Wife of Armenian PM goes to the front in Karabakh war
Anna Hakobyan, wife of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, announced on October 26 that she has begun “military training and will be sent to the front to protect the homeland”.
On October 5, her son Ashot Pashinyan volunteered to go to the front in Karabakh. He was born in 2000 and had only recently returned from mandatory military service.
“Starting tomorrow, a squadron consisting of 13 women, including myself, will start training. In a few days, we will be sent out to protect the border of our homeland. We must concede neither our homeland nor our dignity to our adversaries”, wrote 42-year-old Anna Hakobyan on her Facebook page.
The current wave of fighting in the Karabakh conflict zone broke out on September 27, 2020. On the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides, several thousand people have already died among the military and civilians. An armistice has been declared thrice during this period—on October 10, 18 and 26—but each time it was immediately broken. Both parties accuse each other of non-compliance with the ceasefire.
Anna Hakobyan is the chief editor of the Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper. She also founded the My Step charitable foundation and initiated the Women for Peace movement.
On October 21, Anna Hakobyan sent a letter to the First Ladies of the USA, France, Canada, Brazil, Lebanon, Singapore, Lithuania, Argentina and Vietnam, urging them to to “recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh, the civilian population of which is being attacked by Azerbaijan”.
She also wrote that it is difficult for her to look into the eyes of mothers whose sons are no longer near them.
In September 2020, Anna Hakobyan completed a week-long combat training course in one of the military bases of Nagorno-Karabakh. This was reported on its official website.
The family of Anna and Nikol Pashinyan have four children, one son and three daughters.
On the first day that fighting broke out, September 27, the prime minister spoke before parliament and said that he was ready to die for the Motherland “today”. He later repeated this during one of his live feeds on his Facebook page and said that “he is not going to the front line, as he has to do his job”.
• The Karabakh war is an armed conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis that took place in 1991-1994 on the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region of Azerbaijan and the surrounding regions. The war ended with the signing of an armistice, but skirmishes continue periodically.
The Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh Republic exists as a de facto independent republic, not recognized by any state in the world, including Armenia. Azerbaijan considers Karabakh and the territories around, which were seized during the war to be occupied, and demands they be returned.
Negotiations on the settlement of the conflict with international mediation have so far failed.
The last outbreak of full-scale hostilities—the so-called “April War” or “Four-Day War”—occurred in April 2016. As a result, dozens of people died on both sides.