YEREVAN – Russian Ambassador to Armenia Sergey Kopyrkin participated in Armenian genocide observances today, and believes that the date “April 24” is of particular importance.
“On this mournful day, we empathize with the Armenian people, we share their grief. The incarnation of this will be many events that will be held today in different cities of Russia and in which not only representatives of the Armenian diaspora but also tens of thousands of people of other nationalities will take part, ” the Russian diplomat told Sputnik Armenia.
Today, April 24, Sergey Kopyrkin, accompanied by the staff of the Russian diplomatic mission in Yerevan, visited the Memorial of the victims of the Armenian Genocide and laid flowers at the eternal flame. He noted the need to preserve the memory of the events that occurred with the Armenian people more than 100 years ago, to do everything so that such tragedies never repeat. At the same time, according to Kopyrkin, we need to look to the future with optimism, to believe in the ideals of friendship and good neighborliness, to respect the interests of each other.
Russia officially recognized the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey on April 14, 1995, when the State Duma of the Russian Federation unanimously adopted a statement “Condemnation of the Armenian Genocide in 1915-22.”
Armenian people around the world recall April 24th of the victims of the genocide in the Ottoman Empire. In 2019, the 104th anniversary of the tragedy is celebrated, the victims of which were about 1.5 million Armenians. Every year on this day, the leadership of the republic, together with tens of thousands of citizens from the capital and regions of the country, lay flowers at the Memorial of the Victims of the “Tsitsernakaberd” genocide in Yerevan.
The physical extermination of Armenians on ethnic and religious grounds in Ottoman Turkey in 1915 was the first genocide of the twentieth century. April 24 is considered to be a symbolic day to commemorate the victims of a planned crime aimed at exterminating the Armenian people on the lands of their autochthonous residence. It was on this day in 1915 in Constantinople (Istanbul) that about a thousand representatives of the Armenian intelligentsia were arrested and subsequently destroyed – scientists, writers, artists, teachers, doctors, journalists, clergy, public figures.
The second stage of the “final solution” of the Armenian question was the recruitment of about 300 thousand Armenians into the Turkish army, who were later disarmed and killed by their own Turkish colleagues. The third stage of the genocide was marked by the massacre, deportation and “death marches” of women, children and old people in the Syrian desert. During the deportation, hundreds of thousands of people were killed by Turkish soldiers, gendarmes and Kurdish gangs. The rest died of starvation and epidemics. Thousands of women and children were abused, tens of thousands were forcibly converted to Islam.
On the eve of the First World War, two million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire. About one and a half million were destroyed in the period from 1915 to 1923. The remaining half a million Armenians were scattered around the world, so the Armenian diaspora originated. Currently, less than 30 percent of all ethnic Armenians in the world live in their historical homeland in the Republic of Armenia.
The first in the world special decree recognizing and condemning the tragedy of 1915, adopted the Parliament of Uruguay (April 20, 1965). Laws, resolutions and decisions on the Armenian Genocide were subsequently adopted by the European Parliament, the State Duma of Russia, the parliaments of other countries, in particular Chile, Austria, Cyprus, Argentina, Canada, Greece, Lebanon, Belgium, France, Sweden, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Venezuela, Lithuania, as well as the Vatican. The Armenian Genocide was recognized by 49 out of 50 US states (except Mississippi), dozens of international and public organizations, including the World Council of Churches, the League of Human Rights, the Union of Jewish Communities of America.
In 2015, on the eve of the centenary of the genocide, a new wave of confessions began. The corresponding statements were made by the parliaments of Chile and Austria, the president of Germany called the event a genocide.
Nevertheless, the successor of the Ottoman Empire – the modern Turkish Republic – denies the fact of genocide, sharply reacting to the process of international recognition and condemnation of this crime and using the methods of diplomatic pressure against parliaments and entire countries. The object of such pressures are the United States, which has not yet recognized and condemned the genocide at the state level, fearing this step to completely ruin relations with its NATO ally.