|Motto(s)||Defenders of the Land|
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. The Yerkrapah is a large and influential veteran group. 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. Yerkrapah had incorporated between 5,000 and 30,000 veterans. According to Thomas de Waal, after 1994 "the veterans' group Yerkrapah became the most powerful organization in the country."
Yerkrapah Day (Armenian: Երկրապահի օր) is a professional holiday for all members of Yerkrapah, celebrated annually in Armenia on 8 May. 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. It is associated with Shushi Liberation Day. Yerkrapah Day is not a non-working day if, depending on the year, it does not fall on a weekend.
- "Համառոտ բնութագիր (Brief description)" (in Armenian). Official site of Union of Yerkrapah Volunteers. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- Levitsky, Steven. Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War. p. 209.
- P. Croissant, Michael. The Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict: causes and implications. p. 123.
- "Armenian War Veterans Divided Over 2008 Election". Armtown. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- Lowell, Barrington (2006). After Independence: Making and Protecting the Nation in Postcolonial & Postcommunist States. University of Michigan Press. p. 241.
- De Waal, Thomas. Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War. p. 244.
- Новости — Армения
- "В Армении отмечают день «Еркрапа»" (in Russian). Regnum. 8 May 2006. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
- Legislation: National Assemly of RA
- День Еркрапа в Армении — 8 мая. История и особенности праздника в проекте Календарь Праздников 2010