>Red World: Armenia: Soviet Communist Facelift in the Caucasus

>Pictured here: Former President of Armenia, Robert Kocharian (“ex”-CPSU), meets Vladimir Putin (“ex”-CPSU/KGB/FSB), President of the Russian Federation

Republic of Armenia
Constituent republic of USSR: December 30, 1922-September 21, 1991
Previous names:
1) Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic: November 29, 1920-August 23, 1990
2) Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, including Georgia and Azerbaijan: March 12, 1922-December 5, 1936
Type of state: “Post”-communist “multiparty” presidential-dominant state under covert control of restored/continuing CPSU
Neo-communist renewal: “Collapse of communism,” 1991
Communist government:
1) Miasnutyun (“Unity”) Bloc, consisting of Republican Party of Armenia (“ex”-Komsomol leader), Armenian Revolutionary Federation, and United Labor Party, with extraparliamentary support of United Communist Party of Armenia: 2006-present
2) Miasnutyun (“Unity”) Bloc, consisting of Republican Party of Armenia (“ex”-Komsomol leader), Armenian Revolutionary Federation, United Labor Party, and Country of Law, with extraparliamentary support of United Communist Party of Armenia: 2003-2006
3) Miasnutyun (“Unity”) Bloc, consisting of Republican Party of Armenia (“ex”-Komsomol leader) and People’s Party of Armenia (“ex”-CPSU leader): 1999-2003
4)Republican Bloc, consisting of Pan-Armenian National Movement (front for Communist Party of Armenia), DLP-Hanrapetutyun Bloc, Republic Party, CDU, Intellectual Armenia, Social Democratic Party, and independent candidates: 1995-1999
5) Pan-Armenian National Movement (front for Communist Party of Armenia): 1990-1995
6) Communist Party of Armenia (Armenian section of CPSU), sole legal party: 1920-1990
Communist Bloc memberships: Commonwealth of Independent States, Collective Security Treaty Organization
Socialist International presence: Armenian Revolutionary Federation
Ethnic Russian composition: 0.5%
Presidents of “post”-communist Armenia:
1) Serzh Sargsyan (“ex”-CPSU, Republican Party of Armenia): April 9, 2008-present
2) Robert Kocharian (“ex”-CPSU, Republican Party of Armenia; Deputy, Supreme Soviet, Armenian SSR): February 3, 1998-April 9, 2008
3) Levon Ter-Petrossian (communist parents, KGB-controlled dissident; Chair/Deputy, Supreme Soviet, Armenian SSR; Pan-Armenian National Movement): October 16, 1991-February 3, 1998
Prime ministers of “post”-communist Armenia:
1) Tigran Sargsyan (ex-Soviet apparatchik, no relation to Serzh Sargsyan): April 9, 2008-present
2) Serzh Sargsyan (“ex”-CPSU, Republican Party of Armenia): March 26, 2007-April 9, 2008
3) Andranik Markaryan (suspected KGB-controlled dissident, pro-communist; Republican Party of Armenia): May 12, 2000-March 25, 2007
4) Aram Sarkissian (Republican Party of Armenia, brother of Vazgen), November 3, 1999-May 2, 2000
5) Vazgen Sarkissian (“ex”-Komsomol, Yerkrapah, Republican Party of Armenia): June 11-October 27, 1999 (assassinated)
6) Armen Darbinyan (“nonpartisan”): April 10, 1998-June 11, 1999
7) Robert Kocharian (“ex”-CPSU, “nonpartisan”): March 20, 1997-April 10, 1998
8) Armen Sarkissian (ex-Soviet apparatchik, “nonpartisan”): November 4, 1996-March 20, 1997
9) Hrant Bagratyan (Pan-Armenian National Movement): February 2, 1993-November 4, 1996
10) Khosrov Arutyunyan (“nonpartisan”): July 30, 1992-February 2, 1993
11) Gagik Arutyunyan (“nonpartisan”): November 22, 1991-July 30, 1992
12) Vazgen Manukyan (National Democratic Union of Armenia): August 13, 1990-November 22, 1991
Parliament of “post”-communist Armenia: Unicameral 131-member National Assembly
Soviet-era “parliament”: Supreme Soviet (Council); provisional parliament until 1995
Communist parties of “post”-communist Armenia:
1) Communist Party of Armenia (HKK): The HKK was founded in 1920 and associates with the UCP-CPSU. The HKK was subject to the “ban” imposed on the communist parties in many of the other Soviet republics in August 1991, but the ban was lifted in 1992. The HKK’s influence should not be measured in terms of popular support but, rather, by the previous communist careers of “ex”- and “non”-communist politicians and the support thrown to them by the HKK.
2) United Communist Party of Armenia (HMKK): The HMKK was founded in 2003 through a merger of the Renewed Communist Party of Armenia, Armenian Labor Communist Party, Armenian Workers’ Union, Union of Communists of Armenia, Armenian Marxist Party, and Party of Intellectuals. The HMKK presents itself as a “constructive opposition party” and maintains closer links to the government than the HKK. It does not join opposition fronts. The HMKK supports the presidential bid of Defence Minister Serzh Sarkisian.
3) Union of Industrialists and Women (AKM): Founded in 2003, this electoral coalition consists of the United Progressive Communist Party of Armenia, Women of the Armenian Land, Domestic Producers, and Yerevan and Its Inhabitants.
4) United Progressive Communist Party of Armenia: The United Progressive Communist Party of Armenia was founded in 1998 as a split from the Communist Party of Armenia.
Crypto-communist parties of “post”-communist Armenia:
1) Artarutiun (“Justice”) Bloc: This progressive electoral alliance, containing the People’s Party of Armenia, is led by Stepan Demirchian Demirchian (ex-Soviet apparatchik), the son of Karen Demirchian (“ex”-CPSU).
