The problem with Armenia is not its government, it's the people - Autumn, 2016

Ancient Armenian highlanders were propagators of high culture and the bringers of civilization to the four corners of the world. Ancient Armenia was known by neighboring peoples as a land of gods, nobles, warriors and priests. Ancient Armenians were a people fiercely committed to their land, tradition, honor and faith. Times changed. Historic circumstances of our common era and a bit of bad decision making by Armenia's west-leaning nobility during the Roman period would begin changing the character of Armenia's ancient inhabitants.

With Armenians, Persians and Greeks unable to cooperate and coexist, the Armenian Highlands were gradually conquered during the past one thousand years by various waves of Turkic and Islamic invaders. With Armenia's noble and warrior classes all but decimated during this period, it was essentially the land's subservient peasantry and shrewd tradesmen - those who had adapted to living under Turkic/Islamic occupation - that would continue producing off-springs. As such, Armenia would begin producing less-and-less alpha males and blue bloods and more-and-more peasants and "businessmen". I should mention here that the mountainous regions of Artsakh in Eastern Armenia and Taron in Western Armenia were exceptions to this for they were somehow able to maintain our people's ancient warrior spirit to some degree. Generally speaking, however, it was essentially the land's pathetic survivors - those fully resigned to living under Turkic/Islamic occupation - that were the ones producing new generations of Armenians and thus forming a new type of Armenian.

As such, for one thousand-plus years Armenians were gradually rebranded; I would even say rebred. What happened during this time period should be seen as the remaking of an entire people by natural selection or rather, societal engineering through historic circumstancesWe see the results of this historic process very vividly among male Armenian populations living in urban centers in Turkey and Iran. During the past one thousand-plus years the Armenian Highlands slowly stopped generating men of nobility and valor and began producing a population that was in character and demeanor more like gypsies. The genocide attempted against Armenians between late 19th century and early 20th century by Ottoman Turks made matters worst as it killed nearly two million people and subjected hundreds-of-thousands more to living as impoverished refugees in faraway lands. Consequently, the Armenian today, generally speaking, is a far cry from his ancient ancestors.

Bloodline (genetic makeup, racial makeup, genetic heritage, breeding, etc) is one of the least understood and least appreciated topics today. Disregard all the Anglo-American-Jewish world's globalist propaganda - namely that there is not such thing as race or that ones racial background is inconsequential - and recognize that racial bloodline (i.e. genetic makeup) does indeed determine a people's overall character and its capabilities. With that in mind, let's recognize that a vast majority of Armenians alive today - regardless of their wealth, education and/or social class - are off-springs of peasants and merchants. And it shows.

A subservient peasant or a shrewd merchant dwells inside most Armenians alive today. All it would take is a five minute conversation with an Armenian to realize this.

Many Armenians today also suffer from serious emotional/psychological issues that are most probably by-products of the nation's traumatic recent history, but that is another topic of discussion. For now, I want the reader to just think about bloodline. While the modern Armenian blood does retains within it the genetic code to its glorious past and can therefore still be revived through a well-devised social engineering effort, what we nevertheless see in many Armenians today are traits produced by one thousand-plus years of cultural and genetic degeneration. This aspect of modern Armenians is becoming a problem for Armenia. I want to reflect on in this blog commentary because it is becoming a problem for Armenia.

The problem with Armenia is not its government, it's the people

While addressing an Armenian audience some years ago President Vladimir Putin read an interesting quote from a letter said to be written by Czar Peter the Great nearly 300 years ago. The quote in question essentially reveals two things: 1) The resurrection of Armenia in the south Caucasus was an imperial Russian agenda (Armenian historians also recognize this historic fact); 2) Russian officials had already figured out Armenian traits hundreds of years ago. The great Russian emperor had known some 300 years ago that in order to get Armenians to do something, Armenians have to be pampered (i.e. made to have easy lives). Russians knew from early on that Armenians are a faithful, family-oriented, compassionate, intelligent, principled, resilient, creative, resourceful and an immensely talented people - but also a people that are easily manipulated, somewhat like children.

I happen to agree. In describing Armenians I would even use the following adjectives: If overly ambitious, arrogant, proud, temperamental, clannish, driven, competitive, individualistic, moody, intelligent, hormonal, gluttonous, energetic, controlling, maximalistic, emotional, stubborn, egotistical, shrewd, gossip-prone, vindictive, materialistic, selfish, impatient, ostentatious, restless and jealous Armenians are not constantly pampered - be it by Armenian officials or by foreign officials - Armenians can also be very problematic and even self-destructive - just like spoiled children.

This - spoiled child trait - found in Armenians is the reason why although President Serj Sargsyan's government has been a marked improvement over previous two Armenian administrations, it is by-far the most hated by Armenians around the world today. This spoiled child trait is the reason why although Russia continues to make Armenia's existence in a dangerous and unforgiving place like the south Caucasus possible, the moment Russians do something Armenians don't like, instead of trying to figure out a way of strengthening Russian-Armenian ties or trying to fix whatever flaws that may exist in the relationship, Armenians are ready to contemplate abandoning the protection provided by Russia and expose their vulnerable country (a country surrounded by Turkic/Islamic predators) to the dangerous elements of the south Caucasus. This spoiled child trait found among Armenians is also the reason why although Armenians in Armenia today live much better than Uzbeks for example, Armenians are far more prone to abandoning their homeland -
Of course the panic/hysteria being whipped up by Armenia's Western-funded activists and politicians is making matters a lot worst. That aside, from an Armenian's perspective today: If there are already developed nations around the world they can easily migrate to and enjoy their lives in comfort, why should they hassle with the long-term headache of nation-building? After all, as the much venerated gypsy-like Armenian slogan proudly proclaims - «որտեղ հաց այնտեղ կաց». From an Armenian's perspective today: Armenia is not a real nation (երկիրը երկիր չի) essentially because they are not able to live like Americans, Swedes, French or Germans.

We all know that Armenians look to Western peoples with great envy and admiration, but Armenians never stop for a moment to consider the long and treacherous road prosperous nations of the Western world today had to travel upon - for many centuries - to get to where they are. No, an Armenian will never do that. Why? Because for the Armenian what matters most in life is to live the good life - today, wherever that may be. If because of all the serious political and economic problems of the south Caucasus Armenians are not able to «թագավորի նման ապրել» Armenians will seek greener pastures elsewhere - like a strange group of very ambitious nomadic peoples. And in doing so, they will make up all kinds of excuses to explain the reason why they are abandoning their homeland. This psychological process essentially lies at the root of most complaints we hear about Armenia and its government today.

As I keep pointing out, Armenians generally speaking tend to be very driven, ambitious, competitive, industrious, individualistic, ostentatious and envious. I liken such Armenians to sharks in a body of water.

We are normally proud of our sharks' prowess when they do their thing in foreign territory. But when circumstances force our sharks to swim in a small, landlocked and under-stocked pond like Armenia, we suddenly realize that we have serious problems with them. Isn't this exactly what we have been experiencing for the past 25 years? Well, it should have been expected. It is in the nature of a shark to act like a shark regardless of where it is made to swim. Armenians in Armenia therefore have the need to understand that they live in a nation where the presence of many sharks is a natural thing. Armenians also need to understand that this situation will not change no matter what political system is in place in Armenia. Armenians should therefore stop complaining and instead try to figure out an effective way to deal with their sharks. I understand that a small, poorly stocked pond like Armenia will make such a process very difficult. I would like to therefore propose the idea that our voracious sharks will need a well-stocked ocean to operate in and feel good about themselves - and leave Armenia's lesser fish some breathing space. In the past, vast territories like the Ottoman Empire and the Soviet Union gave our sharks the opportunity to apply their skills far-and-wide. However, as we have seen during the past 25 years, Armenia today is not a place that can easily or safely accommodate all of our sharks. Our modern day sharks therefore need a vast expanse to do their thing. That expanse is in my opinion the Russian Federation and Moscow-led organizations such as the EEU.

Simply put:
Armenian traits, as they exist, are ideal for advancement in foreign lands (which is why we have so many successful Armenians around the world) but terrible for nation-building in the Armenian homeland (which is why Armenia today is in the shape that it is). As I said, Armenians have been bred by historic circumstances to be the way they are. This is why Armenians today are having a difficult time adjusting to living in a small, impoverished, resourceless, landlocked and blockaded nation located in a remote, volatile and politically unstable region of the world. In other words: Engaging in "business" and seeking the high life is a sacred pursuit for many in Armenian society today but Armenia itself, due to its many predicaments, both natural and man made, is simply unable to meet the expectations of its ambitious citizens. So, the Armenian will want out of Armenia. 

What I am essentially saying here is that Armenia is too small for the Armenian.

I want the reader to understand that Germany for instance is the way it is because of Germans; India is the way it is because of Indians; the Congo is the way it is because of the Congolese; and Italy is the way it is because of the Italian. I want the reader to therefore also understand that Armenia today is the way it is - with its good and bad aspects - because of the character of the Armenian that inhabits it. 

Just as a collection of cells make up an organ, a collection of people makeup a nation. Just as the type of cells within an organ determines the character of that organ, the type of individuals in a nation determines the character of that nation. Healthy cells therefore equals healthy organ and healthy citizens (healthy in all senses of the word) equals a healthy nation-state. When an organ contains within it many cells that are not performing their functions properly or are ill, the organ will not function properly, and it may even die. The exact same principal applies to nation-states. When large numbers of individuals in a nation are not performing their functions as citizens properly or are ill (either physically, spiritually, intellectually, psychologically or emotionally), that nation will not function properly, and it may even die. What I'm talking about here societal health. Unfortunately, we do not have a healthy society and this most definitely includes the worldwide Diaspora. This is essentially why Armenia today is ill and at times it does not seem to be functioning properly. 

Therefore, when it comes to problems pertaining to Armenia, Armenians need to come to the sobering realization that they themselves are a fundamental part of the problems they always complain about. And that of course includes myself for I see within myself many of the traits I always complain about. We need to understand that how we are as individuals and how we are as a collective of individuals reflects on the character of the nation we are a part of. For the nation to be healthy, we need to be healthy. But, for us to be healthy, we first need to admit to ourselves that we have problems. After all, the first step to curing an aliment is admitting to yourself that you have an aliment. We Armenians have the need to put aside our post-genocide feel good rhetoric about ourselves and finally recognize that we as a people have many serious ailments. Sadly, not enough people yet fully comprehend any of this wisdom.

For those interested in this type of discussion, the following blog commentaries from previous years addresses sociopolitical matters pertaining to Armenia -
Why Armenians want out (2013): http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.am/2013/04/the-need-for-cyber-activism-and-why.html
Armenia on the eve of its presidential elections (2013): http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2013/02/armenia-on-eve-of-its-presidential.html
The Whore of Babylon in Yerevan (2012): http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2012/06/whore-of-babylon-in-yerevan-june-2012.html
Collective destructionism of Armenians (2012): http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.am/2012/08/collective-destructionism-and-armenias.html
The revolution has begun? Armenians again reveling in self-destructive behavior (2012): http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-revolution-has-begun-armenians.html
Panel Discussions Calling for Chaos in Armenia (2012): http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.am/2012/01/washington-sponsored-panel-discussions.html
Czar Peter's words nevertheless reminds us, and as recent years have vividly shown us, for Armenians to stop acting hysterical, self-destructive and/or suicidal, Armenians (unlike regional Turkic peoples and Muslims for example) require a high standard of living and constant pampering. This is a very serious problem because we know that in this world, let alone in a very complex and volatile place like the south Caucasus, and not to mention with a people like us Armenians, a pampered lifestyle for all will not be an easy thing to achieve. In other words, an Armenian's expectations and what the south Caucasus is actually capable of providing will not always meet. What I am essentially saying here is that the world does not revolve around Armenia and the political world we live in is not subject to our personal whims.

So, while Armenians will continue acting hysterical about Armenia's growing natural pains, Turks and Muslims will continue quietly multiplying.

As we have seen recently, our people's traits will also cause problems between Armenia and its only ally. Russians realize Armenians require special treatment. They also know Armenia will not survive without Russia. Russian officials - from the time of the Czars to today - have done all they can to ensure the existence of an Armenia state in the south Caucasus. But Russia, the largest nation-state in the world and a massive nuclear superpower, also has geostrategic challenges that are on a global scale, solutions to some of which may not always be to the liking of Armenians. For example: Moscow wants to have leverage over a relatively large and wealthy bordering nation like Azerbaijan because not doing so may turn the the Turkic and Islamic country into a hotbed of Turkic and Islamic extremism. Moscow will therefore seek to engage in bilateral relations with oil-rich Azerbaijan, while it continues to guarantee an impoverished Armenia's territorial security. As we have seen recently, Armenians will translate this as high treason and some in our communities - those under a Western payroll to be exact - will use this as an excuse to seek closer relations with Western powers. Russians therefore have a problem on their hands.

How does as superpower like Russia pursue geostrategic agendas in the south Caucasus without having Armenians constantly throwing temper-tantrums and acting suicidal? This is not only a Russian problem but also an Armenian problem. And this is a problem whose solution is yet to be found.

When it comes to Armenia and Armenians I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I have seen it all. While I have great admiration for Armenian compassion, affection, family ethics, passion, intelligence, perseverance and talent, some years ago I nevertheless came to the sobering realization that the problem with Armenia was not its government per se but its people. The putsch that was attempted back in early 2008 in the name of a criminal and a traitor that had once already sacked Armenia and laid the foundations to many of its current problems was in a sense my rude awakening.

I was shocked at what I saw back in 2008. I found asking myself two questions: How could a people be so self-destructive? How could a people be so politically illiterate? Seeing tens-of-thousands of Armenians rising up against their state in the name of a person who had once before laid waste to Armenia made me come to the depressing conclusion that Armenia's greatest problem today is not its government but its politically illiterate, overly emotional and hopelessly restless people. It was as if a veil was lifted. Thereafter, our nation's history, with all its black pages, began making much better sense. I slowly began realizing that we Armenians are a problematic bunch, somewhat like a big, dysfunctional family.

My shock and disappointment did not end with the defeat of Levon Petrosyan's color revolution. I found myself back in dismay in 2012. Apparently, Armenians had not learned any lessons from 2008, nor from other people's mistakes around the world since then, and were this time trying to put into power a person in service of Uncle Sam. My shock and disappointment did not end with the defeat of "Raffilution". It's been very troubling for me to see that Armenian officials have been giving Western-funded subversive groups like "Founding Parliament" a free-hand in the country in recent years. It has been even more troubling to see Armenians once again resorting to treasonous behavior. I'd like to say here that it was essentially Vahan Martirosyan's Armenian ego that led him to do what he did. By betraying his nation, he was more-or-less settling scores with government officials. It was an act of revenge because his ego was hurt, he therefore had to hurt Armenia. To date, I have yet to see a Turk or an Azeri do what he has done. While his act was exceptionally outrageous, even for Armenian standards, what's more troubling for me however is that many Armenians today actually share a lot of Vahan Martirosyan's political ideology. In fact, there is no major difference between Vahan Martirosyan's political rhetoric and that of Armenia's so-called "political opposition".

Make no mistake about it. There is a sickness in our society, a sickness that does not allow us to fully submit to our leaders or look at our homeland objectively and rationally. There is also a very troubling growing trend of Russophobia in Armenia. Armenia therefore has many potential Vahan Martirosyans. 

I see many Armenians today pursuing the path of their ancestors who murdered their top military commander simply in order to live a comfortable life under Turkic/Islamic rule. I see many Armenians today pursuing the path of their ancestors who were manipulated by foreigners into murdering their ruler merely because they did not like his politics. Sadly, it sometimes feel as if we are the direct decedents of not only subservient peasants and shrewd merchants but also traitors. Not only do we have persistent attacks against our statehood from the outside, we also have equally persistent and no less aggressive attacks against our statehood from the inside. Treasonous filth like Zaruhi Postanjyan, Davit Sanasaryan, Paruyr Hayriakian, Ara Manoogian, Levon Petrosian, Richard Giragosian, Shant Vosgerichian, Raffi Hovannisian, Georgi Vanyan to name only a few are living testimony to this.

Armenians are failing to understand that just as Rome (or Western nations for that matter) was not built in a single day, Armenia is a work in progress. What was destroyed with the fall of the Soviet Union will require generations to rebuild, if at all. Armenians are failing to understand that Armenia needs sociopolitical evolution and not a Western sponsored "regime change". Revolutions, let alone Western instigated ones, have never brought anything positive to anywhere on earth. Armenians are failing to learn lessons from other people that have already destroyed their homelands pursuing democracy, justice and the American way. Armenians need to learn lessons from what happened to Greece, Cyprus, Serbia, Libya, Syria, Georgia, Iraq and Ukraine. Armenians are failing to understand that despite all its problems - both real and perceived - Armenia is in many ways a very typical developing nation. Actually, despite all of Armenia's internal and external problems (e.g. state of war with Azerbaijan, a double blockade, landlocked territory, terrible political neighborhood, politically illiterate population, incompetent leadership. etc) Armenia is doing better than most developing nations on earth today. Armenians are failing to understand that many of Armenia problems are actually natural growing pains that all nations, including Western nations, have gone through during their long periods of development. How egalitarian and democratic were Western governments during their long and tumultuous developing phases? Armenians are failing to understand that Armenia's "oligarchs" are actually angles compared other oligarchs around the world (including Western ones). Besides, who is to say that had Armenia been truly an "open society" the country would not be bought up by billionaires from the US, Europe, Israel or even Turkey? As detestable as some of them indeed are, Armenia's oligarchs have nevertheless been an effective barrier stopping Armenia's occupation by foreign oligarchs. Finally, Armenians are failing to understand that Russia remains Armenia's greatest ally and its only security guarantee. Russia is the fundamental reason why Armenia has been able to resist both Turkey and Azerbaijan for 25-plus years.

Against all odds, which as noted above includes a double blockade by predatory neighbors in a very nasty political neighborhood, an unruly/emotional population and a flawed leadership, Armenia has been slowly but surely progressing and developing in recent years. All this however seems to escape the typical Armenian today because, as noted above, if the typical Armenian in Armenia is not able to live the high life he or she will seek it elsewhere.

Speaking of the typical Armenian: For 25 years and counting, the typical Armenian in Armenia has been more interested about how his wealthy neighbors are living than with trying to build a life for himself. For 25 years and counting, the typical Armenian in Armenia has been more prone to sitting back and complaining about having no work and no money than actually making an effort to look for work, any kind of work, to make money. There is actually a problem in Armenia with finding laborers and service sector workers not because they don't exist but because many Armenians refuse to do "demeaning" work. Needless to say, such individuals don't have any problems with doing any kind of demeaning work when they migrate to foreign countries. For 25 years and counting, the typical Armenian in Armenia has been using abortion as a primary method of contraception and as a means of genociding females. For 25 years and counting, the typical Armenian in Armenia has been treating his homeland as a garbage dump and an ashtray because in the mind of the typical Armenian in Armenia today anything and everything that is found outside his immediate home is of absolutely no concern to him. For 25 years and counting, the typical Armenian in Armenia would much rather waste money on brand name clothing, German cars, American cigarettes, meat and alcohol than spend any amount of money on renovating his home and/or keeping his neighborhood clean. This is why Armenia's public areas - be it historic sites, religious sites, public rest areas or nature - are buried in garbage and why much of Armenia's cities and towns today look like junk yards. For 25 years and counting, the typical Armenian in Armenia has been more concerned about protecting his female relative's "honor" (i.e. virginity, Middle Eastern morality) than protecting his nation's borders from enemies.

For 25 years and counting, those who were always the first to break laws, give or take bribes, cheat, swindle people out of money, oppress people weaker than themselves, not pay taxes, avoid military service and spit on their motherland on a daily basis are among the first to accuse government officials of "corruption". 

I have said this on many previous occasions and I'll say it again: The corruption, incompetence and filth we see in the Armenian government today most accurately reflects the corruption, incompetence and filth we see throughout Armenian society worldwide. Also, individualism (i.e. the ego) reigns absolutely supreme throughout Armenian society. This particular trait of our people has proven exceptionally toxic for Armenia throughout history.

If Armenia is to have a bright future, Armenians have the need to learn to treat their buildings, their neighborhoods, their streets, their towns and their country as extensions of their homes. If Armenia is to have a bright future, Armenians will need to learn to respect the laws of their homeland regardless of whether others are doing so or not. If Armenia is to have a bright future, Armenians will need to learn to treat other Armenians as an extension of their families. If Armenia is to have a bright future, Armenians will need to learn to obsess a little less about how other people are living and begin concentrating on improving their lives within their homeland - within the conditions that circumstances of the past few decades have dealt them.

