On 8 February, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan introduced the government’s ‘revolutionary economic programme’. The programme promised to create ‘radical economic growth’, but critics say it lacks substance, putting too much emphasis on the actions of the public.
The Azerbaijani government has reacted swiftly in recent months to complaints in the media and online. While many speculate this may be a sign of a more open government in the country, others point to external factors and say they have seen it all before. [Read more…]
Yerevan’s homeless population comes from all over Armenia and beyond, but they all have ended up in the same place. There is one shelter in the city, with a capacity of 100, but it is not enough to house the hundreds living on Yerevan’s streets. [Read more…]
Film screenings of a K-pop concert, an anime festival, and a concert by Russian rapper Kreed — all cultural events cancelled in recent months after pressure from those claiming to be defenders of Daghestani culture and religion. But for those wishing to attend such events, the backlash has little to do with traditions and more a ‘desire to feel significant’.
The village of Salvard, 220 km from Yerevan in Armenia’s southernmost province, Syunik, lies near the border with Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan. With no gas connection and just a dirt road leading to the village, for years the young have migrated away; the local residents who have remained behind say the village is dying.
Reform of the oft-maligned Armenian Police Force is in full swing following April’s ‘Velvet Revolution’, with reformers frequently citing neighbouring Georgia as a blueprint. While the reforms seem to have made a real dent in corruption, calls to take on the force’s reputation for brutality appear to be gaining less traction.
While Azerbaijan’s authorities deny that there are political prisoners in the country’s prisons at all — local and international rights groups disagree. Many former prisoners and their families complain that those locked up on political grounds face not only an unjust deprivation of their liberty, but special prohibitions such as on reading and speaking with their families. [Read more…]
In Georgia, it’s generally assumed that jarti (scrap metal) collectors are simply called when people wish to get rid of their Soviet-era refrigerators, stoves, and other outdated pieces that carry valuable metal in them. However, a closer look at the uneasy industry shows how Georgia’s present situation reflects in the piles of tin, copper, and brass. [Read more…]
Salome Zurabishvili has been elected the 5th president of Georgia in 28 November’s presidential runoff, winning 60% of votes according to preliminary results. Her win is historic, given that she is the first woman to run and succeed in the marathon for the presidential seat. Constantly emphasising her European origins, she has promised to help Georgia integrate into NATO and the EU and as she likes to say, ‘bring Georgian society together’.
Almost a million Armenians live below the national poverty, around a third of the country. For over two decades successive governments have promised— and failed — to tackle poverty; following the Velvet Revolution, Pashinyan’s government has promised the same. [Read more…]