The geneology of civil youth movements according to the bloggers

Sksela” civil youth movement periodically came into the attention of bloggers throughout the past year. The situation might be changing though, with the sudden entry of “Hima” youth movement into the Armenian blogosphere. The group has already staged a range of small protest actions, they now have a song (the YouTube video of the song is posted above) and all the other attributes of a revolutionary movement: heroes, symbols, martyrs, etc. The Armenian version of this blog has a roundup of what Armenian bloggers are saying about this new movement. The Podcast – a 1.3 Megabyte MP3 audio file is also available.

To summerize the contents of the Armenian language entry – from what Armenian bloggers have written about “Hima” movement so far we can conclude, that they haven’t quite figured out yet, where this new youth group is coming from, and where it is heading. Some information can be obtained through their 3 new blogs, opened by the movement: 1), 2) and 3)

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. The video posted is 95 percent made up of my photographs, but with no credit.

  2. I know – I wrote a comment this morning to its author on YouTube – telling, that they should credit you, or you may complain and take it off YouTube – and rightfully so!
    Also left your website address – – that’s the one you like to be used when crediting, no?

  3. Beauty Saves The World has been in touch with me and there’s no problem with them being used. However, there should be a credit although in the case of one activist in the UK I’m not going to take it further. She’s credited me for some videos based on my photos, but not on this one. No big deal.
    After watching that, YouTube threw in a link to this video. It’s priceless.

  4. boooooooooooooooc :))) flaming funny 😉

  5. I have a sneaking suspicion the Levon head is taken from one of my photos as well:
    If it is, I have to be honest, I’m delighted 🙂

  6. Էս ինչ օրի ա հասել հայկական բլոգոսֆեռան որ էս սայտերի մասին ենք արդեն գրում:
    Մնաց Դիմա Բիկլանի ֆանատների մասին էլ գրվի ու պռծ:

  7. I really appreciate promotion of all possible grantsucking movements. As much grants we can take as more zombies and moterlandhaters we will have.
    Of course,it is so important to demonstrate everyone that in Armenia there is strong political youth movement of 30 clowns running thruogh capital.
    Where is SKSELa? Where they disappeared? How much money they got from British Embassy? How many times their leaders went abroad for different seminars and leadership courses? Why all rest sksela people were supporting Levon ? ]
    Why all youth movement are supported by people standing close to Ter-Petrosyan?
    The guy who is doing HIMA blogs is real fanat of Ter-Petrosian also participated leadirship trainings just before election campaign start.Who pais for that? For what reason?
    Democracy? Ha-ha-ha? Human rights? Ho-ho-ho!

  8. Tigran jan – last week the “հայկական բլոգոսֆեռան” (Armenian blogosphere), produced the usual amount of posts – I have read 379 and marked 170 posts as potentially interesting last week. However, I try to make the roundups about one prominent topic each time, and so it happened, that last week the topic that came by more or less regularly, were all about Hima, so I decided, that it might be interesting and newsworthy. Add to this the emergency of the Hima song and the 3 new Hima blogs – I think they’ve made enough noise so far to become potentially intersting and newsworthy.
    I hope I wasn’t mistaken, and I’m happy for criticism and reader responses which help me understand, what is more interesting, and what is not.

  9. You know that I am a member of Sksela – and I haven’t seen any “gruntsucking” there. I know there was some British Embassy money for the Rock Concert – but I’m sure, that the procedures the British Embassy uses to control grants, won’t let any “gruntsucking” happen – and is clearly accountable.
    Counter to this – there are a range of GONGO – Government affiliated NGOs who get public money – money me and you pay as taxes, and nobody can ever trace what happened to those amounts and how the Armenian society benefited from them. Moreover, there are all kinds of activities – like Baze, Youth Council’s etc., who get money for God knows what, have unclear procedures as to how and with what principles they select young people to take part in their events, etc., etc. And for some reason, nobody talks about them, but everybody talks about Sksela? What a hell? You either speak about all of them on equal terms, or don’t speak at all!
    Of course I am partial, because I am a member of Sksela. Still, I have no information about any Sksela people traveling abroad for any seminars or anything.
    I have been in UK and Turkey a couple of times over the past year – but that has been related to my work, and in no ways related to any youth movements, etc. I am guessing, that if any other sksela people have travelled abroad, that has also been related to their other activities.

  10. Well, I think Tigran’s criticism of the Hima (Sksela) movement is a separate thing compared to actually covering them. They have materialized and I’d like to know more. Indeed, they’re probably an important component of what radical opposition/radical civil society is up to.
    Re. “clowns,” however, I do tend to agree with this, but in a different way. That is, why Sksela/Hima’s approach is refreshing, new and so on, it does not really strike me as anything politically mature. Some of their ideas brought in from abroad might work there, but Armenia is different, I think.
    Still, the whole “Hima” slogan — especially on the “political prisoner” posters is quite effective, I think. Regardless, I tend to suspect that 99.9 percent of Armenians (including youth) won’t understand it. Certainly, the numbers are small and as I’ve said before, insignificant.
    That and the fact that a pro-democracy youth movement at times such as this would be critical of both sides and not supportive of one. Anyway.

