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Monday, March 12, 2018

Protests in Armenia demonstrate the weakness of the government

The whole precinct is unlikely to be the beginning of a revolution in Armenia, but it clearly demonstrated to all just how low the support level of the ruling elite in the nation. While President Sargsyan remained silent, people with stones in their hands to protect invaders from the police. No, they do not sympathize with the extremists, but the loss of confidence in the government is doing its job.

The situation with capture of a police station in Yerevan is far from the interchange, although the main part of the released hostages, with the output held by the invaders in the police station on Khorenatsi street. “Within the early morning of 17 July and to this day the anti-terrorist operation in connection with the armed attack and occupation of the territory of the regiment of the patrol service of the Armenian police there and holding hostages freed 5 people”, – reported on the website of the national security Service of Armenia on Wednesday.

“Power can be arbitrarily disgusting, incompetent and stupid, but to justify the fight against them politically motivated violence is impossible, because such violence is terrorism, whatever the hell it was covered”

We will remind that on Sunday 26 armed members of the “Sasna tsrer” (Violent of Sasun), among them veterans of the war in Karabakh, seized the building of the police station in the Erebuni district on the outskirts of Yerevan. The main requirement of the armed group to release the arrested leader of the opposition salvation Front of public in Armenia Zhirayr Sefilyan, who is accused of illegal acquisition and possession of weapons. The rebels have declared about the intention to change the situation in Armenia” by means of “armed rebellion”. Hostage they had eight people, among them the Deputy chief of the Armenian police major-General Vardan Yeghiazaryan. Later it turned out that one of the hostages, Colonel Arthur Vanoyan died.

The situation around the police station is reminiscent of a local war – building strapped military vehicles, water cannon, with occasional clashes of citizens with the police. But law enforcement officers do not see the need to storm the hijackers to surrender also is not going to. Assault and interfere with residents, who had actually fenced off the building site from law enforcement. In the confrontation between ordinary people and the police have already suffered six law enforcement officers. President Serzh Sargsyan refrains from comment on the matter.

Sympathetic to the invaders continue to arrive on Khorenatsi street blocked by police, according to Arminfo. People carry empty boxes – probably for the construction of the fence. They are trying to convey in the building food for the rebels and their hostages. What is behind the seizure of the police station, who are the rebels, what will be the consequences of the assault?

Unknown to the rebels

Radical organization “New Armenia”, which is led by Jirayr Sefilyan, was established in the year 2015. It consists of several small radical opposition parties. Members of this organization do not hide that want to overthrow the current government of Armenia. The organization opposes the current authorities of the country, and also against changes of the constitutional order of Armenia from presidential to parliamentary.


Detained one of prospective participants of capture of hostages in Yerevan. Here a group of radicals attacked a police station. They managed to capture several people. The attackers demanded the release of their leader, the policy of Iiraira Sefilyan, taken into custody for illegal acquisition Arianespace on the General hype around the whole precinct, support among the population this organization is negligible, although he Jirayr Sefilyan – the figure is quite noticeable. It is known Armenian military, Colonel, officer of the order of the Combat cross of I degree”. Sefilyan is originally from Lebanon. The first combat experience was during the civil war in Lebanon that lasted more than 15 years. He participated in the defense of the Armenian quarter of Beirut.

In 2006, Sefilian was arrested and sent to prison for one and a half years for illegal possession of weapons. In Lebanon, he joined the party “Dashnaktsutiun”. In the years of the Karabakh war he was in command of a special battalion “Susa”. His squad made a great contribution to the success of the operation to establish control over Shushi and operated throughout the war. Sefilyan is one of the leaders of radical opposition, he has repeatedly called for violent overthrow of the government. In April 2015, Zhirayr Sefilyan, along with four other leaders of the “Constituent Assembly” was arrested on suspicion of preparing mass riots.

Almost all the invaders of the police station – Karabakh war veterans. After the end of hostilities, many of them are unable to fit into the new conditions of capitalism in Armenia, many were simply without work. One of the leaders of the invaders is a holder of the order “Martial Cross” 2nd degree, a Karabakh war veteran, major (left) Pavel Manukyan.

