Vazgen Sparapet would turn 53 today

Vazgen Sargsyan (March 5, 1959- October 27, 1999) was Prime Minister of Armenia for theRepublican Party of Armenia from June 11, 1999 to October 27, 1999 until his assassination in what is known as the Armenian Parliament shooting. He was well known as a military leader, the first Minister of Defense of Armenia, awarded by Artsakh hero and National Hero of Armenia (posthumously) titles. In 1992 he organized and led the “Mahaparts” special battalion. Wikipedia, free encyclopedia, writes about this. Today is Vazgen Sargsyan’s birthday. He would be 53 years old.

Vazgen Sargsyan was born in Ararat, Armenian SSR. He graduated from Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture in 1979 before working as a physical instruction teacher in a village school in Ararat. From 1983 to 1986 he was the Communist Youth League leader at the cement factory in Ararat. An amateur writer, Sargsyan then moved into literary life. From 1986 to 1989 he headed the publicity department of the Garun (Spring) literary monthly in Yerevan. But the Armenian national ferment of the late 1980s saw him abandon this role as he flung himself headlong into political life.

Sargsyan’s rise to the top started when, as a former Communist Youth league organizer, he joined the growing movement for the mainly-Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh to be transferred from Azerbaijani to Armenian jurisdiction. He was elected to the Armenian parliament in the 1990 elections, the first semi-free elections Armenia had held, where he became a member of the Internal Affairs and State Defense Committee. In 1990–1992 he stayed in Nagorno-Karabakh, commanding irregular troops that defended the peaceful population of Karabakh towns and villages from the Azerbaijani military attack that followed the declaration of independence of Karabakh from Azerbaijani rule.

From 1992–1993 he was RA Minister of Defense while from 1993–1995 he was state minister in charge of defense. In 1995, during the restructuring of government ministries, he once again became defene minister. In these various capacities he laid the groundwork for building Armenia‘s army, a cause dear to his heart. He controlled the fledgling armed forces during the height of the fighting in Karabakh, in which Armenia‘s forces were heavily involved.

Despite ensuring that Armenian first President L. Ter-Petrosyan’s side won the disputed 1995 election, and crushing street protests against the manipulated results, Sargsyan abandoned him in late 1997 and switched his support to Prime Minister Robert Kocharyan, who soon took over as president.

After serving as defense minister, he was appointed prime minister on June 11 by President Kocharyan.Sargsyan was killed, however, along with parliament speaker and former communist leader Karen Demirchyan and several other politicians when gunmen, headed by journalist Nairi Hunanyan, took over the parliament building. The other parliament members were held as hostages until the next day. He was buried at Yerablur military cemetery.

Following his death, Sargsyan was posthumously awarded with the title of hero. Numerous streets and schools in Karabakh were also named after him. The song “Sparapet” (“Commander”) by Alla Levonyan is dedicated to his memory.

Armenian Ministry of Defense will mark V. Sargsyan’s birthday with the range of events named “Let’s venerate our heroes”. Armenian military leaders are supposed to visit Yerablur. V. Sargsyan’s memory will also be commemorated at his street, in front of his bust there.  

As press service of Armenian Ministry of Defense informs the commemoration events will also be continued in Shushi. 

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