YEREVAN, Armenia — The two supporters and opponents of Armenia’s prime minister rallied Saturday because the country paid tribute to the tens of thousands that perished in fighting with Azerbaijan over the area of Nagorno-Karabakh. Critics demanded the pioneer resign and attempted to pelt him.
The Azerbaijani army pushed deep into Nagorno-Karabakh in six months of hostilities that finished with a Russia-brokered peace agreement on Nov. 10 that saw Azerbaijan recover huge areas of the separatist region and surrounding lands.
The reduction of lands which was commanded by cultural forces for at least a quarter-century has traumatized Armenians, triggering weeks of protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
The country is celebrating a mourning period for its deceased.
The prime minister’s competitions, yelling”Nikol, you traitor!” participated in scuffles with his fans and police. Police dispersed the protesters to clear the way for Pashinyan along with his safety guards coated him with umbrellas and guards as protesters tried to strike him.
Later in the afternoon, roughly 20,000 opposition supporters marched across Yerevan to get a memorial church service for the victims of this battle.
Also on Saturday, 14 retired army generals issued an announcement calling for the resignation of the government over its handling of the most recent fighting.
Nagorno-Karabakh lies in Azerbaijan but had been under the hands of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia because a separatist war there ended in 1994. That war left Nagorno-Karabakh itself and large encompassing land in darkened hands.
In 44 days of fighting that started in late September and abandoned over 5,600 people killed on each side, the Azerbaijani army battled its way deep into Nagorno-Karabakh, forcing Armenia to take last month’s peace agreement.