Why Azerbaijani Laundromat is Bad for Armenia and Georgia

Map of South Caucasus

Map of South Caucasus

Even though Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are vastly different states, they are always viewed together as one region — the South Caucasus. This means that all international human rights, anti-corruption and democratization reports will look at the indicators from these three countries and try to ‘bring them in line’ together. Continue reading


Young Diasporan investor prepared to “follow the law and take anyone to court”

Photo: Pedro Zarokian in his garden

Pedro Zarokian in his garden

I’ve read a very inspiring story today about a young Armenian, raised in the States from the age of 9, who has purchased 112 hectares of land in the village of Bagaran and is planning to battle his way through the hassle of living and working in Armenia. Continue reading

Speak of corruption… keep your money ready

I recently worked with “Banadzev” production company on a story related to corruption. I was presented there as a “young blogger” who “condemns” corruption – which I surely do.

Somehow it happened, that on the days when the program was broadcast I fell badly sick. Went to a hospital with diagnosis: “Hepatitis A”. An ugly illness, I tell you. Because this is an infection desease, it is covered by Armenia’s free health care system.

I went to the hospital and the nurses there said:  “Hey, your face looks familiar”. The other one recalled: “oh, you were on Public TV, speaking in that program about corruption.” “Yes”, I confessed, too sick to add anything more.

I was locked in the hospital for a couple of weeks and was cured more or less. The doctor came to me in the end. “Your illness is covered by the state,” she said. So you don’t have to pay for the cure, for the medication, “But you have to pay 20,000 AMD for the hospital staff.”

So I paid it. I didn’t get any receipt. So I understood – it was something you could describe with the word “corruption”. Still, I was too happy to be cured, to object.

In the end the doctor said: “I saw you on TV the other day speaking about corruption. Well done! You’re quite right! Corruption should be eliminated!” Continue reading