Iran kicks off massive military drills


YEREVAN, OCTOBER 27, ARMENPRESS. The Iranian Army's Ground Force has begun a massive military exercise in the central region of the country with the objective of assessing combat capabilities of various military units and testing new weaponry.

The drills started in the Nasrabad region of Isfahan on Friday..

A spokesperson for the drills provided details about the exercise, stating that it involves various units of the Army, including infantry, armored, missile, artillery, aviation, drones, as well as electronic, modern and cyber warfare units, IRNA reports.

Catholicos of All Armenians receives Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade


YEREVAN, OCTOBER 27, ARMENPRESS. On October 27, His Holiness Garegin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, received the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó, at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

The Catholicos of All Armenians, welcoming the visit of the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, referred to the restoration of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Hungary. His Holiness Garegin II noted that the minister's visit to Armenia will undoubtedly contribute to the further development and strengthening of Armenian-Hungarian relations.

During the conversation, the Catholicos of All Armenians touched upon the expansionist policy of Azerbaijan and the security challenges facing Armenia, and also noted the need for clear and consistent steps by the international community to curb the unrestrained aggressive aspirations of Azerbaijan.

The Catholicos expressed gratitude to the government of Hungary for the assistance in the repatriation of five Armenian prisoners of war in 2021, as well as for the support provided to Christian communities in the countries of the Middle East, the Armenian Church, Armenia and forcibly  displaced persons from Nagorno-Karabakh in these difficult days.

The Catholicos also touched upon the problems of the return of prisoners and the preservation of the spiritual and cultural heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh.

In his turn, Minister Szijjártó valued the role of the Armenian Apostolic Church in restoring diplomatic ties between Armenia and Hungary.

The minister emphasized that the Armenian and Hungarian peoples have a universal Christian value system, which is an important basis for further strengthening and development of relations.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary also emphasized that Hungary is ready to implement various programs to support displaced Artsakh citizens, as well as take consistent steps in the direction of preserving the spiritual and cultural heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict: India considers sending second batch of weapons to Armenia in the face of rising tensions

Oct 27 2023

The decision comes after India successfully delivered the first batch of weapons to Armenia over the past year.

Amid the ongoing Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, India is considering sending more military assistance to Armenia, its vital ally in the Caucasus, reports the Economic Times. This comes after India successfully delivered the first batch of weapons to Armenia over the past year.

The article reported that India intends to send additional supplies some of which could consist of military hardware meant to strengthen Armenia’s deterrent might. The development came to light in the backdrop of serious tensions between Armenia and the Islamic country Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey and Pakistan.

A top Armenian official recently was in Delhi to hold negotiations about the same, as per sources with knowledge of the situation. They asserted that India has emerged as a reliable source of weapons which is in line with their demand.

However, specifics of the new shipments are undisclosed at this time and analysts in Armenia who want to remain anonymous stated that the cargo might comprise tools that could act as a deterrent amid the hostile environment with Azerbaijan.

India’s previous consignment to Armenia included Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers, anti-tank missiles, rockets, and ammunition. The weapons were reportedly delivered through Iran, a country with historical ties to Armenia. Iran, which has historical ties to Armenia had reportedly facilitated the delivery. The supplies had prompted protests from Azerbaijan.

India, Iran and Armenia established a trilateral earlier this year to explore a transit corridor. The three nations underlined the potential for strengthening cultural and people-to-people ties as well as trilateral collaboration in several areas during a meeting in Yerevan in April. They further spoke about economic initiatives and regional communication channels. The decision was made to “continue consultations” in the format at that point. The usage of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) as a regional connectivity network was addressed as well at the summit.

Armenia has been acquiring Pinaka systems mostly because of Azerbaijan’s drone utilisation, as the system’s “shoot and scoot” functionality allows it to avoid counter-battery fire. It is also an excellent armament system for the country due to its affordability and ease of application. Due to their familiarity with the Russian-made GRAD system, the Armenian army could quickly become proficient with the technique. 