Despite the fact that Manukyan is a well – known war hero in Armenia after the end of hostilities it was little heard. In recent times, he has spoken out strongly against the government, accusing it of corruption and insolvency. About other participants of capture is not much known, only that they were members of the radical organization “Constituent Assembly” or “New Armenia”. One of them, Areg Kyureghyan, posted a Facebook video from the event. Organization where are the invaders, recently established and little-known. Many Armenian media simply called the militants supporters Sefilyan.

“The government is responsible for what happened on Khorenatsi”

Candidate of historical Sciences, docent of Department of regional studies and foreign policy of the Russian state humanitarian University Sergey Markedonov writes in his Facebook that, speaking about the situation in Armenia, it is necessary first to define the concepts and to separate the essence of the political phenomena from a moral and emotional evaluations”. “Power can be arbitrarily disgusting, incompetent and stupid, but to justify the fight against them politically motivated violence is impossible, because such violence is terrorism, whatever the hell it was covered, – says the expert. – We as-that since 9/11 has learned that terrorism is just the symbol of all evil and bad, the use of the word turned into a vulgar meme, has undergone inflation. Meanwhile, it is the use of politically motivated violence to fight the power and for power. And those who use it, can be intellectuals and talented youth, beauties, and read thousands of books, and to have personal courage. But their methods are not methods will be the name of Mahatma Gandhi, alas,” he explains.

“In the Armenian context, today I would pay special attention to the fact that the destruction of the monopoly on violence of the state (even if it is mediocre and a failure, and the signs – darkness – the path to civil strife. And nothing else,” he said.

Also Markedonov writes that “the authorities responsible for what happened in 2015 on Baghramyan street protests against rising electricity prices – approx. OPINION), and today at Khorenatsi. But it shares this responsibility with the radicals, those who want to demolish everything to the ground for strange dreams. But the dialogue is a simple question many knocks. Here I am now, a friend says: “Serzh all hate.” Say what Sefilyan or “brave Sassoun” all Armenians without exception love it, can’t live without them? And my dream is to change them in the offices of the guys from the Republican party? And as Sefilyan, for example, plans to solve the problem of housing, tariffs, taxes, pensions, the country’s isolation, military-technical issues? There is no answer. Only one “off!”.

“Such events will become a regular”

Armenian journalist, political scientist Hayk Khalatyan stressed that there is still a strong dissatisfaction with the current authorities. That is why many people do not condemn the actions of the invaders, and some even support their claims. “The vast majority of society does not approve of radical methods of struggle. In particular, the murder of the police Colonel. But people believe that one of the main culprits of the situation are the authorities, from-for which opposition political forces are unable to exercise their rights within the legal framework and have to go to such measures,” he said. the newspaper VIEW.

He noted that among the aggressors, there are dear people in Armenia, Karabakh war veterans. Khalatyan stressed that the band doesn’t consider themselves terrorists, the lives of the hostages are in no danger. Thus, the threat to the hostages may occur in the event of an attempted assault, so the government does not want to go to radical steps and be the instigator of the bloodshed that the Armenian society will perceive negatively.

“You have to understand the Armenian specifics. It monoreligioznoe country. There are no terrorist threats, so for people such actions are unusual. Society does not want to die, both the one and the other. Many hope that the conflict will be solved peacefully. The situation is a stalemate. Both sides expect that someone will not stand. The logic of the authorities is clear: they can wait, because the hope of the participants capture the fact that their action will be the spark that will start a mass protest against the authorities, did not materialize. Although it should be noted that the authorities have started to act proactively. Many civil activists were detained without explanation and without charge”, – the journalist told.

On the other hand, the authorities do not intend to go to fulfill the requirements of the invaders and especially not going to send the President into retirement. “Power will go to the assault only in the most extreme case, and if it is sure that there will be bloodshed. And while the sides continue to harass each other, to stand to the end without any radical steps,” predicts Khalatyan.

But even if the government releases the hostages, it will not defuse the situation in the society: people will not see the solution of social problems. “People don’t see the willingness of the authorities to solve problems. The trend that we are seeing in Armenia, will be repeated. The population is disappointed with the authorities, his apathy to the political process, therefore, the radical part of society can often resort to violent actions. There is a trend. In November last year, was detained by an armed group that has not had time to take any action. It seems to me, if not fundamental reforms in the country, if the government does not derive any lessons, such actions will become regular,” warns Hayk Khalatyan.

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