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“If we talk about nationally oriented businesses — there is an expression, especially now and especially in Russia — this is Ruben Vardanyan. He renounced his Russian citizenship. Some say it was to evade sanctions. But, unlike Oleg Tinkov and Arkady Volozh, who were also avoiding sanctions but without renouncing Russian citizenship, he left for Nagorno-Karabakh. He left to spend part of the money on his motherland — to try and help with his managerial skills. At the same time, he was well aware that if this did not work, he could be killed or, at best, locked away. In this situation, most would leave their motherland, but instead Vardanyan went there. This is an act of true patriotism and courage. And we really are hoping for a miracle. We pray that under the international community’s pressure, Azerbaijan will grant amnesty to these people. But I believe that after such an act, one doesn’t believe that prison is the worst punishment, but rather the loss of his homeland. I have no doubt that Vardanyan will be written down in Armenian history textbooks despite there being little mention of businessmen there.”

Kirill Shulika, journalist and blogger