Fifteen soldiers died today in Armenia. Another three were wounded, two of whom are in critical condition. They were not killed by enemy fire. They were simply trying to stay warm.
For more than a month, Artsakh has been cut off from the rest of the world by the joint will of Azerbaijan and Russia as the international community watches silently because Artsakh is the blind spot of the peace negotiations, writes Gaidz Minassian.
There are three scenarios of how the war in Ukraine might end for Russia and what this will mean for the three countries of the South Caucasus. Gaidz Minassian examines the strategies of the players in the region.
Baku does not want an equitable peace, the West struggles to advance the negotiations, and Moscow prefers freezing the process to create a new status quo it can control. Yerevan will need to enhance its bargaining abilities by engaging in asymmetrical aggressive bargaining.
As Artsakh is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster, three actors — Russia, Azerbaijan and the West — have taken the population of Artsakh hostage, writes Gaidz Minassian.
The interplay between two conflicts, one in Eastern Europe, the other in the Caucasus provides a global dimension to the issues they contain. Beyond the common space-time matrix, what can we learn from what lies at the nexus of these two conflicts?
While the actors have changed and the Old World framework was replaced by a New World format comprised of 21st century individuals, the recent Global Armenian Summit missed the mark, writes Gaidz Minassian.
Suddenly Yerevan felt like Europe in the 1930s or 1940s: a crossroads, full of people from different places, with different histories, living with different temporalities of trauma related to different conflicts, and the sense that everything could change in a moment.
An existential crisis has erupted within the Armenian public discourse since the defeat in the 2020 Artsakh War. Gaidz Minassian argues that “all for the state and the state for all” must be the slogan of Armenians in the 21st century.
Pursuing peace is a noble and vital objective, but only when it is genuine. Azerbaijani and Turkish rhetoric about peace is anything but convincing at this moment. Lopsided peace is unsustainable and fragile and will not work if it is pursued at our expense.
There’s a sense of powerlessness among the Armenian people surrounded by two states—Azerbaijan and Turkey—whose sole intention appears to be our annihilation. But we are not powerless if we remain vigilant, rational and resolute.
On September 15-16, at France’s request, the UN Security Council dealt with the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict for the first time since 1994. As uncertainty reigns, all options are on the table, even the darkest—that of a renewed aggression by Baku.
For years, the EU did nothing to reign Putin in. Finding an alternative for its energy needs, the EU traded one gas supplier waging a genocidal war of aggression—Russia, with another—Azerbaijan.
Following Azerbaijan’s latest attack, this time against Armenia proper, international actors are calling on both sides to de-escalate the situation. Bothsidism in this context is ridiculous, tiresome, and shameful. Not naming the aggressor or who is benefiting from violence is not a neutral act. It is not telling the truth.
Armenia hasn’t participated in any multilateral connectivity initiatives in the South Caucasus since independence, primarily due to the war with Azerbaijan. Since the 2020 Artsakh War, new projects are taking shape—again without Armenia’s participation.
The excess symbolic power that comes with “Westernness” explains how some authors and commentators on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict can get away with the most outrageous gaslighting, at times engaging in outright racism.
Armenia has been facing an impasse since the defeat in the 2020 Artsakh War. It is imperative that Armenians break with defeatism and desolation by putting differences aside and focusing on what is essential: national security.
Russia’s war against Ukraine has thrust the South Caucasus into a contest for control over transport routes. Despite being landlocked, Armenia remains at the center of Russian-Turkish ambitions to deepen cooperation.
A response to Gaidz Minassian’s article that explored the asphyxiating spirit of the “village” pitted against the “polity” argues that renouncing the village in favor of the polity may be redundant, since the village might be all that we have.
Almost two years after a crushing military defeat, Armenian elites from both the Republic and the Diaspora are to blame for the situation Armenia remains in: engulfed in uncertainty, score settling, mediocrity and denial of reality.
