The seemingly all-powerful defense minister of Karabakh, Lieutenant-General Samvel Babaian, looked set for a political triumph last week, when he forced the resignation of prime minister Leonard Petrosian. The conflict was one of personalities but also focused on economic issues, on which Babaian wanted to set policy. However, Karabakh president Arkady Gukasian stepped in to bar Babaian’s path to political power. Gukasian has personally taken over the post of prime minister. Moreover, Samvel Babaian’s brother Karo Babaian has had to resign as minister of internal affairs “in order to defuse unnecessary gossip [about the Babaians’ political ambitions]”. (Noyan-Tapan, Snark, Azg, June 5 and 6) Samvel Babaian, one of the main authors of Karabakh’s military successes, exercises political clout not only in Stepanakert but also in Yerevan.
U.S.-KAZAKH MILITARY EXERCISE UNDERWAY.