2020 December 17

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Daily news wrap-up

Dec/17/2020 news wrap-up: \\ border demarcation continues \\ POWs & search operations \\ Russian peacekeepers \\ rumors & rebuttals \\ Azeri billionaire during the war \\ ex-HHK MPs charged w/coup \\ ex-NSS agents want to investigate \\ opposition holds a rally \\ Green Cards down \\ refugee aid
by ar_david_hh

Today's 15-minute 3833-word news report is special. An AI tool was used to generate news. The AI scans Facebook and top-rated news sources to bring you the highest-quality content in an accessible and unbiased package. Take it away...

close ties between Azeri billionaire and Russia's Foreign Intelligence chief / Nisanov & Naryshkin

Sergey Naryshkin is the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service and an influential figure. A report was published by a Russian opposition "Project" group that talks about Naryshkin's close ties to Azerbaijan.

Lragir cites the Project: the ties between Naryshkin and Azerbaijan are so close that at the height of the Artsakh war, Naryshkin was spending time in [Aliyev-allied billionaire] God Nisanov's private pool with a family member of the Azerbaijani deputy prime minister. (God Nisanov is the same Moscow-based businessman who banned ethnic Armenian sellers from his market in July without repercussions).

Naryshkin's family members used Nisanov's private jets to fly to Baku and Austria on multiple occasions. Naryshkin's daughter works at Nisanov's "Food-Cluster Depo" company and celebrated her birthday in Nisanov's "Rideson Flotilla" yacht, accompanied by Ilham Aliyev's daughter Leila Aliyeva.

The Project lists numerous other business ties between Naryshkin and Nisanov.

It's no coincidence that Kremlin chose Naryshkin as a representative to visit an anti-Armenian April 24th celebration event organized by Recep Erdogan in 2015. No world leader went to celebrate the event. Naryshkin was the only other high-ranking official other than Ilham Aliyev.

Russian channel Acute Angle comments: Russia chose not to help its ally Armenia during the Karabakh war (a belief partly shared by General Babayan). The "Project" has published an investigative report that might explain one of the reasons why.

The main subject is billionaire God Nisanov. Naryshkin was swimming in Nisanov's personal pool at the height of the conflict, in the presence of Azeri officials. (Russian reporters show video of Naryshkin exiting the pool building and entering a car with Azeri diplomatic plates.)

The diplomatic car belongs to Elman Bayramov, an affiliate of Azerbaijan's Prime Minister, who is a mutual friend of Nisanov and Naryshkin. The meetings took place during the Karabakh war.

Original video by Projekt: // (shows Nisanov's business empire in Russia). Cherkizovsk Market was shut down in Moscow a while back after complaints of low-quality and contraband. The tens of thousands of fakes had to be sold somewhere. Today, in its place are Nisanov's Food City, Moskva, and Sodovod markets. They generate 20 billion Rubles a day, yet the banks don't see a dime of it. It's all grey money.

Nisanov's Sadovod is Moscow's #1 place to convert crypto into cash, with the Chinese playing a key role. You contact the Chinese, tell them you got crypto, they give you an address of a booth, you transfer the crypto to their electronic wallet in the booth, and receive cash in return. You can also buy Chinese products with crypto.

Despite Central Bank's and Financial Monitoring Center's complaints written to Vladimir Putin, Nisanov's markets aren't being investigated. The last time the authorities paid a visit was well over a year ago. They ended up arresting a few illegal immigrants and that's it.

How is God Nisanov shielding his finances from authorities? Maybe his personal connections can help us find out.

(Shows video of Naryshkin exiting Nisanov's private pool. He visited it for several days during the war.) Azeri diplomatic vehicle affiliated with Azeri Prime Minister accompanied him each time. Of course, we can't tell if Naryshkin is giving favors to Nisanov during these meetings, but the fact is that Russia's head of Intelligence Chief chooses to spend his time in Nisanov's personal pool which is also where his office is.

Nisanov has many friends. One of them is Ilgam Ragimov, a lawyer from Azerbaijan. The latter is a friend of Vladimir Putin. Ragimov has a share in many of Nisanov's.

Another one of Nisanov's friends is brother Rotenbergs, who were seen visiting Nisanov's birth village in Azerbaijan. Rotenbergs are also Putin's close friends. Rotenbergs have a share in Nisanov's Food City market.

(talks about how Nisanov purchased tsar Alexander 2nd's historical building with the surrounding area and now wants to build a market in its place, while the govt ignores)

(subject changes) Moscow administration recently renovated this square for 2 billion Rubles. The contractor was a mysterious company IRPT with unknown owners. Moscow administration loves this contractor. In the past few years, it won contracts worth 30 billion Rubles. The money, however, went not to IRPT but to companies affiliated with Nisanov.

