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Latest revision as of 08:44, 20 February 2021


Contents

Daily news wrap-up

Feb/19/2021: (1) Poll: former regime is more to blame for war defeat; snap elections aye; Pashinyan & his party still most popular (2) Qarin Tak mayor's war story (3) Azniv's story (4) Real Azeri death toll (5) AI in Armenian drones (6) Serj's land giveaway plan (7) App for vineyards (8) GSP+ trade
by ar_david_hh


Your 19-minute Friday report in 4615 words.

real number of Azeri losses in war / experts filter out Armenian exaggerations and Azeri under-reporting

Armenia has so far discovered approx. 3,700 bodies during and after the war. Healthcare workers continue to process the bodies for identification. Citing the existing data, deputy PM Avinyan recently predicted that the death toll will be under/around 4,000 when the search operations finish.

What about the Azeri death toll?

CivilNet's Mirzabekyan has gathered reports: the 2,783 death toll reported by Azeri authorities has been repeatedly questioned by expert circles and independent platforms. Turkey is one country that accepted that number.

However, it is a fact that Azerbaijan hid the death toll during the war, leaving it to civilians to report information about deaths and wounds.

Free Azerbaijan independent outlet wrote that the authorities intentionally under-reported death to prevent outrage. Some Russian outlets counted as many as 20-25,000 casualties. The outlet criticizes Aliyev for the "semi-victory" at a very high cost, and the subsequent campaign to promote himself by spreading posters with his image on them.

The outlet cites the death toll as being around 9-12,000, saying that certain media circles associated with the authorities have been "conditioning" the Azeri population to be prepared to learn about the high toll.

BBC Russia had earlier written an article about the possible death toll in Azerbaijan. They visited Azeri city Mengichavur on October 20-26, during the war, and were able to find dozens of freshly dug graves. "It shows the extent of the war."

The Armenian side likely exaggerated the 7,630 Azeri death toll, believe some independent Armenian experts. Expert Hrant Mikaelyan decided to calculate the more realistic number. His source told him that during the war, Armenian official reports exaggerated Azeri deaths by 1.5x before October 17th. The real Azeri death toll, according to his calculation, is around 5,600 (around twice higher than the official Azeri report).

A Russian expert Pavel Felgengauer believes Azeris under-reported their death by 1,000. He believes there were relatively small losses on each side because "not much direct damage was done to the civilian population."

Another Russian outlet Arsenal Otechestva called the Azeri numbers a "fairy tale", and that Azerbaijan would never reveal the death toll relating the hired jihadists.

https://www.civilnet.am/news/2021/02/18/Ադրբեջանի-իրական-կորուստները-պատերազմում-«թաքնվում-են»-պաշտոնական-թվերի-հետևում/419905

https://freeazerbaijan.org/2020/12/03/%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B5-%D0%BB%D0%B8%D1%86%D0%BE-%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%B1%D0%B5%D0%B4%D1%8B/

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/290421/

the mayor of Karintak (village below Shushi) recalls the battles

Acting mayor Ashot Hakobyan: the battles begin at 4:30 am on November 4th. We spotted a movement near the gorge. Boys were prepared. The day before that there were Azeri accumulations on the Lachin-Shushi road [west]. When the enemy movement was detected near the gorge, boys repelled them a couple of times. After that, the enemy air force began bombing.

Boys didn't have the means to fight against the state-of-the-art missiles. They were mostly taking shelter then exiting it in the afternoon. That day, when they exited the shelter, the enemy opened fire from nearby buildings.

People often ask why we were able to win in 1992 but not today. It's because soldiers were disheartened by the inability to fight against missiles and the land losses from Hadrut. Whenever they fought against enemy soldiers, they proved that the enemy couldn't come closer. But when a missile strikes, it's different.

Around 4 o'clock the missiles, including Smerch, were bombarding Qarin Tak. We had to exit it, but we had to do it in small groups to avoid casualties.

Before these events in Qarin Tak, when the enemy reached Sghnakh [5km from Shushi], our boys were in Chakhmakh military base. The regular army was also there. A group came from Tonashen. They took positions to prevent enemy advancement. That's where our mayor Arushanyan and two others died from a drone strike. He was our commander; he used to be an experienced soldier. We sustained a total of 7 deaths with 1 missing. Two of their families live in Armenia today. The vast majority stayed in Artsakh.