The head of Armenia’s parliamentary committee on defence and security affairs, Andranik Kocharyan recently declared without mentioning India that the new arsenal supplied to the country is now being tested by their military, with “very satisfactory” results.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is an ethnic and territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, inhabited mostly by ethnic Armenians until 2023.

The small nation of Armenia is nestled between Turkey and Azerbaijan. The Azeris share Turkish culture and religion since they are ethnic Turks. The Ottoman Empire colonized the predominantly Christian Armenians for a very long period. Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia were the three Soviet republics that split apart from Armenia after the Soviet Union annexed the country in the 1920s.

Armenia and Azerbaijan gained independence in the 1990s with the fall of the Soviet Union. However, a small area that was home to ethnic Armenians continued to be a part of Azerbaijan. The name of this area is Nagorno-Karabakh. In the 1990s, tensions rose, leading this region to announce independence with Armenia’s assistance. The impasse lasted for over thirty years until Azerbaijan unilaterally breached the truce in 2020, backed by Turkey.

The dispute saw a significant escalation after this. Six weeks of intense combat were reported to have claimed thousands of lives.

Azerbaijan took over large swaths of land, and by the time both sides agreed to sign a peace deal negotiated by Russia in November 2020, it had grabbed all of the regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh controlled by Armenia since 1994. The terms of the deal obliged Armenian troops to leave these territories and they have since been limited to a smaller part of the region.

The violence was momentarily stopped by the arrival of Russian soldiers, however, tensions had been building for months between the two nations.

In September this year, the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia once again escalated as the Turkey-backed Azerbaijani forces launched a military offensive in the region. The onslaught that lasted for 24 hours claimed the lives of as many as 10 innocent civilians and left several injured.

The following day, a cease-fire deal mediated by Russia was struck. The agreement stated that the military forces of Karabakh would be entirely disarmed and abolished.

On September 20, the prime minister stated that Armenia was not a party to the deal, accusing Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan of attempting to draw Armenia into a confrontation. 

Amidst all this, over 1,20,000 ethnic Armenians living in the region started fleeing Muslim-majority Azerbaijan fearing persecution and ethnic cleansing by the Azeri authorities.

Nagorno-Karabakh seen from Yerevan

Oct 20 2023

Interview with Armenian journalist Arshaluys Mghdesyan. Interviewer: Martina Napolitano

On September 19th, Azerbaijan launched an attack on the Armenian-controlled territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The offensive ended within 24 hours, resulting in the capitulation of the breakaway republic, marking the end of Nagorno-Karabakh’s history as a de facto independent state (it will officially cease to exist at the end of this year). A mass exodus towards Armenia has begun for around 120,000 people. How is Armenia reacting to the events in Nagorno-Karabakh? What are the country’s future prospects? We discussed these questions in Yerevan with Arshaluys Mghdesyan, who is political commentator for the Armenian newspaper CivilNet Online TV.

MARTINA NAPOLITANO: How is the current situation in Nagorno-Karabakh being perceived in Yerevan and Armenia in comparison to the war and defeat in 2020? From an external perspective, there seems to be a prevailing sense of a climate of resignation, which emerged following the first hours of the Azerbaijani offensive on September 19th. Is this perception correct?

ARSHALUYS MGHDESYAN: It’s a hard question. I have the impression that we did not fully understand what happened in 2020, what kind of defeat it was, what Azerbaijan’s real goals were and with what methods Baku wanted to achieve them.

We seemingly regarded the defeat and the post-war status quo as something stable. We thought that the Russian military presence in Nagorno-Karabakh would be long term.

The political decisions were made with these assumptions, based on the condition of post-war Armenia, [specifically] the army, being in poor condition, as well as the internal political crisis and the 2021 elections. For at least six months after the war, Armenia went through an internal crisis. Then the difficult reform of the army and the war in Ukraine followed, and this changed the status quo.

We found ourselves in an ever-shifting environment that we thought would be stable, but we failed or didn’t have time to adapt. And this was the result.

Is there a sense of disappointment with Russia in Armenia?

In Armenia there is a sense of disappointment, a profound disappointment. But there were also unrealistic expectations. Already during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict there were signs that Russia never spoke out about the consequences of a possible attack on Armenia’s borders, which would have constituted an unacceptable violation.

