Lazy eyes listen
According to accounts from the scene, demonstrators in the Armenian city of Yerevan attempted to overrun government facilities. With Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan warning of a possible “coup,” police reportedly deployed stun grenades to keep the mob at bay.
On Tuesday afternoon, video footage obtained by RT showed police officers erecting a cordon around the cabinet building as an agitated crowd pelted them with bottles. The glass doors of the building were shattered, and social media footage showed several members of the mob beating and assaulting police officers as they attempted to breach the perimeter.
The police allegedly fired stun grenades and smoke or tear gas on the protesters, with some claiming minor injuries.
Protests erupted after Azerbaijan announced “counter-terrorism measures” against Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnically Armenian territory, earlier on Tuesday. Baku claims to be aiming for a military buildup in the region, while Yerevan denies sending troops to Nagorno-Karabakh and accuses Azerbaijan of pursuing “ethnic cleansing” of the Armenian enclave.
Protesters were heard yelling “Nikol is a traitor” in multiple video clips, most likely in reference to Pashinyan’s earlier this summer announcement that he would recognise Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh if Baku guaranteed the human rights of its residents. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has promised to do so, but he has previously referred to Aremenians as “not even worthy of being servants,” and is widely seen as a human rights violator by Western observers.
Armenia is a former Soviet republic that is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, which is led by Russia. Russia brokered a truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020, but Pashinyan has since turned his back on Moscow and made diplomatic overtures to the West.