The twin cases against a Russian soldier stationed in Armenia continue to make waves. People in Armenia are wondering why the Armenian murder charges should be tried after, rather than before, the Russian theft and weapons charges. This article gives a sense of the various competing interests and the local consternation. Excerpt:
Artush Mkrtchian, a local middle-aged scholar, regards the entire investigation of the Permyakov case as “a farce from the beginning”.
“I don’t expect more from the trial. You know, such cases generally remain unsolved or they get solved only in other times, under a different government and in conditions of other relations,” the man says. “If Armenia could stand its ground, I don’t think that the Russians would have behaved like that. It’s a complete disregard towards us because the person who murdered our citizens gets to be tried by a foreign court, another country’s court.”
Another Gyumri resident, Ashot Mirzoyan, adds: “I cannot understand why we have been indifferent to this matter. During those days [in January] we were speaking our minds in order to make sure he [Valery Permyakov] [the Russian soldier] did not get away with it, because this issue is very important and concerns our security, but now you see what you see.”The Russian authorities have said they plan on a public trial. The Russian trial is scheduled to begin tomorrow.