On June 9, some 700 Armenian citizens from around the country boarded buses and left for Russia.
I witnessed this mass exodus at the customs house at Armenian-Georgian border crossing at Bagratashen.
Eleven large Mercedes buses lined up at the check point from 11 am to 11pm.
The buses were headed to Moscow, Donetsk, Rostov, Krasnodar and points further afield in Russia.
Those leaving hailed from Yerevan, Hoktemperyan, Etchmiadzin, Vanadzor and Alaverdi.
One of the passengers Baregham Nikoghosyan, told this reporter that there were thirty residents of Etchmiadzin in the bus he was in.
Some of the reasons given by those leaving Armenia were the recent presidential elections, unemployment, low wages, and heavy debt burdens.
Some of them were farmers hit hard by recent hailstorms and didn’t see any way of getting back on their feet.
Many confessed that there was little chance of them returning to Armenia any time soon, if at all.
In fact, a majority argued that the Armenian government was doing everything to force them to leave.
They said that the money gambled away by certain government officials in a day at some casino could, if properly spent, resolve the problems of any given village in Armenia.