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Armenia: Evaluating Electric Yerevan’s Impact

Waving Armenian flags, protesters run through the streets of downtown Yerevan to join the growing weeklong rally against the rise in electricity rates. Protesters insisted the gatherings in the capital were not about Russia or the EU, but only Armenia. (Photo: Nazik Armanakyan)

The Electric Yerevan protest in the Armenian capital did not manage to attain the critical mass needed to transform into a Euromaidan-type event, leading to an overhaul of the country’s political system. But local analysts believe that Electric Yerevan will nevertheless prompt changes in government policy.
 
Police showed restraint while clearing Yerevan’s central Baghramian Avenue of protesters on July 6. The protest had erupted nearly two weeks earlier over announced plans by the Russian-owned Electric Networks of Armenia to impose a massive rate increase.
 
Brought together by discontent over the intended rate hike, the protesters never articulated clear political demands, nor developed a concrete action plan. As the days passed, the number of protesters in the streets dwindled. When police took action on July 6 to remove the barricades, after protesters had pledged to move them slowly toward the presidential residence, resistance was minimal.
 

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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter based in Yerevan and editor of MediaLab.am.

Armenia: Evaluating Electric Yerevan’s Impact

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