Disinformation: Vilen Gaifejian and Khachatur Sukiasyan collaborating with Azerbaijani terrorist organizations

Verdict: Fake News

The Facebook page “Conscious citizen of Armenia'' («ՀՀ սթափ քաղաքացի» [HH stap qaxaqatsi]) published a video clip on June 7, announcing that the Special Services of Armenia have made discoveries that Vilen Gaifejian and Khachatur Sukiasyan had been collaborating with Azerbaijani terrorist organizations during the 44-day war, by conducting illegal trade of missing persons and prisoners of war.

The Information is Not Supported By Factual Evidence

Even though the Facebook page cites the discoveries of law enforcement agencies in their video clip about the illegal trade of bodies, the information released by the National Security Service of Armenia (NSS) is not cited as a source. Moreover, a primary source to validate these assertions does not exist at all.

In the one-minute clip, the authors claim that the NSS has uncovered a collaboration between Vilen Gaifejian and Azerbaijani terrorist organizations during the 44-day war. Allegedly, the negotiations happened with the interference of the Turkish banks. Another individual: Khachatur Sukiasyan, according to the sources, was involved in this business as well.

According to the video, Sukiasyan has a long-standing connection with the ambassador of Azerbaijan in Georgia who granted him funds for the realization of various projects. Their cooperation was supposedly initiated in 2016, beginning with the four-day war.

The clip ends by saying that Gaifejyan is under the surveillance of the Special Services of Armenia, “however, they will handle the matters after the end of Nikol Pashinyan's government on June 20.”

The allegations made in the clip have no basis in fact. It is worth noting, that the NSS has disclosed cases of treachery that happened during the 44-day war; there have been detainees as a result of these discoveries. The last press release containing information on alleged treason was shared on June 7.

The video clip had been viewed 47 thousand times by June 11 and shared more than 460 times.

The Page that is Spreading this News is Pro-Kocharyan

The news about body trade, which is being presented by the “Conscious citizen of Armenia'' as a leak of information, is shared on an unreliable and biased platform. This Facebook page supports the Second President of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan.

The evidence of the political biases of this page are many: in one case they wrote “We are going to win… Kocharyan for prime minister!”. In another case, the page published Kocharyan’s speech, with a comment that “Kocharyan guaranteed his victory with this talk.” The page also drew parallels between Kocharyan and a French president – Charles de Gaulle, foreseeing that like de Gaulle, Kocharyan will also rise from ruins and form a new republic. “Conscious citizen of Armenia'' contrasted the personalities of Pashinyan and Kocharyan, targeting the supporters of the incumbent prime minister. They shared conspiracy videos about a contract between Pashinyan and Aliyev: “he will sell all he’ll manage to the Turks before losing his position and fleeing the country.”

Besides, even though there is a claim in the video that the leaked information has not been published yet, it has notable similarities with treachery cases disclosed by the NSS on June 7 and May 12. In the first discovered case, the suspected traitors held meetings with the representatives of the Azerbaijani side in Georgia, in the Embassy of Azerbaijan. In the second case, the Azerbaijani NSS spotted the Armenians in Turkey and began collaborating with them.

The names of the same countries appear in the scenario attributed to the NSS in the video clip. It declares that Gaifejyan and Sukiasyan knew and conducted deals with the Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Georgia, while the money transfer had occurred through the interference of a Turkish bank.

The “Protagonists” of the Video Clip Have Affiliations with Pashinyan's Team Members

Besides the fact that the video was shared by Kocharyan’s supporters, it also targets two individuals from Nikol Pashinyan’s political team.

Vilen Gayfejyan is known to the public with the YouTube show “SOS”, which he was releasing before the revolution; it criticized the official authorities. In May 2021 Gaifejyan became a Member of the City Council by My Step Alliance. And Khachatur Sukiasyan’s name is on the electoral list of the Civil Contract party.

Khachatur Sukiasyan's spokeswoman Anna Mkrtchyan called this news "nonsensical". "The media is filled with garbage that I don’t even want to discuss. I don’t wish to comment on garbage", she said.

Vilen Gaifejyan calls this behavior “belligerent” and considers it a “cheap move”. In his opinion, smart people will not see any validity in the statements made against him. “I don’t know who exactly did it, but I have my doubts which power stands behind this. I am seeing this precisely in the light of the upcoming elections because we recently released a new program and immediately after that they started with these cheap moves.” On June 4, Gayfejyan’s team released a program named “Salute, Rob | The Truth 2.0”, which criticizes Robert Kocharyan.

We asked NSS to comment on the allegations aired in the video clip. Once the answer is received, the article will be updated.

We asked NSS to comment on the allegations aired in the video clip. In response to our written inquiry, the National Security Service replied that "the NSS of Armenia possesses no information regarding the news."

Editor's note:the article was updated on 25 June, 2021 with the comment from Armenia's National Security Service.


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.