Almost all systemic and structural political and military weaknesses of Armenia share a fundamental root cause: the chronic absence of a culture and tradition of Statehood, both in the mindset of the political leadership and the general public.
A new security environment was created after the 2020 Artsakh War, requiring a revision of Armenia’s National Security Strategy that was adopted before Azerbaijan launched the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Hovsep Kanadyan explains.
Entering the post-Western world, the strategic debate is shifting from a world of alliances toward a world of partnerships. How will Armenia seize this shift of geopolitical tectonic plates?
Instead of making Yerevan step back every time there is a deadlock in the negotiation process, the mediators should instead develop the tools to pressure Baku. If they do not, another war in the South Caucasus is likely.
For over 30 years, there has been a constant refrain on the righteousness of Armenia’s national aims and precious little about the means towards those ends, and the feasibility of those chosen goals.
If those genuine activists who have genuine grievances want this government gone, then they must also get rid of the Kocharyans and Sargsyans from their ranks. Until this happens, the transition to mainstream legitimacy will be a Sisyphean endeavor.
The general state of flux and lack of clarity on Artsakh and the negotiation process has produced a great deal of uncertainty, precipitating important questions about nationhood, state-building, and how to move forward.
Are we headed toward a better, or a more worrying future? Is the pendulum swinging toward more uncertainty or toward a lull? Two fundamental questions stand out: the survival of Artsakh and the independence of Armenia.
In the wake of lingering concern over the events unfolding in Ukraine following Russia’s February 24 invasion and its defeat in Artsakh in 2020, how can Armenia pull itself out of this chain of elevated conflicts?
The relationship between Armenians and “the political” (Le politique) embodies a dialectic of the village and of the Polity; more precisely, the unavoidable but asphyxiating spirit of the village pitted against the indispensable yet evanescent Polity.
2022 was proclaimed the Year of the Armenian Diaspora by Aram I, the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. Tigran Yegavian writes that while this may be an opportunity for candid self-reflection, certain points need to be explored further.
The rise of China has shifted the geopolitical center of gravity to the Indo-Pacific. What does this paradigm shift entail? How can Armenia navigate the transition and find its place on the world stage?
The strategic limitations of the last 30 years are no longer tenable, and there is an acute need for innovation, creativity and sophistication in creating a new chapter in U.S.-Armenia relations.
A power vacuum was created after the pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, allowing China, Russia, Iran, and also Turkey to play a greater role in Central Asia triggering new developments. What does that mean for the wider region?
Today on Army Day, Armenian soldiers continue to protect our fragile borders in difficult and sometimes dismal conditions and now, more than ever, fundamental reforms of the Armed Forces is of paramount importance.
Representatives of Armenia and Turkey met in Moscow on January 14, 2022 for the first round of bilateral negotiations. Gaidz Minassian looks back at various stages of Armeno-Turkish dialogue before Armenia restored its independence in 1991.
Tigran Yegavian’s critical review of Gerard Libaridian’s latest book “Armenia-Turkey: Statehood, History, Politics”, and what it means in Armenian political thinking.
Torn between neo-imperial ambition and the limits of its own system, Russia lives under the dual risk of American sanctions and Chinese encroachment.
As Armenia works to rebuild its positions following the 2020 Artsakh War, it must assess the challenges, threats and risks of the security environment and clarify a position that reflects state and national interests.
Are Armenians doomed to endure the contemptuous kleptocracy of the “old” and the cynical defeatism of the “new”? Gaidz Minassian proposes an alternate vision, one that was conceived of by Aram Manoukian over a century ago.
Western attempts to infiltrate into the sphere of Russian influence have meant to weaken Russia and maintain constant tension. Could this result in larger clashes with more unpredictable consequences, this time between large geopolitical players?
The recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the U.S. stemmed from its own interests. Other allied powers are considering following suit. Will Armenia be able to take advantage of this shift in global geopolitics?
