We have no desire to cite here the long list of myths created by the Armenians: it will be enough to mention “ancient Armenian states” in the South Caucasus, “the first state that adopted Christianity”, “the ancient Armenian mountain Ararat”, “genocide”, “miatsum”. But, as it often happens with liars, our neighbors come up with various myths and then refute them, either out of sheer stupidity or because the pile of lies gets too tangled.
That is exactly what happened this time. The Golos Armenii newspaper, a fierce anti-Pashinyan mouthpiece of the old regime that actively supports Kocharyan and Sargsyan, recently reprinted a remarkable piece by Regnum news agency, “What is Baku preparing the Patriarch of Constantinople for?” What makes it remarkable, especially from the point of view of refuting numerous Armenian myths? Take your time, dear readers, we are going to break it down for you. The article (co-authored by Stanislav Nikolayevich Tarasov, a former resident of Ganja, who later became “deeply sympathetic to the aspirations of the Armenian people”) starts with this paragraph: “Russian Orthodoxy is once again becoming physically present on the Karabakh land. Military personnel of the Russian peacekeeping contingent took part in the Epiphany dips near the Orthodox Church of the Nativity in the territory of their deployment in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Church of the Nativity, the first Orthodox church in the republic, has been built recently. It was inaugurated in November 2021 in the Russian military camp near Stepanakert.”
Clearly, the “republic” refers to the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan liberated from Armenian occupation, but using such wording for Tarasov and Regnum” is akin to volunteering to drink vinegar instead of tea. But that is not the main point; the main point is that only recently the entire Armenian propaganda army was desperately trying to prove that there are 1,500 Russians living in Karabakh today, that they even have their own “Russian diaspora”, which during the 44-day war “was outraged by the Azerbaijani aggression”. Admittedly, that “diaspora” is headed by lawyer Alexander Bordov, who came from Russia after the Second Karabakh War and is an Armenian from Baku. That is, the Armenians could not find one single Russian among the “1,500 Russians of Karabakh”. So, even if we imagine for a moment that there really are 1,500 ethnic Russians living in Karabakh besides the Russian peacekeepers, then a fair question arises: where had they prayed and performed religious rituals all these years, if the first Orthodox church appeared there only with the arrival of the Russian peacekeepers? It is hard to believe that the 1,500 Russians did not even have a prayer house of their own during the years of Armenian occupation of Karabakh. The conclusion suggests itself: there are no more than two or three dozen Russians in Karabakh, and most of them are either elderly people or Russian wives. It turns out that pro-Armenian Tarasov and Regnum and the Armenian newspaper Golos Armenii have debunked one of the Armenian propaganda myths whether that had been their intention or not.
By the way, it was Regnum who in 2012, in the most “peaceful times” for the separatists, cited the official statistics of the Karabakh population census, according to which about 150,000 people were living there. Only 171 of which were Russians. Of course, 150,000 population in Karabakh is a very bloated figure, which the Armenian side needs to justify the occupation and exaggerate the number of the “Karabakh people”. But even if we believe the figure of 171 Russians, it is still not 1,500 people trumpeted about by the Armenian propaganda these days. It is unlikely that the Russian population of Karabakh could have grown almost tenfold in eight years, especially after the war.
But let’s not stop halfway— let’s play along with the Armenian mythology. Suppose for a moment that there really are 1,500 Russians living in Karabakh. Why then didn’t the Armenians who occupied Karabakh from 1992 to 2020 allow the “Russian community” to build at least one church, while actively destroying or Armenianizing the existing ones? In the occupied village of Kuropatkino of Khojavand District, there was a church of the Transfiguration, built in 1894 from a standard design. When the district fell under occupation, the church was in good condition, but later it was looted and the roof and the pediment of the building were destroyed. Armenian vandals set fear of God aside and stole the iron bars from the windows, leaving their autographs on the walls of the house of God. So why was no consideration shown for the “1,500 members of the Russian community”? Perhaps because it existed only on paper and in the sick imagination of the mythologists?
What was not destroyed and looted was Armenianized. Such was the fate of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. John the Baptist in Shusha, which the occupants took over and called “Kanach Zham”. After the liberation of Karabakh, including the city of Shusha, the Azerbaijani side restored the Orthodox Church to its original, true appearance.
In other words, if there are 1,500 ethnic Russians living in Karabakh after all, why didn’t the Armenians allow them to build at least one church or renovate the existing ones? The answer to this question lies on the surface—in the Armenians’ ethnic and religious intolerance. They built a mono-ethnic state in Armenia and tried to do the same in Karabakh. With the “1,500-strong Russian community in Karabakh”, we can see how the myth has backfired on its creators. It must be doubly disappointing for the myth-makers that it was Tarasov, Regnum and Golos Armenii, neither of whom can be suspected of sympathy to Azerbaijan, who helped us debunk it. Of course, we know that lies have short legs. And yet our neighbors seem to never tire of spouting them.
Translated from Caliber.Az