After Nikola Pashinyan came to power in the country and the period of stabilization of the political system of the Republic, his party “My step” received a parliamentary majority. In the context of the preservation of the parliamentary form of government, in fact, under the control of the “people’s” power passed all the main levers of government. The influence of non-governmental organizations and their activists has increased many times, most of which have become members of various state bodies and departments, the government and Parliament.
The open society – Armenia Institute, which is part of the international network of the open society Foundation by George Soros, occupies a Central place in the block of NGOs, strengthening their positions in the political field. All this gave rise to the phenomenon of “Soros” in power. This concept in the socio-political discourse is accepted to denote the forces oriented primarily to the West and associated with the network of funds of the American businessman.
The Foundation regularly faces an attempt to demonize it and to appoint it responsible for a number of foreign policy failures of the new government, primarily in the direction of building a constructive dialogue with Moscow and Stepanakert.
Our investigation is devoted to whether the data and many other allegations are solid, as well as how influential the Soros Fund is within the country
Within the Soros Foundation in Armenia, the directions of work for 2019-2022 are defined as follows:
1. Strengthening the liberal model of society as well as liberal discourse.
2. Opposition to the concept of development of the “National army” – the plan of the armed forces to increase the level of combat readiness of the army due to the active civilian population, General militarization and increased state funding.
3. Opposition to Russian “anti-liberal propaganda”.
4. Consolidation of youth and active civilians around Western values to form a loyal political force ready for action.
5. Expansion of the presence of representatives of controlled NGOs and loyal politicians in government structures, control over anti-corruption policy, influence on the course of electoral reforms and processes.
6. The struggle against the emerging dominant ideology of Patriarchal preservation and General militarization of the population.
7. Creation of the most favorable conditions for Armenia’s rapprochement with the Europian Union and the rupture of Yerevan’s relations with Moscow.
In addition to the stated goals, which can be briefly reduced to the dismantling of the dominant and centuries – old system of values, as well as the system of defense of the country, the personnel of the open society-Armenia Foundation is of interest for a deeper understanding of the interests of the organization.
Davit Khachatryan – Chairman of the Board of Directors, member of the Board since 2016. He received his doctorate in law in 2000 from Yerevan state University. From 2006 to 2013, he worked at the U.S. Embassy in Armenia and the U.S. Department of justice. During the year he was Vice-rector Of the Academy of justice of Armenia. Currently participates in various programmes of the Council of Europe and the European Union on legal practice, the rule of law, the judiciary and human rights. Special emphasis in his professional and scientific projects is placed on the independence of the judiciary, freedom of information and human rights. Bringing legal norms in line with European standards. Davit is the brother of the head of the Special investigation service of Armenia – Sasun Khachatryan.
Larisa Minasyan is executive Director of Soros Foundation in Armenia. Recently, it is often referred to as nothing more than a ” shadow Prime Minister»
Araik Kuruman – member of the Board from 2017. Independent researcher and consultant with experience in international development, public policy and governance. He worked in the Ministry of Finance of Armenia. Also-as an independent consultant in the projects of the world Bank, the European Union, the US Agency for international development on program budgeting, debt management. He holds a master’s degree from the American University of Armenia and an MBA from Tulane University, New Orleans, USA.
Ruben Babayan – member of the Board in 2016. General Director of “Yerevan state puppet theatre. G. Tumanyan”. Since 1995 he has been a lecturer at the Yerevan state Institute of theatre and cinematography. In 2006 he established the “National theatre and constructive organization”, and in 2008 – the festival “Theatre X”. Professor and honored artist of Armenia. He took part in many international festivals.
Zaruhi Hovhannisyan – member of the Board in 2018. A journalist, participant and founder of a number of NGOs, such as the prison monitoring group, runs the Stop violence against women page. A graduate of the Yerevan Conservatory, she was trained in the framework of the American program International Visitor Leadership Program.
