“Zhamanak” describes the 298 people who were killed on board a Malaysian passenger aircraft that was apparently shot down over the territory of eastern Ukraine on Thursday as victims of the war in this post-Soviet country. “This is an indescribable human tragedy. The Ukrainian conflict that was, in fact, provoked by Russia to block this country’s European integration and restrict the sovereignty of the Ukrainians takes a heavy toll even on people who live thousands of miles away from this bloody conflict,” the Armenian paper comments.
“Hraparak” reacts to the outcome of the trial of Volodya Avetisian, a retired army colonel critical of the government who was convicted of fraud and sentenced to six years in prison on Thursday. “Is Colonel Avetisian the most dangerous criminal in our country? A man for whose release his friends have been campaigning for months, a father of six children, three of whom are minors and were pleading with the court yesterday for a milder sentence. Did the judge not understand that by a sentence like that he punished not so much Volodya Avetisian as his children who are doomed to live without their father for another five years?”
“Zhoghovurd” comments on the reaction of Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian to the news of the arrest of prominent Armenian businessman and philanthropist Levon Hayrapetian in Moscow. Talking to reporters, Abrahamian said: “If people break the law and get arrested, what can we do?” The daily writes: “To be honest, it was embarrassing to see that a person occupying the post of the prime minister makes such a wrong statement on such an elementary issue, but more embarrassing was the smile on his face when he, ahead of the Russian law-enforcement bodies, was stating that Levon Hayrapetian had broken the law. After all, the matter concerns a great benefactor of the Armenian nation who has for years carried out charity projects worth millions of dollars in Nagorno-Karabakh and who also provided sponsorship for cultural projects in Armenia and using his ties worldwide also lobbied for the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence and the Armenian Genocide.”
Evaluating Russia’s steps in the context of the latest regional developments, “Hayots Ashkhar” writes: “No matter how close Russia may be to us as a strategic ally, no matter how necessary its military presence in Armenia may be, no matter how important the prospect of being within the same integration space with it may be to us, attempts to use the Karabakh issue as a detonator in a global standoff cannot win the approval of our country, because it is one thing to be a major link in maintaining the regional status quo and a different thing to be a soldier sacrificed for breaking it.”