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Who Comes Next? Armenia’s Next Leader

A large segment of Armenians is hesitant to call for Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation, citing uncertainty about the future as their main concern. Who will take over? Will it be the “old, corrupt regime”? Or the “oligarchs”? What if the situation gets worse?

To answer this question, let’s travel back in time to March of 2018. Here’s a snapshot of the situation in Armenia at the end of the March, when Nikol Pashinyan started walking from Gyumri to Yerevan.

  • GDP growth in 2017 was 7.5%.
  • Economic activity indicator for January-March 2018 was 10.6%.
  • Tigran Sargsyan was Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission.
  • Yuri Khachaturov was Secretary-General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
  • Armenia and all EU member states signed the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement in November 2017. This is noteworthy because Armenia joined the Eurasian Union Economic Union in January 2015, so we had managed to successfully established close ties to two major blocs.
  • The implementation of the nation-army concept was in full swing, led by Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan.
  • There was broad consensus in parliament that Serzh Sargsyan should take over as Prime Minister. Three of the four factions were in favor.

One would think that these were optimal conditions for the country to experience a period of stable growth and development. However, the exact opposite took place. People started chanting empty slogans, the most popular of which was “reject Serzh”. A rational person would ask why we should reject Sargsyan if all indicators show that the situation in the country is improving. However, people started mindlessly jumping on the bandwagon. Most importantly, they didn’t think to ask who would take over, considering the fact that the political consensus was in support of Sargsyan continuing as Prime Minister. At some point, Pashinyan mounted the wave of energy from the crowds on the street and blackmailed his way to the premiership.

Fast forward two and a half years and we are in a similar yet very different situation.

  • Negotiations on Artsakh, which Pashinyan reset after coming to power, hit a dead-end.
  • Turkey and Azerbaijan launched a full-scale attack on Armenia. Georgia took the side of the enemy, allowing Turkey to transport personnel and equipment to Azerbaijan, but not allowing passage of Russian planes through its airspace.
  • During the war that ensued, at least four thousand Armenian heroes were martyred. An estimated ten thousand more were injured.
  • As a result of the fighting, we lost the entire southern part of Artsakh, including Varanda, Jrakan, and Kovsakan, Talish and Mataghis in the north, Hadrut, and the heart of Artsakh, Shushi.
  • Pashinyan signed a document of total capitulation, giving up Aghdam, Karvachar, Berdzor, and a number of other regions without a single shot being fired in most of this territory. According to the agreement, Azerbaijan will also build a road through Meghri to Nakhichevan.
  • In total, we lost over 820,000 hectares, which is nearly 72 percent of Artsakh and 20 percent of our homeland. For comparison, we lost less than 800 hectares in the April War.
  • These were unilateral concessions, meaning In return for territories, we got nothing. No status for Artsakh.
  • Tens of thousands of people have been displaced from Artsakh.
  • Due to failure in properly handling the COVID outbreak, nearly 2 thousand people have died in Armenia. For comparison, only 900 deaths have been registered in Georgia, which has a 25 percent larger population.

Following this once-in-a-century calamity, the country is faced with a number of crises, including humanitarian, economic, political, and psychological. Seventeen political parties from across the political spectrum have come together to call for Pashinyan’s resignation and the formation of an interim government, with a plan in place for holding snap elections in the future. For comparison, only a single party was asking for Sargsyan’s resignation in April 2018.

Today’s coalition consists of parties and politicians (e.g. HHK, ARF, BHK, Heritage, Hrant Bagratyan, Zaruhi Postanjyan) that would not, under normal circumstances, agree on any political agenda. This is an indication of the severity of the crisis and the strength of the political consensus to bring about a change of government. It will also be the key to national unity after the transition.

As is the case with much of political science, comparative analysis is critical. In one case, we had stability and growth with political consensus in support of the government, yet many people were willing to participate in strikes, mass demonstrations, and the blocking of roads. Social media was filled with support for the protesters and condemnation for the government, people even added frames to their profile pictures. Today, we have immeasurable loss, chaos, and collapse with political consensus against the government. Yet many people are hesitant to speak up because they are not sure which way the wind will blow or they are afraid of what might come next. Well, my friends, we are in a free fall right now and we need something to break our descent.