It should have been recognised that the region was changing and Russia could act in its own interests. Therefore, yes, there is disappointment.

Can the European Union and the United States influence the situation?

We Armenians are always looking for a magic wand that can help us in times of need. But the safety of those who are sinking is first and foremost the responsibility of those who are sinking. There will be no saviours.

In this sense, we can say that the great powers act like deities. They may offer some kind of diplomatic assistance, but I have strong doubts whether they will take drastic measures against Azerbaijan or decide to resolutely support Armenia.

We failed to achieve what we wanted with Russia and we will not succeed with the United States or the European Union.

Here’s a recent example: US Congress Representative Samantha Power, who is now in Yerevan, previously stated that the United States would not tolerate another war against Nagorno-Karabakh. However, we saw that they easily tolerated it. They declare that a reaction is necessary, but they do not mention what exactly this reaction should be.

The fate of the world is not decided here, it is decided in Ukraine. That’s why there is such a severe conflict with Russia there. What happens here, fortunately or unfortunately, is not considered important.

So, we will not receive security guarantees from Europe.

The Nagorno-Karabakh issue has been discussed three times at the UN Security Council, yet there has not been a single statement from the member states regarding possible sanctions.

In Armenia, are there concerns that the conflict could escalate to involve the south of the country?

I believe that this is the most pressing issue right now. Attacking Armenia’s internationally recognised territories would be more complex. But there are many states in the world whose recognition hasn’t helped, from Syria to Ukraine.

Turkey and Azerbaijan will find all possible means to raise the issue concerning the road passing through Syunik province (which they refer to as the Zangezur corridor). They will try to force Yerevan’s hand through diplomatic channels or military actions, such as exercises and other types of manoeuvres near the border.

The Armenian province of Syunik, on the border with Iran, divides Azerbaijan from its exclave of Nakhchivan. Azerbaijan and Turkey have been pushing for the opening of an extraterritorial transport corridor through Armenia for some time. This corridor was also mentioned in the ceasefire agreement that ended the 2020 war.

We will observe the situation. Now it is difficult to say what will happen, but the possibility that they resolve the issue militarily cannot be excluded.

Iran and western countries could help us avoid such a scenario. On this issue, Tehran and the West have similar positions. The corridor is needed militarily and politically, first and foremost, for Azerbaijan and Turkey.

The road and, in particular, an extraterritorial corridor would be useful also to Russia. Since the 2020 peace agreement stipulated that this route of communication would be patrolled by Russian border guards, this would allow Moscow to maintain its presence in the region.

Iran fears losing its border with Armenia and consequently being surrounded by unfriendly countries. Last year, Iran opened a consulate in Kapan, southern Armenia, and the country’s authorities have repeatedly stated that Armenia’s security coincides with Iran’s security.

However, we should be cautious. Azerbaijan and Turkey could offer Iran something to change its stance.

Moving on to the internal political situation in Armenia, will Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan remain in power?

Yes, for now. In this period, many of the preconceptions we had before the 2020 war are disappearing. We used to think that if an Armenian leader had lost Nagorno-Karabakh or some other territory they would not have remained in power.

Despite the military defeat in 2020, Pashinyan not only remained in power, but he was also democratically re-elected in 2021. Even though now we have lost Nagorno-Karabakh, the government has not fallen.

This shows that the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh is not as influential in domestic politics as it was in the 1990s, when it was a sacred, untouchable issue, which decided the fate of those in power.

This is no longer the case. The perception of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue has changed in Armenian society.

People think it’s a closed matter, that it was just part of a propaganda narrative.

Armenians are reflecting on the fact that the Nagorno-Karabakh issue has been used to justify corruption in Armenia. There were discussions like, “Okay, we can have bad roads because we spend money to defend Nagorno-Karabakh.” People accepted poor living conditions and tolerated sending their children to do military service in Nagorno-Karabakh, while politicians lived in luxury.

All this lasted a long time. Dissatisfaction grew and was silenced with propaganda discourse. The first sign of discontent was the war of 2016, when Armenians realised that not everything was going well. That something was rotten in the state of Denmark. Many doubts arose about the army, that it was not well supplied despite all the sacrifices.

Fast forward to 2020. After the defeat, the Armenian authorities began to say that they would support Nagorno-Karabakh, but not at the cost of sacrifices and debts.

Well, in this way the topic has lost its relevance in the eyes of Armenian society and these are the results. Even if many opposition figures have not yet understood this.

Anecdotally, while traveling around Yerevan I had the chance to speak to many people with relatives in Nagorno-Karabakh. Statistically, do most Armenians have personal contacts in Artsakh? How important is Nagorno-Karabakh for the average Armenian citizen?

It is undoubtedly important. Post-Soviet Armenia was conceived around the topic of Nagorno-Karabakh, and there are really many people with relatives in the region. But the sacralisation of Nagorno-Karabakh had the consequence of making it an almost untouchable subject. A normal discussion about the region was not possible. It was the exclusive competence of the [political] elite. And those elites strengthened their power in every way, using the very theme of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Nonetheless, getting into conflict on this issue now is madness. I understand those who say that Nagorno-Karabakh had to be defended. But the government acted with the understanding that any intervention could potentially provide Baku with a justification to attack Armenia.

There are several small protests in Yerevan. Are the opposition forces united?

Two dynamics can be observed. On the one hand, there are protests from the parliamentary opposition, who want Pashinyan to resign. On the other, there are the nationalists, who are few and marginal but very loud.

Arshaluys Mghdesyan is political commentator for the Armenian newspaper CivilNet Online TV.

Martina Napolitano holds a PhD in Slavic Studies and is lecturer for Russian language and translation at the University of Trieste. In her research and writing she particularly focuses on late Soviet and contemporary Russian-language culture. She is a translator, series editor at the Bottega Errante publishing house, and president of Meridiano 13.
This interview was originally published in Italian on the Meridiano 13 website and social media channels.

Over 3,000 forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh have left Armenia


YEREVAN, OCTOBER 19, ARMENPRESS. More than 3,000 of the over 100,000 forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh who arrived to Armenia have now left the country, PM Nikol Pashinyan has said.

“As of today, more than 3000 forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh have left the Republic of Armenia. I don’t want to make conclusions regarding this topic. Perhaps most of them are visiting their family members to spend some time with them. I hope we are giving this message very clear, and also calling upon our brothers and sisters forcibly displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh to consider staying in Armenia a priority . We are doing everything to support them. In the case when there will be de-facto no desire or opportunity to return to Nagorno-Karabakh, our policy is to do everything so that they stay in the Republic of Armenia,” Pashinyan said at the Cabinet meeting.

“We’ve allocated over 100 million dollars, we will implement the most various projects,” Pashinyan said, calling on the forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh to stay in Armenia.

The Future is Bright: Two Winners Selected for High School Student Essay Contest on Genocide Prevention

Toronto,  - The Zoryan Institute and the editors of Genocide 
Studies International (GSI) have selected two winners of its its inaugural High 
School Student Essay Contest focused on the prevention of genocide. The first 
place was awarded to a Grade 10 student of Arlington High School, Soline Fisher, 
and the second place was awarded to Grade 11 student, Zepure Merdinian of 
Belmont High School. 

The essay contest, which provided an opportunity for students to make their 
voices heard and contribute to the ongoing work of preventing genocide, had 3 
prompts for students to address and develop their own original arguments:

1) How will you lead your generation in preventing genocide?
2) What obligation does the global community have to prevent genocide, and what 
form(s) should these prevention efforts take?
3) How should your nation respond to genocide that takes place in another nation?

The essay contest was open to high school level students worldwide, and while we 
received many quality submissions, the two winning essays were selected for 
their academic rigour, personal narrative, and persuasive argument addressing 
their selected prompt.

Soline’s essay explored the contemporary challenges faced by the global 
community in tackling genocide, and proposed three concrete steps to help 
prevent genocide and future atrocities.  Zepure’s essay titled, “Quality 
Genocide Education in American Schools: An Armenian Lens for Hope” took on a 
personal approach, exploring how her own experiences with genocide and genocide 
education will help her to lead her generation in preventing genocide.

