Russia Defense Report: Russian Forces in Armenia

 

Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watson

The Russian military involvement in assistance of the government of Syria had led to a sharp deterioration of relations between Russia and Turkey, which until recently had been seen as if not an ally then at least a solid partner. While the reasons for Turkish president Erdogan’s betrayal of trust with Russia are still not fully known, this unexpected turn of events had instantly elevated the importance of the Russian military contingent in Armenia, a country which is not only tied to Russia by a range of collective security treaties but also shares a long border with Turkey, which is after all a member of NATO, as well as with Azerbaijan and Georgia, both of which have been building their ties to NATO in recent years. Which means that Armenia is the Transcaucasus equivalent of Belarus–a buffer state between the suddenly hostile NATO and Russia. Any escalation of the Russia-NATO differences of opinion over the future of Syria would necessarily involve the Russian forces already stationed there, plus whatever reinforcements could be sent to the area. The presence of Russian forces in Armenia is also significant for the reason of the still unresolved Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over the future of Nagorno-Karabakh. Given Armenia’s geographic importance and its political and military alignment with Russia through the Collective Security Treat Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union, one also has to keep in mind that Armenia represents a tempting “color revolution” target. For that reason, Russian troops stationed there can rightly consider themselves to be part of a frontline deployment.

The permanent contingent of Russian forces in that country centers around the 102nd Military Base near the city of Gyumri, with Russian troops enjoying basing rights there thanks to a bilateral Russia-Armenia agreement until 2044. The 102nd Base was established on the basis of the 127th Motorized Rifle Division that was based in Gyumri. Its equipment strength includes 74 Main Battle Tanks, nearly 200 BTRs and BMPs, as well as artillery systems including long-range Smerch MRLs, which is equivalent to a reduced-strength motorized rifle division of three motorized rifle regiments (each with one tank company) plus a separate tank battalion, consistent with the number of 4500 Russian soldiers stationed at Gyumri.  The 102nd is not the only such formation in existence–the 201st Military Base in Tajikistan that is intended to help maintain security in Central Asia also as part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, has roughly similar organization and strength.

However, while the 201st only needs to worry about Taliban, Al Qaeda, and, now also ISIS infiltration from Afghanistan, the 102nd is based in close proximity to a NATO state which necessitates protection against air attack. That protection is provided by the 988th Air Defense Missile Regiment with S-300 and Buk-M systems and a flight of MiG-29SMT fighters based at the nearby Erebuni airfield which recently also received 18 Mi-24 and Mi-8 helicopters. Rounding off the 13 thousand strong Russian contingent in Armenia are the 4.5 thousand FSB Border Guards based at Gyumri, Armavir, Artashat, and Megri.

This force serves a number of peacetime functions. It extends Russian conventional deterrence umbrella over Armenia against any external attempts to violate Armenia’s sovereignty. It helps integrate Armenia into the CSTO, with Russian troops serving as military trainers and advisors in a fashion similar to the role their counterparts played in Syria. Indeed, Russian and Armenian forces hold frequent joint military exercises to hone their interoperability. Should the situation deteriorate, the 102nd’s organization and strength make it suitable to wage a low intensity counter-insurgency campaign against well organized “foreign fighters” and, in the event of a major military threat to Armenia, it is sufficiently powerful to screen Armenia’s borders until reinforcements could be sent, while bombarding key enemy sites with Iskander-M missiles. Even though Armenia does not share a border with Russia, it does have one with Iran, whose close security relationship with Russia shows no signs of weakening which means that, should the worst come to worst, Iranian airspace could be used to reinforce Armenia.

Current Russian national security plans foresee the Russian force grouping in Armenia to be increased, as part of the overall enhancement of the role of CSTO in guaranteeing regional security and in response to increased NATO activity in the region. What happens next is really up to the West. Should it insist on continuing the course toward confrontation, Russian forces in Armenia could greatly complicate its strategic calculations.

German MPs recognise Armenian ‘genocide’ amid Turkish fury

Source

Armenian commemoration in Istanbul, 24 Apr 16

The German parliament has approved a resolution declaring that the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War One was a “genocide”.

Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their people died in the atrocities of 1915. Turkey says the toll was much lower and rejects the term “genocide”.

The vote heightened German-Turkish tensions at a time when Turkey’s help is needed to stem the flow of migrants.

Turkey has recalled its ambassador and its leader threatened further action.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the recall was a first step and that the government would consider further action it might take in response to the vote.

“We will do whatever is necessary to resolve this issue,” he said.

In the latest response:

  • Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim blamed a “racist Armenian lobby” for the resolution
  • Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said it was a “valuable contribution” to the “international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian genocide”
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “There is a lot that binds Germany to Turkey and even if we have a difference of opinion on an individual matter, the breadth of our links, our friendship, our strategic ties, is great”

Armenian ‘genocide’ vote ignites press

Armenian dignitaries in Bundestag, 2 Jun 16

Image copyright EPA

Image caption Some Armenian community leaders in Germany attended the Bundestag debate

 

More than 20 nations, including France and Russia, as well as Pope Francis, have recognised the 1915 killings as genocide.

Turkey denies that there was a systematic campaign to slaughter Armenians as an ethnic group during World War One. It also points out that many Turkish civilians died in the turmoil during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Mrs Merkel was not in the Bundestag (lower house) for the vote. Her Christian Democrats (CDU), their coalition partners the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens all supported the resolution, and the vote in favour was overwhelming.

German MPs came under pressure from Turks in the run-up to the vote, receiving threatening and abusive e-mails, German ARD news reports.

The resolution uses the word “genocide” in the headline and text. It also says Germany – at the time an ally of the Ottomans – bears some guilt for doing nothing to stop the killings.

The reactions from Ankara are every bit as strong as feared. Turkey’s foreign minister even accused Berlin of trying to deflect from the dark episodes of its own history, a clear reference to Germany’s Nazi past.

But for many German politicians this vote was about exactly the opposite: it was about dealing with not just Turkey’s difficult 20th century history, but also Germany’s.

Many of the speeches in parliament focused on German responsibility in the 1915 killings. At the time, the German empire was a military ally of the Ottomans, and is accused of knowing about the massacres and not doing anything to prevent them. So for many Germans this resolution is about facing up to German historical guilt – something modern Germany is founded upon.

But the big question is what this all means for Europe’s attempts to solve the migrant crisis. Diplomatic relations may be strained. But the hope in Berlin is that tensions don’t scupper the EU’s new refugee deal with Turkey.


Related Articles

Armenian ‘genocide’ and Jewish Lobby

On May 13, 2016, Jewish lobby ADL’s top gun Jonathan Green­blatt announced that his organization wouldn’t campaign against Washington’s recognition of mass-killing of Armenian Christians  ‘genocide’ during WWI as long as it’s called ‘genocide’ and not Holocaust, which is reserved for the sufferings of ‘G-d’s Chosen People’.

Greenblatt’s predecessor, Abraham Foxman, an evil person by any standard had campaigned for decades against Washington’s recognition of 1915 Armenian ‘genocide’ on the lame excuse that that would hurt Turkey, the strategic ally of both the US and Israel in the Muslim-majority Arab region.

However, the main reason Foxman campaign against the recognition of Armenian ‘genocide’ was to keep Jewish skeltons in the closet, and Iran-Armenia friendship. Abe Foxman was supported by Israeli media, and other Jewish lobby groups including AIPAC, American Jewish committee (AJC), and B’nai B’rith International.

In 2007 Foxman arrogantly declared that the Armenian genocide doesn’t belong in the US Congress or the parliament of any other country. Yet Canada, France, Switzerland, Uruguay, the Vatican, a UN sub-commission, the World Council of Churches, the European Union Parliament, and many more have all acknowledged the Armenian Genocide.

On April 21, 2015, Jewish Clarion Project in order to cover its Jewish sponsors accused Muslim Brotherhood of denying the Armenian ‘genocide’ to please Turkey.

Why all of sudden, the “Jewish conscience” has started bothering Jewish Lobby? a good answer comes from American journalist and author Mark Arax at Salonon June 16, 2010.

