How are the activists funded?
The press has spoken a lot on how the centers of “colored revolutions” provide funding to the youth pro-opposition movements – the so-called “locomotives”, which were founded by their own initiative.
We won’t be mistaken if we say that the most active part of the pro-Ter-Petrosyan opposition has now focused on founding this kind of organizations or extending the scope of their activity.
We possess reliable information that the first pro-Ter-Petrosyan youth movement known as “Sksela” (begins) was founded and financed by “Transparency International” and “Counterpart International” organizations which spent around 150000 US Dollars for bringing the movement into exisitence.
Seeing that the youth movements were increasing the efficiency of their work in Armenia and really had pretensions to become the locomotives of the Armenian “DVD revolution”, the leaders of the pro-Ter-Petrosyan opposition and their Western sponsors decided to found new movements (“Hima”, “Ver Kats”, “Hatouk Goond” etc.) on the bases of “Sksela”, a youth organiztion consisting of 70-80 activists.
At the initial stage, Arsen Kharatyan, one of the leaders of “Sksela” movement, received special trainings in one of the centers of Washington. Later Izabella Sargsyan, another activist, received similar trainings in London, and then the other members were trained in Macedonia. In the whole period, the activists received funding in huge sums.
During and after the 2008 presidential elections, the above-mentioned youth movements directly found themselves in the center of the developments, and the primary task at this stage was to provide them with funding and give them instructions. The instruction was given to Arman Mousinyan, a former NDI activist trained in the centers of Washington, and the task of providing funding was given to Levon Zourabyan.
With the purpose of financing the youth movements, “Glandale KIA” company (engaged in automobile business in Los Angeles) sent 110 thousand US Dollars to Armenia in June 2008. The sum was transferred through L. Ter-Petrosyan’s assistance office situated in the United States, and Onik Mehrabyan, Head of the firm, formulated the transfer as a donation.
Such is the accepted custom: while preparing for a revolution, the well-known political centers send the sums to the target countries via such organizations which act as mediators.
Every week, L. Zourabyan pays salaries to the activists of the newly established “Ver Kats” (Get up!) movement which is headed by Ms. Gayane Ghazaryan, the daughter of Rafayel Ghazaryan. The weekly salaries, which make up 2000 US Dollars, are paid from the sums received from the United States and other countries. Having received the money from Levon Zourabyan or Avetis Avagyan in the Northern Avenue, Gayane Ghazaryan got down to revolutionary activities together with her mother Grizelda Ghazaryan and her brother Vazgen Ghazaryan.
“Hatouk Gound” (special regiment), another active youth movement, is headed by Ms. Shahane Hakobyan, Hrant Bagratyan’s niece, and the funding is provided by Mr. Bagratyan himself.
Hrant Bagratyan periodically leaves for Kiev, Ukraine on long-term visits and there, based on arrangements and elaborated procedures, he receives huge sums from his bank account and sends them to “Hatouk Gound” youth movement in the amount of 10 thousand US Dollars per month.
The same is the situation with “Hima” (now) youth movement which is coordinated by Narek Hovakimyan. Their money is transferred every week in the same amount, and the transfer is made through Mr. Patvakan Hovakimyan, Narek’s father who is the lawyer of L. Ter-Petrosyan’s central headquarters.
Paying up to 30 thousand US Dollars per month, the pro-Ter-Petrosyan opposition and its activists manage to keep 300 young people in “good shape”, making them comply with their instructions in an unreserved manner.
There gradually emerge more and more young members of such movements, and the pro-Ter-Petrosyan centers have decided to increase the allocated sums up to USD 50-60 thousand. This is planned for September-October as this is a period when one may find a lot of students in Yerevan desiring to slip away from lessons.
And those youth movements and their leaders are engaged in fruitless work and do not absolutely care that they have cut a foolish figure in public.
The most important thing is that they receive their money on regular basis.