While speaking to reporters today about the sit-down protest that several Artsakh war vets launched two days ago in Yerevan’s Freedom Square, legal expert and depot battalion Colonel Varoujan Avetisyan said that while he wouldn’t participate in the protest, he did support it.
“An average of 40-50,000 AMD for a disabled vet seeking medical care is a joke. It can’t even be justified by arguing that the country is in dire economic straits,” said Avetisyan.
Referring to one of the placards of the protestors that reads “We aren’t mercenaries”, Avetisyan said that the vets feel that the government regards them as vital when they are young and healthy, but then discards them when they get older.
“Once a soldier leaves the army, he is no longer good for anything. They throw us scraps. They treat us like mercenaries because only mercenaries are not paid once they leave active service,” said Avetisyan.
He said that the protest action would have some tangible result but that systematic reforms wouldn’t be achieved.
Avetisyan argued that structural change was impossible in Armenia given that the government was a parasitic, consumerist, system that had no need of Artsakh war vets.
He added that the regime, fearing a public reaction to the issue, would strive to deceive and disperse the protestors by making certain reform promises.