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Political Crisis In Armenia And Pashinyan’s Resistance To Resignation Demands

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A deep political crisis has been developing in Armenia amid the loss of the war with Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the following Russia-sponsored ceasefire agreement that rescued from the total defeat, including the retreat from the city of Stepanakert and the recent of the region.

On November 9, hundreds of protesters stormed the government building the Armenian capital of Yerevan briefly capturing the cabinet of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the Parliament. Despite attempts of the Armenian government, first of all Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, to lay blame for the painful setbacks in Nagorno-Karabakh on somebody else, people and the opposition demand the resignation of Pashinyan.

Arayik Harutyunyan, the President of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, addressed the nation on November 10 acknowledging the military defeat. In the statement Harutyunyan said that the ceasefire deal prevented a total loss of Nagorno-Karabakh, which would have happened in a matter of days if the war continues. He said that Armenian forces were exhausted by a Covid-19 outbreak and more than 40 days of fighting as well as they were fighting an overwhelming force. Turkish drones, and mercenaries from the Middle East fighting for Azerbaijan, allegedly turned the tide of the war.

At the same time, the current political crisis and the demand of Pashinyan resignation are a logical development in the current conditions. Since the very start of the war, the immediate resignation of Pashinyan and reversal of his anti-Russian policies were the key condition for the survival of Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh. However, this did not happen. Even after the Russian move to rescue the remaining Armenians by forcing the sides to accept the ceasefire did not led to this. Instead, juridical Pashinyan remains the prime minister of the country.

Even more questions to the posture of the Armenian leadership raise from the battle of Shusha. The key Armenian stronghold was left almost without fighting. The video released by Azerbaijan from the town shows that buildings suffered very little damage and there were no indications of street clashes. The speed with which light Azerbaijani infantry seized the town is surprising.

These could be explained by two factors: A) The total demoralization of Armenian forces. B) The treason because even it is hard to expect that such a strong and important fortified point could be left without a fighting even in the conditions close to the panic. It is possible that Pashinyan intentionally ordered to surrender the town. The prospects of the Armenian state under such a wise leadership can hardly be bright.

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