Wednesday 18.7.2018 in Latest Developments in Armenia Country Page
As reported on the Monitor in April, Armenia experienced some of its largest protests since becoming independent after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The massive demonstrations led to a peaceful transition of power. A recent article published by Global Voices highlights the role women played during the so-called 'Velvet Revolution'. Thousands of women took to the streets during the 40 days of the Revolution, protesting "not only for a change in government, but for their rights in a traditionally patriarchal society."
It was reported previously on the Monitor how several cases involving members of armed opposition group Sasna Tsrer regained public attention in Armenia and sparked protests in January 2018. In May 2018, members of the group Sasna Tsrer blocked Arshakunyats Avenue in Yerevan to demand the release of all political prisoners in the country. On 8th June, it was reported that Aram Akopian, a member of the group, was released on bail. Three other members of the group had already been released, and the four of them are banned from leaving the capital, Yeveran.
Members of Sasna Tsrer were involved in storming a police station where several police officers were taken hostage in July 2016. A few police officers were injured and one was killed during the clashes between members of the group and security forces. They demanded the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian, and the resignation of President Serzh Sargsyan. After the incident, Armenian citizens started to protest against the government. This was seen as an opportunity to raise awareness about the socio-economic problems facing the country.
The Analytical Center for Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC) conducted an investigation from October until December 2017, where they monitored selected Russian and Armenian media outlets. The objective of the study was to "examine how the propaganda is carried out on Russian TV and how much it is reflected on Armenian air."
Part of the findings stated that "Russian influence on choosing the topics of Armenian broadcasting and the discussion of the topics is obvious regarding international events, especially when it comes to discuss issued related to Ukraine, Syria and Russian humanitarian and peacekeeping role."