One such recipient was a company called Accord SpetsStroy belonging to Elgar Hadjiyev who revealed that Nisanov was receiving billion-worth government contracts through shell companies. "We did 12 billion Ruble contract together. Some of the contracts were rigged; we were told how much to bid," said his ex-partner Hajiyev.

Ex-partner Hajiyev was charged with a felony in 2018 (SURPRISED PICKACHU FACE). A year later his office was raided. He believes Nisanov organized the persecution to take over his business. Hajiyev is residing in London now while exposing the deals between public officials and Nisanov.

Hajiyev revealed that Nisanov took Naryshkin's family to ski on his private jet. We were also able to verify that Naryshkin's family used the Azeri businessman's jet for multiple trips, including some to Baku, where Naryshkin's daughter partied with Ilham Aliyev's daughter Leila Aliyeva. // end

Note: Naryshkin had publicly complained about the presence of Syrian jihadists in Azerbaijan during the Artsakh war. There is no hard evidence he was doing "favors", although the close ties may raise questions.

Original video: https://youtu.be/bDzzR5Bcn-E

Original text [full]: https://www.proekt.media/portrait/god-nisanov/

Commentary video: https://youtu.be/b005eFuggzE

Commentary article: https://www.lragir.am/2020/12/16/608755/

"Armenia must return the occupied territories"

Vladimir Putin: for many years, our position has been that 7 regions should be returned to Azerbaijan. The status of Karabakh should remain unchanged (no legal status); it should be delayed for the future. The status-quo should be strengthened. Communication should be guaranteed between Armenia and Karabakh. (sounds a lot like what Azerbaijan has always wanted?)


Nikol Pashinyan continues to dismantle and give away Syunik province to Azerbaijan / Kapan next

Deputy PM Avinyan: MoD Vagharshak is in Syunik right now. The army is currently installing positions.

Infrastructure Minister Papikyan: Syunik governor is working with the army and the Ministry to oversee the deployment of Armenian soldiers along the Syunik borders. To avoid rumors and false misinformation, it should be noted that the borders of the Republic of Armenia are properly guarded and being monitored.

https://youtu.be/DXAcYAaiLL4 , https://factor.am/321687.html , https://factor.am/321756.html

The Defense Ministry is doing border demarcation in Syunik province. Kapan mayor says one of the nearby favorable hills that was under Armenian control will go under Azeri control. Kapan, which is on the border with Armenia and Azerbaijan, will be 1km from the new state border, says the mayor. The region to Kapan's east is one of the 7 regions that go under Azeri control.

MoD Vagharshak: not one meter of land belonging to the Republic of Armenia will be conceded. High-ranking officers are present during the border demarcation process. Russian troops will guard this area.

In order to ensure the security of these zones, a whole complex of measures are being carried out, in particular, new military units are being formed, new infrastructures are being built, and this process will be continuous.

https://factor.am/321810.html , https://factor.am/321975.html ,

Facebook users, referring to reliable reports coming from Azerbaijani media, reported that 12 villages in the Kapan region, and the city of Kapan itself, will be handed over to Azerbaijan.

Syunik governor: the report is a provocation. Obviously, the villages and Kapan do not go under Azeri control. The area will become neighboring to the state borders after the demarcation, which envisions our withdrawals from some of the [Kashatagh, adjacent region] positions.


Another border area that's being discussed is the Kapan-Syunik road. Some of its sections were built within the Artsakh territories, which are now part of Azerbaijan. In other words, some parts of this important road could become under Azeri control. The government had asked for Russia's mediation in this region.

A group of Syunik residents went to the "contested" road section today to demonstrate. One of them used a rifle to shoot in the air. The police are investigating.

https://youtu.be/YXVcXJYySOc , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203167 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203189

MP Ghahramanyan: 1) None of the lands belonging to the Republic of Armenia are going under Azeri control. 2) Our positions [which are being withdrawn] were located in Kubatlu and Zangelan areas [part of Artsakh's adjacent regions that are set to go under Azeri control]. 3) Fake news was circulated claiming some villages were encircled here. 4) The launch of the new airport in Kapan won't face issues. 5) Kapan-Agarak road continues to function. 6) Russian troops were stationed in some areas. 7) Kapan and Syunik are safe.


Scandinavian peacekeepers continue to help locals

Russian peacekeepers will involve more personnel to find missing soldiers and bodies. They've received 490 calls from families so far.

