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Archbishop and Supporters Leave Sardarapat Memorial, Making Room for Pashinyan’s Visit


Archbishop and Supporters Leave Sardarapat Memorial, Making Room for Pashinyan’s Visit

Today, on Armenia’s First Republic Day, May 28, the events were marked by both traditional ceremonies and political tensions.


Early Morning at Sardarabad



At 6 AM, Ani Khachatryan from The Armenian Report arrived at the Battle of Sardarabad memorial in Armavir Province. Hundreds of Armenian citizens had gathered there at the request of anti-government leader Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan. Every year, government authorities gather at Sardarabad to pay their respects. This year, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and other officials were expected to arrive.


Prime Minister’s Absence



By 8 AM, news spread that Prime Minister Pashinyan would not be attending the ceremony at Sardarabad. A stage had been set up for his arrival, and in previous years, an award ceremony was held here on the occasion of First Republic Day. However, this year, the award ceremony was held at the President’s residence instead. 


During the ceremony, President Vahagn Khachaturyan, Prime Minister Pashinyan, and other high-ranking officials were present. President Khachaturyan signed a decree, based on Pashinyan’s recommendation, awarding the military rank of Major General to Colonel Sergey Hovsepi Petrosyan, the head of the Military Topographic Service of the RA Armed Forces.


Petrosyan is the man who was seen in the car without a license plate in the Kirants village during the border delimitation and demarcation. According to our video footage, Petrosyan is seen to be a part of the border delimitation process.


Archbishop’s Speech and Rally



At 10 AM, Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, the opposition's candidate for Prime Minister, gave a speech to his followers at Sardarabad. He spoke about the historical importance of Sardarapat and criticized PM Pashinyan’s absence. He then urged his followers to drive back to Yerevan.


Increased Security and Speculations



By 2 PM, Ani Khachatryan reported a heavy presence of police, military officers, and security personnel at Sardarabad. Public TV of Armenia was also setting up for a live stream, indicating that the Prime Minister might still visit the memorial.


The Arrival of Religious Leaders



At 2:30 PM, Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II, and accompanying clergy arrived at Sardarabad. Initially, special police forces blocked their entrance, stating that the area was closed due to the Prime Minister’s impending arrival. Eventually, they allowed the religious leader to enter, pray, lay flowers, and leave. The Armenian Report captured footage of the Catholicos arriving and leaving – and he declined to comment.


Prime Minister’s Visit



At 3 PM, Prime Minister Pashinyan, President Khachaturyan, National Assembly President Alen Simonyan, ruling party Civil Contract Members of Parliament, and heads of Ministries attended the Sardarabad Memorial. No press was allowed inside during Pashinyan’s visit.


After the Visit



By 4 PM, citizens were seen rearranging the memorial wreaths at Sardarabad after Pashinyan left. Wreaths from the Archbishop’s movement, PM Pashinyan, former Presidents Kocharyan and Sargsyan, Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, and others had been placed at the memorial. During Pashinyan’s visit, wreaths belonging to the opposition were removed. After he left, citizens brought them back.



Conclusion


Today’s events at Sardarabad reflect the ongoing political tensions in Armenia. While the nation celebrates its historical independence, the political divide is evident. Despite these tensions, the significance of First Republic Day remains a unifying factor, reminding Armenians of their resilience and the importance of their national heritage.

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