Armenian News Network / Groong


Groong: Week in Review



March 13, 2022



     Pietro Shakarian


     Hovik Manucharyan

     Asbed Bedrossian



Hello, and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong, Week in Review. This show was recorded on Sunday, March 13, 2022.


I’m Hovik Manucharyan and along with Asbed Bedrossian, this week we’re going to talk about the following major topics:

      Renewed Hostilities in Artsakh

      Update on Ukraine

      FM “Arabat” Mirzoyan in Antalya


To talk about these issues, we have with us:


Dr. Pietro Shakarian, who is a Lecturer in History at the American University of Armenia in Yerevan. His research focuses on the history of Soviet Armenia and the Caucasus.



Topics This Week

Renewed Hostilities in Artsakh

In the past couple of weeks, Aliyev has initiated new hostilities in Artsakh. On March 4, Baku began attacking the villages of Khramort and Norshen with not just small arms, but also mortars. It has continued its attacks on Khramort, and has also extended its attacks to the villages of Khnushinak and Karmir Shuka, as well as Parukh and Khnapat.

      How can we interpret Baku’s latest steps? What is Aliyev’s game?

On Monday, the “Kuwait on the Caspian” followed this act by cutting off gas supplies between Armenia and Artsakh. The extra demand for energy could not be met by electricity, leading to widespread blackouts and power cuts. Nearly 80% of the population is impacted. Starting from tomorrow, schools and kindergartens will be closed. Hospitals may have impaired services.

Baku has also initiated an organized campaign aimed at criticizing and undermining the Russian peacekeeping mission, and has also attempted to incite panic among the population by spreading false claims that the Russian peacekeepers are withdrawing from the region.

On March 7, the Artsakh authorities sent humanitarian aid for civilians in Ukraine via the Russian peacekeepers. In response, the Russian Defense Ministry publicly acknowledged Stepanakert for its friendly gesture. However, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry criticized Moscow for even using the name “Nagorno-Karabakh,” noting that “there is no administrative and territorial unit called ‘Nagorno-Karabakh’ in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.”

      What has been the response from official Yerevan? Where was the Armenian Prime Minister?

      Zero reaction from the Armenian Foreign Ministry.

      President: President elect, Vahagn Khachatryan, when asked about it, said “So what if Azerbaijan is shooting. We will not stray from our plans.”

      Prime Minister: Prime Minister Pashinyan at a government session urged against making any judgements or condemnations, and focus on solving problems.

On Thursday, the EU Parliament issued a resolution condemning Baku’s efforts to destroy Armenian cultural heritage and accusing it of instituting a “state-level policy of Armenophobia.”

      How do you read this resolution? Will it have a significant impact on the situation unfolding in Artsakh?

Dispatches from Ukraine

Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine continues. According to the UN, over 2.5 million people have fled the country since the beginning of hostilities on February 24. Over 3,000 combatants have died in the war (disproportionately on the Ukrainian side) and over 500 civilians have been killed in the crosshairs of the conflict.

      After nearly three weeks of fighting, where are we in the war in Ukraine today?

      Where do the Russian forces stand? Where do the Ukrainian forces stand?

Diplomacy-wise, the Russian and Ukrainian sides have met three times in Belarus.

      Have these talks yielded any results?

      What are the proposals on each side, and is there a common ground emerging? Are the talks achieving results?

There have been calls from several public figures in the West, especially in the US and the UK, to supply Ukraine with fighter jets via Poland. Some, including former NATO commander General Philip Breedlove, have even called for a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine. Such steps would seriously escalate the situation and potentially bring the world to the brink of nuclear war. Fortunately, Washington has stated that it does not intend to set up no-fly zones over Ukraine. However, it has given mixed signals on sending fighter jets to the conflict zone. Pietro, do you see this situation escalating even further?

      What has been the impact on Armenia?

a.    Are there a lot of Russians arriving in Armenia due to the fallout over the Ukraine conflict? 

b.    What’s the situation like in Yerevan now?

Earlier this week, Russia announced suspension of exports of wheat, meslin, rye, barley and corn. This applies to even EAEU countries. In a country that imports a large amount of its wheat, this has caused a minor panic among Armenians, and the government even put out a message for citizens to not do panic-buying.

      Why would Russia cut wheat supplies even for its allies?

      Do you think this was a political message to Armenia?

FM “Arabat” Mirzoyan Attends Antalya Forum

On Monday, the Armenian Foreign Ministry announced that FM Ararat Mirzoyan (whose name was misspelled by the Turkish media as “Arabat” Mirzoyan and even “Azarat” Mirzoyan) would after all attend the Antalya Diplomatic Forum in Turkey, on March 11-13. At the same time it was also announced that the Russian FM Sergei Lavrov would also attend the forum. It was not at all unexpected that Mirzoyan would finally announce that he would attend.

  1. What took Yerevan so long to announce Mirzoyan’s attendance?
  2. What meetings did he have, and what results, if any, were achieved?
  3. Lavrov met with Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, FM Mirzoyan, and Ukraine’s FM Dmytro Kuleba. Was anything achieved on the Russia-Ukraine front?

Topics from the Panelists


1.   Pietro - Rant against Russophobia in the West

2.        Hovik - On Social Media and Western Oligarchs in Wartime.


A picture containing text, book

Description automatically generated













Happy 125th birthday to Yeghishe Charents!




That was our Week in Review show, and we hope it helped you catch up with some of the issues in and around Armenia from this past week. As always, we invite your feedback and your suggestions. You can find us on most social media and podcast platforms, or our website


Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel on YouTube, Like our pages and follow us on social media. On behalf of everyone in this episode, we wish you a good week, thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next week.


Groong Channels

      Facebook Group: Groong - Armenian News Network

      Facebook Page: ANN - Groong

      YouTube: Armenian News Network - Groong

      Twitter: @groong

      Telegram: Armenian News Network - Groong

      Reddit: r/Groong

      Instagram: ANNGroong


      Podcasts: Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon and more.

Search your preferred Podcast platform!

Subscribe and Listen to us on...



Pietro Shakarian, Armenia, Artsakh, Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, Russia, Vladimir Putin, Sergei Lavrov, Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, Turkey, Antalya, Ararat Mirzoyan, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Dmytro Kuleba, NATO, geopolitics, diplomacy, war, Russophobia,