2020 December 18

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Daily news wrap-up

Dec/18/2020 wrap-up: \\ Syunik: border demarcation \\ 72 encircled men return \\ facts & fiction \\ memorial march \\ families receive aid \\ Russian humanitarian aid \\ EU aids legal reforms \\ Artsakh's recognition \\ Yerevan's new buses \\ no customs fees \\ tech investments \\ TUMO++ \\ Aramavir
by ar_david_hh


Your 13-minute Friday report in 3136 words. Will see you on Monday.

border demarcation process continues

Qashatagh is one of the 7 adjacent Artsakh regions that's going under Azeri control. It borders Armenia's Syunik province, therefore Syunik will border Azerbaijan. The government is using established documents and maps from Soviet-era for border demarcation (it's not just "GPS").

Opposition Vazgen Manukyan is against the border demarcation process in general, saying that the November 10th Statement doesn't [directly] require it. In his argument, Manukyan cites one of the clauses written in the Statement that says "both armies stay where they are". However, Manukyan does not mention another clause that states that Artsakh's adjacent regions go under Azeri control, which is what's happening on Syunik borders today.

Manukyan believes this demarcation process must be ratified by the Republic of Armenia legislative before it becomes legal, and that "Armenia must keep its borders as they were before this war." (do I understand correctly that Manukyan would essentially repeal the November 10th Statement by not withdrawing from Qashatagh?)

Today, several residents of Syunik Province held a demonstration on a bordering road with demands for assurances that their settlements will be safe when Azeri military positions get closer to the Armenian borders. LHK MPs went to meet the demonstrators.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038232.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038257.html , https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/288780/

MoD Vagharshak visited the borders in Syunik. In some areas, Armenians and Azeris stand 100 meters from each other.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038307.html

Pashinyan will visit the bordering settlements in Syunik on December 21st to meet the residents and authorities.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038287.html

Security Councilman Grigoryan: the demarcation process is done based on existing documents. We rely on these documents. (likely referring to Soviet-era state borders, as mentioned earlier)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038277.html

rumors & rebuttals

Artsakh army denied reports of 62 more soldiers being taken hostage. "No case of capturing has been registered in the areas guarded by the Defense Army in recent days."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038299.html

"The video titled "Kapan residents burn their houses" was not filmed in the administrative territory of Kapan city," said Syunik government.

Kapan is a bordering town, right next to the Syunik border. According to QP MP from Syunik, the residents were told about the need to pull back from some of the nearby locations three days ago. "There are talks about creating a buffer zone and a placement of Russian border guards".

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038301.html , https://youtu.be/_munAyJjgjQ , https://youtu.be/Z0q7yVqBNUs

Info experts: information warfare has always been around. Today, that's the main tool for the struggle for power; it's not the rallies and demonstrations. When there is not enough information, it creates an info-hunger which leads to the circulation of misinformation. Today, government institutes mostly refute claims instead of providing info publicly. They should be the ones to publish info first.

https://factor.am/321190.html

A video was circulated showing 3 Armenian POW soldiers. They came forward and said the video is old and that they're already in Armenia.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203227

False information was circulated about "a village in Syunik province being given to Azerbaijan". The village is in Artsakh's adjacent territories that went under Azeri control. The original source redacted the claim, but the misinformation stayed on the internet.

https://fip.am/14303

Aghavno village in Lachin

... will be guarded by Russian peacekeepers. The locals had armed themselves to protect the small village. Russians came, observed the area, and said they'd bring more peacekeepers here. The locals were urged by peacekeepers to hand over the weapons. Lachin is the neutral corridor that's now guarded by Russians. There are several villages here.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038279.html

Shurnukh village in Syunik

Shurnukh village is right on the Syunik border with Qashatag region that's now part of Azerbaijan. Village's suburb is located on the other side of the state border, and part of Goris-Kapan road goes through this area.

Mayor Arshakyan says they spoke with Russian border guards who said "the village and the road will remain under Armenian control".

There won't be regular troops here. Patrolmen from AM-AZ-RU will walk around and guard the area. The road will essentially serve as the border.

https://fip.am/14299

72 Armenian soldiers return home after encirclement

Over 100 soldiers were earlier encircled after skirmishes in Hin Tagher area, a narrow strip of land held by Armenians west of the Shushi-Hadrut corridor. Part of them returned home yesterday.

QP MP Baghdasaryan last night: we were able to establish contact with the missing soldiers. We discussed it with Artsakh official Hayk Khanumyan, who had spent 40 days guarding that area with his volunteer friends; we discussed ways to safely evacuate the troops. Then we met Artsakh HR Ombudsman and discussed an earlier-circulated video from the scene, to understand if it's from Qirsavan or Khtsaberd. There will be negotiations with the peacekeepers.