Marianna Grigoryan is a member of the Board since 2018. Correspondent of a number of foreign publications, such as National Geographic, Washington Post, the Guardian. Graduate of the faculty of journalism of Yerevan state University.
Foundation Staff: Larisa Minasyan, Pressure Amiryan, Christina Danielyan, Il Avanzan, Gayaneh Kikoyan, Valentina Gevorgyan, Tatevik Khachatryan, Karine Ghazaryan, Ashot Grigoryan, Hayk Abrahamyan, Irapi Papikyan, Gayane Mamikonyan, Lilit Nazaryan, Ani Kojoyan, Armine Harutyunyan, Maya Moan, Gohar Davtyan And Ashot Manukyan.
Many of them are also in the past – journalists and participants of American educational programs implemented in Armenia.
THE COUP – ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES AND CHALLENGES
Persons affiliated with the Soros Fund
The Fund expands its sphere of influence by introducing “independent” experts and consultants into government structures and Supervisory boards. The government, Parliament and other departments included a whole galaxy of activists associated with the structures of the Soros Foundation:
Sasun Khachatryan is the head of the Special investigation service. Brother of the head of the open society Armenia Foundation Davit Khachatryan.
Ararat Mirzoyan – speaker of the National Assembly.
Eduard Aghajanyan is the head of the Government staff.
Mher Grigoryan – Deputy Prime Minister.
Armen Grigoryan – Secretary of the National Security Council.
Mkhitar Hayrapetyan – ex-Minister of Diaspora Affairs.
Lilit Bakunts – the former Minister of culture.
Arayik of Arutunian – Minister of education.
Arsen Torosyan – Minister of health.
Suren Papikyan – Minister of territorial administration and infrastructure.
Artak Zeynalyan – former Minister of justice.
Ashot Hakobyan – ex-Minister of transport and information technologies.
Mane Tandian – head of the budget Commission of the National Assembly. Ex-minister of labour and social Affairs.
Sos Avetisyan – deputy from the block “step”. Full-time employee of the Fund.
Hovhannes Hovhannisyan is a member of the National Assembly.
Daniel ioannisyan is the head of the electoral reform Commission.
Arevik Napisan – deputy Minister of education and science. She headed programs funded by the Fund.
Gayane Abrahamyan – deputy. Head of the Foundation-funded organization for equal rights.
Tagui Ghazaryan is a member of the National Assembly.
The list goes on
In addition, individual protégés of the Fund from among the leaders of the media space act as “independent” representatives of civil society in various working groups and international delegations. Based on a brief analysis from the biographies, the trends are obvious to the naked eye, although the list of individuals is far from complete.
Armen Grigoryan is a master of political science at the American University of Armenia. Project coordinator of the transparency international center. Columnist “EVIAN report”, “Civilnet”, “Media-Max”. Secretary of the National Security Council.
Arevik Napisan received a master’s degree in political science at the American University of Armenia. She studied in graduate school at the University of Tartu, Estonia. 2015 during her studies she was a visiting fellow at the “Centre for human rights” at the University of Essex, UK (2012-2015). She passed a scientific internship at the University of Massachusetts in the study of political thought and politics of the United States. Founder of the NGO “Institute of public policy” (an organization controlled by the Foundation). Consultant to the Council of Europe, EU representation in Armenia, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Germany. Teacher of the “Center for European studies” YSU. After the revolution, the Deputy Minister of education was appointed.
Sos Avetisyan is a member of the National Assembly. Master of St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University, UK. Received grants for research on post-Communist transition, comparative democratization, security, and ethnic conflict. Guest lecturer at YSU” Center for European studies”. The Coordinator Of The Foundation.
Hamazasp Danielyan – professor of Yerevan state University. Specialist in elections and electoral systems. Member of the international Association of political Sciences. He participated in the work of the “Institute of public policy”, in the past – a member of the Board of Directors of the “Political forum in Armenia”. Repeatedly cooperated with the Foundation. Member Of The National Assembly.
