As protests continue in Egypt, there has been much speculation that similar developments could occur in the former Soviet Union.
STRATFOR, a reputable geopolitical analytical think-tank, says this is unlikely, as there are too many differences — both cultural and political — between Egypt and the former Soviet states. However, factors unrelated to the Egypt unrest have created risks for instability in several other former Soviet countries.
“Armenia is not typically prone to large-scale unrest and protests, though recently the country’s opposition, led by former Armenian President and current head of the Armenian National Congress party Levon Ter-Petrosian, has called for a large rally Feb. 18 in Yerevan’s Freedom Square, citing Egypt as an inspiration. According to STRATFOR sources, the opposition would be thrilled with a turnout of 10,000 and would consider it a success even if just a couple of thousand people turned out. That turnout level would be enough to encourage the opposition to continue, as previous protests in the past few months have only drawn crowds in the hundreds. But it is unclear if they will be able to demonstrate at Freedom Square at all, because soon after Ter-Petrosian’s party revealed its protest plans, Yerevan city officials said Freedom Square would be off-limits because it would be the scene of “sporting and cultural events” from Feb. 15 to March 15. While the protest will be a key event worth monitoring closely, the opposition remains a limited force in terms of challenging the ruling authorities, so Armenia is the least at risk of the potential problem states.”
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