What has changed?

A year ago as a result of mass protests in Armenia there was a change of government. Serzh Sargsyan, from 2008 to 2018, who served as President, and then headed the government, resigned from the post of Prime Minister of the country, transfers “Radio Freedom”.

The protests continued after his resignation, and new people came into power gradually as a result of popular pressure and compromise. But the principle of change of power to defend the protesters managed. A year later, the residents of different regions of Armenia reflect on how the “velvet revolution” 2018 impact on their lives.


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Varazdat Hambardzumyan, the sculptor, the famous stone Carver, Yerevan:


Photo: RFE/RL

– The previous government behaved very strange. They saw an old man digging in the garbage, but passed him by. If you said 50 years ago that something like that is possible in Armenia, you would not believe.

The revolution was for us a test and test. And decency won. And what could be more important than this? Now people have re-opened opportunities. Anyone can open a business without having to someone had come and closed it. The Republicans (the party retired in 2018 Serzh Sargsyan) are trying to confuse the issue, this means that the revolution has already proved to successful that we are moving in the right direction.

Now the Armenians have to gain a sense of understanding and love to each other. I think we’re starting to find it, but I’m still not entirely satisfied with how it turns out.


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Gaik Simonyan, the mathematics teacher in the village of Bagaran:


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– I don’t think something has changed in the education system. I see that the government does not know where to start to improve the situation. Can’t say that everything is so bad, it’s just all messy.

They want much from us, but they don’t give us the tools we need. Until recently, our school had one computer, but teachers have to give assignments electronically. Nineteen teachers, one computer, a lot of work and very slow Internet. What the hell?

I can speak to the authorities about these problems, but they can’t do anything because they have no money. That’s why they should care about the quality of education, not the bureaucracy and not about everything being stored electronically.

Many of the children have no purpose in life. They are at a loss. And it has to come from education: if you have a good school, if you understand the world around you, then you want to become part of this world. I want to give children a sense of meaning in life.


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Artak Simonyan, the priest in Etchmiadzin:


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Revolution – like a stormy wave. She washed ashore treasures, the lost ring, an expensive watch… But with all these riches on the beach and thrown a lot of garbage. People are still fascinated by the waves – all ready for a change in life. But we have to wait until the storm calms down and the waves will recede. And then we’ll see what’s left. Garbage? Or treasure? It is too early to judge.

While here, in Echmiadzin, the changes are felt. Each region might have your Manvel, so the city is deeply felt the benefits from the revolution. People feel happiness in my soul. (Member of the Republican party Sargsyan, Manvel Grigoryan was arrested June 16, 2018; during the search he found several hundred thousand dollars, an Arsenal of weapons and food, which was to be sent to the front in Nagorno-Karabakh, soldier rations Grigoryan fed tigers and bears in his private menagerie).


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Ruzan Avoyan, fruit saleswoman in Gyumri:


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– Gyumri – poor town. It is difficult to sell something. As always: if you don’t work, no one can help you. The revolution was not a failure, but let me say this: the revolution is like moving into a new house; it is still necessary to overcome the disadvantages and to buy back the furniture. Only an idiot would think that the revolution itself solve all.

We children were outside when the earthquake happened. (As a result of the 1988 earthquake killed 25 thousand people, the city of Gyumri was almost entirely destroyed). We are left with only the clothes in which we went outside. I did not sit idly by and built his own house. While some residents are still waiting, while the state will provide them with new housing and live in makeshift houses. Men ask: “Give me candy!”

Why is the government supposed to do? God gave you brains and language. Use them! The state has no money, they cease to hope.


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Radek, a shepherd in the village of Lernavan:


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– People feel more free. Free to Express your feelings and anxiety. Earlier people were afraid to tell something superfluous or wrong. Under the previous government, some oligarch-a Republican might have been very unhappy with the way we’re talking about their party.

Here in the mountains, we make our money on our animals, so the economic impact we have not seen. In Soviet times there was a factory, we could work. And nothing else will not help. People will be able to lead a decent life, if they have steady work. At home I have three women. And I contain them all, they only work in the home and in the field. Because it works for them there. And we are not closed-minded people. We want our women also worked and developed her career.


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Varujan Harutyunyan, a farmer near the village of Yeghegnadzor:


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Before the revolution small players business hasn’t been able to enter the export market. Was monopoly. From the point of view of the law, nothing has changed. But the antitrust laws began to work.

I love farming because you can immediately see the results of their work – if you work a lot, earn a lot. I can earn up to thousands of dollars per month, if strained.

I think about the country as about his family. If every member of the family works, the whole family successful. But if there is no desire to work, the family will fall apart. We have a segment of society that wants to live well, but not to work. That is why the Prime Minister (Nikol Pashinian. – RS) puffs out to at least achieve something, because people don’t want to help him.

People say, in Armenia there are no jobs. I don’t agree. They’re just too picky. It is not necessary to sit back and wait for something. If everyone took advantage of the opportunities that he has, we would live in the land of dreams.