“Zhamanak” fears that the Russian government and military will obstruct the investigation into the deadly shooting spree in Gyumri that was apparently committed by one of its soldiers serving in Armenia. The paper speculates that this is why Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov phoned their Armenian counterparts just hours after the killings on Monday. “Will Russian structures make good on their pledges to fully cooperate with the Armenian side in solving the case?” it asks. “Is the arrival of a Russian [Defense Ministry] working group in Armenia aimed at holding Armenian law-enforces in check and making sure that the investigation remains under their control?”
“We will certainly get answers to some of these questions very soon. But given a number of Armenian and Russian-Armenian precedents we can already say that many questions will remain unanswered for the public,” concludes “Zhamanak.”
“Just as we followed events unfolding in remote France and condemned the atrocities of Islamist radicals a tragedy knocked on our door as well,” “Hraparak” writes in connection with the Gyumri bloodbath. “The massacre of a whole family shocked all of us.” “Who is responsible for putting a gun in the hands of that animal?” it asks. “Who allowed him it to flee [the Russian military base] and do his gruesome job?”
“The problem is that Russian servicemen always get away with crimes committed in Armenia,” Gagik Hambarian, a Gyumri-based pundit, tells “Aravot.” “They cover up cases in a way which makes it impossible for Armenians to know what happened next.” He recalls that two Russian servicemen went on a shooting spree in Gyumri in 1999, killing two people and wounding more than a dozen others.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” comments on the latest ceasefire violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, noting that they have become more frequent since Armenia officially joined the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) on January 2. “The question is whether after joining the EEU Armenia is still independent enough to launch hostilities against Azerbaijan on ‘the line of contact’ without ‘the center’s’ permission,” writes the paper. “We seem to have a problem here. Russian-Turkish and Russian-Azerbaijani relations are clearly warming and there are growing statements from Moscow to the effect that the Armenian side must give back the territories around Nagorno-Karabakh. Against this background Seyran Ohanian’s order to [Armenian military] to launch offensive operations is taking on a new meaning.”