None of this is happening today because Western agents embedded throughout Armenian society have gotten Armenians to mindlessly chase outlandish fairytales known as "democracy" and "civil society" and act hysterical about Armenia's natural growing pains. The Western media blitz against Armenia has been particularly brutal in recent years. The intent behind this is to systematically breakdown the Armenian spirit. And they are registering some success. Armenian morale today is at an all time low. This assault on the nation's spirit is a serious, long-term threat to the republic. The strategic importance of high morale in a society is summarized quite well by the following quote -
"It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilization. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs" - Sir Kenneth Clark
We all should know by now that perception can be more powerful than reality. And the perception put forth by Armenia's Western activists today is that Armenia is hell on earth. By that distorted logic, if Armenia is hell, then anywhere else must be heaven. By exploiting Armenia's natural growing pains and propagating destructive criticism on a relentless basis, Armenia's "westernizers" and "democratizers" have managed to create widespread anger, hate, cynicism and disillusionment. Consequently, significant numbers of Armenians in Armenia today, perhaps a majority, want to abandon their homeland and/or seek "regime change" - regardless of its repercussions. The panic, hysteria, anger, hate, negativism and the hopelessness sown by Armenia's Western-financed activists has been so overwhelming and encompassing in recent years that according to a recent survey nearly 50% of the country's population today is either actively seeking to migrate or would do so if presented with the opportunity  -
Almost half of Armenia’s population would leave if could: http://www.tert.am/en/news/2016/09/01/Statistics/2120894
We did not need a survey to tell us what we already knew. Anyone who knows anything about Armenia knows that roughly half of its citizens want out. I would suggest many of these people want out for "lifestyle" reasons. Nevertheless, this raises a fundamental question: What civic responsibility can be expected of a nation's population when a whopping 50% of them do not want to be part of that nation?! Psychologically, how would a person who is actively seeking or simply dreaming of greener pastures elsewhere treat the nation he or she is currently living in? What good can be expected of 50% of a nation's population that has its eyes set on abandoning their homeland for one reason or another? If for any reason a person's eyes are set on another country, that person will not be a productive/constructive citizen of the country they are reluctantly living in. It can be concluded that many of Armenia's problems today are actually rooted in the alarming fact that many - if not most - of its citizens are not unconditionally committed to their homeland. 

Bringing up "corruption", "injustice" or lack of high paying jobs in this discussion to excuse or explain this kind of self-destructive behavior is not appropriate because corruption, injustice and lack of high paying jobs is a serious problem in most nations on earth today. Yet, it seems that the Armenian is the only one that is always ready to abandon his country.

People who are ready and willing to abandon the land of their birth are people that inevitably become a burden for their nation. Such people inevitably become an obstacle to nation-building. Such people cannot be expected to serve - or protect - their homeland in times of war. Such people cannot be expected to become constructive/positive elements in their society. Half of Armenia's nearly 3 million people can therefore be considered part of the problem Armenia has. This is how we Armenians are fundamentally different from our Turkic/Islamic neighbors. Although many aspects of Armenian folk culture (e.g. our treatment of women) is very Islamic, unlike our Islamic neighbors we Armenians are not emotionally and psychologically tied to our homeland. This alarming situation is in my opinion ultimately the by-product of Armenian traits and it is being compounded by the power of Western propaganda.

I know I won't make a lot of friends by saying this, but in my humble opinion there is a lot of excess weight in Armenia today.

I am not yet willing to say that 50% of the country's citizens (i.e. those apparently seeking to migrate) should be written off as lost, but a significant portion of Armenia's population today is actually a burden for the fledgling and embattled country. This is no doubt effecting the socioeconomic and sociopolitical life of the republic. Let's recall that during the Soviet period, when Armenia was one of the Soviet Union's technological hubs and virtually everyone in the republic was employed, the ethnic Armenian population of the country was a little over 3 million. So, think: How can Armenia today, having suffered a sudden and total collapse of the Soviet system - not to mention a very serious earthquake, a devastating war that is yet unsettled and a debilitating 25 year old double blockade - be expected to support a similar population? Armenia today has a population that is said to be little less than 3 million - but it no longer has any of the factories, workshops, research centers and institutions that employed hundreds-of-thousands of its citizens during the Soviet period, nor does it have an unhindered access to the outside world. In my opinion, Armenia's real capacity today (the population that the country as it exists can naturally support) is most probably around 1.5 million.

As I said, I know I won't make a lot of friends by saying this, but I personalty think the country would benefit by shedding another a few hundred thousand of its unemployed, uneducated, disgruntled and disengaged citizens. Had Armenians been a people who generally speaking accepted their lot without constant complaints or periodic hysterical outbursts, I would not dare suggest something like this. But, since Armenians are by nature protestants, Armenia may indeed benefit from shedding some of its excess weight. Simply put: If an Armenian citizen is idle and is being unproductive, they should leave, if only temporarily. They may do the country more good from outside. That said, what they should not do is remain in the country and become a tool for Western agitators and propagandists.

Speaking of our Western propagandists, they are trying to convince us that what is happening in Armenia recently is merely a struggle for "justice", "democracy" and the "rule of law". To which I say bullshit!

Incited by Western agents, Armenians have in general put more effort in attacking their "corrupt" leaders (an imperial Western agenda) than actually doing what they can to rebuild their dilapidated nation. Prodded on by Western agents, Armenians have put more effort in seeking "regime change" (an imperial Western agenda) than actually seeking genuine sociopolitical change. This brings up a related matter I want to address.

Notice that while anti-government forces in the country have periodically risen to topple their government - nobody has ever attempted to harm any of the country's supposedly hated "criminal oligarchs". Had large numbers of Armenia's citizens truly been concerned about their socioeconomic situation and had they truly believed that all of the country's ailments were due to the country's "oligarchs", they would have formed vigilante groups and gone after individual oligarchs, criminals, monopolists, mafia bosses, etc. It's been 25 years and yet not a single one of them have ever been harmed in any way by any of Armenia's anti-corruption crusaders or tough talking nationalists. But, as we have seen, Armenians have periodically taken up arms to topple their government and of course demand that Russians pull their troops out of Armenia. Let's therefore judge the tree by its fruit. By taking up arms against their state and demanding the expulsion of Russian troops from Armenia, Armenia's "westernizers", "democratizers" and "nationalists" are showing us that they actually care very little about Armenia's socioeconomic situation and are instead carrying-out a Western imperial agenda. There is yet another aspect to this matter.

The severe hate many Armenians today have towards their leaders and their wealthy countrymen is rooted more in jealousy than anything else. Armenians by nature are not submissive, especially towards other Armenians. Also, Armenians yearn for the good life. Armenians therefore will refuse to submit to their country's elite, but in the depths of their hearts Armenians actually envy and admire the lifestyles of their oligarchs, mafia bosses and gangsters. In fact, criminal culture affectionately referred to as «գողական» reigns supreme throughout Armenian society. The envy and admiration Armenians have towards mafia figures and gangsters can actually be seen in the kind of television programming many if not most Armenians in Armenia enjoy watching today. This infatuation the country's citizens have with criminal culture (as well as cultural backwardness) is the reason why many Armenians in Russia for example get along lot better with Azeris and other Turkic/Muslim peoples from Central Asia and the Caucasus than with ethnic Christian Russians.

Therefore, don't be fooled by their rhetoric. For the typical Armenian in Armenia today the problem with oligarchy in Armenia is that they are not part of it. It's that simple.

I would also like to add that Armenians are by nature a Middle Eastern/western Asian people, but for some strange reason Armenians (perhaps because of their Christian and ancient Aryan pedigree) tend to think of themselves as "Europeans". Ancient Armenians and Europeans may very well had many similarities but there is very little in common between modern Armenians and Europeans. Nevertheless, this identity disorder lies at the root of why Armenians today are constantly seeking European/western living standards yet they approach everything else in life as typical Middle Easterners. As typical Middle Easterners, Armenians have also mastered the art of blaming everything and everyone but themselves for all their problem and flaws. Consequently, all of Armenia's problems today are either blamed on "Serjik", "oligarchs" and of course Russia.

Armenia's worst enemy has always been the enemy within

Many Armenians have heard the name  Mkhitar Sparapet. Many Armenians have even seen the Soviet era film about him. But not many Armenians actually know how he died. Well, let me recount the story: Armenia's peasantry thanked the legendary military leader for his services not much unlike how Armenians have often thanked their leadership: They murdered him, they beheaded him and they delivered his head to the Turkish Pasha of Tabriz as a reconciliation gift. Why would Armenians treacherously murder one of their great military leaders, one who was trying to liberate his people from Islamic rule? Essentially because Mkhitar Sparapet's military campaigns against Turks and Persians were having an adverse impact on the lives of the region's Armenian peasantry. So, by getting rid of Mkhitar Sparapet, some Armenians thought they could continue living their peaceful lives as secondary citizens under Islamic rule. Having been presented with Mkhitar Sparapet's head by those who had murdered him, the Turkish Pasha of Tabriz is said to have been so disgusted by their dastardly act that he ordered their beheading.
 
As the reader can see, we Armenians have always been ready to place our individualism, our comfort, our egos above that of our nation's and we don't easily recognize the authority of other Armenians over us... which is why we are where we are today. Trust me folks, had President Serj Sargsyan's name been either Ivan, Joe, Francois or Mustafa, Armenians would not have had as many problems with him. Armenia's worst enemy has always been the Armenian. As a collective body, as a people, we do not comprehend the sanctity of statehood, we don't recognize the authority of other Armenians over us and we do not comprehend the crucial need to unconditionally rally around our state regardless of who is at the helm.
 
I always bring up the life and death of Mkhitar Sparapet as a quintessential Armenian story, a story we today have the need to learn from. Needless to say, he is not the only Armenian leader martyred by the hands of his compatriots. Unfortunately, there are many. Sadly, the life and death of Prince Thoros of Edessa also reads like another typical Armenian story.

Like President Serj Sargsyan of today, Prince Thoros was hated by the Armenians he ruled over in the embattled Christian city of Edessa essentially because he was perceived to be a bad leader. Armenians of Edessa hated him also because he was Greek Orthodox and thus politically allied to Byzantium; similar to how many Armenians today hate President Sargsyan because he was once a communist and because he allied to Russia. Unexpectedly, a few dozen crusading Franks led by a very ambitious knight known as Baldwin of Boulogne showed up in the sociopolitical mess Armenians had created for themselves in Edessa in the late 11th century. These handful of "westerners" were able to quickly overthrow Prince Thoros and subdue the entire city - with the help of the city's Armenian inhabitants. How did they manage it? Simple: The Frankish knights first tricked the aging Armenian prince into embracing them by promising his embattled city much needed military protection against Turks and other Muslims in the region. Once the knights were comfortably settled in the walled city they wasted no time in fomented a popular uprising against the prince who they knew was hated by his people. According to chroniclers from the time, the uprising that was instigated saw the Armenian prince get torn to pieces by an angry Armenian mob. After Armenians brutally murdered their prince, they accepted Baldwin of Boulogne as their ruler. All this was happening when Armenians were barely surviving as a people - and when Turks were just outside the gates of Edessa. After Edessa's successful "color revolution" in 1097 AD, Armenians were living happily as subjects of westerners - until westerners decided to abandon the city and Christian Edessa, a jewel of the ancient world, fell into Turkic/Islamic hands. After which, Armenians began living happily as subjects of Turks and Muslim.

Moral of the story: Armenians will always find reasons/excuses to hate their leaders; Armenians behave themselves best when ruled over by foreigners.
 
The reader may notice many uncomfortable parallels between then and now. Personally, I can't help but wonder what Armenians today are capable of doing to their much hated president if a crafty foreigner once again showed up inside Armenia and helped Armenians overthrow him. What would freaks from Western-led political opposition groups like the Heritage Party and Founding Parliament do to Armenia's leadership today had they been given impunity by their Western handlers? Wasn't Zaruhi Postanjyan's act back in 2013, the beheading (figurative under such circumstances) of her nation's leader in front of Western officials? Wasn't the intentions of the mysterious armed group that wanted to assassinate Armenian leaders, a direct assault against the Armenian statehood - at a time when the world around Armenia is on the verge of exploding and when Turks are waiting just outside the Armenian gate? Weren't the color revolutions attempted by Levon Petrosian in 2008 and the American agent Raffi Hovanissian in 2013, a Western-led assault against the Armenian state? Wasn't American agent Paruyr Hayrikian's attempted hijacking of the grassroots demonstration movement last summer, an assault against Armenia's sociopolitical evolution? Wasn't mentally unstable Jirayr Sefilian's attempt to bring color revolution into Artsakh, at a time when the embattled territory has been in a life-and-death struggle, an assault against Artsakh itself? Wasn't Founding Parliament's desire to start an armed uprising on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, an assault against the entire Armenian nation? Wasn't the same group's armed uprising during which several Armenian police officers died an assault against the Armenian state itself? Wasn't political opposition activist Vahan Martirosyan's circus act in Baku high treason against Armenia?
 
Sadly, we have many, many filthy traitors and destructive idiots in our midst. Thankfully, however, none of them have thus far proven capable of overthrowing today's Prince Thoros or beheading today's Mkhitar Sparapet. But, sadly, the potential for such atrocious behavior remains alive and well in the Armenian body. Not much has therefore changed in Armenian society.
 
Armenians bickering and fighting among themselves as the world around them burns is a theme that reoccurs throughout my blog commentaries. As I write this, Armenians in Armenia are busy trying to figure out ways to overthrow their government - as Armenia's neighbors are busy preparing for a major war. When the proverbial shit-hits-the-fan and the region where Armenia unfortunately finds itself in descends into war, Armenians will suddenly wake up from their stupidity and start praying for Russia to save Armenia. Trust me, even our disgusting Russophobes will be praying for Russia then. It may be in our DNA to be a problematic people. This is why Armenian leaders have always had to battle enemies from the outside as well as enemies from the inside -
Հայ-ռուսական համատեղ մարտավարական զորավարժությունը «Ալագյազ» զորավարժարանում: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1qU3_acLno&list=UU4lSkT4s1RJ8EK4nZ7pPgqA
Ոստիկանության զորավարժությունը Արզնի օդանավակայանի տարածքում (դիտել 4:45-ից): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHgK_kKhAxs
For much of the past two thousand years Armenia's most persistent and most dangerous enemy has been the Armenian. It is the Armenian that always places his personal ambitions and his massive ego above the interests of his homeland. For much of the past two thousand years, it was the Armenian that kept Armenia small, poor, weak, dependent and periodically on the verge of extinction. Throughout history our internal enemies have always been more destructive than our external enemies. Throughout history Armenians have sought to advance the interests of foreign powers inside their homeland. Throughout history the Armenian state has had to fight not only external enemies but also its internal enemies. Throughout history Armenians have always had their personal belongings packed and ready for flight. The following words were spoken by Cicero more than two thousands years ago -
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not traitor, he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared" - Cicero, 42 B.C.
Two thousand years on, it is no different today. Cicero's words are specially poignant for us Armenians. As a collective, as a people, we have very serious flaws. Anyone that does not see this is blind. The circumstances of our homeland's geographic location demands that we be the best of the best. We have however thus far proven to be an incompetent people when it comes to nation-building. Armenians love complaining, competing, conspiring, arguing, fighting, gossiping, throwing temper tantrums when things don't go their way and packing their bags and abandoning their homeland when things get tough. This kind of behavior - coupled with a strong streak for jealousy, tribalism and arrogance - makes Armenians susceptible for manipulation by foreign intelligence agencies. This is why we have "well meaning" Armenians today (such as our Western-led "democratizers") promoting agendas in Armenian society that are essentially Western and Turkish. What Armenia really needs today is a population and by extension a leadership that is willing to put aside its arrogance and personal desires and seriously begin thinking about the fledgling country's future. More than any type of government, what Armenians need to embrace is the following kind of political wisdom -
“For the power of the nation-state by no means consists only in its armed forces, but also in its economic and technological resources, in the dexterity, foresight and resolution with which its foreign policy is conducted; the efficiency of its social and political organizations. It consists most of all in the nation itself, the people; their skills, energy, ambition, discipline, initiative; their beliefs, myths and illusions. And it consists, further, in the way all these factors are related to one another. Moreover, national power has to be considered not only in itself, in its absolute extent, but relative to the state’s foreign or imperial obligations; it has to be considered relative to the power of other states” - Correlli Barnett
I reiterate: It's the arrogance, the egotism, the self-righteousness, the individualism, the emotions, the jealously, the tribalism, the materialism, the political ignorance and the love of all things Western getting in the way of nation-building today. For this situation to improve, for us to evolve, we will need several generations of peace and stability and perhaps a fresh dose of compatible DNA in our gene pool. I do not want to compare Armenians to other nationalities. As I have previously said, we Armenians are more capable than many other nationalities today. Yes, we have been blessed with many positive traits, but we have also been dammed with quite a few destructive ones as well. Unfortunately, the flaws we have are flaws that get in the way of Armenia's development. It's our flaws - as well as the terrible circumstances of the greater region where Armenia is located - the real reason why I place emphasis on deepening Russian-Armenian relations.

We today have the desperate need to get past the faulty Bolshevik/Democratic concept of the "ժողովուրդ" and instead embrace the concept of the "պետութիւն". Let's realize that the thing called ժողովուրդ is capable of existing anywhere on earth but our պետութիւն can only exist in one place, in our homeland. People come and go. The concept of the nation-state, with its geographic boundaries, language, national church, institutions and military is what needs to be preserved at all costs.

Armenians therefore have the need to understand what more successful nations around the world (including Turks, Americans, Persians and Russians) have understood for thousands of years; namely that the "people" need to serve the state and not the other way around. And when it comes to our statehood, we must never forget that for the foreseeable future Armenia's existence in the south Caucasus can only be possible within a Russian context. Therefore, despite the flaws in the relationship between Moscow and Yerevan, the Armenian emphasis must be placed on strengthening Armenia's ties with Russia. Armenia's natural place - it's only place - is within the Russian orbit.

Instead of complaining about the loss of "independence" (an absurd complaint given that developing nations within the Western orbit are less independent than Armenia), we should work on using our historic alliance with the Russian Federation to derive benefits for our homeland. With the gradual growth of Russian-led economic and military unions, Armenia has the opportunity to protect itself against regional predators and develop economically - similar to how it was during Soviet period. Growth of Russian-led unions promises to bring back some of the more positive aspects of the Soviet system, without the Soviet. Armenia would therefore fare a lot better if Armenians matured as a people, developed a deeper understanding of politics, curbed their empty pride and primitive forms of nationalism and recognized certain geopolitical realities. As it has been the case now for over 200 years, Armenia can benefit greatly from its historic ties to the Russian Bear - but Armenians need the foresight to do so.

Ultimately, the secret to Armenia's prosperity is a more responsible citizenry, a stable political climate in the country, close ties with the Russian Bear and peace in the south Caucasus. If Armenians refuse to understand this Armenia will continue to stagnate and grapple with existential threats indefinitely.

Let's also finally understand that the Russian factor in Armenia is the only reason why Western powers have a problem with the country. In other words, Uncle Sam's main problem with Armenia is not the lack of "Democracy" in the country but the presence of the Russian Bear in the country. Had Armenia's leadership been in bed with Uncle Sam, Armenia's "corrupt" and "dictatorial"  leadership would be infallible and we today would not have an army of Western-financed activists throughout Armenian society constantly airing the country's dirty laundry and calling for regime change. From Uncle Sam's perspective, because Armenia's leaders have at least had the strategic foresight to remain within Russia's political orbit, nothing Armenia's leaders do will ever be good enough. Consequently, for 25 years and counting, Armenia's prophets of doom - the country's Western-financed agents, activists, journalists, propaganda outlets and NGOs - have been doing all they can to sow hate, despair, hopelessness and cynicism. For 25 years and counting, Western-funded individuals and organizations throughout Armenian society have been systematically seeding the Armenian landscape with Russophobia, and more recently calling for an armed rebellion against the Armenia's leadership. All this essentially because Armenia is allied to Russia and Armenian governments are seen as being pro-Russian. Through it all, Armenian authorities, President Serj Sargsyan's government in particular, have turned a blind eye to all this. Why? Essentially because official Yerevan wants to keep Uncle Sam happy, and of course not lose access to Western loans and grants.

Consequently, in a small and impoverished country like Armenia, a country that also happens to survive in the south Caucasus because of its ties with Russia, there are literally thousands of propagandists, activists, politicians, organizations and mercenaries that are under a Western payroll and are tasked with fomenting sociopolitical unrest in the traditionally pro-Russian nation.

Therefore, when Yerevan shocked the world three years ago by announcing Armenia's willingness to join the Russian-led EEU, I said it's only a matter of time before Western powers begin calling on their assets in our society - as well as begin appealing to the emotions of our "nationalists" both in the homeland and in the Diaspora - to rally opposition against Russia and drive a wedge between Yerevan and Moscow. When Moscow began serious efforts early this year to settle the Artsakh dispute for once and for all, I said it's only a matter of time before Western powers appeal to more radical nationalists in our midst in an effort to rally opposition to Russia and sabotage Moscow's regional agendas. I wish I could say I was wrong.