One thing that Pashinyan and his propaganda machine did successfully over the years was creating a perception that there is an old guard that should be avoided at all cost. This simple tactic has been the main “force field” shielding Pashinyan from losing power. It does not matter that this statement is purely a manipulation. Many members of the HHSh, Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s party from the 1990s, or their children are represented today in parliament and high levels of government. Hunan Poghosyan, a highly controversial deputy police chief just a few years ago, was appointed the governor of Syunik by Pashinyan. Felix Tsolakyan, head of the State Tax Service during the Kocharyan administration and governor of Shirak during the Sargsyan administration, was appointed Minister of Emergency Services. Former “oligarchs” were transformed overnight into “large property owners”. It’s truly ironic that one can consider Tsolakyan and Samvel Aleksanyan “new” and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation “old”.

It’s important to realize that there was no real separation of old and new. More importantly, such a divide should never exist, because in every time period, there are very capable and qualified individuals working in service of the state and for the good of the nation. Therefore, empty statements about a “return of the old guard” or the “old, corrupt regime” need to be discarded right away. The sooner we break out of this artificial discourse, the sooner we can tap into and utilize all of our human resources, independent of age, political affiliation, or time period spent in office. To make this point even more clear, I believe there are a number of individuals in government or parliament today that are important assets and have a place in future administrations.

We must also reject the thought that a single person can fix all of our problems. This constant search for a savior not only removes responsibility from each Armenian, but it also sets unrealistic expectations that then inevitably lead to widespread discontent and disillusionment. The truth is we should look for political ideologies and policy platforms instead of simple characterizations. We should look for teams and institutions instead of individuals. We should seek out a leadership that is first and foremost honest about the difficult road that lies ahead, without resorting to populism. We should look for leaders who bring us back together and undo the polarization of the last two and a half years, instead of dividing us into black and white, old and new, good and evil.

Pashinyan took over at a time of prosperity and, through constant mismanagement, brought the country to the brink of collapse. The team that takes over after Pashinyan resigns will be in a very unenviable position, since the nation is simultaneously faced with a multitude of crises. It’s not every politician or political team that is willing to take on the burden of pulling us out of this situation, since it will be risking its reputation and expending political capital in doing so and is by no means guaranteed to have success. In other words, coming to power today can be considered a major liability rather than an asset.

In 2018, the floodgates were opened and the vast majority of Armenians, most of whom were not well informed about the intricacies of the arena they were entering, became politicized, unknowingly becoming a tool in the hands of powerful forces determined to undermine Armenian statehood. Recent developments in Armenia have reversed this effect and are the cause of increased disillusionment. The wiser ones among this cohort are realizing that perhaps they should stay out of Armenian politics, since this field is far more complex than they ever imagined. I believe this is the correct decision for most of the population and will help depolarize Armenian society. Seeing the failures of the current administration, some, on the other hand, have retreated to the tired, old mentality that all politicians and political parties are the same and that none of them can be trusted. This approach is not only incorrect but it is also dangerous. Political parties are the building blocks of the parliamentary system and, even though there are dozens of registered parties in Armenia, only a handful of them are viable alternatives to the ruling bloc.

It takes years to build the institutional capacity and organizational structures to be able to seamlessly take the reigns of a country, especially under the current circumstances. The idea that a new political party will suddenly emerge can only be described as reckless idealism. We must refrain from any steps that can further harm the already damaged trust in the political system. Like it or not, political processes are underway and many of us feel compelled to participate, if only to help close the floodgates that were opened in 2018.

The truth is we can’t know who is going to come to power after Pashinyan resigns. But I believe we are asking the wrong question. Instead of asking “who comes next?”, we should be thinking about which ideologies we subscribe to, which policies are important to us, what value system we want to move towards, where our interests lie geopolitically, and what our priorities should be as a nation to efficiently utilize all of our resources. We need to be realistic with our expectations of the future. No matter who takes over, there is a very long and bumpy road ahead. Pashinyan’s resignation is merely the first in a long line of steps aimed at course correction.


