Sunday, July 27, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Armenian Film Director Denounces Armenians Who Promote Russian Chauvinism

Paul Goble


            Staunton, July 27 – In a Facebook post that has been picked up by various Armenian outlets, Tigran Khemalyan, a noted filmmaker, sharply criticizes those ethnic Armenians who have become more Russian than the patriarch and who are promoting Russian great power attitudes of hostility and suspicion to everything non-Russian.


            Among these “’prophets’ of Russism,” he says, are theater director Sergey Kurginyan, “who has openly called for killing Ukrainians and shooting down their planes,” Andranik Migranyan, who has justified Putin’s aggression against Ukraine by referring to Hitler’s Anschluss of Austria, Margarita Simonyan, the editor of Russia Today, and Aram Gabrelyanov, “the master of ‘Izvestiya’ and the odious ‘Life News’ TV” ( and


            Note, Khemelyan points out, that these “true pillars of the Putin regime” are ethnic Armenians, and if one is inclined to conspiracy theories, they would to constitute what might appear to be “’an Armenian lobby’ in the Kremlin.”  But in fact, the filmmaker says, they are just the reverse.


            These people “have sold out the Motherland of their ancestors for 30 pieces of imperial silver with the profile of their Caesar on them.”


            Khemelyan says that he is not going to “analyze this phenomenon” but rather cite Vladimir Lenin’s observation about it.  “It is well known,” the founder of the Soviet state said, that “Russified non-Russians” outdo ethnic Russians in their Russianness as is the case with many converts.


            Armenians have a long experience with such things both in the Russian and in the Ottoman Empires. Thus it was “not accidental” that in Yerevan not long ago, people tried to put up a monument to Anastas Mikoyan who signed execution lists [under Stalin] and who voted for joining Karabakh to Azerbaijan.”


             The Armenian filmmaker says that Armenians “must know those who already today and even more tomorrow are leading us toward war and will be in the first ranks of our enemies.” And he concludes his post with another citation from Lenin.


            “One must distinguish between the nationalism of oppressor nations and the nationalism of oppressed nations, between that of a big nation and that of a small one.  Regarding the second nationalism, we the members of a big nation are in almost every case guilty in an infinite number of cases of violence.”


            Consequently, the Bolshevik leader said, “internationalism on the part of the oppressing or so-called ‘great’ nation (although it is great only as a great oppressor) must observe not only the formal equality of nations but also an inequality which will compensate the nations which have been oppressed.”


            It would be better, Khemelyan suggests, if that principle continued to be followed. Unfortunately, it isn’t. But what is especially unfortunate is when members of an oppressed nationality join with their oppressors and support them more than they ever supported their own people.


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