The choice between Yerevan and Iravan is the fate of Armenia

17.09.23 14:14

The coming week could be quite "critical" for the situation in the Republic of Armenia. The key moment is the election of the Council of Elders of Yerevan and the Mayor of Yerevan on 17 September 2023. The pro-Kremlin revanchist forces in Armenia are banking on these elections. Although in principle the winner of these elections is known - the candidate of Pashinyan's Civil Pact party, Tigran Avinian.


What matters, however, is what percentage the opposition candidates, mainly the "pro-Kremlin" candidates, of which there are three, will get. Among them are Mane Tandilyan - a candidate close to Ruben Vardanyan, the "Kremlin's lurker" in Karabakh; ex-serviceman Hayk Marutyan - a candidate supervised by Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the FSB of the Russian Federation; and Andranik Tevanyan - a candidate of Robert Kocharyan, the "chief revashist".

Whether the Kremlin decides to launch a "special military operation" to change power in Armenia depends on the percentage these candidates win together. This "special operation", which is unthinkable without a new invasion of Georgia and a "military corridor" through it, will inevitably lead to a major war in the South Caucasus.

The fact that a special operation for a violent change of power in Armenia is possible is proven by the recently published information on the Russian telegram channel "General SVR":

"Putin is seriously concerned by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's repeated statements about Russia's inability to guarantee Armenia's security and clear hints of withdrawal from Russia's sphere of influence. Armenia's withdrawal from the CSTO would call into question the very existence of the organisation, while the withdrawal of Kazakhstan, which has already secured the support of China, would put an end to the CSTO's existence. Putin blames Nikol Pashinyan for the problems that have arisen, and during the discussion of possible options for overcoming the crisis he expressed his displeasure several times, saying that the "upstart" Pashinyan should have been dealt with from the outset and there would have been no problems. The Russian president insists that even now it is not too late to "remove" the Armenian prime minister and that this is the best way to solve the problem. Despite the statements of the security forces that such an operation cannot be prepared quickly, Putin insists that "such a solution should be implemented as soon as possible".

It is obvious that in order to implement the Kremlin's "scenario of force" of a "change of power in the Republic of Armenia", the Armenians themselves, especially the residents of Yerevan, must show that they are in favour of pro-Russian candidates. That is why so much attention is paid to the election of the mayor of Yerevan. For example, one of the main pro-Kremlin candidates for mayor of the Armenian capital from the "Mother Armenia" bloc, Andranik Tevanyan, directly stated that the current elections "are a choice between Yerevan and Erivan".

By Erivan, Andranik Tevanyan means, of course, the Azerbaijani city of Iravan. A city reminiscent of Azerbaijan's past, the historical part of which has been wiped off the face of the earth. A city that was ethnically cleansed and eventually turned into the mono-ethnic Armenian capital of Yerevan.

However, the conclusion of a full-fledged peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which the current Armenian prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, is gradually, if forcefully, leaning towards, will inevitably raise the issue of the return of Azerbaijani refugees to their homeland. Including the indigenous people of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Of course, not all refugees will return to Yerevan, just as not all Armenians will return to Baku. And not all Armenians will leave Yerevan. On the contrary, they may leave if the economic blockade of Armenia and the permanent war continue. But for those Azerbaijanis who want to live in their homeland, this city will become Iravan again. A modern multinational city where both Armenians and Azerbaijanis live. This is what a capital of the 21st century should be.

They should also realise that a mono-ethnic nationalist Yerevan is historically doomed. Especially if they want to preserve it by militarily unleashing a new revanchist war. This war will predictably end in defeat. And the result will be the same Iravan, but without Armenians.
The paradox is that, thanks to Russia, Armenians have appeared en masse in the South Caucasus and have become the dominant ethnic group in part of the historical lands of Azerbaijan and Georgia. Because of Russia, or rather because of its next military adventure, Armenians are in danger of leaving the South Caucasus.

Everyone can already see what the Russian adventure in Ukraine has led to. But the adventure in the South Caucasus could have far more disastrous consequences, both for the Armenians and for Russia itself. However, Armenian revanchists are trying to achieve this by any means possible, including a coup d'état in Armenia and a military invasion of the Russian Federation into the region via Georgia, with another "war for Artsakh".

George Kvinitadze

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