According to “Zhoghovurd,” most Armenians do not know whether or not to support the opposition gunmen occupying a police station in Yerevan primarily because the armed attack left one police officer dead. “In essence, the death of Colonel Artur Vanoyan saved the authorities because the majority of people longing for regime change … are hold back in the face of that casualty,” claims the paper.
“Hraparak” comments on the continuing silence maintained by President Serzh Sarkisian and members of his government and the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) about the attack. “It’s not hard to see that state bodies do not know what to do and are confused and paralyzed,” writes the paper. “Put simply, they do not see a way out of the situation. They are neither prepared for concessions to the gunmen nor willing to solve the matter by force.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” believes, however, that the Sarkisian administration is on the contrary busy trying to neutralize the armed members of the Founding Parliament opposition group. “At first glance, it may seem that there is a stalemate: neither the authorities nor the rebels are able to do anything,” writes the paper. “This is not the case. The authorities are conducting a special operation … And they are conducting it on two fronts. First, various politicians, intellectuals and political commentators are using all possible platforms to say that what happened is an ordinary act of terror, a stab in our statehood’s back which plays into hour enemies’ hands. Pro-government media outlets spread this propaganda day and night.”
“The purpose is clear: to change the society’s attitude towards those men so that the final phase of the special operation can be portrayed as a liquidation of armed criminals. Second, the police are simply terrorizing the most active segment of the society under the pretext of searches for weapons or defiance of police orders so that few people take to the streets and the final phase of the special operation is carried out smoothly,” concludes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.”
“Aravot” says that supporters of the hostage-takers depict them as honest patriots who are building a bright future for Armenia despite having killed one police officer and holding hostage four others. Anyone disagreeing with them, even if they are opposed to the Armenian government, is branded a government agent or insulted in a much worse manner, editorializes the paper. This aggressive tactic is aimed at silencing the gunmen’s critics, it says.