Armenian news headlines during the week

The big news at the start of the week was ex-president Robert Kocharyan’s interview given to Mediamax News Agency in response to ex-president Levon Ter-Petrossian’s speech on May 1st. Quite expectedly, Kocharyan talked complete crap, noting, that as he is not Armenia’s President anymore, he will be more unrestrained in his speech – not that he was ever restrained or anything.
Basically, while the great, educated egotist Ter-Petrossian was analyzing the situation in Armenia in nicely formulated sentences and trying to establish grounds for dialogue with current president of Armenia – Serzh Sargsyan, by laying most of the blame on Kocharyan, the Second president of Armenia chose to respond in the manner typical for his semi-educated egotistic self, calling the First president names, like “dumb” (տկարամիտ) and “deeply indecent” (խորապես անպարկեշտ), and saying, that it was the opposition who needed the blood and deaths on March 1st. [text here was edited, as the original post contained obviously biased points of views] Now, while I clearly recall at least one case, when Levon Ter-Petrossian spoke on the rallies, saying, that they will go till the end, that doesn’t mean, that human casualties can be blamed on the opposition. Moreover, in the situation, when the country disparately needs peace and reconciliation, and when the opposition has just attempted the first vague steps towards dialogue, Kocharyan’s words are rather unwelcome.

On another note, however, the exchange of offences between the First and Second presidents of Armenia resembles more the barking of dogs, then anything so far. One wonders – why do these two hate each other so much? I remember back in October 2007 there was a YouTube video put in circulation, where Levon Ter-Petrossian humiliates Kocharyan, saying – “Didn’t I tell you – you’re not Armenian?”, to which Kocharyan answers – “I’m Albanian”.
The rest of the week was full of stories about hunger-strikes in Shirak region of Armenia, where at one point there were 18 protesters, in Gyumri, Maralik and the village of Dzorakap. Many of the protesters were Karabakh war-veterans, demanding just trial for their commander, freedom fighter Ashot Zakaryan and release of political prisoners. Most of the hunger-strikes go on even now, despite Ashot Zakaryan’s direct call and order to stop the protests to his former soldiers.
Other than that, the court cases continued. From various news headlines I concluded, that more then 12 cases were heard this week. Interestingly, in most cases the trials were postponed, with one prominent opposition activist, member of HHSH board Karapet Rubinian released. In the interview given to RFE/RL Rubinian remarked, that his release is a result of the CoE pressures on the Armenian authorities.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. “One wonders: why do these two (LTP and RK) hate each other so much?”
    Well, the conventional knowledge of how Rob Kocharian has come into view on the horizon and who brought him there suggests that both he and Ter-Petrossian represent, or at least once represented, the same political circles, which in turn suggests that they may not actually hate each other as to just display hatred. This is the least Kocharian can do to show to the disgruntled public that he despises the man while essentially leaving LTP safe and sound, unharmed and unpunished for his wrongdoings against the Armenian people. The same paradigm will be applied to Kocharian himself for his own wrongdoings against the people, and the same pattern will repeat itself in case of Serjik’s presidency, and so on, and on, and on. . .
    The other reason may lay in the profound discrepancy of the social status of two men. Using the Ancient Roman terminology for that, it can be said that, aside of his nasty, snobby, and misanthropic manners and attitudes, LTP can be classified as a patrician, a person of good background, education, and refinement, whereas Kocharian is evidently a plebeian. Due to their inferiority complex, small-minded, self-absorbed, and innately provincial individuals like Kocharian are known to react very unsympathetically towards more presentable, more educated, and good-mannered people, knowing that whatever highest state post they hold, they will always remain vulgar and coarse commoners.
    I can only hope time will come when we finally see a combination of a patrician and a concerned citizen in one ruler.

  2. Z-
    well put, but unfortunately the choices for discussion are some variance on the following:
    1. LTP
    2. hate LTP
    your nuance and informed answer just won’t do in the present landscape.

  3. they are all bustards
    kocharyan=ltp=sarkisyan, all in the same box
    armenia needs to re-think its future and come up with fresh political ideology
    this dogs are wolves and they’re thirsty for power and money, armenia is the least think counting for them
    screw’m all!

  4. […] Armenian Observer rounds up and comments on the news headlines of the week. Not unpredictably, the main topic discussed in the local media was the post-election situation in […]

  5. I didnt know that LTP shoot at, bitten up people or gave orders to others to do so on March the 1st.
    By the way have you asked the opinion of the people who were infront of the French embassy or at Liberty Sq? It is immoral to talk on their / our behalf.
    In those days everybody is an expert in blaming the victimes as if it was their fault that they have been attacked.
    It is even horrible that now people take it for granted that the regime will attack and oppress. So it is the fault of the ones who struggle for their rights, for eqaulity and freedom.
    Ditord I expected this from likes of Nune Yesayan but not from you.
    All humans are born free and equal. Have Armenian moved back by 200 years?

  6. By the way there is a typo in your posting. Serj Sargsyan is not the current president, he is the current self-declared president.
    I think we all agree that he didnt get elected on 19th of February.

