2020 August 21

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Aug/21/2020 news: // How the army was born in 90s // Tavush Battles. Liberation of Anvakh. Pashinyan speech. Russia responds. // COVID vs Economy // Antibody experiments // The return of HHK // Fishers and villagers protest // Should 16-year-olds vote? // Justice reforms // Lebanese-Armenian aid
by ar_david_hh


Tavush Battles / Anvakh outpost details revealed / Pashinyan speech

Captain Ruben Sanamyan received the highest title of a National Hero for his actions during Tavush Battles in July. He wants to return to his duties again.

199 soldiers received various gifts for their participation. 71 received various medals.

--

Defense Ministry: // Sanamyan is the one who organized intelligence gathering for the new Anvakh outpost, served as an example for soldiers, gave everyone individual duties, accurately predicted enemy's actions, then repelled multiple attacks [by Yashma].

He and others then risked their lives to conduct engineering work in the Anvakh outpost.

He also organized an intelligence-gathering mission and obtained the enemy's valuable documents and weapons.

43yo Sanamyan was born in Dilijan and has 2 children. He received another medal in 2012. //

--

Pashinyan: // Until now, Azerbaijan was pretending that them not attacking Armenia was a compromise on their part because they could solve the conflict through war.

The July victories proved that the Karabakh conflict doesn't have a military solution. They can't talk with the language of threat with us.

If the Karabakh conflict has a military solution, that means the citizens of Karabakh have already solved the conflict in the 90s.

Turkey's destabilizing actions around the world have raised concerns among our partners in Middle East, Eurasia, and Europe. Our MFA will work on this. //

https://factor.am/277998.html , https://factor.am/277963.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025563.html

Russian MFA comments Tavush Battles / 15km away from Azeri oil

Sergey Lavrov: // multiple factors led to it. First of all, the Karabakh conflict hasn't been resolved yet. Plus heated rhetoric on both sides leading to the events.

--

Geography also played a role. Armenia decided to revive its old outpost which is only 15km away from Azeri oil pipeline. One side became highly anxious, while the other displayed an unwarranted reaction to the other.

On July 13th, we contacted both sides and asked for a ceasefire. I also spoke with AM and AZ community leaders in Russia [about street assaults]. //

--

Azeri media outlets spread fake news about Lavrov saying "Armenia wanted to move 15 kilometers".

--

http://www.trud.ru/article/20-08-2020/1393051_sergej_lavrov_pandemija_uskorila_myslitelnye_protsessy_v_evrosojuze.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20200821174449/http://azeridaily.com/reality/57990

The real (and secret) birthday of the Armenian army

The official birthday is January 28th, 1992, but that's a bluff. It was formed on August 21st, 1990.

--

HHsH nationalists defeated Communists in 1990, and on August 21st, PM Vazgen Manukyan signed an order to create "Special" armed forces attached to Internal Affairs Ministry, to defend bordering regions and internal peace.

It was initially kept secret from Moscow in order not to provoke retaliation.

--

President LTP then disarmed the "national army" structure. PM Vazgen Manukyan explained that improperly regulated fighters posed a great threat, so it was better to include them in the new Special forces.

--

Moscow soon learned about it, so LTP sent an envoy to explain. They decided that the Special forces won't hold any parades so they could present it as exclusively a tool for internal peace.

--

By September 3rd they were hiring volunteers. Thousands had applied within days. The recruits took the oath on October 5th.

There were 26 divisions: 6 in Yerevan, 1 airborne, and sevel on the borders.

https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/08/21/Հայկական-բանակի-ծնունդը-21-օգոստոս-1990-թվական/393088

COVID stats

+158 infected. +6 deaths. 5,689 active. 192,199 tested.

The Red Cross donated 4 large medical tents to Artsakh. They can be deployed anywhere for quick assistance.

https://factor.am/277918.html , https://factor.am/278029.html

COVID vs Economy

GDP +3.9 Jan-Mar

GDP -13.7% Apr-Jun

--

The mining industry +22% like there is no pandemic.

Construction -39%

Trade -20%

Telecommunications +15%

https://hetq.am/hy/article/120753

COVID: antibody experiment to study immunity & neurology

130 recovered patients, who defeated COVID at least 2 months ago, have agreed to enroll in a medical study to have their anti-bodies examined for 6-12 months.

--

The monthly tests will keep track of changes that antibodies go through. It's needed to understand how long the body preserves the "IgG" immunity against the virus.

--

The studies are carried out by the Medical University. Their ethics board recently gave approval. "It's a harmless study. Some blood will be drawn from a vein.

Another study will examine COVID's effects on the neurological system.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025494.html

COVID: When the schools open on September 15th...

... kids won't be called near the board. The participation will be from chairs that are 1.5m apart.

Education Ministry published a PDF with a detailed map of how chairs must be set up, the classroom size, maximum hours, and the number of classes.

The school week will be 6 days to spread classes further apart.

Teachers will work the same number of hours and get paid the same.

Students must wear masks and cannot run outside when the break-bell rings.