  11. I think this is part fo the problem, Onnik. A product cannot have a mixed message in terms of marketing. These movements are either pro-democracy or they are pro-LTP. The oft-repeated rhetoric that this is not about LTP gets lost in the wind and end of confusing people more than resonating with them.
    Throughout the last 6 months, LTP has not positioned himself as a pro-democracy force. Thus, groups claiming to be pro-democracy but partial in their support of LTP fail to gain traction among a majority of the people who are instinctively against false advsertising.

  12. Artur jan I didn’t want to offend you,but it seems that now you are member of Prcela,not Sksela. Speaking about Sksela you Know well that many young people left Sksela as they understood final goal of Sksela leaders(I.S and A.Kh.).
    Yes,you are quite right speaking about pro-governemental NGOs, and events organized by them,I dislike them also,since youth movement should be independent.
    Hima,Sksela,Otpor,Kmara all of them,in my humble opinion has the same idea to grow up potential antigovernmental leaders.
    About “gransuckers” sorry for rough word,I literally translated it from Rusiian. May be you didn’t notice how much money was contributed from different tranparecies and etc. beacause you were not so close engaged in ruling of Sksela. And people visiting seminars abroad og course were not paid directly from Sksela.
    Anyway,if I said offensive things excude me,but you know Elephants they are so hastakashi:)

  13. I don’t know about going abroad, but the sub-grants from the British Embassy and indirect OSI funding through Center for Regional Development / Transparency International Armenia was there. The latter paid for the head of the Albanian Mjaft! youth organization to visit Armenia to work with Sksela jst before the 2007 parliamentary election. The National Democratic Institute (NDI) might also be in the mix as the head was also seen with the Maft guy as well as the political officer from the British Embassy and Sksela founders. Georgian youth activists were also present at one Sksela activity.
    Nothing wrong with any of that if the movement is genuinely pro-democracy. Pro-radical opposition is something different, in my opinion, and it’s interesting to think back on various rumors that NDI had been suggesting to traditional opposition parties to work with HHSh 1-2 years ago. This becomes another matter entirely if true, and that organization is so closed and lacking in transparency it is, somewhat ironically, rather undemocratic in itself.

  14. Yeah – I guess Sksela indeed Precela, I tend to agree with that one all right. And I definitely won’t join Hima – because it is much more politicized – then Sksela. Still – I like them, and if they do any actions related to Freedom of Speech, I will be happy to cover them and help with advice, etc. And by the way – if Baze or Nikol Aghbalyan or any other youth movement start doing stuff like Hima/Sksela – I will be happy to cover them and support them as well, because what matters to me – is the genuine desire in people to improve this country.

  15. They genuine desire to improve this country?
    people should work veru hard to make improvement,not staying on Northern Avenue and eat shaurma. County will be never improved by stupid jumping on the street or shouting “Hima”.
    Believe me most of HIMN-rakans have any desire or love to Armenia.
    Just grants and easy way to get visa.

  16. Believe me most of HIMN-rakans have any desire or love to Armenia.
    Just grants and easy way to get visa.

    Well, while I might not agree with their politics. I wouldn’t agree with that being the case among most of those activists I know. Sure, many of them have always been linked to Ter-Petrossian and HHSh even before he chose to come back, but I don’t doubt that they believe in what they say they do and I don’t doubt that they are doing what they are because they believe it is right and in the best interests of the country. I feel the same when it comes to some pro-government activists as well. I might not agree with their politics, but in some cases I also don’t doubt their sincerity either.

  17. Onnik they know very well for what they struggle.
    Yeh,of course,they do believe in what they are doing.
    My concern was about attitude of most of them toward Armenia and in this case situation is quite sad.
    Especially for HIMArner,most of them joined around principle of hate,careership,gruntsucking and getting US and UK visas.

  18. Come on, I just forgot to metnion in this video! lol I am sorry and I did added now after Onnik’s comment on my video but Observer, whre did u post for me coz I never got anything…just now I have got from Onnik…
    But this is such an incredible coincidence coz today in the morning I looked for an article abt prices and came across one on this website and posted it on my channel…
    I have more than 2000 ppl on my friends list on YT and I repost many materials…I can’t remember from which websites I take..u r not going to accuse me in plagiarism,are u? lol I am trying my best to pass on any relevant info for more ppl to know the truth and would appreciate any help…
    I hope I don;t forget to add this link in my next bulletin abt prices..I think it was about gas prices…

  19. One thing i cant really understand. Naming oppositional organizations grant suckers, careerists and so, leads to nowhere to me. What s the point of it? If that organizations as per AH “fail to gain traction among a majority of the people who are instinctively against false advertising”, or “clowns” per Tigran, then why bother yourself writing so emotional posts about them? Also, how they are going to realize their careerist dreams? Leaving for Republican Party?
    If they are doing proper things they will survive. This is market.
    Other question: is that true that anybody who gets paid from European or US organization is a traitor/grant sucker and doing it for easy visa? If so how this is worse of Russian support?

