Monday, 3 July 2017

Armenian News... A Topalian... 3 Armenian doctors

Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
June 29, 2017 Thursday
3 Armenian doctors awarded Fridtjof Nansen Gold Medals for Nuba
Mountains mission

Lt. Colonel Gevorg Voskanyan, Major Hayk Hovhannisyan and 

Armine Barkhudaryan – the three Armenian doctors who
departed for the Nuba Mountains in Sudan to substitute for American
doctor Tom Catena – the laureate of Aurora Prize who temporarily left
his post to visit Armenia for the awarding ceremony, were bestowed
with the Fridtjof Nansen Gold Commemorative Medals.

At the June 15 decision of the Board of Trustees of Armenia’s Fridtjof
Nansen Foundation, the three doctors were awarded the Fridtjof Nansen
Gold Commemorative Medal for their activities towards establishing
humanitarian principles.

Felix Bakhchinyan, president of the Board of Trustees bestowed the
medals on June 28.

Public Radio of Armenia
June 29 2017
First solar panel producing plant opens in Armenia 

Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan attended today the official opening of Profpanel company specialized in the production of solar panels.

The Prime Minister was briefed on the programs and development perspectives of the plant.

The plant producing SolrOn solar panels has an annual capacity of 10 MW and provides job to 50 people.

The initial investment amounted to $2 million. The plant intends to supply solar panels to the domestic market and later organize exports to the countries of the region and beyond.

The mini solar station with a capacity of 1.5 KW, which is able to produce about 200 KWh of electricity, will cost $1.5-1.7 thousand.

Having worked in test mode since spring 2017, the company has installed a number of solar stations in residential areas.

Armenian Weekly
June 30 2017
‘Tsavt Tanem’: Untranslatable and Universal
By Nareg Balian 

It was a busy, bustling day in the Cascade—a communal square in the heart of ancient Yerevan. Accessed by steep stairs, the Cascade was full of vendors, tourists, and students dashing to their destinations. I had just attended a lecture at the Musical Armenia Program and was heading to my piano lesson for the day.

At that moment, I decided it was about time to trip down those steep stairs. My sheet music flew everywhere and a cart vendor rushed to help me gather my music saying, “Ari, ari! Tsavt tanem.” Embarrassed, I thanked him and soldiered on to my lesson, but I could not help but wonder why this man had said what translated to “here, here, let me take your pain.”

After three weeks of intensive music, history, and culture lessons, I thought I was in tune with the idiosyncrasies of the Armenian culture and language. However, the phrase “ tsavt tanem” —and I kept hearing it—was perplexing.

My confusion accompanied me into my lesson where I asked my no-nonsense piano teacher what it meant. She confirmed my initial thoughts, declaring, “ Tsavt tanem ? It means—how you say in English?—‘let me take your pain.’ Now, please continue with Babajanov.”

I was not satisfied; there was more to this peculiar phrase. I needed to grasp its deeper meaning—its essence. So I turned to the foremost expert on the Armenian language I knew and I asked my grandma, Nami.

Since Nami was a teacher for over thirty years, she took this simple question as an opportunity to launch into a twenty-minute Armenian grammar lecture. Here is the shortened version: “ t savt tanem” («ցաւդ տանեմ») is an Armenian phrase that literally means: “let me take your pain.” Tsav (ցաւ) means pain, and the – t (-դ) the second person singular. Tanem (տանեմ) comes from the infinitive verb tanel ( տանել) , which means “to take.” The -em (- եմ) ending signifies the first person; hence, “let me take.”

Finished with deconstructing the phrase, Nami then defined three different meanings for “ tsavt tanem”: sympathizing with someone’s plight; poking gentle fun at someone’s shortcomings; or conveying endearment.

That summer, I experienced all three…

After my sheet music debacle at the Cascade, my second encounter with the phrase was when my father, who had accompanied me on my trip to Armenia, suggested we grab an ice cream cone. My father received a call from his friend right as we were about to walk into the ice cream shop, so I went in myself.

