Armenia in Crisis Between Democracy Woes at Home and Security Fears Next Door

A portrait of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, outside a police station seized by gunmen in Yerevan, July 23, 2016 (PAN photo by Vahan Stepanyan via AP).
A portrait of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, outside a police station seized by gunmen in Yerevan, July 23, 2016 (PAN photo by Vahan Stepanyan via AP).

An armed standoff and the eruption of protests in July may be Armenia’s most serious political crisis since 2008, when thousands took to the streets against alleged voter fraud in the presidential election that year. Last month’s unrest, which marked the country’s fourth summer in a row of turmoil, has exposed the cross-cutting, often contradictory fissures within Armenian politics and society. But this time, it also potentially represents a turning point for Armenia’s frustrated population. With internal crises looming over both state legitimacy and settlement talks with Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia is as divided as ever […]

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