Commentary: Victory Day – Why remembrance is not exclusively about the past

On 9 May, people throughout the former Soviet Union, from Russia to Armenia to Kyrgyzstan, commemorated the most well-known and celebrated day of the region – the victory over fascism and Nazism in the Great Patriotic War. The celebration of the 70-year jubilee of the 1945 victory in Moscow was simply exceptional.  In fact, it was the…

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…

Ajaran Armenians: Discovering a Seaside Diaspora

Ajara is a unique region in the Caucasus. A state within a state, it is an autonomous republic of Georgia, located in the southwestern corner of the country on the Black Sea coast, with Turkey to the south. It is home to a significant Armenian community and has served as a popular tourist destination for…

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.…