Armenia's "nationalists" are becoming the country's fifth column

Nationalism is without doubt a very important component within the ideological template of any nation-state. Without nationalism a nation runs the risk of falling victim to multiculturalism. Without nationalism a nation runs the risk of losing its identity, its culture and ultimately, its sovereignty. We are seeing this afflict the Western world. Nationalism however has a self-destructive element contained deep within it. History teaches us that while nationalism can help raise a nation on its feet, if left unchecked, nationalism can also lead a nation to its destruction. Nazi Germany is one such example. Nationalism is a potent weapon for self-preservation but if left unchecked it can cause severe harm to the user. Nationalism therefore has to be carefully regulated by rationale and always accompanied by pragmatism. This is a serious predicament for a nation like Armenia. While Armenia needs nationalism to survive the region it is located in, it may also cause serious problems - especially since Armenians are not particularly known to self-regulate their emotions nor allow rationale or pragmatism guide their actions. Flirting with nationalism will therefore be a very risky business for Armenia.

Ever since Armenia first signaled its willingness to join the EEU, Armenian news media and Armenian cyberspace in general has been constantly flooded with comments like, "Russia is taking over Armenia". More recently, the comments have morphed into, "now that Putin has fully occupied Armenia he will give Artsakh back to the Azeris". Moreover, the very dangerous mentality that Armenians can solve all their problems in the south Caucasus and defeat any enemy simply by "uniting" is also gaining traction among Armenians today. Alarmingly, Western propagandists have also begun convincing increasing numbers of Armenians that Russia (the political entity that makes Armenia's existence in the south Caucasus possible) is one of Armenia's enemies. It was essentially this kind of delusional/toxic mentality - and of course covert support given by Western intelligence services - that led a group of armed extremists from an organization known as "Founding Parliament" to carryout a serious criminal act on July 17.

Some of my readers may recall that on July 12, I had written the following in the comments section of my blog -
"Back in the late 1990s, the US had come very close to brokering a peace deal between Yerevan and Baku. The deal in question would have most probably been a variation of the now infamous "Goble Plan". The parliamentary assassinations that took place on October 27, 1999 put a quick and bloody end to it. This time around, if the Russian plan is not fully supported by the West, Western powers will most probably try to sabotage the Russian brokered peace deal by appealing to the emotions and sentiment of our "nationalistic" idiots. We already see our "nationalists" acting hysterical."
What happened on July 17 was predictable not only because of the above noted geopolitical factors in Armenia but also because members of Founding Parliament had themselves been announcing their plans to carryout these kinds of criminal acts for several years now. Moreover, head of Founding Parliament Jirayr Sefilian had already been arrested previously for illegal weapons possession and conspiracy to assassinate state officials. Moreover, it was only last November that another group of armed people planning politically inspired violence in the country (with possible ties to people connected to Founding Parliament) were apprehended by Armenia's NSS before they could carryout their plans.

Official Yerevan must have therefore known that there were plans - most probably financed by foreign money - to topple the Armenian government. Why Armenian authorities did not take preventative measures against the group - or allowed the extremists to have unhindered access to social media during the two week standoff - remains a mystery for the most part. This however may be explained by suggesting that the incident was exploited by official Yerevan for political expediency, namely for Artsakh's benefit.

Nevertheless, what happened on July 17 was in my opinion the by-product of official Yerevan's mismanagement of the country and its counterproductive "complimentary politics". It was quite interesting that the armed attack on the police compound came merely two days after the US-backed military coup in Turkey. According to unconfirmed reports, one of the individuals involved with the extremists had made an undisclosed call to Turkey from his home in Armenia during the early stages of the assault on the police compound. As I said, this information is yet unconfirmed. Nevertheless, taking into consideration the peculiar timing of the assault and being that Jirair Sefilian and his followers are funded by foreign intelligence agencies (as well as Europe based "ASALA"), it's not a stretch of the imagination to conclude that the criminal act carried-out by the armed extremists was also blessed directly or indirectly by Western intelligence agencies.

Russia had been making historic inroads in Turkey as well as with the settlement process of the dispute over Artsakh. In my opinion, the Turkish coup was an effort by Western intelligence agencies to stop Erdoğan's government from reorienting Turkey towards Russia. The effort there seems to have backfired. And the act in Armenia was fomented by Western intelligence agencies to derail Russia's settlement efforts in Artsakh. It remains to be seen what repercussions if any it will have on the negotiations process.

What happened in Armenia recently was purely geopolitical in nature. Similar to how 17 years ago Russian intelligence services put an abrupt end to the US-led negotiations process, Western intelligence services today are trying to do the same to the Russian effort. Because of Yerevan's complimentary politics nonsense, Armenia has become a breeding ground of discontent and a battlefield between two competing superpowers. This is why Western style geopolitics, Russophobia to be exact, was the common thread seen throughout the recent mini revolution we experienced in Armenia -
Ռուսաստանը կարող է միջամտել, և կարող է կրկնվել ոչ միայն մարտի 1-ը, այլև հոկտեմբերի 27-ը: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHLjcreZypc
Սա ռուսական գաղութացման դեմ պայքար է. Խզմալյան: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEZlQmRoCys
Հախվերդյանի ելույթը Խորենացի փողոցում: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wspev6AHWL8
Needless to say, various Western propaganda outlets picked up on it as well -
Armenians challenge age-old links to Russia:  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37025532

Police-station occupiers also shined spotlight on Russian subjugation of Armenia: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/armine-sahakyan/police-station-occupiers_b_11490162.html
The men who attacked the police compound and killed police officers may be nationalists and some of them may be decorated war veterans, but they are also bunch of ignorant, arrogant, self-righteous, hateful, egotistical, hysterical, emotional, Russophobic and to a significant extent, psychotic people. A lot of them actually exhibit behavior commonly associated with cult members. And their support group in-and-out of the homeland includes individuals with dubious ties. Besides, who said war veterans or war heroes for that matter know what's best for a country? Such people belong on the front-lines, not in politics. Such people need to kill Azeris raiders, not their nation's police officers. Their noble rhetoric should therefore been seen as a smokescreen. Founding Parliament's task from day one has been to foment a Ukraine-style uprising in Armenia and drive a wedge between Moscow and Yerevan. Today, they are also being called upon to derail Russian-led negotiations over Artsakh. 

None of this has escaped Moscow's attention. Russian commentators at the time wasted no time in expressing their dismay -
Vestniki Kavkaz: Armenia flirting with terrorists: http://vestnikkavkaza.net/analysis/Why-Armenia-flirting-with-terrorists.html
Vestniki Kavkaz: Armenia shows more sympathy for gunmen than their hostages: http://vestnikkavkaza.net/analysis/Armenia-shows-more-sympathy-for-gunmen-than-their-hostages.html
Katehon: Who is behind the US Hybrid war in Armenia?: http://katehon.com/article/who-behind-us-hybrid-war-armenia
I would also like to point out that what happened on July 17 is also the culmination of many years of vilifying Armenia's law enforcement officials and President Sargsyan's "regime". For increasing numbers of Armenians today, Armenian officials are evil, treasonous, criminals, animals, Turks and of course, Russian agents. There is raw hatred in Armenian society towards Armenian officials. There is also absolutely no respect towards government institutions. This self-destructive and suicidal mindset in the people is essentially the reason why alarming numbers of Armenians today are justify criminal acts against the Armenian state and supporting dangerous foreign-funded subversive groups.

I am among the first to criticize President Sargsyan's government's mismanagement of the country. But I am also among those who sees his government as the lesser of all the political evils that currently exists in Armenia today. Despite my strong objections against official Yerevan's complimentary politics, I see President Sargsyan's administration taking Armenia generally in the right direction. I see Armenia is progressing, improving, developing, albeit it slowly. But because of the proliferation of Western propaganda (hysteria) and the self-destructive traits of our people, Armenians are failing to see this.

We as a people need to sober up and understand that the actions of our so-called nationalists and political opposition are being directed by various Western intelligence agencies. For their part - due to their greed, incompetence and political shortsightedness - Armenian officials have foolishly allowed Western agents and propagandists a freehand throughout the country. As a result, we are now sowing what was reaped during the past 25 years. Official Yerevan's corruption and incompetence on one side and the Armenian people's emotions, arrogance, hate, jealousy, impatience, love of gossip, political ignorance and Western financed treachery on the other side, Armenia is being once again destroyed from the inside. We now have a situation where Armenian nationalism is once again working against the interests of the Armenian state. The recent ordeal even unsettled Artsakh -
Founding Parliament's assault on the police compound can also be looked upon as an act of premature ejaculation done out of desperation. The armed extremists carried-out their act not knowing that the Armenian people would take to the streets in large numbers for their support but hoping that they would do so. They took up arms against their government and murdered innocent policemen in the process not because the Armenian government was pulling back from the "territories" in Artsakh but because of rumors and gossip that they were going to do so. The rumors in question have been put into circulation in Armenian society by Western agents and propagated and disseminated by Western financed propaganda outlets posing as news agencies, and because Armenians love gossip, such rumors have been accepted by the sheeple as truth.

Legendary Artsakh war hero and former military commander Vitaly Balasanyan and Ambassador Arman Navasardyan have confirmed that land concessions are not being discussed. During his televised speech, President Sargsyan emphatically stated that Artsakh will NEVER again become part of Azerbaijan. Moreover, nothing in recent meetings Moscow had with Yerevan and Baku even remotely suggests that Armenia is being pressured to concede lands. I have no doubt different scenarios are being discussed but I do not see Moscow putting pressure on Yerevan nor do I think President Serj Sargsyan's government will agree to any degree of land concessions without first formally securing Artsakh's independence or its unification with Armenia.

Looking forward, we can expect Western operatives embedded deeply throughout our society to continue appealing to the nationalistic sentiments of our people in order to sabotage Russia's growing political and economic clout in the south Caucasus. Similar to how it was during the Cold War, our nationalists will once again act as the Western world's fifth column and in doing so weaken the Armenian state.

Generally speaking, nationalists really don't to tend to be very intelligent in any society. Due to Armenian arrogance, political ignorance, emotions, impatience, etc., Armenians nationalists in particular can be specially stupid. This is why foreign efforts to manipulate our people's nationalistic sentiments have always yielded good results for them. The most patriotic websites, newspapers and organizations in Armenian society today is replete with mind-numbing stupidity and Russophobia. It's getting so bad now that I, a nationalist, am actually embarrassed to even be associated with Armenian nationalism.

Ideologically, I had seen myself as a nationalist for most of my life. But I have to be honest here and say that I no longer feel that way. In recent years I have come to realize that nationalism per se can pose a very serious danger to a developing nation like Armenia. Similar to how Western intelligence services exploited the ARF and used it against Soviet Armenia during the Cold War period, we are now seeing a renewed exploitation of our modern day nationalists by Western powers. Needles to say, the intention is to use Armenian nationalism as a tool to undermine or sabotage Russian agendas in the south Caucasus. We recently saw an example of how Western powers manipulate political issues in the way the "Radio Liberty" covered the unveiling of Garegin Njdeh's statue in Yerevan. Had such a statue (dedicated to the memory of a legendary individual that had collaborated with Nazi Germany) not had an anti-Russian context to it, Radio Liberty, as well as ever other Anglo-American-Jewish propaganda outlets around the world would have viciously attacked it. But since the Nazi context of the statue in question was directed against Russia, it was deemed acceptable by the Anglo-American-Jewish propaganda machine. We recently saw a similar thing happen in Ukraine -
Today, our so-called "nationalists" are at the forefront of an imperial Western assault against Armenia's strategic ties with Russia. Those who are trying to save Armenia are in fact toying with the country's life. And if you accuse them of doing the West's dirty work, they say they are not anti-Russian but pro-Armenian and that they are simply trying to keep Armenia "independent" from Russia. There is no use in explaining to these politically illiterate zombies that a tiny, impoverished, landlocked and blockaded nation surrounded by tens-of-millions of Turks and Muslims CANNOT be independent and Armenia DOES NOT have any rational alternatives to Russia. There is no use in explaining to our militant chobans that no Russia in Armenia equates to no Armenia in the south Caucasus. There is also no use in explaining to these people that Armenia's independence from Russia will automatically - by default - result in Armenia's dependence on Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran.

Armenia's "nationalists" are gradually becoming the country's fifth column and Western-funded subversive groups in the country are being called upon today to drive a wedge between Moscow and Yerevan.

I am at a point in my life now where I want absolutely NOTHING to do with traditional (i.e. raw/unrefined) forms of nationalism. Such forms of nationalism may have saved the day 25 years ago when the Soviet Union dissolved, Russia was on its knees and Azerbaijan had no real military to speak of. Today, such forms of nationalism has the potential to destroy the Armenia we have painstakingly built. Armenia therefore needs to cleanse itself of its Western financed, mentally ill, Diasporan and choban "nationalists". As I said, I no longer want to be associated with traditional forms of Armenian nationalism. No thank you. I also could care less about the gossip-laden "voice of the people". I see myself as a rational, pragmatic and farsighted person who loves Armenia and who strongly desires to see Armenia enter into a closer alliance with the Russian Federation. I put the long-term interests of the Armenian state well above the short-term whims of the Armenian people. For me Armenia is well above the Armenian. What's good for Armenia may not therefore always be what's good for the Armenian. In a sense, I see myself as a nationalist in the spirit of Vasak Syuni.

Armenia stuck between incompetent officials and Western-funded mercenaries

Despite what the armed extremists that assaulted the police compound were hopping for there was no popular uprising against the Armenian government. The few thousand we saw on the streets in Yerevan during the month of July were more-or-less the same group of people (homosexuals, hooligans, emotionally/psychologically unstable peasantry, simple minded folk, idiotic Diasporans and Western financed activists) that have periodically taken to the streets in Yerevan in recent years for one reason or another. One detestable character that has been playing a major role in recent street protests in Armenia is George Soros funded Davit Sanasaryan. The following is a picture of him on a recent trip to Ukraine to meet with none other than Mikhail Saakashvili -


In meeting with the Georgian fugitive I guess this Davit character was trying to learn from him lessons on how to turn Armenia against Russia, lose all of Artsakh in a disastrous war and then flee his homeland and get appoint governor of a town in some Western-occupied third world nation. Oh, I almost forgot: Davit may have also gotten some valuable lessons on how to rape political prisoners. It's the Davits of today that are trying to lead Armenia to a "better life". And because Armenians are an immature people with a lot of psychological baggage, these people have a following.

Some time ago Russia's ambassador to Armenia reminded Armenians that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

There is no doubt in my mind that in the depths of their hearts Western-funded activists like Davit genuinely want to help Armenia by facilitating a "regime change" and by expelling Russian troops out of the country. There is also no doubt in my mind that Western-funded assholes like this Davit character pose an existential threat to the Armenian state. Regardless of their intentions, these people are treasonous and dangerous. Sometimes I wonder: How many more nations will have to be destroyed and how many more millions of people will have to die or be displaced from their homes by Western-funded regime changes around the world before our self-destructive peasantry realizes that a regime change is not what Armenia needs and that Russian boots on the ground in Armenia is the country's only security guarantee?

We are seeing Armenia's self-destructive peasantry - and its nationalists - once again trying to burn down their village in an attempt to save it from imaginary monsters.

The four day war in April opened up a can of worms, so to speak. Armenia's less than impressive military performance on the battlefield to say the least shook the nation. Our military's lackluster performance should not have been a surprise. I have always warned that past performances do not guarantee future results. I have always said that Armenians are not a disciplined and warlike people. There may be a sprinkling of extremist nutjobs in Armenia but generally speaking Armenia is not a martial society and Armenians are by nature pacifistic. Nevertheless, Armenia's poor military performance coupled with Armenia's not so little army of Western agents always waiting on the sidelines to pounce on any opportunity to destabilize the embattled south Caucasus nation has led us to the current situation we are in.

Due to official Yerevan's desire to impress Western powers Founding Parliament type subversive groups were allowed not only to exist but to also freely propagate hatred towards the Armenian state. Such groups should not have been tolerated in the country. But because the country is not being properly run and because Armenian officials want to continue kissing Western asses for loans and grants, Western funded mercenaries are allowed to exist in the country. Now, Armenia has begun paying the price for official Yerevan's greed and stupidity. Sadly, I see Armenia hopelessly stuck between incompetent officials and emotionally distraught, easily manipulated and politically illiterate citizens -
Բախում Սարի թաղում: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TSVp9ppB28
Կրակոցներ ՊՊԾ գնդի տարածքից, լարված իրավիճակ Խորենացի փողոցում: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBf1-x4aTnQ
There are many more examples as the above. I cannot think of a nation on earth where the average citizens can argue with, insult and sometimes even assault police officers and do not in return get severely beaten, forcibly arrested or simply shot dead. No other government (especially Western governments) would tolerate this kind of behavior by its citizens. No other nation would tolerate this degree of meddling by foreign funded activists and propagandists. At the end of the day, we must come to the recognition that large numbers of Armenians are simply too emotional, too hormonal, too clannish, too arrogant, too self-righteous, too proud and too politically ignorant to act like responsible citizens. People like us Armenians can only be ruled by a powerful ruler with an iron hand. This is a reality Armenians need to comprehend. Sadly, not having powerful leaders is precisely the reason why we have not had a nation to be proud of for nearly two thousand years. President Serj Sargsyan is merely the latest in a very long line of weak and incompetent Armenian leaders.

Due to the horrors of the 20th century, modern Armenians have severe emotional problem even during the best of times. 25-plus years of severe socioeconomic and sociopolitical problems associated with the republic's post-Soviet growing pains coupled with the Western-led propaganda campaign to vilify the "pro-Russian regime" in Yerevan has caused serious and deep rooted problems within the people's psyche. Consequently, the Armenian street today hates their leadership and law enforcement bodies more than they hate Azeris or Turks. 

Looking at the recent street protests in Yerevan I saw people who cannot even locate Artsakh on the map shouting, "Aghdam is our homeland". I saw people who hate Armenians from Artsakh shouting, "Artsakh is ours". I saw disgusting individuals like Artur Sakunts (who not so long ago was trying to organize "Azeri film festivals" in the country) all of a sudden championing Artsakh's independence. I was seeing a strange union of Western agents, extremists, street hooligans, backward chobans and liberals. It was truly a strange brew.

Nevertheless, despite the “regime's” wrongdoings - both real and perceived - Armenians will ultimately refuse to repeat the mistake of Ukrainians, Libyans and Syrians and so many other peoples that were led to their demise by Western powers. There will therefore not be a general uprising against the Armenian state. I say this not because Armenians have political foresight or self-respect but because Armenian have a strong sense of survival and Armenians in general are not violent like Slavs or stupid like Arabs. Moreover, we must all sober up put aside our Քաջ Նազար mentalities and recognize that the Artsakh conflict has to end if the south Caucasus is to ever return to peace and placed back on the road to prosperity. The Russian brokered negotiations process therefore must continue. Mutual concessions - the return of some territories for Artsakh's recognition or its unification with Armenia - will eventually have to be made. 

I'd like to remind the reader that even almighty Israel was forced by its great American ally to return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in return for peace. Even almighty Israel was forced by its great American ally to return the Gaza Strip to Palestinians. Even almighty Israel is unable to outright annex Jewish inhabited regions of the West Bank because its great American ally does not want it to. Allow me to also remind the reader that Israel is also small and a lot of precious Jewish blood was also spilled to take those lands. Does being pressured by Americans to cede territory to its enemies mean the US is not Israel's closest and staunchest ally? Of course not. The same applies to Russian-Armenian relations. Moscow may pressure Yerevan into doing some things, but that does not mean Russia is not Armenia's strategic ally. Armenians therefore need to act less like a bunch of emotionally distraught mountain chobans and try to be more aware of the political world they live in.

Turkey coup may foster better Russo-Turkish relations

Merely two days before the assault on the Armenian police compound in Yerevan, Turkey was itself embroiled in what also seemed to be a Western sponsored armed rebellion. Thousands of soldiers led by rebellious military officers attempted to overthrow their country's strongman. The coup attempt ultimately proved a failure and Recep Erdoğan has been using it as an excuse to further clamp down on his opposition and further extend his power throughout the country.

Under Erdoğan's long rule Turkey had grown more wealthy, more powerful, more independent and more Islamic. Turkey's rise as an independent power in particular was a source of concern for Western powers. From a Western perspective, Turkey had all of a sudden become unpredictable and belligerent. The world saw the first indication of Ankara's independence and belligerence back in 2003 when Turkey, an influential NATO member, refused to allow US forces to use Turkish territory to invade Iraq. Problems also inevitably began rising between Ankara and Tel Aviv as Erdoğan's increasingly Islamic oriented government began getting more involved in Palestine's liberation struggle. Turkey's makeover under Erdoğan was obviously an alarming development for Western powers who had since the Second World War established very close ties with the country's military, political and economic elite. This concern may have been one of the reasons why Western and Israeli intelligence agencies began backing Kurdish autonomy in northern Iraq against Ankara's expressed wishes. As such, relations between Western powers and Turkey gradually grew frigid in recent years. Interestingly, as Ankara grew colder towards the West, its relations with Russia grew increasingly warm. Although Moscow and Ankara had strong disagreements over Syria and Nagorno Karabakh, Russian-Turkish relations were continuing to register unprecedented advances. Then, quite unexpectedly, Turkish forces ambushed and shot-down a Russian warplane over Syria last November. Turkey and Russia all of a sudden found themselves on the edge of war.

