Gagik Tsarukyan's interview to Russian O2TV

Gagik Tsarukyan’s interview to the correspondent of Russian O2TV Philip Leontev has caught the attention of the Armenian blogosphere. I first learned about it via tirami su who has commented short and to the point: “Funny had it not been so sad“(tirami su), Narjan has started a discussion on his blog, to be picked up by David_Sand, who sounds especially unhappy with some of the ideas expressed by the “businessman, oligarch and leader of Prosperous Armenia party”(David_Sand), speculating that the interview must have been paid for by the richest man in Armenia, and highlighting the following answers by G. Tsarukyan:

Question: what is the character of your relations with other political forces in Armenia
Answer:
I maintain good relations with all of them, I respect them all. At this moment a competition is going on which everyone is eager to win, but that’s work. For now everything is going as in sport, within limits for good manners. We see bad examples – how competition is held in Ukraine and [contrast with] how it is going in Armenia. No, nothing of the sort could possibly happen in Armenia, because our president is following after the situation. If someone tries to do something, he will punish all of them. Our president is very strong, so this won’t happen with us.

Question: who form the backbone of your party? According to my information there are very few politicians and plitical scientists there.
Answer:
That means you don’t have enough information. We don’t have
Churchills of course, but we do have enough educated and well prepared people. Many of them are the best in their respectable spheres. They are all accomplished candidates.

Harmic at the Blogrel has also referred to the O2TV interview, and has highlighted the following point made by the oligarch:

“We will develop 90 percent of our relations with Russia and 10percent with Europe and others,”
Taken from Gagik Tsarukyan’s Recent interview on a Russian television station, discussing what his party, “Prosperous Armenia” intends to do with Armenia’s foreign policy agenda. I am seriously becoming worried about what the future holds for the nation if this is the extremity with which the party intends to sever relations with Europe.

Armenian attacked by skinheads died

Via Uzogh:
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ 46-year-old Armenian immigrant Karen Abramian who was earlier attacked by skinheads in the Russian capita, died in the hospital. According to law enforcement bodies, on Monday evening three young men, dressed like skinheads, attacked Abramian. Two suspects have been arrested in connection with this murder, RFE RL reports
In the Southwestern administrative district of Moscow on Kedrov Street near the house 22 a group of nationalists attacked K. Abramian. The city on duty officer received information about the attack at 22.00 local time April 16. Policemen who arrived on the crime scene discovered a man with knife wounds. According to the victim, three smooth-headed young men with high shoes attacked him.
Karen Abramian was sure the cause for attack was his nationality. He said, while stabbing him the unknown young men shouted nationalistic slogans.

NGOs – Angels of democracy or demons of revolution?

Kornelij Glas has reposted an article from Nezavisimaya, discussing the state of the NGO sector in a number of post-soviet countries, including Armenia, Georgia, Azerbiajan. The situation, as presented in the report, seems rather favorable for the Armenian NGOs, especially when compared with the Azerbaijani and Georgian NGO situation. Armenian NGOs are active in many spheres of public life, the legislation related to them is rather liberal, etc. One of the interesting issues mentioned is the existence of the so called “GONGO”s, that is government sponsored NGOs, or NGOs, which were created by government officials or people related to them. Another issue, according to the report is the fact, that most of the Human Rights related programs of the Armenian NGOs are funded from abroad, which has serious implications if such funding is stopped or scaled down.

Protest in Yerevan, Protest in Moscow

“Impeachment alliance organized yet another rally at the Freedom Square. After political speeches, people started a rally in Baghramyan Street. Plastic bottles in their hands symbolized the events happened 3 years ago when after the clash with the opposition in Baghramyan Street Edgar Arakelyan was convicted for hitting a policeman with a plastic bottle.”
2007-04-14 12:09 Via E-channel
Interestingly Armenian bloggers had no reaction to this event, which was only marked by an announcement from Aramazd on Bekaisa’s blog.
The events in Moscow, on the other hand, received widespread response, Sassna Dzer writes:

Kasparov (see photo), along with scores of other protesters, were rounded up by the thousands of riot police and Interior Ministry camouflaged soldiers that locked down the city to prevent a march by the “Other Russia” coalition of groups that accuse President Vladimir Putin of dismantling democracy in Russia.

