Staunton, Oct. 27 – Despite the influx of Russians fleeing from mobilization and their contribution to a dramatic rise in the GDP of Armenia over the last year, “Russian is disappearing from the streets of Yerevan” where street signs are now to be found in Armenian and English, Georgy Yans says.
The study of Russian is still required in Armenian schools, the Russian visitor says; but young Armenians prefer to study English because their dream is to go to America, however much sympathy they may have for what Russia has done for their country in the past (mk.ru/social/2022/10/27/s-ulic-erevana-ischezaet-russkiy-yazyk.html).
According to Yans, “Armenians love Russia” for its past services above all for its help in restoring that Caucasus republic after the 1988 earthquake, an event that remains part of the national memory and may be just as important in defining how people think about things than the Qarabagh dispute with Azerbaijan.
That Armenian memory must be recalled by those who analyze the current differences of opinion between Yerevan and Moscow about how to address relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan especially as ever more of them, both in Moscow and the West, are inclined to suggest that Russia has “lost” Armenia.
As long as people remember Spitak, the epicenter of the earthquake, and what Moscow did to help then, as well as the more general feeling that Christian Russia has defended Christian Armenia against the Muslim Turks and Azerbaijanis, the possibility that Armenia will stop loving Russia even if it stops using Russian and looks to the West is close to zero.
Window on Eurasia — New Series