It is now becoming increasingly apparent that the downing of the Russian warplane by Turkish warplanes was planned by forces within Turkey that were opposed to Erdoğan's government. The working theory is that there were interests inside Turkey that wanted Erdoğan and Putin to go to war against each other. As we saw, Putin did taken the bait. Moscow took the heavy hit but it did not reply in kind. Instead, Moscow began implementing a series of punitive measures. Damaging sanctions against Turkey were introduced and Kurdish separatists inside Turkey were given more advanced arms and seemed to have been encouraged to intensify their military operations on Turkish territory. By early 2016, Turkey was hurting badly as south-eastern parts of the country had essentially become a war zone and several of its cities began getting hit by terror bombings. By the spring of 2016, Ankara was suffering serious military losses against Kurdish separatists inside Turkey and its political agenda inside Syria had been thoroughly defeated. Compounding these already very serious problems was the drastic drop in tourism in Turkey and billions of dollars in revenue losses. Ankara was growing increasingly desperate.

This was about the time when Ankara secretly began reaching out to Moscow. According to reports that have been put out recently, the rapprochement was started last May when Turkish officials used business channels to contact their Russian counterparts and Turkish law enforcement bodies arrested the militant who had murdered the Russian pilot. Then on June, Erdoğan sent a letter to his Russian counterpart in which he more-or-less apologized for the downing of the Russian warplane and asked to resume bilateral relations. In an interesting twist, the downing of the Russian warplanes last November began being blamed on forces opposed to Erdoğan's government. In an astounding revelation, it was also reported that Davotoglu's resignation may have also been connected to the incident. Some of us had speculated previously that the incident last November may have been orchestrated by forces interested in undermining Russian-Turkish relations. It now appears that this may have indeed been the case.

Sensing a historic chance to drive a wedge between Ankara and the West Russians wasted absolutely no time in jumping at the presented opportunity. Needless to say, Western powers will in-turn be pulling Turkey from the opposite direction. I wrote the following comment some time ago -
"The closer Turkey moves towards Russia, the harder will Anglo-American-Jewish interests pull Turkey from the opposite direction. Turkey will be torn apart in the process. But I have little hope that such a thing will happen. Erdoğan's government will not last forever and whoever comes after it will mostly likely go back to kissing Western asses."
It should not have surprised us that Turkey experienced a coup d'état on July 15. In the opinion of many, the attempted coup by military units in the Turkish armed forces was a desperate attempt at stopping Erdoğan's rapprochement with Russia. In the days leading to the military coup, we were seeing the following kinds of articles. Pay particular attention to the pre-coup July 15 article about Alexander Dugin's trip to Turkey -
Syrian rebels stunned as Turkey signals normalisation of Damascus relations: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/13/turkey-pm-greatest-goal-is-to-improve-relations-with-syria-and-iraq
NATO Gets Ill at Ease as Revival of Turkish Stream Looms on the Horizon: http://sputniknews.com/world/20160712/1042808696/nato-russia-turkey-energy.html
Ankara eyes Azerbaijan-Turkey-Russia cooperation format - foreign minister: http://tass.ru/en/world/888418
Ankara was clearly signalling a new political direction in the weeks leading up to the coup. The direction in question was unmistakably oriented towards Russia. Ankara was even signaling its willingness to negotiate with Bashar Assad, angering Turkish-backed rebel groups in Syria. This must have greatly agitated Uncle Sam, as well as Jews. Therefore, more pressure was to be put on Ankara. This may have been the reason behind series of ISIS attacks against civilian and military targets inside Turkey. This may have also been the reason behind the Bundestag's recognition of the Armenian Genocide and Davutoglu's sudden departure. Through it all, a chorus of complaints about Erdoğan's "dictatorial" government could be heard throughout the Western press. But Erdoğan remained unfazed and stubbornly pressed ahead with his plans. Which in my opinion made a Western-backed military coup inevitable. From the West's perspective: If the coup succeeded and Erdoğan was toppled, it would be wonderful. If the coup did not succeed, it would at least send Erdoğan a stark warning. Time will tell what lasting impact, if any, the failed coup will have on Erdoğan's government.

What we saw in Turkey recently was nevertheless an effort to stop Erdoğan's government from drifting the country too far away from Western interests. Predictably, Turkey is being torn apart to some degree in the process, and it can get even worst. Erdoğan was crazy enough to think that Turkey, being in the Western orbit, could operate independently and assertively; Erdoğan  was crazy enough to think he could antagonize Anglo-American-Jews and still try to fix relations with Russia. Serious cracks are now appearing between Ankara and Western powers. Naturally, Russia wants to fill the void. Moscow will try but it will not ultimately succeed in pulling Turkey out of the Western orbit, at least not in one piece. I say this because Turkey is too deeply involved with the Anglo-American-Jewish world to survive a total divorce. Therefore, if Erdoğan does not give into Western demands, he will risk having his country torn apart; which is why I want to see Erdoğan continue his agenda; which is why I want to see Moscow continue trying to pull Ankara out of the Western orbit.

Nevertheless a reminder for Armenians who get hopeful about Western powers abandoning Turkey: The nation of Turkey continues to be very valuable for Anglo-American-Jews because Turkey is a strategic buffer against Russians, Iranians and Arabs. The Western world's problem is not with Turkey but with Erdoğan's government. The Anglo-American-Jewish alliance simply does not like Erdoğan's increasingly independent and belligerent attitude. Western powers will do what they can to oust Erdoğan but they will NEVER abandon Turkey.

In a sense, military coup was a Western effort to maintain some degree of control over the country or at the very least weaken Erdoğan's government. It was essentially a show-of-force by the CIA. By having thousands of soldiers inside Turkey take up arms against their leader Uncle Sam sent a message to Erdoğan. The recent rash of terror bombings in Turkey had sent a similar message but that apparently was not enough to scare Erdoğan. Armenians however better not get too excited or too optimistic. Western powers will never abandon Turkey. Besides, the Western-backed military and business elite in Turkey, those trying to overthrow the current leadership in Ankara, is not a lesser enemy to Armenia.

That said, Turkey can indeed suffer a lot of damage in the current geopolitical climate. The on-going tug-of-war over Turkey between Western powers and Russia has the potential of tearing the country apart. Facing terror bombings and now a bloody military insurrection, Erdoğan mow has a choice to make: He can either continue trying to take Turkey further away from Western influence and risk having Turkey be pulled apart in the process or he can swallow his Anatolian pride and be pragmatic and accept his subservience to the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance. The next few months will reveal his choice. How he reacts to recent developments in Turkey will reveal what direction he wants Turkey to go. However, regardless of what Erdoğan does going forward, Turkey is now a broken nation. Serious fissures are appearing throughout Turkish society. There are now serious problems between the country's Kurds, secular/western leaning Turks, conservative/nationalistic Turks and Islamist Turks. The nation of Turkey is gravely ill and the rift between Erdoğan's government and the West is now very deep.

That said, Turkey has become an independent player in the region, a wildcard, especially now that Erdoğan's government has defeated the coup. Unlike Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's game nearly one hundred years ago, when he fooled the Bolsheviks into thinking he was contemplating an alliance with them, Ankara's current desire to break out of the Western orbit and enter into a closer friendship with Russia is very genuine. Those who planned the ambush of the Russian warplane last November wanted to embroil Erdoğan and Putin into a shooting war thereby derailing Russia's war effort in Syria and ruining Ankara's prospect of fostering better relations with Moscow. Putin did not take the bait. For his part, Erdoğan began efforts to fix the problem by reaching out to Russia using back channels. Disagreements between Moscow and Ankara over Syria's faith also seem to have been resolved. Turkey will therefore play a lesser political role in the conflict. All in all, Turkey may have finally begun its journey away from Western powers. But we can all be rest assured that it will be a perilous journey. As I said, the country runs the risk of begin torn apart because Western powers still control a lot of assets inside the country and also because the West will react by giving Kurds more power. Turkey therefore faces serious risks if it indeed breaks its ties with Western powers. It's beginning to seem as if Erdoğan's government is willing to take that chance.

In the big picture, this all is a good development for Armenia because Turkey's problems with Western powers can have one of two outcomes. 1) Turkey may become a weaker nation with serious internal and external problems. 2) Turkey and Russia will enter into a close alliance. Needless to say, a weaker Turkey is fully in Armenia's interests but such a situation runs the risk of creating major volatility on Armenia's western border. Good Russian-Turkish relations can also be in Armenia's interests, as it will pacify the situation in the south Caucasus, which will in turn boost the region's economy. Good relations between Moscow and Ankara should therefore not scare Armenians. Russia may lose Armenia in a major battle but it will never willingly give up or "sell" Armenia to Turks or anyone else for that matter. Regardless of its agenda vis–à–vis Turkey, Russia will always see Armenia as its single greatest ally in the south Caucasus. Moreover, regardless of its relations with Turkey, Moscow will continue basing troops on Armenia's borders with Turkey and it will continue recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Good Russian-Turkish relations simply means good regional economic cooperation and less military tension, both of which are fully in Armenia's long-term interests. More importantly, good Russian-Turkish relations means the expulsion of Western troublemakers from the region, which is in the benefit of all regional peoples.

War heroes are not infallible

We Armenians have had many war heroes that have fought in foreign armies (particularly Russian and Soviet) but we have had very few war heroes that have fought for an independent Armenia in modern times. Perhaps this unfortunate aspect of Armenian history is the reason why every single person who has fought in an Armenian war effort and has made a name for himself is unconditionally loved and venerated by Armenians around the world today. While understandable and commendable, our unconditional veneration of war heroes may however prove somewhat counterproductive and dangerous at times.
 
Foremost, we Armenians need to be mature enough to move away from the notion that just because someone courageously fought in the war of liberation in Artsakh some twenty years ago needs to be revered for the rest of his life regardless of their actions.
In other words: War heroes are not infallible. Moreover, what gives people the stupid idea that just because someone was courageous on the battlefield that someone would be a good political leader? What makes people think that just because someone was a war hero some twenty years ago cannot do things that are deemed treasonous today? In fact, what makes people think that a war hero has to be emotionally stable, psychologically normal or even smart? Simply put: Armenians need to stop bestowing supernatural powers to their war heroes. This applies even to the likes of our Monte Melkonians and Andranik Ozanians.
 
For all his legendary prowess on the battlefield, General Ozanian was also hopelessly idealistic, fiercely independent, emotional, stubborn, proud and quite ignorant of international relations and geopolitics. General Ozanian was more of a champion of the "oppressed" than an Armenian nationalist. General Ozanian even took up arms against the ARF-led government in Armenia in 1918 because of political quarrels - at a time when Armenia was barely alive and Turks were systematically killing-off Armenians throughout the region. It is well known that General Ozanian hated and distrusted his brethren in the ARF yet for some reason looked up to and trusted the Brits - which is a fundamental part of the reason why we lost our control over Artsakh at the time. Finally, when the politics of the time proved more than he was willing to bear, General Ozanian took off to retire in sunny California with his young bride... whereas others like Garegin Njdeh and Drastamat Kanayan remained to continue their fight for an independent Armenia. General Ozanian's greatness is strictly confined to the battlefield and then only as a rebel leader. Thus, when we honor a man like him we need to honor his military exploits against Turks and nothing else.
 
Chances are that had Monte Melkonian, the ASALA operative turned legendary freedom fighter in Artsakh, been alive today he would have been a militant opposition leader in Armenia. The man was very courageous and very disciplined but also very idealistic and an ardent Marxist/Socialist. Melkonian's character was perfect for the battlefield! How would he fare in political life? What was his intellectual depth? How stable was he emotionally? How farsighted was he? How broad was his understanding of the political world? How well did he understand Armenia's geopolitical predicaments? Would he seek to topple the Armenian government because of Western catchwords such as "oligarchy" and "corruption"? Would he seek to push his Marxist ideas onto Armenian society? Would he look at Armenia's perceived subordination to Russia as a problem that needed to be resisted? Due to his idealism and thus political rigidity, would he be manipulated by Armenia's enemies? Chances are Melkonian would not have fared well in Armenian society after the war. Similar to General Ozanian, Monte Melkonian's greatness is also strictly confined to the battlefield as a guerrilla leader. Thus, when we honor a man like him we need to honor his military exploits against Azeris and nothing else.

Legendary military leaders are born on the battlefield during war time. But such are rarely ever successful in peace time and/or in political life. As we have seen in Armenia very recently, revered war veterans can actually become a serious problem for the state. War veterans can actually pose a serious danger to the nation they ostensibly love.

What I have described above is not strictly an Armenian problem. War heroes falling from favor is in fact a norm around the world. For example: Consider how General Zhukov, the greatest Soviet general of the Second World War was treated by Stalin after the great war ended. Similar processes happen even in the Western world. General Douglas MacArthur had serious problems in American society after the Second World War. And General Patton, the "legendary" American war hero who valiantly fought the German Wehrmacht in western Europe, was most probably assassinated by his government because he was politically too vociferous and too extreme -
General George S. Patton was assassinated to silence his criticism of allied war leaders claims new book: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews
General Patton can be described as a fanatical nationalist. It is now known that after the defeat of Nazi Germany, he actually wanted to go to war against the Soviet Union. Therefore, I think Uncle Sam did the world a great favor by having him killed. There was yet another positive aspect to having General Patton eliminated. By killing him, Uncle Sam also gave future generations of Americans an unblemished, iconic war hero to idealize and try to replicate. Which brings up another international norm: Dead war heroes can serve their nations better than living ones.
 
Yes, we need to respect out war heroes but we should not be tolerating destructive behavior by them. Yes, we need to respect our war heroes but we must expect them to play a ceremonial role during times of peace. Yes, we need to respect our war heroes but we need to be weary of them when they attempt to get into politics. Yes, we need to respect our war heroes but when our war heroes attempt to turn their guns against their state, we simply need to put aside all the niceties and just rein them in.
 
All of this also applies to today's ASALA. Please note that ASALA today, or whatever remains of it, is a foreign-backed operation. One of its leaders who lives in France is a lunatic. I suspect he is also under a French payroll. He, like many ARF activists in the Diaspora today, is one who places the concept of "Western Armenia" above the current Armenian state. Monte Melkonian's ASALA associate Alex Yenikomshian, who is one of the leaders of the foreign-funded radical group known as "Founding Parliament", is also most probably working for some foreign intelligence agency.
 
Nevertheless, when Jirayr Sefilian and his comrades attempted to take up arms against the Armenian state several years ago to stop official Yerevan from doing things that only existed in their paranoid heads, it was a clear signal that our Artsakh war heroes were on a downward spiral. When Jirayr then became the leader of the foreign sponsored extremist organization known as "Founding Parliament" and began announcing plans to incite a revolution on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, he essentially forfeited his place in Armenian society and negated all the previous good he had done for his homeland. He was finally put away again after he and his group began planning unrest in Armenia due to rumors that Armenian leader were getting ready to make land concessions in Artsakh. Simply put: Jirayr Sefilian and friends are delusional extremists. I say delusional because I would hate to think of them as traitors. Nevertheless, Jirayr's time in Armenia has long expired. Armenian officials should hang a medal around his neck, thank him for his services in Artsakh twenty years ago and send him back home to Bourjhamoud. Frankly, I think someone like him would be much more useful for Armenian communities of Lebanon and Syria.

There may be a silver-lining

In closing, I want to say that there may indeed be a silver-lining to what recently happened in Armenia. In the words of the great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: That which does not kill us makes us stronger. The crisis that afflicted the republic recently has the potential to make the country stronger. Everyone - including Russians, Americans and Azeris - have now gotten a little taste of what can happen if official Yerevan is even perceived as being too giving in terms of land concessions in Artsakh. Founding Parliament crazies cannot be given any credit for this. Had their Western-led, anti-Russian agenda succeeded, Armenia would have descended into chaos. With that said, I'd like to propose the idea that official Yerevan allowed the situation to get to the point that it did in order to show the world that Armenia cannot risk ceding lands to Azerbaijan. The stranger aspects of the police compound's siege - such as the ability of the militants to get their message out to the public unhindered by law enforcement bodies or allowing the standoff to last for two full weeks - may therefore not have been due to incompetence of Armenian officials after all. There is a very good possibility that the extremist group was manipulated or goaded into doing what it did by Armenian (and perhaps Russian) security officials. At the very least, Armenian law-enforcement officials may have stood-down and allowed the militant group to carryout their plan. In hindsight, it is beginning to look as if the militants unwittingly became pawns in a much bigger chess game than they could have possibly imagined. That said, I firmly believe now that the crisis Armenia endured recently will at the very least give Armenian officials an upper hand during negotiations over Artsakh. I also believe that it may force Armenian officials to begin reconsidering their management - or rather mismanagement - of the country.

I am glad to report that the latest signs from Armenia are very encouraging. The country seems to be on course for some positives changes. The long awaited resignation of one of the country's top chobans in Armani suits and the long awaited reappearance of Karen Karapetyan - a career technocrat who also enjoys high level ties in Moscow - is a very welcome development. It is telling that anti-government interests both foreign and domestic have not wasted any time in expressing their dissatisfaction with Karapetyan's sudden reappearance. Nevertheless, Karapetyan promises to be a  great prime minister and he has the backing of senior officials. I also hope to see him as the republic's president one day. Moreover, in an astounding revelation, it was also reported recently that Armenia's Defense Minister General Seyran Ohanyan may be replacing Secretary General Nikolay Bordyuzha as head of CSTO. Rumor has it that Ohanyan's next stop will be Armenia's political arena. Karapetyan's and Ohanyan's appearances in the country's political scene are very encouraging signs. Finally, what many of us had been impatiently waiting for has come to pass: Armenia has finally been delivered the Iskander ballistic missile complex from Russia. This nuclear-capable medium range ballistic missile system is said to be the best of its kind in the world. Amazingly, Armenia has become the only country after Russia to deploy it. With the latest weapons deliveries, Russia has turned Armenia and Artsakh into impregnable fortresses. Needless to say, Western propaganda outlets wasted no time in trying to cast a dark shadow on this as well. Anyway, after the disappointments of April and July these are all very welcome developments.

Suddenly, Armenia's forward momentum, stalled in recent months, seems to have unexpectedly jumped into a higher gear. I expect to see more political progress in the country in the coming one to two years. Karapetyan's and Ohanyan's appearance in Armenia's political arena is a significant improvement and very promising. But they alone will not be able to do much. The entire political culture in the country, from top to bottom, is rotten. For this rot to be cleaned up, changes need to take place in the people's mindsets... or changes need to be imposed from above (Moscow). Recent political developments in the country nevertheless beg the question: Could it be that healthy elements within Armenia's political and military hierarchy have exploited the recent crisis in the country to finally bring about some long awaited change? Is Moscow taking a more "hands-on" approach in Armenia? Will Armenia now finally begin expelling its Western mercenaries? Will Armenia now free itself from its chobans in Armani suits? Time will tell. For now, we can only hope. In doing so, let's also hope that at the end of the day, the mini war in April and the mini coup we experienced in July will indeed prove to be major blessings in disguise.

Arevordi
Autumn, 2016

***

Who is behind the US Hybrid war in Armenia?


In Armenia, the confrontation continues between the security forces and nationalists who seized the police station in Yerevan's Erebuni district. The deputy head of police, Major-General Vardan Yeghiazaryan and Deputy Colonel Valery Osipyan, Chief of Yerevan Police, are being held as hostages. Intelligence agencies are in talks with the attackers. However, the possibility of storming of the building has also not been excluded. 

The attackers are obviously counting on the support of the crowd. During the storming of the police station, they killed one police officer and can now hope to get away with it only if they can rekindle a revolutionary conflagration. Perhaps the attack was intended for this. Supporters of the militants have tried to organize a breakthrough crowd to connect with the bandits and initiate a "revolution." The main demand of the militants and their supporters is the removal from power of the incumbent president, Serge Sargsyan, and the release of their leader Jirayr Sefilian, and a number of other prisoners. Otherwise, they promise to start an armed uprising throughout the country. "We have captured a major police base in Yerevan and control the block of Erebuni", they claimed in their statement. 

Armenian special services have not yet resolved to storm the occupied station, not just because of the good training of the militants - they are veterans of the Karabakh war. Eliminating veterans, who don the halo of war heroes, and supporters of the hero of the Karabakh war, Jirair Sefilian, can delegitimize the government. In social networks, there is already a campaign glorify gangsters. In the case of elimination, they can become those "martyrs" who inspire others to action. It is necessary to pay close attention to the various characters who support the organizers of an armed attack, and who engage in protest actions in support. 

Jirair Seiflian is a native of Lebanon who arrived in Armenia to take part in the Karabakh war in the early 1990’s. He has experience from fighting in Lebanon. In Karabakh, he became one of the most famous military leaders and enjoys the support of the Armenian diaspora and war veterans of Karabakh. He is harshly critical of Yerevan's position on the Karabakh issue. Seiflian calls for the resumption of hostilities against Azerbaijan after the April 2016 war. On June 20th, 2016, he was arrested on suspicion of smuggling and possessing weapons.