In Qarin Tak, women and a few children stayed in the village until October 29th, just before the military actions. 99% of the population who left the village thought they would return.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/127572 , https://youtu.be/btiMP3XMoss

Tags: #QarinTak #Shushi #ArtsakhWar #mayor #WarinTakMayor

drones to use AI / Armenian and Russian scientists cooperate

Armenian and Russian scientists developed an automated and affordable "smart vision" system for satellites and drones, writes Russian RIA Novosti. It will make hyperspectral imaging easier.

Spectrometers are devices that allow data on the composition of matter to be obtained by dividing electromagnetic waves into many separate waves. If there are only three such channels in a normal camera, then modern devices can provide information from 100 or more spectral channels.

The program received funding from Education Ministry. The studies are conducted by Armenian-Russian university experts.

More jargon: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043971.html

ruling party supports LHK's offer to form a commission to investigate 2020 war, but...

QP leader Lilith Makunts said they support LHK Marukyan's plan to investigate the war, but the specific platform suggested by LHK leader Marukyan is unconstitutional, according to them.

LHK suggested a "պարիտետային fact-finding commission". The QP is suggesting the investigation to be done by the Parliament's investigative commission, with a wider mandate granted to the commission.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043950.html

Serj interview fallout continues / officials: 2016 war was stopped because Serj Sargsyan agreed to give away Artsakh's adjacent regions / Serj's drones / bulletproof vests

Reporter: Serj recently accused you that by launching a Commission to investigate the 2016 April War events, you launched a process of destroying the army. He criticized your move to invite Generals and Commanders to testify.

Parliamentary Security Commission chief Andranik: if Serj thinks the fact-finding Commission intended to "dismantle" the army, then why did he swiftly agree to appear and testify? The army doesn't need Serj to protect them from us. The Commission was formed legally to receive answers.

One of our main goals was learning the conditions under which the 2016 ceasefire was reached. Serj claimed in his interview that "I defeated Ilham Aliyev in 2016" and that Armenia capitulated in 2020.

Now the question arises, if Serj was winning the 2016 war, then why did he stop? And why did Aliyev stop in this 44-day war when it was beneficial to him? Why did Serj stop the war at positions not beneficial to Armenia, if he was winning? [Armenians lost a key height in northern Talish village, and large chunks of land in southern Fizuli.]

Reporter: Serj says that Aliyev asked Russia to stop the 2016 war.

Andranik: if Aliyev asked Russia to stop the war, Yuri Khachaturov would have demanded to return to the original positions.

Reporter: while Serj claims that he won the 2016 War, Armenia's Security Council Chief Grigoryan claims that the war was stopped because Serj asked for it to be stopped in exchange for making promises. Whom should we believe?

Andranik: a few months ago, Artsakh's Parliament President Arthur Tovmasyan revealed that after the 2016 war, Serj gathered Artsakh's entire political and military team and told them that "in order for us not to sing Kars Kars, we must agree to give away the 7 regions, so think about it and give me your opinion." Serj also said in the interview that he wanted to come into power in 2018 as Prime Minister to resolve that issue.

We had reached a point where we either had to give away lands, or war would begin. Why didn't he use the 10 years he spent as President to resolve the conflict? His senior friend Robert Kocharyan also rejected a similar solution. For 20 years they stretched time and dragged us closer to war. Now Serj cannot explain what the plan was: would it be him to resolve it, would his predecessor resolve it, or did he find more resources to drag time?

Why didn't he resolve the conflict after the 2016 war, especially since after the war he met the team and clearly stated that "we must give". This was confirmed by Artsakh's current Parliament president and military officials who participated in that meeting. Everyone knows about that meeting. But you cannot drag time forever. At a minimum, your army should match the enemy's army development.

Notice how upset Serj got when the interview host asked him about poor military trench conditions regarding engineering. "Who told you that. Who went and checked it?" But you don't have to see it. Just look at the death toll. The engineering wasn't done to extend soldiers' lifespans. We need to find answers about everything that happened since 2016. The solution is not to find traitors.

Reporter: are you saying Serj left behind him a situation in which we would either give away lands or go to war? Couldn't Pashinyan implement Lavrov's Plan?

Andranik: neither Kocharyan nor Serj had led the negotiations in a way for Armenia to get SOMETHING in exchange to giving [Lavrov plan was about Armenia giving away lands and the conflict "freezing" without Artsakh getting status]. Today Serj claims that he was negotiating to "take" something, but he couldn't explain what is that that he would "take".

Reporter: has the Commission found anything important after examining the 2016 war? Who was at fault?