  20. check if you have something from YouTube user – Ditord in the internal mailing list thing that YouTube has 🙂

  21. No, I mdon;t have PM form Ditord, do u have it in “sent” section? So, I used extract from Ditord’s article on my channel? Do u want me to add ur username in my next bulletin? 😉 To include link I will have to again look for it and in most cases I am not able to find it lol

  22. Do u know anything abt Ver Kats? They manifesto seems to be great and there r ppl who ask for more would be great if ppl who want to help (neither pro=govt, nor levonakan) could unite….tired of fencesitting while others do OUR job!

  23. Tigran, I am sure there are good and bad people in both camps. Certainly, I believe there are people who genuinely believe in democracy and so on in Sksela/Hima. I may disagree with them on whether Ter-Petrossian is the answer, but I do at least consider them genuine. The same goes for many of the people who attended the Liberty Square rallies (and even government-party/candidate rallies too).
    Just as they say governments should be differentiated from their people when it comes to international concerns, I think the same is true when it comes to politics. It’s why, for example, in the UK I can have sit around a table with pro-government, pro-opposition and (usually a significantly much larger) people who support neither.
    True, there were those who were engulfed with the hate that reared its ugly head on both sides, and to be honest, I detest that attitude wherever it comes from. However, I am quite willing to consider people such as Uzogh (one position) and Unzipped (quite another) as worth listening to even if I don’t agree with either of them on some or many things.
    What’s important to me is that intent is genuine and the thought is in the right place. In both the examples I gave, I consider that to be the case. Would that there be a way to meet somewhere in the middle and agree on mutual issues of concern and concentrate on that. Don’t get me wrong. I detest the funding circles here — I consider them to work in the same way as the corruption and nepotism does in government (albeit on a smaller scale because the funds are less) and I have my concerns with how Sksela has been operating.
    On the other hand, if Hima is now openly pro-Ter-Petrossian and has taken those activists away from the initial group perhaps this can give Sksela the opportunity to be the less partisan, more pro-democracy/human-civil rights movement that it should have been in the first place? Of course, this is a Western perspective. The problem is that everything is usually polarized, politicized and personality driven.
    I hope that can change, however.

  24. Beauty Saves World – no, it’s fine, don’t add username, etc. Actually – I’m not that literate with YouTube – I use it just to upload videos to be used on my blog here – and never spend much time looking through it. I guess I have several hundred comments and notifictions which I’ve never ever read there. Anyways.
    You are right – Observer = Ditord user on YouTube 🙂

  25. also – about this Ver Kats thing. They have a blog – and it is here:
    i am personally familiar with at least one of the authors of the text. You can ask questions of your interest to their blog or here, I’ll be happy to answer – what do you want to know?

  26. Observer, and Iam quite illiterate with all this stuff, let alone with politics itself lol
    I added the link u gave me to my video but when I clicked on it …it came up with my own username and my e-mail, I even logged out and went back to my video and checked it again, the same result…doesn;t sound I do right, coz others r not supposed to be able to use my own comment box for posting…grrrr…
    About Ver Kats, I don’t know what I want to know lol I just like their manifesto and want to be part of smth positive
    I am a team player and for two years I managed to bring most of YT Armenians together , asked a guy to create a group for us where were discussing many issues and helping each other but they constantly need to be pushed 😉
    Anyway, elections made it clear that all of them were ultra Dashnaks from Diaspora and we have split up!
    with democrats, liberals it is even harder, they just cannot get organised lol
    what I want is to be able to bring likeminded ppl together but I need links to some organisations, civil groups for more mature work…YT is a great tool for educating everyone, us included;-))

  27. I hope the ladies become a prominent force in the Armenian politics now that quite a large chunk of the male organizers in the opposition have been jailed. So far they have been very active and hopefully they will be a powerful force as time goes by.
    maybe in 20 years we will have our first female president, who knows…

  28. Observer:
    Onnik Krikorian:
    Astvats dzaint lsi;-)

  29. Observer,
    Re ur comment on my video: my pleasure and I am a female! 😉

  30. Observer,
    I reposted some of comments on my channel and gave the name of the blog, I can’t post the link;-)

  31. I’m sure that’s more than enough. Thanks.

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