Jirair Seiflian

Sefilian created "The Constituent Parliament”, the radical opposition organization. In 2015, he joined the board of the opposition campaign "New Armenia" which attempted a color revolution using as a pretext that the authorities had initiated a referendum on transitioning to a parliamentary form of government. He repeatedly criticized Russia, accusing it of support for Azerbaijan. Sefilian belongs to the extremist wing of the Armenian nationalist party Dashnaktsutiun, and has vast experience in terrorist activity. The group which tried to support militants was led by coordinators of the initiative called Arise Armenia, Andrias Ghukasyan and David Sanasaryan. Previously, they expressed their support of the closure of the Russian base in Gyumri and held protests against Armenia's joining the Customs Union and the EAEC. Andrias Ghukasyan is a liberal activist. In 2015, he became one of the organizers of the movement "Get up Armenia", which supported the "Electric Yerevan" protests in Yerevan last year. He also opposes defense cooperation with Russia.

Andrias Ghukasyan

David Sanasaryan is a graduate of the School of Advanced International Studies, Paul Nitze (SAIS, located in Washington, DC) at Johns Hopkins University, and holds the position of "Heritage" party spokesperson opposing Armenia's membership in the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union. Sansaryan led anti-Russian protests  many times, and together with other activists of the "Heritage" Party he held rallies in support of the Maidan in Ukraine in 2014. He coordinated one of Soros Fund programs in Armenia.

David Sanasaryan

The leader the  "Heritage" party is the first Foreign Minister of independent Armenia, Raffi Hovannisian. He was born in the United States and lived in the US for almost 30 years. He formally abandoned his US citizenship in 2003. In the 1990's he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the pro-American government of President Levon Ter-Petrosian. Hovhannisyan, now heads an opposition structure called the "New Armenia", which includes field commander Jirayr Sefilian.

Raffi Hovannisian

All of the above characters actively participated in the protests last summer (Electric Yerevan under the anti-Russian slogans). In addition, they also organized protests in December 2015 against turning Armenia into a parliamentary republic. All these people are united by their hostility to Russia, cooperation with the West, and an active nationalist rhetoric. They boost the process of recognition of Nagorno Karabakh's independence by Armenia, and Hovhannisyan and Sefilyan want to start a new war with Azerbaijan. It is obvious that the escalation of the conflict is exactly what the US is interested in. As we wrote earlier:
These events in Armenia  are part of the strategy of hybrid war used by the US against Continentalist forces, and primarily against Russia. The goal is changing the government or policies of the Armenian authorities to ones less pliable for Russia. Currently, the Russian government is trying to find a formula of compromise between Armenia and Azerbaijan in order to ensure long-term peace, which naturally requires concessions from the Armenian side. The United States, in turn, is using its agents of influence in Armenia and Azerbaijan in order to derail the peace process and kindle war, which would naturally draw in Russia and Turkey. The activities of armed radicals are a natural element of this hybrid war strategy. The recent attack has multiple objectives: exerting pressure on the Armenian leadership with an eye on preventing compromise on Karabakh; creating a pole of attraction for radical discontent elements which will then be used in a color revolution; using military operations by paramilitary formations to demonstrate the weakness of the government and its inability to control the situation; and strengthening overall opposition sentiment. The ultimate goal is the incitement of war in Karabakh, a change of government, the withdrawal of the Russian military base from Gumri.
At the same time US influence in the Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia is strong enough. Armenia, despite the membership of the CSTO and the Customs Union, in many areas behaves independently of Russia, including using the resources of the Armenian lobby in the United States. At the same time, the interaction with the US has the reverse effect. These same structures can become agents of American interests. It is significant that the US, unlike Russia, formally allocates financial assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh every year in the amount of several million dollars. The American influence in Nagorno-Karabakh is underestimated by Russia. 

In May the same forces: MPs from the pro-Western liberal "Heritage" party and the pro-Western block, "Armenian National Congress" of the former president Levon Ter-Petrosian offered to Armenia that they would recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state, that probably would have stalled the peace process and opened the way to new war The draft document was then offered by MPs Zaruhi Postanjyan and Hrant Bagratyan. Bagratyan - liberal economist and former prime- minister of Ter-Petrosyan. In 1995 he was voted Man of the Year by the American Biographical Institute, in 1998 he was voted man of the UN Millennium and the Cambridge Biographical Center.

Hrant Bagratyan

It is possible that in an escalation of tensions in Armenia will engage other elements of the pro-American network, from nationalists to sixth columns in the government of Armenia. Also, agents of US influence in Azerbaijan will undertake certain provocation in the near future to even more complicate the situation in Armenia. Using Russian obligations to its ally - Armenia - the United States through its network on the one hand seeks to disrupt the peace process in the South Caucasus, and to draw Russia into the war, on the other hand, to use the wave of discontent with Russian peace strategy and incitement to nationalist hysteria initiate a new color revolution, in order to take Armenia out of Russia's influence. Thus a situation of a Zugzwang  is created for Russia - any move leading to a deterioration of the position of the player.

The US wages hybrid war in Armenia



The militants who seized the police station in Yerevan are demanded concessions from the authorities. 5 hostages are still in the hands of the bandits. The deputy head of the Armenian police, Major-General Vardan Yeghiazaryan and Deputy Chief of Yerevan Police, Colonel Valery Osipyan, are among the hostages. A group of radicals unsuccessfully tried to join militants at Monday.

Criminals
 
 On Saturday-Sunday night, the police station in the capital of Armenia was captured by militants associated with the group "The Constituent Parliament”. They are demanding the release of their leader Jirair Sefilian, who is under arrest on charges of illegal acquiring and possessing weapons. One policeman was killed during the building’s seizure.

Ringleaders

Jirair Seiflian is a native of Lebanon who arrived in Armenia to take part in the Karabakh war in the early 1990’s. He has experience from fighting in Lebanon. In Karabakh, he became one of the most famous military leaders and enjoys the support of the Armenian diaspora and war veterans of Karabakh. He is harshly critical of official Yerevan's position on the Karabakh issue. Seiflian calls for the resumption of hostilities against Azerbaijan after the April 2016 war. On June 20th, 2016, he was arrested on suspicion of smuggling and possessing weapons.

Sefilian created "The Constituent Parliament”, the radical opposition organization. In 2015, he joined the board of the opposition campaign "New Armenia" which attempted a color revolution using as a pretext that the authorities had initiated a referendum on transitioning to a parliamentary form of government. At the head of the opposition force is Raffi Hovannisian who at the presidential elections of 2013 received more than 36% of the vote. He was born and lived his first 31 years in the USA. After the collapse of the USSR Raffi Hovannisian became the first Minister of foreign Affairs in Armenia. "New Armenia" actively uses the Karabakh problem to accuse authorities of surrendering national positions.

The forces connected to seizing the police station (New Armenia) earlier organized protests against Russian military base in Armenia, supported coup d’etat in Ukraine and took active participation in the protest in the Armenian capital last summer. They are closely connected to the US embassy and the Open Society (Soros Foundation) in Armenia.

The purpose of the operation

These events in Armenia are part of the strategy of hybrid war used by the US against Continentalist forces, and primarily against Russia. The goal is changing the government or policies of the Armenian authorities to ones less pliable for Russia. Currently, the Russian government is trying to find a formula of compromise between Armenia and Azerbaijan in order to ensure long-term peace, which naturally requires concessions from the Armenian side. The United States, in turn, is using its agents of influence in Armenia and Azerbaijan in order to derail the peace process and kindle war, which would naturally draw in Russia and Turkey.

The activities of armed radicals are a natural element of this hybrid war strategy. The recent attack has multiple objectives: exerting pressure on the Armenian leadership with an eye on preventing compromise on Karabakh; creating a pole of attraction for radical discontent elements which will then be used in a color revolution; using military operations by paramilitary formations to demonstrate the weakness of the government and its inability to control the situation; and strengthening overall opposition sentiment.

Source: http://katehon.com/article/us-wages-hybrid-war-armenia

Russia accuses EU of “shaking” the political situation in Armenia

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EU diplomats are supporting the forces that “shake” the situation in Armenia, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said as it commented on the EU statement on developments in Yerevan, TASS reports.“During the briefing of the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs we gave assessment to the drama in Yerevan. We also called attention to the statement of the EU Delegation to Armenia issued in agreement with the EU Members States’ Heads of Mission in Armenia,” the Ministry said. “Surprisingly, there was no space in the document for a direct and clear condemnation of the criminal actions – an armed attack on the premises of a police regiment, murder of a policeman and hostage-taking,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “Instead, there was an emphasis on the requirements from the authorities – to observe the principle of proportionality in handling public manifestations and call for a full investigation of all cases of alleged wrongdoing by the police.” “It’s hard to get rid of the feeling that EU diplomats are openly supporting the forces in Armenia, which seek to “shake” the domestic political situation in the country,” the statement reads.
Armenia: Has Violence Become an Acceptable Tool for Change?

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This week’s armed attack on a police station in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, has raised questions about whether the use of violence is now seen in the South Caucasus country as an acceptable way to push for reform. The gunmen who seized control of the Erebuni police station on July 17, killing one law enforcement officer, wounding a few others and taking several hostage, have long advocated the government’s overthrow – not via the ballot box, but by force. They are members of an organization called Founding Parliament, which comprises primarily veterans of the 1988-1994 conflict with Azerbaijan over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh territory.

Founding Parliament does not have representatives in any elected body. It vehemently opposes territorial concessions to Azerbaijan in exchange for a Karabakh peace deal, now rumored to be under consideration by officials in Yerevan. The group also has taken issue with various alleged civil rights abuses under President Serzh Sargsyan, whose resignation its members now demand. Generally seen as a radical fringe group, Founding Parliament has not, until now, enjoyed large public support. But over the past six days, many Armenians have started to support these veterans’ notion that force can be a first resort. People in the streets and on social media comment that the armed takeover of the Erebuni police station “is the only way” to force reforms, using the “only” language the government can understand. Some go further, saying even that the authorities “should be gunned down.”

Armenia does not have a post-Soviet history of armed uprisings, but there have been episodes of politically related gun violence. The 1999 gun slaying of the prime minister, parliamentary speaker, a minister and several parliamentarians is the most prominent example of violence influencing politics. Political analysts and human rights activists alike believe that the gunmen’s sudden popularity springs from years of Armenians seeing violence prevail over rule of law. Building frustration over the lack of change has fostered a public mood in which radical means, including violent methods, are gaining acceptance as a way to promote reforms. These days, even among those who are advocates of liberal, democratic reform, support exists for the gunmen. Opposition activist Davit Sanasarian, one of the co-leaders of the non-violent Electric Yerevan protests in 2015, is among those who justify the gunmen’s actions.

“When every day you see in the media how oligarch lawmakers talk, how they behave violently, solve their issues by means of beatings, it cannot but cause a culture of violence in society,” said psychologist Arshak Gasparian, head of the Social Justice organization which trains police to address domestic violence. “Every day, they keep prodding us into thinking that this is the way, that only through force can one solve problems.”

Events cited to explain this phenomenon run the gamut: from the 2008 killings of eight protesters and two police officers in a clash over presidential election results and signs of police brutality toward protest prisoners to murders by those connected with powerful government-linked allies that go unpunished. A contributing factor is repeated incidents of non-combat soldier deaths and widespread domestic violence. The government’s record on such issues is inconsistent. The hostage crisis “happened because injustice has reached its climax,” asserted Avetik Ishkhanian, chair of the Armenian Helsinki Committee, a human rights non-governmental organization. “The roots and causes of this, and those responsible, should be sought within the government.”

Senior government officials have not commented on the violence or the hostage crisis, now in its sixth day. On July 21, Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Eduard Sharamazanov, spokesperson for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, broke that silence. Calling for calm amid “a very nervous moment,” Sharamazanov told reporters that “We don’t need new bloodshed. We have no enemies in Armenia. All are our brothers and sisters.” The situation, as Sharamazanov noted, remains tense. On July 20-21, protesters threw rocks and bottles at riot police blocking access to the Erebuni police station. Police responded with tear gas, stun grenades and beatings with batons. At least 136 people were detained and about 70 people were hospitalized. Clashes had erupted also on July 19 when young men living near the seized police station pelted police officers with rocks after the neighborhood’s only road was blocked for security reasons.


“The public mentality has changed, as the elites have provided the model of solving problems with the use of arms and beatings,” Gasparian said.


Violence has also been reported in police departments where hundreds of activists and other individuals have been taken, as law enforcement mops up anti-government protests. Human rights activist Ishkhanian alleged that police used force against more than 50 detained demonstrators. The police have claimed that they investigate each report of abuses by law enforcement. Officials appear aware that trying to resolve the hostage crisis by force could easily backfire. “If they disperse this protest today, tomorrow people will go into the streets … because the roots of the problem remain,” asserted Ara Papian, director of the Yerevan-based think-tank Modus Vivendi. Protesters have moved steadily from brandishing “wooden sticks” to, now, Kalashnikovs, he added.


Relative calm has prevailed since the hurly-burly crackdown on the July 20-21 protest. On July 22, President Sargsyan issued his first public comments about the hostage situation, stating after a meeting with police, prosecutors and security officials that "In Armenia, problems will not be solved through violence, attacks, or hostage taking. We will not allow that". Terming the crisis' peaceful denouement "the most serious test for Armenia, for our society and the maturity of our state," he urged the gunmen to give up their weapons and hostages, and for protesters to keep their demonstrations peaceful and within "the framework of the law." The authorities will be patient, Sargsyan said, but added that "I believe this is going on longer than we can allow." Observers consider the gunmen’s chances for success slim to none. “Against force there is always a greater force that has authority,” noted Hovhannisian. Ultimately, she added, whatever the provocation, use of weapons only “leads to a crisis, which we witness today.”


Source: http://www.eurasianet.org/node/79811

By weakening Armenia, you jeopardize the future of Nagorno Karabakh” – Union of Paramilitary Forces of NKR

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The Union of Paramilitary forces of Nagorno Karabakh issued a statement in regard to the gunmen’s actions in Yerevan. The statement reads:

“As a result of the July 17 ambush of a Police precinct in Armenia the blood of an Armenian was shed, and our people’s reputation suffered a serious blow. It is exceedingly sorrowful that some of the organizers of this attack are veterans of the Nagorno Karabakh War…..People, with whom we have defended our lands standing side by side in the trenches, and today, seemingly we have appeared in opposite sides of barricades.

History will show as to what extent the goal and choice of reaching these goals of the Homeland’s defender – who has appeared on the opposite side – is justified and noble, but the fact that today we already have a distorted destiny of an Armenian, divided people and unenviable political situation is obvious…..It is obvious because as of this moment, we have a dead Armenian Colonel who has been killed by the hand of another Armenian, who has fought for defending Nagorno Karabakh, we have Armenian citizens wounded by gunfire from Armenians, Armenian captives held by Armenians, including a woman….After all this, have we – your yesterday’s brothers in arms, mistaken or simply believed with the power of imagination that represented by you we have brothers in arms who are concerned with our Motherland’s fate?...

Judging by the serious situation, it turns out that we have mistaken….We have mistaken because through your chosen path you are distressing the people and the Motherland, rather than moving it towards empowerment….Let’s not forget that a very short period of time has passed since the events of April and the possibility of an even longer lasting and more brutal confrontation is not ruled out….A circumstance, which tells us to sap our national resistance not by internal unrest, but rather be guided by the vision of unity and consolidation….

Realize, that through your divisive actions you are weakening Armenia, which is already living in challenging times……And by weakening Armenia, you are jeopardizing the future of Nagorno Karabakh. Unlike you, we – veterans of yesterday’s war, believe that peaceful and consistent reforms are the basis for future success of our country which has numerous social-economical issues, we believe that the guarantee of fully ensuring the independence and territorial integrity of Nagorno Karabakh is mutual understanding, not straining the society against their own state….

Given the mixed geopolitical and regional situation, the Union of Paramilitary forces of Nagorno Karabakh urges the gunmen, as well as several public and political organizations who are excited by the latter’s unbalanced actions – to refrain from steps of escalating the internal political situation of Mother Armenia and take the path of reason. And this path is one – abide the Constitution of Armenia and laws and move towards the peaceful resolution of the situation”.


How America tried to screw Armenia and failed

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The need for security as the dominant motive of national behavior, is the strongest motivation and even the basis for the development of the nation state as such. Security, both at the global and regional levels is the central problem of the entire system of international relations; any issue in international politics, in some way is connected with this problem. On the other hand, the defense of its statehood from internal and external threats is one of the basic functions of the state and the indicator of its viability. In short the main directions of the state and society to ensure national security can be defined as:

1. Forecasting of threats to national security in all spheres through the provision of comprehensive and objective scientific and practical analysis.

2. The definition of criteria and "red lines" of national security and strategic priorities of development of the country.

3.  Development of a package of measures and mechanisms for ensuring national security in the fields of economy, foreign and domestic policy, public security, law and defense, information and spiritual spheres.

Civilizational conditions and a framework of existence of its national interest, which is the formation of Armenia's national security, is characterized by dramatic change, the transformation of the global system of inter-state relations and the existing balance of power.  Most importantly, the experts in the field of politics and international relations theory agree that globalization has radically changed relations between states, and the status of a nation state as such. Independence in the era of globalization is relative, we live in an era of revision of the foundations of Westphalia peace. Completely new security systems are developing in the world, which stem directly from national interests. The doctrine of national security is a clear strategy based on the priorities of the system of national interests.

The national interests of a state, in turn, are long term in nature and define the main objectives on historical path, shape strategic and operational objectives of internal and external policy of the state, and are implemented through the system of public administration. In the early twenty-first century the Republic of Armenia has made a major leap in the analysis and strategy development of Armenia's national security in the new environment and strictly adheres to it. In accordance the doctrine of the Armenian Foreign Ministry is divided into four areas:

  • Positioning itself in the global system of international relations as a democratic, independent state
  •  Creating the necessary conditions for economic prosperity of the country (in particular, harnessing the potential of the Armenian involvement in regional integration processes and processes with a main partner - Russia) 
  • Providing the security of the Armenian nation and statehood 
  •  The development of an open civil democratic society and its infrastructure (the peoples living on the territory of Armenia are equal in their rights, their interests protected by Law, all ethno-national rights of peoples and nationalities are protected)
At the same time a matter of national security for the Armenian people was and is imperative for preservation of the nation and the integrity of the ethno-cultural system. To this day the most important institutions of this matter are:
  • The Armenian Church - faithful to its people throughout historic Christian memory
  • The Armenian alphabet, which gave the opportunity to the representatives of culture to preserve the values of cultural-historical foundation of the nation in the native language
  •  Armenian family, national traditions and customs 
These key factors have played a crucial and essential role in the preservation of the Armenian people and the Armenian population as a whole, becoming the basis of National Security.

On the basis of the above and a historical analysis, in September 2013, the President of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan made a announcement about the choice of Armenia's path of future development and accession to the Customs Union and to the Treaty establishing the Eurasian Economic Union. Development and economic integration of Armenia in the direction of the East and Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will provide a relatively rapid growth of the domestic economy and solve the accumulated social issues. In the end, the creation of a common labor market of the Union will provide Armenia and the people the free movement, the development of small and medium business, will ensure the improvement of standard of living under the current blockade by Turkey and Azerbaijan, and certain difficulties with Georgia, guaranteeing Armenia's national and state security.

However, the selected path of development of Armenia was not welcomed by American politicians and the leadership of the EU triggering processes aimed at sabotaging the desire of Armenia to join the Eurasian Economic Union.

Previously, the American analysts tried to implement in Armenia a new pension system, which outraged the people and caused the resignation of Prime Minister and his appointment as Ambassador to the United States. In early July [2014], U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Heffern, gave a rather lengthy interview and made a number of controversial statements which were directly interfering in the internal life of Armenia. In addition to the pressure on the decision for the sale of Vorotan Cascade HPP (Hydropower Plant), which is of strategic importance to Armenia, for the amount of $180 million (expert price - $1.5 billion), he spoke in support of the activities of religious sects [viewed as undermining the fabric of the Armenian society - the Orthodox church - KR]  on the territory of the Republic and the acclaimed pension reform. Referring to the cooperation with the "civil society of Armenia," he said in plain text that he did not intend to give up on interfering in the internal affairs of the Republic. "We will continue to support where possible, to criticize where necessary. We try to encourage, to ask and to ensure international standards". And for that purpose he announced the grants allocated to the structures which support their ideology. In this sphere of American influence are not only the social organizations, but also the opposition parties. History repeats itself, and lessons are not learned from when the Anglo-American politicians with help of Germany and Turkey divided Armenia, and the people went through the 1915 genocide. Money tramples intelligence and national security.

It is not surprising that the next step in the destruction of the Armenian unity and spiritual tradition was the destruction of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the face of the Supreme Patriarch. And it started from the territory of the Eastern American Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Earlier there were attempts to revise the alphabet, and the integration of literary language with Western Armenian language. The national way of life and values of the Armenian people are also under attack.

