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Maidan In The Eyes Of Armenian Political Scientist

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  • Maidan In The Eyes Of Armenian Political Scientist


    On February 2-9 Armenian civil activists Karen Harutiunyan, Haik
    Sahakyan and Suren Sahakyan were on Kiev's Euromaidan. We held an
    interview with the political scientist Haik Sahakyan.

    Why did you go to Euromaidan? What is going on there?

    Yes, I have recently returned from Maidan. Three representatives of
    Armenia including me went to Kiev to attend a seminar as part of the
    New Ideas of Civility for Europe Project. A lot has been said about
    the struggle that is taking place there but what I would like to
    emphasize is not the integrity and diversity of the movement. When
    you step inside the barricades, you meet people of different layers
    of the society with different degrees of organization. Aside from the
    ongoing political civil struggle, some of them are recruiting centuries
    (mostly political parties which have the biggest number of centuries,
    which are the main means of organizing defense from Berkut's attacks),
    there are students and civil groups, feminists who want to recruit a
    century of women, there are groups with different political views,
    ranging from anarchism to nationalism, with their own visions,
    interests and plans about the methods and process of fight. Their
    interests do not always overlap and cause conflicts and clashes but in
    the result they are able to find a common format to act together. As
    one of the representatives of automaidan said, Euromaidan is like a
    body with its weaknesses and strengths, painful spots.

    If we compare with Armenia, what are the similarities and differences?

    There are very few terms to compare the situation in Ukraine and
    Armenia. There the fight of the dissatisfied mass against the ruling
    regime has reached the final stage, we are far from that stage. In
    Kiev very different layers of the society, well-off people, officials
    complain openly, the army is displaying loyalty to the developments
    in Maidan. There is dissatisfaction in our country as well but it
    is mostly hidden, especially among the citizens who are part of the
    system. However, the most important difference is at the level of
    thinking. They are not going to leave their country, emigrate to
    a safer place. "This is my country, my home, I want to live here,
    I want to live here well, and I, not someone else must build my
    dream country."

    As an obvious difference I should mention the population number. It
    is easier to generate ideas, apply them in life in a country with
    many millions of people. In our country, the critical mass has mostly
    emigrated. We need to encourage people to come back to Armenia, not
    only through repatriation of those who have already left. Thanks to
    repatriates of Syria, i.e. population and quality, we will be able
    to achieve change of the state, whereas the monotony that is imposed
    on us leads to state building and degradation of the society.

    Today security of citizens is on agenda. What solutions do you see
    and how should a citizen defend themselves of different threats
    and assaults?

    The issue of our citizens is growing more serious, and we need to
    find a more effective means of solution. This is a sensitive issue
    and it must be addressed without emotions otherwise it will result in
    alternate clashes. In Kiev active citizens also undergo violence, the
    entire city is divided to two conflicting sides. Titushky are hunting
    on citizens, beat them cruelly, while the activists of Euromaidan
    hunt on titushky but instead of beating them they take them to Maidan
    and make them carry water, chop wood, do other manual work for them,
    confess that they cooperate with the government. In other words,
    they are unmasked and handed to judgment by the society.

    I would not want a similar situation here but if the police continue
    not to punish the people who use violence, threaten our citizens, such
    developments will be quite realistic. Nevertheless, I think that public
    pressure on the police must be boosted, more constructive relations
    need to be formed and accountability to law and the society must be
    ensured. They must ensure the security of citizens irrespective of
    the political views of citizens.

    Tehmine Yenokyan, Reporter 13:19 20/02/2014 Story from News: