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Armenian Culture, Science and Education Development Foundation
14/03/2016

4,500 Guests Attend Special Armenian Genocide Program in Kremlin Hall

Հարութ-Սասունյան1
armenianlife.com: The 10th annual Armenian Music Awards (AMA) program was held on February 27, at the Kremlin’s Kevorkiev Hall in Moscow, with 4,500 guests in attendance. Many of Armenia’s top stars entertained the large crowd with patriotic songs and musical performances for more than four hours.

This year’s program, organized by Valeriy Saharyan, recognized the important contributions made by 12 individuals and organizations on the occasion of the Armenian Genocide Centennial, including:
— Vladimir Zhirinovsky (member of the Russian Parliament),
— Harut Sassounian (Publisher of The California Courier and President of Armenia Artsakh Fund),
— Armenia Futura,
— Sergey Smpatian (conductor).
Other honorees, some of whom could not be present, appeared by video or through a representative:
— Valerie Boyer (member of the French Parliament),
— Vigen Sargsyan (Armenian President’s Chief of Staff and Coordinator of Programs organized by the State Centennial Committee of the Armenian Genocide),
— Armenia’s Minister of Culture,
— Archbishop Ezras Nercessian (Primate of Moscow and Nor Nakhichevan),
— Serj Tankian (System of a Down),
— Rouben Vartanian (benefactor and businessman),
— Artur Janipekyan (Gazprom Media Holding),
— Ara Vartanyan (Hayastan All-Armenian Fund).

In receiving his award, Zhirinovsky had strong words for Turkey. Here are excerpts from his remarks:
“The day will come when Armenians will celebrate their festivals in the territory of liberated Western Armenia. That could be a festival bearing the name of your holy mountain — Mount Ararat — and could take place in Kars, Ardahan, Sassoun or Trabizon…. After the downing of the Russian jet, I would have ordered a powerful attack on Turkey. Today, very little would have remained of Turkey…. I wish the dream of Armenians worldwide would become a reality; that those who committed that horrible genocide on April 1915, during World War I, would be punished.”

Zhirinovsky continued his aggressive words stating that Turkey attacked the Armenians who “were living in their homeland, in their land. But the Turks were nomads; their homeland is in Central Asia, in Tashkent. They should go there and leave Anatolia to Armenians, Kurds, and Greeks. And Constantinople should be a free city. Times are changing. It is possible that shortly this would become a reality. Armenians, no one will bother you. Therefore, the descendants of Western Armenia should prepare their documents to get back their lost lands and properties. I am not talking a lot of ‘hot air.’ I am convinced that Armenians will shortly commemorate not the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, but celebrate the liberation of Western Armenia. And the Armenian flag will fly in Kars, Ardahan, on Ararat, Sassoun, and Trabizon.”

I had a hard act to follow after Zhirinovsky’s powerful words. In accepting my award, I made the following brief remarks:
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