Armenian Opposition Gives Ultimatum to Pashinyan

  • The Armenian opposition wants the conflict to be resolved in other ways than the ceasefire agreement.
  • Armenia had two opportunities to resolve the issues in Nagorno-Karabakh in their favor.
  • The Armenian Army is demoralized.

The ceasefire agreement has been signed between Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh region.  There have been accusations by the Armenian opposition that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has been hiding inside the US Embassy in Yerevan. The Armenian military leadership does not want the war to continue.

Nikol Pashinyan is an Armenian politician serving as Prime Minister of Armenia since 8 May 2018 (as acting Prime Minister from 16 October to 9 December 2018). He is a former journalist and editor.

Meanwhile, the Armenian opposition wants the conflict to be resolved in other ways than the ceasefire agreement. Furthermore, the opposition stormed the parliament building in Yerevan. Overall, 129 people were arrested as a result of the unauthorized entry of the building and looting.

Additionally, former Prime Minister and President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, was summoned to the Security Council of Armenia. During the day, a number of military and security officials resigned due to disagreement with what is happening.

In response, Pashinyan said that he signed the documents on the recommendation of the leadership of the Armenian army, which the military confirmed.

Arayik Harutyunyan, self-proclaimed President of Artsakh, also confirmed the difficult military situation that affected the signing of the document. Against the background of Pashinyan’s excuses, Harutyunyan adequately described the situation.

According to Harutyunyan, the the Azerbaijani armed forces reached Matagis, and part of the Armenian military retreated from the Yehniker area. There were no resources. The military experts claim, in order to win the conflict, it would be necessary to mobilize 80,000-100,000 people. The drones pose a concern, but the main issue was soldiers’ mobilization.

In addition, Pashinyan rather weakly tried to transfer the blame for the failure at Shusha to oligarch Gagik Tsarukyan’s militia detachment, which allegedly did not arrive at the front. The question of why some full-blooded brigade of the Armenian armed forces did not arrive near Shusha is hanging in the air.

There are no special questions for Harutyunyan, but there are a lot of questions for Pashinyan. It seems unlikely that he will be able to hold on. The main responsibility for the defeat will obviously lie with him. It should be noted that Armenia had two opportunities to resolve the issues in Nagorno-Karabakh in their favor.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed territory, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but mostly governed by the Republic of Artsakh (formerly named Nagorno-Karabakh Republic), a de facto independent state with an Armenian ethnic majority established on the basis of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.

The first opportunity was in 2008, to recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh in exchange for recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The second opportunity could have been in 2014, after the Crimean annexation. Armenia could have bartered recognition of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in exchange for Russia’s recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Armenia.

This could have started a full-blown reunification of the region. However, the window of opportunity was missed, and now it has resulted in the loss of lives and a ceasefire agreement that does not benefit each nation.

From the military perspective, the management of the Armenian troops was weak from Day 1. There are reports of challenges with discipline within the Armenian Army. The Armenian military commanders did not want to be given orders by the current government. The current state of the Armenian army is full-blown demoralization.

It has been clear, that Pashinyan will not stay in power. It was predictable when he started jailing key figures and also forcing resignations of the top Armenian military officials. The Armenian opposition gave Pashinyan an ultimatum to immediately resign.

It is expected that if he doesn’t resign, there would be a full-blown coup in Armenia by the end of this week.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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