Haggling in Armenian is not my strongest skill, so I ended up paying what amounted to five dollars for one scoop of vanilla ice cream. My father sauntered in and proceeded to order a chocolate-covered cone with three scoops of fudge orange chip swirl and paid a dollar. Needless to say, my father happily flaunted his superior negotiating skills by waving his change from the transaction and declaring, “Nareg, tsavt tanem … You were just ripped off.” Gee, thanks…

My adventures with “ tsavt tanem” continued when I finished my time at the Musical Armenian program by performing the pieces that I had learned. All of my family’s friends, their extended families, their neighbors, their neighbor’s friends (and their second cousins) came to witness this historic event. I had not even finished bowing when my “Aunt” (a formidable women) came rushing up the aisle towards the stage. Before you could say “ tsavt tanem,” she was upon me in a whirlwind, pinching my cheeks, declaring I had grown up so much, throwing “ tsavt tanem”-s this way and that. Bellowing over her shoulder to my father, “Sevag, tsavt tanem , tell your wife Nairi that your son is a genius,” she turned back to me. “ Tsavt tanem , you’ve grown up! Tsavt tanem , are you hungry? I have made dinner! Tsavt tanem , you must eat!” I inched my way to the door, thinking if I don’t get out soon, she’s really going to have to take my pain.

Last summer I traveled to Armenia to study, learn about, discover, and connect to my ancestral homeland. What I had not expected was for Armenia to completely envelop me. When my music flew across the Cascade, someone I did not know jumped to my aid, telling me that he would take my pain. My father, in what was one of many moments of levity, made sure that we laughed off any pain from tourist-trapping ice cream vendors. My “Aunt,” who had seen me only once before, showed me so much warmth and affection—I needed her to take my pain.

Every “tsavt tanem ” experience brought me closer to my heritage. Embodying the generosity, the good spirit, and the love in Armenia, “ tsavt tanem ” is both untranslatable and universal.

Armenian Weekly
June 30 2017
Whither the Diaspora?
Garen Yegparian 

Yesterday, I was talking to a friend when a question posed prompted this topic of discussion. I’d been stuck, with no good ideas for this week’s piece, so I owe a debt of gratitude for this question.

Especially since I’ve put out two pieces about language in recent weeks, let’s start with that aspect of the diaspora’s life. Clearly, Armenian speaking in the diaspora is getting hammered. Everywhere, the number of speakers and the quality of Armenian spoken is declining. Fortunately, some serious efforts to counter this are afoot (among them from the Gulbenkian Foundation). Also, the issue seems to be getting more attention and discussion lately, an important sign that people are concerned and willing to approach the matter maturely and conscientiously. While there are traces of the “if you don’t speak Armenian, you’re not Armenian” mindset still around, I think they have been tempered by realities of the diaspora and modern communications. If we can figure this one out, Armenians worldwide will be in great shape. But, at a minimum, I think that what Vahe Oshagan said to us in a class, more than a third of a century ago, must serve as a baseline—anyone aspiring to leadership in our communities and nation must be able to communicate in Armenian (and realistically, at least one other language).

We speak freely and loosely of the diaspora. Yet, according to many experts, it is more accurate to refer to many Diasporas . I have a problem with this. While it may be a technically, sociologically, academically more correct, it begs the question, “What do we want?” Do we want to be many, different diasporas or do we want to be one?

What does all this mean anyway, in the context of having only about 20% of our homeland reasonably freely accessible to us. Do we want to legitimize, deepen, and perpetuate the differences imposed on us by host country realities? Do we want to strive for some semblance of national unity while scattered internationally? Lots of questions, insufficient discussion, and very few answers—at least as of now—make this matter, diasporan identity, a sore spot.

Culture is of course another grave concern—art, church (unfortunately this too must be included since it has become the repository for many things Armenian that predate its existence), dance, film, folk tales, food, history, legends, literature (in Armenian and in other languages), local village lore, medicine-old remedies, metalwork (gold, silver, and other metals), music, mythology, numismatics, philately, photography, poetry, Sasoontzee Tavit (our epic), theater, stories, traditions and values (particularly those that are specific to us rather than Christian or village-life based), yerazahan (our dream interpreting book).

We have always said we have to “maintain” or “preserve” these. That’s a tough one. With few exceptions, these components of culture are all fluid and evolving. So, trying to keep them frozen is likely to fail. Our approach should be one of allowing them to develop. In fact, we should insist on that mindset so that obsolescence will not sheer them from us over time. Fortunately, it seems to me “development/evolution” approach is gaining ever more acceptance.

But why bother? That’s really the more fundamental question.

In a diasporan context, it’s all about motivation. Why should any human, who happens to be Armenian, bother with any of this while living in… pick any country other than Armenia? That person really needs a good reason. And that’s where inspiration and Armenian spirit come in.

