There's something in the air…

As one year anniversary of March 1, 2008 deadly clashes between the opposition protesters and military police forces looms closer, there’s growing tension in the society. Police and opposition mutually warned each other today not to stir further tension. Major-General Alik Sargsian, chief of the national police, made clear that the police will not try to disperse thousands of people who are expected to rally on Sunday to mark the first anniversary of the 2008…

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Sumgait: videomaterials from Armenian National Archive Released

The Sumgait pogrom (also known as the Sumgait Massacre or February Events) was an Azeri-led pogrom that targeted the Armenian population of the seaside town of Sumgait in Soviet Azerbaijan during February 1988.  The massacre came in light of the Nagorno-Karabakh movement that was gaining traction in the neighboring Armenia SSR. The official death toll released by the Procurator General (tallies were compiled based on lists of named victims) was 32 people (26 Armenians and…

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US State Department Human Rights Report Criticizes Armenia

The U.S. State Department has released it annual survey of human rights conditions around the world. Examining human rights in more than 190 countries during 2008, the report criticizes its usual targets, including Russia, Iran, Uzbekistan, North Korea, and China, among many others. The report says “the most serious human rights abuses tended to occur in countries where unaccountable rulers wielded unchecked power or there was government failure or collapse.” The section on Armenia of…

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Dollar panic?

The website of Armenia’s Central bank has been posting some really interesting data recently. While the US dollar exchange rate has remained quite steady at about 305 drams per 1 US dollar, the striking differences in the volume of foreign currency trading on 24th, 25th and 26th of February cause real concern. On February 24, for example, the volume of US dollar trading is reported as $ 14,910,000 US. On 25 – there is a…

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HRW: Democracy on Rocky Ground

The 64-page report by the Human Rights Watch details the clashes between police and protesters in Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, on March 1, 2008, in the wake of the disputed February 2008 presidential polls. It also documents the ill-treatment of individuals detained in connection with the violence, and lack of comprehensive investigation and accountability for excessive use of force on March 1 and in its aftermath. The report is based on more than 80 interviews carried…

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21 Years Since The Start of Karabakh Movement

On February 20, 1988 a decision was adopted in the extraordinary  seesion of Nagorno-Karabakh region’s Council of People’s Deputies to present a petition to the government bodies of Azerbaijani and Armenian SSRs to hand over the NKAR to Armenia. The maps below via Pigh illustrate the situation on this date, which marked the start of the Karabakh Movement and today.  

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Georgian FM: I don't see why we should speak Russian in friendly Yerevan

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze met with President Serzh Sarkisian and his Armenian counterpart Eduard Nalbandian during a two-day official visit to Yerevan than began on Friday. RFE/RL reports that Vashadze and Nalbandian discussed “a number of issues preoccupying Georgia’s Armenian community.” That included the tense situation in Georgia’s Armenian-populated Javakheti region. “There is no problem of Javakheti, there is a socioeconomic problem in Javakheti, as well as other regions of Georgia,” Vashadze said at an…

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Police prevent opposition attempt to stage protest action

Armenian Police prevented the attempt of a group of 20-30 young opposition supporters to hold a protest-action in front of Armenia’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC) “to mark one year of the elections faked on February 19, 2008.” today. At 14:30 about 30 young oppositionists came up to CEC building, bearing posters and three-colored flags and chanting, “Serzhik, go away!” The demonstrators had hardly moved for 10 meters when the representatives of law enforcement bodies rushed…

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What is the EU's Eastern Partnership?

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is an EU project which represents a step change in the EU’s relations with its Eastern Partners as it aims at enhancing cooperation both on bilateral and multilateral level. The EU already has similar partnership initiatives – the Northern Dimension and the Union for the Mediterranean. The Eastern Partnership was presented by the foreign minister of Poland with assistance from Sweden at a the EU’s General Affairs and External Relations Council…

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Naked men in downtown Yerevan… to mark Valentine’s day

UNZIPPED: To mark Valentine’s day, Brabion Flora Service in Yerevan initiated an unprecedented PR action. They announced that all men who will be at their flora salon at 2 pm local time in swimwear or underwear only, will get a free bouquet. The organisers expected 1 or 2 men to turn up, but there were 10 or so there. More details at Unzipped’s blog. Photos – Photolur, via A1+

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