Armenian News Network / Groong


Groong: Week in Review



October 12, 2020

Table of Contents


Resident Panelists

Your Hosts


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Topic This Week: The War in Artsakh





     Lara Aharonian

     Robert Avetissian

Your Hosts

     Asbed Kotchikian

     Asbed Bedrossian

     Hovik Manucharyan



Hello, and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong, Week in Review.

This Week we’re going to continue to talk about the ongoing war in Artsakh. We’re going to consider the following major aspects:

      First, we’ll get an update on the progress of the war, since our podcast last weekend.

      Then we’ll discuss the onset of international diplomacy that has finally ramped up around this conflict.

      And finally we want to look into the social-humanitarian impact that this war is having on Armenian society not only in Artsakh, but also in Armenia, and the Diaspora communities.


To talk about these issues, we have with us:

Lara Aharonian who is a peace activist in Armenia and co-founder and co-director of the Women's Resource Center NGO @ArmenianWomen in Yerevan.


Robert Avetissian who is the Representative of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the United States.




Asbed Kotchikian, who is a senior lecturer of political science and international relations at Bentley University in Massachusetts.




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Topic This Week: The War in Artsakh

For over two weeks now, the war in Artsakh has been raging with casualties mounting on both sides. On Saturday October 10, a humanitarian cease-fire was brokered by Russia, after an 11 hour marathon of intense negotiations between the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian foreign ministers in Moscow. Not surprisingly the cease-fire did not end the fighting, and by some accounts intensified it in some areas. There have even been accounts of drones over Armenia’s southern province of Syunik.

What’s the current status of the security situation on the ground in Artsakh?

What is the current state of the ceasefire?

After the war erupted and during the first week there was an eerie silence from the international diplomatic community, as if everyone was mesmerized by the 21st century drone war. But as the fighting entered its second week, France came in, then minor statements were made by the US state department - and of course we’ve heard nothing from Trump himself, - and finally we also heard from Russia. Now that the Armenian and Azeri foreign ministers have started separate negotiations in Moscow, we’ve heard that the fundamental outline of a peace is probably along the principle of “status for territory”.

Why was there such a slow ramping of diplomacy to stop the violence? And second: where do we expect it to lead? What are our short- and longer-term goals?

If any mediating countries had illusions that some form of so-called highest level of autonomy within Azerbaijan was going to be a possibility for Nagorno Karabakh, the last two weeks must really have killed those illusions. How are current events are reshaping the landscape of negotiations and outcomes going forward?

There seems to be more acceptance of the idea of Artsakh as a sovereign state than before. Is that real or is just idle talk?

 At last count over 500 men had died and hundreds more injured. Regardless of the outcome of the war, this will leave a major scar on our society. How women are engaged and dealing with getting humanitarian assistance to our community?



That concludes our program for This week’s Groong Week in Review. We hope it has helped your understanding of some of the issues from the previous week. We look forward to your feedback, and even your suggestions for issues to cover in greater depth. Contact us on our website, at, or on our Facebook PageANN - Groong”, or in our Facebook Group “Groong - Armenian News  Network.



Special thanks to Laura Osborn for providing the music for our podcast. I’m Hovik Manucharyan, and on behalf of everyone in this episode, I wish you a good week. Thank you for listening and we’ll talk to you next week.



Armenia, Artsakh, Lara Aharonian, Robert Avetissian Karabakh Negotiations, Lavrov Plan, Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan