Society 13:31 05/03/2024 Armenia

Today marks Sparapet Vazgen Sargsyan's birthday

Today, March 5, marks the birthday anniversary of Sparapet (Chief Commander) Vazgen Sargsyan, an outstanding Armenian military and political figure, who became Armenia’s first defense minister and later also prime minister in the early independence period.

A national hero of Armenia and Artsakh, the great commander would have turned 65 today if alive.

“No one knows the price of peace better than I do, no one wants peace as much as I do… I gave everything I had to this war, and I got pride. Take this pride, take the idea and you’ll see emptiness. I have fought, I fight and I will fight for the idea, for purpose. No one will keep me silent on the way to my aim,” he said once.

Vazgen Sargsyan was born in Ararat Province of Armenia on March 5, 1959. He graduated from the 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 organiser, he joined the growing movement for 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 Defence 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 defence minister of Armenia, while from 1993–1995 he was state minister in charge of defence. In 1995, during the restructuring of government ministries, he once again became defence minister. In these various capacities he laid the groundwork for building Armenia's army, a cause dear to his heart.

After the 1999 parliamentary election, Sargsyan and Armenia's former Communist leader Karen Demirchyan formed a coalition and won a majority, after which Sargsyan became Armenia's prime minister, but a few months later both politicians, along with several others, were assassinated during the Armenian parliament shooting.



Source Panorama.am
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