QP MP Sofia today: 72 encircled soldiers returned today; they are the guys from Shirak province [whose parents demonstrated on a road yesterday]. The roads are open here [Azeris retreated near a village]. Peacekeepers are present.

QP MP Sarukhanyan: among them were mayors of two settlements and their aides. They stood their ground until the end and only left when the troops arrived for patrol rotation. After midnight, they were already back in Armenia. Work is being done to solve issues in other positions (some soldiers apparently remain encircled). Special thanks to Deputy PM Avinyan and PM chief of staff Aghajanyan for staying in touch with the volunteers and coordinating events for 5 days.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038323.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203225 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203299 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203305

POWs and search operation

36 more bodies, one being of a civilian with signs of torture, were discovered today in Fizuli, Jabrayil, and Hadrut regions that went under Azeri control. So far 969 bodies have been found since the ceasefire. Searches are currently taking place in Nerqin Chartar, Fizuli, Jabrayil, Ishkhanadzor.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038233.html , https://factor.am/322352.html

opposition organizes a memorial march

A memorial march to the Yerablur military pantheon started from Garegin Nzhdeh Square in Yerevan. Candle lighting vigil was held in the pantheon.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038297.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038310.html

office changes & resignations

QP MP Tigran Karapetyan will quit the Parliament. QP will appoint another MP.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038316.html

Artsakh changes the government structure

President Arayik signed a decree. There will be 11 Ministries: State, Labor & Social, Healthcare, Justice, Foreign Affairs, Economy, Education, Defense, Infrastructure & Territorial, Urban Development, Finances.

Other changes: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038265.html

Former Artsakh MP Hayk Khanumyan will be the Infrastructure & Territorial Minister. Several other staffing changes were made:

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038281.html

the army is repairing the damaged equipment

some seasonal work, nothing to see here, keep scrolling

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203285

"Karabakh conflict is a thing of a past"

... said Ilham Aliyev for the second time since the ceasefire.

He claimed added that "Pashinyan didn't have time to build an army", and that it was "Kocharyan's and Serj's army that they build for 20 years" that lost the war.

Aliyev said the Russian peacekeeping mission is working successfully. "The [Hin Tagher] incident was resolved within a day. The ceasefire will strengthen day by day."

https://factor.am/322089.html , https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/12/18/Բանակը-որ-ջախջախվել-է-Փաշինյանի-բանակը-չէ․-Իլհամ-Ալիև/413691

soldiers' families receive aid

377 families of deceased soldiers have already been approved to receive aid from the Soldiers' Fund. $3.8 million will be distributed as one-time aid, and $40.3 million in monthly installments throughout 20 years.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038242.html

Belgian Chamber of Representative condemns Azerbaijan

... for the aggression against Artsakh. It urges the investigation of war crimes, and to focus on the Artsakh population's right to self-determination during the negotiations. It also condemns Turkey's involvement. The Chamber urges the Belgian government to act.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038230.html

Spanish city of Casteio de la Plana

... has officially recognized the Armenian Genocide.

https://www.facebook.com/EmbajadadeArmenia/posts/1655589187973610

Russian reporter is discharged from hospital

Azerbaijan earlier bombed the Shushi church. They then used a drone to monitor it, and when they saw that enough people had entered to film the initial damage, they bombed it again. Russian reporter Yuri Kotenok was among those who were wounded. He was thrown away several meters by the blast.

Today he thanked the doctors, especially Shahen Danielyan who is "one of the best in Sklifosofsky hospital", who saved his life in Artsakh. He's going through the final medical recovery stage. He'll soon return to Russia.

"The temple where I was injured (Ghazanchetsots Church in Shushi - ed.) has already been desecrated. I know that there are various inscriptions on the walls, I have seen videos that the Azerbaijani servicemen entered a Christian temple wearing hats, laughing and smoking. All this can not evoke positive emotions. I feel a lot of pain and disappointment. I hope that our Christian sanctuaries will not be left without protection."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038254.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038275.html

Armenia is working with UNESCO

... to protect the cultural heritage sites that went under Azeri control. They also contacted the European Association of Archaeologists, and the UN's ALIPH alliance.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038218.html

Russia offers to build 8,000 houses

3,000 Artsakh residents have so far contacted the Artsakh govt for help with damaged housing. 1,000 of them were inspected. Most of them can be renovated and reused; only 20 were completely destroyed. The assessment continues.

The govt has asked Russia to send 5 samples of "rapid-deployment" houses to see if they can be built en-masse. Russia is ready to install 8,000.

