2020 July 17

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Jul/17/2020 news: / Tavush Battles / Nuclear threats are backfiring / Interview with Azeri human rights activist / Armenian diaspora responds / Casualties # / Armenia captures a drone / A calm day. Daily life returns / "Apricot boycott" / Iconic meme guy returns / Hackers & fake news / +other topics
by ar_david_hh


Tavush Battles / The first few days

Prior events: July 12.... July 13…. July 14.... July 15.... July 16….

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Summary of events: Azeri soldiers drove towards the Armenian outpost (on video). Armenians say they fired warning shots. Azeris abandoned the car and retreated. This is confirmed by images showing the EMPTY Azeri car that was later blown up.

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Azeris launched a mortar attack. Armenians captured positions on a hill called Qaradash and uploaded a photo from it. Note: army never denied capturing positions, MoD's words were misinterpreted due to military-jargon. They won't officially disclose many details not to jeopardize the army.

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The new positions made the bordering Azeri regions, including the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, physically vulnerable. This upset the Azeri leadership so they continued the attack, suffering heavy human/equipment losses (including $30mln Israeli-made Hermes 900 drone) without much luck.

July 17th was a calm day

Army: Last night was calm. Only rifles were used. 120 shots were fired across the borders, including with Nakhijevan. We're vigilant because they could resume the attacks.

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Tavush government: bordering villagers have gotten used to this. They use bomb shelters and their basements when shots are fired. They don't want to leave their villages.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192849 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192859 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192866 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192909 , https://youtu.be/-gR8LPmYd8w

Casualties

Armenia: 4 deaths. 1 critical. 5 heavy. 14 medium-light wounds. 16 had minor scratches and didn't need hospitalization; they returned to duty within hours. Civilian man is recovering after a suicide drone attack. (10 people are currently in hospital)

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Azerbaijan: 20+ deaths, with about a dozen of them from "Yashma" special force's failed invasion attempt yesterday (body extraction recorded on tape). An unknown number of wounded.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192852 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192867 , https://factor.am/269813.html

Armenia captures SkyStriker drone

Armenian army released an image showing a captured Israeli-made SkyStriker drone used by Azerbaijan. It's undamaged. The army confirmed they have it, but won't say how they got it.

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An expert says this is a very valuable toy. "Usually such drones are configured to self-destruct when they sense losing control, so the enemy won't capture and extract the drone's internals."

(There is also a chance the drone was "found" by Armenians.)

Photo: https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192884

https://youtu.be/-gR8LPmYd8w

the residents of recently-bombed bordering village Chinari…

…were rolling a backgammon dice today. "We stand next to our soldiers. We have no intention to leave."

Interviews: https://youtu.be/LNI_IKqG_WA?t=27

the anti-apricot campaign gets sophisticated

Armenian trucks with agricultural goods were accompanied out of Moscow's largest "Food City" market last night. Some farmers complained their products were spoiled.

The market is owned by Azeri businessman God Nisamov. The Armenian embassy has contacted for details.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1022159.html

meme-alert / MEME ALERT

Gegham is the driver who earlier went viral after his video complaint about "Բոլոլա ա լինելու ու ահավոր բազար" : https://www.facebook.com/marukyan.edmon/posts/2743602309044812/

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He uploaded a new video. The madlad teamed-up with fellow madlads in 3rd village to collect old tires so the soldiers can use them as barricades: https://youtu.be/qyqH6CnYjBk

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A video of a teenager collecting tires: https://youtu.be/_GTuDe61XXc

Fake news & hackers

Azeri hackers broke into Viva and UCOM telecoms' and began sending fake SMS alerts claiming Armenia has many deaths, there is a draft process, and that hospitals need blood donors. Telecoms sent follow-up SMS to debunk it.

Screenshot: https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192848

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192879 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1022125.html

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Ex-Artsakh spokesman: right now Azerbaijani media sphere operates exclusively on misinformation to present as if they came out victorious from the conflict. The alternative is to either change the country's leadership or to start a full-scale war. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192889

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A video showing mortar attack was uploaded on July 12th claiming to be from Tavush battle. As Redditor avedji notes, the real video is from 2018 Ukraine battles.

Fake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULUXfdY13Bk

Real: https://youtu.be/Z2y8048w61Y

Azeri human rights activist Arif Yunusov talks about Tavush Battles, Azeri internal conflict, Baku protests:

Both sides have the same misconception that the Karabakh conflict isn't the biggest problem in the other country. Armenians think Aliyev is the one making Karabakh a big deal, while Azeris think it's Russia that's making sure Karabakh remains a hot topic in Armenia.

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the protests

The marches across Azerbaijan were a result of dead soldiers being brought for burial. It galvanized the public. It wasn't overly anti-government or pro-war, despite some chants. It wasn't organized by govt.

