2020 December 14

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Daily news wrap-up

Dec/14/2020 news wrap-up: \\ POWs exchanged: all-for-all principle \\ post-skirmish: peacekeepers in Artsakh villages \\ Pashinyan speech: borders, POWs, fake news \\ OSCE Minsk Group gets no love \\ ambulance workers get some love \\ landmine removal \\ opposition rallies \\ electricity for Artsakh
by ar_david_hh


Your 11-minute Monday report in 2777 words.

update: border clash in Artsakh's Hin Tagher village

Last weekend, Azeris attacked the narrow strip of land west of the Shushi-Hadrut corridor. No Russian peacekeepers were stationed in this area until last Saturday. Six Armenian soldiers have been wounded; two Azeris died and four wounded.

Artsakh official Khanumyan: 9 other Armenian reservists, who are serving in this area, were encircled during the clashes. One of them was wounded at the time of the last contact. The army has been unable to contact them since the weekend. The peacekeepers will clarify their status today.

Pashinyan: The fate of Khtsaberd [20km from Hadrut] and Hin Tagher villages is the first serious test for the Russian peacekeeping mission. Azerbaijan wants to show that the peacekeepers are unable to stop their provocations.

The peacekeepers updated their map to include these areas. That means they should ensure that the status of the territory is in line with the provisions of the November 9 trilateral declaration. This, in turn, means that since the area was under Armenian control, it must remain under Armenian control.

We have confirmed 6 wounded on our side. There are reports of more casualties but the data is being clarified right now because their geolocation is currently unreachable.

Artsakh MFA: Minsk Co-Chairs should condemn Azerbaijan's provocations.

Mayor of a village: Azeris cut off the road two days ago. The peacekeepers came and installed an observation point in the village. They are negotiating with Azeris to reopen the road.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037716.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037790.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037788.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037786.html , https://factor.am/320471.html

Putin's spokesman Peskov: There was an alarming situation, but it was neutralized very quickly. We have little information. We are following the events.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037748.html

Artsakh HR Ombudsman visited the villages Hin Shen and Mets Shen to meet the local population. "It is commendable that some units of the Defense Army and Russian peacekeeping troops are monitoring the situation on the ground, due to which no incident has been reported. However, more serious efforts are needed to resolve the issue, to expel Azerbaijani servicemen from those areas, to ensure physical security for children and locals."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037802.html

meeting with OCSE Minsk group

OCSE Minsk Group arrived in Armenia and met MFA Ayvazyan.

https://factor.am/320480.html

A group of nationalist and Russia-critical demonstrators, who are against the former regime and the current government, gathered outside of the office to protest.

https://factor.am/320408.html

Artsakh prez. spokesman: The meeting between president Arayik and OCSE Minsk Group co-chairs from France, USA, and Anjey Kaspshik has been canceled per Armenian request because the Russian co-chair of Minsk Group is not participating in the regional visit.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037754.html

a landmine explosion in Aghdam region

... left one Azeri soldier dead and two severely wounded.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037738.html

20,000 explosives and weapons were neutralized in Artsakh

... as part of the joint efforts by Russian peacekeepers and Artsakh govt. The capital Stepanakert is 90% clear.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037778.html

four Azeri soldiers are detained

Azerbaijan claims they have arrested four soldiers after they were exposed while mutilating corpses and vandalizing Armenian graves.

https://factor.am/320691.html

Pashinyan about border demarcation on Syunik border:

The clarification of the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Syunik region requires an urgent solution. These unresolved issues need to be addressed through cold, calm, and hard work. The principle of inviolability of the Armenian borders can not be questioned in any way.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037715.html

Pashinyan about exchanging POWs:

We are approaching the start of the prisoner exchange process. At this stage, we must begin to return the captives whose captivity has been officially confirmed by Azerbaijan and the Red Cross, and then focus more on the search for our unknown brothers, some of whom may have been captured. This is also a very difficult process, and here I expect the understanding of our citizens.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037728.html

three days of mourning

... starting December 19th, 40 days after the war, in memory of those who died in the war.

