Via Unzipped — who is rapidly emerging as the go-to blog for stuff about the current situation here in Armenia — I see that four opposition Members of Parliament are being stripped of their immunity so that they can be prosecuted. For, you know, supporting that coup attempt. You know. The coup attempt.
There are all sorts of funky wrinkles to the situation. Like the border incident with Azerbaijan yesterday. The Azeris trying to probe for weakness at a time of crisis? Or the Armenian government trying to distract people with a foreign enemy? Who knows? — Or the luxury store downtown owned by a prominent local oligarch, friendly to the government, that was looted during the (brief) rioting. Attacked because he was a friend of the government? Or is it true that all his staff evacuated hours before, leaving the store a provocatively tempting target? And the crackdown: was it done by President Kocharian just to crush the opposition, or was it more of a poisoned gift to his successor-elect? Once you start thinking in terms of agents provocateurs and double motives, suddenly it’s all a hall of mirrors.
Anyway. Yerevan is about 95% back to normal. Some armed soldiers hanging around at major intersections, and that’s about it. Shops are open, streets are busy. Some newspapers have disappeared from the stands — the state of emergency has shut down opposition papers — but you have to look twice to spot it. I’d like to say there’s a strange underlying vibe but maybe I’m just not sensitive enough. Of course, if you talk to people individually… well, even people who supported the government are pretty rattled.
It’s hard to say where this is going, but I’m still inclined to bet “status quo”.