Armenia's bid to pursue an independent and sovereign policy as a democracy was perceived to have a geopolitical context. The danger was in not seeing that reality, not evaluating it, and not recalculating domestic, foreign and security policy accordingly.
A unique combination of causal factors at different levels made the 44-day war possible. Tigran Grigoryan presents a systematic and comprehensive explanation of the structural conditions and circumstances behind Azerbaijan’s large-scale offensive.
While Baku prepared for war, Armenia relied on overconfidence, willful ignorance and underestimated the enemy leading to its defeat in 2020. But Azerbaijan, intoxicated by its own victory, will also lose because of Aliyev’s strategic narcissism.
Gaidz Minassian delves into the turbulent spaces of history, memory and identity and deconstructs why the mother of all battles—the construction of a State on its sovereign pillars—was undermined.
Since the 2020 Artsakh War, France has been at the forefront of diplomatic activity in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. What goal is Paris hoping to achieve with this issue that is so far removed from the concerns of the French?
Does the Armenian diaspora have a role in the process of state building? Tigran Yegavian presents a brief history of Armenia-Diaspora relations starting with Armenia’s independence and offers some insights to rectify the absence of an effective relationship.
Canada has a finely-crafted international image as a champion of human rights. While different factors contributed to the outcome of the 2020 Artsakh War, one of them, the Turkish Bayraktar drone used against Artsakh, was heavily reliant on target acquisition optics made by a Canadian company.
China considers Turkey a key strategic partner under the Belt and Road Initiative. It has also intensified economic relations with Azerbaijan and is keen to diversify its commercial routes to Europe. Was China a silent observer or did it have any role to play during the 2020 Artsakh War.
The Aliyev regime is profoundly frustrated, writes Nerses Kopalyan, however, this frustration is an inherent byproduct of Baku’s illusions of grandeur and the awkward hubris that has consumed Ilham Aliyev.
July 5 marks Constitution Day in Armenia. Constitutional reform is still on the mind of the re-elected Prime Minister, whose approach to forming a constitutional package has so far greatly resembled that of his predecessors. But there are more participatory models that could be adopted.
After a bitter election campaign, three political forces are poised to enter parliament. What they do and how they behave will determine the future of the country.
Armenians may be wary of going to the polls in the upcoming snap parliamentary elections, but democracy remains the only option on the ballot.
The 2020 Artsakh War highlighted the interests, strategies and positions of Iran and Russia, both regional powers, regarding the resolution of the Karabakh Conflict.
Following Moscow’s facilitation of the ceasefire agreement ending the 2020 Artsakh War, some are asking whether Armenia should pursue “more Russia or less Russia.” The reality of the matter is that geography is inescapable.
The early parliamentary election was officially triggered on May 10, 2021. Harout Manougian looks at the main possible scenarios for the outcome of the election, based on party rankings from recent poll results.
Three years ago today, Serzh Sargsyan resigned as Prime Minister. When it comes to unjustified constitutional amendments and rigged referendums, Armenian history should never repeat itself.
A Military Trophy Park-Museum dedicated to Azerbaijan’s military victory over Artsakh was inaugurated in Baku. It is a gruesome display that includes hundreds of helmets of Armenian soldiers killed in battle and grossly exaggerated life-size figures of dead and dying captives.
Although Nikol Pashinyan and Donald Trump are different in demeanor and policy, both lean heavily on the populist playbook. Each is more comfortable fighting against resistant forces rather than governing through institutions.
Armenia’s Government must quickly shape a coherent and powerful vision of what it wants to gain from the transport talks. If they get it wrong, the country is at risk of being outmaneuvered by Azerbaijan and taken advantage of by Russia.
With Russia and now Turkey having new footholds in the South Caucasus following the 2020 Artsakh War, will Washington under the Biden administration attempt to counter these new developments?
Instead of playing semantics, PM Nikol Pashinyan should have taken responsibility for the war's disastrous outcome and resigned. A golden opportunity to push the democratic movement forward was squandered.
