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Armenia's Police Chief Dismissed, Appointed Adviser To Pashinian

Outgoing Armenian police chief Valeri Osipian (file photo)
Outgoing Armenian police chief Valeri Osipian (file photo)

YEREVAN -- Armenian police chief Valeri Osipian has been fired, two days after the resignation of the National Security Service (NSS) head.

President Armen Sarkissian relieved Osipian of his duties in a decree requested by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian.

Pashinian did not immediately explain the move.

In a statement, Osipian said he "will talk about the reasons for my departure later," and insisted that he had always been guided by the police "officer’s honor and dignity."

The government's official website later announced his appointment as chief adviser to Pashinian. It didn’t provide further details.

While announcing his resignation on September 16, NSS Director Artur Vanetsian criticized Pashinian's leadership style, which he said ran counter to "an officer's honor."

Pashinian has yet to name successors to Osipian and Vanetsian.

Osipian was appointed to the helm of the national police service in May 2018, shortly after Pashinian came to power following peaceful protests that he spearheaded.

He previously served as deputy head of Yerevan's police department responsible for public order and crowd control, and personally monitored many anti-government rallies staged in the Armenian capital during former President Serzh Sarkisian’s rule.