  1. Greg Bilazarian Greg Bilazarian Nov 23, 2020

    Alan jan – good to see you’re writing and great to reconnect after all these years.. I always respect your opinion. That being said, I disagree with it. For 1, you’ve cherry-picked statistics in Serzh favor at time of revolution. GDP grew even faster in 2019 than 2017. You also ignore all the civil society improvements under Nikol that had made Yerevan an incredible place to be up until Covid. Very few people wanted Serzh to stay and emmigration statistics were our slow killer. This a revisionist history article making it seem like everything done under Nikol was a problem. That’s disingenuous. If you wrote that he doesn’t know how to handle crisis and thus should leave, I would have much more room for agreeing. I also think it’s dangerous to pretend the last 2 years prior to Covid weren’t great bc the Armenian people feel they were – so why try and convince them otherwise when their lives markedly improved during that time? The young people (most important) who led that revolution need to believe their voice can be heard and not be told that what they saw with their own eyes wasn’t real.

    Ultimately, I think Nikol should go. But I still don’t understand why him going needs to be the next step? Why plummet us into chaos without first establishing the ideologies we want and then getting the government to form it. It’s baffling to me that all these calls to resign have not come with subsequent calls for leaders/ ideologies/ or any plan. This is a well-written version of the same old story – “Get Nikol out, we’ll figure it out from there”. I say, figure it out without throwing the country into even more turmoil and then get him out. We all (diaspora and country) need a few months of not waking up to uncertainty. Let’s help the refugees, work on the long-term plans, and then get the leader out. He’s not stopping you or me from doing any of the more urgent work we need to do.

    • Avery Avery Nov 24, 2020

      {“….you’ve cherry-picked statistics in Serzh favor at time of revolution.”}
      Please provide counter statistics: cite _specific_ policies that Nikol implemented after the so-called “revolution”* to prove that his policies were responsible for the fast growth of GDP in 2019, for example. NOTE: the GDP growth or contraction lags by an order of years after whatever policies a given administration implements in any given country.

      {“You also ignore all the civil society improvements under Nikol that had made Yerevan an incredible place to be up until Covid”}.
      Provide concrete examples, if you will: words like ‘civil society improvements’ or ‘incredibe place’ are meaningless.
      {“…. and emmigration statistics were our slow killer. “}
      Please provide emigration statistics for 2018 _and_ 2019 to prove your point (….that presumably under Nikol emigration was, what, reversed?)
      I live in US, so admittedly don’t have first hand information from Yerevan street. But have close relatives and friends in RoA with whom we keep in constant touch. Before the National Disaster of the war that Pashinoğlu engineered for Armenia and Artsakh to lose**, those relatives were already becoming disillusioned starting around 2019. And those same people were (unknowingly) enthusiastic supporters of the SorosaPlant Turk Nikol in 2018. Those same friends and relatives were protesting in the streets in support of the SorosaTurk.
      {“If you wrote that he doesn’t know how to handle crisis …”}
      Your are joking, right? You call the situation Armenia is in now just a ‘crisis’? Information is slowly leaking out of the gross incompetence and deliberate policies that has brought our homeland to the brink of extinction which the Pashinoğlu SorosaGang implemented since they took over the country. Some of what is coming out may or may not be true, but the following is public information. See if you can justify it:
      1. He sicced his SorosaMobs to harass and threaten judges whom he didn’t like. He told his mobs to surround courthouses, so judges could not go in or out. That criminal act alone is sufficient to get him impeached and convicted. Unfortunately RoA has no such mechanism. In what kind of ‘civil society’ the head of the executive branch instructs mobs to attack members of the judicial branch?
      Next, he attacked the Constitutional Court (RoA’s Supreme Court), because CC would not go along with his illegal persecution of several people, who, btw, happened to be leaders of the victorious war of the Liberation of Artsakh. He even tried to openly bribe the CC Judges to resign, so he could pack it with his sycophants. To their great honor, all 9 justices refused the vile bribe. So the Pashinoğlu gang in the Parliament voted to remove them. President Armen Sargsyan refused to sign it, but, apparently there is some provision in the Constitution to overcome that impediment. So he got his sycophants.
      2. His education minister – which means Pashinoğlu – specifically attempted to remove teaching of Armenian history from the education curriculum of Armenia.
      3. Under his tenure, Armenia purchased 4 Su-30 jets (from India?!) at a cost of ~$200 million. I didn’t know it at the time, but apparently Armenia could not buy missiles for those jets, because Russia specifically bans export of missiles for those export variant jets. This was apparently well known to many high ranking people in the Defense Department, and they vociferously objected, but were overulled by Pashinoğlu. Why? $200 million could purchase lots*** of Tor Missile systems: highly effective against drones, for example. I am no military expert, but even a layman can ask: what could RoA possibly do with four Su-30s? Provide juicy targets for Azerbaijan’s S-300 systems? Having an effective Airforce takes a huge junk of your military budget. Four Su-30s for a country like Armenia is nothing but a shiny decoration. You can buy a lot Igla-Ss and Tor anti-air systems to shoot down Azerbaijani Su-25s, Migs, drones, and…..Turkish F-16s operating from Azerbaijan attacking Armenian targets.
      4. What was Khanum Anna Hagopyan doing in Artsakh (before the war) touring the front line positions in a military camouflage? It was an insult to the real female warriors of Artsakh who fought in the 1988-1994 war and many gave their lives. What was she doing in frontline military staff rooms during the war?
      There is a lot more. But let’s start with the above.

