Abovyan Exclusive: An Interview with Ara Sarafian

“The possibilities for moving forward remain but we should not take matters for granted.” In advance of the Centennial of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, The Abovyan Group sat down with Ara Sarafian, Director of the Gomidas Institute in London, to talk about the Genocide issue, Turkish-Armenian relations, the Kurds, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Hrant Dink, William…

Debunking a Caucasian Myth

One of the most enduring myths of Caucasus history involves the little-noticed and oddly placed border between Turkey and Azerbaijan. At first glance at any map, this border is not readily apparent and seems almost nonexistent. However, on closer inspection, one can see a small sliver of land jutting out from Turkey’s northeastern Igdir Province…

The Mikoyan Enigma

Recently, there has been a major controversy in Armenia over a proposal to build a statue of the Soviet statesman and Bolshevik revolutionary Anastas Mikoyan in Yerevan. Some Armenians regard Mikoyan as a remnant of the country’s Soviet past from which they want to move beyond. Others ponder possible political motives behind this sudden proposal.…

Commentary: Squandered Opportunity?: Armenia, Georgia, Abkhazia, Russia, and the Sochi Olympics

The 2014 Sochi Oympics in Russia are due to start just a week from this Friday. Yet, when I was in Yerevan recently, I was somewhat surprised to see a total absence of discussion on the upcoming games. After all, Yerevan is located only 500 miles away from Sochi. Would not the Armenians stand to…

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

From all of us here at the Abovyan Group, merry Christmas and happy holidays! It should be noted that Armenian Christmas is typically celebrated on January 6, though New Year’s is generally a bigger deal in Armenia, Georgia, Russia, and much of the former USSR.  An annual viewing of the 1976 Soviet comedy film Ирония…