Genocide denial is not a pretty thing, they now concede, but they did it for Israel. They did it out of gratitude for Turkey being Israel’s one and only Muslim ally. Now the game has changed. Israel and Turkey are locked in a feud over the Palestine-bound Flotilla that was intercepted on the high seas by Israel. Turkey is outraged over the killing of nine of its citizens on board. Israel is outraged that a country with Turkey’s past would dare judge the morality of the Jewish state. So the Armenian Genocide has become a new weapon in the hands of Israel and its supporters in the US, a way to threaten Turkey, a conniver’s get-even: Hey, Turkey, if you want to play nasty with Israel, if you want to lecture us about violations of human rights, we can easily go the other way on the Armenian Genocide. No more walking the halls of Congress to plead your shameful case,” Arax said.

In 2008, Sen. Barack Obama promised to recognize Armenian genocide if elected President. The anti-genocide ‘expert’, Samantha Power, currently US ambassador at United Nations publicly urged Armenian Americans to vote for Barack Obama because as president he would recognize Armenian genocide.

In 2002, while promoting her Pulitzer-prize winning book A Problem from Hell, she like Helen Thomas in 2010, was baited by a cunning Zionist questioner, who asked her what would she advise to US President “who is involved in genocide in Israel-Palestine conflict”. She had responded that to prevent genocide, the US should be prepared to alienate a powerful constituency (Israel) and by sending a protective military force to prevent another situation like Rwanda. Since then the Jewish media has blamed her for calling an American invasion of Israel. Samantha Power and her Jewish husband played a major role in demonizing Libyan leader Qaddafi for the so-called ‘human abuses’. Currently, both are repeating the same lies against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Erdogan’s Neo-Ottomanism Shift: What Makes It So Dangerous?

Part 1

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Turkey’s neo-Ottomanism is a dangerous phenomenon making the country’s foreign policy confusing, provocative and fraught with dangerous implications.

Moscow believes that «neo-Ottoman» mindset influences Turkey’s foreign policy. Lavrov was referring to the country’s historical predecessor – the Ottoman Empire. Turkey continues to talk about «safe zones» and a «Plan B» for Syria, which reveals its «expansionist aspirations», Lavrov noted. He said it was not Syria only. Ankara still maintains a military presence in Iraq despite the fact that the Iraqi government never authorized Turkish forces to cross the country’s border and has repeatedly demanded that they leave. Turkey appears motivated to «extend its influence and expand its territory», the Minister explained. For instance, the Turkish Air Force had violated Greek airspace 1,800 times last year while NATO was remaining tight-lipped. «This kind of explicitly expansionist behavior can bring no positive results», the Russian FM stressed.

The West prefers to turn a blind eye on Turkey’s risky foreign policy ventures. It views Turkey as an ally. Western leaders say the country’s political system has checks and balances to prevent radicalization and islamization of the country. In reality, the things are quite different.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has been removed from power. Now there is no counterweight to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan anymore. The division of powers has become a thing of the past. The situation is fraught with escalation of tensions in Crimea, the Caucasus, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

Erdogan and his inner circle are aggressive and unpredictable. The foreign policy is influenced by neo-Ottomanism and the foreign policy doctrine outlined in Ahmet Davutoglu’s several writings, most important of which is his book «Strategic Depth». He argues that Turkey possesses «strategic depth» due to its history and geographic position and lists Turkey among a small group of countries which he calls «central powers». Turkey should not be content with a regional role in the Balkans or the Middle East, because it is not a regional but a central power. Hence, it should aspire to play a leading role in several regions, which could award it with global strategic significance. There are several factors that make this policy doomed.

