During the parallel rallies on February 25, a number of false and manipulative allegations were made. Both the rallies and the manipulations were carried out by both the pro-government and the opposition wings.
Statements of “My Step” and the General Staff
Several media outlets immediately wrote that the statement of the General Staff (GS) on February 25 was considered by the “My Step” faction as “a political statement made by separate military personnel.”
The announcement posted on the “My Step” Facebook page did not contain the wording “separate military․”
The statement of the General Staff was signed by 40 high-ranking military officials. With this, the RA Armed Forces demanded the resignation of the RA Prime Minister and the Government. The reason was “the dismissal of the 1st Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the RA Armed Forces for short-sighted and unjustified reasons.”
The General Staff later reaffirmed its position, stating that the statement issued in the morning “was not directed by anyone or made under pressure from anyone.” According to the General Staff, it is the clear conviction and position of the generals and officers, whose goal is one – to “serve the salvation of the homeland at this crucial moment.”
Why didn’t Pashinyan serve in the army?
Former Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan announced in Freedom Square that the dismissed Deputy Chief of General Staff during the first Artsakh war, at the age of 19, left his studies and went to war.
“Where was Nikol then? Hiding behind his brothers, the others, saying that I am studying at the institute. If you were a patriot, you would take up arms. As many students, forming detachments, went to fight,” Ohanyan said from the podium.
Nikol Pashinyan referred to this topic in 2017, explaining why he did not serve. There was no excerpt about education in his explanation. “In 1991, according to the law on conscription, because my two brothers had served, the third brother was discharged from the army,” he said.
The ARF representative quoted the statement of Bright Armenia expressing disagreement with the Prime Minister. The position of Bright Armenia, however, is broader.
ARF member Gegham Manukyan said in Freedom Square that the Bright Armenia party “stated that no, Nikol, you are wrong, this is not an attempt at a coup d’etat. Nikol has been left alone.”
The leader of Bright Armenia Edmon Marukyan really considered that the statement of the General Staff is not an attempt at a military coup. At the same time, Gevorg Gorgisyan, a member of the party council, called on citizens not to take part in rallies convened either by the Prime Minister or against the Prime Minister, “because in this tense situation it can lead to clashes.” The party council also announced, “The political crisis in the country is deepening, and there is a need to return the processes to the political arena immediately. Otherwise, there is a great danger of clashes and a new ‘March 1.'”
An old announcement was spread in the press
The old statement made by the first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan on November 10, 2020, was spread in the press. The text was published by times.am, mamul.am, bavnews.am and other websites. Mediamax.am and irakanum.am spread it, but soon removed the old announcement.
Turkey did not support Pashinyan
Top-news.am website editor Gegham Nazaryan stated that “the Turkish Foreign Minister expresses his support to Nikol Pashinyan.” Editor-in-Chief of “Aravot” newspaper Aram Abrahamyan also wrote, “Çavuşoğlu is in step with “My Step.”
The Turkish Foreign Minister stated that Turkey is against any kind of coup and condemns the coup attempt in Armenia. “We are against coups and coup attempts anywhere in the world,” said Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. He noted that the call for the resignation of the elected government by the military is unacceptable.
Karo Palyan, an Armenian member of the Turkish parliament, also condemned the attempted military coup.
There have been several attempts at a military coup in Turkey. The last military coup attempt took place in 2016 and failed.
The official statements of Russia and Armenia are different
On February 25, Prime Minister Pashinyan had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The statements spread by the two sides about the conversation, however, were different.
The Armenian side noted that “President Putin expressed his support for the legitimate authorities of Armenia and expressed hope for a speedy settlement of the situation.” The Russian side, however, reported that Putin spoke “in favor of maintaining order in Armenia, settling the situation within the law. The Russian leader called on all parties to show restraint.”
Denials and clarifications
? The Telegram channel “Mediaport,” which is connected with the adviser of the former Chief of Police Vladimir Gasparyan and far-right activist Narek Malyan, announced that a plane had been prepared, “Nikol Pashinyan plans to flee Armenia.” The Prime Minister denied this information during the march․ “We are here and in our homeland no matter what, my family is here, we will also invite them to come and walk with us as proof.” The Prime Minister’s son, Ashot, was with him. Later, his wife and daughter joined him.
? In a conversation with Panarmenian.net, the Ministry of Defense clarified, “There are military planes in the sky of Yerevan, as training-planned flights are going on, they are of regular nature and are not connected with the political events of February 25.”