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The housing program for Artsakh Armenians won't be effective

The housing program for Artsakh Armenians won't be effective

This article is available only in Armenian
Call for transparency, divisive rhetoric and political polarization: Democracy Watch

Call for transparency, divisive rhetoric and political polarization: Democracy Watch

The past week saw a surge in the use of divisive and polarizing language by key political figures in Armenia. The government’s decision earlier this month to initiate the delimitation process with Azerbaijan has sparked a significant public backlash, as many see the government’s current approach as unilateral and devoid of consensus. Here are three examples:
Evaluating Potential Prospects for Military-Technical Cooperation Between Armenia and the Czech Republic

Evaluating Potential Prospects for Military-Technical Cooperation Between Armenia and the Czech Republic

Military ties between Armenia and the Czech Republic can be traced back to 2010, when the Czech Defense Minister and a delegation of Czech businessmen made their first visit to Armenia. This visit led to the signing of an agreement on military cooperation, marking the start of this partnership.
Democracy Watch: Assault on opposition activist, attack on the media, controversial land deals and procurements by ruling party members

Democracy Watch: Assault on opposition activist, attack on the media, controversial land deals and procurements by ruling party members

Welcome to DEMOCRACY WATCH, brought to you by CivilNet and the Regional Center for Democracy and Security. Weekly recaps will highlight and examine the pivotal challenges facing Armenia's democratic institutions. 
Populism and Armenia's foreign policy

Populism and Armenia's foreign policy

This article is available only in Armenian. 
Assessing Armenia’s Military Diversification Efforts: Partnerships with India and France

Assessing Armenia’s Military Diversification Efforts: Partnerships with India and France

After the border clashes in September 2022, Armenia recognized that the Russian arms and military equipment market was inadequate for ensuring stable and reliable supplies. Diversification of arms and military equipment became a priority. The need for this diversification became evident following the Azerbaijani assault on Nagorno-Karabakh in September 2023 and the ensuing ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population.
Armenian media should build trust, not sacrifice it for more clicks

Armenian media should build trust, not sacrifice it for more clicks

The media is the least trusted institution among the Armenian public. According to the results of the CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey, in 2022, 73% of respondents said they do not trust the media. Another survey conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation among youth in Armenia in 2022 again indicated low trust in the media. Only 12% of respondents said they “fully” or “rather” trusted the media. Among young people, the media came in as the second-least trusted, only after political parties.
RCDS insights: baku pushes for a new armenian constitution

RCDS insights: baku pushes for a new armenian constitution

On January 18, Nikol Pashinyan called for a new constitution for Armenia, citing the need to enhance the country’s viability amidst changing geopolitical dynamics, emphasizing that he is not talking about a change in governance.
Exploring the Impact on International Law Amid Nagorno-Karabakh Ethnic Cleansing, with Sheila Paylan

Exploring the Impact on International Law Amid Nagorno-Karabakh Ethnic Cleansing, with Sheila Paylan

In this episode of the DemSecurity Podcast, Tigran Grigoryan, head of the RCDS, hosted international Human Rights lawyer Sheila Paylan. Together, they delved into various aspects of the relationship between international law and the events unfolding in Nagorno-Karabakh.  They started by questioning the effectiveness of the rules-based order in preventing, regulating, and responding to such situations. Additionally, they highlighted how these norms could be manipulated to serve the specific interests of states, and how the nature of political regimes could influence the use they make of it. Finally, Sheila Paylan explained the human-rights approach to international law that she strongly advocates.
RCDS Insights - Armenia’s Efforts to Maintain Control Over Transport Routes

RCDS Insights - Armenia’s Efforts to Maintain Control Over Transport Routes

On October 26, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan visited Tbilisi to present Yerevan’s vision for regional transport links, named “Crossroads of Peace”. The opening of regional transport links, blocked for more than three decades, is seen as necessary for ensuring regional stability. Additionally, Pasninyan announced the establishment of a special unit within the National Security Service (NSS) tasked with ensuring security for international cargo and passengers within Armenia’s borders.
New Paradigm of Civil-Military Relations Dissected: Defense Reform Problematic

