Gyumri Protesters Clash with Police at Russian Consulate

Protesters clashed with police in full riot gear in front of the Russian consulate in Gyumri. Jan. 15, 2015. (Photo: Arajin Live TV footage)


GYUMRI, Armenia—Hundreds of angry Gyumri residents clashed with police on Thursday evening, as a peaceful demonstration at the Russian consulate, demanding the extradition of a Russian soldier who murdered a family of six in Gyurmi, turned violent.

Protesters marched to the Russian consulate to demand the handover of Valery Permyakov to Armenian authorities, insisting that the murderer be tried by an Armenian court.

Permyakov, a Russian soldier serving at Russia’s 102nd Air Base in Armenia, admitted to murdering six members of the Avetisyan family in Gyumri earlier this week, including a two-year-old, and injuring a six-month-old infant who survived despite receiving several stab wounds.

Soon after his capture at the Turkish border, authorities announced that Permyakov would be tried in Armenia, but ostensibly by a Russian military tribunal. Russian military authorities promised “the most severe punishment” for Permyakov on Thursday, according to RFE/RL’s Armenian service.

Demonstrators took to the streets in Gyumri after a public funeral for the Avetisyan family organized by local authorities. Some 2,000 people gathered in front of the local prosecutor’s office, before some of the protesters marched to the Russian consulate.

Some of the demonstrators, most of them youths, then began to hurl stones at the Russian consulate and a police cordon.

Police answered by firing tear gas and stun grenades into the crowd, using their truncheons to beat back protesters trying to approach the consulate.

Several people were injured in the clashes, RFE/RL reports. Doctors at a local hospital said six protesters and two police officers were severely injured.

Dozens of protesters were detained on the spot by police. The police have not yet reported on the arrests.

The demonstrators eventually agreed to march back to the city center only after a lawmaker, Martun Grigorian, who represents a constituency of Gyumri in Armenia’s National Assembly, pleaded with the protesters to “Calm down and move on.”

Earlier in the evening, Armenia’s Prosecutor-General Gevorg Kostanian addressed the crowd from the heavily guarded building. “As prosecutor-general and a man, I am telling you that I will definitely appeal to Russia’s prosecutor-general with that demand,” Kostanian assured the crowd.

Russia’s Ambassador in Yerevan, Ivan Volynkin, also made a statement on Thursday. “Such atrocities have no justification. They have no nationality. The staff of the Russian Embassy shares the pain of this loss with the brotherly Armenian nation,” he said.

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18 Comments

  1. Hratch said:

    Another Ukraine in the making. The ink barley dried on the EEU accession and we’re already in turmoil. God save the republic and protect it from all Russophiles both foreign and domestic !

  2. Armenian said:

    So sad that we have to resort to these sorts of tactics to get the standard treatment that any country on the international scale would.

    Anyone who urges the public not to discuss or politicize this matter is working for Russia’s interests only. You have to be a total idiot to see what a horrific precedent this sets for Armenia as a country and our collective stability as a people living within our own borders. People need to fight for what is theirs, in this case, the Armenian rule of law and justice system. It is absurd and a complete insult to allow this guy to be tried in Russia. If Russia truly respected our sovereignty, they wouldn’t have captured this soldier and held them in their custody.

    You can’t keep using “this will harm Russia’s relations with us if we keep talking about it”. Stop with this whole psychological self-intimidation. Russia has equal interests in Armenia as we do with them. That does not mean that you should be a rag for them and allow them to terrorize our citizens whichever way and whenever they want. The terrified Russophiles who don’t even seen to value the quality of life in Armenia are passively overlooking this, hoping and wishing that a Russian court will rule in favor of a fair punishment. That attitude is what got us here in the first place. That attitude doesn’t exist with Azeris. They would have raised hell 30 times over by now. No wonder Russians can feel free to do whatever they want in our country. We have loyal apologists who will justify their every move. What a fucking shame.

  3. Art said:

    Protestors should be calling for the ousting of the current leadership in Armenia. We don’t need a Russian military base in Armenia. In fact, this is a myth that has been fed to the Armenian nation for many years. It is self destructive and a major inhibitor to Armenian growth and progress both in Armenia and in the international arena. This myth serves only one purpose and that it is to maintain the current leadership in Armenia, which has been motivated NOT by altruistic values, but by self serving and cynical purposes at the expense of the ordinary Armenian man and woman.

