Nikol Pashinian: The KGB has lost, the KGB must be torn down
Paykar! April 28, 2008.
When my friend Mikael Hairapetian announced during an "Impeachment" coalition meeting last year that it is essential that the building in Yerevan on Nalbandian Street formerly belonging to the KGB and today belonging to the NSS [National Security Service of the RA] be demolished and a big hole be left in its place, some people thought the idea strange.
The last ten years, however, have demonstrated the wisdom of this idea--not in the sense of the building's physical destruction, but the destruction of [what it stands for]. It has been none other than the NSS that has been the flag-bearer of the political persecutions and the tyrannous repressions of recent years, and in order to understand the meaning of those activities, it is first indispensable to grasp the internal content of this organization and its tendencies, become familiar with its ideals, and become aware of the hidden portions of its mode of operation. And in order that I avoid abstractions in discussing this matter, it would be worth it [for me] to present concrete scenes to the reader. As you have already learned from my wife Anna V. Hakopian's article, the efforts carried out against Opposition activists include the active involvement of lieutenant colonel Karen Manukian, head of one of the operations divisions of the NSS. I know the latter personally and have been in contact with him regarding the cases of attacks on our paper's staff members, on two of which cases he has worked. He impresses one as a "Hi, how are you?" regular kind of person. But what is his workaday worldview? Felix Dzerzhinski  stares at us from a wall in his office. But this isn't a regular photograph, but an image printed with an ordinary line printer. At this [low] resolution, the image is blurry, but in this case that blurriness is on purpose--to lend the image a mythic quality. Note that Felix Dzerzhinski was the founder of the KGB that, in his time, was called Vecheka . Note also that the KGB has been one of the most beastly, anti-human organizations in the history of mankind, whose mode of operation can be compared only to the Gestapo of the Nazis, and it was because of the false accusations leveled by none other that the KGB that millions of innocent people, Soviet citizens, perished.
But Dzerzhinski is not the only one hanging from the walls of Manukian's office. There are similar portraits in the offices of many NSS-ers, and those are not merely pieces of paper, but expressions of an ideology, a psychology. I became convinced of this after listening to a certain expression made by the very same Manukian: While addressing a youth who happened to be in his office, in my presence, the lieutenant colonel of the National Security Service of independent Armenia said, "Even America was not able to fool this organization, and you thought you could?" Clearly, "this organization," that not even the US has been able to fool, is the Soviet KGB.
I'm sure you will agree that such a statement could not have been made accidentally. It reflects the entire mentality of a certain environment and a certain system, a system that considers itself the progeny of the KGB, a part of it, its child. The comical part is, however, that the system is called the "National Security Service of the Republic of Armenia." The functionaries of this important organization who today attend to the issues concerning the so-called independence and security of Armenia have failed to notice a few "insignificant" issues, such as, for example--Armenia's becoming independent. Thus, in their "uninformed" state, they naturally need to consider themselves followers of the KGB, and they need to see their system as part of the great Soviet KGB--the same KGB that has been the executioner of tens of thousands of Armenians, including the idealogical father of the party led by Serzh Sargsyan, Grikor Nzhdeh. The KGB of Soviet Armenia, incidentally, was subject to the regulation of the Armenian Communist Government only to the extent that Moscow allowed it to be. And, today, it is no accident that Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkissian have to get approval from Moscow before before being able to resort to violent force. And if Russian special services want to hire anyone from the NSS, regardless of the person's rank, they can do that with the greatest of ease, because the environment of the NSS, its morality, and its psychology are not only conducive to such a thing, but encourage it in that direction. The numerous NSS agents in Armenia will hand over our country's government secrets to Russia, carry out the missions of Russia's special services, and in the end not consider themselves traitors. The KGB man has to the serve the progeny of the KGB, which is the FSB, no? And, there's no doubt: that's how agents of the NSS behave. And what Levon Ter-Petrossian says is true: the problems in Russian-Armenian relations are not in Russia, but in Armenia.
1. Felix Dzerzhinski founded Cheka, the secret police in the early Soviet period that later became the KGB and is now the FSB.
2. Vecheka, same as Cheka, not Vesenkha. Thanks to Nazarian for pointing this out.