Tragedy of October 27

Tragedy of October 27

On 27 October 1999, at around 5:15 p.m., five men led by journalist and former Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) member Nairi Hunanyan, armed with Kalashnikov AK-47 rifles, broke into the National Assembly building, while the government was holding a question-and-answer session. They shot dead eight people, including Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan and Parliament Speaker Karen Demirchyan, whose coalition had won a majority in a parliamentary election held in May of that year. 

Photo : Armenpress

 

The terrorists claimed they were carrying out a coup d’état, describing their act as “patriotic” and “needed for the nation to regain its senses,” said they wanted to “punish the authorities for what they do to the nation” and described the government as profiteers “drinking the blood of the people”

 

Emergency cars arriving to the National Assembly

 

Hundreds of policemen and military personnel were brought into Yerevan, surrounding the National Assembly building

 

Terrorists murdered eight people: 
Vazgen Sargsyan, Prime Minister
Karen Demirchyan, National Assembly Speaker
Yuri Bakhshyan, Deputy National Assembly Speaker
Ruben Miroyan, Deputy National Assembly Speaker
Leonard Petrosyan, Minister of Urgent Affairs
Henrik Abrahamyan, Member of Parliament
Armenak Armenakyan, Member of Parliament
Mikayel Kotanyan, Member of Parliament

 

The five main perpetrators of the shooting (Nairi Hunanyan, his younger brother Karen Hunanyan, their uncle Vram Galstyan, Derenik Ejanyan and Eduard Grigoryan) were sentenced to life in prison on 2 December 2003

 

The state funeral ceremony for the victims of the parliament shooting took place from 30 October to 31 October 1999, starting in the Liberty Square, near the Opera House

 

President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan and Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin at the funeral of the victims of the attack 

 

Funeral procession passing through the Mashtots Avenue in the center of Yerevan