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    July 19, 2016

    Armenia: Demonstrators surround the police cordon as armed stand-off continues at police HQ

    "Demonstrators in Yerevan have built a barricade in front of the police cordon | Continuation of a "Russian Spring" project
    RusVesna ("Russian Spring"), July 19, 2016.
    Translated from Russian by Tom Winter

    Demonstrators in Yerevan have erected barricades near the territory of the patrol police regiment, Sputnik Armenia reported Tuesday.

    Earlier it was reported that a few dozen Armenian citizens gathered near the police cordon to prevent the police, who, they expected, were going to conduct a special operation against the armed group that seized the headquarters building of the PPS (патрульно-постовая служба, Patrol Post Service).

    "Activists got components of metal police barriers somewhere. They filled out the remaining circuit with private cars and garbage cans. Thus, it turns out that the roads leading to the building of the regiment are blocked by police forces, but the demonstrators have taken control of exits from the area," said the agency.

    On Sunday morning, a group of armed men entered the grounds of the patrol police regiment of Armenia and and is keeping people there under the threat of violence. 

    According to police, one police officer was killed and four were wounded in the seizure of the building. The armed group is holding four police officers hostage, among them - the deputy chief of police of Armenia Vardan Yeghiazaryan and the deputy chief of Yerevan Valeri Osipyan.

    The armed group is demanding the release of Zhirayr Sefilyan, a participant of the Karabakh conflict now under arrest. Sefilyan is the leader of the radical opposition, the Front of National Salvation "New Armenia." He is accused of illegal purchase and possession of weapons. The authorities are in talks with members of the armed group.
    Translator's note: 
    One of my personal sources in Armenia assures me that this is not a color revolution. Others insist that it is. Another source indicates that Sefilyan and his group oppose any concessions to Azerbaijan about Ngorno-Karabakh. 

    There is the question whether this motivation --opposition to concessions -- is being used by the US, as reported here earlier today in a Katehon column. See US hybrid war in Armenia.  

    But the motivation appears to me to be utterly understandable:

    Ngorno-Karabakh was a region of Armenia, until the commissar for nationalities, Stalin turned it over in 1922, a parallel to Krushchev giving Crimea over to Ukrainian administration in 1954. In my view, Ngorno-Karabakh IS Armenia.

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