On February 19, 2008 Armenians went to the polls to elect their next president. In a hotly contested vote, Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan was announced the winner in the first round by the Central Electoral Commission. The results were disputed by presidential candidate and former President Levon Ter-Petrosyan who, along with his supporters begins a series of protests in Freedom Square, claiming that the vote was rigged.  

The rallies that began the day after the election on February 20, lasted for ten days. Protesters in the tens of thousands with some estimates putting the number at over one hundred thousand on given days, would flock to Freedom Square daily. The rallies were peaceful and around the clock. At night, several hundred people would stay at the Square until morning. Many did not believe that police would attempt to disperse the protesters. However at around 6:30 a.m. on March 1, the police did move in and according to some reports, using bludgeons and electric shock devices, forcibly removed the protesters. Levon Ter-Petrosyan was apprehended and placed under house arrest. 

As news spread of the police operation, hundreds and then tens of thousands began assembling near Miasnikyan Square as Freedom Square was cordoned off. By the afternoon of March 1, it is estimated that over 100,000 people have gathered. Clashes take place between protesters and security personnel including riot police, Spetsnaz, armored personnel carriers and other military hardware.

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By early evening, reports circulate of an impending state of emergency. At 10:30 p.m. that night, Robert Kocharyan announces a 20-day state of emergency as clashes continue early into the morning hours of March 2. Tanks continue roll into the city. By the morning of March 2, there are eight confirmed deaths with hundreds more injured; two more would die later in hospital.

The residents of Yerevan wake up to burnt out cars, looted stores, destroyed streets, army units standing in position in Republic Square and an eerie silence.

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Photos credits 
Piruza Khalapyan: 1
Anahit Hayrapetyan: 2-3- 4-7- 8-9- 10-11-14-17-18  
Nazik_Armenakyan: 5-6 -15- 19
Nelli Shishmanyan: 12- 13- 16

EVN Report discusses the election campaign and the process of the vote on Election Day in a series of Facebook Live interviews. 

Interviews dedicated to the 30th Anniversary of the Karabakh Movement 

 Portraits of Memory - Aram Manukyan  

 Portraits of Memory - Harutyun Marutyan 

Portraits of Memory: Gyumri

 

This year marks not only the 30th anniversary of the earthquake, but also the 30th anniversary of the start of the Karabakh Movement. Before the Velvet Revolution, EVN Report traveled to Gyumri to talk to the people there about their memories, concerns and dreams for the future. These are the voices of the participants of the 1988 Movement from Gyumri.

 

 

 

Introspective Armenia: Portraits of Memory

Dedicated to the 30th Anniversary of the Karabakh Movement

 

The 1988 Karabakh Movement brought about a period of intense and sweeping changes and the people of Armenia were leading the charge. 

 

 

Ինտրոսպեկտիվ Հայաստան. Հիշողության դիմանկարներ

Նվիրվում է Ղարաբաղյան շարժման 30-ամյակին

1988-ին սկասած Ղարաբաղյան Շարժումը ինտենսիվ և վիթխարի փոփոխությունների ժամանակաշրջան էր, որն առաջնորդում էր հայ ժողովուրդը: 

 

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