Pashinyan: It is possible that not all the bodies of the victims will be found by that date, but I think the event should not be postponed anymore. The search, identification, and clarification of the whereabouts of the missing will become more intensive.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037720.html

Pashinyan about calls for his resignation:

These days, in addition to border security, we face information security issues. Well-known circles have started a real process of information terrorism against Armenia and the people of Armenia. The purpose of this is to deepen the feeling of anxiety among the people.

There are constant rumors about my resignation. Meanwhile, I have clearly stated that I can give up the status given to me by the people only on the basis of reliable results of the people's will. Until such an expression of will has taken place, I will continue to perform my functions as Prime Minister.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037729.html

Pashinyan about availability of official information:

I have set a task for the official information sources to respond more intensively and fully to the concerns of the public and to cover the processes taking place more quickly.

And in this regard, I just want to say that there are situations that are still developing, and the official information about them is sometimes delayed for one simple reason: officially reported information can sometimes have a negative impact on the ongoing situation.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037729.html

Pashinyan about fake news regarding borders:

Huge flows of misinformation have been set in motion in Armenia and Artsakh. The processes that take place today, which are sometimes painful, many try to use for narrow political purposes. Most of these misinformation flows are managed from abroad and we can not rule out their connection with foreign special services.

For example, the morning news could have given the impression that fighting had taken place throughout the whole night in the Syunik province, while the truth is that the night in Syunik, as in all nights after November 9, was peaceful.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037724.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037729.html

Pashinyan about fake news regarding his family:

For a month now, false information has been regularly circulated about my family members, about my children, as if my children or family members had left Armenia. In recent months, especially since the beginning of the war, no member of my family has left Armenia and is not going to leave.

The talk about my family's "private houses abroad" has already become part of the daily news. Fake news became the main tool of struggle by some circles. Meanwhile, you should know that the only real estate that my family owns is the well-known apartment in the Shengavit district.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037726.html

other rumors, rebuttals, and fake news

Artsakh army: no Bayraktar drones were flown within the borders of Artsakh. [the joint Turkish-Russian observation office 15km away from Artsakh plans to use air and land equipment to monitor the ceasefire. Drones could be flown near the borders.]

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037709.html

The police denied the media claims that the police chief has resigned.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037757.html

opposition continues to demand Pashinyan's resignation

ARF party organized a demonstration in Gyumri. They shut down the city's three main roads for 30 minutes.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037739.html

Former regime's PM candidate Vazgen Manukyan met several representatives of culture and intellectual field. "With the right policy, this war could probably be delayed. We failed the negotiations and provoked the enemy. Had we continued to pay attention to the army in the past 2.5 years, we would not lose the war...

...The positive side of the November 9th statement is that at least it stopped the loss of young people. Not only Armenia but also Azerbaijan wanted to stop the war during the war because it could not continue for a long time. Pashinyan should have been able to make a big "political trade" and make this document different through negotiations," said Manukyan.

Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037747.html

Opposition Team-16 held a rally from Vahagn Davtyan park to St. Anna church in Yerevan. They demanded PM's resignation.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037770.html

A fight broke out during the rally. A Pashinyan supporter approached the demonstrators and used words in support of Pashinyan. A fight broke out. A PM supporter sustained an injury above his eye. The demonstrators yelled "only Turks support Pashinyan".

https://youtu.be/dMcG-EZHYNg

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202938

Vazgen Manukyan predicted election fraud by Nikol Pashinyan during snap elections, because "that's the only way he could stay in power". [Vazgen laying ground for his loss already?]

https://factor.am/320775.html

"Այս պայքարը մեր Հայրենիքի համար է, որպեսզի մենք ոտքի կանգնենք, որ շարժվենք առաջ: Մենք շարունակելու ենք մեր պայքարը՝ պահանջելով վարչապետի հրաժարականը," said Vazgen Manukyan. The rally ended in the evening.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037792.html

border village mayor refutes claims by opposition MP

During the anti-Pashinyan rally, BHK Naira Zohrabyan claimed she had spoken with the mayor of Khndzoresk, which is a Syunik Province village that now borders Azerbaijan, and that the mayor told her that the villagers were told to leave despite the village being 600 meters from the border.