I wonder what will be the next target in Armenia, in an attempt to trample its revival, strengthening and integration into the new environment of a multipolar world, while preserving its national identity, and national security. Where were these politicians of the United States, England and Europe, while for 25 years, Armenia was in a severe economic blockade, and only the Russian side has opened its doors to the people, where every year 200 to 300 thousand Armenians find work to ensure the survival of their families. Why do the politicians forget that the national hero Vazgen Sarkisyan in the difficult years of the early 90's turned his gaze to the East and payed the first visit to China, and established relations with India.

Armenian President, Serzh Sargsyan, and his political team, which stood at the origins of the third Republic of Armenia and its armed forces, will make a wise step to ensure the security of the state of Armenia in its strategic development and the improvement of the socio-economic condition of the people in the current difficult political environment. The experience of Maidan is not our path of development, the long-suffering Armenian people will not understand and will not forgive this, and the analysis of historical experience points the way to the East.


Source: http://www.fort-russ.com/2015/04/how-america-tried-to-screw-armenia-and.html

Armenia. How color revolutions are prepared


After moving to Italy, a journalist from Buryatia began to unravel political intrigues on a global scale. Together with his wife, an Italian, he has managed to create a channel telling about political manipulation, and has not only forced thousands of people to listen to him, but has also managed to establish cooperation with an MP of the European Parliament. Vestnik Kavkaza invites its readers to get acquainted with one of the materials of the blog La Tana dell'Orso (Bear's Den).

In Armenia we have witnessed attempts to find a solution to the Karabakh conflict being used by the opposition to foment anti-Russian sentiments and to prepare a color revolution. On August 5th the opposition rally against the ‘betrayal of Kremlin’ was held in front of the Opera House in Yerevan. As one of the participants of the rally explained to us, Vladimir Putin is trying to solve the Karabakh conflict by giving Nagorno-Karabakh back to Azerbaijan. These statements seemed strange to us, so we went to our friend in Yerevan for an explanation.

In recent years Putin has repeatedly stated the need to reach a compromise in Nagorno-Karabakh, taking into account the interests of both sides. For example, in an interview to the Azerbaijani AzerTaj news agency, he said: "I would like to emphasize that we are not trying to impose any ready solution either on Armenia or Azerbaijan. The parties should come to an agreement and find mutually acceptable solutions on their own, without any outside pressure. This is our firm position.’’

According to Putin, the compromise involves finding the optimal balance between the principles of territorial integrity and the right of peoples to self-determination: "The ultimate goal of the settlement should be an agreement without winners and losers, and the concessions – with mutual benefits for both parties – should be clear to public opinion in Armenia and in Azerbaijan. "

But the Armenian opposition drew attention only to the concessions from Yerevan’s side, and due to this accuses Russia of treason.

We do not know whether this is the issue of the compromise or not, we are interested in the Armenian opposition's logic itself. The country is not experiencing the best years now, pessimism prevails in Armenian society – there is no work, low wages, and prices are high, young people are leaving the country. According to Armenian society, the corrupt government is to blame. And because it has a pro-Russian policy, then, as the opposition suggests, Moscow is guilty, the union with which prevents Armenia from friendships with ‘normal’ countries, and from becoming a ‘normal country’ itself.

But it is sufficient just to look at a map to understand that Armenia is the last country in the post-Soviet space that would benefit from breaking off relations with Russia. It is bordered by four countries, of which two – Turkey and Azerbaijan, much more rich and powerful – are its open enemies, and for Georgia and Iran the ties with Ankara and Baku are much more important than their relations with Yerevan. Therefore, the alliance with Russia, which helps to protect the borders of the Armenian state, allows the imbalance in the region to be aligned.

Yet the slogan ‘Russia is to blame’ is supported by a small but active part of the local population. The April aggravation of the Karabakh conflict, in which Moscow did not unequivocally support the actions of Armenia, was just in time, though it is overlooked that, by openly supporting Yerevan, Moscow could force Baku to seek allies and protectors in the face of better friends of democracy and human rights. This, of course, is not in the interests of Moscow, which is trying by all means to prevent the transformation of its ‘backyard’ into a NATO base.

Russia has its own interests in the region, which do not always coincide with the interests of its ally Armenia. On the other hand, the interests and actions of Armenia also do not always coincide with the wishes of Russia. Hence the confusion, when any step by the Kremlin not taken in line with Armenian foreign policy is perceived as a betrayal. However, unfortunately for the opposition, the anti-Russian sentiment, spread by organizations that receive financial support from the West still don't find much support among the people. Many people understand that at least the current level of life is maintained by Russia. For example, the farmers with whom we met in Geghard export vegetables to Moscow – incidentally, the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the EU strongly contributed to this. Many Armenians come home only on vacation, living and working in Russia.

The example of Ukraine, where the association with the EU has turned into a disaster for the economy of the country, demonstrates the consequences of actions dictated by biased interests of a country, and this applies not only to Armenia.



Guess Who's Funding Anti-Russian Protests in Armenia?


April 28, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "NEO"- Another day, another protest in Armenia. And if we were to simply believe the Western media regarding this ‘other protest,’ we might get the impression that the Armenian people are upset with Russian policy and “Putinism.” In reality, the protests are led by the same verified US-proxies exposed at the height of the “Electric Yerevan” protests mid-2015 which sought to undermine and overthrow the current government of Armenia in favor of a pro-Western political front more to Wall Street, London, and Brussels’ liking. The International Business Times in their article, “Armenia-Russia Ties Under Question Amid Fighting, Anti-Moscow Protests,” would report regarding the recent protests that:
At a recent thousand-strong demonstration in the capital of Armenia, Davit Sanasaryan took out a couple of eggs and threw them at the Russian Embassy.  The gesture provoked both ridicule and approval in this small landlocked country that traditionally values very close ties with its large northern neighbor. “Our protests are not against Russia but against Russian policy and Putinism,” activist and politician Sanasaryan said in an interview with International Business Times last week.
Davit Sanasaryan (also spelled “David Sanasaryan”), among other things, is an opposition politician with the Heritage Party who helped lead the previous US-backed “Electric Yerevan protests in mid-2015. He is also an associate of the Armenian-based National Citizens’ Initiative (NCI), revealed in the NCI’s own news bulletin titled, “NCI Focuses on Armenia’s Mining Sector,” which reports (emphasis added):

NCI associate Davit Sanasarian welcomed the audience with opening remarks. “The exploitation of the Teghut mine is an actual matter and it calls for serious discussions and proper suggestions prior to the undertaking of this project,” he said.
This bulletin alone seems innocuous enough, however, another NCI bulletin would reveal itself to be coordinating with and receiving aid from the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The bulletin titled, “NCI Partakes in a Civil Society Meeting,” states (emphasis added):
The National Citizens’ Initiative (NCI) representatives attended, between 14 and 15 April 2011, the conference entitled “Assisting Armenia’s Civil Society Organizations.” This event was an initiative of the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) organization and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Yerevan Office, and it was organized with the assistance of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The objective of the conference was to contribute in developing the capacity of Armenia’s civil society organizations by way of cooperation and exchange of know-how with Central and Eastern European civil society associations.
Of course, considering that the US NED is chaired by pro-war corporate-financier representatives, “developing the capacity of civil society organizations” in Armenia was not actually on the agenda. Instead, creating a proxy front with which to control Armenia on behalf of foreign interests was, merely couched behind “civil society.” Sanasarian’s “association” with the NCI in this context, is troubling to say the least. But Sanasarian’s association with the US NED extends far beyond this. He is also on the board of trustees of the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs (AIISA), an alleged think-tank that is directly funded by the US NED. His position on the board of trustees is revealed in an AIISA bulletin titled, “AIISA’s Third Evening DemSchool: “Challenges to Democracy,”” which claims:

In partnership with the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the third 11-day evening DemSchool was launched at the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs with “Challenges to Democracy” heading.
It also stated:

Certificate award ceremony was held on the DemSchool 11th day. David Sanasaryan, member of AIISA Board of Trustees, young politician and activist, also participated in it. 
Added to this, is Sanasarian’s role in the US-backed 2015 protests. It was revealed in mid-2015 that the so-called “Electric Yerevan” protests were in fact led entirely by US-funded and directed nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Sanasarian’s involvement then, again implicates him in coordinating with and receiving aid from a foreign government in a bid to undermine his own government. At the time, US State Department-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) would report in its article, “Armenians Say They’ll Restart ‘Electric Yerevan’ Protest,” that:

At a Yerevan rally attended by several hundred activists on July 17, Rise Armenia leader and opposition Heritage party city councilor Davit Sanasarian said a new campaign against the electricity price hikes would take place from July 27 to July 31, with demonstrators blocking the central streets of Yerevan and other cities around the country. “We continue our fight. We will be distributing leaflets from door to door,” Sanasarian said. “We will be successful.”
RFE/RL would inadvertently admit that the protesters were simply using electricity prices as a pretext to come out into the streets and that their next move would be of a more political nature, targeting Armenia’s sitting government. In other words, it was a US-funded color revolution couched behind legitimate concerns regarding utility prices. Considering these extensive ties to US-backing, Sanasarian’s role leading the current anti-Russian protests portrays him not as a ‘politician’ or an ‘activist,’ but as a foreign-funded proxy, and the protests themselves as foreign-engineered meddling, not legitimate dissent. Claims that he is fighting against Russian influence, while all along he is serving as a conduit for Wall Street, London, and Brusssels’ influence touches upon the sort of hypocrisy seen again and again amid engineered protests targeting the many enemies of Western hegemony worldwide.

Source: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44541.htm

Russia searches for pragmatic solutions in the Caucasus

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has put into play a reinvigorated diplomatic approach to resolving the longstanding crises involving the troubled states of the Caucasus.

Over the past week, Russian diplomacy has refocused its attention on the Greater Caucasus foreign policy agenda. In a span of three days, Russian President Vladimir Putin met the heads of Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia. As a result, some have suggested that Russia could be looking for a new configuration of players in order to bring peace to the region. First, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Baku, where he met his Azerbaijani and Iranian counterparts and, afterwards, he went to St. Petersburg to host Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Finally, Putin met his Armenian colleague Serzh Sargsyan.

The agenda of these meetings included not only the problems in the Caucasus, but also the situation in the Middle East and Afghanistan. They even touched on energy security and bilateral relations. For example, the meeting between Putin and Erdogan — the first one since Turkey’s downing of the Russian jet in November 2015 — became the visible symbol of improving Moscow-Ankara relations. However, it was the Caucasian agenda that brought together all the participants of the August meetings. Broadly defined, this agenda includes crises extending from the Middle East to the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus.

For example, Armenia and Azerbaijan are still struggling to earn benefits in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, one of the thorniest territorial disputes in the post-Soviet space. Even though there are no military clashes on the so-called line of contact between the Armenian and Azerbaijani troops, there are regular violations of the ceasefire treaty. After the breakout of hostilities earlier this year, both Baku and Yerevan are paying a great deal of attention to Moscow’s moves. The media outlets of both Armenia and Azerbaijan are discussing the Kremlin’s probable initiatives in an attempt to present Russia as the side that supports the decisions that are unilaterally beneficial for them. The Russian agenda became one of the most discussed topics within Armenia, especially after the seizure of a police station in Yerevan by he radical opposition, which demanded the return of Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and was reluctant to come up with a compromise with Baku.

The debates in Armenia focused primarily on the price of the alliance with Moscow. No wonder that diplomats and experts followed not only the negotiations between Putin and Sargsyan, but also the meeting between the Russian president and his Azerbaijani counterpart. Likewise, Azerbaijan has paid close attention to Putin’s meeting with his Armenian colleague in an attempt to find out if Moscow will put pressure on Yerevan to drive the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to some sort of resolution. Meanwhile, Turkey and Iran’s interests dealt with the Middle East, first and foremost. After all, both Ankara and Tehran see Syria as their “Near Abroad” and have a vested interest in the outcome of the Syrian crisis.

However, the Caucasus is supposed to be also among the top priorities for these countries. While Turkey is a longstanding partner for Azerbaijan (together with Ukraine it supported Baku during the April military escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh), Iran is zealously tracking down other external stakeholders that seek to play a greater role in the Caucasian-Caspian region. In addition, it also wants to play a greater role in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh stalemate.

The International North–South Transport Corridor, an ambitious project, is also important for Tehran, but to implement it, it is necessary to bring stability to Transcaucasia [The North–South Transport Corridor is the ship, rail, and road route for moving freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia – Editor's note]. Without peace in the region, any economic initiatives will be at risk. So, concerned with the strengthening of the alliance of the Turkish-language countries, Iran is trying to straddle between Yerevan and Baku. It also afraid of accidentally promoting any secessionist trends in this region, because they might reverberate in Iran. One should not forget that, regardless of its confrontation with the West, Iran didn’t recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008 and preferred to preserve the status quo in the Greater Caucasus region.

Regarding Russia, its Caucasian agenda is not limited by the settlements of the conflicts in the countries close to its borders. Syria also looms as an important factor for Moscow, given the impact of that nation’s crisis on the Caucasian region. The Caucasian Emirate was replaced with the Vilayat group, which announced its allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Greater Syria (ISIS), a terrorist group that is banned in Russia. In this regard, Russia sees its military operation in Syria not only as an attempt to support President Bashar Assad and boost its geopolitical clout, but also as the tool of a “remote” defense of its “Caucasian Near Abroad.” It also could alleviate tensions with Turkey as a result.

A new political configuration in the region?

So, what are the preliminary results of Russia’s attempts to reinvigorate its diplomacy in the Caucasus? After a week of summits, the Russian media started speculating about the creation of different alliances and “axes.” In fact, this scenario is hardly likely to come true, given the fact that Russia, Iran and Turkey have a lot of serious contradictions. For example, Ankara is not going to break its ties with NATO: It won’t play the role of an independent stakeholder, unburdened by its commitments with the West. Likewise, Moscow and Tehran have not yet found common ground on the status of the Caspian Sea.

Moreover, Moscow is not going to make the choice between Yerevan and Baku, something that Putin made clear in his August meetings with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan. Remarkably, in his comments that he made in Baku and Moscow, the Russian president reiterated one clear idea: Russia is not interested in any scenario, in which one of the conflicting sides will lose, while the other will win. Coming up with a compromise is key in this situation, as indicated by Putin’s negotiations. Most importantly, the Russian president didn’t try to contrast Russia’s mediation efforts in Nagorno-Karabakh with those of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which also involves the U.S. and France.

Actually, Russia sees the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a priority, not as a tool of increasing confrontation with the West. That’s why there won’t be any blocs between Russia and Armenia against other hypothetical alliances, which could include Azerbaijan and other stakeholders. Thus, Russia’s Caucasian agenda is not a clear linear process, but rather a multifaceted and multifactor game, which involves different strategies. While one of them targets strengthening ties with Armenia, the other seeks to bolster its relations with Azerbaijan, which could be beneficial for its relations with Turkey. The third strategy is to maintain relations with Iran. One also should not forget about Georgia. Despite its aspirations to join NATO and the EU, Moscow should understand that it has common challenges with Tbilisi, including the fight against terrorism in the North Caucasus. After all, they have already cooperated in this field in the period leading up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The Caucasian agenda also has its impact on Russia-West relations, but with certain nuances. At any rate, it would be wrong to project the Ukrainian scenario on the Greater Caucasus, because there is such a complicated confrontation between different stakeholders in this region. Contrast this to the crisis in Ukraine, which primarily divides Russia and the West. Even the lack of understanding on the status of the two Georgian breakaway republics - Abkhazia and South Ossetia - doesn’t mean that Russia and the West are at loggerheads. It just indicates that there is a division of the sphere of influence in the region. While Moscow backs the two breakaway republics, the U.S. and the EU support “nuclear Georgia.” At the same time, the new Russian-Turkish rapprochement should send a signal to the West that there will not be any Eurasian coalition against it, even as a hypothetical project.

One also should not forget about Russia-West cooperation in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It survived the 2008 Five-Day War between Russia and Georgia and the Ukrainian crisis. Thus, all these summits reveal the situational nature of Russia’s Caucasian agenda. There are no clear schemes and no rigid plans, and there are no brash attempts to put Russia into opposition with other stakeholders. However, it is clear that Armenia will be closer to Russia than Turkey, while Abkhazia will be closer than Georgia. But again, it doesn’t mean that Moscow won’t cooperate with other stakeholders in the search for pragmatic solutions. Yet it remains to be seen if this trend in Russia’s policy will persist over the long run. After all, no one can predict the appearance of dangerous black swan events that upset any delicate equilibrium that might be created in the region.


Dugin: "Our goal is the liberation of Turkey from American influence; Armenia is our greatest ally"

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[Note from J. Arnoldski: This interview with Dugin was originally published on Nov. 11, 2015. The claim that Turkey "is fighting against Assad and ISIS" is a reference to the official position of the Turkish government a month ago before subsequent revelations and events rendered such an absurd fiction. Moreover, this quote is not of Dugin himself but is clearly an extrapolation by the interviewer. The quoting of Turkey's official stance that it is fighting ISIS might be employed  in order to display the at least nominal "bipolarity" of Turkey and official Ankara's vacillation between pursuing regional interests while remaining dependent on NATO. Either way, one may rest assured that Dugin, as confirmed by other and recent pieces, does in fact recognize that Turkey supports ISIS, and this interview has much to offer despite a confusing and contradictory sentence apparently the fault of the editor of Minval.az

"Dugin: 'Azerbaijan has the same meaning in Turkish geopolitics as Armenia'

“There is pro-Russian sentiment in Turkey and it is very serious. Turkey depends on Russia from the point of view of tourism, economics, energy, and in many issues from the point of view of geopolitics. Therefore, Turkey will never drastically exacerbate relations with Russia, although occasionally they are not so good.”

Minval.az reports these words as stated in an interview with First Information by the Russian social activist, sociologist, and political scientist Alexander Dugin. According to him, Russia has positions which Turkey partially agrees with and partially doesn’t. Russia supports Assad and is fighting against ISIS while Turkey fights against Assad and against ISIS.

“The Americans support the Kurds. Russia is neutral towards the Kurds, while the Turks are aggressive. It turns out that there are three different positions. They partially converge, and partially do not. Therefore the Turks in fact have many issues and complaints against us in regards to the Syrian policy of Russia. As to whether this could influence Armenia, this simply in no way can because in Erdogan’s policies Armenia simply doesn’t exist, is not a factor, and Armenia is not important for Erdogan in any way. There are certain Turkish nationalist and Kemalist circles which are fighting against too large of concessions in favor of recognizing the genocide of Armenians in global politics, but Turkey has no realistic interest in Armenia insofar as Turkey is resolving a number of other problems among which Armenia is not a primary, nor even a secondary one from the point of view of Turkish geopolitics.

Further, many in Armenia believe that Turkey fully supports Azerbaijan. this is not so because Azerbaijan, in Turkish geopolitics, has the same meaning as Armenia. In fact, it is in a third or fourth rank problem. Turkey is fully focused on its national interests. Azerbaijan and the Karabakh conflict as well as the ancient problems between Armenians and Turks do not interest Turkey at all. At one point, the Armenian factor was used by Turkey in the era of confrontation between the Soviet Union and pro-Russian policies, but Turkey has turned away from an aggressive policy towards the Caucasus and practically does not pursue any policies beyond Turkey itself [in this direction]. For a long time two other forces have been active there - Islamists and other networks. Therefore, from the point of view of the real state of affairs, Armenia practically means nothing for Erdogan and Ankara.

America is pushing for an escalation of the Karabakh and Turkish-Armenian conflict, while Ankara strongly opposes this, understanding that in the situation in which Turkey now finds itself, there is no desire and now goal or meaning in opening a new front and creating new tensions. Therefore, under the current government there is no pursuit of such a course of developing Armenian-Turkish relations - there can be no positive nor negative development,” he noted.

According to Dugin, Russia has no plans in Turkey, but Russia has plans in Syria. Russia is planning to fight to the end in Syria, that is, fully restore Assad to power in Syria and turn Syria into a regional base for Russian geopolitics:

“For this, it is of course necessary to construct some kind of model among ones allies. Armenia is the single most serious ally of Russia. It is part of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, that is, we should have a unitary system of missile and air defenses and integration on all levels, including nuclear defense and the nuclear umbrella which we guarantee Armenia. Accordingly, these actions take place in the framework of deploying a system of strategic security around Russia in relying on its allies. Armenia belongs to this first and foremost. But this is not because we are planning some kind of aggravation of Turkey or, moreover, a war. Absolutely not.

Russia has simply gone beyond its borders in terms of influence. We have declared our goals. Our goal is the liberation of Turkey from American influence and Qatar-Saudi-Arabian ISIS, while we simply manifest ourselves as a pole of global politics. Of course, Armenia is 1oo% on our side from a military-political point of view. But this doest not mean that this is done against Turkey. Turkey is playing its own game and therefore this real defense is in fact built against NATO. To the extent that Turkey is a NATO member, this defense is directed against it, but not against Turkey as a nation-state, but against NATO as a hostile bloc which wants to regain global hegemony.”

In the opinion of the political scientist, Russia does not consider an alliance with Armenia as something directed against Azerbaijan, and does not consider rapprochement with Azerbaijan as a step directed against Armenia.