      * The so-called ‘revolution’ was nothing of the kind. What ‘revolution’? People of Armenia protested, and the Government resigned. Elections were held, and voters overwhelmingly elected Pashinoğlu’s party. They didn’t know he was a Turk, but it was well organized, well financed SorosaCoup against the Armenian nation. It was a spectacular success – for Anti-Armenian, Anti-Christian, Anti-Russian Globalists.
      ** For example: it is publicly known that Armenia’s (trained) armed forces largely stayed out of the fight. (i.e. as opposed to Artsakh’s standing army). Instead, calls were going out for volunteers. Why? Armenia has anywhere from 40K to 50K standing army, well trained, yet they were going to send (disorganized) volunteers to face highly trained Turkish special forces? For what purpose? So they could get slaughtered – so that Pashinoğlu could later claim he had no choice but to capitulate?
      *** The market price of the Tor is ~$25 million. So Armenia could have bought at least 8. But Russia sells weapons to RoA at cost, so the number could have been considerably higher. The market price of the latest Igla-S launcher is $1-$2 million, including 10-20 missiles. Again, Russia sells weapons to Armenia at cost.

      • Gregory Bilazarian Gregory Bilazarian Nov 24, 2020

        Your response screams that you don’t want a response. You keep calling the PM 70% of Armenians elected a Turk and Pashinoglu and saying he was funded by Soros and admitting you haven’t been to Armenia during the time he took over to see the major improvements. Not worth the time.

        • Sona Sona Nov 24, 2020

          1. 70% of armenians didn’t elect Pashinyan, the participation in the elections was only 48%, so he has been elected by not even half of the population.
          2. Maybe the author haven’t been in Armenia during the past years, but for example, I was, and I didn’t see ANY improvement, not major, not even minor. Yes, they are very successful in creating illusion that they are doing something (like “improving” army by introducing strawberries in soldier’s ration). Please bring an example of at least one improvement (that was not just a result of the work done by previous government) if you disagree. GDP growth does not count, because many experts say that it was a not a result of reforms or changes in the existing policies, but rather activation in gaming & gambling sectors, import of huge amount of cars (because of a temporary decrease in taxes). See, for example, this
          3. You’re talking about “civil society improvements”. Is the division of “black and white” and the fear of criticizing government also an improvement of “civil society”? I haven’t seen anything like that before the so called “revolution”. Is harassment and threatening of the judges (that happened many times already, in different forms) also “a civil society improvement”? I guess, only the “civil rights” of the people tied with the government have been improved, but for ordinary people it became worse.

          • Gregory Bilazarian Gregory Bilazarian Nov 24, 2020

            Saying this at top and bottom – Tell us your plan and we’ll gladly help. Stop trying to say how bad he is, and instead tell us the replacement plan. I could come up with a plan at a whiteboard in an hour, why can’t all those calling for his removal?

