this is imperialist doubletalk, which explains exactly how pashinyan fooled the armenians

Caught between Russia and Turkey, Armenians say West has abandoned them
Peter Oborne, Jan-Peter Westad, Middle East Eye, Nov 14 2020

YEREVAN – In Apr 2018, Nikol Pashinyan, a former journalist and political prisoner, led a series of daily protests that saw him peacefully take power from the Russian-backed government of Serzh Sargsyan, in what Pashinyan and his supporters styled as Armenia’s “Velvet Revolution.” At the time this was widely seen as a glorious moment in Armenia’s history, which would usher in a new democratic politics and strike a decisive blow against the corruption that flourished under the previous Republican Party. Pashinyan’s position as prime minister was consolidated by elections in December 2018 in which his parliamentary bloc secured more than 70% of the vote. Two years later and the handover of power looks very different to many Armenians. They are wondering whether they have paid a heavy price in the shape of the loss of Pres Putin’s support in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. When the latest fighting broke out on Sep 27, Turkey threw its weight behind Azerbaijan, providing weapons, strategic advice and fighters on the ground, including hundreds of Syrian rebels. In sharp contrast, Russia remained conspicuously even-handed, with Putin telling reporters he was in constant communication with both Pashinyan and Aliyev and that he would not take sides. When MEE spoke to MPs in the Armenian parliament in the capital Yerevan, Arman Abovya, the secretary of the opposition Prosperous Party, said:

The main actors in the region have to be Turkey or Russia. Global powers have to reckon with these actors.

The strong implication for Armenia is that it has no choice but to do the same. Since Pashinyan took office, however, relations between Armenia and Russia have become strained. In his bid to tackle corruption, Pashinyan has taken former strongmen to court, including Yuri Khachaturov, the current general secretary of the CSTO. The Russian media has criticised Pashinyan for his repeated visits to the West and highlighted some senior government officials’ links to the US. This may help to explain why Russia, which has traditionally been Armenia’s closest regional ally and main rival to Turkey, emerged late on in the conflict. The first major intervention came when Putin joined Azerbaijan’s Aliyev to announce a ceasefire deal, one which Armenians see as deeply humiliating due to the loss of swathes of previously Armenian-held territory in Nagorno-Karabakh. While Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, its population is mostly Armenian, and the region had been under the control of Yerevan-backed separatists since a war in the early 1990s. Much of that territory had already fallen to Azerbaijani forces prior to the ceasefire agreement. Aside from the violent opposition of Turkey-backed Azerbaijan and the passivity of Russia, observers have pointed to the fact that Israel has supplied drones to Azerbaijan. However, senior Armenian figures told MEE they could not criticise Israel, as Armenia had been offered the chance to buy the same military technology. One Armenian source was sceptical of what he described as Israel’s claims that Azerbaijan was an ally against Iran.

Meanwhile, Armenia’s lurch towards democracy and economic liberalism has done it few favours in the West. Europe and the US took no substantive measures to help embattled Armenia as it fought a war against a much more powerful enemy. This explains the mounting anger against the West we witnessed here in Yerevan. As two British reporters, we were not welcome among sections of the anti-government protest which gathered outside the national opera house in Yerevan on Wednesday morning. The main target of the demonstration was Pashinyan and the ceasefire agreement. There were loud repeated chants of “Traitor Nikol!” But he was not the only target. One protester shouted “Fuck Britain!” at us as we interviewed local people. Another repeatedly found us in the crowd to explain in no uncertain terms that “Britain has let Armenia down”. Our guide felt the need to tell numerous protesters that we were journalists reporting on events and not representatives of the British state. One teacher who approached us told us of her despair at the failure of the West to show support for Armenia. Wearing a Covid-19 mask in the crowded demonstration, she said she had attended many international conferences and seminars celebrating freedom and democracy. She told MEE:

We asked for help. We cried, but nobody answered. How can we now teach our children about tolerance and human rights? I taught these values for 25 years. These values are in our blood, but we are the ones punished. Those who failed to help us should be ashamed.