“In fact, Russia drew up friendly relations with Armenia earlier than with Azerbaijan. Such historically developed after the collapse of the USSR. That is, Armenia, being a sovereign, independent country, nevertheless chose to remain in the orbit of Eurasian geopolitics, geostrategy, and economy. Now we see that this is institutionally anchored in the Eurasian Union and the CSTO.

Azerbaijan went a different path and oriented itself more towards the West, but Azerbaijan gradually understands that orienting towards other countries, in particular the US or Europe, which itself entails a number of problems, does not satisfy the interests of Azerbaijan. Therefore, Azerbaijan is seeking a path to return to the orbit of Eurasian politics. Russia supports this with pleasure. But this does not mean that this is in any sense at least a partial unfriendly move in relation to Armenia. Russia is incomparably greater than Armenia and Azerbaijan by all measures precisely just as the US is incomparably greater than Greece and Turkey and cannot play only on the side of Greece against Turkey and vice versa.

The West has installed its Atlanticist order. Russia is installing its own Eurasian order, where its participants are protected, play by the rules, and sit down at the negotiating table with the support of Russia and other regional states in order to resolve contradictions which, by the way, exist between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Where Russia is in a partnership with different states, and first and foremost post-Soviet ones, and not only in Syria, it creates the rules of the game within which regional tensions and even internal disputes unfold.

Thus, if we speak of a rapprochement between Russia and Azerbaijan, this should not be considered an anti-Armenian step simply because Armenia is in no position to dictate to Russia its regional policy. That’s it. Thus, this does not mean that Russia will sacrifice the strategic interests of Armenia. If it does so, then it will lose all of its friends and this can’t be,” Dugin summarized.

Source: http://www.fort-russ.com/2015/11/dugin-our-goal-is-liberation-of-turkey.html

Dugin: Ties with Turkey will be better than before

Alexander Dugin

Russian President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy consultant Alexander Dugin visited Ankara after being invited to a meeting held by the nongovernmental organization Eurasian Union of Local Governments. Speaking on Thursday, Dugin said that a new era is about to dawn in relations between Russia and Turkey that might even surpass the previous state of ties. At the meeting, which former Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputies and ministers attended, Dugin said he expected fundamental changes for the better. Touching on Turkey's downing of a Russian jet in 2015, the incident which caused relations to deteriorate for a number of months, Dugin alleged that the killing was exacted by forces trying to affect relations between the two countries. He also said that the timing of the recent attack at Istanbul's Atatürk International Airport was meaningful, as it happened right after Turkey and Russia started to mend their relations. He also praised President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying that "his courageous initiative had a significant role in the normalization." Moreover, Dugin affirmed that Erdoğan offering his condolences to the killed Russian pilot's family minimized Russia's concerns. "The most important thing was to normalize relations," Dugin said. "Both Erdoğan and Putin understood this fact while the relations were strained." Regarding the Middle East, Dugin said he foresees a significant change in the policies of both Russia and Turkey. He said that the U.S. is advocating the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in the region, which contradicts Russia's strategies and beliefs. "If Russia and Turkey can reach consensus on Syria, I believe we can also resolve the issues regarding a Kurdish state in the region," Dugin said. A Turkish delegation led by Ministry Deputy Secretary Ali Kemal Aydın also held a meeting separately with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksey Meshkov. The ministry said that Aydın and Meshkov talked about the normalization of relations along with gradual revitalization of Turkish-Russian cooperation in economy and trade.

Putin, Erdogan Mend Ties as Post-Coup Turkey Turns to Russia

 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Vladimir Putin. Kremlin.ru

Turkey and Russia will seek to speed up the repair of frayed relations when Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets Vladimir Putin for talks in St. Petersburg next month in the wake of the failed military coup against the Turkish president. Russia “isn’t just our close and friendly neighbor, but also a strategic partner,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, who announced the Aug. 9 visit, said at talks in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Arkady Dvorkovich on Tuesday. “Today, we are here to normalize the situation and our relations as soon as possible and at an accelerated pace since they were disrupted on November 24,” he said, referring to the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish fighter jets near the Syrian border.

There’ll be no shortage of things for the two presidents to talk about in St. Petersburg, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call Tuesday. Putin discussed Erdogan’s visit with the Russian Security Council on Tuesday, according to the Kremlin’s website. The attempt to overthrow Erdogan has turbo-charged efforts to restore ties between Turkey and Russia that were already under way after the crisis over the warplane. The rapprochement may even lead to a political realignment in the region. Erdogan has drawn strong criticism from the U.S. and other NATO allies for a sweeping crackdown on tens of thousands of alleged opponents following the failed coup, while Turkey has heaped praise on Russia for its support since the crisis erupted on July 15.

‘Thank You’

Simsek emphasized Turkey’s gratitude to Russia at the talks with Dvorkovich on restoring economic ties, saying: “You supported democracy, supported the government. Thank you very much.” Russia and Turkey may form an alliance of “two developing economies with an ideology of sovereign values as a union of the deceived against the West,” Alexander Baunov, a senior associate at the Carnegie Moscow Center, said in e-mailed comments. Violations of rights and freedoms by the Erdogan government after the failed coup mean “moving away automatically from the West, which hasn’t yet decided how much to tolerate in order not to alienate” Turkey, Baunov said. Russia isn’t concerned about such abuses and can show it’s ready to be friends, he said.

‘Ruling Gang’

Turkey received “unconditional support” from Russia over the coup attempt, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview to Haberturk TV on Monday. He also said anti-U.S. sentiment is rising in the country after the failed revolt. Putin ordered the Russian government last month to begin lifting sanctions imposed on Turkey after Erdogan sent a letter offering “sympathy and profound condolences” to the family of the pilot who died when Turkey shot down his plane during the November mission to bomb Islamic State and other militants in Syria. Putin had accused Turkey of a “stab in the back” for downing the jet and railed against the “ruling gang” in Ankara, as Russia retaliated with a ban on charter flights that harmed tourism and sanctions on imports of some Turkish fruits and vegetables. In December, Russia directly accused Erdogan’s family of being involved in illegal oil trading with Islamic State, a charge Turkey rejected.

Trade Decline

Turkey said the warplane was shot down after crossing into its territory and ignoring warnings. Russia insisted its aircraft never left Syrian airspace. Putin turned the war in Syria in President Bashar al-Assad’s favor after ordering Russian airstrikes against militants, while Turkey wants Assad to stand down as part of any settlement. The ban on charter flights contributed to Turkey’s record drop in foreign-tourist arrivals in May. There was a 92 percent decline in Russian visitors as the number of overall arrivals fell by 35 percent compared with a year earlier. It was Turkey’s 10th consecutive monthly fall in arrivals, the longest streak of year-on-year declines in statistics that span a decade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Tourism accounts for 6.2 percent of Turkey’s economic output, according to the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, and 8 percent of employment. Trade between Russia and Turkey fell by 57.2 percent in the first five months of 2016 compared with a year earlier, to $6.1 billion, according to Russian Federal Customs Service data.

Turkish Stream

Trade volumes with Turkey will rise, though they won’t rebound to previous levels quickly, Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev told reporters in Moscow after talks with his Turkish counterpart Nihat Zeybekci on Tuesday. The Turkish food embargo should be lifted gradually and it may take some time, he said. Turkey confirmed interest in resuming the Turkish Stream gas-pipeline project, Alexander Medvedev, deputy chief executive officer of Gazprom PJSC, told reporters after taking part in talks between Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Zeybekci. A decision on an agreement will be made after Putin and Erdogan meet, he said. Russia shelved talks in December on the planned Black Sea link that would make Turkey a linchpin in Europe’s energy supplies by 2020, with Gazprom saying the route was still possible if political

Source: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/putin-erdogan-turkey-russia/2016/07/26/id/740613/

Vladimir Putin wants to 'twist Turkey coup to spark conflict' between Erdogan and West

Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The Russian leader will meet with the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in St Petersburg next week to discuss ways of helping mend relations between the two countries. It is understood their agenda will include regional issues, such as the crisis in Syria, with Turkish officials scrambling to deny that the meeting is a sign of the country turning its back on the West. But Sinan Ulgen, a former Turkish diplomat, has argued that closer Russia ties could be formed if tensions between Turkey and the West fail to thaw. Mr Ulgen said: "For Erdogan, this meeting with Putin is certainly an opportunity to signal to Turkey's partners in the West that it could have other strategic options. "There is this perception game that Turkey could strategically gravitate towards Russia if the relationship with the West cannot be maintained. "There is also an incentive on the side of Russia to use the crisis between Turkey and the West to undermine NATO's cohesiveness."

The meeting will also hear about plans for a gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey, a project known as TurkStream. EU officials are concerned the deal could force Europe to become ever more reliant on Russia's gas supply as the gas line would bypass Ukraine and potential suppliers in the Caspian region. Nuclear power projects, and the resumption of Russian charter flights to Turkey, which stopped after the downing of the fighter jet last November, will also be on the cards for the meeting. Andrey Kortunov, director general of the Russian International Affairs Council, said the failed coup has pulled Turkey closer to Russia as he described countries as "outcasts as far as the West is concerned". But he added: "There still remain serious differences between the two countries."

Disagreements persist over Syria, where Moscow backs President Bashar al-Assad but Ankara wants him ousted, as well as the South Caucasus, where Turkey has backed Azerbaijan in a conflict with Armenia, a Russian ally, over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. Mr Kortunov said: "The meeting between Putin and Erdogan... will show how far both sides are willing to compromise. "The question is whether the current tactical de-escalation can translate into a deeper strategic partnership." Faruk Logoglu, a former Turkish ambassador to Washington, said he doubted the meeting would mean a full Turkish embrace of Russia or lasting damage to US ties. He said: "The Turkish-American relationship is like a catholic marriage: there is no divorce. Both sides need each other. "It has experienced severe tests in the past and I think it will weather this one as well." Tensions between Russia and Turkey have proved detrimental for Turkish tourism, with the country reporting a drop in Russian visitors by 87 per cent in the first six months of this year. The country has also been hit by a series of suicide bombings.


NATO Gets Ill at Ease as Revival of Turkish Stream Looms on the Horizon

Turkish security special force members check the area at the pumping station in the village of Durusu, near the northern Turkish city of Samsun (File)

Ahead of the upcoming meeting between Russian and Turkish energy ministers later this month and expected revival of joint energy projects, including the Turkish Stream, well-known Turkish political analyst Togrul İsmayıl tells Sputnik that NATO and EU might express deep concerns over the renewal of energy cooperation between the two countries. Russian and Turkish energy ministers are set to meet in Russia later this month, according to Russia’s First Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexey Likhachev. “Energy issues, including major joint projects will be among the key topics for discussion,” Likhachev told journalists on the sidelines of G20 Trade Ministers meeting in China when asked about possible revival of the Turkish Stream project. Earlier on Saturday Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci also told journalists that Russian and Turkish energy ministers will hold talks later this month in Russia, stressing that “the Turkish Stream and nuclear energy projects are gaining momentum.”

Well-known Turkish political analyst and Professor of TOBB University of Economics and. Technology Togrul İsmayıl told Sputnik that the crisis in Russian-Turkish economic relationship is not as deep as it might seem, however the revival of political and legal cooperation between the two countires might take certain time. The political analyst also noted that there are certain external factors which might have an impact on the settlement of the economic cooperation between Russia and Turkey. And stressed that NATO, which is currently toughening it policy against Russia, might express certain discontent over the renewal of energy cooperation between the two countries.

“It is well-known that Turkey has not supported the sanctions imposed by the EU and the US on Russia,” İsmayıl tokld Sputnik. “Hence, the EU might try to exert certain pressure on Turkey with regards to further implementation of Russian-Turksih energy projects. However I doubt that this pressure will have any sensitive effect,” he added. “The major resistance might come from NATO,” the political analyst further said. “And Turkey might experience certain difficulties. However even during the Cold War Russia was trading freely with Europe in the energy sphere. Thus I don’t think that such difficulties migh cause a negative impact on Russian-Turkish economic relationship or otherwise “get Turkey cornered.”

The political analyst also noted that the major task is now to lift the sanctions imposed on each other during the recent crisis and to gradually increase the trade turnover between the two to $100 billion, the target the two countires announced before the downing of the Russian jet in November last year. İsmayıl also stressed that Russia remains one of the largest energy suppliers for Turkey and Turkey is an important energy consumer of the Russian gas. With regards to the Turkish Stream project the political analyst said that Russia is regarding it as a geopolitical issue while Turkey is focused more on its economic aspect, which will guarantee its energy security. He also noted that both countries have not abandoned any of the earlier discussed projects and the works on them are still going on, including the ones on the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.


Su-24 incident: trace of Gülen and CIA

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Can Ataklı, a journalist from Sözcü Gazetesi, said in his column that he had recently met with a former officer and asked him if Fethullah’s agents were in the Turkish army. (Fethullah Gülen is the co-founder of Nur Movement, lurking in Pennsylvania (the US); this sect is in opposition to Erdogan). He said that the Nur Movement had been within the army for the long time, despite the repression, it had strengthened its positions. When Atakli asked the officer about the rumors that the Russian pilot had been shot down by Fethullah’s pilot, he reminded Atakli that he had previously written about it. The following is an excerpt from the Turkish author’s article.

“I remembered that he wrote an article on this issue. It was entitled: “The Palace established its viewpoint, but the Pilot Decided to Shoot Down the Russian Plane himself.” The officer said to me that he was the first one to say it, before the prime minister was said to have ordered it, or that the Turkish air forces decided to do it. The president made a hint that it was the pilot’s initiative. I think that he wanted to say it. Then the former officer remembered the leaked document by Wikileaks and said that, of course, shooting down the Russian aircraft was madness: “I think both the president, the government, as well as the Defense Minister, were shocked. But they could cope with it.”

Then the journalist said that he found the document mentioned by the former officer. The document states that the tension between Erdogan and head of the Ministry Necdet Özel appeared after the Turkish aircraft crash in Syria on June 22nd, 2012. Six days after, the US Embassy sent a dispatch to the center via e-mail, which spoke about the tension between Erdogan and Necdet Özel; Wikileaks published the document. The US Embassy said to the Department of State that Necdet Özel insisted on the invasion of Syria, and that about 400,000 solders were ready to initiate the intervention. But Erdogan resisted, saying that NATO would be furious.

The message said that Erdogan doesn't want to clash with Russia, and NATO wouldn’t give their approval. It also said that Erdogan is anxious about Abdullah Gül, who controls the higher commanders, and if he allies with Necdet Özel, Erdogan will be forced to resign. The former officer also said that the Syrian policy was incorrect from the very beginning: “I can say that Erdogan didn’t want to wage war against Syria; it was all for show to gain dividends and support so that he appears like a hero before the nation and is the beneficiary of strengthened politician power. In fact, he doesn’t want to wage war.” The journalist said that, after analyzing all the facts, he concluded that Fethullah’s pilot shot down the Russian aircraft.

Source: http://katehon.com/article/su-24-incident-trace-gulen-and-cia


Turkey’s Former PM Ahmet Davutoglu Authorized Shooting Down Russian Jet

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Turkey’s former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he authorized shooting down a Russian plane near Syria in November 2015, causing a diplomatic rift between Moscow and Ankara, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported. The incident saw both sides accusing each other of trading oil with the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), and Turkey refusing to apologize for downing the aircraft. Initially, President Tayyip Erdogan was defiant, accusing Russia of arming Kurdish militants that Turkey was fighting and claiming Putin was more interested in propping up the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad than fighting ISIS.

Erdogan has since backtracked and sent Putin a note of apology, with the two expected to meet next month to resume their previously close relationship. Davutoglu, who was prime minister at the time of the shooting, appeared to contradict statements by ruling party members who alleged that the responsibility lay with the Turkish pilot. Instead, Davutoglu said he had sent general instructions to the Turkish armed forces to tighten security after Russia had violated Turkish skies several times in the fall.

“Within our state’s customs, the prime minister gives the rules of engagement in a written directive to the General Staff. I gave the order on October 10,” Davutoglu told private broadcaster NTV. “These rules of engagement will be implemented on not only Syrian planes but all that breaches the Turkish air space.” The former prime minister said he did not feel there was a problem with the implementation of the rules of engagement because the issue was about defending Turkish air space. “It is not right to raise questions eight months after the incident,” Davutoglu added. “I would undertake the same political responsibility even it happened today.”


Putin encourages Iran to join Russia-led Eurasian alliance

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised the successful cooperation between Moscow and Tehran, and has expressed hope that a free trade zone can soon be established between Iran and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union.

“Iran is Russia’s longtime partner. We believe that bilateral relations will benefit from the reduction of tensions around Iran following the comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program,” Putin said in a major interview with Azerbaijani state news agency Azertac released on Friday. He added that Iranian leaders shared his approach. In some branches of the economy Russian-Iranian cooperation has already become strategic, Putin noted. This concerned first of all the nuclear energy sphere, with Russia completing and servicing the Bushehr power plant in Iran and reaching agreements on building eight more nuclear power units.

Overall the two states have managed to increase bilateral trade by 70 percent and bring it to $855 million in the first five months of 2016. The Russian leader also welcomed the possible creation of a free trade zone between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union – the bloc that currently unites Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. He said that work has already started to research the possibility of such a move, adding that Russia would continue to support Iran's pursuit of full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – the Eurasian military-political bloc comprised of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

On August 8, Putin is expected to visit Baku and take part in the first-ever trilateral summit of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran. In November last year, Russia and Iran agreed to develop economic ties, with Moscow promising to provide a $5 billion state loan to Tehran for the promotion of industrial cooperation. The loan is expected to boost trade between the two countries, with the target set at $10 billion, up from the current $1.6 billion. The two countries have selected 35 priority projects in energy, port facilities, and railway electrification. In March this year, Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergey Levin promised that Moscow would ease customs procedures for Iranian agricultural products and speed up their delivery to Russian markets.

Source: https://www.rt.com/politics/354743-putin-voices-support-to-iran/


The beginning of a Russian-Iranian alliance

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There are a number of economic and geopolitical reasons why Russia could be looking for a broader alliance with Iran, the most important of which is the desire to check U.S. influence in the world.

Russia has been bombing Syria for nearly a year now, and the intense proximity of Russian air forces to Iranian ground forces has necessarily raised many questions about the two countries’ relationship. Fighting wars together – even those as convoluted as Syria’s – is typically something that allies do, but many analysts and commentators have been reluctant to acknowledge this. They insist that this invigorated relationship is temporary – a brief intersection of interests – and their arguments fall broadly into two categories: the historical and the realist. Neither, however, fully appreciates Russia’s desperate circumstances nor the paradigmatic shifts both countries are experiencing. The first historical view reads that Russia and Iran were at loggerheads throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries and this is a pattern they are destined to repeat. Even the 1828 Treaty of Turkmenchay, in which Iran ceded much of Armenia and Azerbaijan to the Russian Empire, is “still not forgotten in Tehran” and will surely put a dampener on modern relations.

An altogether more persuasive argument states that in recent history, whenever Russia or Iran has experienced closer relations with the U.S., their interest in each other depreciates substantially. Prior cooperation has certainly hinged on their respective relations with the U.S., but in both cases, these relations are going nowhere fast. Russia has ruined its relationship with the West in the long-term by annexing Crimea and occupying Eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile the Obama administration has recently toughened its stance on Iran, partially in response to accusations of having been too soft when negotiating the nuclear deal. The two remaining candidates for the U.S. presidency have confirmed they will be tougher still, so one cannot expect a sudden flourishing rapprochement to impede Russian–Iranian relations. Lastly, one hears that Russia and Iran are irreconcilable competitors. They vie for influence in Central Asia – particularly in the resource-rich Caspian Sea – and as owners of the world’s largest and second-largest proven natural gas reserves, they are sure to compete bitterly now that sanctions are lifted and Iran is re-entering the market. These claims, however, invite a closer inspection.

Both Russia and Iran might well aspire to regional hegemony in Central Asia, but this should not diminish the fact that each has far more at stake elsewhere. Russia’s region of choice is Europe while Iran’s is the Middle East, and each is yet to seriously challenge the other in its preferred region. They might both be intervening in Syria, but across the Middle East, Russia seeks only customers whereas Iran seeks clients. Furthermore the potential for Iran to upset Russia’s energy trade with Europe – where it has always made most of its profit – has been drastically overstated. Closer to home, the two powers are guided and united by a greater strategic imperative: guarding Central Asia and the Caspian Sea from U.S. influence. Both might have bolstered their Caspian naval presence in recent years, but joint military exercises such as those held in October are hardly the behavior one expects from rival powers.

Shifting paradigms in Moscow and Tehran

The fundamental mistake of these analyses is to ignore or downplay the momentous and complementary changes taking place in Russia and Iran. The latter is emerging from decades of sanctions and isolation while the former is retreating from the post-Cold War world it joined in 1991. Iran’s transition is important but Russia’s is key, for it defines their burgeoning relationship. Russia has burned its bridges with the West by intervening in Ukraine and has found little comfort in pivoting to China, which has instead taken advantage of Russia’s weakness to secure bargain-price gas while refusing to lend even diplomatic support to Russia’s reckless foreign policy. Hence Russia seeks new strategic partners, and this has been the driving force behind improved relations with Iran. It has pursued Iran by a series of credible, favor-winning, and largely unreciprocated acts. Despite being in the middle of prosecuting a hybrid war in Ukraine, Russia worked tirelessly to secure the Iranian nuclear deal now hailed as one of U.S. President Obama’s crowning achievements.

