Excerpts from Armenian President Armen Sarkissian’s speeches on the anniversary of the 1988 earthquake have been posted on his Facebook page, when he served in 2018 as President and in 1997—as Prime Minister.
"People live in the most difficult conditions for 7-8 years and do not murmur," then Prime Minister Armen Sarkissian had noted in 1997. "I can't imagine whether there is any other country on earth where people who live so direly (...) don't say their complaints because they know that people have other problems, they are in a struggle for survival."
“Today I am the President of Armenia,” President Armen Sarkissian had said in 2018. "But I keep thinking about you, Gyumri, first of all as an Armenian, as a person who knows very well what Gyumri is, who the people of Gyumri are."
One of the most brutal tragedies in modern Armenian history took place on December 7, 1988. At 11:41am that day, the northern regions of the then Armenian SSR were shaken by a devastating earthquake. More than 25,000 people were killed, tens of thousands were injured, and hundreds of thousands were left homeless.