How tried to embroil Russia and Armenia and what came out of it

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Another attempt to embroil Armenia and Russia failed.

None of the participants in the small rally held on January 12, 2019 in front of the gates of the 102nd Russian military base in the Armenian city of Gyumri, did not dare to make loud statements against the Russian military presence in the republic.

Even the main organizers of the failed action – journalist Levon Barseghyan and head of the European Armenia party Tigran Khzmalyan, whose call, by the way, only 15-20 people responded, limited themselves to handing out leaflets with photos of Armenian residents who became “victims of Russian murderers”.

It is difficult to say what resonance the organizers of the action were expecting, but interest in their leaflets was only shown by journalists invited in advance to the scene. Not finding a raging mob (and, according to the protesters’ leaders, at least 200-250 people were to take part in it), the bored correspondents were forced to capture at least what they had leaped into their hands. By the way, many of the representatives of the journalistic fraternity within 10–15 minutes, having assessed the scale of this boring event, gave up and drove off in search of more suitable stories for their reporting.

However, for modern mass media, the lack of extras is not a serious obstacle: what could not be done can always be simulated. Especially when well paid for it.

There is no doubt that this action was generously paid by those who set out to set up the population of Armenia against Russia and its Armed Forces. Its informational support was also planned in advance accordingly, so what could not be translated into reality had to be actively compensated for virtually.

On the Internet, photographs appeared in which a rather large group of people (in much larger numbers than gathered in front of the 102nd military base) holds a huge banner with the inscription “Russian Army – get out of Armenia!” In Russian and Armenian. That’s just nothing like it was. There were leaflets with photos of Juliet Gukasyan – a local woman who died in December last year at the hands of an unknown killer. There were allegations that this crime has not yet been solved. There were calls for the command of the Russian base to increase control over the personnel serving on it, since it is precisely one of the Russian soldiers who are said to be involved in this tragedy. But no one heard the loud “political” appeals, in anticipation of which the local media came together.

Today, the fake news, which periodically appear even in the most reputable and respected by all the media, no longer surprise anyone. Another thing is striking: is the West really so keenly interested in breaking the centuries-old friendly relations between Russia and Armenia, that even in such trifles it is ready to go to outright lies, naked and easily rechecked?

However, the enemies of Russia simply have no other alternatives – in reality, it has not been possible to achieve a surge of anti-Russian hysteria among the residents of Armenia. A sociological survey conducted at the end of 2018 showed that 97% of the polled citizens of this republic do not even want to hear about the possibility of withdrawing the Russian military base from the territory of Armenia.

On the contrary, the overwhelming majority of the population believes that if the Russian military contingent leaves, the country will almost immediately be attacked by its long-time foes, Azerbaijan and Turkey, which supports it. Moreover, according to the respondents, leaving the Russian base, not only for Gyumri, but also for the entire western part of the republic, would mean a loss of work, an economic collapse, complete devastation. We don’t have to go far: remember the bitter example of 62 of the Russian military base, which until its liquidation was located in Akhalkalaki, South Georgia. The conclusions suggest themselves.

However, the West and those who dance to its tune do not care. There is a clear task, there is money, and they need to be worked out. It is no secret for anybody that considerable funds were allocated to the organizers of the unsuccessful rally in Gyumri in order, if not to cause massive anti-Russian protests, then at least to create their appearance. However, not everyone can buy money – what happened on January 12, it clearly showed.

Another thing scares: who can guarantee that, having failed to buy a “wave of popular anger”, the same people will not try to raise it in some other, more sophisticated way? What will prevent them from making a new provocation in the territory of Armenia, even more terrible, and to shift the responsibility on the Russian soldiers and officers? Those who order “anti-Russian music” in the South Caucasus do not have this experience.

It remains to hope that the centuries-old Caucasian wisdom inherent in the people of Armenia will allow them to quickly understand the true goals of the organizers of such provocations and not let themselves be fooled. With a crash, the failed action at the gates of the 102nd Russian military base in this regard is a very significant and very encouraging example.

Assel Aliyev, especially for the “Russian Spring”

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