Genuine Armenia and the revanchist myth of 'historic Armenia'

15.04.24 12:50

At last, a statesman of the Republic of Armenia - Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - has spoken aloud the simple truth that the mythical "historical Armenia" and the real Republic of Armenia are antagonists, and the former poses the greatest threat to the latter. He said this in Parliament on 10 April 2024, while presenting the 2023 Progress and Results Report of the Government of the Republic of Armenia (2021-2026) Programme of the Republic of Armenia (2021-2026).


"No one can love historical Armenia more than I do. But I, as Prime Minister, refuse to love historical Armenia more than the Republic of Armenia. I refuse to love anything more than the real Armenia" - declared Nikol Pashinyan.


The current Prime Minister said what the ethnic Hayats should have been told from the very beginning. This would have saved the Armenian nation from many disasters and futile sacrifices. There is a real state of the Armenian nation - the Republic of Armenia, whose internationally recognised borders coincide with those of the Armenian SSR of 1991. These borders should have been accepted as a reality long ago and they should build their state and their future on them.


Perhaps some people do not like these borders.... Perhaps some Armenians would like to see Armenia within the mythical borders of "the great empire of Tigran the Great". But few people want what they want. Some Mongolians, for example, would like their state to correspond to the empire of Genghis Khan, which, by the way, included all the mythical "possessions of Tigran the Great" with a small visible dot. But this does not mean that modern Mongolia, squeezed between China and Russia, should start wars for the possessions of the "historical Mongolia" of Genghis Khan's time. Although this state, unlike the "great Armenia", was not mythical but real.


The Pashinyan government needed both the defeat in the 44-day war and the further realisation of the impossibility of constructing a real policy based on myths to move from myths to the realisation of reality. According to Pashinyan, it was only in 2022 that he and the entire government of the Republic of Armenia, as carriers of the traditions and psychology of "historical" Armenia, realised that the key factor in ensuring Armenia's security had been ignored since the very first years of statehood. This factor, as the Prime Minister explained, is the internationally recognised borders of the Republic of Armenia.


"It was only after a war in September 2022 that I was unequivocally convinced that the establishment of an internationally recognised territory of the Republic of Armenia can be an additional and decisive factor in ensuring the short, medium and long-term security of our country," he said.


From that moment, he said, the psychological and political process called the process of demarcation between real and "historical" Armenia began. Pashinyan pointed out that this process is more difficult and painful than the demarcation with Azerbaijan.


"Pashinyan said: "Historical Armenia does not recognise the territorial integrity of real Armenia, because the latter is a limiting factor for the former.


In this sense, Pashinyan continued, "historical Armenia,"  willingly or unwillingly, echoes several countries that "encroach upon the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity" of real Armenia.


In addition, the Prime Minister pointed out that "historical Armenia" not only guarantees eternal enmity with several countries but also gives them reasons and grounds for an aggressive policy towards the Republic of Armenia.  It also forces the real Armenia to be dependent on the "senior partner" and deprives it of real independence, he noted.


"Our vision of 'historical Armenia' will always lead us into the trap of 'genocide', where we will find ourselves in need of a saviour and a protector, without whom we cannot exist. The fear of genocide will keep us in the status of an outpost. And an outpost does not need territorial integrity, borders, or sovereignty. All it needs is a protector," Pashinyan said.


Pashinyan believes that the Armenian authorities and society should concentrate on serving the interests of the real Armenia, realising the impossibility of returning to the thinking and logic of the "historical Armenia" in the future. Otherwise, he said, there will be constant threats from within the country.


For the first time in many years, such a sensible argument by the head of the government of the Republic of Armenia was met with fierce indignation by the revanchists. And the catalyst of this indignation is, by all appearances, Echmiadzin.


Even before Nikol Pashinyan's statement about the antagonism between real and "historical" Armenia, Garegin II, in his Easter sermon on 31 March 2024, emphasised the revanchist statements. He again used the terms "occupation" and "deportation of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh", declared Azerbaijan's "expansionist aspirations" and "destruction of the Armenian cultural and religious heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh".


After Nikol Pashinyan's speech in the parliament about the real and "historical" Armenia, Garegin II only strengthened his line on the myth of "great Armenia" and once again began to rant about the "just right of the people of Artsakh" to "self-determination" in "their historical homeland", which, according to him, is not revanchism. He once again repeated his old propaganda theses about Azerbaijan's "aggression", "occupation of Artsakh and expulsion of Armenians from there", "illegal detention of Armenian prisoners of war" and "destruction of Armenian historical, spiritual and cultural heritage".


The 30-year occupation of Azerbaijani lands, the forced deportation of Azerbaijani people from their ancestral lands, which are now on the territory of Armenia, and the Khojaly genocide are not mentioned by Garegin II and other revanchists. Nor do they even mention the right to self-determination of the Azerbaijanis and their descendants who were expelled from the territory of the Republic of Armenia. In addition, Echmiadzin aggressively opposes the de-occupation of Azerbaijani villages in the Gazakh district within the framework of the demarcation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.


The protests of the illegal Armenian settlers in the occupied Azerbaijani villages are being organised today by none other than Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan of Tavush. Speaking at an event in the occupied Azerbaijani village of Askipara (Voskepar in Armenian), Bagrat Galstanyan said that Voskepar (Askipara) has already become a symbol of victory for the Armenians. It is no longer just a small settlement, but "an embodiment of unity and the indestructibility of the spirit".


Well, recently the Armenian nationalists also had the Azerbaijani Shusha as a "symbol of victory". We must return the stolen and captured "symbols" to their real owners. But the revanchist activity of Echmiadzin against the background of the "return to reality", even in the words of Nikol Pashinyan, is a very alarming symptom.


Although Pashinyan is also a protégé of the USA and France, he is a temporary figure. He can be re-elected and 'replaced'. But the leadership of Echmiadzin is the "sacred" and practically "irremovable" leader of the Armenian ethnos.


Whoever comes to power in Yerevan, the Catholicos of "all Armenians" and his bishops remain the "spiritual authorities" for the people of the Republic of Armenia. And, to all appearances, not only will they not move from the mythical "historical Armenia" to the real Armenia within the internationally recognised borders, but, on the contrary, they are intensifying their revanchist hysteria. And most probably not without the consent of their patrons - the same France and the Vatican.



Grigol Giorgadze

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