YEREVAN — The National Security Service (NSS) on Wednesday accused Armenian opposition members and supporters of organizing violent protests in Yerevan following the announcement of the Russian-brokered ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Hundreds of angry men broke into Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s office and residence and the Armenian parliament and ransacked them early on November 10. They condemned the ceasefire agreement as a sellout.
Some of the protesters also beat up parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan. The latter underwent several surgeries as a result.
In a statement, the NSS said it has indicted about 50 people and arrested 18 of them in a continuing criminal investigation into what it described as “mass disturbances” aimed at facilitating a violent overthrow of the Armenian government.
The statement claimed that the participants of the riots were recruited by “supporters of political forces acting in the opposition field and having anti-government views.” Many of the rioters support former Presidents Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sarkisyan or are affiliated with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and other opposition groups, it said.
The security service added that it is now taking “large-scale investigative measures” to ascertain “the role of the organizers of the mass disturbances” and identify more people involved in the violence. It did not say whether it has already brought relevant criminal charges against any opposition politicians.