Andranik: some problems were identified, the absence of which would not have allowed Azerbaijan to have a significant advantage in 2016. I can't give full details, but it's about air defense, air force, lack of utilization of weapons, management conflict between Armenia and Artsakh, governance issues.

Reporter: Serj says Iskander should have been used on the 4th day of the war instead of near Shushi towards the end.

Andranik: Serj made some very dangerous statements during the interview that can be used [to sue Armenia] in the future. [Serj essentially claimed that Armenians targeted the Azeri civilian population in Ganja, when asked about the failed attack against Ganja airport. Artsakh govt had repeatedly stated during the war they aimed at military objects but missiles often didn't hit the target, and they even warned Azeri civilians to move away from objects used by the military. Serj is now being accused of fueling the Azeri windmill by mirroring their rhetoric.] I'm shocked that someone in his position can make such reckless statements. He also stated that the Armenian army was directly involved in the war.

Reporter: comment about the shortage in bulletproof vests during the war.

Andranik: when our troops were mobilized, we realized how many deficiencies we faced. The plan was there, but there were not enough bulletproof vests. The draft was being done, but our storages were short. The whole nation began looking for vests. If Serj claims to know a corruption scheme involving vests [he made some claims], he should step forward and testify.

If anyone violated any rules, they must be punished. If there was corruption during the war, there must be the harshest punishment. In some countries, such cases are punished with execution. But since it's Serj claiming it, and he brings up specific pricing numbers, he should appear and testify whatever he knows.

[Possibly related: on November 2020, the former regime accused the Defense Ministry of being anti-Russian and rejecting the purchase of cheap $300 Russian vests, and instead choosing more expensive and fewer $1,000 vests. The Ministry called it a manipulation, stating that the expensive $1,000 vests, which came with helmets and were more complex, were not for regular soldiers but for special services forces, hence the higher price and limited quantities, and that they were purchased from an official Russian seller so there was no "anti-Russia" thing going on.]

Reporter: Serj claimed in his interview that he had a $1.3B military plan and that he would purchase 2,500 drones by 2024, including 1,000 by 2020, and that the Pashinyan administration scrapped the plan.

Andranik: Serj made a statement, truthfulness of which is questionable because General Chief of Staff Artak Davtyan revealed that the main parts of the drone plan, established with the contracts, had proceeded as planned. Any questions about new plans should be investigated. About the 2,500 number: how many has he purchased since 2016? Very few. It takes time to test drones.

[Related: 2,500 drones don't mean all being purchased from abroad. The Armenian govt pays Armenian drone makers to produce drones. Former General Chief of Staff Artak Davtyan recently gave an interview about drones, and how difficult it is to have a drone industry that can scale. That interview is here: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ldh43c/feb52021_1_general_artak_on_drones_draft_2/ ]

Full: https://factor.am/340047.html , https://youtu.be/r7Sp5G6p3lA

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/jussub/megathread_news_wrap_up_nov152020_war_in_artsakh/?

Tags #SerjInterview #drones #SerjDrones #BulletproofVests #vests

polls: what do people think about snap elections, Pashinyan, opposition? / whom would you vote for? / who lost the war?

Pashinyan remains the highest-rated politician despite 2020.

Your attitude towards politicians, on the sale of 1-5?

PM Pashinyan 2.8, President Armen Sarkissian 2.3, Levon Ter-Petrosyan 2.3, Gagik Tsarukyan 2.2, Robert Kocharyan 2, Edmon Marukyan 1.8, Serzh Sargsyan 1.7, Vazgen Manukyan 1.6 (RIP), Ishkhan Saghatelyan 1.6, Arthur Vanetsyan 1.5,

Whose fault was it that we lost the war?

32% former government, 28.8% current government, 16.1% Turkey helping Azerbaijan, 10.2% we didn't lose, 4.4% high ranking officers in the army, 19.2% other.

do you want snap elections?

58.4% yes, 33.3% no.

Ruling party recently said there is no need for snap elections. Do you agree?

39.9% yes, 50.9% no, 9.2% don't know

Should Pashinyan continue as Prime Minister?

38.8% yes, 43.6% no, 17.6% don't know.

under whose watch should the snap elections be held?

41.2% under Pashinyan, 28.2% without Pashinyan, 14% don't know. 8.9% gave another name, 7.9% opposition should form a govt then hold elections [RIP Vazgen].

did you watch interviews by Kocharyan and Serj?

