Hello and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong. This episode was recorded on Monday, November 14, 2022.
We were told we were “winning”, #Հաղթելուենք they said, and all retreats were only tactical. Yet, something was off. Whether it was Arayik’s call to come defend Shushi, or the rumors of nighttime burials at Yerablur or whether it was Aliyev’ smug announcements one after another culminating with the announcement that Shushi had fallen.
On November 9, 2020, the entire worldwide Armenian community was glued to the internet to make sense of the conflicting news about Shushi. Then, we heard from Pashinyan, who said that “fights around Shushi are continuing”. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief! Then we saw an image of Samvel Babayan, with a worried look, standing alone outside the PM’s office at the Republic Square and not in Artsakh. And then, a mere hours after Pashinyan’s optimistic announcement, we heard that it was over.
Shock. Disbelief. Disgust. Grief. A rollercoaster of negative emotions.
For many Armenians, time has stopped and they’re living one long, never-ending November 10.
This week marked the second anniversary of the signing of the tripartite statement of November 10, 2020.
To present a post-war perspective two years on, from Stepanakert, we are joined by:
Gev Iskajyan is representative of the ANC in Artsakh.
We’re here to learn how it feels to be in Artsakh, two years after the November 2020 trilateral statement.
● How are Artsakh citizens processing what has transpired over the last two years since the trilateral statement of Nov 9/10?
● Have refugees for the most part returned to their homes, where possible? Are refugees from Hadrut for instance in Stepanakert or in Armenia?
● How has Artsakh’s economy evolved since the end of the war? How are people earning their income?
Two weeks ago, the Renaissance Square in Stepanakert was full with a sea of people, over a third of the population of all of Artsakh, who once again told the world that they’re not going to be subjects of geopolitical barters, that their rights of self-determination and to be part of the Armenian nation, to live on their historic land, are inalienable.
● Who was the addressee of that statement? Who do you think they were talking to?
● Besides governments in Yerevan, Baku, Moscow, Washington DC, do you think it was also a call to the Armenian nation?
The entire Artsakh conflict began with protests in the late 80s, where it seems like the entire population of Armenia was out in the streets. It was still the Soviet Union, but the institute of Samizdat was well-established at that point. I remember as not even a teenager going to visit our neighbor’s home to read the latest news or articles about Artsakh, often self-published and handed down from one person to another.
● The turnout of the Yerevan version of that protest was pretty low in comparison. Of course, the situation in 1988 is not directly comparable to now, but what do you think needs to be done better to instill confidence in Artsakhtsis that the entire Armenian nation is behind them?
Gev Iskajyan, Artsakh, Nagorno Karabakh, Armenia, Stepanakert, 44-day war, Azerbaijan, ANC, IDP, Refugees, Azerbaijani War Crimes,