Both submissions left the editors of Genocide Studies International and the 
Zoryan Institute hopeful for the future generations who will help lead the way 
in promoting human rights, equity, tolerance, peace and reconciliation. 
Co-editor of GSI, Dr. Jennifer Rich, commented:
“It was a privilege to read all of the outstanding contributions to this first 
student essay contest! The pieces submitted by Soline and Zepure are thoughtful, 
engaging, well-crafted – and very different from one another. When taken on 
their own, they are excellent; when taken together, they point to a brighter 

When asked to comment on the significance of this contest, Soline spoke to the 
importance of genocide prevention for today's youth:
“It is so important that young people be made aware of pressing international 
developments and grasp the complexity of the issues involved so as to be able to 
take an informed position on those issues. While some scholars are bent on 
reassuring us that the world we live in is less violent than at any time in the 
past, this argument to me underestimates the latent potential for violence on a 
large scale enabled by extremist politics and advanced technology. Therefore, we 
must remain vigilant for the prospects of the emergence of new forms of 
genocide. I hope that my essay makes some small contribution to this 

In her comments, second place winner, Zepure, highlighted on the importance of 
genocide education:  
“I hope my essay shows the extent to which genocide education varies in quality, 
and inspires educators worldwide to improve their teaching approaches when it 
comes to heavy topics such as genocide." 

As first place winner, Soline will receive a cash prize of $250 USD and both 
Soline and Zepure will have their essays published in issue 15.2 of Genocide 
Studies International. Soline and Zepure were both presented certificates from 
the Zoryan Institute from their respective schools. 

The 2024 High School Student Essay Contest is now open for submissions! As we 
embark on this new academic school year, we encourage high schools, educators 
and teachers around the world to share this opportunity with their students and 
peers, and even incorporate it into their 2023-2024 curriculum. The deadline to 
submit  is in June 2024. 


Sophie Waldron

Outreach Assistant
International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies A Division of the 
Zoryan Institute
255 Duncan Mill Rd., Suite 310 Toronto, ON, Canada M3B 3H9
Tel: 416-250-9807
E-mail: [email protected]


Will Azerbaijan accept ethnic Armenians’ ‘right to return’ to Nagorno-Karabakh ‘homeland’?

France 24
Oct 3 2023
The last bus carrying ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh left the region Monday, completing a grueling weeklong exodus of over 100,000 people — more than 80% of its residents — after Azerbaijan reclaimed the area in a lightning military operation. The bus that entered Armenia carried 15 passengers with serious illnesses and mobility problems, said Gegham Stepanyan, a human rights ombudsman for the former breakaway region that Azerbaijan calls Karabakh. He called for information about any other residents who want to leave but have had trouble doing so. In a 24-hour campaign that began Sept. 19, the Azerbaijani army routed the region's undermanned and outgunned Armenian forces, forcing them to capitulate. The separatist government then agreed to disband itself by the end of the year, but Azerbaijani authorities are already in charge of the region. For more on the Armenian exodus amid Azerbaijan's move to reaffirm full control of Nagorno-Karabakh, FRANCE 24's Genie Godula is joined by Olesya Vartanyan, International Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for the South Caucasus region.

Watch the video report at 

Armenian-Azeri conflict still unresolved, says Russia

 11:11, 9 October 2023

YEREVAN, OCTOBER 9, ARMENPRESS. The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is still unresolved, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin has said.

In an interview with RBC, Galuzin praised the Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh for what he described as playing an “essential role” in providing humanitarian assistance to the civilians after the September 19-20 Azeri attack.

He said that the Nagorno-Karabakh authorities’ decision to disband their government doesn’t mean that the conflict situation is over between Armenia and Azerbaijan. 

