by Tyler Durden, via ZeroHedge, April 23, 2018
Western-Backed Regime Change Looms As Armenia PM Resigns Following Mass Protests
After 11 days of mass protests and violent clashes over the perceived power-grab following the outgoing Armenian President’s election to Prime Minister, Serzh Sargsyan has resigned and police have released opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan.
“The people are against my rule,” Sargsyan, who took office as prime minister after serving as Armenia’s president for 10 years, said in a statement. “I am leaving my post.”
As Bloomberg reports, the announcement came as demonstrators flooded the streets of the capital, Yerevan, for an 11th day on Monday demanding Sargysan’s resignation, and hours after police released opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan from overnight detention.
Pashinyan’s arrest prompted the largest protest to date on Sunday, while scores of troops joined the anti-government movement on Monday for the first time.
Sargsyan’s election as Prime Minister was largely perceived as a power grab because Sargsyan will largely retain the same powers that he held during his two terms in the Presidential capacity, and took place just after Armenia’s April 9th transition from a presidential system to that of a prime ministerial one.
But as The Duran’s Frank Sellers detailed previously, this social unrest (and now resignation) has all the markings of a Ukraine-esque Western-backed effort at regime change to once again disrupt Russia.
Western backed Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been heavily involved in post Soviet Armenia’s education system, community and charity works. These NGOs have been selling the public on the perception that Armenia’s economic woes are directly the result of their corrupt, Russia friendly government, as well as Russia itself.
Hence, the concept that Sargsyan’s government has only made matters for the population worse is the grievance upon which much of the unrest hinges. With Sargsyan seen as being in bed with the Russians, and his further development of Armenia’s ties with Russia, these protests therefore possess a potentially disastrous outcome, both domestically, for the Armenians, and also geopolitically, as it threatens Russia’s position in the region.
However, Armenia has been playing both sides of the fence in recent years, as it has additionally been moving closer to the European Union, signing itself to a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the European bloc, attempting to deepen diplomacy and economic ties with the West, while simultaneously making commitments to Russia’s economic initiatives in the region. Russia gets a villainous wrap over the fact that Russia is playing both sides of the Nagorno Karabakh-Azerb conflict, as Russia is the benefactor of both players, the common perception, derived from the propaganda of these NGOs, is that Russia benefits by stoking the conflict.
The situation, in effect, represents a powder keg scenario, with all the elements in place to provoke the necessary popular discontent that would play into an attempt at regime change.
And, indeed, this situation has all the markings of a color revolution, as the ring leader for this movement, Nikol Pashinyan, is already calling it a “velvet revolution”, an allusion to the regime change that took place in Czechoslovakia in 1989.
Pashinyan has called upon protesters to obstruct roadways and prevent the opening of governmental offices, and has been so bold as to declare that the Armenian government “no longer holds legitimacy”, and that all government agencies and police personnel should only be obedient to “committees” appointed by his revolution.
Keep in mind, however, that Sargsyan hasn’t, thus far, broken any law, nor violated the Armenian constitution, so, Pashinyan’s claim against Sargsyan’s legitimacy can only be viewed as a baseless instigation for further violence and an obstinate unwillingness to look for a middle ground scenario, or peaceful resolution to the situation at hand. An unwillingness to compromise satisfies one of the key factors that is commonly seen in many color revolutions.
The typical manner in which Western backed color revolutions unfold is when a peaceful protest about legitimate grievances are hijacked to become the catalyst for a violent revolution. If we consider the EuroMaidan revolution that took place in 2014, a peaceful protest turned violent after the slaughter of the “heavenly hundred” by mystery snipers, killing police and protesters both, in order to help the conflict along to a point of no return to peace.
To date, the situation on the streets of Yerevan seems to be going in a similar direction, as the protests have already turned semi violent, with police officers sustaining knife wounds. Note that this sort of behaviour is foreign to the Armenian psyche. Western provocateurs are often present to stir up mayhem when these tragedies occur. Pictured here are some of the assailants, observe also that the fellow on the left is not an Armenian.
Sadly, as Sellers concludes, many Armenians are of the persuasion that by changing their government and rejecting Russia as Armenia’s strategic partner, in favour of hopeful Western integration, Armenia will realize greater economic opportunity, and a vastly improved standard of living for the average Armenian.
However, what does history show us about just what Western-backed regime changes bring to their victim nation? Let’s observe the economic situation in the Ukraine before and after the coup d’état, as reported by Vesti:
If we evaluate the results of the new government, they’re simply disastrous for the country. In the year before the coup, the GDP was estimated at $180 billion, in 2017 it’s expected to be half as much, $90 billion.
The average salary in the country was more than halved, from $408 per month to $196 last year. The exchange rate of the hryvna fell three and a half times, from 8 to 27 per dollar. As the main high-tech enterprises are destroyed, the economy acquired a colonial structure.
More and more raw materials are exported, being nearly 80% of exports. Half of this is agrarian. Total export volume fell by 57%. Foreign direct investment fell by at least four times, from 6 billion a year to one and a half. That’s practically nothing. And out of this nothing, however, most of the investment still comes from Russia.
The national debt has been increasing all the time and has now become difficult to be paid back. It was 64 billion dollars which then became 80 billion. Many millions of its citizens have left the country in search of a better life. Some of them went to the West, some to Russia. The health system and the education system have deteriorated.
The system of legal proceedings as well. Corporate raiding became the norm. Corruption increased. The country broke into pieces.
Poroshenko and his team deceived everyone: the West, and Russia, and their people in terms of the country’s prospects, the practices of the new government, and the Minsk Agreements.
