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Yerkrapah logo.png
ActiveJuly 1993[1]—present
Country Armenia
Motto(s)Defenders of the Land
EngagementsNagorno-Karabakh War
Vazgen Sargsyan

Yerkrapah Volunteer Union (Armenian: «Երկրապահ» կամավորական միություն, ԵԿՄ «Yerkrapah» kamavorakan miut'yun, YeKM) or Yerkrapah Union of Veterans, meaning Defenders of the Land, is a non-governmental group that consisted of 6,000 Nagorno-Karabakh War veterans, formed by Vazgen Sargsyan.[3] The Yerkrapah is a large and influential veteran group.[4] The Yerkrapah Union was actively involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh War although after the death of Sargsyan, Yerkrapah began to decline in support in politics.[5] Yerkrapah had incorporated between 5,000 and 30,000 veterans.[2] According to Thomas de Waal, after 1994 "the veterans' group Yerkrapah became the most powerful organization in the country."[6]

Yerkrapah Day[edit]

Yerkrapah Day (Armenian: Երկրապահի օր) is a professional holiday for all members of Yerkrapah[7], celebrated annually in Armenia on 8 May.[8] The official status of Yerkrapah Day holiday was conceived after the entry of a law which President Robert Kocharyan signed on 6 January 2001 and which the Parliament of Armenia approved on 24 July that year.[9] It is associated with Shushi Liberation Day.[10] Yerkrapah Day is not a non-working day if, depending on the year, it does not fall on a weekend.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Համառոտ բնութագիր (Brief description)" (in Armenian). Official site of Union of Yerkrapah Volunteers. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b Levitsky, Steven. Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War. p. 209.
  3. ^ P. Croissant, Michael. The Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict: causes and implications. p. 123.
  4. ^ "Armenian War Veterans Divided Over 2008 Election". Armtown. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  5. ^ Lowell, Barrington (2006). After Independence: Making and Protecting the Nation in Postcolonial & Postcommunist States. University of Michigan Press. p. 241.
  6. ^ De Waal, Thomas. Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War. p. 244.
  7. ^ Новости — Армения
  8. ^ "В Армении отмечают день «Еркрапа»" (in Russian). Regnum. 8 May 2006. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
  9. ^ Legislation: National Assemly of RA
  10. ^ День Еркрапа в Армении — 8 мая. История и особенности праздника в проекте Календарь Праздников 2010

External links[edit]