“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”Friedrich Nietzsche
As Armenia is yet to recover after the 44-day war that caused around 5000 deaths and left thousands more disabled or homeless, the society is still strained, receiving any piece of information that is not about solving any of the current issues with harsh criticism and hostility. The public reaction is especially aggressive when it comes to the acting prime minister of Armenia and his family.
People believe Prime Minister Pashinyan is to be held responsible for the outcome of the war. His spouse, Anna Hakobyan, who had much interference in war, up to forming a platoon with a dozen of other women and heading to the frontline, contradicting her own speeches on peace made just a few months before the war broke out.
Now when the governmental family is more than ever in the public eye, the travels of Pashinyan’s spouse Anna Hakobyan are severely criticized and have been a subject of discussion for a few weeks now.
Hakobyan traveled to Moscow on January 14 with her daughters and a few security officers. As it was later announced, this happened to be a private visit, with video footage showing her exiting one of the most expensive restaurants in Moscow. According to rumors, Anna Hakobyan’s visit to the capital of Russia was to acquire Russian citizenship as well as look for real estate.
The public frustration hadn’t died down yet when another scandal came up revolving around Pashinyan’s spouse. Things got heated on January 31 when multiple websites published the news on Anna Hakobyan’s travel to the USA, Los Angeles.
A Public Call-Out as Hakobyan Sets Foot in LA
As expected, Anna Hakobyan’s arrival to the United States caused the frustration of the Armenian diaspora and even made those living in the Los Angeles area show up at the airport upon Hakobyan’s arrival.
Hours before the plane landed from Doha to Los Angeles, active members of the diaspora in the US were calling everyone to gather at the airport as a sign of disapproval not only for the trips prime minister’s wife is making but for Pashinyan himself as he shows no intention of resignation despite the demands of the diaspora.
People gathered at the airport ‘welcomed’ Anna Hakobyan with ‘traitor’ posters. This, as the organizers of the protest claim, is one way for Armenians living in the United States to show their disapproval of the acting government and the head of the government Nikol Pashinyan.
As video footage shows, Anna Hakobyan left the airport clearly affected by such an aggressive act of reception.
Armenians calling for Pashinyan’s resignation and publicly shaming his spouse are planning on organizing pickets near the hotels Hakobyan will be staying at and high-class restaurants she will most likely choose to dine at.
Hakobyan’s assistants Esther Sahakyan and Aline Karapetyan have not yet addressed any of the questions concerning the purpose of Anna Hakobyan’s visit to the United States.
What Are People Saying?
The reason for the harsh public reaction to Anna Hakobyan’s travels is not solely the fact the visits are personal but that the spouse of the acting prime minister is traveling with multiple security officers too. While this would not receive any attention at peaceful times, things are different when martial law is still in force in the country.
The young men escorting the First Lady not only need diplomatic passports to travel but what is more important, are not allowed to leave the country due to the martial law that still puts travel restrictions on male citizens under 55. People believe the act of travelling with a group of security officers offensive while many need to travel abroad for work, study, and other important matters.
While the video of Hakobyan’s arrival at Los Angeles International Airport is now all over the internet, the visit is not officially confirmed which makes room for lots of public speculation. Some believe Hakobyan is in Los Angeles to celebrate her birthday.
Others think that the United States is the next step for Hakobyan’s real estate hunting. According to another scandalous theory, Anna Hakobyan is in the US as this is where the bank accounts of her charitable foundation ‘My Step’ are. In fact, Hakobyan continually receives criticism as the head of the foundation as people believe the money transferred to it during the 44-day war doesn’t serve its purpose.
If the spouse of the prime minister of Armenia is not merely making private visits for personal matters, which is rather unacceptable for the public as the First Lady of the country could occupy herself with solving a few of the social issues of the post-war period, it would be better for Hakobyan’s spokesperson to address the situation. Otherwise, there is ground to believe all the rumors to be true and the public indignation is righteous given the circumstances.