Large rallies have continued in the Armenian capital, with protesters demanding that PM Nikol Pashinyan’s government step down
Armenian police detain a protestor during demonstration in downtown Yerevan on September 20, 2023. © AFP / Karen Minasyan
Mass protests continued in the Armenian capital for the second straight day on Wednesday, prompted by a new escalation in Azerbaijan’s breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Protesters gathered in Yerevan’s government quarter, denouncing Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan as a “traitor” to the Armenian people and demanding that he step down over what they view as his failure to help the predominantly ethnically Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The rally was marred by violence, as protesters trying to breach government buildings faced off against a large police force guarding them.
Footage from the scene shows police officers clad in riot gear scuffling with the crowd. Several people were reportedly injured during the skirmishes.
By late Wednesday, however, the unrest had seemingly waned, as most protesters had left the government quarter.
A separate rally was held outside Russia’s embassy in Yerevan by protesters blaming the Nagorno-Karabakh situation on Moscow. Many demonstrators were seen waving US, EU, and even Ukrainian flags, as well as ripping up and burning Russian passports.