2020 July 31
- 1 Daily news and anti-corruption report
- 2 Tavush Battles / How did it start and end?
- 3 Flashback 1990: Grey Wolves / Abulfaz Elchibey / Aghdam
- 4 Well, we're waiting (insert a GIF here)
- 5 Armenia produces mortars
- 6 Aliyev gets a warning...
- 7 Aliyev's wife doesn't get much love these days
- 8 Artsakh must have an international status...
- 9 COVID stats
- 10 Anti-corruption Committee drops case against QP MP
- 11 Resident reports Yerevan officials for bribery
- 12 ex-NSS chief Vanetsyan / Mishik / investigation
- 13 The judges are having a meeting
- 14 Deputy PM Avinyan wins "marijuana" defamation lawsuit...
- 15 update: BHK MP Bagratyan resigns
- 16 UCOM ISP to compensate for the outage, or...
- 17 Another ISP wants to buy Beeline
- 18 Poll: most and least friendly countries
- 19 Kazakh oil to end the Russian monopoly
- 20 Grandmaster Lyovik
- 21 They found the gyamsh
- 22 Protecc wamen and chaldren
- 23 Privatizations since 1990s / Decentralization
- 24 Road repairs
- 25 Ancient fortress could turn into tourism sight
- 26 5+2 = 7
Daily news and anti-corruption report
Jul/31/2020 news: / Karabakh War, Grey Wolves, Elchibey / Aliyev gets no love / Russian oil monopoly / COVID / Anti-corruption: Vanetsyan, QP MP, Yerevan official / Judges hold a meeting / Marijuana trial / UCOM outage $$ / Poll: friendly and hostile countries / Infrastructure & industry / Fortress
Tavush Battles / How did it start and end?
Context: July 12.... July 13…. July 14.... July 15.... July 16…. July 17…. July 18…. July 19…. July 20…. July 21... July 22…. July 23…. July 24.... July 25... July 27... July 28... July 29... July 30...
Flashback 1990: Grey Wolves / Abulfaz Elchibey / Aghdam
Estonian journalist Ainar R. wrote an article about his visit to Aghdam, Karabakh in 1990, during which he met Azeri "Grey Wolves" ultra-nationalist group's colonel Surat Husseinov.
One late evening of 1990, a train was set to depart from Baku to Karabakh. The windows were shattered by bullets. Its occupants were feeding mothers, elderly, and soldiers. They were being moved to Aghdam. I also boarded.
We arrived in the morning. There were Azeri soldiers everywhere, with sounds of battles coming from far away.
I was greeted by three Grey Wolves soldiers who accompanied me for several days. They showed great hospitality, encouraged by meeting someone new after lengthy battles.
I was taken to Colonel Surat Husseinov, who wasn't eager to give an interview. His men were defending Aghdam, which would ultimately fall under Armenian hands.
Husseinov was one of the leaders of Azeri market mafia. He was financing the civilian groups of bandits.
When he lost the battles, he took the remaining forces to Baku to organize a coup against President Elchibey.
Elchibey sensed the coup and fled Baku. Heydar Aliyev took over and appointed Colonel Husseinov as Prime Minister. He would later be sentenced to life in prison, before being pardoned by next president Ilham Aliyev.
Well, we're waiting (insert a GIF here)
Aliyev recently said, "leave our lands before it's too late".
Defense Minister Tonoyan: Aliyev should explain when "too late" is. Their army keeps saying they're ready to attack and are waiting for a command. Well, it's not like we aren't waiting for a command, too.
Tonoyan then went to see a brand new Armenian position on the border.
Armenia produces mortars
High Tech Minister bragged about the Armenian military industry's latest achievement, noting that the mortar shells are of high quality.
Aliyev gets a warning...
...from Trump administration, to stop persecuting his political opponents, and to investigate police actions.
Aliyev's wife doesn't get much love these days
(title doesn't intend a pun, although why not?)
Azeri VP and 1st lady Mehriban Pashayeva called for international organizations Freedom House, Amnesty Internationa, and Human Rights Watch to do their duties and "address Armenian aggression".
