Armenian General Staff is demanding a Pashinyan resignation.
In a statement issued on the afternoon of February 25, the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces demanded the resignation of Nikol Pashinyan and his Cabinet., expressing strong disapproval of Pashinyan’s sacking of Tigran Khachatryan, the First Deputy Chief of the General Staff.
Soon after, Pashinyan called the General Staff’s statement a military coup attempt and fired the Chief of General Staff Onik Gasparyan. Pashinyan claims he had signed the papers on the dismissal of Gasparyan and his deputy before the General Staff issued their statement calling for Pashinyan’s resignation. President Armen Sarkissian has stated that he received Pashinyan’s recommendation of dismissal of chief of General Staff Onik Gasparyan, but hasn’t yet signed it. Gasparyan will officially be considered dismissed only after the President formalizes the document.
The General Staff later issued a second statement reiterating their demands and claiming that their call for the resignation of Pashinyan” was not guided by anyone and was not made under any pressure from anyone.”
The two opposition parties of the Armenian Parliament, Prosperous Armenia (BHK) and Bright Armenia (LHK) have initiated a petition among lawmakers in order to convene an emergency session of parliament.
Hilariously, the thing that kicked this off was the Iskander missiles that Russia had supplied to Armenia.
Pashinyan was dissing the Iskanders supplied, dismissing them as a “1980’s technology” and claiming that only 10% of them exploded. General Tiran Khachatrian said that it was nonsense, which prompted his firing.
However, Pashinyan had apparently forbidden the General Staff from using Iskanders against Azeri enemy troop concentrations on account of the backlash it would provoke from the “international community”:
“On the third day of the war, I, as the head of the General Staff, decided to use Iskander in the direction of two strategically important facilities, one of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipelines. Pashinyan categorically forbade it, although the Russians made it clear that it is your business, it is your war. Three days before the attack on Shushi, I asked Pashinyan for permission to strike with two Iskanders directly at the enormous accumulation of enemy manpower on the outskirts of Shushi. Pashinyan categorically forbade it, saying that the international community would curse us if we killed several thousand enemy soldiers at the same time.
This apparent chutzpah is what provoked this apparent mutiny on the part of the military brass.
Senior policemen have expressed support for the generals, so that suggests there is unity amongst disgruntled siloviks on the questions.
BREAKING; Armenian police now also call for resignation of @NikolPashinyan – list of 30 police officials including Lieutenants and generals are calling on the PM to resign and outright said they will support the army commanders.
— ASB News / MILITARY〽️ (@ASBMilitary) February 25, 2021
If so, that is certainly bad news for Pashinyan.
Repeat of Burma on the cards?
I don’t follow Armenia closely and have nothing to add here beyond what is reported in media and on blogs. I don’t view this as a surprise because noting that Pashinyan’s days in power are likely numbered, as I did when Armenia capitulate d, was hardly a bold prediction. People don’t tend to like Presidents who lose wars.
Though Erdogan, also unsurprisingly, likes them:
We reject and condemn the coup attempt in Armenia. Coups have always interrupted democratic processes and created chaos. We call for a speedy normalization in Armenia.
— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) February 25, 2021