Anush Vasillii Atajanyan, a lawyer in Yerevan who is originally from Nagorno-Karabakh, summed up the dilemma faced by Armenia. she said:

When we have a relationship with Russia, the world punishes us. When we have a relationship with the West, Russia punishes us.

She told us her cousin was killed by a drone attack in the recent conflict. She said he had died assisting wounded soldiers. Many Armenians feel globally friendless. This emotion was expressed forcefully by Armine Aleksanyan, a spokesperson for the Republic of Artsakh, the separatist government in Nagorno-Karabkh recognised by Armenia. When we visited her in her Yerevan office, we asked for her message to the world. She replied:

Shame on everyone. Every country separately and the world as a whole. It sat in the front row, watching civilians being killed, and did nothing. International organisations like the United Nations and the European Union, which are there to be the watchdogs of human rights, did nothing to prevent the suffering of the civilian population. Civilians were actually targeted using arms, including Israeli- and Turkish-made drones and cluster munitions, which is prohibited by international humanitarian law. We are so disappointed. We didn’t start this war and now we face this tragedy. As a result of international inertia, Armenia’s enemies can now do anything they wish. There is no use in expecting anything from anyone.

According to HRW, there is evidence of both Azerbaijani and Armenian forces using cluster munitions against civilians. What does the future hold? Armenia will survive the current crisis. It has a powerful sense of national identity and roots that stretch back thousands of years. But few governments survive this scale of military defeat and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s position cannot be guaranteed. The bitter lesson learned in this most recent national tragedy is that Armenia is less likely to trust the West or risk upsetting President Putin.

Assassination of PM foiled as Armenia withdraws from Nagorno-Karabakh
Middle East Eye, Nov 15 2020

Armenia said it foiled an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and an attempt by former officials to take power after he agreed to a ceasefire with Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Pashinyan has come under pressure from thousands of protesters demanding his resignation following the ceasefire deal in Nagorno-Karabakh that led to Azerbaijan taking control of the area on Sunday and ended fighting that had taken place since late September. While Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, its population is mostly Armenian, and the region had been under the control of Yerevan-backed separatists since a war in the early 1990s. Much of that territory had already fallen to Azerbaijani forces prior to the ceasefire agreement. Azerbaijan announced on Sunday that Armenian withdrawal from Kalbajar district of Nagorno-Karabakh, , was however postponed to Nov 25. The Armenian National Security Service (NSS) meanwhile said its former head, Artur Vanetsyan, the former head of the Republican Party Parliamentary faction Vahram Baghdasaryan, and war volunteer Ashot Minasyan were under arrest. The NSS said in a statement:

The suspects were planning to illegally usurp power by murdering the prime minister, and there were already potential candidates being discussed to replace him.

Vanetsyan was arrested on Saturday after being summoned to the headquarters of the Armenian security forces, his lawyers Lusine Sahakyan and Ervand Varosyan said. Known for his links to Russia, Vanetsyan had been briefly detained along with other senior opposition figures during anti-government protests which saw the prime minister called a “traitor.” Pashinyan said earlier this week he had no choice but to sign the agreement to prevent further territorial losses. He said he was taking personal responsibility for the setbacks, but rejected calls to step down. The ceasefire halted military action in and around Nagorno-Karabakh. Under the agreement, 2k Russian peacekeeping troops are being deployed to the region. Armenians living in one part of the disputed region said they burned their homes before handing over their village to Azeri forces. Last month, AI and HRW said they found evidence that Azerbaijan had used Israeli-made cluster bombs in Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey has also publicly backed Azerbaijan, with Ankara providing weapons to Baku and Erdogan putting his weight behind Aliyev. Since 1994, ethnic Armenians had held military control over all of Nagorno-Karabakh and substantial areas of Azeri territory surrounding it. They have now lost much of the enclave itself as well as the surrounding territory.

2 Comments

  1. traducteur
    Posted November 15, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    democracy and economic liberalism

    Inter alia, Armenian agriculture has been invaded and taken over by Monsanto. A standard feature of all these American-sponsored colour revolutions.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted November 15, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    That figures. I think Pashinyan is lurking in the US Embassy. No-one seems to know for sure.

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