Assignment: Armenia’s Daredevils
BBC World Service Assignment: Armenia’s Daredevils tells the true story that started in July, as Armenian war veterans (from the country’s war with neighbouring Azerbaijan in the 1990s) stormed a police station, killing one policeman and taking several hostages. The men called themselves the Daredevils of Sassoun, after one of Armenia’s most popular epic poems.
Among the reasons the gunmen gave for their actions was the loss of hard-won territory around the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh this April.
The two-week long standoff between security forces and the Daredevils sparked a wave of anti-government protests. For Assignment, Rayhan Demytrie looks at the reawakening among Armenians angered by government corruption and its inability to end the conflict with Azerbaijan.
Assignment looks at what made these men, described by the authorities as terrorists, resort to such methods, and why so many Armenians still consider them heroes.