First – Turkey’s influence in the Muslim world has been considerably reduced while Russia’s clout in the region has grown. Turkish Birgün writes that Erdogan may still believe that he is the political leader of the Muslim world. Meanwhile, the threats to national security have made Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia sign multi-billion contracts to purchase Russian arms. Emboldened by Russia’s support of Syria, the leaders of these countries have become frequent visitors to Moscow. Birgün editors believe that Moscow is turning into a centre of gravity. It can offer more than the United States or the West in general. With rich experience accumulated, Russia knows well how to counter the jihadist threat and exchange information on terrorists with the states involved in the fight against it. Despite all the predictions, Russia’s participation in the fight against Syrian Salafi groups has not sparked the feeling of indignation among the Muslim states of the Middle East and North Africa. Russia has become a global power. Threatened from outside, Muslim countries are inclined to develop military cooperation with it.

Second – Turkey’s plans in Syria have been stymied. The adopted concept of «zero problems with neighbors» showed opposite results than expected. Turkey has failed to make Syrian President Bashar Assad step down. The Kurdish formations are gaining ground in the northern part of Syria. The Russian Aerospace Forces have delivered a severe blow to illegal oil shipments and the groups involved in this criminal business.

As sources report, the defeat suffered by Turkey and the Islamic State in Syria was the decisive factor to make Prime Minister Davutoglu step down. President Erdogan blamed him for the foreign policy failures.

French Slate.fr believes that Turkey is nearing a civil war while President Erdogan continues to implement its aggressive adventurist foreign policy.

Bayram Balci, an independent researcher affiliated with the Paris Institute of Political Studies (CERI Sciences Po), says, Turkey’s regional policy is in doldrums. The very complexity of the situation in the region and the Syrian crisis have clearly demonstrated Erdogan’s propensity for hubris and authoritarianism, something he had displayed before but to a lesser extent. Mr Balci believes Erdogan has failed in his fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Islamic State, the «parallel state» – a transnational religious and social movement led by Turkish New York-based Islamic scholar and preacher Fethullah Gülen. Erdogan cannot contain Russia’s influence in the region, no matter how hard he tries.

Third – The tensions are rising in the Caucasus, especially in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan lacks power to win. Russia and Armenia get closer collaborating within the framework of Collective Security Treaty Organization and on bilateral basis. Yerevan’s readiness to recognize under certain conditions Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state makes Ankara face a «Karabakh dead-end». There is no way out looming at the horizon.

Fourth – There are no breakthroughs Turkey could brag about when it comes to the Turkic-speaking states of Central Asia. These countries continue to interact with Russia. They want to boost relations with China. Despite all the attempts to increase Turkish investments into energy and telecommunications sectors of Kazakhstan, Turkey accounts for only 1-2 percent of the country’s foreign trade. The country is only the fourth largest foreign trade partner of Uzbekistan. In case of Kyrgyzstan’s exports, Turkey lags behind even the war-torn Afghanistan.

Fifth factor – Turkey’s relationship with the West, especially with the United States, is going through a crisis. For a long time, Turkey has been viewed as a reliable partner and a mediator in the Middle East. Ankara’s foreign policy has exacerbated the relationship with Muslim states. They started to look at Turkey as an instrument of US Greater Middle East policy. Balancing between Washington, Arab states and Israel cannot continue forever. The Guardian believes that the Turkish plans have gone up in smoke with the Syrian crisis capping the climax.

Erdogan, penned in on all sides, has directed his wrath at the US for its support of Syrian Kurds.

All these factors, as well as Erdogan’s desire to get rid of rivals on the Turkish political landscape, could make the Turkish leadership raise the stakes. It will affect all directions of his foreign policy to destabilize the situation in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle and Near East.

(To be continued)

Part2

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) holds an extraordinary congress on May 22 where Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu doesn’t seek a new mandate as party chairman. The event takes place against the background of chaos and internal strife. Some scenarios predicted by experts and politicians look quite realistic.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan founded the party. He and Davutoglu are old comrades-in-arms. Now the President may be inclined to form a technical government till the next snap election. The goal is to get a clear majority of votes to push through a constitutional reform granting vast powers to the President. To facilitate the desired outcome, Erdogan may envisage several scenarios to destabilize situation in the regions that Ankara believes to be vital for its geopolitical aims.

