Arkadi Ghukasyan

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Arkadi Ghukasyan
Արկադի Ղուկասյան
2nd President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
In office
8 September 1997 – 7 September 2007
Prime MinisterLeonard Petrosyan
Zhirayr Poghosyan
Anushavan Danielyan
Preceded byLeonard Petrosyan (acting)
Succeeded byBako Sahakyan
Foreign Minister of Nagorno-Karabakh
In office
23 July 1993 – 8 September 1997
PresidentRobert Kocharyan
Leonard Petrosyan
Preceded byposition established
Succeeded byNaira Melkumian
Personal details
Born (1957-06-22) 22 June 1957 (age 66)
Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, Azerbaijan SSR, Soviet Union
Political partyIndependent
Alma materYerevan State University

Arkadi Arshaviri Ghukasyan (Armenian: Արկադի Արշավիրի Ղուկասյան; born 22 June 1957) is an Artsakhi politician who served as the second President of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. He was elected as the President on 8 September 1997 and re-elected in 2002, until his term ended on 7 September 2007 and was succeeded by Bako Sahakyan. He was detained by Azerbaijani forces after the 2023 Azerbaijani offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh and is currently facing criminal charges in Azerbaijan.


Arkadi Ghukasyan was born in Stepanakert in the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Republic of the Azerbaijan SSR on 22 June 1957. He graduated from Yerevan State University with a degree in linguistics in 1979. He started his career as a correspondent for the newspaper Khorhrdayin Gharabagh ("Soviet Karabakh"), becoming its deputy editor-in-chief in 1981.[citation needed]

In 1991, Ghukasyan was elected to the first parliament of the newly declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR). In September 1992, he was appointed political adviser to the Chairman of the State Defense Committee, and headed the NKR's delegations during OSCE-mediated negotiations with Azerbaijan.[citation needed]

Ghukasyan has been a member of Nagorno-Karabakh's Security Council since 1993. On 23 July 1993, he became the first Foreign Minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.[citation needed]

He survived an assassination attempt in 2000. Samvel Babayan, whom he had recently sacked as defence minister, was convicted of organising the attack and sentenced to 14 years in prison.[1] Babayan was released from imprisonment on 18 September 2004 due to health concerns, with the terms of release including a probationary period and continued disenfranchisement.[2]

In 2015, it was reported that Ghukasyan was the unofficial leader of the Artsakh Republican Party.[3]

On 3 October 2023, Ghukasyan and two other former presidents of Artsakh, Bako Sahakyan and Arayik Harutyunyan, together with former president of the National Assembly Davit Ishkhanyan, were detained by the State Security Service of Azerbaijan and brought to Baku.[4][5] Ghukasyan and the other arrested former officials are reportedly facing "grave criminal charges" in Azerbaijan.[6]

Personal life[edit]

He has divorced once and remarried.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Regions and territories: Nagorno-Karabakh". BBC News. 10 January 2012. Archived from the original on 4 January 2006.
  2. ^ "The rise and fall of Samvel Babayan". Armenian News Network / Groong. 6 October 2004. Archived from the original on 14 September 2023.
  3. ^ "Արցախի Հանրապետական կուսակցություն ստեղծողները հայտնի «ղուկասյանականներ» են. «Հրապարակ»" [The founders of the Republican Party of Artsakh are well-known Ghukasyan supporters: Hraparak]. 20 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Bako Sahakyan, Arkady Gukasyan, David Ishkhanyan were detained and brought to Baku". Azerbaijani Press Agency. 3 October 2023. Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  5. ^ "Azerbaijan detains Arayik Harutyunyan - so-called former "leader" of separatists in Garabagh". Azerbaijani Press Agency. 3 October 2023. Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  6. ^ "Armenia Condemns Arrests Of Karabakh Leaders". Azatutyun. 4 October 2023. Retrieved 21 October 2023.

External links[edit]

Preceded by President of Artsakh
Succeeded by