· February, 2009

Stories about Armenia from February, 2009

Armenia: 1 March Anniversary

  28 February 2009

Dispatches from Armenia comments on tomorrow's first anniversary of the post-election clashes which left eight opposition supporters and two policemen dead. The blog calls the incident a slaughter at the hands of the authorities.

Azerbaijan: Sumgait

  28 February 2009

The Armenian Observer posts video from 21 years ago showing rioters in Sumgait during an anti-Armenian pogrom which left 26 ethnic Armenians and 6 Azeris dead.

Armenia: No dollars in Yerevan

  28 February 2009

Life in the Armenian Diaspora reports that panicked citizens have been converting their local currency so frantically that there are now no dollars to be found at exchanges in the Armenian capital, Yerevan. The blog blames the artificial manipulation of the Armenian dram to benefit government-linked importers.

Armenia: 1 March post-election clash anniversary

  27 February 2009

As the opposition prepares to mark the 1 March post-election clashes which left at least 10 dead, The Armenian Observer says tensions are increasing in the capital, Yerevan. Meanwhile, writing for the Frontline Club blog, Global Voices Online's Caucasus Editor comments on the release of two damning human rights reports...

Armenia: Dollar Panic

  27 February 2009

The Armenian Observer reports that many in the country are rushing to change their local currency into dollars and limits have been introduced at currency exchanges.

Azerbaijan: Thoughts on Khodjali

  26 February 2009

Following on from an earlier post, Sheki, Azerbaijan posts a photograph of a monument dedicated to those killed in the massacre of civilians in Khodjali, an Azeri inhabited town, during the Karabakh war. The blog notes that carnations have now become synonymous with grief and mourning in Azerbaijan and hopes...

Azerbaijan: Khodjali Anniversary

  26 February 2009

Sheki, Azerbaijan marks the 17th anniversary of the massacre of hundreds of civilians in the Azeri-inhabited town of Khodjali during the conflict with Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh. The blog says that such victims can be found in every war zone where people “become toys in hands...

Armenia: Nationalist agitation in Georgia

  23 February 2009

Writing on the new Frontline Club blog, Global Voices Online's Caucasus Regional Editor reports on plans to hold a demonstration outside the Georgian Embassy in Yerevan, Armenia. The blog says that local nationalists with the possible backing of Moscow might be seeking to destabilize Armenia's northern neighbor.

Armenia-Azerbaijan: A Girl's War

  23 February 2009

Unzipped: Gay Armenia posts details of a theatrical play performed in 2001 set against the backdrop of the Nagorno Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The blog says the play was taboo-breaking because in it an Armenian and Azerbaijani fall in love and nationalist sentiments which define the rhetoric in...

Armenia: Remembering the Budapest Murder

  20 February 2009

Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of the murder of 26-year old Gurgen Margarian, an Armenian officer attending a NATO Partnership for Peace program in Budapest, Hungary. Killed in his sleep with an axe wielded by his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ramil Safarov, some Armenian bloggers made special posts to commemorate the day.

Armenia: Obama and the Genocide

  17 February 2009

Onnik Krikorian in Armenia wonders whether U.S. President Barack Obama will fulfill his campaign promise to recognize the 1915 massacre and deportation of Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. While many believe that he will, the blog examines the risk in doing so of damaging efforts to normalize...

Armenia: Repressive Religious Laws

  17 February 2009

Writing for the new Frontline Club blog, Global Voices Online's Caucasus Editor examines three new controversial pieces of legislation which raise serious concerns about religious freedom in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

Armenia-Azerbaijan: High-profile assassinations

  17 February 2009

On 3 February, less than a month before the first anniversary of post-election violence in Yerevan, an Armenian Deputy Police Chief was gunned down. Eight days later, and five weeks before a constitutional referendum to eliminate presidential term limits, the head of the Azerbaijani Air Force was killed. Bloggers naturally wondered who was behind both assassinations.

Armenia: Be Free

  16 February 2009

Unzipped: Gay Armenia says that while the voice and music of local singer Shprot might be nothing remarkable, her performances are. Challenging traditional notions of gender, sexuality, religion and nationality in the South Caucasus country, the blog says that the controversial singer's message is one that all Armenians should take...

Armenia: St. Sargis Day

  15 February 2009

Although the world celebrated St. Valentine's Day yesterday, many Armenians instead prefer to celebrate St. Sargis Day. Writing on her DOTCOM blog, 14-year-old Diana details the tradition observed by young people who eat salty bread before going to sleep in the hope that their true love will be identified in...

Armenia: New and old traditions mix on St. Valentine's Day

  15 February 2009

Founded in 301 AD, Armenia’s longest surviving institution, the Apostolic Church, is considered the world’s oldest national Christian order. But, over 1,700 years years later, pagan traditions remain alive in the country even if now absorbed into the Christian calendar. While much of the world marked St. Valentine's day, Armenians also celebrated one such tradition -- Trndez.

Armenia: Social Problems

  15 February 2009

Writing on her new Dotcom blog, 15-year-old Arpen discusses some of the social problems affecting Armenia today. In particular, the young blogger singles out unemployment, violence and pollution.

Armenia-Azerbaijan: LGBT roundup

  10 February 2009

With the traditional media in the South Caucasus rarely reporting on sexual or religious minority rights maturely, blogs have stepped in to fill the gap and Unzipped: Gay Armenia continues to post LGBT news from the region. Following recent homophobic remarks from local politicians and civil society activists as well as in articles in the local press, the blog says there is actually some good news for a change.

Armenia: Eurovision Hopefuls

  9 February 2009

Although considered by most viewers in Europe as somewhat of a joke, there is no doubt that the Eurovision international song contest is taken very seriously indeed in the South Caucasus. Seen as a perfect opportunity to showcase national culture and identity, many in Armenia are already impatient to discover who will represent them at the contest to be held in Moscow in May.

Armenia: Tax Lottery

  8 February 2009

Unsuccessful with punitive measures to prevent widespread tax evasion, the government of ex-Soviet Armenia has introduced a monthly national lottery based on an 8-digit number found on the back of sale receipts. From increasing sales to encouraging male customers to hit on female shop assistants, bloggers think the initiative to make businesses accurately report sales and pay taxes has the potential to prove a win-win situation for everyone.