New Paradigm of Civil-Military Relations Dissected: Defense Reform Problematic

RCDS Insights: The Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Process Post-Ethnic Cleansing

RCDS Insights: The Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Process Post-Ethnic Cleansing

Following the full-scale ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh, the key stakeholders in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict are advocating for the signing of a peace treaty between the parties.
RCDS Insights: Ethnic Cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh and Russia

RCDS Insights: Ethnic Cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh and Russia

On September 19, 2023, Azerbaijan launched an attack on Nagorno-Karabakh, which lasted for 24 hours. Following this, Nagorno-Karabakh's leaders signed a capitulation statement, agreeing to disarm its self-defense forces and dissolve its self-governing institutions and hand over military equipment. Shortly thereafter, the President of Nagorno-Karabakh issued a decree abolishing the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. As a result of these developments, the entire population was forced to evacuate the territory and seek refuge in Armenia. These events raised concerns about Russia's future role in the region, as their peacekeeping contingent was the sole external force on the ground, tasked with preventing a major escalation and ethnic cleansing.
RCDS Insights: Mass Exodus from Nagorno-Karabakh

RCDS Insights: Mass Exodus from Nagorno-Karabakh

t has been 24 hours since Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenians began leaving the territory. Thousands have already entered Armenia through the Lachin Corridor, while many more are stuck in traffic jams on the road. It is clear that these numbers will rapidly increase in the coming days. Most people have left with only a few belongings. They are desperately trying to find cars and fuel to leave. The Nagorno-Karabakh government’s priority is currently focused on organizing the evacuation of internally displaced people who have fled from other regions to Stepanakert. The rest of the population is attempting to evacuate on their own. 
Urgent Policy Recommendations around the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh

Urgent Policy Recommendations around the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh

On September 19, Azerbaijan initiated a large-scale offensive against Nagorno-Karabakh, marked by shelling and the targeting of key urban centers, resulting in extensive civilian displacement and casualties. Due to the nine-month blockade, and the lack of essential goods such as fuel, food, and munitions, as well as the significant power asymmetry favoring Azerbaijan, the Nagorno-Karabakh self-defense forces were overwhelmed. After approximately 24 hours of intense fighting, the Nagorno-Karabakh government was compelled to concede to all Azerbaijani demands, which included the disarmament of the Nagorno-Karabakh defense army and the dissolution of state institutions.
RCDS Insights: Armenia’s “anti-Russian” Turn

RCDS Insights: Armenia’s “anti-Russian” Turn

In the past few weeks, Azerbaijan has carried out significant troop movements, building up military equipment on the border with Armenia and around Nagorno-Karabakh. These actions, accompanied by Baku’s intensified disinformation efforts to suggest that Armenia is staging military provocations, may indicate Azerbaijan is preparing to escalate the conflict militarily. At the same time, the Armenian government has taken several steps and issued statements that have been perceived as anti-Russian, leading to a backlash from Moscow. 
RCDS Insights: Nagorno-Karabakh Presidential Elections

RCDS Insights: Nagorno-Karabakh Presidential Elections

On September 1, Arayik Harutyunyan, the former president of Nagorno-Karabakh,  resigned, paving the way for the forthcoming election of a new president by Nagorno-Karabakh’s parliament on September 9. The nomination phase ended on September 7 and Samvel Shahramanyan is the only candidate and has held several meetings with the main parliamentary factions. Notably, he has secured the support of four out of five parliamentary factions. The only exception is Samvel Babayan's faction, (which holds nine seats) and has announced that they will abstain from voting for him. 
RCDS Insights: Resignation of Nagorno-Karabakh President

