Community Ordered to Take Down Gen. Antranig Statue in Sochi

The statue of General Antranig in Sochi

SOCHI, Russia—What was to bring together 5,000 to 6,000 Armenians from around the Krasnodar region of Russia and Abkhazia for a community-wide May 28 celebration turned sour when local authorities ordered the Armenian community here to bring down a statue of General Antranig, which was to be unveiled for the event.

According to members of the Armenian community in Sochi, local authorities said that the statue must come down, or it will be demolished.

The authorities explained their decision saying that the unveiling of the statue might anger Turkey, which could refuse to take part in the construction of facilities for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in 2014.

Armenia’s Consul General Ararat Gomtsyan told Armenian activists of Sochi in a phone conversation that he was unable to do anything. He also advised them to adhere to authorities’ request. According to representatives of the Armenian community, the decision was adopted in Moscow, but not in the region. They claimed that pressure from Azeri groups led to the decision.

“There is a certain policy by the Russian authorities toward the Armenian population,” said a statement issued by the Armenian community, which claimed that anti-Armenian sentiments in Krasnodar were prevalent.

Sochi and that region of Russia is home to a large number Hamshen-Armenians, who also issued a statement expressing their anger.

“General Antranig is not only a national hero but our compatriot, native of Trabzon, just like many Armenian residents of Sochi. It is not a mere coincidence that Armenians of Sochi were the organizers of the monument,” read the statement of Hemshin Armenians in Russia.

“Dismantling of the monument is not only an affront to the memory of Gen. Antranig, but also to the memory of our ancestors,” said the Hamshen-Armenian announcement. The community said it considered the order an act of vandalism.

Gen. Antranig is an Armenian hero who led battles for the liberation movement of Armenia, including those for independence. He organized the defense efforts in Sassoun and Zangezour.

He died in Fresno on August 31, 1927 and was buried in Paris until the Armenian government in 2000 arranged the relocation of his remains to Armenia where they are interred at Yerablour National Cemetery in Yerevan.


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. bigmoustache said:

    put it up anyway, and look its the hamshen armenians making a stand.
    its shameful to bow to such demands

  2. Lusik said:

    Reading about this violation of human rights in far Sochi and a biased article by Barry in May 31-st NYT we see a working propaganda machine fueled by azeri money and turkish sabotage signaling arrival of new era in history of Russia and US, respectively.

    Does Armenian diplomatic establishment react to and use wisely these examples of white-hatred?

  3. Svetlana Swanson said:

    The weaker you become the more you will be pushed around, bullied, trampled.
    Armenians have only one option, to win! Gain the respect of their adversaries.

  4. ST. ECHMIADZIN said:

    Where is our Russian-Armenian community . We have very strong community there.

  5. Osmanoglu said:

    Before 2002 they would have not demolished that. After 9 years with AKP, the economy of Turkey is the key factor of having “friends”. In the past the old turkish brains thought, only military strength can handle things out, this gov knows very well, only economic strength is the key for power…. great attitude.

  6. Paul said:

    Like American’s say,Money talks bullshit walks. Armenians come together or else you will lose this war.

  7. hi said:

    statue of general Antranik must come down,wich is unveiled for t he event but statue of world criminaal anvar or talat pasa is okay instead.

  8. Ararat said:

    One would assume the permission to build General Andranik’s statue must have been granted to Armenians prior to building it so then what right do they have to demand to take it down during the unveiling of the statue for the May 28 independence day celebrations?

    If true and the fact that the decision to take down the statue came from Moscow is rather disturbing. One can’t help but question the sincerity of Armenia-Russia relations to a point that Turkey is able to blackmail Russian authorities by bribing them to pay for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in return for anti-Armenian policies. I guess they have been very successful buying and bribing many corrupt US politicians that they are applying the same tactics in that part of the world now.

    As for the Azeris in this article, they remind of hyenas in the wild who always follow the bigger and more lethal carnivore, Turkey in this case, so they can take part in scavenging the kills made by them. They are like some sort of parasites who piggyback on larger animals to feed themselves.

    I think Armenians should stand resolute and demand their rights as Russian citizens to keep the statue and remind the Russians who makes policies in that country, the Russians or the anti-Armenian genocidal Turks through bribery.

    No one knows these cunning, coward, racist Turks like we Armenians do. My personal suggestion is you fight fire with fire. Find a spot in liberated Karabakh that’s scared to Azeris and level it to the ground and build General Andranik’s statue there!

