“Even if you look at the ongoing processes through the microscope, you cannot see any foreign political or domestic political components in the demonstrations. People do not want electricity to grow in price. That’s all,” said Pashinyan. He said electric power is first of all a product: the Electric Networks sells it and the citizens buy it. “The protest actions should be considered as protection of consumers’ rights. Politics is nowhere near,” he said.
But politics were very near, including politicians like Pashinyan himself, who made it a point to visit jailed protesters throughout the failed uprising and even at one point called for the construction of a “human wall” of prominent Armenian personalities between protesters and police. US State Department-funded Armenia Now (of the New Times Journalist Training Center) reported in their article, “Politics in the Middle: Lawmakers, public figures form “human wall” between police, protesters,” that:
The appeal to create a human wall was made by opposition lawmaker Nikol Pashinyan late on Tuesday as he urged all former and current MPs, scholars, show-biz representatives, lawyers, reporters, religious representatives and other public figures to visit the standoff site in order to ensure no force is applied against the protesters.
Other obvious ties between the protests, Pashinyan, and US-backed NGOs have been laid out by geopolitical analyst Andrew Korybko in his article, “‘Electric Yerevan’ is Sliding Out of Control.”
Despite these links, some have attempted to claim Pashinyan was merely an opportunist and that his US-backing, and attempts by US NGOs to manipulate the protests had little to do with the protests themselves. But nothing could be further from the truth.
America’s next generation of “color revolutions” attempt to obfuscate all possible ties between themselves and their agitators in an attempt to take back the strategic initiative by maintaining maximum plausible deniability. But if one knows where to look, they will find that no amount of obfuscation and subterfuge can cover the links between the US State Department and its mobs.
The protests were the work of the “No To Plunder” group, led by lawyers and activists emanating from the US State Department National Endowment for Democracy (NED), USAID, and Open Society-funded Armenian Young Lawyers Association (AYLA) and the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office who openly coordinated efforts with “No To Plunder” to pressure the government on a number of issues.
At least 2 members of AYLA, Ara Gharagyozyan and Arthur Kocharyan, were identified as core members of “No To Plunder.” AYLA’s news website “Iravaban” would list a number of young lawyers and activists attending one of its internship programs in 2014. Iravaban would also cover the protests in intricate detail from start to end, as well as report on activities AYLA and the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office undertook to support the protests.
A number of other pro-protest “news sites” included Hetq, which while it admits it is funded by convicted financial criminal George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, does not list the US NED as a sponsor – NED however does list Hetq. There is also Media.am, funded by USAID as well as the European Endowment for Democracy. All of this adds up to a large network of locally-based but foreign funded and directed media outlets that help add the illusion of consensus to disinformation spread regarding the protests.
Together with US-funded training programs indoctrinating students and training lawyers and activists in the finer arts of sedition, then allowing them to go off on their own to lead mobs, the US believes sufficient plausible deniability has been created to hide ties between themselves and protest leaders. Similar efforts have been made in both Hong Kong and more recently in Thailand, where overtly US-backed mobs have been replaced by students trained, then unleashed by US-proxies.
Despite this careful arrangement, the “Electric Yerevan” protests never reached critical mass. The reason for this is simple – they were suspected of being US-backed and the more overt US assets that would eventually need to move in to lead the protests were unable to, lest they confirmed that suspicion and undermined the entire effort. Without these more mainstream assets moving in and providing support, larger protests are logistically and politically impossible.
How to Shoot Down a Stealth Coup
Russia’s emerging media influence on the world stage played an essential role in unmasking and disrupting America’s efforts to destabilize and overthrow the government in Armenia. The ability to be one step ahead of the Western-narrative and expose the players before they even take to the stage, meant that people already knew what to look for.
When the protesters hit the streets, and as the protests dragged on, US NGOs and Western media reports supporting the protests confirmed initial Russian warnings. When clumsy, overt assets like Pashinyan began getting involved, there was little doubt that electrical prices, while a real point of contention, were being used as a means to create a larger, more disruptive, and ultimately dangerous attempt at foreign-backed regime change.
In the future, the government of Armenia should be careful about giving such points of contention for foreign interests to use in the first place – meaning that dedication to economic and social progress cannot be ignored, even if one is confident they can tamp down potential protests.
Other nations around the world have a lot to learn from how Russia disrupted this latest attempt by America to project power beyond its shores and disrupt the lives of a sovereign people thousands of miles away. By simply informing people of what is really going on, following the money, and exposing the players involved, people in Armenia were able to assess for themselves whether or not to support the mobs – they chose wisely not to. Were Armenia to adopt similar laws as Russia’s regarding NGOs – mandating that they declare openly and often their foreign funding – people can better assess whether or not mobs these NGOs are supporting are truly marching for their interests, or Wall Street and Washington’s.