RCDS Insights: Resignation of Nagorno-Karabakh President

Calls for Harutyunyan's resignation have been ongoing since the loss of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War. In an address in December 2020, Harutyunyan promised to step down when the conditions were favorable and new elections could be held. Despite the precarious political situation over the past two years, Harutyunyan has managed to remain in power by striking deals with critics and co-opting opposition members. To boost his government's legitimacy, Harutyunyan appointed Ruben Vardanyan as state minister with enhanced powers in November 2022. However, over time, Harutyunyan's relationship with Vardanyan soured, and he eventually dismissed him in February 2023.
Armenia’s aspirations for freedom, democracy, and security

Armenia’s aspirations for freedom, democracy, and security

The delicate balance between freedom and state-provided security has been a subject of debate and compromise throughout history. In recent centuries, this balance underwent a significant shift, beginning in Europe and subsequently spreading to countries where freedom and democracy were not traditionally embraced as part of the value system. The newfound freedom in these societies unlocked the creative potential of people, resulting in accelerated economic growth. This transformation, in turn, has contributed to enhanced security.
When We Say Genocide, They Say “Very Tasty Cookies”

When We Say Genocide, They Say “Very Tasty Cookies”

Imagine being hungry, and being told you aren’t. For more than two months now, I’ve watched as people I know living in Nagorno-Karabakh post more and more desperate messages from their blockaded homeland, sharing appeals for bread and baby milk. But, as Azerbaijan’s efforts to starve more than a hundred thousand residents into submission roll on, pro-government Azerbaijanis are scouring social media accounts of those living there in search of evidence they aren’t telling the truth.
When a Bad Peace Is Worse Than War

When a Bad Peace Is Worse Than War

Just a few days after the war started, the first email came telling us one of our students had died. The 23-year-old English and Communications major had planned to get an MBA when he graduated. Instead, he was killed on the front lines near Martakert in Nagorno-Karabakh. 
Op-ed: US should reconsider its approach to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

Op-ed: US should reconsider its approach to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

The Azerbaijani-imposed blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh has been in place for more than six months now. Baku’s siege of the landlocked de facto republic is near completion. With the installation of a checkpoint in the Lachin corridor – the only route connecting the region to Armenia and to the rest of the world – Baku has put all pretenses aside and is openly violating the 2020 ceasefire statement.
The West should support Armenia’s democracy – not its ruling party

The West should support Armenia’s democracy – not its ruling party

I was invited to participate in a closed-door discussion a month ago in one of the major European capitals. The subject of the discussions was the latest developments between Armenia and Azerbaijan context, as well as the Karabakh settlement process. Several international experts, as well as lawmakers from the European parliament and from a national parliament, were taking part in the event.
Analyzing the Washington talks: Baku and Yerevan’s views diverge on 3 major issues

Analyzing the Washington talks: Baku and Yerevan’s views diverge on 3 major issues

The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan led their respective delegations in four-day talks that concluded in Washington last Thursday. The negotiations were carefully planned by the United States over several weeks, with Louis Bono, the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations and the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, spending a week in the region in April, likely to work on organizing the talks. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Erika Olson also visited the region during the same time, reportedly for the same reason.
Regional Security in Peril: Azerbaijan’s Checkpoint in Lachin Corridor

Regional Security in Peril: Azerbaijan’s Checkpoint in Lachin Corridor

On April 23, Azerbaijani forces blocked the Hakari bridge, which is situated at the end of the new route of the Lachin corridor near the Armenian border, and established a checkpoint in that part of the corridor. The bridge was under the full control of the Russian peacekeeping force. This new provocation constitutes a serious breach of the November 9 ceasefire statement and has the potential to exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijan’s policy of aggressive borderization and its main objectives

Azerbaijan’s policy of aggressive borderization and its main objectives

On April 11, a deadly fighting broke out between Azerbaijani and Armenian armed forces in the vicinity of Tegh village in Armenia’s Syunik region. As can be clearly seen in the footage published by Armenia’s Defense Ministry, a group of Azerbaijani servicemen approached an area where Armenian servicemen were conducting engineering works and opened fire in their direction. Because of this provocation, a skirmish started, resulting in casualties on both sides.