Khndzoresk mayor Malunts: There is no such thing. We have not even spoken. No such demands were made to our residents. As for the claims that it's only us villagers defending the border, that is also false. The army is here. The villagers and volunteers stand next to the army.

https://fip.am/14222

soldiers release video from positions near Khndzoresk

Armenian flag is planted under the anthem. The border demarcation process continues in Syunik province.

https://youtu.be/IbbC5Guq3Aw?t=4

Jermuk city mayor refutes border rumors

PastInfo outlet published a video and circulated a report that Azeris are building a military base on the mountain near Jermuk. The mayor of Jermuk says it's misleading, Jermuk is 13km from the border, while the circulated video shows Azeris being further up north where the Mets Al Lich is (Boyuk Alagol) [some 20km away].

The Armenian army had earlier confirmed that as part of the new border demarcation, both sides will have soldiers in this section of the Kelbajar border.

https://fip.am/14219

residents block churchman's entry

Gegharquniq residents prevented churchman Ter Simon from entering the church. He was cussed and told to leave.

They didn't like the churchman's involvement in politics and the statements he made during a recent anti-Pashinyan rally organized by the former regime.

The church has advised the followers to send a letter with complaints to church headquarters instead of direct confrontation.

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/288646/

former Minister HHK Vardan Ayvazyan is released

The court found his detention unwarranted. He was arrested yesterday and charged with being one of the organizers of the November 10 riots.

https://factor.am/320459.html

POWs are exchanged based on all-for-all principle

Artsakh prez. Arayik: the plane with over fourty POWs will land in Yerevan within minutes. In these difficult days, sometimes bright spots are noticed, which inspire hope and faith in us to live and to rebuild everything.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037801.html

Deputy PM Avinyan: the plane with 44 POWs has landed. It was mediated by Russia. At this stage, POWs whose names have been confirmed by the Red Cross and Azerbaijan will be the ones to return. The process continues. More info later.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037808.html

Armenians and Azeris who were captured before the war were also exchanged. This includes two Azeri spies who were serving prison time in Armenia for a murder (Guliyev & Askerov).

https://factor.am/320740.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202974

army awards soldiers for acts of heroism

Maj. Sargis Sargsyan took with him 10 men and successfully liberated a command outpost, causing heavy losses to the enemy. In another location, he defended a hill and helped to repel hundreds of attackers.

Pvt. Karen Martirosyan evacuated four comrades while in a difficult position, and neutralized numerous enemy soldiers.

Pvt. Sergey Melkonyan repelled an attack and neutralized enemy soldiers.

Full: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202932 Video: Russian peacekeepers on Lachin road near Shushi

https://youtu.be/dpAMX8F65No

Video: oil pipeline explodes in south-western Iran

https://youtu.be/LcNcatsK4_k

Iranian MP about Armenia and Azerbaijan

Iranian MP Ahmadi Biղash: Erdogan's role in the assassinations of our scientists is no less than that of Netanyahu's. Erdogan wants to divide Iran. We should support the US and EU efforts to sanction Turkey. We should have supported Armenia during the war to balance the powers.

More: https://www.ermenihaber.am/am/news/2020/12/14/Իրան-Ղարաբաղ-Թուրքիա/199375

ambulance workers get some love (not what you think it is)

Yerevan has 7 emergency substations that respond to 1,400 calls daily. Their facilities have been renovated, some of which for the first time since 1986. They are now equipped with gas heaters and permanent hot water. Now they think about increasing the number of ambulance vehicles.

Yerevan's clinics will be renovated next year.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202912

electric grid connecting Armenia to Artsakh has been rebuilt

It goes through the Qashatagh region (Lachin). This was one of the two networks connecting Armenia to Artsakh. It was damaged during the war. The other network goes through the Kelbajar region, which is one of the 7 adjacent regions that went under Azeri control, therefore it's dysfunctional now.