They helped to renovate 18km-long electric lines to 24 settlements, 50 poles, treat 558 patients, clear 195 hectares of land from explosives, since the ceasefire.


Putin said they could increase the number of peacekeepers if Azerbaijan agrees to. "Both sides had earlier agreed to the current numbers."


European Court rules against Azerbaijan

On September 29th, Armenia asked the ECHR court to apply emergency measures against Azerbaijan on humanitarian grounds to protect POWs. Azerbaijan's appeal was denied today.

The court has also found that Azerbaijan repeatedly failed to meet the requirement of providing POW info to ECHR.


POWs and searches

Search operations continue. 41 more bodies were found in Fizuli and Jabrayil regions today, bringing total discoveries to 933 since the ceasefire. 5 groups are working in 3 directions: Jabrayil, Fizuli, and Hadrut.


9 bodies were discovered in the Hin Tagher-Khtsaberd region where skirmishes took place over the weekend. The conditions are being clarified. Earlier, 9 soldiers were reported missing in this region during the skirmishes that left 4 Azeris dead and several wounded, with 6 wounded on the Armenian side.


former NSS agents stand up to Pashinyan's dictatorship

Former members of NSS want to "address the concerns" regarding the discussions about "selling Artsakh, persecution of the opposition, unprofessionalism by authorities", etc. They will launch their own investigation unless the issues are addressed. They list the main points as:

1) Do not use law enforcement as political tools to pressure others.

2) Take specific steps to address issues in the military.

3) Investigate concerns about the connections between Armenian and Azeri leaders.

4) The government should step down in the near future.

(you promise it's an unbiased investigation?)


opposition holds a rally, rightfully demands Pashinyan's resignation

Opposition leaders organized a rally today. They continue to demand Pashinyan's resignation. "The criminal group weakened the country and dismantled the army."

Another rally will be held tomorrow. They will march to Yerablur military cemetery to pay tributes to soldiers who fell due to Pashinyan's improper handling of the war and diplomacy.

https://youtu.be/_8ma7pW24CU , https://factor.am/321933.html

Update: There was a conversation about the size of the demonstrations yesterday. I had posted a link from a media outlet that later removed its article. The original link was not removed:


It's not just the former regime that wants PM's to resign. 38 scientists in Armenia and abroad joined the calls, some of whom were former Pashinyan supporters. They criticized Pashinyan for "not doing anything" to promote science in Armenia.

[Բերեք, բերեք Վազգեն Մանուկյանին թող Նիկոլի խուժանական կրթական ռեֆորմերի վերջը տա։ Այ մարդ, ումա պետք երկրորդ դասարանի երեխեքին ծրագրաորում սովորացնելն ու համալսարանում բնագիտության դասաժամեր ավելացնելը, եթե փոխարենը կարան հայոց լեզվի ոտանաորներ կարդան։ Էն ճուճուլիկի խուժան նկարներն էլ սաղ հանեք դասագրքերից ու երեխեքին սովորացրեք որ իրանց Բայրակտարներ արագիլներն են բերել։ ]


NSS charges former HHK MPs with attempted coup / assault against Mirzoyan / PM's residence

The NSS report says: the former HHK MP Հ.Ծ., the Former Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee Վ.Ա., and unknown accomplices, ran a fake news campaign and spread misinformation about the members of the government and their families to their large audience on Facebook, with an attempt to gain support during the right opportunity for power usurpation.

When the November 10th Statement was signed, Հ.Ծ. learned about the riots in the Government and Parliament buildings, and with the help of accomplices, decided to use force to break the Constitutional order and participate in a coup.

Հ.Ծ. vandalized the Parliament building, then spotted Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan's vehicle outside, and surrounded it with the help of accomplices. They tried to flip the vehicle. Հ.Ծ. opened the door to assault the driver. The accomplices vandalized the car.

Speaker Mirzoyan was forced to exit. Հ.Ծ. and others began severely beating Mirzoyan and the bodyguards. Mirzoyan was taken to a hospital.

Հ.Ծ. and unknown accomplices then began searching for PM Pashinyan and the governors, with the goal of usurpation of power. He contacted another HHK MP Վ.Ա. and asked him to initiate a pre-planned action for usurpation. They failed because his efforts were not supported by the wider public.

PM Pashinyan's security staff managed to secure the PM by evacuating him shortly before the assault on his residence. Հ.Ծ. learned about Pashinyan's evacuation and expressed sorrow during a phone conversation with his accomplices, saying that "had everything went according to the plan [Pashinyan] wouldn't be anymore [սրանք հմի չէին լինելու]."