An about-face with regards to Russia, and an adherence to the West, however, not only fails to present the economic outcome that many Armenians might hope for, but it presents a very real danger in the form of a greater escalation of conflict with its neighbor Azerbaijan, with regards to Nagorno Karabakh, the last such major conflict costed the lives of some 6,000 Armenians, and approximately 30,000 Azeris.
Additionally, if these protests continue to move in a violent direction, and categorically seek regime change, if the government does not step down in favor of the opposition, but instead opts to call in the military to defend itself, then the situation could lead to a destabilization of the country. During such a period of chaos, it is not unthinkable that the Azerbs could seize the opportunity to launch a fresh campaign to take Nagorno Karabakh while Armenia’s government and forces are concerned with preserving order elsewhere.
Such a renewed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan produces results that are simply unpredictable, concerning the geopolitical implications regarding the involvement of Russia and NATO, seeing as Armenia hosts Russian military bases, while Azerbaijan is host to a NATO base, but if the Armenians have broken off its relations with the Russians in the favor of the West, Russian involvement is left in a state of bewilderment, while the conflict devastates Russia’s economic and military perspective in the region. This, therefore, holds the possibility of being the next proxy war between Russia and the West.
Therefore, these protests are exceedingly dangerous, not just for the region, but also relevant to the geopolitical balance of power between the east and west, due to the possibilities that could be unleashed if these protests escalate out of control. While protests against Sargsyan’s government isn’t anything new, considering the protests of recent years, the protests taking place at the present time differ from its predecessors in the sense that previous riots were confined only to Yerevan, whereas the current uprising is national in its scale, and therefore presents a much greater concern.
Meanwhile, the well meaning populace of Armenia has no idea that their grievances are being played upon by international interests like a pawn on a global chess board.
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Reblogged this on Selah Ministries.
Large coverage of Los Angeles demonstrations on local news, was wondering
As Turkey appears to be drifting out of the EU/NATO fold, so the Empire has a need for an anti-Turkey.
Step forward Armenia…
The only losers are the people who actually live there.
Good point: let’s hope it doesn’t lead to another genocide and diaspora.
Mexican political analyst (and a former union organiser) Joaquin Flores has an interesting opinion on the Color Revolution attempt in Armenia. Sargsyan may have stepped down as PM but the acting PM is Karen Karapetyan, who happens to be part of Serzh Sargsyan / Armen Sarkissian’s circle. Could the Sarkissian / Karapetyan government have found a way to thwart Pashinyan and his followers?
Well done OffG. Another war theatre unfolding. One which involves 40 countries interested in joining the EEU initiative.
“….Imperialist NGO’s have been fuelling the unrest: “Such a renewed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan produces results that are simply unpredictable, concerning the geopolitical implications regarding the involvement of Russia and NATO, seeing as Armenia hosts Russian military bases, while Azerbaijan is host to a NATO base,…”
Everything you need to know about why the US and Imperialist regimes have been stoking unrest is in this statement of fact.
Reblogged this on Worldtruth.
I agree, this has all the symptoms of a colour revolution. It certainly makes sense geopolitically; and in many senses was to be anticipated. Moreover, it will neither be the first or last political upheaval in Eurasia …more the start of an accelerating trend.
Armenia is part of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU or EAEU); a free-trade bloc that is absolutely pivotal, not least for its geo-strategic location (the Eurasian Land Bridge for those who follow Mackinder), and indispensable to the burgeoning Sino-Russian economic co-development. It makes perfect sense if the ‘Western’ Imperium is trying to disrupt this from developing. The EEU is essential for OBOR/BRI with three economic corridors passing through its territories (The ‘5+ 1’ initiative). It is also essential for the globalisation of Russia-China’s development: with recent free trade deals with Iran, and negotiations for “preferential trade deals” with India, Israel, the ASEAN bloc, and the MERCOSUR countries (South America’s ‘Common Market’). And this trade is set to be non-dollar; currency or resource swap (oil-for-goods sanction busting) based by 2025. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is the joint security umbrella for this development.
So, what are the chances? Dmitry Medvedev announces an interim free trade agreement with Iran on the Tuesday: an a pre-planned Colour Revolution kicks off in the weakest link, Armenia, on the Wednesday? On Thursday the cross border tensions over Nagorno Karabakh inflame and drag in Azerbaijan (not an EEU member) and Russia? On Friday…? I’d say pretty high? Foggy Bottoms mechanistic playbook works like predictable clockwork, or so it seems?
@BigB. I’m glad you put this out, as soon as I read about the goods trade deal between Russia and Iran(because the crude is via $and therefore illegal sanctions apply)I knew there would be consequences unleashed by the US. I didn’t want to appear paranoid, but was aware of the problems in Armenia, so your post is a great relief.
Great minds and all that! I actually thought the ‘consequences’ would be in the Ukraine. Perhaps they are saving that for the summer and World Cup? Another relatively predictable ploy? Rove said they were histories actors and we would be left to study the results as they move on. It looks like those who are keeping up can get there before them!!!!! 😀
It’s a classic, text-book, Colour Revolution. Once Thanatopolis DC’s stooges are in power, they will beg to join NATO, host US forces and establish a Pentagon bio-warfare laboratory like the Lugar centre in Georgia. As predictable as the sun rising. The verminous Western NGOs yet again the Empire’s shock troops.
You should ask how well Cargill is doing in Ukraine. As long as Cargill is doing well, what does it matter how well or badly Ukrainian human beings are doing……??