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Armenian Security Chief Sacked


Armenia - Argishti Kyaramian, April 3, 2019

The director of Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS), Argishti Kyaramian, was sacked on Thursday after only four months in office.

President Armen Sarkissian relieved Kyaramian of his duties in a decree initiated by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. The latter did not immediately make any statements on the development.

The 29-year-old Kyaramian headed an anti-corruption government body before being appointed as NSS director in June. He had never worked in Armenia’s most powerful security service before.

Kyaramian’s temporary replacement, Mikael Hambardzumian, is a long-serving NSS officer.

Hambardzumian is the fourth head of the former Armenian branch of the Soviet KGB appointed, albeit in an acting capacity, since Pashinian came to power in the 2018 “Velvet Revolution.”

Artur Vanetsian, one of the former NSS chiefs fired last year, is now a bitter political opponent of Pashinian. Vanetsian set up an opposition party early this year.

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