“The protests have passed to round-the-clock mode”: what happens in Yerevan

Protesters during clashes with police in the street near the seized building of the Yerevan regiment patrulno-sentry duty

Mass protests have captured the patrol and guard service (PPS) in Yerevan moved to round the clock. Some of the streets near the building barricaded by trucks, people on duty in the surrounding streets, almost around the clock Network is broadcasting from the event. To the evening of Thursday, began to attract new activists, but the level of aggression among the protesters declined markedly. Among the crowd more and more political and public figures, MPs, actors of theatre and cinema, the priests.

But late the same evening a spontaneous demonstration degenerated into mass clashes with the police — supporters of the invaders police used a pre-prepared stones, police responded with tear gas and stun grenades. Resulting in 45 people injured and are in hospitals (most of them police officers). About 140 people arrested, more than ten of them have been arrested. According to one version, the crowd tried to break through the fence when he was detained one of the activists, on the other — it was a provocation by opponents of the opposition. This was stated by opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan. He is in contact with armed men, and tried to give the building the food, but the clashes prevented. In the end products armed invaders get through the police.

The events cover all the Armenian media, the protests in Yerevan — the main subject of all news and talk. In this city, besides the area near the PPP, continues to live a normal life. Many took the position of observers, without delving into the essence of what is happening. Some claim that the protesters at the PPP building is familiar to many at last year’s social protests #ElectricYerevan due to a sharp rise in electricity tariffs. Now, however, for the authorities, the situation is much more alarming than during the “electrics”, although there were protests and barricades. Now the protesters are much more radical than last year, and now political and not social in nature.

Hostage-taking

On July 17 in Yerevan in Erebuni district, an armed group captured a division of a regiment patrulno-sentry duty. During the seizure killed the Deputy chief of this division, and other employees were taken hostage. The invaders claimed to represent the movement of the “Sasna tsrer” (“the madmen of Sasun its medieval Armenian epic about the struggle of the heroes of Sasun with the Arab invasion.) They demanded the release from prison of the famous Armenian radical opposition leader Zhirayr Sefilyan, who was arrested earlier in the framework of the criminal case on the fact of illegal storage of the weapon. According to the investigating authorities, he planned to seize the buildings, structures, means of communication, including the TV tower in Yerevan.

Who beat protesters

It should be recalled, who is Sefilyan Armenian reality: in 2012, he became one of the founders of the movement “pre-Parliament” (also known as the “Founding Parliament who advocated for change of the current government and a full reboot of the entire Armenian nation-state project. Thanks to loud statements of the revolutionary military past, protest rallies and frequent arrests Sefilian became a famous face of Armenian politics. The last time he was arrested a month before the start of the current unrest. It is considered to be consistent opponent of the authorities, but some experts believe that the mass support in the Armenian society have no Sefilyan.

What to expect

After capture of hostages in the police of the society were waiting, and the main question hanging in the air was whether to storm the PPP. The subsequent statement of the NSS gave the answer: to be negotiation, and will use all opportunities for peaceful settlement of the situation. Immediately after the seizure of almost no one had doubts that the crime was committed, and the only question is how to qualify and what punishment should be criminals. However, after some time in social networks, the opposition forces began to actively sway public opinion in favor of the attackers. Given the backlog in recent years, protests and constant expectation of some changes in the political field, calls to promote “national heroes” has resonated in certain circles. Protesters are driven by, above all, dissatisfaction with the current government. The armed takeover was the catalyst for a protest.