Hovhannes Hovhannisyan is a Lecturer at the American University of Armenia. In 2018-2019 he was Deputy Minister of education of Armenia. Member of the National Assembly from the block “My step”.
Christina Antoan – graduate student, Yerevan state University, associate Professor of the Department of Economics. Expert in anti-corruption programs in higher education. She received a grant from the Foundation as part of the”scholarship policy Initiative”.
Olya Azatyan is the coordinator of the Heinrich bell Foundation. Oversaw human rights and conflict transformation projects at the British Embassy. Graduate of the British educational program for young leaders “Chevening”. She studied in the UK and France in politics and management. In 2015 she graduated from the Diplomatic Academy of great Britain.
Victoria Burnazyan is the editor-in-chief of Ecolur NGO. Journalist-ecologist, repeatedly involved in the Fund’s programs in the field of ecology.
Inessa Chilingiryan is the coordinator of the network of laboratories in the National tuberculosis control Center of the Ministry of health. Actively cooperates with the Foundation. At his request, she carried out the project “Study of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes in penitentiary institutions of the Ministry of justice”.
Valentina Gevorgyan is a researcher of social and political issues in Armenia. In the past he was an instructor and senior researcher at the American University of Armenia. She worked in the framework of projects implemented by the European network “Suis-Caucasus”. She worked as a national expert of the European Commission. Currently-coordinator of the Foundation and doctor of political science at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland).
Arevik ghalumyan – master “Center for European studies” of the Yerevan state University. Participant of Foundation programs.
Asmik Grigoryan is a doctor of philosophy at the University of Dublin. Specialist in the post-Soviet space. Head of the program of globalization and regional cooperation of the NGO “Yerevan analytical center”.
Lilit Grigoryan – master of the University of southern California, USA. Currently, he is a specialist in monitoring and evaluation of the National Institute of health of the Ministry of health of Armenia.
Lusine Grigoryan – head of projects media initiative of international NGOs “IREX Media literacy”. Expert of the Foundation within the project “application of ICT in Armenian schools”.
Lusine Karamyan – holds a master’s degree in social management and social work from the University of Manchester (UK). Repeatedly cooperated with the Foundation. Professor of the faculty of sociology of YSU. Member of the “Institute of public policy” team.
Vilen Khachatryan – doctor of law, University of San Francisco law school (USA). Bachelor of arts and political science, University of California (USA). Since 2009-policy Director at the NGO “young Armenians Union”.
Artak Kyurumyan – a former employee of the Ministry of Finance of Armenia. As an independent expert he worked in projects of the world Bank, the US Agency for international development, the Department of international development of the UK government. Master of business administration, Tulane University (USA).
Nvard Manasyan – UNICEF gender equality officer. Researcher of educational policy, gender analysis of the labor market.
Sona Menosan researcher of methodology of psychology, questions of identity and border work, the national subjectivity. Visiting fellow, Fullbright program, City University of new York (USA).
Avetik Mejlumyan is the co – founder and coordinator of the research “Institute of public policy.” Author of research in the field of corruption. Professor of Yerevan state University.
Araks Melkonyan holds a master’s degree from the University of Essex (UK) and the University of Turin (Italy). Researcher of international law, criminal justice. Lawyer of NGO “Protection of rights without borders”.
Armine Mkhitaryan is a master of international relations at the American University of Armenia. Independent researcher of decentralization mechanisms.
Anna Ohajanyan is a senior researcher at the Matenadaran Institute of ancient manuscripts. Doctor of historical Sciences “Institute of Ethnography and archaeology NASA” (USA). Postdoctoral fellow of the “Center for Eastern Mediterranean studies” of the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary (included in the structure of the organizations of J. Soros’.)
Alina Poghosyan is a researcher at the Institute of archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. She worked as a graduate student at the University of Michigan, Ann arbor, USA. Researcher on migration and cultural change.
Aghasi Tadevosyan – doctor of social anthropology. Senior researcher at the Institute of archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences. Visiting scholar in the Fulbright program at the University of California, USA.