            No idea how you didn’t see improvements, I absolutely can’t fathom that – even just walking around Yerevan and seeing the massive increase in business modernization, new quality restaurants, green spaces, and general positivity. Anyway, I’ll give you a few (and again, I don’t believe Pashinyan should stay I just don’t see the value in pretending Armenia wasn’t better off from 2018-pre-Covid 2020)

            – Home prices went up 10% and home sales went up 30% in 2019. That’s a direct result of confidence and access to credit. The belief that you can get a loan and will be honored. Multiple millennial friends of mine own a home for the first time. Last year we looked to buy an apartment in Yerevan and determined it was too expensive – a shocking realization showing economic and real estate growth. Check out this chart on lending rates
            – The December 2018 election was rated the free-est and fairest in Armenia’s history by all outside observers. I personally covered 2012 election and watched fraud and intimidation take place and know that’s a major accomplishment, especially in the neighborhood. You need to go east to South Korea to find a country with as democratic elections as Armenia
            – Minimum wage increased by 25%. You can say it’s small in number, but 25% is significant

            Also, you’re working off a false dichotomy. You personally didn’t see enough in 2 years (i.e. – miracle worker) to say Armenia has improved enough from Serzh, when people were pretty miserable.

            Finally, this article is by far the most important in determining my approach to the current situation. Come with a plan and take out Pashinyan, but don’t try and force him out and undo the work of the most important generation we’ve had in years. I feel like all my responses are – “Come with a plan, I’ll gladly help get him out”. And every time is a new response on how bad he is and how the country hasn’t improved. Tell us your plan – I could design a plan on a whiteboard in an hour. Why don’t you all do that and tell us it versus asking us to accept massive uncertainty just to get one man out


          • Gregory Bilazarian Gregory Bilazarian Nov 24, 2020

            Also, to your point 1 – I don’t care at all about people who couldn’t even bother to show up and vote in an election deemed easily accessible to voters. For all intents and purposes, it’s 70% supported him. Nowhere in the world do we care about the people who didn’t bother to vote when there were no restrictions.

            2 things I can’t stand:
            1. People who complain about leaders but didn’t vote in a free and fair election
            2. Calling for upheaval without any form of a plan for what happens next and telling us to trust you.

        • Avery Avery Nov 30, 2020

          {“Not worth the time.”}
          Not worth the time, because you are unable to answer.
          Not worth the time, because you are unbale to factually back your fake “facts” glorifying Turk Nikol’s so-called achievements. Not worth the time, because to honestly answer any of the 4 questions I posed will prove that Nikol & Co are agents of foreign interests. But you knew that already.

        • Avery Avery Nov 30, 2020

          {“Tell us your plan and we’ll gladly help. “}
          Who is “we”? You part of the Pashinoğlu gang?
          Youse are going to “help”? How are youse going to help by giving what remains of Artsakh to Turks? By inviting Turks to Yerevan? Keep your help to yourselves. Youse have “helped” enough already.
          {“Stop trying to say how bad he is, and instead tell us the replacement plan. I could come up with a plan at a whiteboard in an hour, why can’t all those calling for his removal?”}
          Yes, of course: you can come up with a plan in an hour. OK: tell the readers of TheArmenite your plan to save Armenia and Artsakh from the situation they are in.
          {“Stop trying to say how bad he is”}
          Nope: we shall continue to say what a treasonous, vile psychopath he is. And the efforts by the Pashinoğlu SorosaCadres to prolong the psychopath’s misrule by demanding to know what the replacement plan is, is too transparent: who do you guys think you are?
          At this juncture, with everything that is coming to light about the breadth and depth of the Pashinoğlu gang, those who continue supporting him are either delusional, disconnected from reality, or ……much worse.

      • Vahram Bagratounyan Vahram Bagratounyan Aug 19, 2021

        Dear Alen, I will gladly sign under each and every word in your article. Unfortunately, we still have a certain percentage of numbnuts, illiterate, ignorant fanatical supporters of kikol and his gang. These people never learn or make conclusions. Even a disaster of such a scale that came upon us couldn’t serve as a wake-up call for them. Kikol the terrible and his gang of useless and treacherous scum keep on destroying the army, splitting the society by spreading internal hostility. In the meantime, the issue of Artsakh is gone and never mentioned by the authorities of the RA. Long story short, he works by the plan charted by his Turkish, British, and American masters. I hope our people will come out of this comatose sleep very soon and will sweep all this foreign-funded sorosite garbage and put kikol and his gang to trial. Plus, if a guy has worked for CivilNet and still keeps yapping the same propaganda BS about “the revolution” he is not even worth talking to. We must be strong, and beware of those “defenders” of democracy among ourselves. I discovered The Armenite a couple of months ago and all I can say is that you guys are doing a very important job. All the best.

