“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” reports with dismay that a Russian army unit will take part in Wednesday’s military parade in Yerevan that will mark the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s independence. “As is widely known, any military parade is primarily a demonstration of force,” writes the opposition paper. “The people must see that parade and feel proud, while the enemy must see it and get scared or at least worried. Do our people have grounds to be proud on this issue? Of course, they do.” The paper claims that many Armenians will be “ashamed” to see Russian soldiers marching in Yerevan’s Republic Square.
“Hraparak” says that with this and other celebratory events the Armenian authorities seem to make all skeptics believe that the independence anniversary is indeed a holiday and that its solemn commemoration is “a matter of honor for all of us.” The paper claims that many of the individuals receiving medals and other state awards these days had a “very dubious contribution” to Armenia’s independence.
Karine Hakobian, a leader of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, tells “Irates de facto” that Armenians should be celebrating the 20th anniversary of declaration of independence, rather than the past two decades of independence. “Unfortunately, the declaration of independence was followed by years of gradual loss of the independence, rather than its strengthening,” she claims. Hakobian also bemoans a lack of “the nationalist ideology” at the heart of the Armenian state. “Nationalism must go hand in hand, rather than be placed at odds, with humanism,” adds the opposition politician.
“Yerkir” questions government statements stressing the need for Armenia to fully utilize the potential of the worldwide Armenian Diaspora. The paper believes that Armenia should cure its fundamental ills such as the lack of democracy and widespread government corruption before agitating for more assistance from the Diaspora.
“Hayots Ashkhar” continues to attack the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) over its criticism of a draft resolution by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) saying that Armenia has essentially overcome the 2008 post-election crisis. The pro-government paper says that as recently as one month ago HAK leader Levon Ter-Petrosian declared that Armenia’s international standing has hugely grown as a result of the HAK’s dialogue with the ruling coalition. “Now it turns out that the HAK cares about the PACE’s reputation,” it notes with sarcasm.