False Information: Anna Hakobyan and Nikol Pashinyan have gotten Divorced

Verdict – fake news

The Information Did Not Have a Source and the Screenshot Spreading Was Fake

A piece of news allegedly published by Radio Liberty (RFE / RL’s) claimed the incumbent Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia (RA) Nikol Pashinyan getting divorced from his wife. The reason, apparently, was a deputy candidate from the I Have Honor Alliance. This news does not match reality. The media outlet did not publish this information, and the screenshot that the sources used is fake.

The news started circulating on June 11, via the Messenger app. It stated that the incumbent Prime Minister of the RA Nikol Pashinyan and his wife Anna Hakobyan had gotten divorced. The alleged reason for this was Tigran Vardanyan, an MP candidate from the I Have Honor Alliance. The information was spread in a form of a screenshot, and it never included a valid link to the source.

The screenshot became popular on social media when it was used to refute the statement. Tigran Vardanyan published it on his Facebook page and wrote that it is a “filthy lie”, and that he had never even met Anna Hakobyan face to face. Vardanyan said in a conversation with us that neither he had seen any other evidence besides the pictures and suggested that the screenshots were fake.

Vardanyan later deleted his Facebook post, but we still have a screenshot of it saved.

Radio Liberty Did Not Report Such News

Radio Liberty has not shared this information. The screenshot appeared only on the Messenger app and was published for negating the information. None of the people who shared the screenshot, including Tigran Vardanyan, could provide us any reference or source of the news.

The Chief Producer of RFE / RL Artak Hambardzumyan also confirmed that Radio Liberty had not shared such information.

This News Had Appeared In the Past Too

The news about Nikol Pashinyan and Anna Hakobyan getting divorced was published in February of 2021 as well, by “A T A V info” YouTube channel. The video clip gathered more than 15 thousand views. We can find a lot of 'sensational' and fake content on “A T A V info”’s channel.

A Facebook user named Նոնա Աբրահամյան [Nona Abrahamyan] was sharing the clip. By looking at the Facebook posts of this user we find that they were sharing every single new video released by the channel “A T A V info”.

The user shared the video on a Facebook page called “Artsakh news” («Արցախյան լրահոս»; [Arts’akhyan lrahos]). This page has over 37,200 followers and, as a rule, spreads the content discrediting the current government. This can be seen by analyzing some of the posts that the page has published. They write, for example, that Khachatur Sukiasyan, the Civil Contract Party MP candidate is a member of the Turkish Grey Wolves organization. Also, a video shared on the page shows people insulting Nikol Pashinyan. The supporters of Pashinyan have often been targeted by different posts published on this page.


This article was produced in partnership with Media Initiatives Center and is part of Facebook’s Fact-checking Programme. Given the rating, Facebook may impose different restrictions – click here for full information. For information on issuing a correction or to dispute a rating, please see here.