Wariness of “European values” within a significant segment of Armenian society is providing fuel for a brewing culture war in Armenia.
The government’s push for closer ties with Russia appears to be widening a cultural divide in Armenia. The gap was on display during a May 9 court hearing concerning a domestic-violence case in the eastern region of Gegharkunik, one of Armenia’s most socially conservative areas. At one point during the proceedings, Robert Aharonian, an outspoken, pro-Russian activist who was attending the hearing, lashed out at two North American-born women’s rights advocates for promoting “European values” that condemn physical violence against women.
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Gayane Abrahamyan is a freelance reporter and editor in Yerevan.