She was promptly criticized for hypocrisy because Azerbaijan kicked out several human rights offices and froze their accounts in 2013.
(Insert a meme of a thicc and overly-successful Arab man saying "congratulations, you played yourself)
Human rights activists: Azeri govt knows where to find us. If they want our help, they should recognize the values that these organizations defend.
Artsakh must have an international status...
.... and stay Armenian, said the U.S. Representative Frank Pallone.
+1,982 tested (163,736). +354 infected (8,587 active). +631 healed. +10 deaths.
Pashinyan met the representatives of the restaurant industry to discuss the problems. There might be an aid package.
Anti-corruption Committee drops case against QP MP
Flamboyant QP MP Hayk Sargsyan was seen partying in Sevan's White Shorja beach-restaurant. He was reprimanded and issued a fine for violating the mask rule.
Some outlets erroneously claimed that the business belongs to him.
Hetq outlet found that it belongs to his friend and that it's operating illegally. The area was borrowed for other purposes but someone decided to turn it into a party place.
The Anti-Corruption committee didn't find enough evidence of wrongdoing by the MP and won't launch a full investigation against him.
Resident reports Yerevan officials for bribery
The report says: Erebuni resident went to the police and reported that a city official demanded a $100 bribe in exchange for not giving him a $400 ticket for illegal construction.
The city officials were monitored and caught after the bribe transaction.
(the man would rather pay a $400 penalty than a $100 bribe 👏👏) https://youtu.be/KuD40ViTdyo
ex-NSS chief Vanetsyan / Mishik / investigation
what about it
The NSS invited their former boss Vanetsyan to answer questions about the appointment of a certain person as a high-ranking NSS official. Vanetsyan went there but refused to speak.
Vanetsyan's version of events:
There is no felony case yet. They wanted to ask some questions about an absurd investigation. In 2018, an NSS official restored his former position. The law says the upper age limit for the official is 50, but the official can extend it by another 5 years, which is what we did.
Now the NSS says the process was illegal; I disagree. They can't read the law, apparently. This has political motives.
NSS's version of events:
A former NSS Lt. Colonel asked NSS chief Vanetsyan to get his job back. Vanetsyan ignored "Law 16" about age limitations and re-appointed the 51-year-old official, causing damages, which haven't been recovered yet.
Vanetsyan was briefed about the age limitation law, but he instructed to re-hire the official nonetheless. The official went on to become a Colonel.
Abuse of power investigation was launched. Vanetsyan was invited to explain.
What is Vanetsyan up to these days?
I haven't met Kocharyan, but I don't rule out a big meeting with all parties soon.
Q: you publicly accused Robik and Serjik of plundering the country. How will you meet and cooperate now?
Vanetsyan: That's irrelevant. Politicals requires meetings with everyone.
Q: can the public unite around the opposition and change the govt again, as recently suggested by Kocharyan?
Vanetsyan: Absolutely. There will be political processes soon. The country is in a dire state. The govt has failed at everything.
Q: what about the felony case that was launched after Serj's son-in-law fugitive Mishik claimed you tried to extort money from him?
Vanetsyan: that investigation was dropped due to lack of evidence of a crime. I wasn't a suspect.
The judges are having a meeting
The Govt, President, and Supreme Court are supposed to nominate one judge each, to fill the 3 available seats in the Constitutional Court. The govt has already nominated theirs.
Today the Supreme Court and other judges gathered in Hamalir to talk about their nominee and other issues.
Supreme Court member Mesrop M.: the nominating process will be secret.
I think a lot has changed in the judicial system. It's headed towards independence. There is zero pressure from govt.
Judges are ordinary people. They go home, then back to work. They can feel pressured by media and public expectations, but inner strength and independence are what drives decisions.
Q: but Pashinyan keeps calling the courts unhealthy and not independent.
Judge: it's been improving for decades. No pressure from PM, either. When Pashinyan complaints and says courts must be independent, we don't interpret that as an intervention in our affairs. The improvement in courts is also due to general improvements in Armenia.
Deputy PM Avinyan wins "marijuana" defamation lawsuit...
... against pro-Kocharyan Politik.am blog, which has a lengthy record of spreading misinformation and manipulation.