2) New Country: This party was founded by Artashes Tumanian, chief of President Robert Kocharian’s staff.
3) Pan-Armenian National Movement (HHS): The “liberal” HHS was founded in 1989 by KGB-controlled nationalist dissident Levon Ter-Petrossian, who was previously leader of the Karabakh Committee at the state-run Matenadaran Institute. Ter-Petrossian was appointed senior researcher at the institute in 1985 and before that, in 1978, science secretary. He was born in 1945 to Armenian-Syrian communist parents. The HHS is currently chaired by Alexander Arzoumanian, a graduate of Moscow’s Patrice Lumumba University, which trains Third World terrorists, and Yerevan State University. Arzoumanian operated an information centre for and published the newspaper of HHS between 1989 and 1991.
4) People’s Party of Armenia (HZK): This socialist party was founded in 1998 by Karen Demirchian (“ex”-CPSU), who was assassinated by gunmen under the direction of journalist Nairi Hunanyan on October 27, 1999. Between June of that year and his murder, Demirchian was speaker of the Republic of Armenia’s National Assembly. He endorsed the candidacy of Levon Ter-Petrossian during the 1996 presidential elections. Between 1974 and 1988, Demirchian was First Secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia, which he joined in 1966. The HZK is currently chaired by Karen’s son Stepan Demirchian (ex-Soviet apparatchik), who also leads the Artarutiun (“Justice”) Bloc.
5) Republican Party of Armenia (HHK): This “liberal” party was founded on April 2, 1990 and registered on May 14, 1991 as “post”-communist Armenia’s first registered party. Vazgen Sarkissian (“ex”-Komsomol) reorganized the party in 1998 as a centrist support base for President Robert Kocharian (“ex”-CPSU) by merging the original party with the Yerkrapah Volunteer Union, an association of Armenian veterans of the Nagorno-Karabakh War. Sarkissian, along with People’s Party leader Karen Demirchian (“ex”-CPSU), was assassinated by gunmen under the direction of journalist Nairi Hunanyan on October 27, 1999. President Kocharian was at one time leader of the Karabakh Movement and held various posts in Nagorno-Karabakh’s communist youth organization and communist publications. He also served in the Soviet Army. Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan (suspected KGB-controlled dissident) joined the illegal National United Party in 1968, was jailed in 1974 by Soviet authorities, and in 1992 joined the Republican Party, which he now leads. In 2001, on the occasion of the Communist Party of China’s 80th anniversary, Prime Minister Markaryan, sent a letter of congratulations. The Republican Party should not to be confused with the “conservative” Republic Party.
6) United Labor Party: This pro-Kocharian group operates under the leadership of Gurgen Arsenian.
Other parties in “post”-communist Armenia:
1) Armenian Revolutionary Federation (HHD): The HHD is a pre-Bolshevik social democratic party founded in 1890. During the short-lived Democratic Republic of Armenia between 1918 and 1922, it was the ruling party. Following the Soviet invasion in 1920 and the party’s subsequent banning, the HDD has been influential throughout the Armenian Diaspora, including Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Lebanon. The HHD was again banned between 1991 and 1998.
Parliament of “post”-communist Armenia: Unicameral 131-member National Assembly
Soviet-era “parliament”: Supreme Soviet (Council); provisional parliament until 1995
Russian military presence: The Russian Armed Forces maintain 5,000 troops of all types in Armenia, including 3,000 officially posted at the 102nd Military Base in Gyumri. In 1997 Russia and Armenia, both members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, signed a comprehensive friendship treaty that facilitates mutual assistance in the event of a military threat to either country and permits the Border Guard Service of the Russian Federation Federal Security Service to patrol Armenia’s borders with Turkey and Iran. As of early 2005 the 102nd Military Base consisted of 74 tanks, 17 battle infantry vehicles, 148 armored personnel carriers, 84 artillery pieces, 30 Mig-29 fighters, and several batteries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles. Since then, however, additional military hardware has been relocated to Gyumri from the Russian military bases in Batumi and Akhalkalaki, Georgia. — In early January 2009 Azerbaijani media reported that arms worth a total of US$800 million had been transferred to the Armenian military from Russia’s Gyumri base. Armenia’s Defense Ministry denied the report. Relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia became strained in 1988 when Nagorno-Karabakh, a region in Azerbaijan with a largely Armenian population, declared independence from Azerbaijan with the intent of joining Armenia.

One response to “>Red World: Armenia: Soviet Communist Facelift in the Caucasus

  1. mah29001 December 13, 2006 at 8:52 pm

    >No surprise there with Armenia. The fellow who became in charge of “independent” Armenia was involved with the KGB and later his son took control of Western oil companies that had interests in Armenia and other “former” Soviet Caucasus states.

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