The renovated network will cover 80% of Artsakh's electricity needs. The other 20% come from Artsakh hydros.

To solve the shortage in Martuni, they'll need to install 40km of power lines to bypass the area that went under Azeri control. Right now, Martuni is powered by a 1MW station which isn't enough for 24/7 electricity. "There are multiple options to resolve the shortage. Steps will be taken soon," said an Artsakh official.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037736.html

Armenian students win Gold and two Bronze medals

... in the Physics Olympiad participated by 52 countries. Armenia sent five students.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037767.html

Mico-Electronics Olympiad

... is apparently a thing, and it's hosted by Armenia. 370 participants competed from 10 countries. The finale was held over Zoom this year. The winners received awards. Serbian 1st, Armenian 2nd and 3rd places. Officials from Synopsys and IEEE were involved with organizational tasks.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202914

Civil Defense classes in school

Earlier this year, the government planned to introduce education reforms to add a new "Civil Defense" separate subject in schools. The idea was discussed between the Emergency Ministry and Education Ministry today.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037745.html

High-Tech military industry

High Tech Minister Arshakyan visited Russia and met the Russian military-tech chief to discuss closer cooperation in the military industry.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037782.html

Armenia-Europe coopration / visa-free regime

Deputy PM Avinyan met EU ambassador Wiktorin to discuss the ongoing EU-AM cooperation.

"Deepening relations with the EU and its member states is one of Armenia's foreign policy priorities. The start of a dialogue on visa liberalization is one of the key items on the bilateral agenda," said Avinyan.

Public administration reforms and further digitalization were discussed. They also discussed the economy during the pandemic and issues faced by Artsakh.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037756.html

COVID vs tax revenues

IRS collected $226 million in taxes and fees in October. That's up by $1 million compared to last year. Income taxes -4%. Profit taxes +9%.

For the entire January-October period, taxation -5.2% or $119 million (62 billion AMD).

https://factor.am/320456.html

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

... has approved the results of the joint 3-year program with Armenia. As a result, $36 million in funding has been made available, says Central Bank. [Argentina would like to know your location]

IMF responded positively to the fact that the socio-economic shocks did not have a significant negative impact on the financial system. According to the IMF, the financial sector reforms, some of which are still ongoing, will contribute to economic recovery and long-term growth.

The financial system has shown no signs of stress.

Per IMF findings, Armenia's monetary policy has been expansionary as needed, supporting the economy while maintaining the liquidity of the banking system, while inflation has remained low in the period. Nonetheless, Central Bank must pay close attention to market developments and be ready to adjust monetary policy if necessary.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037695.html

fight against illegal fishing

Nature inspectors have found 234kg of Sevan whitefish that was caught without a license. The loot was confiscated and donated to the army and a hospital in Sevan.

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/288633/

Syrian-Armenian programmer becomes a winemaker

The story of Hagop Kazanjian, born in Syria. "After more than ten years of programming, he decided to become a winemaker. Recently, the Gallar wine he produces, which is made from the Victory grape variety, entered the market."

https://youtu.be/BsNeQnANnyc

https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/12/14/Ծրագրավորումից՝-գինեգործություն․-սիրիահայ-Հակոբ-Կազանջյանի-պատմությունը/412962

Message from Aram A Catholicos of Cilicia:

All mankind is preparing for the New Year under the conditions of economic difficulties caused by the pandemic. Artsakh residents face additional difficulties. I urge you to refrain from public festivities this year and to allocate the expenses and gifts to the needy children of Artsakh.

The money raised will be donated through the Catholicosate. I declare 2021 the "Year of Artsakh".

Info and links: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037793.html

you can donate to Artsakh & Armenia

www.1000plus.am (soldiers' medical help)

www.HimnaDram.org (for Artsakh & Armenia)

www.ArmeniaFund.org (U.S. tax-deductible)

archive of older posts

Armeniapedia's archive of my daily news threads:

http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

disclaimer

All the accused are considered innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "sound" guilty.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/kd7bkp/dec142020_news_wrapup_pows_exchanged_allforall/

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