But again, why would Armenian spirit arise in anyone? For me the answer is simple—it comes from the innate human desire for justice. Is there any doubt that Armenians have a massive project of reestablishing justice? Once someone is plugged in to this multi-generational challenge of recognition, reparations, and return of the lands, then, it’s a small step to recognizing that success in reestablishing justice for Armenians entails enlivening, relishing, and thriving in all the items listed above.

So where the diaspora goes will be determined by our collective desires, will, and most importantly, activation of Armenian spirit. Get out there and inspire your compatriots! , Armenia
June 30 2017
Genetic evidence could not detect any changes to female gene in Armenia and Artsakh in 8000 years 

A group of Danish, Armenian, Russian and British scientists has found out that women in Armenia and Artsakh have not changed considerably in the last 8 000 years from the point of view of genetics, reports.

“This is quite interesting, as the region has undergone many cultural changes during the same period. However, these changes have nothing to do with genetic transformation, at least in case of women,” said Ashot margaryan and Morten Allentoft, co-authors of an article published in Cell Press journal.

The South Caucasus — home to the countries of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan — geographically links Europe and the Near East. The area has served for millennia as a major crossroads for human migration, with strong archaeological evidence for big cultural shifts over time. And yet, surprisingly, ancient mitochondrial DNA evidence reported in Current Biology on June 29 finds no evidence of any upheaval over the last 8,000 years.

Mitochondria are passed from mothers to their children. Therefore, the study of mitochondrial genomes enables scientists to trace the unique history of females over time.

“We analyzed many ancient and modern mitochondrial genomes in parts of the South Caucasus and found genetic continuity for at least 8,000 years,” said Ashot Margaryan and Morten E. Allentoft from Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. “In other words, we could not detect any changes to the female gene pool over this very long time frame. This is highly interesting because this region has experienced multiple cultural shifts over the same time period, but these changes do not appear to have had a genetic impact — at least not on the female population.”

The researchers were interested to study this part of the world because of its position as a cultural crossroads since ancient times. It’s also known as an important area for the potential origin and spread of Indo-European languages.

To shed light on the maternal genetic history of the region, the researchers analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes of 52 ancient skeletons from present-day Armenia and Artsakh, an unrecognized republic bordering Armenia and Azerbaijan. Those specimens span 7,800 years of history. Allentoft’s team combined this new data with 206 mitochondrial genomes of modern Armenians and previously published data representing more than 480 individuals from seven neighboring populations.

The findings imply that the female population in at least some parts of the South Caucasus has been highly stable through many cultural shifts that have occurred over thousands of years. They also suggest that documented migrations into this region during the last 2,000 to 3,000 years have had little genetic impact on the local female population. The researchers say the next step is to explore these questions in whole-genome data to see if it tells the same story. They also hope to expand the study by including both modern and ancient samples from neighboring countries, which could involve collaborations with researchers in Georgia and Azerbaijan.

June 30 2017
Unemployment in Armenia rises to 19% in 1st q 2017
Unemployment rate in Armenia rose 0.7% in Jan-March 2017, compared 
with the same period a year before, reaching 19% by late March, the 
National Statistical Service reports referring to preliminary data.

Unemployment was recorded at 17.4% in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The annual inflation rate was recorded at 18% in 2016.

According to the statistical report, 1,202,900 economically active people 
lived in Armenia in the first quarter of 2017. Of them, 974,500 had jobs 
and 228,400 were unemployed.

Labor resources were recorded at 2,042,100 people in Jan-March 2017 
(1.25% year-on-year decline).

The country’s economically not active population stood at 839,300 people 
in the 1st Q 2017 against 843,400 in the same quarter a year earlier. --0----

RFE/RL Report 
Armenian Prosecutors Warned Over European Court Rulings
June 29, 2017
Ruzanna Stepanian

Armenian law-enforcement officials could now be held accountable if
their decisions fall foul of the European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR), Prosecutor-General Artur Davtian said on Thursday.

Thousands of Armenians have appealed to the ECHR since their country
submitted itself to the Strasbourg tribunal's jurisdiction over a
decade ago. The court has ruled against the Armenian state on more
than 60 occasions to date.

In 2015 alone, it awarded 230,000 euros ($250,000) in damages to
individuals whose rights were found to have been violated by Armenian
government, law-enforcement or judicial bodies. Several more such
rulings were handed down in the course of last year.