Vigen Shirvanian is a graduate of University College London. Leader of the educational team of the Center for strategic initiatives. Developer of education reforms.
In the eye catches a Western education, or internships mentioned opinion leaders counterparties of the Fund.
At the same time, many of them are consolidated around the “Institute of European studies” of YSU, “Institute of public policy”, the American University of Armenia.
There is a close relationship of the persons cooperating with the Fund with the European structures. This fact is not accidental. The Fund is closely connected with the representatives of the European Commission.
The European Union is pursuing a strategy of expanding political and economic influence in the Eastern partnership countries. This records the actual use of NGOs by Europeans to address the challenges facing them. Such are the discredits of the Eurasian Union, the involvement of the countries of the region in its own geopolitical orbit and the weakening of Russia’s influence.
One of the key tasks of the Fund in Armenia is to monitor the implementation of the comprehensive and enhanced partnership Agreement signed on 24 November 2017 between Armenia and the EU. The document envisages reforms in the areas of justice, energy, economy and politics. To achieve its goals, the Foundation organized coordination and cooperation with Western NGOs and non-governmental groups.
In fact, the Fund has a monopoly on the work of non-governmental structures in the country
It is through his office that the main financial flows pass. It is almost impossible for civil activists to receive grants without the approval of the Foundation’s Director Larisa Minasyan.
Organizational work, funding and support of Pro-Western NGOs from the EU leadership is carried out through the “European Foundation for democracy”. The latter, in turn, is associated with a number of lower-level European NGOs, and coordinates its work with the National endowment for democracy (NED) and the US Agency for international development (USAID).
The College of Europe, a structure funded directly by the European Commission, is also involved. The participation of citizens of the Eastern partnership countries in the foreign training programs of the College is often used as a cover for the training of agents of influence. Thus, the open society-Armenia Foundation sent its proteges to study courses in political science and international relations and EU diplomacy.
A key role in the work of foreign structures of the European Union is assigned to the coordinators of the regional delegations of the European Commission and the Council of Europe. They communicate with the EU leadership, supervise the work of local NGOs, use diplomatic channels to support the activities of Pro-Western activists. Coordination of work with the Armenian office of the Foundation is carried out by the head of the interaction section of the EU delegation to Armenia Tatsyana Snegova.
Below here is a short list of organizations receiving funding from the Fund in 2017 2018yy. (all of them was the advanced front of the Nikola Pashinyan. In addition to power) and the documents which formed the basis of our investigation, which is undeniable evidence that foreign and anti-Armenian in its essence the structure has become today the main political actors in the country.
* Anti-corruption center “transparency international” – 231 thousand dollars;
• Online TV Factor.tv – 186 thousand dollars;
* NGO “Union of informed citizens” – 228 thousand dollars;
* Journalistic club “Asparez”, Gyumri – 120 thousand dollars;
* NGO “international umbrella network of journalists”, “Medialab” – 157 thousand dollars;
* “Public journalism club” – 150 thousand dollars;
* NGO “for equal rights”, club “Article 3” – 183 thousand dollars;
* “Institute of public policy” – 155 thousand dollars;
* NGO “investigative Journalists” – 210 thousand dollars;
* “Vanadzor office of the Helsinki Civil Assembly” – 139 thousand dollars;
* “Helsinki Committee of Armenia” – 104 thousand dollars;
* “Center of globalization and regional cooperation” – 58 thousand dollars;
• “Boone” TV – 109 thousand dollars;
* NGO “Mandate” – 143 thousand dollars;
• OO “Khoran Ard” – 40 thousand dollars;
* “Armavir development center” – 40 thousand dollars;
* “Martuni women’s community Council” – 40 thousand dollars;
* NGO “Goris press club” – 40 thousand dollars;
* Research center “Region” – 19 thousand dollars;
* “National center for public policy research” – 99 thousand dollars;
* NGO “Public agenda”, “Analyticon” – 37 thousand dollars;
* NGO “Real world, real people” – 70 thousand dollars;
* NGO “Center for human development” – 88 thousand dollars;
• NGO “the Advanced group for social studies” – 20 thousand dollars;
* NGO “Right side” – 5 thousand dollars;
* “Women’s resource center” – 55 thousand dollars;
* “Center of applied psychology of YSU” – 22 thousand dollars;
* NGO “Armenian progressive youth” – 20 thousand dollars;
* NGO “Protection of rights without borders” – 26 thousand dollars;
* “Center for legal expertise and development” – 33 thousand dollars;
* “Coalition against discrimination and promotion of equality” – 87 thousand dollars;
* NGO “Youth for change” – 8 thousand dollars;
• Lragir.am – 4 thousand dollars;
* Center for civil society development “Progress” Gyumri – 10 thousand dollars;
* NGO “Civic youth center” – 10 thousand dollars;
• NGO “Helsinki group of Spitak” – 9 thousand dollars.