“And here the complex of the trilateral agreements between the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia is still relevant,” Galuzin said, mentioning that the agreements pertain to the unblocking of the transport and economic routes between Armenia and Azerbaijan, border delimitation and demarcation, signing of the peace treaty and establishment of contacts between public figures, expert circles and parliamentarians from both countries. “All of this should lead to mutually acceptable conditions of resolution that will be stipulated in the future treaty. And Russia, as an honest broker, that has collegial and allied relations with both countries, will seek to support in order for sustainable and balanced agreements to be reached between the two neighbors,” the Russian Deputy FM said.

The mass exodus of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh began after the September 19-20 Azerbaijani attack which ended after Nagorno-Karabakh authorities agreed to Azerbaijan’s terms in a Russian-brokered ceasefire deal.

Over 100,500 forcibly displaced Armenians have crossed into Armenia from Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Many residents of Karabakh made a difficult decision to leave. But at the same time, we believe that the Russian peacekeeping contingent’s mission remains more than demanded,” Galuzin said, adding that the peacekeepers would be necessary in the future as well.

The terms of the 2020 ceasefire agreement, officially known as the 9 November 2020 trilateral statement by the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, provide for a repeated extension of the Russian peacekeeping contingent’s mission by five more years if Armenia and Azerbaijan do not object to that.

Turkish Press: Pashinyan steadfast in turning Armenia into Ukraine BY MELIH ALTINOK

Daily Sabah, Turkey
Oct 5 2023

Armenia has been steadily losing territory to Azerbaijan since 2020, with the Azerbaijani Army recently achieving complete control over Karabakh.

Amid these developments, one might wonder whether Russia, Armenia's longstanding ally, remained passive.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan certainly thinks so. He argues that Russia has fallen short in safeguarding the Armenian population in Karabakh. Pashinyan believes that placing Armenia's security solely in the hands of Russia was a strategic error and that they have been contemplating a broader partnership with Western nations.

However, the Kremlin appears to dismiss Armenia's "flirtation" with the West with mere rhetoric, stating firmly, "We have no intentions of withdrawing from the region."

Curiously, the West seems equally disengaged when it comes to Armenia, mirroring Russia's apparent disinterest. A recent display of mock troops sent to Armenia for supposed exercises serves as a clear indication of the level of seriousness with which they regard Pashinyan's overtures.

It appears that Pashinyan is endeavoring to provoke Putin into breaking this impasse and constructing the desired relationship with the West through assertive actions. The recent approval of the Rome Statute in the Armenian Parliament represents the latest provocative step in this pursuit.

As commonly understood, the Rome Statute serves as the foundational document for the International Criminal Court (ICC). The binding authority of ICC rulings hinges on whether nations are signatories to the Rome Statute. Countries that have ratified the Rome Statute are obligated to enforce ICC decisions, while non-signatory nations can grant the court jurisdiction over specific crimes. In the past, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on the grounds of the "unlawful deportation" of Ukrainian children.

With the recent decision passed by Pashinyan in parliament, he conveys a clear message to Putin, who seems reluctant to take decisive action: any movement toward Armenia will lead to potential arrest.

What could be the underlying motive behind this seemingly "unconventional" move, apart from possibly pressuring Moscow into intervention, similar to what occurred in Ukraine?

Nevertheless, Putin is a seasoned and unflappable leader, renowned for his ability to make composed decisions even when faced with global opposition. Luring him into a precarious situation is no easy task.

Perhaps Pashinyan is calculating that Putin's focus on Ukraine may dissuade him from opening up a new front in Armenia.

However, Armenia is not even a burden on Putin, who, in addition to Ukraine, plays chess with the United States in Africa, the Pacific and Syria. He doesn't seem inclined to intervene or even acknowledge it. The Azerbaijani Army, benefiting from the Kremlin's passive stance, looms ominously close to Armenia's borders. What's more, Aliyev's armed forces, driven by the zeal and confidence of resolving the three-decade-old Karabakh conflict, are as formidable as ever. It is widely known that they enjoy unwavering support from Türkiye. Armenia's military appears powerless, and it seems they could surrender Yerevan to Azerbaijan without a single shot fired.

Setting aside these dynamics, the U.S. has little goodwill to spare, particularly in the run-up to elections. Just recently, the White House declared that the U.S. lacks the resources for long-term military aid to Ukraine.