457 refugees returned to Artsakh today.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038215.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038308.html

Russia sends humanitarian aid to Artsakh

15 trucks with 80 tons of Russian aid was driven to Artsakh today.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038247.html

Russian sappers in Artsakh

A Russian sapper lost his life today during the de-mining operations near Shushi. The wound was too severe and he died in the ambulance.

The sappers cleared Stepanakert from explosives today. 22km roads were checked, 1334 dangerous items were found. The mission has so far cleared 195 hectares, 87km of roads, and 7,000 explosives.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038220.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038320.html

army shares names of soldiers who committed acts of bravery

Pvt. Serj Beglaryan shot a tank and a large number of infantry.

Sgt. Arsen Hayrapetyan fought against a numerically superior force and dealt them heavy losses.

Cpt. Hamik Simonyan and his squad rushed to aid an encircled group, fought heavy battles, and saved the comrades from encirclement. He also defended a hill from hundreds of attackers.

More: https://factor.am/322270.html

Video: trip through Armenia to Artsakh via Lachin road

https://youtu.be/MSIGLWn2M1k?t=17

HimnaDram.org sends power generators to Artsakh

Your generous donations have allowed the All Armenia Foundation to send 108 electricity generators to Artsakh so far, among other aid. Artsakh is currently facing a power shortage in some regions after most of the small hydro power plants and some electric power-lines went under Azeri control.

https://factor.am/322325.html

Europe will aid with police and institutional reforms

EU supports the ongoing police reforms that will create a new police force that's better trained and equipped. The govt also plans to create a Ministry of Internal Affairs. For these reforms, the EU will provide €10 million next year.

This is in addition to the €9 million aid that the EU approved this week for the ongoing anti-corruption court and other anti-corruption legal reforms. The total aid package for this is worth €30 million.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038238.html

Portugal ratifies the AM-EU Cooperation Agreement

Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement can be fully implemented when all the EU states ratify it. Just a few are left, mostly beurocratic internal procedures.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038289.html

COVID vs fixed investments in EAEU

Fixed capital investments (acquisition and maintenance of long-term assets) reduced -15.7% during the January-September period. Overall, EAEU's reduction was -4.2%. Russia -4.1%. Kyrgyz -14.7%. Armenia was hit the hardest among the EAEU states.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038203.html

COVID stats

+2567 tested. +861 infected. +15 deaths. +1223 healed.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038219.html

COVID vaccine

Armenian-American businessman Nubar Afeyan's MODERNA company has received approval to go ahead with the vaccine. It will be the second vaccine to hit the markets, after Pfizer's.

Despite a setback that prompted the purge of 0.4 million vaccines, the company is on track to produce 20 million this month and 30 beginning next year. It's for US consumption for now.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/fda-advisers-recommend-moderna-s-covid-19-vaccine-bringing-second-n1251552 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038280.html

100,000 children received "hot food" deliveries

The schools were closed due to the pandemic. Students were supposed to receive free food in schools, as part of a 10-year-long UN-Russia-Armenia aid program, but since they stayed home, the food was delivered to their homes.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203287

bill battle: to smoke or not to smoke?

The government had earlier passed a bill to restrict smoking in public and enclosed areas, to ban the display of cigarettes in grocery shops, etc. Some of the clauses go into effect in 2022, for example, the ban on smoking in a cafe. Other parts go into effect this January.

Someone introduced a bill to delay the upcoming January restrictions, so the Healthcare Ministry is pissed now. "This anti-smoking bill and the deadlines set by it have already been deliberated in the Parliament and we came to the conclusion that this is what's best for the public and health. Reject the bill that's meant to delay the anti-smoking bill."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038248.html

Philip Morris invests in science and labs

Philip Morris company has a center with research and educational laboratories in Yerevan's Polytechnic University. They have invested $10 million in the labs. Another $8 million will be invested next year.

High Tech Minister Arshakyan visited the newly opened lab "which will make the education more efficient and provide modern tools to staff and students."

19 Armenian scientists work in the Center in the sphere of Data Science, Technology, Materials Science. These scientists, in turn, work with 120 other scientists from Armenian universities.

Minister: Quite serious investments were made in infrastructure and science in the Polytechnic University, which is the most powerful institutional structure of classical engineering thought since the Soviet years. Business is working with science here. We need to develop this model and to expand such university-private sector cooperation.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038241.html

post office: no customs fee for <€200 packages

HayPost will no longer charge the $9 customs clearance fee if the package you send abroad is worth less than €200. It applies to individuals and businesses.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038227.html

TUMO in a box: now in Gavar

High-tech and science center TUMO has installed an innovative mobile center in Gavar, with the help of the American "dot 818" company. The center will help develop Gegharquniq's villages and towns.

