An RFE/RL Armenian Service report led to a pledge by the Armenian government to follow through on the promise that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian gave to residents of a local village more than two months ago.
The Armenian Service series, Inside the Village, focuses on life in different rural communities across Armenia. During a May 15 episode of the Service’s Inside the Village series which focused on the village of Sis, some of the local children complained that no progress has been made in repairing a road in the village.
During a government meeting on May 23, Pashinian asked his Minister of Territorial Administration and Development, Suren Papikian, whether he had “seen the video where children of the village of Sis give interviews and say: ‘Nikol came, promised to fix the road, but forgot to fulfill that promise.’ Why aren’t you building the road? Children complain. That won’t do.” The minister replied, in light of the children’s request, that the village’s road would be asphalted. A follow-up video juxtaposing the children’s requests with the government’s interaction was viewed 405,000 times on Facebook and shared 5,800 times.
The Armenian Service also provided extensive coverage of debate in Armenia over planned judicial reform. Armenian Prime Minister Pashinian has demanded radical reform of the judiciary, contending that many courts have lost their legitimacy and too many judges are beholden to the country’s former authorities. The Service’s video coverage of May 20 pro-government protests near the courts, as well as a later rally by an Armenian opposition party, parliamentary hearings on transitional justice, and related events earned over 4 million views on Facebook and YouTube, further testimony that RFE/RL is a trusted source for the most important news in Armenia.