There were instanced of policemen dressed in civilian clothing agitating then dispersing crowds.

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the fallen Major General

This is the first time in Karabakh conflict history that a general dies. His death played a big role in the formation of protests. He was "people's general" and was very famous in Azerbaijan. He gave his salary and apartment to ordinary folks. We've lost Colonels before in the 90s, but not a General.

People got upset because he was buried in the lesser prestigious alley. Govt claimed there was no room in the primary alley. You can bury communist chinovniks there, but not a people's general?

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feeling of injustice

People wondered how this high ranking general could be killed. Our govt can't communicate with people. They just dispersed the protesters.

Then Aliyev made it worse by calling some of the protesters "provocateurs" and that only 150 people signed up for the draft.

That angered people even more. Armenian press began printing that in 10mln Azerbaijan only 150 want to fight. Of course, that isn't true. In Tovuz alone there were hundreds of volunteers.

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the youth

Today's generation was born after the 80s. The only thing they've heard is "our army is strong", so they wonder why can't they reclaim Karabakh.

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the firing of Mammedyarov - clash of clans

The firing of Foreign Minister Mammedyarov wasn't over Tavush clashes. It's part of the ongoing inner conflict between two clans: Pashayevs (first lady Mehriban's gang) and Aliyevs (led by Ramiz Mehdiyev, aka the Old Guard, aka Heydar Aliyev's people).

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Last year the Pashayevs won the war, and Ramiz Mehdiyev resigned. Pro-Aliyev Old Guard's MPs also resigned, and new Parliamentary elections were held. Mehriban's people won the seats.

Then the arrests came. Old Guard's Ministers and high ranking officials were arrested. The govt pretends it's about anti-corruption and reforms.

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wannabe tough guy

Aliyev is trying to act tough, but he's coming off childish. He made up a story about being unable to reach MFA Mammedyarov when the clashes began. Nobody believes that. If you want to fire him, just say it! The Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov will also resign, but it's complicated.

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How did the July 12th clashes begin?

I don't think it was planned. Unlike in 2016, there was no logic this time. Unlike in Karabakh border, where everything is properly marked and land-mined, the border with Armenia isn't as well marked. We have this problem with Georgia, too.

Today's AM-AZ border is basically whatever each side claims are theirs, inherited from USSR. This is why each side tries to claim positions.

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the mysterious UAZ vehicle

A while back Aliyev said they replaced the regular army with Border Patrol in that region. The Border Patrol uses Mercedes cars and not UAZ, only the regular army uses UAZ. What was UAZ doing there?

It's possible UAZ drivers were lost, then found a new height and decided to take over it, but they were met with fire. Armenia claims they fired warning shots, but in real life, Azeris might have interpreted that as Armenians shooting at them.

All sides were taken by surprise, all because the border isn't properly marked. My sources say AM and AZ are negotiating a ceasefire through RU. It's a matter of time.

https://youtu.be/QCFsIBLBSY0

Armenians around the world

The most famous Armenian... Kim Kardashian informed her followers that despite the global pandemic and calls for peace, Azerbaijan launched aggression, targeted civilians, and now threatens to bomb a nuclear plant. Next week the Congress will vote on a bill that will prohibit the sale of some weapons to Azerbaijan, reminded Kim. "I stand with my fellow Armenians." https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192856

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Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian (more notably known for marrying Serena Williams) has shared a message by ANCA about Azerbaijan starting a regional war amid a global pandemic. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192882

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System of a Down's rockstar Serj Tankian shared a post about oligarchic president Ilham Aliyev who inherited the throne from his father and appointed his wife as VP, and that peace is only possible if Azeris organize a peaceful revolution to replace him with someone smarter and hopefully peace-oriented.

Tankian also raised awareness about Azeri MoD's threats to bomb the nuclear plant. (man, that MoD guy Vagif is gaining some international recognition) https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192883

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Comedy Club showman Garik Martirosyan: Tavush is my little homeland. My father's side is from there. Peace is the only language for negotiations with Armenia. Stop provoking the Armenian army and the misinformation about "Armenian aggression". https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192876

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Another Russian-Armenian actor Misha Galustyan called for peace. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1022204.html

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Soccer stars Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Yura Movsisyan, world wrestling champion Arthur Alexsanyan, boxing champion Arthur Abraham and others are following the events and sent their support to Armenian soldiers.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192842 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192855 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192908 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192911

Foreign Affairs and Diplomacy

The European Ombudsman is concerned about Azerbaijan's threats against the Metsamor nuclear plant. "It's an obvious threat against civilians."