26% watched Serj, 35.1% watched Kocharyan.

how do you evaluate those interviews?

38.5% liked Serj's interview, 55.4% disliked it. 46.6% liked Kocharyan's interview, 47.3% disliked it.

Will you participate in the opposition's major February 20th rally?

9.4% yes.

If elections were held this Sunday, whom would you vote for?

33.1% QP (current ruling party), 27.2% none, 5.6% Robert Kocharyan, 4.4% BHK, 2.6% LHK, 2.2% HHK, 2.2% ARF, 0.9% Hayreniq, 0.9% Vazgen Manukyan, 0.7% Republic, 0.4% Sasna Tsrer, 0.2% QO.

--

The survey by GALLUP International, done earlier this week.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043963.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043968.html

Tags: #polls #WarPoll #WarSurvey #electiosn #survey

tomorrow is the big day for opposition

There has been some talk lately that the former regime's alliance between 17 parties is crumbling. One party left the alliance. Some opposition MPs left their parties. The opposition PM candidate Vazgen Manukyan and BHK leadership, however, insist that they are still united as a team, and promote Vazgen Manukyan as the new Prime Minister. (LHK party isn't part of their movement)

The former regime plans a massive rally on Saturday. Kocharyan's office is actively encouraging residents to join that "and all future rallies organized by the opposition. The immediate removal of the traitors is the first precondition of our national revival."

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/290411/

hostage Azniv's story / how she was forced to participate in war propaganda video

Azniv is the lady who was mistaken for an Azeri actress after Azeris published a propaganda video featuring how Azeri soldiers "treat well" local residents in Artsakh. Azniv is an Armenian woman named Azniv Baghdasaryan. She is one of the dozens of POWs who have since returned home.

Azniv says that to this day, she has difficulty walking on the streets because some people called her a "traitor" after recognizing her in a grocery store. "Some are angry, some are empathetic, others don't care. I'm not a traitor and will never be."

Azniv actually took part in war events. She is an azatamartik. That day she was encircled in Jabrayil for 2 days. "I was given wrong directions. I found myself at a Jabrayil military outpost, where Turks were present. I helped two Armenian wounded soldiers. We shot back until we ran out of bullets. The boys died. I dragged them to a car.

I was lost. I was headed to Ara mount. I knew that we had soldiers there. When I arrived there, there were none already. I found myself encircled for 2 days. Turks accidentally found me while I was asleep. They beat me with 15 people and gave me Turkish clothes and a blanked before filming the video. They thought they were doing me a disservice, but it was a big help for me."

Azniv lives in poverty. Recently she's been receiving financial aid from her war comrades. With a big pride, they recall the aid provided by Azniv in the Jabrayil area.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/207044

two Azeris explode on a landmine in Talish

They were driving a Niva in the village when one of the occupants stepped out of the vehicle and tripped a landmine. One of them died.

Since the November 10th ceasefire, Azerbaijan has lost 5 soldiers and 9 civilians, with another 52 soldiers and 8 civilians receiving wounds. (isn't that a lot?)

https://factor.am/340257.html

Azeri billboard removed from Philadelphia highway

Philadelphia's I-95 highway had a billboard that read "Azeris and Turks are ready to live in harmony with Armenians. How about Armenians?" It was paid for by the Turkish trade group MUSIAD. The billboard was removed after complaints by the local Armenian community. It was criticized for "dishonesty" and "denialism".

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043922.html , https://en.armradio.am/2021/02/19/anti-armenian-billboard-in-philadelphia-taken-down/

European Court for Human Rights rejects Azeri citizen's property petition against Armenia

Samadov vs Armenia, filed in 2008, was rejected by ECHR on February 18th. Samadov claimed he had a property in Kelbajar but had to abandon it during the 1993 war. He wanted compensation. The court found that the application was filed "too late".

https://factor.am/340250.html

Daily life of a Russian peacekeeper guarding Lachin corridor

Armenian driver: arrives

Russian peacekeeper: got any weapons?

