Edgar Elbakyan: Artsakh Under Blockade: Day 13 [EP192]

Posted on Saturday, Dec 24, 2022 | Category: Artsakh, Politics, 168am | Series: cog, video


  • Edgar Elbakyan, a political scientist and social thinker based in Yerevan, Armenia. He is a co-founder of the Armenian Project non-profit organization, which contributes to enhancing Armenian national civil society.

“The problem is not resources or power, the problem is how you put forward your goals”


The blockade of Artsakh is now 13 days old. More than 120,000 people remain trapped in the Republic of Artsakh (or Nagorno-Karabakh). Supermarket shelves are empty. Essential medicine is running out.

On Friday, December 23, that’s yesterday, a meeting between Bairamov and Lavrov was held in Moscow without participation from Ararat Mirzoyan. We’ll talk about that among other things.

This interview is a continuation of the collaboration between Groong and 168 Hours aiming to bring you more English-language coverage on the developments of this very serious humanitarian crisis in progress.


Episode 192 | Recorded: December 24, 2022

Show Notes


Ararat Mirzoyan - no show

On Friday, December 23, 2022 there was supposed to be a meeting in Moscow between the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. This was originally intended to be used for the negotiations on a so-called “peace deal” between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Russian foreign minister Lavrov announced to the media that Ararat Mirzoyan had canceled at the last minute, and therefore only Jeyhun Bayramov and Lavrov met in Moscow. Lavrov stressed that diplomatic channels were not used for coordination and that they learned from Armenia’s MFA announcement. Meanwhile, according to Channel 5, the Armenian side did not cancel the meeting and had only requested to move the meeting to a later date.

While the Armenian government is declaring that the Lachin (or Berdzor) corridor is the responsibility of the Russian peacekeepers and attacking the Russians for not employing force to remove the fake environmentalists, Azerbaijan is also openly attacking Russia. The fake environmentalists are constantly provoking the Russian peacekeeping contingent.


  • What is your take on this apparent snub of Lavrov and Bayramov by Mirzoyan?
  • Do you think Mirzoyan should have gone to Moscow to continue these sham “peace negotiations”? (why?)

At the meeting with Bayramov, Lavrov was openly using pro-Azeri talking points it seems, when he blamed Armenians for not allowing the Azerbaijani so-called protesters access to the Kashen mine, alleging that previously there was an agreement.

The Armenian response has been clear that these mines should be inspected by international bodies that have trust from both sides. Ruben Vardanyan in an interview with Ian Bremmer said that the demands of the so-called eco-activists put unacceptable conditions and requirements, thus leading to impasse.

  • In general, what functions and responsibilities does the Russian peacekeeping contingent have?
  • One of the most critical human rights, the right of free movement is being denied by Azerbaijan. And here is Lavrov talking about ecological concerns. Why?

Ruben Vardanyan factor

During that joint conference in Moscow, Bayramov in his turn attacked Artsakh state minister Ruben Vardanyan, saying that the sooner Vardanyan leaves the region the better. Bayramov said that before Vardanyan, the authorities in Artsakh were more cooperative.

Previously Aliyev had accused Vardanyan of having been sent to Artsakh by Russia, and Lavrov took time in the meeting to deny any connection between Russia and Vardanyan.


  • How would you evaluate Ruben Vardanyan’s tenure so far?

At The Precipice of Genocide?

While our government is busy pointing fingers, Azerbaijan is talking about Artsakh, then Zangezur, Sevan, then Yerevan, all without tanks.

According to the Convention on Prevention of Genocide, one of the definitions of Genocide is any activity “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” against for example an ethnic or national group.

Even Pashinyan has said that Azerbaijan is planning a genocide against Artsakh Armenians. Others say that this is already in progress.


  • Do you believe that a new genocide of the Armenians is in progress?
  • Instead of complaining about Russia, what should Armenia do? What would you do?


We hope you found our Conversations on Groong helpful, we invite your feedback and your suggestions. You can find us on most social media and podcast platforms. Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts.


Edgar Elbakyan

Edgar Elbakyan

Edgar Elbakyan is a political scientist and social thinker based in Yerevan, Armenia. He is a co-founder of the Armenian Project non-profit organization, which contributes to enhancing Armenian national civil society.


Hovik Manucharyan

Hovik Manucharyan

Hovik Manucharyan is an information security engineer who moved from Seattle to Armenia in 2022. He co-founded the ANN/Groong podcast in 2020 and has been a contributor to Groong News since the late 1990s.