At first glance, the connection between a fatal July 13 traffic accident outside Moscow and Armenia’s strategic partnership with Russia may not be obvious. But, to many Armenians, a link exists, and it comes in the form of a woman’s yellow-and-pink flowered bathrobe.
The robe, worn in court by 46-year-old Armenian truck driver, Hrachya Harutiunian, who is charged with causing the crash that killed 18 people and injured 30, has sparked a massive outpouring of anger in Armenia at what is seen as a deliberate humiliation by Russia, long touted as the country’s “closest friend.”
Russian officials claimed that Harutiunian was dressed in the robe (and bedroom slippers) only because his own clothes had been ruined in the crash. But the explanation fell on largely deaf ears.
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Gayane Abrahamyan is a freelance reporter and editor in Yerevan.