"In every case where the European Court rules that an individual's
rights in Armenia were violated we must # hold an internal inquiry to
see to what extent a particular prosecutor is to blame for that
violation," Davtian told RFE/RL's Armenian service. Other
law-enforcement officials conducting criminal investigations will also
face "legal consequences" in such cases, he said.

"We will thereby seek to increase [investigators'] sense of
responsibility," added the chief prosecutor. He stressed that internal
inquiries would look into every violation of the due process detected
by the ECHR, including unjustified pre-trial arrests of criminal

Armenian law-enforcement authorities routinely keep criminal suspects
in custody pending investigation. Davtian's predecessor, Gevorg
Kostanian, warned earlier this month that this long-running practice
strongly criticized by human rights groups may put the authorities at
odds with the ECHR. Kostanian, who represents Armenia in the ECHR,
said that the Strasbourg-based court has recently adopted stricter
requirements for pre-trial arrests of people in the Council of Europe
member states.

Armenian courts usually refuse to release suspects on bail or
otherwise before their trials. They also rarely acquit defendants or
rule against various government bodies., Armenia
June 30 2017
Minister: Diaspora Armenians raising funds to help Karabakh soldiers

YEREVAN. – Armenians worldwide are collecting assistance for Karabakh
soldiers, Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobyan told reporters in the
parliament on Friday.

“In Latin America children collected donations in a simple paper
wrapper, and I promised them that I would place it in the Diaspora
Museum as an example of their unity and readiness to help,” she said.

Similar fund raising is being constantly held in Canada and the US,
Hakobyan added.

Armen Grigoryan 

The statements, opinions and data contained in the content published in Global Gas Perspectives are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publisher and the editor(s) of Natural Gas World.

This was originally published in The Jamestown Foundation 's Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 14 Issue: 86

In mid-June, the CEO of Russia’s gas monopolist Gazprom, Alexei Miller, paid a spontaneous visit to Yerevan, where he met with Armenia’s Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan. Official information about the meeting is rather scarce. Besides mutually exchanged compliments, reports mention plans for the exploitation of the fifth unit of the Hrazdan thermal power plant and the underground natural gas storage site in Abovyan ( , June 16 ). The construction of Hrazdan’s fifth unit originally began in 1993. But in 2006, the half-built unit was sold by the Armenian government to Gazprom’s subsidiary ArmRosGazprom. After construction was completed, the unit has been able to produce up to 480 megawatts (MW) of power ( , December 2, 2013). It has been in limited use since then, producing electricity supplied to Iran in exchange for natural gas. The underground gas storage site in Abovyan, built during the Soviet era and capable of holding around 140 million cubic meters of natural gas ( , November 2, 2010), was transferred to ArmRosGazprom in 2012 ( , December 26 , 2012).

Earlier this year, the Armenian Ministry of Energy announced that some parts of the construction of a 400 kilovolt (kV) power transmission line between Armenia and Iran were already built ( Aravot , February 8). In turn, Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandyan told his colleagues from the Visegrad Four states (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary), in April, that the European Union’s support for the construction of a power transmission line between Armenia and Georgia had been received ( , April 12 ). Plans to expand the transmission capacities between Armenia and its neighbors and to develop interconnections between Iranian, Armenian, Georgian and Russian electric grids were announced in 2015 (see EDM , January 4, 2016).

Meanwhile, there could be another important reason for Miller’s sudden visit to the Armenian capital a couple weeks ago. Prime Minister Karapetyan, a former Gazprom employee, might feel obliged to report some news to his former boss and to give assurances about Yerevan’s further loyalty to Moscow and Gazprom’s commercial interests.

In May, a conference on renewable energy organized by Contour Global—the owner of the Vorotan complex of hydroelectric power stations and the largest non-Russian investor in Armenia—took place in Yerevan with the support of the United States embassy. Representatives of several US companies, including Caterpillar and General Electric, participated in the conference. US Ambassador Richard M. Mills summarized that a technical possibility to increase the amounts of electricity transmission with Georgia and Iran, together with guarantees of unhindered economic competition and equal treatment for investors would open a perspective for US investments of up to $8 billion, primarily in solar and hydroelectric energy. Afterward, Ambassador Mills reiterated his statement on several occasions, including in a newspaper interview ( 168 Zham , June 14 ). Considering the country’s current investment-related risks, Armenia has the worst business climate in Europe and Central Asia, according to a World Bank report, which particularly mentions cronyism, arbitrary treatment and unequal competition as major impediments ( , June 18 ).