"TUMO's regional expansion is gaining momentum. Another box will be opened in a few days in the border town of Berd, Tavush region. The process is continuous. Seven more boxes will arrive in Gegharquniq. We're glad that 200 students have already registered here; there are 120 vacant spots left."

More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038292.html

Yerevan's brand new buses for public transportation

The capital is buying some 100 12-meter buses. There was an auction issue so the plan was delayed. Meanwhile, the capital decided to purchase 100 mid-sized buses to supplement the fleet, before the long ones arrive. The medium buses will gradually replace the dreaded mini-marshrutkas.

The first batch of medium buses, brand new 2020 models produced by Russian "Gaz", have arrived. Mayor Marutyan presented the fleet in a video. The bus has a disability ramp, low height, button for doors, tall enough to stand, unlike marshrutkas. Capacity: 17 seats and 5 standing (but you can pack a lot more and you know it).

The engine is made in the US and "has no issue in our terrains". It also meets the Euro-5 environmental standard. Three emergency exits; there is a mini-hammer that you can use to break a window or someone's head during an argument over gay frogs /s.

Expect them in January.

The capital will spend its own resources to buy 161 units of long 8.5-meter buses (so it's 161 instead of 100?).

Video: https://youtu.be/XmiA4tOj2oU

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=878028962735710

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038288.html

big construction and infrastructure upgrades in Armavir

Armavir mayor Khudatyan: The volume of construction this year exceeds the volume in the last 25 years combined. Co-subsidized by the federal and local governments, it reached $2.5 million.

We renovated several central streets, surroundings of 12 apartment complex buildings (mostly in suburbs), installed 10km-long efficient LED street lighting for 15 streets (10 more in coming weeks). Some of the streets hadn't been renovated since the 1970s.

A 2km-long new water pipeline was installed. The city has no water delivery issue but the residents complain about the quality of artesian spring water. It's clean and drinkable but it's not as good as natural spring waters. We're working on solutions but it's a difficult task. We'll renovate more pipes next year which should improve the quality and reduce waste.

The park near the City Hall is being renovated with works on soil and tiling. We'll have benches, trash bins, and fountains next Spring.

We're working with a private investor to build a playground in Central Park. The park will be fully equipped with modern attractions for children (սիգարետի պաչկա մորեխ բռնելու համար = best attraction change my mind)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038164.html

somebody drove his BMW into lake Sevan

A crane was used to remove the vehicle.

The incident was filmed on camera: https://youtu.be/DOW_kPzY_JY?t=27

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038214.html

Armenian wrestler becomes world cup champion

65kg Vazgen Tevanyan won the world cup after defeating Hungarian opponent Ismail Muszukaev with a 9:1 score.

Another wrestler had won silver yesterday.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038317.html

soccer news

Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored a goal during the Roma-Torino match and helped the team to win 3:1 . Heno was declared the best player of the match by a Twitter poll among fans.

Video: https://streamable.com/ybs8iw

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038319.html

the "first Armenian female sculptor"

Aytsemnik Urartu was born in the former capital Kars in 1899. In 1921 she moved to Baku, which at the time had many Armenian architects who helped build the city. She took art classes from the famed sculptor Stepan Erzoyan for four years.

In 1926 she moved to Yerevan and created dozens of art pieces (list in the article).

In 1937 her lover was arrested and exiled to a labor camp, while the regime stopped displaying her art pieces. She wrote a desperate letter to Anastas Mikoyan in Moscow, asking for an explanation.

The censorship doesn't dishearten her and she continues to create after the world war. In 1947, the ceiling of her studio collapses, destroying 40 art pieces. After renovating the studio for a year, she continues her work.

20 years was invested in the making of the Movses Khorenatsi statue in Matenadaran hall. Another one of her pieces you might have seen is the lesser-known "Կուժով աղջիկը" in Yerevan's Abovyan Garden.

Full story: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038199.html

top-5 bestselling translated books of November

5) Եվայի երեք դուստրերը, by Elif Shafak.

4) Ռեքվիեմ Հուդայի համար, by Mark Aren.

3) Ստամբուլի բիճը (bastard), by Elif Shafak.

2) Սուրբծննդյան հրեշտակը, by mark Aren.

1) Երկնքից երեք խնձոր ընկավ, by Narina Abgaryan

writer: exists

Armenians: let's read every book from this writer

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037916.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/kfvnn6/dec182020_wrapup_syunik_border_demarcation_72/

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