Armenia’s Constitution states that the Armed Forces must ensure the security, defense and territorial integrity of Armenia, as well as the inviolability of its borders. Intervention by the army in political processes is a violation of the principle of political neutrality and civilian control over them.
The demand for the Prime Minister’s resignation by the Army’s General Staff is a violation of the civilian-military doctrine that has served as an institutional and normative standard within Armenia’s state system and establishes a highly dangerous precedent.
Several popular myths that had become deeply entrenched in Armenian society began collapsing after the war. Today, new myths are being constructed. Will Armenians risk fooling themselves into disingenuous politics and disastrous policy based on a set of new myths?
Armenia can either unify around a shared vision for the future or digress into internal political strife. Artin DerSimonian explores what a unified Armenian vision for the future could include if the country is to continue on the path of healthy socio-economic development.
A concerted effort is needed to overcome the crisis the Armenian nation is facing. To do that, we need to understand where we are now, be honest, admit mistakes, learn lessons and move forward, writes Hovsep Kanadyan.
This opinion piece argues that Armenia can pursue a strategy that can lead to the defense of democracy with respect to the right to self-determination of peoples by aligning itself with other stateless nations.
The defeat in Artsakh was a profound loss on multiple levels. The actions taken today, will impact the future of the Armenian nation.
Instead of presenting a detailed plan to help guide the country toward a number of clearly-defined national goals, PM Nikol Pashinyan’s road map resembled a laundry list of necessary post-war actions to take to mitigate the fallout.
As the hordes mass at Armenia’s gates, the U.S. and Europe, the supposed guardians of peace and justice, remain reluctant to intervene to halt the violence due to self-interest and capitulation to Turkish blackmail.
On this day of independence, the Armenian people celebrate their defiance of history and injustice. Every September 21, Armenians celebrate their will-to-power, their indestructible will to Struggle.
The contours of Armenophobia presuppose the dehumanization of an entire people, where hatred and aversion towards an Armenian is embedded in Azerbaijan’s political culture, writes Nerses Kopalyan.
For over a century, almost every generation has experienced a disruption of continuity, security and safety, resulting in a cycle of upheaval, writes Maria Titizian.
It is hard to have two countries to love differently but with equal vulnerability, writes Roubina Margossian as she reflects on the catastrophic explosion at the Port of Beirut.
Armenia’s Security Council recently introduced a new National Security Strategy after a 13-year hiatus. Vahram Ter-Matevosyan writes that while it is an important milestone and invested efforts are praiseworthy, the document, with a few exceptions, is inward-looking and unambitious.
Border settlements are unequivocally and strategically vital for the security of Armenia and Artsakh. Protecting them militarily, economically and socially needs to be a national priority.
This year, there are no tourists, no airport pickups or tearful goodbyes, no late night phone calls or text messages asking where to find the best khorovats, writes Maria Titizian.
Maybe I better stop here and not burden you with another opinion. Or maybe I'll do a quick rendition of history, writes Roubina Margossian.
In Armenia, discussing mental health is too often associated with a sense of shame; however, according to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, mental health services should be an integral component of all government responses to COVID-19.
Once this nightmare is over, it will be time for a reckoning and a reset. A time for everyone to reflect on what has come to pass, how they conducted themselves and what kind of responsibility they bear for the final outcome.
I was so privileged that I had never reflected on my privilege before, writes Harout Manougian, in lieu of this week’s “It Has To Be Said” editorial.
If you don’t believe that there is a pandemic, if you think it’s a hoax, if you refuse to follow simple safety rules then maybe when you need help, your luck will run out.
In this week’s editorial, Roubina Margossian writes that most of us would put our lives on the line for our country, but at times of a pandemic we would rather fight windmills.
Labeling people we disagree with can have profound effects, it can also shut down any kind of intellectual debate, leading to greater polarization.
