Armenian protesters demand Pashinyan ouster after Karabakh surrender

Armenian protesters demand Pashinyan ouster after Karabakh surrender

Thousands of protesters gathered in the Armenian capital on Wednesday to express their dissatisfaction with the Armenian government’s perceived lack of support for Armenian separatists in Karabkh. This comes after Azerbaijan forced the breakaway region into a humiliating surrender. The protesters, who gathered on Republic Square in Yerevan, demanded the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who oversaw the defeat to Azerbaijan in the 2020 war and the subsequent collapse of Karabakh’s Armenian authorities.

One protester named Harut, a 32-year-old solar engineer, expressed the hope that Pashinyan would step down, stating that it would be better for a leader who lost the war to leave rather than continue in power. He emphasized the pain of the defeat, considering the long-standing fight Armenians had waged for Karabakh, saying, “It’s something that we’ve been fighting for for 30 years, for more than 30 years, and now it all went for nothing.”

Opposition politicians took the stage in Republic Square to denounce Pashinyan, who came to power during a 2018 revolution and had addressed rallies in the same square. The protesters in the square shouted slogans like “Artsakh!” and “Nikol is a traitor!” Many waved Nagorno-Karabakh flags, and some clashed with the police, while others threw bottles and stones at the prime minister’s office. Riot police sealed off government offices, and military-style trucks were present in the area to maintain heavy security.

Azerbaijan announced that it had halted its offensive after Armenian separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh agreed to a ceasefire, which indicated that the region would return to Baku’s control. Armenians, who are predominantly Christian, claim historical dominance in the area, known as Artsakh to them. Azerbaijan, whose population is mostly Muslim, also links its historical identity to the territory.

Samvel Sargsyan, a 21-year-old student born in Karabakh’s capital, expressed the desire for Armenia to unite with Artsakh and fight. He questioned why Armenians should accept another country and religion, stating that Armenia should not give a part of itself to another nation. Holding the flag of Artsakh, he emphasized that losing Artsakh would mean losing Armenia as well.

Another protester, Khachatur Kobelyan, expressed shock at Azerbaijan’s aggression towards Nagorno-Karabakh. He expressed disappointment in the lack of action from the United Nations, the United States, and Russia, who he believed could make a difference in the situation. Pashinyan has accused Russia of not providing enough support to Armenia and mentioned the possibility of a coup in Yerevan.

Azerbaijan stated that it wanted a smooth reintegration process for Karabakh’s Armenians and denied Armenian accusations of ethnic cleansing in the region. Many protesters referenced the Armenian genocide of 1915, recalling the massacres of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire.

In conclusion, the protests in Yerevan reflect the frustration and anger of Armenians towards their government’s handling of the conflict with Azerbaijan and the subsequent loss of Karabakh. The demand for Pashinyan’s resignation and the desire to protect the Armenian identity and territory are central themes in the demonstrations.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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