‘Sassoon braves’ changed the reality in Armenia

‘Sassoon braves’ changed the reality in Armenia

The capture of the police building in Yerevan's Erebuni district, though it is local and doomed to failure, is changing the political reality in Armenia, the director of the Institute of the Caucasus , Alexander Iskandaryan, said in an interview to a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, commenting on the impact of this event on the political processes in the country.

‘’Of course, this won’t add stability. The mere fact that there was such an event  changes the reality in some way – after all, it was violent. It is clear that it is localized, that it is impossible to seize power in this way, the people acted rather impulsively – but the incident by itself impacts on the reality in Armenia," Alexander Iskandaryan said, adding that it is unlikely to lead to real political change in the country.

The expert explained that this was due to the weak reaction of citizens to the appeals of the rioters. ‘’It is pretty quiet on the streets, so the attitude of the citizens is quite clear. Such acts of violence are unlikely to attract much sympathy. Moreover, it could still end without bloodshed: the authorities are negotiating. The hostages are being gradually released. Two more people were released at night, now there are four hostages. Hopefully, there is still a possibility to find a peaceful way out of the situation. If not, of course, there will be a storming,’’ he admitted.

The political scientist pointed out that the ‘Constituent Parliament’ and its leader Zhirayr Sefilyan are among the most radical forces in Armenia. ‘’It is difficult to call Zhirayr Sefilyan a politician, he is more an activist, his structure is not represented in the parliament, he has no possibility of participating in the elections, the party's meetings were always very small. The fact is that such a degree of radicalism cannot attract mass support, even if we talk about verbal radicalism, rather than about direct violence. The niche of extreme radicalism and denial of the whole political system, so even with the fuse and the emotion with which it is carried out by the ‘Constituent Parliament’ can be very broad,’’ the director of the Caucasus Institute said.

It is worth saying that if ordinary citizens have ignored the revolutionary calls of the ‘Sassoon braves’, other political movements in Armenia, on the contrary, enjoy the possibility of opposing the current authorities spontaneously or in an orderly way. Organizations like ‘Arise, Armenia’ and ‘We are the owners of the country’ hold rallies on Liberty Square. The government for its part does not stand on ceremony with those who hold no weapons, and as it is reported by the human rights activists,  arrest and detain activists massively.

A decision to storm the building of the Erebuni district police office is still pending.

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