Characteristically, the state-owned Armenpress news agency and other government-controlled media outlets did not report on Ambassador Mills’s statements. Armenian officials might not like to overtly refuse an obviously beneficial proposal; yet, they are acting as if they remain reluctant to implement a policy that would be a serious blow to Gazprom’s expansion plans and, more generally, to Russian interests. A major investment in energy production not dependent on fossil fuels would likely reduce domestic demand for natural gas. Armenia’s Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, which covers nearly 40 percent of the country’s electricity generation, sells power to the distribution network for 5.73 dram (about 1.2 cents) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) ( , April 29 , 2015). The cost of production at hydropower plants is nearly 8 dram per kWh; while the cost of production at thermal plants is 35 dram. The customer fee is calculated on the basis of the average cost of production ( , June 22 ). However, since all Armenian gas and electricity distribution networks, as well as the Hrazdan thermal power plant, belong to Russian companies, Moscow has been promoting the operation of the thermal plant, which also means larger volumes of gas imports, and higher costs to Armenian consumers.

While government representatives and government-controlled media have been ignoring the possibility of Armenia attracting large-scale foreign investment from beyond Russia, several independent publications about this issue have appeared in the meantime. They contain harsh criticism of the Armenian government’s and of Russia’s policies. One such article emphasizes that since his appointment to the post of prime minister, in September 2016 , Karapetyan has not visited any country outside the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). In particular, he has refused an invitation to visit the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The article also refers to Gazprom’s and Rosneft’s monopolies (currently Armenian importers of motor and jet fuel can buy only from Rosneft). Moreover, it identifies Moscow-imposed impediments against Armenia importing more gas from Iran or providing transit from Iran to Georgia and, via the Black Sea, to Europe. Finally, it makes a comparison with the post-war situation, when the Soviet Union forbade Eastern European countries from using the opportunity offered by the Marshall Plan, and it ridicules Russia’s economic and technological backwardness in comparison with the West. The article was soon deleted from the website of Aravot daily, perhaps because of its vitriolic tone; but by then, it had already been published in the print version. The Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs also republished the piece on its website ( , June 14 ).

In a separate article, the head of the Yerevan-based Center for European Studies, Arthur Ghazinyan, also noted that a diversification of Armenia’s energy supply would be against Russia’s interests. Speaking with Aravot , he stated that Russian “investments” in the energy sphere have resulted from successive Armenian cabinets’ policies of continually yielding the country’s ability to make sovereign decisions in favor of Russia’s interests ( , June 22 ).

Already after Miller’s visit to Yerevan, French Ambassador Jean-François Charpentier made a statement about French companies’ desire to possibly invest in Armenia’s energy sphere; specific business proposals were forthcoming, he noted ( , June 22 ). The liberalization of the energy market and a general improvement of the business climate would certainly be in Armenia’s national interest. Such measures, in addition to expected economic benefits, would improve the country’s energy security and the security situation in general, reducing Moscow’s influence on Yerevan’s decision-making. However, the government’s attitude invites more skepticism than hope.

Armenian Weekly
June 29 2017
Miracle: A Der Hayr’s Reflections on the 2016 April War
By Fr. Bedros Shetilia

What happened in Artsakh in the month of April of last year contains a historical mystery—it was not merely a limited war. If we dig deeper, we may uncover an important secret.

We were proud of our army’s performance during that war and many of us justifiably said, “Long live our soldiers”. They were able to stop a surprise attack by a better-equipped enemy.

We all understand that Azerbaijan could not dare to start such a war by its own decision. Without talking to the Big Powers, such events never happen. From the first day of the enemy’s actions, military analysts were saying that this was not a big and a long-lasting war—that it was a “limited” war. The goal of Azerbaijan was clear, and that was to gain as much territory as possible within those limits.