  9. Vacheh said:

    Zoravar Andranik’s statue should be transferred with dignity to Armenia where it belongs. The Armenians of Krasnodar must realize that they shouldn’t have left Armenia to begin with. They should have stayed in Armenia and help building the homeland. Krasnodar is not our homeland. We can then build a very tall statue of Zoravar Andranik near the border to Azerbaijan (either in Armenia or in Artsakh) to tell the Tatars and their cousin Seljuks that the spirit of Zoravar Andranik is alive and resides in many of us. We will come after their “rear end” to settle our historical accounts.

    Verjabes menk oonink kriv.
    Zenkerov pidi makrent hashiv.
    Mer hayreniats parkn oo badiv
    Serop Pashan siroghe togh ga.

  10. MK said:

    It shows the weakness of the Russian Armenian community’s leadership in allowing such a scandal to happen,the decision needs to be reversed ASAP.

  11. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    They killed one and half million lives
    Vanished 2600 churches from every where in turkey…
    Invaded Ayasofia turned it to mosque
    Crushed 1000 Khatchars in Nakhechevan
    Now they are after monuments in Kars…in Sochi
    As they can’t kill more humans
    They want to revenge from carved rocks
    They are not far from Talabans
    Already gagged the Statue of Liberty
    Soon they will bring it down…
    Let every one read and awake…!

  12. Gregory said:

    It is quite disgraceful that the Armenian community is being deprived of a statue of their national hero. If indeed the report is true, that the reson given was:

    “The authorities explained their decision saying that the unveiling of the statue might anger Turkey, which could refuse to take part in the construction of facilities for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in 2014″

    then it just shows what moral compas Russia holds today.

  13. James Kizirian said:

    First of all General Antranig did not die in Fresno. He passed away in Chico, Ca.
    Today there is a monument there in his honor and no one who wants to please the
    Turks can take that monument down. Our Lord described the characteristics of the Turks.
    “Satan comes not but to steal, to destroy and to kill” The Turks are experts in
    stealing, in killing and destroying. Same characteristics of the devil.

  14. Hrant K. said:

    It is the spirit of General Antranig Pasha, that the turks and azeris are afraid of, and whatever

    he represents! His liberation of Erzerum and Erzingan, his organizing the defence efforts in Sassoun

    Mush , Van and Zankezour that the tuks and azeris are afraid of. I don’t think the Russian brothers

    would be as low as the azeri hooligans, that destroyed the Khachkars in Nakhitchevan a few years

    ago. It is General Antranig’s being a native of Trabizon, that the turks are afraid of, because that

    reassures the claims of President Woodrow Wilson’s Arbitral Border between Armenia and turkey,

    in which Trabizon lies within Armenian territory! the turks are simply used to destroying or ordering

    destruction,that’s what they are good at! We will build Thousands of General Antranig’s Monuments ,

    should it be removed, and each monument 10 times larger than the current one! This is our answer to the

    coward azeris and turks!!! (7) God bless General Antranig’s sacred soul and curse the dirty Britts, who

    had worked against him and damn them forever!!! (7)

  15. Avetis said:

    This was a foolish step by Armenians; and I don’t blame Russian officials in this matter. There are many millions more Turks/Azeris/Tatars/Muslims than Armenians in Russia… What if one day they decided to erect a monument to Talaat Pasha or Abdul Hamid or Ataturk… What then? Russia is Armenia number one strategic ally. Armenians cannot allow foolish and/or sentimental matters such as this turning into political problems. Similar to what Jews do in places like Washington, Armenians must learn how to effectively take the fight behind closed doors in the Kremlin…

  16. Hrant K. said:

    Osmanoglu lets see your friends’ reaction after AKP launching the 2nd Flotilla to Gaza, and Davudoglu’s

    and Erdogan’s arrogant remarks henceforth??? (7)

  17. Hovik said:

    Would Armenia’s government stand and notify Russia if the statue is taken down, Armenia will not only refuse to take part in the construction of facilities for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in 2014 but will also boycott and will not participate to the Olympic Games as well?

  18. Hrant K. said:

    So what if Turkey is angered by the unveiling of the monument. And so let them not participate

    in the construction of the Olympic fascilities! Who gives a damn. Where is the Russian Integrity?

    Where is the Russian-Armenian historic and traditional brotherhood! It seems $40billion trade

    with Turkey and the Caspian Oil Petrodollars of Azerbaijan are making Moscow Colourblind. Prime

    Minister Putin is definitely not behind this Conspiracy of removing the Monument !!!(7)

  19. bigmoustache said:

    we can sit aside as the turkish president gives a gift to medvev of the treaty of versailles but we cant erect a statue of our national hero in our own town?

  20. Kaloust said:

    I say… put it up there. Let them “demolish”, make a video and post it on youtube. Let it be documented for the world to see. As they say, “there are fights, that are not worth to fight and there are fights, that you must fight, even when you know, that you will lose”. This is a must fight, to fight for the respect we deserve.