Tevan Poghosyan - Bagrat Srbazan Brings Masses to the Streets | Armenia Azerbaijan Talks Continue | Ep 329 - May 12, 2024 [EP329]

Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 | Category: Armenia, Artsakh, Politics | Series: wir



  • Bagrat Srbazan Brings Masses To the Streets
  • Armenia Azerbaijan Talks Continue

Episode 329 | Recorded: May 14, 2024

Show Notes

Bagrat Srbazan Brings Masses To the Streets

Undoubtedly the biggest story of the past week is the Tavush for the Homeland movement led by Bagrat Srbazan. He is the primate of the Tavush DIocese, and started with protests against the government’s unilateral concession of Tavush villages to Azerbaijan. He immediately garnered support from the residents of the villages and the province, and then captured the imagination of the people everywhere in the republic as well as in the diaspora. He has advocated peaceful means in the face of rising police brutality, as the ranks of his supporters have swelled to tens of thousands. Estimates vary, as usual; pro-government sources have estimated a low of 32,000, while other media sources have estimated over 100,000.


  • Why has Bagrat Srbazan been successful when the opposition has failed over the past 4 years?

The Great Consolidator

Bagrat Srbazan has been able to consolidate large swaths of the Armenian political spectrum. He has attracted to his gatherings the likes of Bever, Samvel Babayan, Arman Tatoyan, Vardan Ghukasyan, just to name a few. His supporters include the ARF, both Armenian Catholicoses, and diaspora organizations. The parliamentary opposition, the Hayastan and Pativ Unem alliances, have also expressed their support for the leader and his movement.


  • What has brought such a fragmented opposition spectrum together?

Bagrat Srbazan as PM?

During the rally on Sunday May 12, Bagrat Srbazan presented 20 principles to base his movement on consolidation and reconciliation, and for the future Armenian government. There has also been discussions as to who would head such a government, who would be Prime Minister.

But how far can this go? Who will lead Armenia as a PM?

Bagrat Srbazan would of course be the clear choice, and he has said that he would not turn down such a mission if called upon, however there is a problem since he has dual citizenship, and the Armenian constitution (Article 48.2) stipulates that a candidate for member of parliament must have been a citizen exclusively of Armenia for the previous 4 years.


  • Can Bagrat Srbazan qualify as PM? Is there a path for him to take over as Prime minister?
  • If not Bagrat Srbazan, then who?

How Long Will It Take?

Bagrat Srbazan gave Pashinyan one hour to resign during his rally, and upon Pashinyan’s refusal he called on the Armenian people and professionals to begin acts of peaceful, civil disobedience. For example he called for teachers to not hold their classes, and students to strike. He has reassured his followers that victory shall eventually be theirs.


  • While Bagrat’s timeline has gone from 1 hour to multiple days, how long do you think the process could take?
  • Is there a risk of fatigue, if the protests drag on?
  • Whose side is time and momentum on, at present?

There are signs that Turks and Azeris are concerned about Pashinyan’s stability. Azerbaijani media even published reports about possible intervention in Armenia to support Pashinyan.


  • Are there concerns about Turkish/Azeri military intervention to support Pashinyan from falling?
  • Are there international, meaning western, or even Russian, concerns about these domestic developments?

Question: Let me play the devil’s advocate here: What would you say to those who follow Pashinyan’s propaganda that Bagrat Srbazan wants to bring war or that any change of power will bring war?

Armenian-Azerbaijani Talks Continue

While hundreds have been arrested during these protests, the government-controlled media has comprehensively blocked any news coverage of Bagrat Srbazan’s movement from its channels. During this time Pashinyan visited Moscow, while Mirzoyan went to Almaty.

In Moscow Pashinyan met with Putin, and in the following days Russia stated that they would withdraw their troops from the Armenian-Azerbaijani border positions.

In Almaty Mirzoyan met with Bayramov and no progress was reported, and “differences remain”. There were some signs of frustration from the west, as the process seems essentially stalled, with “progress” recorded only through unilateral concessions by Armenia.


  • Are the talks stalled, as many believe?
  • Are the protests in Armenia having an effect on these talks?

Topics from the Panelists

  • Hovik: Protesters would consider fighting for the homeland an honor, not a punishment.
  • Tevan: Bagrat Srbazan’s movement is also about Artsakh. Do not forget Artsakh, keep it alive.


That’s our Week in Review, we hope you found it 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.


Tevan Poghosyan

Tevan Poghosyan

Tevan Poghosyan is president of the International Center for Human Development. Mr. Poghosyan was an MP in the National Assembly between 2012 and 2017 from the Heritage party. From 1997 to 1999 he served as the Nagorno-Karabakh Public Affairs Office Director in Washington, D.C.


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.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by Hovik Manucharyan on the ANN/Groong podcast are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of his employer or any other organization.

Asbed Bedrossian

Asbed Bedrossian

Asbed is founder of the Armenian News Network Groong and co-founder of the ANN/Groong podcast.

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