A powerful explosion occurred in a shopping center in the Armenian capital Yerevan just after noon on August 14. The Ministry of Emergency Situations reported that the blast hit the Surmalu shopping center. The explosion also started a fire in a three-story building of local warehouses, which later partially collapsed.

As of midday local Yerevan time on August 15, the blast had claimed at least six lives and hospitalized 61 people, of whom 24 have mild injuries.

According to the previous version and eyewitness accounts, two powerful explosions with a fire and the collapse of the building occurred in a warehouse containing pyrotechnics. However, according Hor Abrahamyan, an aide to the prosecutor-general, the cause has not yet been established.


The Investigative Committee has opened criminal proceedings under two articles: 1) violation of fire safety rules or requirements, which caused the death of a person or other serious consequences due to carelessness; 2) violation of rules or requirements for storage, accounting, transportation, delivery or use of flammable or combustible materials, which caused the death of a person or other serious consequences due to negligence.

The Minister of Emergency Situations of Armenia, Armen Pambukhchyan, ruled out a terrorist attack at the Surmalu shopping center.

“Judging by the video of the moment of the explosion, there is no question of a terrorist act.  Because at the very beginning there was a fire, then clouds of smoke fell, after which it exploded,” Pambukhchyan told reporters.

However, on the same day, the operation of the capital’s subway was halted because of a bomb threat.  This was reported by Tatev Khachatryan, the press secretary of the metro.

The Ministry of Emergency Situations reported that it had also received information that explosives had been planted at all the most important military and civilian facilities, in all shopping centers, and in other locations, including  the National Assembly and in the church of Sur Grigor Lusavorich.


However, terrorism is not being completely ruled out in the August 14 attack. After all, the blasts could have been planned by the Russian government. In so doing, Russia could start “intimidating Europe” with terrorist attacks.

Before the start of the full-scale war on Ukraine, the Kremlin often used terrorist attacks to manipulate the international political arena in order to achieve its interests. Since the start of the war, it can be seen that the number of terrorist attacks has decreased. This can probably be connected with the fact that the Russian government is not interested in this. However, due to failures on the battlefield in Ukraine, Russia could once again resort to such blackmail.

Vladimir Putin began his career by allegedly organizing terrorist attacks on the territory of his own country so as to increase his ratings in the elections. Terrorist attacks like those at Nord-Ost and killings in Beslan were used to accuse the Chechens of terrorist activities. Numerous journalistic investigations have found that in such cases the trail leads to the main intelligence agency and Federal Security Service, aka FSB.


Moscow has since then repeatedly told its Western partners that they would not be able to cope with terrorism without Russia. Evidence of the presence of Russia’s main intelligence agency have also been found in many murders and terrorist attacks.

It is also interesting that on July 15, 2022, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns, visited Yerevan. This is the first visit by a head of the CIA to Armenia. Burns international and regional security and the fight against terrorism with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Political scientist Tigran Grigoryan told Radio Azatutyun on July 15 that, according to his information, there are American and Russian security experts in Yerevan, whose main topic of discussion is Ukraine.

“Based on scanty information, it can be assumed that Yerevan or Armenia was simply chosen as a place for some secret negotiations with Russia, since, according to my information, Russian and American experts also arrived in Yerevan a few days ago for this purpose. Therefore, I can assume that the visit by Burns can also be in this context,” Grigoryan said.

In response to the question why, in his opinion, Armenia was chosen, Grigoryan replied: “Because Armenia is to some extent a neutral country, despite the fact that it is an ally of Russia, it took a neutral position regarding the Ukrainian war, it has good relations with both the USA and with Russia, and for both countries this is an acceptable place, as I believe, for such meetings.”

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