    • William Bairamian William Bairamian Nov 25, 2020

      Greg, you worked for CivilNet, which for TEN YEARS cherry-picked whatever made Serzh Sargsyan look bad. You were part and parcel of that and now you’re here accusing Alen of cherry-picking?

      And “plummet us into chaos”? You must be kidding. The country is spiraling out of control, POWs, villagers on the border, and refugees have been effectively abandoned by Nikol’s government and this is the best you’ve got about why he shouldn’t go after selling off 30% of Armenia secretly, in the middle of the night? I’d say incredible if I was actually surprised.

      • Gregory Bilazarian Gregory Bilazarian Nov 28, 2020

        This is the most civil comment I’ve ever read from you. It only had 1 personal attack in it and didn’t seem to be overly aggressive. Before responding to the rest of it, why are you pro Serzh? I’m just curious. Not an argumentative question, I just don’t find a lot of pro-Serzh ppl so would love to hear why that is.

        • Avery Avery Nov 30, 2020

          Interesting that you worked for CivilNet for 10 years. Explains a lot.
          {“…why are you pro Serzh? I’m just curious. Not an argumentative question, I just don’t find a lot of pro-Serzh ppl so would love to hear why that is.”}
          I can answer for myself as to “why?”
          But first read 2 articles by MHER ALMASIAN.


          btw: the Tech Industry was given priority by previous admins of R. Kocharyan and S. Sargsyan. The tax-free zones were created by S. Sargsyan admin. What specifically did your Messiah do, other than the vague bromides of “…civic society improvements…”
          As to why I support LTP, R. Kocharyan, S. Sargsyan: because during their administrations, for the first time in Armenian history, the Armenian nation recovered at least a portion of our historic lands under occupation by savage nomad Turk tribes. And kept it, until the sniveling so-called “dukhov” traitor gave it all away. They created a professional military, with all its warts and faults, which largely kept our lands ours. And which Turk Nikol dismantled in less than 2 years.
          I am well aware of all the shortcomings of all three admins. But even before the catastrophic loss of this war, Turk Nikol:
          0 Illegally sicced his SorosaGangs to terrorize judges, and surround courthouses. A clearly criminal and unconstitutional act.
          o Attempted to openly bribe the justices of the Constitutional Court into resigning so he could pack it with his sycophants. A clearly criminal and unconstitutional act.
          And on, and on, and on,…
          Now I ask you: why did you support the Turk Nikol before the war? Why do you still support the traitor after the war?

  2. Sona Sona Nov 24, 2020

    Thanks for the great article! It really hurts to see that even after all of these, there’s a need of explaining the evident things to armenian people. I think, the technology that was used to brainwash people during the past years needs to be carefully studied and reused, to teach people the right ideologies, oriented to strengthen the country, instead of fake liberal ones. Only then we Armenia could have a chance to survive.

  3. Sevan Sevan Nov 24, 2020

    All due respect to Baron Serzh who recenlty lost his wife but he is the main responsible for this problem. He should have said enough and left space to Karen Karapetyan who is a capable, charismatic and well educated figure. Yes things in Armenia were not so bad in 2017 but in a country with shinny Bentleys and Rolls Royces with no middle class, where only few thousands are comfortable and rest barely survive, sooner or later this was going to happen. Nikol is the consequence. Not the root of the problem. Nikol took all the benefits of the accumulated energy which was moving deep under the surface.

  4. Arevordi Arevordi Dec 8, 2020

    In my humble opinion, Putin should come next as Armenia’s leader… or, at the very least, someone with close ties to Russia’s political/economic elite. Allow me to explain why:

    Armenia was resurrected by the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Armenia was made into a modern republic by Stalin’s Soviet Union in the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Russian Federation is the ONLY political entity on earth stopping Turks/Azeris from erasing Armenia from the world map. Armenia is by-product of the Bear’s geostrategic wishes and desires. A wise nation would take all this into serious consideration. Armenia’s natural place is fully within Russia’s political, military, economic and cultural orbit. Armenia therefore needs to end its counterproductive “complimentary politics” nonsense. This is not the 1990s.