Armenian HRO thanked ombudsman Joseph Siegele.

https://www.aysor.am/en/news/2020/07/17/Josef-Siegele/1721986

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Artsakh Human Rights Ombudsman: do you want to know who Azerbaijan's new Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov is? He was the Education Minister in charge of Armenophobic teachings. Here is an example.

It's not a coincidence that Aliyev appointed this person without experience.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192890 , https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b-vtd5MKav4

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Armenian MFA: Azerbaijan's threat to bomb the nuclear plant shows their leadership's level of despair and the crisis of the mind. They're threatening to violate Geneva Convention. It's a threat to Azeri civilians, too. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192834

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Armenian MFA: 3 entities signed the 1990s ceasefire, with Artsakh (Karabakh) being one of them. They need to return to the negotiating table, but Azerbaijan refuses. If Azerbaijan threatens to pull out of peace talks with Armenia, then who will they negotiate with? https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192869

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Turkish Parliament sent a note of support to Azerbaijan. https://factor.am/269883.html

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MPs from all French Parliamentary parties joined with a statement to condemn Azerbaijan: To support Armenia against Azerbaijan means to support the right to life. To condemn the escalation without naming specific names is the same as to say nothing. We all know Azerbaijan's dictator Aliyev is behind this. [mentions poor economy and the need to escalate]

Things got worse for Aliyev when Armenia had a peaceful revolution and began building a strong economy based on rule of law and high tech, while Azerbaijan remained dependant on oil.

By claiming that Armenia is "Western Azerbaijan", he's reaffirming that the goal is to end Armenian presence in the region and to finish the century-old genocide.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192846

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OSCE meeting happened. Armenia submitted info about Azeri army's shelling of civilians villages, and explained that pre-July 12th speeches by Ilham Aliyev prove that this escalation was a planned campaign. Aliyev's claims over Armenian territory were presented, including his delusions about ancient Irevan.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192850

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The Kurdish community of Armenia criticized Azerbaijan and drew parallels with Turkey's mistreatment of Kurdish citizens. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1022158.html

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Armenia is a member of the French-speaking Francophonie alliance. Its secretary Louise Mushikiwabo wished a de-escalation and said Armenia is dear to her. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192888

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PM Pashinyan went to Belarus to participate in the EAEU trade bloc meeting, during which he spoke about Azerbaijan's aggression, that peace is the only solution, and Azerbaijan's fruitless attempts to force one-sided concessions.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=281703962906855 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192901 , https://factor.am/269896.html

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Austrian Press Agency published an article about Azeris placing their artillery too close their village, and the shelling of Armenian villages. https://armenpress.am/eng/news/1022142/

Ilham "Saddam" Aliyev / CSTO / interview with an analyst

Political analyst Grigoryan: Saddam Hussein used chemicals against his people, so Saddam's Iraq was declared as a "terrorist state". The Geneva Convention has ~15 points that define what a terrorist state is.

One of these points says that if a country threatens another country's population with bombing a chemical factory, nuclear plant, etc. they are a terrorist state. Azerbaijan made a huge mistake. Armenia must use this against them.

Even the most stupid small terrorist groups know not to make such public threats.

CSTO military bloc's response was better than in 2016. This time some of the member-states, which were overly pro-Azerbaijan in 2016, were more neutral. The talk about exiting CSTO altogether is unwarranted and dangerous.

https://youtu.be/qxFtX80AX6w

Artsakh is developing its energy sector

Artsakh launched a $17mln energy project. Upon its 2023 completion, they'll being to export 500mln kWh electricity to Armenia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1022078.html

2 judges could soon be arrested

There is an ongoing anti-corruption fight in Armenia, for our new readers.

The general prosecutor has asked the Supreme Court for permission to arrest 2 bankruptcy-court judges. The Supremes read the evidence, found enough probable cause, and gave permission for arrest.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192872 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192918

Kocharyan's friend is slapped with more charges

Ex-president Kocharyan's friend Mayrapetyan, the owner of several media outlets and mines, was earlier charged with aiding multi-million-dollar bribery and laundering.

Now he's facing more charged for allegedly evading $72 million (AMD 35 billion) in taxes.

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The report says: between 2004-2014 his "Progress-Armenia", "Local Developers", and "Global" real estate agencies evaded taxes by under-valuing the property on paper

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192910

something is fishy here… 🤔🤔

Nature Ministry dumped 300,000 juvenile trout fish into two rivers that pour into Lake Sevan to boost the lake's fish population. They're in process of purchasing equipment to accurately assess the lake's fish reserves.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192899

Top-5. What have Yerevan's basement-dwellers been reading in June?

5) Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes.

4) Manjunja, by Narina Abgaryan.

3) The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.

2) The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Wild Oscar.

1) Manon Lescaut, by Antoine Prevost

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1022047.html

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You've read 2294 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ht1h47/jul172020_news_tavush_battles_nuclear_threats_are/

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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