  7. I found the A1+ interview with Ara Sahakyan somewhat interesting. I am not sure if that was last week or not but he made some points on the situation of the parliament. But my main reaction was “wow, he still exists”. Anyway, did you read that Observer?
    I think A1+ looks more like “quchi norutjunner” than anything serious these days, but that interview was somewhat interesting.
    Looking back, I think back in those days there was more active opposition representation in the parliament than now. Vazgen Manukyan’s party had people there, Shavarsh Qocharyan and Sadoyan come to mind, and Hajrikyan’s party had people there too, and communists too. True, Dashnaks were all in the prison, but more or less most of the opposition had people in the parliament. Even that party led by Aram Sargsyan had seats (not this Aram Sargsyan but some other). Anyway. I am not sure if this is off topic or not as I don’t know if the interview was this week or last week.

  8. oh wait a minute Aram Sargsyan is in the parliament now. Is he opposition?

  9. Grigor, which Aram Sargsyan? Zaven or Gaspar? Anyway, neither are in parliament, but Aram Gaspar Sargsyan is opposition although opposed to Levon as well. Anyway, not sure that there is any Aram Sargsyan in the current parliament, but there should be a list on
    Aram, the problem with Armenia is that everyone has declared themselves president since 1996. The only difference is that Serge had the CEC and Constitutional Court declare it, while Levon declared himself to have been “elected” by 65 percent in Liberty Square.
    Meanwhile, most Armenians recognize Serge as the president regardless of whether we believe the vote should have gone to a second round. The rest of us (probably a minority) despair at the way both Levon and Serge displayed such cynicism towards the democratic process.

  10. Aram Gaspari Sargsyan. This is the site I went
    Here is what they say.
    […] On May 25, 2003 he was elected to the NA from the proportional list of the Justice Alliance and he is currently on the NA Standing Committee on Foreign Relations. He is a member of the Justice Faction and the founding president of the Armenia Democratic Party. […]
    If you say he is not in the parliament then it must be that they don’t update their info, which is not good.

  11. I guess you are right, he is not in the parliament so the info isn’t being updated or else.
    Did you know that there is a Standing Committee on Protection of Human Rights and Public Affairs in the parliament? Well, whats interesting is that there is no one from heritage. What does this committee do? I guess they just remain standing while human rights are being violated. It is interesting that Larisa Alaverdian is not standing in this committee but she is standing in Standing Committee on European Integration. Maybe she got tired of standing :).
    Also what is this rule of law fraction?

  12. oh I see it is just the translation of Orinatc Yerkir.

  13. Yeah, sounds like they didn’t update for the 2007 parliamentary election. I’m pretty sure he isn’t in parliament now. The Justice bloc doesn’t exist in parliament now, and pretty much boycotted NA sessions when it was. Recently he is only quoted by the press as leader of the Democratic Party. Can’t find his name on the list of current deputies on either so maybe that page is just left over on their server without a link to it or simply stands for the record. Top of the page says “third convocation” whereas we’re now in the fourth. Dunno, can anyone else shed light on the matter? I have to be honest and say that while I hope the list of deputies on is correct, I can’t be sure it is.

  14. Aram – I was in the Freedom square every day and one night during protests. I was in front of French embassy, Dzkan Khanut, etc till 3 AM on March 1st. So know exactly what I’m talking about.

  15. It is interesting that Larisa Alaverdian is not standing in this committee

    And Zaruhi Postanjian, for that matter. Pity.

  16. list is correct. None of the Apam Sargsyan’s is in parliament.

  17. Ditord
    I followed your blog very closely. you were there as an observer and you did an excelent job reporting it.
    Blaming the oppressed and taking the current fascistic regime for granted is not right.
    This movement is a pacifist movement, it has been like that and it will be like that.

  18. Ditord, a surprisingly biased and arrogant post by you… It’s a pity.
    Try to analyse the violence early in the morning on March 1st, and try to come to some obvious conclusions, in a non-biased and objective manner.

  19. Aram – perhaps you are right. As another friend has also pointed to me, I might have gotten emotional and put too much blame on the opposition.
    Looking at the phrase in my post:

    I clearly recall at least one case, when Levon Ter-Petrossian spoke on the rallies, saying, that they will go till the end, even if there’s a need for human casualties, which is exactly what he has done.

    Indeed, it is another thing for opposition to say that they’ll fight till the end, but quite another the way authorities handled the riots, shooting citizens, incapable of using any of the 100s of other means for calming down the protests. i guess I’ll have to edit the text of the post above, to bring it up to decent level.

  20. Կեցցես բաց աչքեր ու բաց միտք ունենալու համար, Արթուր ջան:

  21. Of course, I have no problem with Ditord interpreting the events (or re-interpreting as the case may be.).
    However, while I also find Kocharian’s word choice to be poor, I see no problem blaming radical oppositon organizers for the events leading up to and occuring on March 1. Had there been no call to arms, no hate-mongering, no dismissing of all democratic institutions, and instead a resorting to a call to “dig in and fight,” we would not have had deaths that day, neither of protesters nor of civil servants.
    Clearly, the authorities could and should have handled things differently then. This does not absolve the guilt of those who did everything possible to bring about clashes.
    To this day, I have not read anywhere in the Armenian press any sense of apology from the radical opposition organizers nor from their press. For all the daily criticisms of and attacks on the authorities, at least several of the leadership among the authories has had the courage to acknowledge some responsibility for what happened on March 1. Nearly all political forces (pro or not pro-gov) have posed the question to LTP himself, who has categorically refused to own up to the disaster he led. To me this is sad, and yet again shows how incapable he is of leading this nation anywhere.

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