The permission from the Big Powers to start a limited war was granted to Azerbaijan in order to make its position stronger during the negotiations with Armenia and to get more concessions. Karim Pakradouni, a Lebanese politician of Armenian origin, who was one of the leaders of the Lebanese Christians during the civil war in Lebanon, tells an interesting story. In the beginning of 1970s, he tried to talk to Yaser Arafat in order to ease the tension between the Palestinians and the Christians. On one occasion, Arafat visited the Christian area and he saw extreme and unrealistic anti-Syrian slogans everywhere. After seeing this, he advised Pakradouni, that it would be better if the Christians could avoid repeating the mistake of the Palestinians, by hysterically using such slogans, because when the time comes for a political solution, it would be difficult for the leadership to denounce them in front of its own people.

That is exactly what is happening with the Azerbaijan leadership. For the last several years, it has been constantly threatening Artsakh and Armenia. After making much noise—and perhaps bluffing—the Azerbaijani leadership became trapped by its slogans of taking Artsakh back. On one hand, it knew that it was not capable of doing it, but on the other hand, it something should be done: a short war, a blitzkrieg with the objective to take large territories from the buffer zone and, if possible, from Artsakh itself. It was also to show a historical and a big victory in front of the world and most importantly in the front of its own people.

The war started with Azerbaijan sending well trained and well equipped Special Forces to break the line. From our side, the first line was protected mostly by 18-20 year-old mandatory service soldiers. It seemed that they were no match and it would be an easy victory for the enemy. Here I will repeat the question that was asked for many times—How it was possible that the first line was protected mostly by young inexperienced soldiers?

Let us go back to the main topic and to see who these young soldiers were. Most of them are from impoverished families. In Armenia, it’s common for the rich to use their connections and bribe the officials to prevent their sons from serving in the army or at least from serving in Artsakh and on the front-lines. It is safe to assume that these young soldiers come from environments where they heard words of disappointment about their country from a young age. The disappointment is so deep, that people do not only talk negatively about the government but about the entire nation, which is a very concerning phenomena. These young soldiers could have very well been raised by continuously hearing the well-known words “Yerkiruh yerkir chi…” ( “The country is not a country…”).

Logically, we can think that anyone who is in a similar circumstances will not be willing to endanger his life for a country that caused him and his family such disappointment. We can see that in the history of many nations. For example Russians, in the beginning of the WWII, switched sides by large numbers and fought with Germans against their own country, because they were disappointed with the communists. Another example are the Arabs, who were and are continuing to betray each other on both the lower and the upper levels, and in fact are working against their national interests. Coming to our young and inexperienced soldiers, to those poor people who felt betrayed by their own leadership, we witnessed a completely different picture.

And this is the miracle . They didn’t flee, they didn’t panic, and they heroically held up the line, having about a hundred martyrs until the main forces came in. In a few of days, the enemy was asking for a ceasefire, because it was afraid of losing territories. The blitzkrieg was stopped; the surprise did not happen; the plan was not accomplished and the war ended with Azerbaijan gaining a very small territory which was much less than the initial objective.

These youngsters are born in free Armenia—they are the representatives of the generation of independence . This heroic spirit is the secret that I was referring to in the beginning of the article. This spirit is the reason for our survival in the most desperate moments of our history—the same spirit of Vardanants, the same spirit of the Musa Ler and Van defenses, the same spirit of Sardarabad, and finally the same spirit of the Artsakh War of the 1990s. This is not foolish, nationalistic bragging, but a historical fact. Alongside with our culture, this spirit is the reason that we still exist and many nations of the empires who conquered us in the past do not.

It is painful to talk about our history, it is painful to talk about the loss of our territories, and it is painful to compare the sizes of the historical and the current Armenia. Vladimir Pozner, an internationally known Russian journalist and Putin critic, says that it is a miracle that Armenians still exist, despite the geographical location of our fatherland, which has often been in the middle of the policies and interests of the Big Powers.

I think the truth lies in the middle. On the one hand, it is true that the geographical location of our country was and is the main reason for our difficulties. But on the other hand, our internal problems had a big role in complicating our challenges and difficulties. Otherwise, why would Garegin Nejdeh say “the sins of the Armenians had more impact in the destruction of our country, than the enemies that invaded our land from time to time.” We can see that what was accomplished by our young people during the 2016 April War was a highlight in our history which we have been lucky to witness.

We bow down in the front of these heroes and pray for the souls of the martyrs. May the numbers of such heroes increase within our nation. May their example be an inspiration for us and especially for the young and future generations. And finally, may the existence of such chosen ones be a sign to our internal enemies, the corrupted system and officials who suck the blood of our people in Armenia, and to our external enemies as well.

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