First scenario – the destabilization of Nagorno-Karabakh to make Russia leave the negotiation process or even withdraw from the OSCE Minsk group. The Azerbaijani military will stage a provocation to make Armenia recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state with ensuing involvement of Yerevan into the conflict as a warring party. This scenario will make Russia follow the Collective Security Treaty Organization commitment to help Armenia and defend the Russian military base stationed in Gyumri. This development of events will stymie the economic and political relations between Moscow and Baku, including the energy sector. The scenario presupposes deterioration of internal situation in Armenia with some people staging protests under anti-Russian slogans. In an interview with Azerbaijani outlet Haqqin.az, Paruir Airikyan, an opposition leader, made a tentative step. According to him, the April skirmishes were initiated and provoked by Russia pursuing its aims. Airikyan said, Azerbaijan and Armenia should say «Goodbye, Russia!» as a preliminary condition for peaceful settlement. The politician believes that no solution to the problem could be found till Russia had a say in the process. Such initiatives fully dovetail with policy goals of Ankara.

Second scenario – provoking exacerbation of tensions in the areas close to the Turkey-Syria border to create a pretext for getting the Saudi Arabia-led Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf or the Gulf Cooperation Council entangled into the conflict. This could be done but Turkey will have to shoulder a heavy burden. It may also lead to its political isolation. Today Turkey has the image of a country spreading instability beyond its national borders.

According to Dr Barış Doster, Marmara University, Turkey, Ankara’s reliance on strategic partnership with Washington is erroneous. He believes the situation has changed. The United States is losing its strength. Russia’s influence in the Middle East is growing. Assad is winning in Syria. With the nuclear deal reached, Iran is emerging as a regional actor with growing influence in Syria and Iraq. Masoud Barzani, the President of the Iraqi Kurdistan, the Egyptian Muslim Brothers, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are the only remaining Turkey’s allies.

The Radical, puts it even more bluntly. The outlet writes that the policy implemented by Turkey during the recent seven years has created serious problems in its relationship with Israel, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Russia and the United States. Turkish sources report that Erdogan strives to prevent any possibility of crisis management in Syria. He realizes that sooner or later the conflict will be solved. The Turkish President does each and everything he can to preclude a peaceful settlement. Erdogan believes that peace in Syria does not meet Turkey’s interests. Someday there will be changes in Syria, Radical writes. Could the relations between Turkey and a new Syria get back to the 2010 standards becoming predictable and stable again? Especially when the world community is expressing readiness to work with the government elected by Syrian people. «Where will the staunch refusal to recognize reality lead Turkey to?» asks Radical.

Haydar Çakmak of Turkish Yeni Çağ believes Erdogan wants Turkey to be deeply entangled in the Syrian conflict.

The analyst warns that an intervention means losing what has been achieved in the relations with the Arab world during the recent 50 years. «Let Saudis go into Syria if they want to», he writes. According to him, «Turkey could limit its involvement to logistics and political support. The Justice and Development Party has already committed a blunder in Syria being adamant in its insistence that Assad must go. If Turkey crosses the border, it will make another big mistake».

Third scenario – inciting tensions between Russia and NATO to increase Turkey’s role in South-Eastern Europe. The West may make concessions on other issues of importance for Ankara: the relationship with the EU, Northern Cyprus and the Kurds. Turkey may take advantage of the fact that the activated NATO missile defense site in Romania covers its territory, reports Turkish Star gazette. The outlet says, Russia is the target for NATO. It does not mean that the Alliance will attack it. It means that Moscow will exert pressure on Europe. The missile defense site makes NATO take measures to counter the Russian threat. According to some reports, the expansion of NATO was the reason for deterioration of the situation in the Kurdish-populated parts of Turkey, including the skirmishes between Kurdish demonstrators and Turkish police in Sirnak, the capital of Şırnak Province near the border with Syria and Iraq.

These three scenarios could be activated separately of simultaneously. One should closely watch the events unfolding inside Turkey, especially those related to the election of the Justice and Development Party leader and the appointment of Prime Minister. There may be changed in the attitudes towards Turkey among its closest allies.

New Armenia Protests, Same US-Backed Mobs

April 27, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – 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.