The total budget of the Fund for 2019 is 2 million 731 thousand dollars.
According to the documentation of the open society Armenia Foundation, it sets the following tasks for 2019:
1. Ensuring controlled public participation in government, achieving the dominant position of Pro-Western ideas in the information space through the creation of new distribution channels (budget 140 thousand us dollars); support for activists (60 thousand dollars); protection of liberal discourse and opposition to conservative propaganda (75 thousand). Financial support will be provided from the budget of the ” independent journalism support Program “of the head”open society Foundation”.
2. Control over the organization of the educational process in educational institutions. Gender mainstreaming in textbooks. Strengthening the position of the ” Institute of public policy (40 thousand dollars). Development of uniform requirements for educational programs (28 thousand dollars). Strengthening the principles of equality and inclusion (11 thousand). Advising politicians in the fields of education and science by experts affiliated with the Foundation (30 thousand). Additional funds from the head Department of the Fund will amount to 110 thousand dollars.
3. Strengthening its own position as a regulator of public organizations, the center for coordination of human rights activities, the controller of the state’s social obligations (190 thousand us dollars). Reforming the activities of law enforcement agencies (100 thousand dollars). Additional funds will amount to 45 thousand dollars on the line “Eurasia program” the head of the Fund and $ 155 thousand of “human rights initiatives”.
4. Preservation of democratic norms and practices in toughening conditions. Ensuring the participation of NGOs and activists in the Armenia – EU comprehensive and enhanced partnership Agreement. In the implementation of this program is expected to actively participate functionaries promoted to power under the patronage of the Fund. Measures are envisaged: implementation of the provisions of the Agreement with an emphasis on strengthening the role of civil society and civil activists, monitoring the work of the government (160 thousand dollars). Development of expert recommendations for law enforcement reform (40 thousand us dollars). Development of a legal framework to ensure the protection of rights and access to justice for members of vulnerable and marginalized groups (LGBT, sectarians) 185 thousand dollars). The goal is to increase the political weight of the Foundation’s protégé.
5. The special needs and unplanned expenses allocated reserve in the amount of 128 thousand US dollars.
The open society Armenia Foundation was founded in 1997. Its objectives were to support state institutions, conduct and support reforms.
Since 1997, the Fund has spent more than $ 53 million on its activities in Armenia.
More than 60 organizations funded by the Fund are United in the initiative “Partnership for an open society”.
The result of our investigation is a statement of the fact that today the Soros Foundation’s representation in Armenia has evolved into a structure beyond the control of the government, an octopus that permeates the civil, media, educational, environmental and, most dangerous of all, the political sector.
WILL ARMENIA REMAIN AS A STATE?
In fact, today the Fund, whose goals directly contradict the centuries-old traditions and security interests of our country, hiding behind theses about the common good, has already seized power in the country, thus consolidating the system of external governance of the Republic. They write government programs, shoot news releases, draw up roadmaps of reforms, appoint and remove Ministers, emissaries of the Foundation are represented in all branches of government and produce a system around them that undermines the basic foundations of Armenia’s sovereignty.