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A range of activists in Armenia that contribute Russian interests, propaganding and promoting Russia’s official posture and intensions, meantime positioning themselves as “analysts”, “experts”, “politics”.
1. Vahram Ter-Matevosyan specializes in Turkish domestic and foreign policy, Regional Security and Conflicts in the post-Soviet Space. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Turkish Studies, Institute for Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. He studied at the Bergen University (Norway), Lund University (Sweden), Institute of Oriental Studies and Yerevan State University (Armenia). He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is one of the proactive promoters of Russian interests in Armenia. Particularly, he often stresses the indispensability of Russia in terms of Armenia’s security hence cordially promotes Armenia’s deep integration to Russia’s sphere of influence. During the days of the relationship deterioration between Russia and Turkey Ter-Matevosyan was actively engaged in propaganding Russian viewpoint, emphasizing that the only way of Armenia’s survival is Russia’s active military buildup in the state. During his pressconferences he often underlines that as far as Turkey is the US and NATO ally, the priority agenda of Armenia should remain integration with Russia. During the international workshops and conferences, he is actively promoting the rightfulness of the Armenian authorities to prioritise Armenia’s integration with Russia-backed organization at the expense of the integrational path with the EU and NATO. He is often propaganding the current authorities’ achievements in economy, foreign policy and anti-corruption reforms. He is a lecturer at American University of Armenia.
2. Johnny Melikyan is one of the Armenian activists mostly focused on Georgia and Georgian affairs. He is alumni of Gazprom-backed “Noravank” scientific-educational foundation. He also a lecturer in Russian-Armenian (Slavic) university. Positioning itself as an expert on Georgia, his activity though mostly biased. Particularly, as an expert on Georgian affairs Johnny Melikyan has an emphasized pro-Russian orientation and justifies Russia’s posture over Georgia and breakaway territories. Moreover, during his press-conferences and in his article are noticeable Melikyan’s anti-Western position over Georgia’s pro NATO and pro-EU path. He particularly promotes that Georgia’s integration with the West threatens the security of the South Caucasus. He is actively engaged with representatives of the Embassy of Russian Federation and his Russian colleagues from Moscow.
3. Vardan Voskanyan is one of the prominent experts on Iranian affairs. His analytical and expert activity is conducting under the supervision of orientalist Garnik Asatryan, a prominent scientist and activists having emphasized pro-Russian orientation. Voskanyan’s function that his Russian “colleagues” imposed, is to Iran-Russia strategic alliance to both Iranian and Armenian officials and societies. His function also encompasses anti-Western rhetoric and idea that Iran could not be for Armenia alternative to Russia and the only thing that Armenia may do is to promote Iran’s engagement into Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union and CSTO.
4. Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan is an editor of Times.am news agency, Voskanapat.info and is a contributor of Ararat TV, Armenia TV and Informational Radio (Lratvakan Radio). He is promoting Russia’s military involvement into Georgia, voicing in favour of Russian peacekeepers engagement in Nagorno-Karabakh. His activity is backed by the Presidential administration of Armenia. He is introduced as expert and analyst on South Caucasus affairs, on Eastern Europe, EU and Turkey.
5. Tigran Qocharyan is a prominent social and political activist and blogger. It is revealed that he was consulting Russian media during the protests of ElectricYerevan that have been taking place in Armenia, 2015. Particularly, he provided considerable support on organizing and informational manipulation vis-à-vis protesting segment of the Armenian society in an effort to suppress the rise of anti-Russian and anti-Putin mood and attitudes. It is known the sustained ties of T.Qocharyan with the Russia’s Embassy representatives. T.Qocharyan and H. Melik-Shahnazaryan are in close friendly relations.
6. Arman Boshyan is a head of Yerevan Geopolitical Club. He is one of the active propagandists of Russia’s interests in Armenia. Boshyan was one of the individuals, who called for solidarity with Donietsk and Luhansk against Ukraine and NATO. His organization is gained financial support from Gazprom endowments.
7. Mihran Hakobyan, an active member of the ruling Republican party. Anchorman of political talk shows and broadcasts at pro-authority Ararat TV. He is also a lecturer at Yerevan State University, faculty of International Relations and Diplomacy. He also positions itself as an expert on Armenia-Azerbaijan relations. He actively promotes Russian official stance over Ukraine and Georgia, articulating Armenia’s engagement in Russia-backed Eurasian Economic Union as the only right option for the country.
8. Aram Ananyan is a head of “Armenpress” pro-governmental news agency. The agency, led by Aram Ananyan not only serves Serzh Sargsyan’s regime interests, but actively involved in coordinating of Russian propaganda diffusion.
Most of these people are also members of so-called Griboyedov club, backed by the Embassy of Russian Federation. Aram Ananyan, Mihran Hakobyan, Vahram Ter-Matevosyan and Hrant Melik- Shahnazaryan act under the auspices of Vigen Sargsyan, Armenian president’s chief of staff and coordinator of programs organized by the State Centennial Committee of the Armenian Genocide.