A crowd of demonstrators attempted to break into government buildings, calling Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan a “traitor” People gather at the Armenian government building to protest against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan, Armenia, September 19, 2023 © AP / Vahram Baghdasaryan
Demonstrators in the Armenian capital of Yerevan have attempted to storm government buildings, according to reports from the scene. With Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan warning of a potential “coup,” police held back the crowd and reportedly used stun grenades.
Video footage obtained by RT showed ranks of police officers forming a cordon around the cabinet building on Tuesday afternoon, as an angry crowd pelted them with bottles. The building’s glass doors were damaged, and footage shared on social media showed some members of the crowd punching and kicking police officers as they attempted to breach the cordon.
The police reportedly used stun grenades and smoke or tear gas on the crowd, with some protesters claiming to have suffered minor injuries.
BREAKING: In Yerevan, clashes have broken out between gathered citizens and the police near the Government building. The participants of the protest are demanding the immediate resignation of the government, led by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, whom they accuse of betrayal,… pic.twitter.com/OCIdYdUWu0
— 301🇦🇲 (@301arm) September 19, 2023
The protests broke out after Azerbaijan launched what it calls “counter-terrorism measures” against the ethnically-Armenian province of Nagorno-Karabakh earlier on Tuesday. Baku claims that it is targeting a buildup of the Armenian military in the province, while Yerevan denies deploying units to Nagorno-Karabakh and accuses Azerbaijan of attempting to carry out an “ethnic cleansing” of the Armenian enclave.