconciliation Programs (like in South Africa) show that, corny though it may sound, it is only the truth that will set you free.

  69. Your physician may need to heal thyself. It is this he-said she-said rumor mill which is very dangerous and removes the focus off the real issues.

    At 11 PM the Terminator could not have identified the faces of all the shooters, much less your supernatural physician.

  70. Removes the focus? I can’t prove anything in cyberspace, but the focus here is on what really happened. The demonstrators were fired upon by Karabagh soldiers. You don’t like that? Truth hurts.

  71. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Armenia: Eight Dead, State of Emergency Declared

  72. It is not about what I like. It is just that this is another blip in the endless disinformation stream from LTP trying to shake off his portion of the blame here. Next thing I am going to hear is that all the people shooting had Karabakhtsi accents. And you will no doubt name the village all the shooters are from based on your identifying the local lexicon from your days spent there.

    Were you there 2 nights ago or have you seen footage? There is no way in hell anyone could identify ALL the shooters.

    Spreading racist invective like you are is destructive to the post-game assessment. All Armenians need to ease up on the hate and reconsider what has brought us to this and what can be done to move forward.

  73. Agree with AH- we don’t need any hatred and society split by no means!!! we need to be together and try to understand how to go on after all that happened!

  74. I always wonder about people who talk with admiration about RK and especially about his self-made-image as “the only man in Armenia” and “the soldier”… I can regard it just as a kind of masochism, which is unfortunately spread in certain part of our society. What means “strong president”?!?! Strong against whom?! Just again his own unarmed people (although in the meantime I deeply doubt he regards the people of Armenia as HIS people).

    Has anyone ever seen his strongness outside of Armenia, where we really need that?! Was he strong in negotiations with Aliyev or with Turkey?! Or was he strong every time he was begging Putin for a meeting and then waiting in his reception till the latter finds time for him?! Or was he strong in trying unsuccessfully to convince Americans 10 years long to invite him once for an official visit to US?!

    Armenia didn’t profit at all from his alleged “strongness”, just already weak democracy and economy were damaged. So, what OUR country needs – another ten years of new “strong President” SS?! NO!!!

  75. Hayrenaser and the likes
    How is it that with all the armenian media in their backpocket RK and SS could not “brainwash” the 500.000 brave protesters but Levon with very limited means of communication could mobilise them? Isn’t this fact tell us that it is not the “propaganda” that made people to revolt but rather they are fed up and THEY CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE (danak@ hasel e voskorin).

    At least Levon have recognised his past mistakes and appologized several times to armenian people.

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