Arm yourselves. Defend our country. And we will do our part here to save our country by changing the power.

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Armenian Minister of Defense, 1992-VICTORY
Armenian National Committee, 2023-VICTORY
Republic Square
September 20, 2023
When I was a child I was reading a book on how the 1915 Genocide happened I was surprised. I asked my dad, “How could it be the Armenians weren’t able to resist”, and he said, “Vazgen, it’s because we didn’t have an independent state”. And so I dedicated myself to our independence and we built an independent state.
Last time I was here in 1993 as Minister of Defense. I was accepting the military parade of our victorious troops. The tanks were passing, the artillery was passing, our soldiers were on parade.
Today we have a state and an army, and look what’s going on. Right in front of us, before the eyes of an independent Armenian state, the genocide of our compatriots in Artsakh is taking place. Who would have believed it.
Erdogan is saying we still have deals with Nikol on Syunik and the enclaves. Ask yourselves, what does it mean? When two states or people come to an agreement, it means, I give you this, you give me that. Have we gotten anything from Turkey and Azerbaijan? Then who got something out of this?
Nikol did. The most corrupt journalist of Armenia, who came to power under the banner of a fight against corruption. So if there is no Nikol, there are no more agreements.
Today many are in shock at the non-reaction from the world. They wonder how is it that these atrocious events are taking place in front of the international community and nobody is saying anything. Indeed, almost no one. France spoke, but those were mere expressions, however sincere. Russia didn’t say anything; it said, I’m mediating between both sides.
Which quote did they hold up as a reason? Nikol saying Artsakh is Azerbaijan. Of course, this had major implications, but many see what Zakharova and others are saying as an excuse. They see [Russia] is cooperating with Turkey, having sacrificed their interests. Yet the losses should have been only a centimeter, but because of Nikol, they had to give a kilometer.
You see, it hasn’t been that long we’ve had an independent state. And we still don’t fully accept how the world works. In this world you must be strong. You must strike first if you want others to respect you.
But there is no need to despair. We can come to new understandings with all players. We shall prove we’re a strong people, that we can defend ourselves, and that we can reconstitute our government.
This is not a political struggle. A political struggle is when you have two opposing ideas competing. Here, the enemy is in the heart of Armenia. The enemy of our nation and people.
I don’t agree when they say, stay calm. Yes, think calmly, but preserve your emotions and express them. We can’t have a national movement without love and hatred. Let love for your country sparkle in you and hatred toward the enemies burn. It is only with emotion we can do this. Brains alone will not fix anything. Rest assured, these authorities will be changed and new government will emerge. As to who it will be — let’s put that to one side. It will be someone upstanding, but we know today this one must go.
The country is going to stand up. We are going to come out of this challenge even stronger. Yes, we’re going to face major hurdles, but Armenia and Artsakh are going to get back on their feet.
Heroic people, do not whine. Conduct yourselves as the heroes you are. If you read Leo’s book, Armenians in the East were the best soldiers. Everybody wanted to have Armenian troops in their ranks. Historically, I esteem that the top five soldiers in the world have been German, Russian, Ukrainian — at one time Turks — and us. We’ve had a sterling military. We are an amazing people.
It is a common belief that the Karabakh Committee was an extremely powerful and influential group that was able to reshape the course of history of the country, and even the USSR itself. It’s true, and then again it doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s true in the sense that this was how things worked out, but it also doesn’t tell the whole story, because most of the actions back then were carried out by the people themselves.
Don’t think that there will be a committee telling you what to do every step of the way. Everybody: use your brain, use your heart — show initiative. Not everything needs to be cleared with us, everybody can fight in his or her own way. The government must understand they aren’t simply dealing with this committee, but with all of us. The blows should come from all directions, like the tentacles of an octopus.
Again, I call on you: be emotional, love your country, hate your enemies to the bone and think coldly.
I believe this is a new stage of our struggle. Previous movements were effective in some things, but now we’ve reached the stage where the Armenian nation understands that the same hell occurring in Artsakh is on its way to Armenia.
The enemy is going to say: the enclaves are ours and everyone there is an aggressor. I call on the people of Syunik to arm themselves. Arm yourselves, form squads, and do not rely solely on the army. Our army is up to the task, but it is in the hands of a person who uses it however he pleases.
Arm yourselves. Defend our country. And we will do our part here to save our country by changing the power.
Glory to Armenia, Glory to Artsakh!

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