Leaked US Cables Criticize Mafia Lifestyle of Armenia’s Ruling Class

YEREVAN (RFER/RL)–The U.S. State Department has refused to comment on the veracity of newly published documents that show top American diplomats in Yerevan criticizing the state of affairs in Armenia.

A Russian whistle-blowing website, which claims to be a partner of WikiLeaks, published this week what it called cables sent to Washington by U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and her former deputy, Joseph Pennington.

Yovanovitch purportedly analyzed a spate of high-profile killings and other violent incidents that happened in Armenia in October 2009. In one of those incidents, a nephew of President Serzh Sarkisian reportedly beat up and badly injured a man at a Yerevan nightclub.

The cable attributed to Yovanovitch says violence perpetrated by senior Armenian officials, government-linked businessmen and their relatives appears to have become the norm in the country. There is a widespread sense of impunity among such individuals, she allegedly wrote.

Another purported cable was sent to Washington by Pennington in April 2008 and focused on emigration from Armenia. The diplomat, who was the U.S. charge d’affaires in Yerevan at the time, allegedly suggested that the process accelerated after the February 2008 presidential election and the ensuing government crackdown on the Armenian opposition.

More and more middle-class Armenians are losing faith in their country’s future, he said, according to the Russian website.

The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan on Wednesday declined to say whether the documents are authentic. In a statement sent to RFE/RL’s Armenian service, it said only that U.S. diplomatic cables often carry “tentative and incomplete” assessments of the situation in a particular country and do not necessarily reflect U.S. foreign policy.

The statement also reiterated the State Department’s strong condemnation of the disclosure by WikiLeaks and other news sources of its secret diplomatic correspondence.


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  1. MK said:

    The ruling class of Armenia whether its Serzh or the previous lot are sadly the Mubarak’s of Armenia.

  2. Avetis said:

    I think the ARF should act more responsible and stop its disseminating CIA inspired anti-Armenia propaganda. We all know there are problems in Armenia. All nations have problems. Stop participating in Washington’s Psyops…

  3. mko said:

    Of course the regime in Armenia will deny the report and so will the State Department. As if all this mob-style activity in the RA government was a secret or something. The really sad aspect is that it has permeated all sectors – army, police, tax authority, etc.

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  5. Arsineh said:

    While the source of criticism is difficult to stomach, the alleged statements address a growing concern of mine. There are increasing stories about cousins, nephews, relatives of Sargsyan and Kocharian involved in this kind of thuggery, it is becoming commonplace. I’m hardly surprised when I hear about someone getting killed by these thugs anymore. The question is, where is the moral fabric of this nation to battle these disease? There is no one left for the people to trust, they just assume play the game instead. The people are losing.

  6. Harutiun said:

    Why is this State Department propaganda considered worthy to be news? Let Washington worry about its Mafia that it currently driving this nation to hell…

  7. Berge Jololian said:

    The Failed-US-State-Department has no credibility. Nothing can be trusted or believed from sources that are hell bent on forcing Armenia to capitulate. The failed-US-SD spreads its strategic-misrepresentations in the region; they feel good at flexing their “power” on Armenia, but can’t do a thing vis-a-vis Turkey. They are blinded by gas & oil and pursuing the wrong policies.

  8. Z said:

    She doesn’t have to confirm whether it’s true or false. We all know it’s true. It’s disgusting.
    They don’t understand that the most precious wealth of a nation is it’s PEOPLE.
    If the people are doing bad, are leaving the country, the country dies.
    How will they rule over an empty country. They need to respect the people and work for their welfare. Otherwise they’ll destroy their country by themselves, for good, without the help of the turcic neighbors.

  9. AK said:

    As far as the accelerating emigration from Armenia, I am of the opinion that this is a good thing.
    I see Armenia as overpopulated; it imports more than half of its food. On a macroeconomic level, emigrants provide essential remittance income to those who remain in Armenia. They also tend to bring with them their parents and other elderly people, and this reduces Armenian governmental pension and other elderly services expenditures.

    Just my two cents, don’t bite my head off.

  10. facts said:

    Nothing new alt all but maybe president and his party members will read these cables and re-think or end at lest some of there illegal action … every single Armenia is aware of this facts…. Still ruling regime and radical opposition are in no way concern about such developments but securing there own power- each in there own way!!

  11. Berge Jololian said:

    Yovanovitch and her failed-US-State Department have no credibility. We know that they are determined to crush and force Armenia to capitulate. These sources can not be trusted. Yovanovitch should worry about her own country’s failures, oligarchs and corruptions galore. When it comes to oligarchs, corruption and startegic mis-representations the US wrote the “How To” book. Whatever happened to the Oligarch Madoff for stealing over US $150 billion; or the failed-corrupt US banks, and numerous financial corruptions by Wall Street institutions. After billions of bailout US-tax payers money, Banks continue to gauge consumers with upwards of 20% interest and failed loans. Any comments form Yovanovitch?

  12. Avetis said:

    This is the bottom line: Had Armenia’s authorities been Washington’s puppets, we would not hear a single bad word about them in the controlled press. Because Armenia is in a crucially important alliance with the Russian Federation, it will continue being a victim of Washington’s Psyops…

  13. Harutiun said:

    Problems in Armenia needs constructive criticism, political activism and time to resolve. We need sociopolitical evolution in Armenia – not a Western funded revolution. What the hell is it going to take Armenians to realize that there is a concerted effort to spread poisonous propaganda in Armenia. The intent is quite clear – encourage emigration, encourage not serving in the military, encourage social/political unrest, encourage anti-Russian sentiments. Armenia has been for a long time a target of serious psyops and this has recently gotten worst as a result of Armenia’s deepening ties with Russia. All I want us Armenians to do is to stop spreading poison and wake up to the political world around us!

  14. Berge Jololian said:

    Washington’s failed-US-State-Department policies and hostile counterproductive approaches towards Armenia is what forces Armenia deeper and deeper into Russian alliance. The bottom line is, if there is no restorative justice to Armenia (Land, Reparation and Restitution) there will be NO energy pipelines (gas & oil) to the Caspian Basin and Central Asia. That is exactly why the US SD is failing to achieve access and control of the world’s largest gas & oil fields. US SD failed in its approach with Turkey to open its borders with Armenia; the same US SD failed to reign in Azerbaijan war rhetoric; and the same US SD failed in controlling Georgia’s Saakashvili, deemed unreliable and unstable to risk Europe’s energy supplies. This makes Armenia the only viable route. After 20 years, the US SD still does not get it – Armenia can not be crushed or forced to capitulate.

  15. Aram said:

    I don’t understand why the Armenian people don’t revolt like the Egyptians did recently, and like the Georgians did I think a couple of years ago. Why are Armenians so afraid of other Armenians?

  16. Avetis said:

    Armenians don’t revolt simply because the see that those waiting to gain power are the real criminals and traitors… Serj’s administration is the lesser of all evils.