Original: El Murid/Anatoly Nesmiyan
Translated by Gleb Bazov / Edited by Gracchus Babeuf
The events taking place in Armenia are already being called a Maidan, by analogy with the coup in Kiev. In reality, of course, it is too early to say this.
Maidan is one of the variants of a colour revolution, or, in other words, an attempt to seize and retain political power through the proven technology of youth protest. To judge whether something is, or is not, a colour revolution, is possible only upon the occurrence of clearly manifesting conditions—the necessary and the sufficient.
The necessary condition for a colour revolution is the existence of political instability in a country and a crisis of the incumbent authorities. An essential condition is one without which a phenomenon is impossible. Judging from what is happening in Armenia, this condition is, in fact, present.
The sufficient condition for a launch of a colour revolution is the existence of an organized and networked youth protest movement, created specifically for the project. In Ukraine, the movement that served this purpose was the (specially designed for the Maidan) Praviy Sektor. In other countries where colour revolutions have taken place, such movements were also created, and either disappeared after the revolution or quickly underwent a transformation. A sufficient condition is one, the presence of which makes a phenomenon possible.
This is exactly where there is a definite lack of certainty. Several days have passed since the beginning of the protest, and there is still no such strike force in sight. If it had been organized, it definitely would have made an appearance and claimed the role of leader and driving force of the protest. Otherwise the protest is destined to remain unorganized, unstructured and inevitably to come to naught if the authorities are capable of even a modicum of meaningful actions. If they are not, then, of course, the protest will continue to grow; but it would be impossible to call it a colour revolution because the main reason for carrying it out would remain unfulfilled.
Accordingly, we should not rush into assigning a label to what is happening. At the moment, we are talking about a social protest, and the appearance of political slogans is easily explained by the attempts of the opposition to reap political rewards from what is happening. But this is an entirely natural course of events. It would have been absurd if the opposition had slept through such an opportunity.
The appearance of a specially organized movement would be a turning point, a watershed moment, but, until it arrives, it is premature to suggest that what is happening is by design.
Naturally, the outward appearance [of the protest] cannot explain what is happening in reality. All these cookies, tents and barricades made of garbage bins are interesting, but not particularly informative. If there is instability and an organized strike force, then we can start talking about a Maidan in Yereven. If not, it means there is no Maidan.
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The US has already complained about ‘excessive force’. That is one box checked on the checklist of the standard US playbook.
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