Հ.Ծ. was charged with a felony. The judge decided to keep him before his trial. To make sure he doesn't go to jail, Հ.Ծ. had used an accomplice to influence the legal process. Prosecutors filed new charges and asked the court to jail him again.

Meanwhile, his accomplice Վ.Ա. (also HHK MP) was also arrested and charged. The court refused to jail Վ.Ա. before his trial, too.

Work is being done to find the other accomplices. Over 100 searches were conducted. Evidence was found that the leadership of some political parties had plans to use and provoke violence during rallies.

[Վ.Ա. is Vardan Ayvazyan.]



Armenia needs new elections ASAP

Pashinyan had earlier indirectly said that he will discuss new elections after taking some "urgent steps" and "stabilizing the political situation" for the duration of 6 months. That's mid-May, according to his schedule.

Some figures want the elections now, while others say it should be a year later.

QP MP Alen says they should hold elections as soon as possible after some concerns are addressed. The government and opposition had been working on electoral code reform since 2019 to allow more opposition parties to enter Parliament, by reducing the entry threshold %.

Similar threshold-reduction law was supposed to pass when HHK was still the majority in the Parliament pre-2019, but HHK didn't vote in favor of it. That decision would later come back and bite HHK in the a$$ because HHK and ARF both failed to meet the high-threshold that they chose to preserve.

Today, the ruling QP party wants to implement these reforms before the upcoming elections. "There might be ways to expedite the process while holding talks with the Venice Commission."



just like that... Pashinyan is going let 12,024 Azeris walk into Stepanakert

Artsakh prez. spokesman: The Armenian media, referring to the "Vestnik Kavkaza" website, spread another misinformation originated from Azerbaijani sources that allegedly 12,024 citizens of Azerbaijan will be settled in Stepanakert. This is absolute nonsense, which is deliberately spread by the Azerbaijani propaganda machine in order to increase the tense mood in our society these days.

"Vestnik Kavkaza" has always spread Azeri propaganda to Russian-speaking audiences, so I ask the Armenian media to refrain from disseminating any material from that website.


The "12,024" number originated from a Turkish/Azeri reporter who calculated the ~ number of Azeris who were born in Stepanakert and were forced to migrate in 1991. The Turkish reporter claimed there would be 12,024 such persons today, and that since the negotiations have always envisioned the return of displaced persons, he believes that's how many people will return.

An Azeri reporter for EurasiaNet was unable to find any official Azeri sources to back up the number or the claim.

Before the war, 11% of Stepanakert's 39,000 population were Azeris.

https://fip.am/14293 , https://twitter.com/UlkerNatiqqizi/status/1339526630419656706

office changes

Aram Khachatryan is the new governor of Lori. He replaced a governor who was fired by Pashinyan in an attempt to save his own skin.


Kocharyan visits Moscow to save Armenia

Robert Kocharyan will travel to Moscow for three days. Coincidentally, there is a board meeting scheduled by the Russian SISTEMA private company. Kocharyan is a board member.

LHK chief Edmon Marukyan will also fly to Moscow (unrelated to SISTEMA).

https://factor.am/321625.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203145

Yerevan municipality workers rise up against drag-queen mayor

Yerevan mayor's spokesman: the media is circulating false rumors that there is a strike by workers who demand Mayor Marutyan's resignation. What really happened was Marutyan stopped paying bonuses beginning in September, amid economic issues, so today some workers gathered in the hall and demanded the bonus payments.

(Base salaries are often low and bonuses are what make the salaries living wage or worthwhile. Populist opposition figures have long criticized the mayor for "generous giveaways" while citing bonuses).


boomerang is being reloaded?

"Ankara can enter Tel Aviv within 2 days," said a Turkish political analyst cited by concerned Jerusalem Post.

"Turkish media vows to take over Tel Aviv, calls opposition ‘terrorists’"

"Vows to destroy Israel, “liberate Al-Aqsa,” and spread anti-Zionist and antisemitic comments have become normal in Turkey."

"In March 2018, a Turkish daily also suggested that Turkey should form an Islamist army to destroy Israel. In 2019, according to MEMRI [the meme network?], a retired Turkish general named Adnan Tanriverdi who heads the SADAT consulting firm also spoke about the need to liberate Jerusalem from Israel. “The Islamic world should prepare an army for Palestine from outside Palestine. Israel should know that if it bombs [Palestine] a bomb will fall on Tel Aviv as well."