  4. Avetis said:

    As Armenians and Russians fight, Turks and Azeris are impatiently watching and liking their lips. I am with the people, I grieve for the losses, I want to see that monster executed for his crimes. With that said, every single provocateur in the crowed of protestors, especially those Western funded mercenaries that jumped into their cars in Yerevan and went to Gyumri to incite violence there, needs to be arrested and dealt with properly. At the end of the day had the Russian 102nd base not been stationed in Armenia we would most probably have lost Armenia.

  5. Sokimag said:

    It is a sad tragedy what happened to the armenian family. It is similar to what happened to our french friends at Charlie Hebdo. The russian solder should be severly punished. We should not be against Russia because of this, because one russian soldier hardly represents Russia as a whole. Russia should NOT be blamed that’s for sure.

    • Hratch said:

      We’re not blaming Mother Russia for the incident, we’re angry over the fact that Mother Russia will be handling the prosecution against the person charged with the crime. It’s indicative of how powerless our government has become under the pressure of the overbearing occupying force. We do not even have control of what goes on within our own borders. For all intents and purposes, we have surrendered our sovereignty to a hegemonic monster who is out to destroy our hard fought freedom and dignity.

  6. Pingback: Soldat russe meurtrier : émeute à Գյումրի Gyumri – 15 janvier 2015 | anthropologie du présent

  7. Armenian Christian said:

    At first my reaction was anger toward Russia..but this may be a false flag to put space in between Russia And Armenia for when the turks try to take back there Irivan as they call it we must be smarter then the “False Flag” operators

  8. Arto said:

    We need to keep things in perspective. Tragedies like this are not uncommon. The Mei Lai massacre in Vietnam or a few years ago the US soldier who massacred 32 Afghans. These soldiers are in a stressful situation and some snap. Russia is guarding the Armenian/Turkish borders. Unless you people sitting in your living rooms in Glendale want to go out there and do the Russians work, COOL IT.

  9. Harutik said:

    Politicizing this horrible tragedy is not in Armenia’s interests. Russians are also shocked at what has taken place. We are not helping the situation by burning Russian flags and demanding that the 102n base gets shut down. What happened was a blow to Russian-Armenian alliance.

    Russia’s 102nd base is arguably the most important military factor in Armenia. The base acts as a tripwire against an invasion from Turkey. By securing Armenia’s western borders, the base also allows the Armenian military to concentrate its limited resources against a more manageable enemy, Azerbaijan. I would go as far as saying Armenia exists today because of the 102nd base.

    With that said, however, whoever or whatever was behind this horrible atrocity in Gyumri scored a major success against the 102nd base. This was a major success as far as damaging Russian-Armenian relations for many-many years to come. This was a major win for those who have been seeking to undermine Russian-Armenian relations and drive a wedge between Moscow and Yerevan.

    We all know that generally speaking Armenians are overly emotional, politically illiterate and very family oriented. You want to seriously piss-off an Armenian and make him do irrational, self-destructive acts, mess with his family. You want to see an Armenian go insane and turn his environment upside-down, mess with his family. Whoever or whatever was behind this massacre knew our people’s weaknesses well. The assault was thus directed against the Armenian family.

    Now, all of Washington’s shameless lemmings in Armenia will be enthusiastically exploiting this horrible tragedy toward self-serving political ends. Now, Turks and Azeris will be impatiently watching from the sidelines to see how self-destructive Armenians will get. Once more, I blame the Sargsyan’s “complimentary politics” for the volatility in Armenia because it has allowed Armenia to become saturated by Western-led mercenaries during the past twenty years. Consequently, predictably and alarmingly, we are now seeing a growing trend of Russophobia amongst the new generation of Armenians.

    If Russophobia goes mainstream within Armenian society, Armenia’s very existence will be at risk. And every single one of the anti-Russian protesters we have been seeing recently would be the first to flee to Russia as soon as the first Turkish army division crossed the Arax River…

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