Traditionally, New Year’s Eve is one of the most popular holidays in Armenia (and the former Soviet Union). The vast majority of people ring in the new year at home with family and friends.
This year, on December 31, Hovik and Karen and many others were on the streets of Yerevan, and not on Republic Square with the big Christmas tree and a countdown clock and big crowds.
Over the past month, there have been several prominent court cases that Western Ambassadors and analysts have no idea about.
Karen, you are active in talking about political prisoners and cases of judicial harassment in Armenia. Your friends have recently started the Armenian Center for Political Rights and have already issued a statement about Avetik Chalabyan’s verdict.
This week, Armen Grigoryan had an interview on H1. Here are some of the important points points he made; he said:
Aliyev had a big pre-election press conference earlier in the week, mentioning several key points (we’re paraphrasing):
Aliyev held another press conference on Saturday, where he openly claimed Yerevan as an Azerbaijani territory, saying that it was unjustly taken away from Azerbaijan.
Most military analysts we talk to agree with the old Roman adage “Si vis pacem, para bellum”. In other words, to prepare for peace, we need to prepare for war. So the only guarantee for peace is a high level of military preparedness.
Let’s go into more details… During 2023 Armenia appears to have made some weapon procurements from countries that are not traditional sources of arms. Pashinyan’s team claims this hits two birds: diversification of military procurement, and reversing the negative effects of the war in Ukraine, which allegedly limited Russian fulfillment of Armenia’s pre-paid weaponry contracts with $400 million.
Armenia has reportedly ordered Pinaka and Akash missiles from India, as well as their anti-drone radar systems. We don’t really know what has been delivered, except that Azerbaijan’s complaints and warnings about arming Armenia through Iran were complemented with radar images, so we assume some weaponry has entered Armenia,
Later in 2023 France shifted strategy and joined India in providing Armenia with “defensive weaponry”. France is providing Armenia with Ground Master 200 air defense radar systems complemented with Mistral missiles, as well as the Bastion Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), and more.
A number of things have been tried by the opposition in Armenia over the past 3 years to change Armenia’s foreign policy, defense and negotiations posture, but they have failed.
Alright, let’s wrap up our topics here. I’d like to ask each of you if there’s been something on your mind this past week that you want to talk about.
We hope you found our Week in Review 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.
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.
Asbed is founder of the Armenian News Network Groong and co-founder of the ANN/Groong podcast.