“Weapons and patriotism are not enough to win [a war,]” writes “168 Zham.” “The moral-psychological atmosphere in the country is just as important.” In this sense, the paper says, the situation in Armenia leaves much to be desired due to serious problems with the rule of law, impunity enjoyed by government-linked individuals and income polarization.
“Look at our high-ranking officials, deputies, oligarchs and check how many of their sons have served in the army,” “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” writes on the subject. “Or just look at the officials themselves. If it turns out that one in ten of them has served in the military, consider it a brilliant rate.” This is why, it says, Armenian soldiers dying in action are usually from poor or “ordinary” families.
“Zhamanak” lambastes officials which it says are “destroying Armenia’s economy.” The paper says that the economic situation in the country poses a no less grave threat to national security than shooting and shelling by Azerbaijani forces.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian has handed state medals to two Armenian oligarchs, Gagik Tsarukian and Samvel Aleksanian, in recognition of their contributions to events marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey. The paper wonders what and how much they have contributed to the events. It also wonders whether they were exempted from taxes in return for those payments. It notes that neither the tycoons nor the Armenian authorities have publicized any information to that effect. “Have they used stolen money to finance the events?” it asks. “And what does the future hold for our homeland if they provide such services.”
“Zhoghovurd” also suggests that these and other businesspeople have been awarded by Sarkisian for financing the genocide centenary commemorations. “It is not clear why Kim Kardashian and her husband, the world-famous rapper Kanye West, have not received medals,” says the paper. “Of course, the latter did not give cash but thanks to them the attention of the world media was focused on Armenia for a whole week. According to various estimates, Armenia would have had to spend about $300 million to organize such a promotion [on its own.] Not to mention Serj Takian and his System Of A Down rock band. They didn’t help the government with cash and that is why they got no medals.”