Image: Davit Sanasaryan (sometimes spelled “David” and “Sanasarian”) hasn’t found a US-engineered protest he hasn’t felt compelled to join. He eagerly takes US cash to undermine the stability of his native Armenia, just like US proxies do worldwide. 

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 thatis 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.

Image: Considering the US cash and support behind the leaders of this so-called “protest,” it might as well have been a delegation from the US State Department itself out on the streets of Armenia’s capital, Yerevan.

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.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

Shameless Wall Street Journal Ad Denies Ottoman Turkish Armenian Genocide

by Stephen Lendman

APRIL 21, 2016

Ottoman Empire 1915 – 1922 genocide against Armenians in their historic homeland massacred around 1.5 million victims.
Turkey remains in denial of an indisputable historic fact. Journal management disgracefully published a full-page ad, intended to deceive, sponsored by FactCheckArmenia, a shameless genocide denial group.
Its web site airbrushes disturbing facts from history, twisting and reinventing them, claiming no genocide occurred, at the same time accusing Armenians during WW I of treason against the Ottoman Empire – blaming their victimized people for war waged by the great powers.
A WSJ spokesman’s explanation of why the publication ran the ad fell flat, saying:
“We accept a wide range of advertisements, including those with provocative viewpoints. While we review ad copy for issues of taste, the varied and divergent views expressed belong to the advertisers.”
On May 28, 1948, the UN War Crimes Commission prepared a report on “The Massacres of the Armenians in Turkey,” saying:
On May 28, 1915, France, Britain and Russia denounced Turkey’s “crimes against humanity and civilization.” A key passage reads:
“In the presence of these new crimes of Turkey against humanity and the civilization, the allied Governments (know) that they will be held personally responsible for the so-called crimes of all members of the Ottoman Government as well as those of the officers who would be involved in such massacres.”
The never ratified 1920 peace Treaty of Sevres with Turkey required it “hand over to the Allied Powers the persons responsible for the massacres committed during the continuance of the state of war on territory which formed part of the Turkish Empire on the 1st August 1914.”
The Treaty of Lausanne (July 23, 1923) replaced it. Genocidal crimes were excluded. A “Declaration of Amnesty” was declared for all offenses committed from August 1, 1914 – November 20, 1922.
In 1914, over 2.5 million Armenians lived in Ottoman Turkey. Today 75,000 at most remain, mostly in Istanbul and Western areas. The Eastern Armenian heartland was decimated.
In April 1915, hundreds of Armenian religious, political and intellectual leaders were arrested, detained or exiled. Most were systematically murdered.
By summer, about 250,000 Ottoman army Armenians were placed in forced labor battalions. They were over-worked, starved, or executed.
Without leaders or able-bodied youths, ethnic cleansing occurred throughout Ottoman Turkey and Asia Minor.
Death marches followed. Men and older boys were separated and executed,  women and children force-marched, raped, tortured, and otherwise abused. Most deportees died of starvation, disease, or massacres.
About 500,000 escaped to Russia, Arab countries, Europe or America. Ottoman Armenia was virtually eliminated.
Turkey’s denial of cold, hard facts can’t refute one of history’s great crimes – slow-motion genocide against its Kurdish population ongoing under Erdogan.

 

 

Azerbaijan Launches Wide Scale Attack on Nagorno-Karabagh. Geopolitical Implications

Attack Repelled; Casualties Include 12-Year-Old Artsakh Boy

Global Research, April 03, 2016
Armenian Weekly 2 April 2016

Azerbaijan: Mafia State

Azerbaijan launched a full-blown attack on multiple positions of the Nagorno-Karabagh (Artsakh, NKR) contact line overnight on April 1-2. The Azerbaijani army employed tanks, military helicopters, drones, and various caliber weapons in an assault targeting the Line of Contact on the southern, southeastern, and northeastern fronts. The NKR Defense Army retaliated, and, according to the NKR Defense Ministry Twitter page, brought down two helicopters and two drones, and destroyed three tanks. There are multiple casualties on both sides. Civilians have also been targeted. According to reports, 12-year-old Vaghinag Grigoryan was killed in the Marduni region, while two other children were wounded, from a Grad BM-21 multiple rocket launcher attack.