In this week’s “It Has To Be Said” editorial, Maria Titizian looks at how the glorification of aggressive male behavior and dominance in Armenian society has found its way into the corridors of parliament and elsewhere.
As Armenian Genocide commemorations were cancelled around the world, descendants of the survivors found alternative ways of remembering, honoring and demanding.
As Armenian Genocide commemorations were cancelled around the world, descendants of the survivors found alternative ways of remembering, honoring and demanding.
While many people are following regulations of social distancing and self-isolation, other processes continue unabated, creating a new normal.
The lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic has ripped the domestic gender gap wide open, laying bare the deep inequity that exists in most families.
In this week’s editorial, Maria Titizian writes that the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the vulnerability of workers in Armenia.
As the world grapples with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the time will come when governments will have to implement a coordinated national response program, including Armenia.
Parallel to the coronavirus pandemic taking over the world, an infodemic is causing strain and impacting mental health. This week’s editorial, once again, looks at the role of every person inhabiting the earth.
This week’s “It Has To Be Said” editorial looks at the importance of social responsibility amid a pandemic that has rattled almost every country on the planet.
In this week’s “It Has To Be Said” editorial, Maria Titizian reflects on the latest domestic violence case in Armenia that left a woman dead and her 13-year-old daughter fighting for her life.
Toxic masculinity is not only an attack on femininity, it is also an attack on manliness, on the cultural precepts of Armenian society and it is an assault of ontological proportions, writes Nerses Kopalyan.
Our weekly editorial “It Has To Be Said” looks at one woman’s odyssey to obtain Armenian citizenship and the broader issue of an ineffective and counterproductive civil service.
The 21st century has witnessed the rapid encroachment by capitalism on what is referred to as the “commons,” writes Sjur Papazian. He argues that surplus from mining in Armenia could be placed in a permanent fund for the benefit of all.
If we are to develop and build a functional relationship between the Homeland and the Armenian Diaspora, we need to understand the discrepancy between the Diaspora’s devotion to Armenianness and the Republic of Armenia’s vision for the Armenian world.
After a decades-long struggle by the Armenian-American community, the U.S. House of Representatives officially recognized the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Maria Titizian writes about the significance of this resolution for her and all Armenians, despite the motivations behind the vote.
When Turkey launched its military offensive in northeastern Syria, it triggered something in the minds and hearts and memories of many Armenians.
Can the popularity of the National Security Service be sustained after the dismissal of Artur Vanetsyan? It can, but only through one mechanism: rigid institutionalization and the complete alleviation of the personalization of politics in Armenia.
While Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan’s trial continues, Sossi Tatikyan writes about the need to amend relevant provisions of the Constitution to delineate the distinct responsibilities of the army and internal security forces, and to ensure checks and balances when declaring a state of emergency.
Serious issues in the country’s mining sector is something this new government inherited from the former regime. Artur Grigoryan argues, however, that enough steps have not been taken to eradicate or even curb corruption in the sector.
During an hour-long speech in Stepanakert, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan set out his government’s strategic goals for 2050. However, 24 hours earlier, he disclosed that a secret document from the previous regime had confirmed the country was in a state of institutional collapse.
While taking the reader through the complexities of international law, Dr. Nerses Kopalyan writes that when Armenia and Azerbaijan speak about peace, they mean completely different things. What they are actually saying is that they seek peace on their own terms.
Natalia Voutova writes that girls should not be raised with the expectation that their social status and role as a wife and mother are pre-determined, but rather they should be offered a different outlook on gender equality.
Can Armenia’s new government deliver on its promise of an economic revolution following the Velvet Revolution of last spring? Paruyr Abrahamyan decodes the promise of that revolution.
When the Ministry of Diaspora was eliminated, many believed it went against the interests of the Armenian Diaspora. Nerses Kopalyan provides an alternative approach that alleviates bureaucratic bloating, enhances legislative efficiency offering the Diaspora a healthy dosage of political capital and a culture of reciprocity.