In 2018 the blog cited its "anonymous sources" to claim Avinyan was a weedhead who smoked pot with colleagues.
Avinyan sued and demanded $2K and a retraction. The money will be symbolically donated to students who study journalism.
update: BHK MP Bagratyan resigns
Earlier a prominent BHK MP Sergey Bagratyan quit the party, shortly after its leadership was charged with election buying and financial crimes. He'll remain as an IND MP.
MP Bagratyan: my opinions haven't match BHK's for a long time now. I've spoken against some BHK decisions internally. I'll work independently to strengthen Armenia.
BHK MP Ivetta: shame on you for lying. You always supported BHK decisions behind closed doors. You chose the urge to preserve your MP's seat over your manhood.
Another BHK MP accused Bagratyan of lying and not revoking his mandate which would allow BHK to appoint another MP.
UCOM ISP to compensate for the outage, or...
Some equipment broke and UCOM went offline recently. They'll pay $220K, but to whom?
Option A) Each affected subscriber receives <$4.
Option B) The $220K is fully donated to Soldiers' Insurance Fund.
UCOM subscribers can vote by texting 1004.
Another ISP wants to buy Beeline
UCOM's now-former CEO and co-founder Yesayan created TEAM ISP and wants to buy the troubled Beeline ISP.
Now NovaTel expressed interest to buy Beeline. (NovaTel is a new firm created by another big firm to maximize their chances of winning the bid.)
Poll: most and least friendly countries
Conducted in Feb-Mar 2020.
Armenians began viewing Russia as less friendly, even though it preserves the number-one spot.
57% said Russia is the friendliest. That number gradually reduced from 83% since 2013.
The second friendliest was "none" with 17%.
12% said France, up from 4% several years ago.
The most hostile is Azerbaijan with 75%, followed by Turkey with 22%.
Kazakh oil to end the Russian monopoly
On July 2nd, the govt decided to end Russian Rosneft's oil monopoly in Armenia by signing agreements with Kazakhstan.
Deputy Infrastructure Minister: countries pay exports fee to sell oil in Armenia, but since Russia and Armenia are part of EAEU, that 20% fee is waived for Russia, which gives the Russian oil a competitive advantage. They became a monopoly.
To make it worse, Russian exporters were working only with one company based in Armenia. All other Armenian companies had to buy the oil from this middleman.
Now we're giving a similar tariff waiver to Kazakhstan.
The process began after Armenian oil importers contacted us and asked to increase competition.
The document will be finalized after Finance and Justice Ministries approve it. It might take 3 months.
You'll never guess who FIDE's 5th strongest chess player is.
You're so basic hahahaha. No, it's not Levon Aronyan. It's Lagrave Maxime.
Aronyan is 7th.
They found the gyamsh
Someone shot fireworks in Yerevan last night. The police found and fined the 58yo man.
Protecc wamen and chaldren
Pashinyan approved the roadmap for implementing reforms to protect children from sexual exploitation, as part of Lanzarote Convention, which was approved by Armenia recently.
EU ambassador and civil society members are working to reduce violence against women. A seminar was held. The EU ambassador met Catholicos Garegin B to discuss the topic.
Privatizations since 1990s / Decentralization
A conference was held by Transparency International, govt and private sector experts to discuss privatizations.
Armenia's 1,500 large infrastructure objects were privatized between 1995-2005. The main goal was to transition to an efficient competitive market.
However, the valuation process was rigged to sell the objects below market prices. (pikachu face)
Suggestions are made to decentralize institutes by moving some to suburbs.
7km Yeranos-Lichq section of M10 highway is being renovated for the first time in 20 years.
Ancient fortress could turn into tourism sight
A group of archeologists and govt members met to discuss tourism development plans around Tavush province's Berd city's fortress called Tslik Amram.
5+2 = 7
7 Armenian math geeks participated in the Olympiad among 546 co-geeks from 134 universities.
2 gold and 5 silver medals. 'Nuff said.
You've read 1925 words.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/i1drfk/jul312020_news_karabakh_war_grey_wolves_elchibey/
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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