    Although there are some naturally occurring flaws in the relationship, Russia has actually been a very reliable partner for us.

    Russia is Armenia’s largest trade partner and investor. Armenians products are well known throughout the Russian Federation. Russians makeup the largest percentage of tourists in Armenia. The Russian-Armenian Diaspora is by-far the most affluent in the world. Large numbers of Armenians can be found in the highest levels of Russian society. Russia provides Armenia with low cost nuclear fuel, natural gas and oil. Russia provides Armenia will low cost modern weaponry and military raining. Russia protects Armenia’s western border with Turkey, giving Armenia the opportunity to concentrate its efforts on a more manageable Azerbaijan. That we were not able to properly deploy our military and protect Artsakh is nobody’s fault but ours. More specifically, the historic tragedy we have on our hands today is the fault of our NED (i.e. CIA) and Soros financed government in Yerevan. Nevertheless, Armenia can survive breaking away from the Armenian Diaspora, it will not survive breaking away from Russia.

    Our society needs to train itself to ignore all the anti-Russian rhetoric put out by our professional Russophobes via Western financed activists and organizations. A sampling of names: Richard Giragosian, Levon Barseghyan, Daniel Ionisyan, Styopa Safaryan, Stepan Grigoruan, Ara Papyan, Davit Sanasaryan, Levon Shirinyan, Tigran Khzmlyan, Paruyr Hayrikyan, Sasna Tsrer, Radio Liberty, Bac TV, Civilnet, Lragir, Policy Forum Armenia, etc. There is a not so little army of professional Russophobes embedded throughout Armenian society, and they are tasked with driving a wedge between Russia and Armenia. There is also a large army of anti-Russian cyber activists working inside Armenian social media. US and British establishments are leading these efforts. Israeli and Turkish military intelligence is also doing the same, albeit covertly. Because Armenians are a politically illiterate and emotionally handicapped people by nature, our professional Russophobes have been quite successful in misinforming and misleading Armenians. Consequently, for the past 2.5 years, not only was official Yerevan actively flirting with Russia’s enemies, it was also persecuting officials and companies in Armenia that have ties with Russia.

    As a result, although Armenia’s is desperately dependent on Russia for survival in a Turkic/Islamic region like the south Caucasus, large segments of Armenian society still look to the Anglo-American-Jewish world for salvation. As a result, a growing number of Armenians also prefer friendship with Turks/Azeris over Russians. It’s self-destructive behavior.

    We vividly saw this self-destructive behavior during this disastrous war. We know now that Nikol’s regime had been in touch with Turkish and Azeris intelligence shortly before the war. After Turks/Azeris began their attack, official Yerevan was eagerly looking for salvation from the West, not Moscow. For 30 years our people has been brainwashed to see Russians – who actually make our existence in a very dangerous region of the world possible – as our enemies. Similarly, for 30 years we have been brainwashed to see Westerners – who at best could careless about us – as our friends. Needless to say, Western financed NGOs and the North American-Armenian Diaspora have played a very toxic role in Armenia. Due to our people’s pride, arrogance, naivete, political illiteracy, materialism, tribalism, shortsightedness and love of all things Western – especially the toxic concepts of “democracy” and “globalization” – we have utterly ruined Armenia economically, financially, politically and culturally. And now, we have also lost a very significant portion of our historic lands.

    Our landlocked Armenia is too small, too poor, too weak, too landlocked and too remote. The south Caucasus is too backward, too Islamic, too Turkic and therefore too dangerous. At this point, the safest thing we can do as a people is to seek a closer union with the Russian Federation. That is our only chance for survival. As long as we keep our language, our church and our military, I don’t care what the said union looks like. Real Armenian patriots (i.e. those who actually think about the country’s long term health and well being) need to start thinking along these lines. The past 30 years have been very traumatic. I’m afraid we Armenians are not ready for full independence. Going forward, the safest bet for us is to find common language with our Russian partners and stick as close to the Bear as possible. Otherwise, we will risk losing Armenia once again.

    I am saying all this as an erstwhile “nationalist” who used to think Russia/Russians were an enemy of Armenia. Simply put: I was wrong, Ivan was right…

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