BY ARTAK BARSEGHYAN Exclusive to Public Radio of Armenia (PRA)
Travel blogger Vlad Mosesov, better known as Vlad Maga, who recently visited Azerbaijan with a Belarusian passport, is receiving racist threats after his trip. The blogger, who says his father is Armenian and his mother is Russian, believes the threats are connected with the fact that he revealed his Armenian identity.
“People started seeing the negative in everything after I revealed my Armenian roots. It was a shock for me,” Mosesov said.
Mosesov said that the threats include claims that the video included provocations and that he was paid by some country to defame Azerbaijan.
“I want to make clear once and for all that I’m working exceptionally for my channel, that I’m an ordinary blogger, a 23-year old guy with a camera. This content is not for sale,” he said.
The blogger said he had never experienced difficulties regarding his Armenian identity before this trip.
“I felt the conflict during the trip to Azerbaijan,” he said.
Mosesov says he faced constant mistrust in Azerbaijan. Somewhere near Kirovabad (Ganja), he was searched by police and was lucky to be given shelter by two guys.
“I’m saying this is a tourist, not as an ‘embittered Armenian’ as they are calling me there. I was initially traveling and just assessing the situation,” Mosesov said.
He said tourists visiting the country never tell the truth regarding the authorities’ hostility toward Armenians. Mosesov said a visit to Armenia is on the agenda, but he is not in a rush.
“If the situation gets worse, I think I’ll have to go there,” he said.
In a YouTube video published July 10, the blogger stated that the situation in Azerbaijan is very unstable.
“I came to Azerbaijan with peace, like any other country I visited before,” Mosesov said. “My purpose was to show the people as they are. For some reason, many did not see anything good in it. Everyone just saw negative things, though I showed people who hosted me in their home, gave me bread, helped me with the journey.”
Vlad urged everyone to share the video.
“Spread the video, spread my story. Only that way I will be safe,” he said.