As for the military assistance pledged to Armenia by French President Emmanuel Macron, delivered from Africa, it appears inadequate to secure Pashinyan's position.

Following the path of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who led his nation into a "precarious venture" driven by Western assurances, Pashinyan should reconsider. Such a course would be detrimental to the already struggling Armenian populace, who have endured their share of hardships.

A New Armenian Trauma Unfolds

Malcolm H. Kerr
Carnegie Middle East Center
Sept 29 2023

Life in the shadow of genocide can mean a shattered, even terrifying, existence. For many Armenians, it meant exile after the massacres of 1915, living in poverty as guests in lands not theirs, facing the daily humiliation of being dependent. I lost my roots from my mother’s side when her family fled Adana and settled in Lebanon after the genocide. And now, in light of the Armenian defeat in Nagorno-Karabakh, or what Armenians call Artsakh, I have also lost roots on my father’s side.

I remember how my father used to proudly say that our family was from Akna, or Aghdam in today’s Azerbaijan. It was said that many intellectuals lived in Akna. In the First Century B.C., during the reign of Tigranes the Great, the fortress city of Tigranakert was built in the district of Akna. During the Armenian-Tatar Massacres of 1905–1907 between Caucasian Tatars and Armenians, violent clashes took place in Akna, forcing my grandparents to leave for Agin, in Turkey. They settled there with the hope of a new beginning, and my grandfather opened a horseshoe business. However, during the Armenian genocide, he lost his parents and fled again, this time to Musa Ler, or Musa Dagh, in southern Turkey, before taking the long road to Lebanon, where he settled in the neighborhood of Ain al-Mreisseh. He arrived with his six brothers, all of whom decided to continue their journey to Europe, leaving him alone in the country.

The connection between my grandfather and his six brothers was lost forever, and I still wonder how many cousins I have whom I’ve never met. I can only imagine how beautiful Akna was, with green landscapes and a fortress built on a mountain, surrounded by ancient stones. The air must have been very clean to breathe and the water refreshing to drink, with people on horses riding by peacefully.

In 1921, my father was born in Beirut. As a descendant of survivors of the Armenian genocide, I never thought I would be witness to another major trauma of the Armenian people. Tens of thousands of Armenians, from a population of around 120,000, have been forced out of Artsakh after a nine-month blockade and Azerbaijan’s offensive of September 19–20. Azerbaijan has randomly bombed civilians and is ethnically cleansing Artsakh’s Armenian population. We are living 1915 all over again. Armenian homes are being torn down, and our culture is being rapidly erased in a very brutal way.

Artsakh holds a very sentimental place for all Armenians in the diaspora. It is in the hearts of all Lebanese Armenians who fled the genocide of 1915. As a child I remember the letters we used to send to children in Artsakh to show solidarity, the funds we would gather to help Artsakh remain Armenian and maintain its rich history and monuments, its churches and museums. Now all has been lost. Azerbaijan has disregarded international condemnation, not to mention SOS alerts from the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention warning of the risk of genocide. The world once again has failed the Armenians. When you see a mother having to bury two of her sons, aged eight and ten, and struggling to transport their bodies to do so in Armenia; when you see children writing their names on the walls of their homes so that something will remain of them after they leave, you can understand better what cruelty means. This is what hell must be like.

I didn’t have the privilege of being be born in my ancestors’ lands, but I do have a vase that belonged to my grandmother. During my childhood I would frequently see her crying and praying in front of that vase. I remember thinking how strange the scene was. During my teenage years, my mother would light a candle before the vase every morning and have a conversation with it, as if it could hear her agony. Now, looking at that vase, I understand my mother and grandmother. The vase contains soil from Artsakh, and it has become a part of my home, my heritage, and my identity. It is the only thing close to my heart that I can pass on to my children.

On the monument near Stepanakert depicting tatikpapik, the grandmother and grandfather of Artsakh, there is the line, “We Are Our Mountains.” This story is not over. We will meet again tatik and papik, among those mountains.

Carnegie does not take institutional positions on public policy issues; the views represented herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Carnegie, its staff, or its trustees.