Mikayel Hayrapetyan Միքայել Հայրապետյան

* 1965

  • The KGB decided that the Soviet Union, a vast empire, one of the two great poles, needed to undergo a serious transformation. What did it need to do? To create fire pits [conflicts] so that the arrow would not suddenly be directed against the USSR.

  • Even prior to the Karabakh movement, thanks to Avetik Ishkhanyan, several people had created the “Mashtots” union, and people like me threw themselves headlong there, it came from our hearts. We went to the schools. We didn't have any issues in Pushkin's school and so we omitted that one. Albert Beglaryan was a talented person, under the name of turning the school into a gymnasium, he gradually began to Armenianize some subjects with a conservative method. He said the future belongs to this. But in late 87 and beginning of 88 we used to go to many schools and fight. We did it under the guidance of Avetik Ishkhanyan. It took the form of a more robust movement in 1988, when we felt the breath of the Karabakh movement behind us.

  • Vahan was very brave. He possessed unparalleled courage. Vahan said that we should do everything to go to prison, in order to get to know the Jews and Ukrainians. I said, no, you don't need to go to prison, and that we would get there one day either way. Being free one more day, being caught one day late meant doing more work one more day, or convincing one more person not to send their child to Russian school, to convince people that communism was a bad thing.

  • When I was under interrogation for three months, my mother was crying alone at home. Among our relatives, only my uncle (may he rest in peace) came to our house from another city. None of our neighbors would enter our house. Everyone had turned their backs on us, both neighbors and relatives.

  • The teachers loved me very much. Russian language teachers. There was a Soviet prosecutor named Orekhov. For example, when he came here to make arrests and tried to enter the Pushkin school, the same teachers hid me away and started a fight, kicking out Orekhov and his men. They didn't let him get close to me.

  • If Gorbachev didn't come to power, unfortunately, Article 65, which was called the article of anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda and under which our most enlightened people, Azat Arshakyan, Paruyr Hayrikyan, Ashot Navasardyan, Shirak Gyunashyan, were tried and imprisoned, we would also have possibly been imprisoned for two to seven years.

  • “We were tried in the Supreme Court of Soviet Armenia under Article 65. We went out during the break, and saw someone’s trial next door for large bribery. They asked Vardan, “What did you eat?” [in terms of corruption], Vardan said, “We didn't eat, we read” in that tiny voice of his."

  • - Why would the Russian KGB kill Marius Yuzbashyan or Hambardzum Galstyan? - I am hundred percent sure, not even a milligram of doubt, that the Russians eliminated Marius Yuzbashyan. Marius Yuzbashyan was a high-class detective, a representative of high-class special services. I was caught during his service, I should have hated him, but I absolutely did not. I have deep respect. Because he possessed information about the entire Middle East as well as Eastern Europe.

  • “I remember when Paruyr Hayrikyan was not allowed to approach the microphone, one evening at dusk we were standing with Vahan Ishkhanyan, Hayrikyan said something, the committee members attacked him. Vahan and I ran to save him, and Vahan also had to hit someone, it turned out that he was from the AIM, not one of those who attacked Paruyr.”

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    Yerevan, 30.11.2023

    duration: 01:07:50
    media recorded in project Memory of Armenian Nation
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If it wasn’t for 1988, maybe I would have become a scientist

Mikayel Hayrapetyan 2023
Mikayel Hayrapetyan 2023
photo: Natáčení

Mikayel Hayrapetyan was born in Yerevan in 1965. He studied at the Faculty of Philology of Yerevan State University. During Soviet times, he was among the group of students distributing banned literature at the university. He was a graduate student of the Manuk Abeghyan Institute of Literature. Mikayelyan taught Armenian language and literature at the school named after Pushkin. He was one of the active participants of the 1988 movement, as a member of the independentist wing. The activism was aimed at the abolition of Russian schools and the increase of Armenian language classes in schools. He worked in “Mashtots”, “Independence”, “Shrjan” and other newspapers. In the 90s, he was known for the “National Chocher” series satirizing Armenian politicians. He hosted the “Knowing Meaning and Wisdom” section of the “Mayreni” program of the Armenian State Television. Due to the events of March 1, 2008, he was expelled from the State Engineering University of Armenia, and went underground.