The deal, of course, released Iran from crippling sanctions but also warded off what was becoming a very real threat of military intervention. Furthermore it ensured that any so-called “snapback” – the re-imposition of sanctions if Iran was found to be cheating – would be difficult and would likely void the entire arrangement. Russia also volunteered its Rosatom nuclear energy corporation to handle the exchange of 8.5 tons of Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile (leaving just 300 kg as specified in the deal) for 140 tons of natural uranium.

While the Obama administration has notably cooled on the nuclear deal, Russia has not, for this was only the beginning of its courting of Iran. Not only has it continued to lobby for Iranian interests at the negotiating table, but it also has been working methodically to soothe every contention between itself and Iran. The demarcation of the Caspian Sea, for example, has plagued relations between its littoral states (Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan) since the Soviet Union collapsed. But Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, now expects this issue to be resolved at a summit next year after a “couple of months” of intensive work.

A particularly painful issue was Russia’s reneging on a sale to Iran of its S-300PMU-1 surface-to-air missile system in 2010 as a result of Western pressure. Iran subsequently filed a lawsuit but with the first deliveries of the system’s components arriving in Iran in April this year, the lawsuit has been “settled at the political level,” according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. Lastly comes Syria. Clearly Russia had its own reasons for intervening in Syria, but the idea that this was partly motivated by the desire to curry favor with Iran has not been explored. That Iran wanted this is beyond doubt, and it has long been alleged that Russia intervened at Iran’s behest – to be the decisive air force that neither Iran nor Syria yet possesses. Russia’s own objectives in Syria were ambiguous at best, and it does not stretch the imagination to question the extent to which Iranian commanders guided its missions. According to defectors, Iran already controls much of the Syrian Army while its own militias, including the National Defence Force and Hezbollah, have led recent military offensives and been the primary beneficiaries of Russia’s strikes. Hezbollah has even boasted about providing intelligence to support Russian sorties.

What Russia wants

There are tangible economic reasons for pursuing Iran in this way. Russia hopes to maintain existing trade links in the face of stiff Western competition but also to expand trade in areas no longer restricted by sanctions, taking advantage of between $30-$100 billion of Iranian assets unfrozen by the nuclear deal. The former objective depends largely on the willingness of Western companies to invest in Iran, and on the ability of Iran’s reformers to implement their pro-Western agenda. The latter is more certain, and in the areas of nuclear power and defense, Russia is reaping the benefits of new Iranian capital. Rosatom has vowed to build two further nuclear power plants in Bushehr, the site of an existing Russian-built plant, and to redesign Iran’s Fordow uranium enrichment plant in accordance with the nuclear deal. The sale of the S-300PMU-1 surface-to-air missile systems will net $800 million alone, and Iran hopes to spend a further $8 billion on Russian military equipment, including Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters, coastal defense systems and an advanced multi-role jet, the Su-30SM. While neither of these industries is as important to the Russian economy as energy, such deals will provide some relief amongst otherwise dismal circumstances.

More than anything, however, Russia hopes it is winning the battle for Iran’s political future, and that it will become a forceful member of the anti-Western coalition Russia has been assembling for years. Unlike many of its existing members such as China, India, and other rising powers – the burgeoning malcontents of U.S. unipolarity – Iran truly shares Russia’s anti-Western agenda as well as its rare willingness to enact this by force. This might mean Iranian membership of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization (SCO), which is now being seriously discussed, as well as agreements with the Eurasian Economic Union, Russia’s post-Soviet answer to the European Union. But even if these do not come to pass it will mean presenting an increasingly united front, spanning from Europe to Asia, with the primary aim of checking U.S. influence in the world. This has long been Russia’s goal, and in Iran it has found a powerful and willing ally.

Source: http://www.russia-direct.org/opinion/beginning-russian-iranian-alliance

Armenia must be a connecting country between EAEU and Iran – Deputy FM

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Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia Robert Harutyunyan says Armenia must be a country connecting the EAEU and Iran. "Currently negotiations are underway over EAEU-Iran free trade agreement, and Armenia must be ready to not only act as a platform between the EAEU and Iran, but also it must try to present the possible investors’ interests within the framework of the agreement. In other words, we must put an emphasis on such sectors which we think have prospects in terms of making investments in Armenia. This process supposes development of Armenia-Iran bilateral business ties”, he said, “Armenpress” reported. The Deputy FM said the businessmen of Armenia must know at best the issues of establishing business ties with Iran. He also said works must be done to considerably facilitate the process of transferring the Iranian goods through Armenia. "Especially after the elimination of sanctions the interest of the European, Russian, US and other companies is increasing towards Iran. We must understand how we must work with Iran and develop the relations”, he said. “That route through which the Iranian product is being exported is very important. Unfortunately, the transport of the large part of Russia-Iran goods is being carried out through Azerbaijan. Armenia has serious works to do on this issue”, the Deputy FM said.


Why the Russia-Azerbaijan alliance is weaker than it looks

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On August 8, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met in Baku. Shortly after their meeting, Putin announced Russia’s intention to forge a strategic partnership with Azerbaijan. Putin also expressed interest in expanding Russia-Azerbaijan trade links and strengthening Moscow-Baku military cooperation in the Caspian Sea region.
 
 As Russia has increased its arms exports to Azerbaijan in recent years, many analysts believe that the Putin-Aliyev summit is a starting point for a consolidated Moscow-Baku alliance. This assessment overestimates the strength of the Russia-Azerbaijan partnership. There is compelling evidence that the much-touted “alliance” between Russia and Azerbaijan is merely a temporary marriage of convenience aimed at maximizing both countries’ geopolitical influence.

Even though Azerbaijan has recently upgraded its economic and military partnership with Russia, Azerbaijan’s commitment to foreign policy neutrality and criticisms of Russian military activities in Ukraine underscore the limits of the Moscow-Baku partnership. Russia has responded to Aliyev’s conduct by cautiously regulating the amount of military assistance it provides to Azerbaijan. This ensures that Nagorno-Karabakh remains a frozen conflict zone, and allows Armenia to gain a measure of security from Azerbaijani aggression.

Azerbaijan’s Balancing Strategy has Caused Putin to Distrust Baku’s Intentions
 
 Since Ilham Aliyev took over from his father as Azerbaijan’s President in 2003, Azerbaijan has bolstered its regional influence by maintaining cordial relations with both Russia and the West. Azerbaijan’s neutrality is a rare phenomenon in the post-Soviet region. Aside from Moldova, Ukraine and Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan is the only CIS country that is not a member of NATO, the Russian-led CSTO security bloc, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) or the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Azerbaijan has used its neutral foreign policy and strategic location to carve out a role as a mediator during international crises. On June 28, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim thanked Azerbaijan for its role in facilitating the normalization of relations between Turkey and Russia. Aliyev hopes that Baku’s mediation role in the Russia-Turkey standoff could be a precedent for future successful Azerbaijani diplomatic interventions. In particular, Azerbaijani political analysts argue that Baku could be a mediator in the Russia-Georgia conflict and Russia-Turkmenistan standoff over natural gas exports.

Even though Aliyev’s balancing strategy has bolstered Azerbaijan’s international status, Azerbaijan is unlikely to forge a durable alliance with Russia. Baku’s non-committal approach to international affairs has caused Putin to view Azerbaijan as an opportunistic country that seeks to maximize trade volumes and geopolitical influence at any cost.

Putin’s concerns about Azerbaijan’s loyalty to Russia have restricted Baku’s ability to profit from the recent Russia-Turkey thaw. After Turkey’s November shoot-down of a Russian jet flying over its soil, Azerbaijan refused to support either Moscow or Ankara. As the Russia-Turkey standoff escalated, Azerbaijan developed a southern gas corridor to expand Baku’s natural gas exports to the EU. Russian policymakers viewed this gas corridor as an undue exploitation of Russia-Turkey tensions that threatened Moscow’s hegemony over European energy markets.

To retaliate against Azerbaijan’s energy deals with the EU, Russia has used its recent improvement in relations with Turkey to undercut Azerbaijan’s position as an energy supplier to Europe. Russia’s revival of the construction of the Turkstream pipeline linking Russian natural gas to Turkey has diminished the effectiveness of Azerbaijan’s outreach to European energy markets. A decline in Azerbaijani gas exports to Europe could exacerbate Azerbaijan’s worsening currency crisis and increase the vulnerability of Aliyev’s government to popular unrest.

Azerbaijan’s criticisms of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine have also obstructed progress towards a Russia-Azerbaijan alliance. During a recent bilateral summit in Baku, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko expressed solidarity with Azerbaijan’s territorial claims to Nagorno-Karabakh. Ilham Aliyev reiterated his condemnation of the Russian annexation of Crimea and stated his opposition to Russia’s efforts to undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Baku’s pro-Ukraine position has helped Azerbaijan convince Western countries to turn a blind eye to Aliyev’s human rights abuses but has also done great harm to Azerbaijan’s prospects of cooperation with Russia.

Russia is Reluctant to Provide Decisive Military Assistance to Azerbaijan

Many experts on the post-Soviet region have cited Russia’s handling of the April 2-5 hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh as evidence of a budding Russia-Azerbaijan alliance. During these hostilities, senior Russian officials vowed to uphold Moscow’s strategy of selling arms to both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Russia’s refusal to provide military assistance to Armenia or condemn Azerbaijani aggression also fuelled speculation that Russia had foreknowledge of Azerbaijan’s military activities in Nagorno-Karabakh and had not shared this information with Yerevan.

As Armenian nationalists were angered by Russia’s neutrality during the Nagorno-Karabakh hostilities, anti-Russian unrest in Armenia has surged in recent months. The Azerbaijani government has exploited anti-Russian sentiments in Armenia to strengthen the Baku-Moscow relationship and highlight Armenia as an “untrustworthy” Russian ally.

Despite rising anti-Russian unrest in Armenia, Moscow is unlikely to pivot firmly towards Azerbaijan. Even though Azerbaijan has purchased 85% of its arms imports from Russia from 2010-2015, Russia has not provided Azerbaijan with enough military support to record a decisive victory in Nagorno-Karabakh. Instead, Moscow has provided Azerbaijan with just enough arms supplies for Aliyev to win small, tactical victories that rally Azerbaijani nationalists around his government. As Aliyev benefits politically from his relationship with Russia, Putin has used Russian arms contracts as a foundation for cooperation with Azerbaijan on issues of shared concern, like energy security and combating ISIS.

Putin’s desire to demonstrate the firmness of Russian CSTO security guarantees to the international community will also prevent the formation of a Russia-Azerbaijan alliance. As the CSTO’s two most powerful countries, Russia and Kazakhstan, have close diplomatic ties to Azerbaijan, many Armenians have questioned the credibility of CSTO security guarantees.

To appease Armenia’s concerns about the credibility of Russia’s alliance commitments to Yerevan, Putin has taken steps to upgrade the Moscow-Yerevan security partnership. On August 16, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu and his Armenian counterpart, Seyran Ohanyan, announced that the Russian military would provide more military training for Armenian soldiers. Shoygu also described Russia’s military base in Armenia as a “guarantor of stability” in the Caucasus. This rhetoric demonstrates that Russia does not want the Azerbaijani military to become strong enough to completely overrun Armenian forces defending Nagorno-Karabakh.

Even though Russia and Azerbaijan will continue to cooperate extensively in the economic and military spheres, this partnership is unlikely to escalate to a full-blown alliance. Azerbaijan’s balancing strategy and criticisms of Russian foreign policy have hindered progress towards a durable Moscow-Baku alliance. Russia’s security commitments to Armenia will also prevent Putin from fully embracing Azerbaijan. Barring a drastic change in Azerbaijan’s conduct, Russia’s arms-length cooperation with Baku will likely continue. This will ensure the retention of an uneasy status quo in the South Caucasus for years to come.



Expert: In case of real threat, Yerevan can use Iskander missile systems at its sole discretion

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As Yerevan demonstrates the Russian-made Iskander missile systems during the rehearsal of its military parade dedicated to the Independence Day, the country’s media are flooded with this news. It is not surprising, considering that Armenia has actually become the first country to receive Iskander short-range ballistic missile systems. Experts have different views when it comes to Armenia’s opportunities to use these missiles. Some experts say Iskander systems will become a restraining factor for Azerbaijan in the Karabakh conflict, while others say, “these missiles will not be used against Azerbaijan.”

Military expert Alexander Perenjiyev agrees with the assertion, though with some reservation. The expert does not link the supply of Iskander systems to the threat coming from Azerbaijan. “Yerevan is Russia’s ally in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and we are building a common system of security that includes various components. The supply of Iskanders should be considered in this context,” Perenjiyev told EADaily. In his words, Russia cannot supply Iskander missiles to Azerbaijan for various reasons, including because Baku is not a CSTO member. “Azerbaijan is just a partner of Russia, not an ally,” he said.

At the same time, the expert admits that the supply of Iskander systems should be considered also in the context of the tense situation in the Karabakh conflict zone, the threat of repetition of the April war, and the militarist statements by Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov saying, they are ready “to attack Stepanakert at any moment.”

“In this sense, I think, if there is real threat to the security of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, Yerevan can use Iskander missile systems at its own discretion. The existence of Iskander systems is an essential factor. It is no secret that Russia supplies arms to Azerbaijan too to keep the military balance. However, Russia supplies arms to its ally Armenia nearly without compensation, while Baku pays for it. Such an interesting policy Russia wages in the region,” Perenjiyev said for conclusion.
 


Армения получила от России «Искандер»: Азербайджан может забыть про Карабах

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Армения – первая страна в мире после РФ, получившая ОТРК «Искандер». Список контрактов в рамках льготного кредита заметно изменился. ЗРК «Бук» передан Армении в рамках Объединённой системы ПВО с Россией?

16 сентября в Ереване прошла репетиция военного парада, посвященного 25-летию независимости Армении. Сам парад состоится уже скоро — 21 сентября. Репетиция оказалась крайне интересной — благодаря тому, что прохожим удалось увидеть и снять на видео и фотокамеры целый ряд ошеломляющих новинок, поступивших на вооружение армянской армии. Большая часть этой техники была поставлена из России в течение последних нескольких месяцев в рамках льготного кредита размером $200 млн. Посмотрим, что за военную технику получила Армения и как это повлияет на баланс сил в регионе. Главным событием стало то, что в репетиции приняли участие наиболее совершенные российские оперативно-тактические ракетные комплексы (ОТРК) «Искандер». Информацию о том, что «Искандеры» могут оказаться в Армении впервые в 2013 году распространило ИА REGNUM, но тогда речь шла о возможной их поставке на 102-ю базу РФ в Гюмри.

Однако после этого события пошли по другому сценарию — ракеты были приобретены Арменией: контракт, вероятнее всего, был подписан в 2014 году, а поставки начались в 2015 году. То есть сделка не имеет отношения к вышеуказанному льготному кредиту. Армения стала первой страной, которой Россия согласилась продать данный ОТРК — та же Саудовская Аравия уже несколько лет пытается приобрести «Искандеры», однако неоднократно делались заявления, что комплекс на экспорт никому поставляться не будет. В данном случае для ближайшего союзника было сделано исключение. Что касается самого ОТРК «Искандер» — то он, вероятнее всего, поставлен в экспортной конфигурации — максимальная дальность пуска у неё снижена с 500 км до 280−300 км, так как экспорт ракет, летящих более 300 км, запрещен международными договорами. Тем не менее, в случае с Арменией это не очень актуально, так как дальности в 300 км вполне достаточно для поражения практически любой цели на территории главного вероятного противника — Азербайджана. Высочайшая точность (круговое вероятное отклонение составляет 10−30 метров, в зависимости от используемой системы наведения) и полная защищенность от систем противовоздушной и противоракетной обороны позволяет практически гарантировано уничтожить любую цель. Такая возможность в руках армянской стороны будет висеть «дамокловым мечом» над руководством Азербайджана: развязывание полномасштабной войны в Нагорном Карабахе чревато уничтожением ключевых штабов, а, возможно, и важнейших объектов инфраструктуры, в том числе нефтегазовой. Причем в любой точке страны. Высшее командование азербайджанской армии тоже не сможет чувствовать себя в безопасности. В этом смысле поставка ОТРК «Искандер» Армении имеет миротворческую функцию — она сильно снижает вероятность возобновления войны.

Известно, что военные контракты в рамках льготного кредита на $200 млн были подписаны этим летом. По сравнению с изначально распространенным списком, как мы смогли увидеть на репетиции парада, есть изменения. Из соответствующего списку техники были показаны только тяжелые реактивные системы залпового огня «Смерч». Неожиданностью же стали системы радиоэлектронной борьбы (РЭБ) «Инфауна» и Р-325У — их в том списке не было. Некоторую же часть техники либо еще не успели поставить, либо она появится на более поздних репетициях, или же самом параде: два пустых тягача для гусеничной техники вполне могут говорить о том, что на них будут размещены реактивные огнеметные системы ТОС-1А «Солнцепек» на базе танка Т-72. Также можно ожидать появления системы пассивной радиотехнической разведки «Автобаза-М».

Известно, что военные контракты в рамках льготного кредита на $200 млн были подписаны этим летом. По сравнению с изначально распространенным списком, как мы смогли увидеть на репетиции парада, есть изменения. Из соответствующего списку техники были показаны только тяжелые реактивные системы залпового огня «Смерч». Неожиданностью же стали системы радиоэлектронной борьбы (РЭБ) «Инфауна» и Р-325У — их в том списке не было. Некоторую же часть техники либо еще не успели поставить, либо она появится на более поздних репетициях, или же самом параде: два пустых тягача для гусеничной техники вполне могут говорить о том, что на них будут размещены реактивные огнеметные системы ТОС-1А «Солнцепек» на базе танка Т-72. Также можно ожидать появления системы пассивной радиотехнической разведки «Автобаза-М».

Подробности: https://regnum.ru/news/2180732.html Любое использование материалов допускается только при наличии гиперссылки на ИА REGNUM.

Поставка Армении систем «Смерч» важна в смысле восстановления баланса в области тяжелых РСЗО: ранее Азербайджан имел заметный перевес, так как Ереван имел лишь 4−8 единиц китайских РСЗО WM-80, тогда как Баку мог рассчитывать на 30 единиц «Смерчей». Такая ситуация являлась угрозой для гражданской инфраструктуры и населенных пунктов Нагорного Карабаха и Армении. Теперь же разрыв заметно сократился, что является еще одним фактором сдерживания Азербайджана от агрессии.

Что же касается систем РЭБ «Инфауна», то это одна из наиболее современных и совершенных систем данного класса в России. Она была принята на вооружение в 2012 году. Функционал этого комплекса РЭБ, размещенного на базе БТР-80, очень широк, — его возможно использовать для борьбы с беспилотниками, обнаружения и подавления систем связи противника, подавления устройств с радиовзрывателями. Кроме того, «Инфауна» имеет множество чувствительных видеокамер, позволяющих засекать вспышки выстрелов из ручных противотанковых гранатометов (РПГ) и противотанковых ракетных комплексов (ПТРК) и автоматически выстреливать в их направлении дымовую завесу, защищая колонну бронетехники, в составе которой комплекс и движется. Система же Р-325У обеспечивает подавление радиосвязи оперативно-тактического и оперативного звеньев управления. Такое высокотехнологичное вооружение способно заметно нарушить координацию сил противника, оставив передовые соединения без связи.

Подробности: https://regnum.ru/news/2180732.html Любое использование материалов допускается только при наличии гиперссылки на ИА REGNUM.

Поставка Армении систем «Смерч» важна в смысле восстановления баланса в области тяжелых РСЗО: ранее Азербайджан имел заметный перевес, так как Ереван имел лишь 4−8 единиц китайских РСЗО WM-80, тогда как Баку мог рассчитывать на 30 единиц «Смерчей». Такая ситуация являлась угрозой для гражданской инфраструктуры и населенных пунктов Нагорного Карабаха и Армении. Теперь же разрыв заметно сократился, что является еще одним фактором сдерживания Азербайджана от агрессии. Что же касается систем РЭБ «Инфауна», то это одна из наиболее современных и совершенных систем данного класса в России. Она была принята на вооружение в 2012 году. Функционал этого комплекса РЭБ, размещенного на базе БТР-80, очень широк, — его возможно использовать для борьбы с беспилотниками, обнаружения и подавления систем связи противника, подавления устройств с радиовзрывателями. Кроме того, «Инфауна» имеет множество чувствительных видеокамер, позволяющих засекать вспышки выстрелов из ручных противотанковых гранатометов (РПГ) и противотанковых ракетных комплексов (ПТРК) и автоматически выстреливать в их направлении дымовую завесу, защищая колонну бронетехники, в составе которой комплекс и