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Armenian President's Fake Twitter Account Parodies Azerbaijani President's Real One

Categories: Central Asia & Caucasus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Politics, War & Conflict
President Sargsyan. Wiki image.

President Sargsyan. Wiki image [1].

Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan has seen his country take so much trolling [2] from his counterpart in Azerbaijan on Twitter, it was about time that he carved out a space for himself on social media and came to its defence. But since Sargsyan, unlike his fiercest political rival, is not the tweeting type, it fell on a parody account to counter-troll and big up Armenia on the networks.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev's official Twitter account is one of the most entertaining social media accounts in the former Soviet region. Despite a lack of pictures, its vulgar boasts and misunderstanding of the tweet concept (few of Aliev's communications fit into the 140 character limit) make it a worthy competitor to Chechnyan President Ramzan Kadyrov's much-lauded Instagram [3].

It would be an understatement to say that Armenia and Azerbaijan do not like each other much. The two countries were already embroiled in a bitter war over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh before they even achieved independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The war — which saw Baku and Yerevan trade accusations of ethnic cleansing as thousands died and over a million were displaced — lasted into the mid-1990s and has threatened to re-erupt ever since. Patron Russia, rather than play peacemaker in the traditional sense, has played both sides of the conflict, selling arms to Azerbaijan while maintaining a military base in Armenia.

One indicator of bilateral tensions is Aliev's Twitter, which boils over with anti-Armenia rage fairly regularly.

Now the anonymous controllers of a faux Sargsyan account are firing back:

Most provocatively, the account tweeted a picture of ‘Beautiful Armenia’, which included the southeastern territory of Nagorno-Karabakh Azerbaijan considers its own.

Created on October 26, the account only has 22 followers as of this writing — some way short of Aliev's 168,000.

But amid rising military confrontations on the Azeri-Armenian border, the online rhetoric of both @Armenia_Pres and @presidentaz will be well worth watching.