--

BHK party accused the Ministry of running schools as "concentration camps" due to tight regulations.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/284286/

https://factor.am/277969.html

https://news.am/arm/news/598083.html

update: Court helps HHK mayor to return / Governor gets the blame

A while ago we learned how residents of Yeghegnut forced their HHK mayor to resign in 2018, citing corruption. However, the sneaky city council didn't sign to finalize the resignation documents. As a result, HHK ex-mayor sued Armavir governor to get his job back.

The court sided with the mayor and forced Armavir governor to give mayor his job back.

--

The residents of Yeghegnut are now protesting... against the governor of Armavir. "The governor is bringing back the old mayor," said the unhappy residents in front of PM's office.

One resident speculated that the governor might be in corrupt dealings with mayor Razmik Margaryan.

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/hdzgoe/jun222020_news_1_constitutional_court_bill/ , https://factor.am/277954.html , https://factor.am/277960.html

Fishers protest the environmental rules that restrict Sevan fishing

Context: The Nature Ministry recently prohibited unregulated fishing from lake Sevan. Saving the fish population will help to save the lake, which began blossoming lately, justified the Ministry. Fishing is still allowed but requires a permit and weight limitations.

--

A group of residents briefly shut down a highway. "I've been fishing for 10-20 years. No one ever bothered me. Now they came and prohibited it so they can rise fish prices," complained one fisher. They plan to close the highway again.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/284297/

Electoral reform discussions / NGOs propose lowering the voting age to 16 / Who elects president? / No guaranteed majority

The government launched a public discussion in February to gather ideas on how to improve the election process.

NGOs made proposals such as requiring valid passports to remove 188,000 ineligible voters from voter lists, which would reduce problems with gathering enough votes for local and federal referendums.

--

So far the NGOs agreed only on one thing: the stable-majority system must be abolished. Meaning, if the elections are too close and the party with the most votes doesn't cross the 54% threshold, they will no longer be artificially given enough Parliament seats to have at least 54%. This was always criticized by the opposition.

--

Another topic is the possibility that the public, and not the Parliament, will elect the president.

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NGOs discussed ways to improve training for electoral station workers/observers. They're trying to find ways to increase standards without significantly cutting the number of monitors.

--

NGOs also proposed reducing the voting age to 16 or 17, depending on the type of elections. Norway and Germany have similar pilot programs.

"16yo is already allowed to marry and pay taxes. 14yo is allowed to participate in protests."

"There wouldn't be Brexit if 17yo were allowed to vote in Britain. The elderly were against the EU, while the youth was in favor. The elderly essentially decided the youth's future for them," said Daniel Ioannisyan from Informed Citizens.

Helsinki NGO chief Sakunts also supports allowing 16yo to vote.

--

https://factor.am/278010.html , https://factor.am/277972.html , https://factor.am/278057.html

What institutional reforms have been made in justice system since 2019?

Minister Badasyan said:

Judicial candidates and other public officials will go through vetting and ethics checks.

Asset forfeiture law was passed. Next week the special group of prosecutors will begin their work.

New law to fight the criminal subculture. 6 organizers are under arrest already.

A universal government building that houses offices of several govt agencies to save citizen's time and efforts while dealing with paperwork.

All prisoners began receiving high-quality food. Positive feedback was received from their families.

For the first time, some inmates with life sentences were moved to significantly less strict conditions. Other inmates also had their restriction severity downgraded.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025501.html

IRS slowly moving to electronic service

Uncle Samvel has been improving its website to provide more services online. Today they shut down 5 offices that were handling physical applications in provincial cities, citing the existence of the same services online.

https://factor.am/278007.html

Where are they?

Fourteen Waldos got in trouble during a hiking expedition on Mt. Aragats. They called for rescuers at 9 pm.

It turns out one of them hurt their foot, while the rest couldn't climb down the rocks because - you know - climbing up is easier than climbing down. Just ask your cat.

The rescuers evacuated the group.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025504.html

Artsakh sends financial aid to Armenians in Beirut

$52,000 ain't much, but it's honest work. They earlier sent humanitarian aid with airplane. ❤

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025552.html

Startup program to help diasporan repatriates

The Diaspora Committee, GIZ, and Impact Hub launched a new pilot program called GovTech Launchpad.

Tech startups will offer modern solutions to modern problems faced by diasporan Armenians who want to (or already did) settle in Armenia.

4 winners will receive funding and mentoring from the organizers.

Links inside: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025541.html

It's that time of the week again!

Top-5 children's books read by Yerevan basement dwellers in July.

5) Harrison Potter and the Political Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Robik.

4) The Secret Garden, by Frances Burnett

3) Cipollino: how Sicilian mafia hijacked the onion business, by Giannia Rodari

2) Harrison Potter and the Smartass Rock, by J.K. Rowling.

1) The Blue Arrow, by Giannia Rodari

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025448.html

--

You've read 1642 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ie2mha/aug212020_news_how_the_army_was_born_in_90s/

Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams ֏ unless specified otherwise. Helpful overview of Armenia's media ownership and leanings.


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