The divisive “black or white” tone of the political campaign is not lending itself to the very ideals that the Velvet Revolution promised - pluralism, choices, diversity and freedom. On Election Day, people should vote according to their conscience and preferences, not out of pressure to be with the “right” crowd.
Dr. Nerses Kopalyan provides an in-depth analysis of the parties and coalition of parties that are running for the Dec. 9 snap parliamentary elections. Of the 11 political forces preparing for the campaign, Kopalyan writes, only six are competitive and have the capacity to influence and effect the policy discourse during the campaign.
Following the Velvet Revolution and the ensuing political instability, it seems residents in Armenia will be heading to the polls in snap parliamentary elections in December. The issue of the formation of a constructive political opposition has been part of the public discourse over the past several months.
With snap parliamentary elections around the corner and if all indicators hold true, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s Civic Contract party remains poised to sweep the vote. The question that the prime minister will have to consider is whether he wants to rule or govern.
The dramatic events of October 2, highlights the fundamental political paradox in Armenia – a Prime Minister with no parliamentary majority governs the executive branch in a parliamentary republic – and we experienced both sides “flexing their muscles” to demonstrate their respective powers, Raffi Kassarjian writes.
Dr. Nerses Kopalyan writes that the municipal election was not about Yerevan, the Council of Elders, or the Mayor: it was about reifying Pashinyan’s dominance of the Armenian political universe.
After his many years working in Brussels and trying to counter the effects of Azerbaijan’s Caviar Diplomacy, Bedo Demirdjian writes about his anger and frustration at how many European politicians received money from Azerbaijani authorities in a scheme being dubbed the Azerbaijani Laundromat.
Political analyst Armen Grigoryan writes that negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the Artsakh conflict have hit a wall and resulted in escalations on the frontline bolstering Azerbaijan's inclination towards a military solution to the conflict.
Following a series of extraordinary events in Armenia that has come to be coined as the “Velvet Revolution,” it is now time to put emotions aside and begin the process of evaluating those events objectively and by applying several academic disciplines, writes Vahram Ter-Matevosyan.
In Armenia, there are individuals with diverging views (i.e. liberals, nationalists, leftists, feminists), self-defined as being part of one group by the default of being opposed to the regime. But what happens when differences in the views and desires of people became visible and a plurality of visions regarding Armenia’s future emerges?
Since the beginning of the year, decisions to bar reporters from government sessions and Yerevan City Council meetings along with threats to a reporter are raising concerns of a slow but steady suppression of the media.
From parliamentary elections to a landmark accord with the European Union to the launch of EVN Report, this final editorial takes a look back at 2017 while looking ahead to what is in store for the coming year.
How we treat the most vulnerable in our society is a reflection of ourselves. December 10 is Human Rights Day – the day the UN General Assembly, in 1948, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this essay, Maria Titizian writes about dignity and how certain politicians view the condition of Armenia's poverty-stricken.
Armenia’s parliament is set to discuss a bill on domestic violence that was significantly watered down after pressure from conservative groups and the ruling Republican Party. In this opinion piece, Maria Titizian ponders how a nation that reveres mothers and the traditional Armenian family can be divided on the necessity for such a law.
An experimental film and an introspective by Seda Grigoryan where her experiences of covering the Daredevils of Sassoun saga merge with impressions and sentiments from a visit to Western Armenia.
At the height of the Erebuni siege last year by the Daredevils of Sassoun, a group of journalists were allowed into the compound. "Misplaced Fear" is a journalistic and a photographic essay by Roubina Margossian, who was working for CivilNet at the time and provides an inside view of the events that day and also reflects on developments of the past year.
Why did Armenia not take more proactive measures when it knew that Moscow was actively developing its military-political dialogue with Baku? In this analysis, Areg Galstyan looks at the complex relationships in the South Caucasus and policies that Russia implements with both Armenia and Azerbaijan.