During an emergency meeting of Armenia’s National Security Council held on the evening of April 2, Armenia’s President Serge Sarkisian announced that as a result of the attacks, the Armenian side suffered 18 casualties, while 35 people were injured. Azerbaijan’s losses—including air force, personnel, and armored vehicles—were “significant,” he added, according to PanArmenian. Azerbaijan has reported 12 combatant casualties, although the NKR Defense Ministry says the Azerbaijani side has 200 losses.

Azerbaijan launched a full-blown attack on multiple positions of the Nagorno-Karabagh contact line overnight on April 1-2.

A number of Armenian soldiers wounded in the attack are being flown to Yerevan for medical treatment, according to PanArmenian.net. Meanwhile NKR President’s spokesperson Davit Babayan told Civilnet that the number of Azerbaijani casualties are in the dozens, if not hundreds. Babayan told Tert.am that the situation is now relatively calm following the overnight attacks.

According to reports, Sarkisian was briefed on the attack midair, on his way to Yerevan from Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, NKR Prime Minister Arayik Harutyunyan immediately returned to Artsakh from Yerevan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for an immediate ceasefire. Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has reached out to his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts—Seyran Ohanyan and Zakir Hasanov—to quell the situation.

Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian called for immediate Obama Administration action to stop Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s latest attacks against Nagorno-Karabagh—the worst since the ceasefire established in 1994.

The attack comes after the conclusion of the 4th Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C.; participants to the summit included Armenian President Serge Sarkisian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

On the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit, Aliyev met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. According to the Azerbaijani president’s official website, “[Biden] said the USA resolutely supported Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, adding that this was of great importance for the United States.”

The site of the downed Azerbaijani helicopter

(Photo: Artsakh Press)

The ANCA strongly criticized Biden’s meeting with Aliyev. “Vice President Biden, in personally meeting Azerbaijani President Aliyev in this manner—without any public challenge to his escalating regional aggression and worsening domestic repression—openly emboldened his belligerence while actively undermining American efforts to keep the peace and reach a negotiated settlement,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

The ANCA also criticized Secretary of State John Kerry for failing to mention concerns regarding Azerbaijan’s track record of ceasefire—as well as domestic human rights—violations to Aliyev. “Secretary Kerry in his public remarks with President Aliyev, regretfully, made no mention at all of any American concerns regarding President Aliyev’s threats and acts of violence or his crackdown on domestic dissent. There has, as well, been no mention, in the public record, of the life-saving Royce-Engel peace proposals that the State Department has publicly supported.”

“The Obama Administration’s failure, in Washington, to confront Azerbaijan’s aggression gave Aliyev the green light to launch these attacks on Karabagh,” said Hamparian.  “Immediate action must be taken by the Obama Administration to stop President Aliyev’s latest attacks, along with concrete steps to ensure a lasting peace in the region which respects the right to self-determination and freedom for the people of Nagorno Karabagh.”

Meanwhile the Co-Chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group—Ambassadors Igor Popov of Russia, James Warlick of the U.S., and Pierre Andrieu of France—issued a statement expressing “grave concern” over the ceasefire violations. “We strongly condemn the use of force and regret the senseless loss of life, including civilians,” read the statement. “The Co-Chairs call upon the sides to stop shooting and take all necessary measures to stabilize the situation on the ground. They reiterate that there is no alternative to a peaceful negotiated solution of the conflict and that war is not an option.”

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s (ARF) Supreme Body in Armenia also issued a statement condemning the attack, and declaring that the ARF stands beside NKR’s and Armenia’s governments to safeguard the security of both governments and their populations, reported Aztag Daily. The ARF also called upon all Armenian organizations and the public to respond to Azerbaijan’s aggression in a unified manner and impose peace on the aggressor.

The ANCA has urged the public to take action by sending a webmail to President Obama, Congress, and the OSCE Karabagh negotiators urging them to take immediate action to stop Baku’s latest attacks. To take action, click here.

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