In a video disseminated on YouTube on Sept. 27, Armenian novelist, traveler and sports expert Zori Balayan can be seen giving a toast at a wedding in Nagorno-Karabakh. In his remarks, he refers to “our [i.e. Karabakh’s] newly elected president Arkadi Ghukasyan” which means it’s safe to assume the incident took place in 1997 or 2002.
In the video Balayan says, “I recently called our president-elect, our favorite Arkady Ghukasyan and said, ‘One Hayastanci [citizen of Armenia] told me that the people of Karabakh are Neanderthals. We asked them, they have to capture Baku and they’ve come to capture Yerevan. You are the Neanderthals who don’t understand: prior to capturing Baku we have to first capture Yerevan. Because without that, it won’t work. And knowing that we are absolutely fated for victory, because [then in verse]
“Whatever is good in this world, all of it exists in Karabakh
All of it and more
No mountain compares to our mountains
Like my mother, who is better than all the mothers in the world,
So the land of my Karabakh is sweet
And let God bless her
And He will, have no doubt about that —
For God himself is a Kharabakhtsi [from Karabakh].”
This toast was followed by loud applause from wedding attendees.