The Worst Day in The New History of Armenia

1999 Armenian parliament shooting was an attack on the Armenian parliament on October 27, 1999 at 5:15 p.m, by a group of armed men that killed the Prime Minister of Armenia and 7 other high ranking officials.
The government was holding a question-and-answer period when five gunmen entered, led by Nairi Hunanyan who was a former journalist, plus his brother and uncle. They burst into the parliament chamber after they easily obtained passes allowing them to enter parliament, smuggling their weapons under their overcoats. They fired their automatic weapons and killed Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan, Parliamentary Speaker Karen Demirchyan, Deputy Speakers Yuri Bakhshyan and Ruben Miroyan, Armenia’s Emergencies Minister Leonard Petrosyan, and at least three others. The United Nations General Assembly meeting was interrupted in its schedule to pay tribute to the victims of the shooting.[1]

After killing high ranking officials, they announced they were staging a coup d’état [2] and claimed that they wanted to punish “corrupt officials.”[3] The leader of the group said they only intended to kill Prime Minister Sargsyan, and the other deaths were “mistakes”. They surrendered Thursday morning and freed about 40 hostages after they were allowed to speak on national television and were promised a fair trial and safe passage by negotiations with the President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan. [4][5] Nairi Hunanyan and the five gunmen were sentenced to life in prison.
Days after the shooting, allegations turned up accusing Russia of organizing the attack. Former Federal Security Service (FSB) agent Alexander Litvinenko said in various interviews that the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General-Staff of the Russian armed forces had organized the terrorist attack in the Armenian parliament.[6]. The Russian embassy quickly denied any such involvement issuing the statement “in connection with recent press articles about the alleged involvement of the Russian special services in the tragic events at the Armenian parliament on 27 October 1999.” It also described it as an attempt to harm relations between Armenia and Russia by people against the democratic reforms in Russia.
According to some experts Robert Kocharyan, who was the President of Armenia, was allegedly behind the 1999 Armenian parliament shooting which eliminated the political leaders that could have competed with him on the national level.[7] In October 2001, thousands marched in the streets of Yereven on the second anniversary of the killings, demanding Kocharyan’s removal.[8]

Information Via, Video via SedaMuradyan, YouTube.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant

1 Comment

  1. […] Armenian Observer remembers the 27 October 1999 terrorist attack on the Armenian National Assembly which left the prime minister and seven other senior officials, […]

Comments are closed.