More comments come from Bekaisa, Dilanyan, the Journal of “Hayk and Life“, JLiving Notes.
While JLiving Notes is analyzing the reasons, why the Putin government decided to use force under these circumstances, mentioning demonstration of power, misinformation and simple paranoia among Russian authorities, Bekaisa comments with disgust:

…and this is the state, which our government is trying to align with in everything, and more importantly, in ideology and methods. Less rights, more economy – this idea has already been voiced by the new varchapet [prime minister], so wait for the continuation of april 12th…

Party posters, promotional videos and expenses

Arsineh at Life in Armenia discusses the election campaigns in Armenia, which “are going crazy”, and notes with resentment that the campaigns are concentrating on showing off the wealth and power of their candidates, instead of “talking to issues”:

The town is painted with party posters and I have to say, the ARF did an incredible job showing up.
[]
I am quite the American in mindset that I’m used to seeing candidates kissing babies and digging holes to impress their voters of how “common” they are. Here is the EXACT opposite. They flaunt their money to show how much power they have, and according to them, that is what the people respond to.

Kornelij Glas(ru) notes, that the Prosperous Armenia party has only spent $100 all this time [ie. during the pre-election campaign], while the Republicans and Rule of Law [Orinats Yerkir], haven’t spent even a penny, and posts a link to party finance reports(arm).
On a different post(ru) Kornelij writes about his impressions of the promotional videos of various parties:

[The videos] are generally complete crap, looks like noone wanted to really spend money, or their PR teams were mostly hired from Mozambique.
[]
Alam Kalapetyan [mocking the way Aram Karapetyan pronounces the letter ‘r’] was sitting in front of a table and shaking secret documents from the police. So how on earth did you get those documents, mister?!
Marxist party – it’s a must see – something in the style of German expressionism from the start of last century. The Communist video was a rip off from the [Russian TV] programs Village hour and More good products.
I nearly choked over the video by National Hairitage.[]
MIAK – smelled of cryptic pederasty.
Geghamyan – while the Dude was pontificating, a young man on the right was sitting stretched as far back as he could. As if looking for a guillotine or a garrotte – I guess we get to choose which one exactly?
Stepan Demirchyan was acting Karen Demirchyan. No comment.
Republicans were showing Serge with medals. Now that’s incredible – to count on the man, from whom everybody has idiosyncrasies! Simply congenial!
Then there came more sad videos, like that of HHSh that could make you loose your appetite.
The Prosperous Armenia and dashnaks turned out to be the coolest. The dashnak video was especially good – must have brought tears to many eyes. Gagik was also portrayed in the most favourable light. It was obvious that those two had spent enough to make themselves a decent advertisement.

Protest at the Intersection of Baghramyan and Demirchyan Avenues

Following photo-posting from Bekaisa, Anoush Armenia posts about the protest dance held yesterday, “April 12, 2007, around 7:30pm, by a group of about 20 Armenians, who gathered at the intersection of Baghramyan and Demirchyan Avenues, once again facing Parliament, and for just a few minutes ran into the middle the intersection to form a circle and dance.”
The point of the dance was to remind the authorities of the events of “April 12, 2004, when thousands of Armenian citizens filled Baghramyan avenue facing the Parliamentary building, in protest against the fraudulent elections and calling for the President’s resignation. […] Shortly thereafter, the protest was dispersed by irreprehensible, unnecessary and brutal violence by military police.” (Anoush Armenia) Continue reading “Protest at the Intersection of Baghramyan and Demirchyan Avenues”

Assasinations and blasts in Armenia continued yesterday

Photo by E-channel

Armenia looks out of control these days with blasts, shooting and assassination attempts following one another.
“2 offices of ‘Prosperous Armenia'[one of the most powerful pro-presidential political parties running for parliament in the elections on May 12, 2007] were blown up” reported Kornelij Glas(ru) about the blasts on the night of April 12, soon to be followed by more detailed posts by other bloggers: Oneworld Multimedia, Hyelog. Soon Onnik Krikoryan of Oneworld Multimedia followed up with photos from the site of bombings and more comments: Continue reading “Assasinations and blasts in Armenia continued yesterday”

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