Will Armenia face bloody denouement?
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
For more than 10 days protesters have taken to the streets of Armenia. The protests are intensifing. They have grown from a small action of protest on June 17 into many-thousand around the clock rallies in the center of Yerevan. The Armenian authorities only once rigidly dispersed the protesters within all these days. However, the Armenian leadership may lose patience in the coming days.
Everybody who watched the events in Ukraine's Maidan is well aware of the consequences of the tough governmental response to the social protests.
The Armenian government made the same mistake as Ukrainian ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, who tried to forcibly stop a social protest, which turned into the rallies of a political nature.
Taking into account that the number and determination of protesters in Armenia is growing, it is obvious that any misstep is enough for serious confrontation of people and authorities in the country.
It seems the Armenian government is ready for such a step. On June 28, answering reporters' questions about whether the same measures that were used to disperse the sit-in demonstration June 23 will be applied to the demonstrators in the near future, the chief of police Vladimir Gasparyan said that "the police will play hardball".
Since the morning of June 29, the police have already taken a number of measures against the protests, having started to confiscate garbage cans, which served as barricades for the demonstrators on Baghramyan Avenue. This means that the Armenian government is preparing for a tough response to the actions of the protesters, who have been on the main squares and avenues of Yerevan around the clock for days.
Time will tell what happens in the next 48 hours, but the future of the country depends today namely on the prudence of Armenian authorities. The protest cannot subside, because the demonstrators have felt the power and will not compromise. However, the harsh response to the protests will only exacerbate the confrontation with the authorities, and therefore the only reasonable way out for Yerevan is to agree with Russia to cancel the decision to raise tariffs and forget about price increases for social services and essential commodities for now. That's the only way one can avoid the big bloody denouement, which happened in Ukraine.
Edited by CN
Elmira Tariverdiyeva is Trend Agency's staff writer, follow her on Twitter @EmmaTariver