Full: https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/turkish-media-vows-to-take-over-tel-aviv-calls-opposition-terrorists-652292


"Azerbaijan and Turkey’s genocidal assault against Armenians"

Written by Modern Diplomacy's Turkish reporter Uzay Bulut:


French city of Sarcelles

... has adopted a resolution condemning Azeri-Turkish aggression against Artsakh, and occupation of its lands. The city urges the French government to officially recognize the Artsakh Republic and to send financial aid.


singer Shushan Petrosyan: latest victim of Pashinyan regime

Petrosyan, who is a former HHK MP, was taken to a police station to testify after a woman claimed Petrosyan assaulted her in a store.

Petrosyan's lawyer says the alleged victim started the fight by calling Petrosyan a "traitor", which lead to a "light confrontation". The alleged victim claims Petrosyan assaulted her in response to those words. (is ok to physically assault people who call you a traitor?)

https://factor.am/321629.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203153

Pashinyan supporters continue to incite civil war

An incident occurred on December 14th. Former regime's supporters marched on the streets when a man expressed views in favor of Pashinyan. He was assaulted and sustained a cut above his eye.

The police decided to file charges against the alleged perpetrator, instead of investigating the Pashinyan supporter for aiding the traitor.


Yerevan metro protester was former official charged w/corruption

A video was published last week showing how several anti-Pashinyan activists shut down the capital's metro, demanding Pashinyan's resignation. Metro riders were berating them for making them late from work and not letting them deliver time-sensitive items. A confrontation ensued. The police launched an investigation against the activists.

It turns out the demonstrators were Դ.Գ, who is the former head of Erebuni District, his son Թ.Գ., and his former assistant Ա.Օ.

As it turns out, Դ.Գ was also the president of a metro-related company between 2014-2017 and was earlier charged with aiding embezzlement (surprise pikachu face).


Armenia installs missiles on Azerbaijani border

Areni is a bordering village near the Nakhijevan border. It will have 6 anti-hail missile stations to disperse dangerous clouds, as part of a govt subsidy. The local residents have long complained about losing harvest to bad weather fired by Azerbaijan from the other side of the border.


Pashinyan administration sabotages Green Card lottery in Armenia

Something happened in 2018 and fewer Armenians began applying for Green Card visas for permanent migration to the US. The number increased and peaked in 2018 (applications filed in 2017), after which it began declining:

Applied in 2017: 267,000

Applied in 2018: 249,000

Applied in 2019: 191,826

Applied in 2020: 160,000

Armenia is in 3rd place with the % of its population applying to leave. Albania 8.4%, Moldova 8.1%, Armenia 5.4%, Georgia 3%.


COVID stats

Too many people were infected today, and too many people have died, due to the government's inability to handle the crisis, inability to close the borders in time, and inability to convince the public that coronavirus is not George Soros's tool to control the population.

If you care about digits: +3537 tested. +1174 infected. +1296 healed. +25 deaths. 18179 active.


infrastructure upgrades

Byureghavan's several roads, backyards, curbs have been renovated. The administration will attempt to bribe you with a few roads here and there, especially when elections are coming. Stay vigilant.


new aid for refugees: paid internship

The government will pay $200 to Artsakh refugees residing in Armenia to become interns and gain work experience. The employer will receive $65. The program lasts 3 months.


additional aid for wounded soldiers

As a temporary measure, wounded soldiers can receive financial aid for 6 months before they go through the official paperwork process and officially register as wounded. The amount of aid will triple, to $600.

https://factor.am/321664.html humanitarian aid

President Armen Sarkissian, Himnadram.org, and "Yerevan My Love" foundations will help 170 Hadrut families to stay in hotels before permanent housing is available.


UNESCO adds St. Thadeus monastery

... to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list, after being petitioned by Armenia and Iran, reports the MFA. "The pilgrimage to the monastery of the Apostle Thaddeus is a unique manifestation of the centuries-old Armenian cultural presence and continuity in Iran."


blind wine tasting

Dozens of Armenian winemakers presented 134 samples for a blind tasting in Yerevan, organized by the German GIZ initiative and Armenian Wine Foundation.

Five experts got drunk that day. The goal is to develop quality control mechanisms for Armenian wines to prepare them for international markets.

More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038124.html

silver medal in wrestling

57kg Arsen Harutyunyan won silver in the wrestling World Championship. He is the 2019 European champion.



The symphonic orchestra is inviting Artsakh children to Hamalir to watch Disney's Frozen cartoon next week. There is a twist: the orchestra will perform the musical part. Karina Adegamova will be the solo.


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:



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/kf8izb/dec172020_news_wrapup_border_demarcation/

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