Armenian driver: no

Russian peacekeeper: go

😉 https://youtu.be/VtiiDXbOzSI

NSS invited several media figures for questioning

Angela Elibegova, an expert in Azerbaijani studies, was questioned at an NSS facility before being released an hour later. Two other figures were questioned: former Parliamentary Chief of Staff Ara Saghatelyan, and Qaryak Media co-founder Karen Bekaryan. Details will be known later.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/207124 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/207124

100 members of US Congress urge Joe Biden to aid Artsakh and Armenia, and to recognize the Genocide

https://armenianweekly.com/2021/02/19/breaking-100-us-representatives-call-on-biden-administration-to-stand-with-artsakh-and-armenia/

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/207133

anti-"fake news bill" is amended to address investigative journalists' concerns

Recently a bill was drafted, which could require media agencies to either directly cite rumors by other outlets only if their owners have been identified, or the media agency would have to circulate the rumors by such outlets as being "their own" speech, for example, "our sources say blah blah" (but not "anonymous Telegram channel says blah blah). It's related to legal liability and defamation, and the promotion of fake outlets. The bill would also set transparency requirements.

To address concerns by investigative journalists, who often cite anonymous sources, Human Rights Ombudsman Tatoyan suggested amending a wording in the bill to replace "anonymous source" with "unidentified source".

The authors accepted the amendment.

Heads up: the 2018 (19?) law to prohibit insult of members of authorities has resurfaced, this time introduced by prosecutors. More on that later once more info and response is available.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043926.html

job program for Artsakh refugees

The government has a program to help Artsakh residents learn skills and find work in Armenia. 1,600 have applied so far. Hundreds of them began working. Labor Ministry expects significantly more applications in March.

Edgar came from Qashatagh with his wife and three children. Today he works as a chef at a BBQ store. That's his first-ever job in the kitchen. During the 2-month training, the state will pay ֏200K to Edgar and ֏68K to the employer. After that, it's a standard worker-employer relation.

https://youtu.be/V42nPg2-C8M

https://www.1lurer.am/hy/2021/02/18/Կառավարությունը-փորձում-է-լուծել-արցախցիների-զբաղվածության-խնդիրը-կա-1600-դիմումատու/417331

Artsakh president appoints diasporan-Armenian businessman Vahe Keushgueryan

... to handle various development programs. Vahe was born in Homs, Syria in 1957. He opened his first wine business in Italy before moving to Armenia in 2009 and launching a winemaking-advisory agency "Semina Consulting".

Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043928.html

re: bill to exempt diasporan repatriates from paying border taxes

Last year a bill was passed to encourage more diasporans to repatriate without having to pay border tariffs on their imported personal cars and household items. Despite the pandemic and war, 355 people applied to use the privilege; 70% were approved. In 2019, there were 419 applicants with 40% approval.

The IRS welcomed the spike in approval % and predicts overall applications to increase once the travel restrictions are lifted.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043958.html

Anti-corruption: 110 felony cases launched over illegal construction near Lake Sevan

Context: In 2019, the authorities launched a process to remove structures that were built too close to lake Sevan for decades. Besides fighting corruption, it's necessary for improving the water quality if it's to rise in the future.

Prosecutors cooperated with Nature Ministry and found that as of Aug/10/2020, there were 110 main buildings located below the 1905-meter mark (legal limit). They were built between 2011-2020.

Several officials at Sevan National Park are suspected of abusing their power and failing to prevent the construction. A felony case is launched.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043909.html

vineyards are being mapped for digitization / grape harvest & cognac alcohol stats

In Armenia, the government helps large buyers to purchase grapes from farmers in bulk. In the past, there were major issues with organizing this collection and sale, with farmers complaining about the unsold harvest that was left to rot.

To alleviate the problem, the government has mapped the vineyards in 3 regions of Armenia, with another 2 regions scheduled for this year. The mapping will allow the use of a mobile app during the grape procurement process, to digitize the process and increase its efficiency.

In 2019, Armenian wineries and companies purchased 163K tons of grapes from farmers. In 2020, that number rose to 235K.

Most of the collected grape is used to produce cognac alcohol. Its production increased from 13M liter to 19M. Part of it is being exported, but last year the exporters faced major problems.

The alleviate the export problems, yesterday the government approved an aid package to cancel some taxes to increase annual exports from 4.4 to 9 million liters.

http://arka.am/en/news/business/mobile_app_to_be_used_in_armenia_for_grape_procurement_/

Agrarian university to cooperate with private business w/internships

Private firm PROFAL and the Agrarian University signed a cooperation memorandum to train students with hands-on experience and give jobs to those who perform well.

Uni. rector: Today, in addition to internships, we also organize job fairs, various events, which will allow us to gather the necessary staff and specialists. We are ready to cooperate not only in the practical field but also in the framework of agricultural research.

