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Kardashian 'Inspired' By Armenian Events, Lauds Peevish 'Grandmother' Who Berates Protesters

A young fan takes a selfie with Kim Kardashian during her visit to Yerevan in 2015.

American reality TV star Kim Kardashian waded into the dramatic protests in Armenia that led to Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian resigning by saying she was "inspired" by the events.

But the photo in Kardashian's "inspired" tweet shows her meeting an elderly Armenian woman with a record of haranguing those who oppose Sarkisian's Republican Party of Armenia.

Kardashian -- who often states her pride in being of Armenian descent -- was apparently unaware of the grandmother's reputation, tweeting that she "represents the heart of so many strong Armenians."

The woman, whom Kardashian met during her 2015 visit to Yerevan, has earned the nickname "HHK Grandmother," a reference to Sarkisian's HHK, or Republican, party.

Not much is known about her, and RFE/RL was unable to ascertain her name, age, or whereabouts. But RFE/RL's Armenian Service says she is known for approaching senior party officials at various public events and singing their praises.

That includes acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetian, a Sarkisian ally who was named as his interim replacement following the prime minister's surprise resignation on April 23.

The Yerevan pensioner has also gotten into physical altercations and wielded her cane as a weapon against those who run afoul of her.

According to an Armenian news report in August 2014, HHK Grandmother "offended, insulted, and hit" opposition activists protesting outside Yerevan City Hall with her cane.

Twitter users needled Kardashian, whose Armenian ancestors immigrated to the United States in the 19th century, for addressing the recent protests for the first time with a photograph of a woman associated with support for Sarkisian's ruling party.

According to a report by Britain's Daily Mail, HHK Grandmother waited outside Kardashian's hotel in Yerevan for 12 hours a day, three days in a row to meet the visiting celebrity during her 2015 visit.

One Armenian news agency caught up with HHK Grandmother in the run-up to her eventual encounter with Kardashian, in which the two women exchanged a warm hug.

During the interview, she described Kardashian as the "best girl in the world."

One Twitter user quipped that HHK Grandmother is "probably just as famous as Kim Kardashian in Armenia."

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    Carl Schreck

    Carl Schreck is an award-winning investigative journalist who serves as RFE/RL's enterprise editor. He has covered Russia and the former Soviet Union for more than 20 years, including a decade in Moscow. He has led investigations into corruption, cronyism, and disinformation campaigns in Russia and Central Asia, as well as on poisoning attacks against Kremlin opponents and assassinations of Iranian exiles in the West. Schreck joined RFE/RL in 2014.