Firm rep.: There is always a demand for new specialists. We are ready to discover the potential and talent of young people.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043901.html

COVID stats

2931 tested. 191 infected. 213 healed. 2 deaths. 4266 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043908.html

schools fully open WHEN?

It depends on the pandemic, but right now the situation is mild, said Education Minister Dumanyan. "We're waiting for Healthcare Ministry's instructions."

Students already attend schools but there is a limit of 20 in a single class (make it permanent), even cafeterias are open with safety regulations, there is a trend to return to normal life, said Dumanyan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043919.html

H1 public TV launches a media academy

Over 100 students will receive education in the television field. Some of them will be hired by H1 upon graduation. The courses are related to journalism, sports covering, hosting shows, etc.

Over 3,000 applications were filed, 725 of whom were called for an interview. Students will receive mostly practical knowledge.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043970.html

Armenia's per-capita income has risen in the past 3 years beyond a GSP+ trade system threshold

The World Bank believes Armenia has improved its financial status in the past 3 years, therefore it cannot take advantage of the GSP+ system. The system allows poor developing countries to export products to the EU by paying either very small or no tariffs.

There is a GSP system with the US, Canada, etc., while the GSP+ is specifically for the EU. These changes apply to both.

Over 6,200 Armenian products are exported to the EU under low tariffs. Mostly light industry, minerals-mining, alcohol, canned food, dried fruits, veggies.

To trade under GSP+, a country must already be in the GSP program, implement 27 various conventions, and be low-income. Armenia had met all requirements.

However, in the past 3 years, Armenia was added to the list of high or middle-income countries. There is a 1-year evaluation period, after which Armenia could lose access to both GSP and GSP+.

That's not necessarily bad news, according to Deputy Economy Minister Varos, because "it is not better to be a low-income country and use the system. Armenian businesses that have long taken advantage of these privileges, by now should have established their presence in the market with more competitive positions. If they hadn't marketed their products and solely relied on low tariffs, then that's a bad way to build a business."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043927.html

re: import ban on Turkish products / IRS tariff stats

The law currently prohibits the import of Turkish items for 6 months. In 2020, IRS had collected $47M in tariffs from Turkish imports. "However, that doesn't mean we're going to lose that much cash after the ban. Turkish items are being replaced by Chinese," said an IRS agent.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043962.html

IRS presents import-export volume & taxation stats for 2020:

If we don't count the car exports, then customs taxes decreased in 2020 vs 2019, but remain about the same as in 2018. As for cargo volumes:

Imports General: -17.5% YoY

Imports from EAEU: +1.3% YoY

Imports from EAEU: +20% vs 2018

Export volumes: -7%

Number of businesses doing exports: +3%

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043913.html

IRS wants to reward honest taxpayers & importers

...BY NOT GIVING THEM TOO MUCH TROUBLE. /s

IRS says: we drafted a bill according to which the activities of law-abiding taxpayers will be monitored not only by tax but also customs authorities. They will be given significant privileges. The standards for qualification will be set high.

For example, their cargo will be cleared much faster with the use of technology instead of human labor.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043920.html

today in history

1869: your favorite poet Hovhannes Tumanyan was born

1986: Soviets send "Mir" orbital station to cosmos

2004: Azeri soldier Ramil Safarov uses an ax to kill a sleeping Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan during a NATO training in Hungary. He will later receive the title of Azerbaijani Hero, a promotion, and a free house.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043880.html

Armenia celebrates the Book Donation Day

It is a tradition to donate books on legendary Hovhannes Tumanyan's birthday. It was launched in 2008 by the Writer Union's former president Levon Ananyan.

Many festivals are held across the country on this day. Writers visit schools, bookstores sell at discount prices, publishers present their latest work, libraries hold special events.

This year, one of the bookstores will allow you to buy a book and send it to a random soldier serving in the military.

EduMin official Khlmazyan: No matter the rapid development of digital technology, having books at home is very important because their physical existence silently reminds you of how much you still have to learn.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043825.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043890.html

top-5 translated bestseller books in January

5) Three apples fell from the sky, by Narine Abgaryan

4) Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

3) Requiem for Judah, by Mark Aren

2) Agos, by Valerie Manto. It's about Hrant Dink, more here

1) Christmas Angel, by Mark Aren

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043741.html

"Yerevanian Bestseller" / the story behind these "top-5" book rankings that Davo posts every Friday

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1043961.html

donations to Artsakh & recovering soldiers

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Link to original report and comments: https://ww.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/lnq3ia/feb192021_1_poll_former_regime_is_more_to_blame/

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