2020 August 28

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Aug/28/2020 news: \\ New details about Tavush battles. Medals awarded \\ Vaccines, tourism, working parents \\ Doing business in AM. Survey & investments \\ Police brutality busted \\ Kocharyan calls Nikol "corrupt" \\ Subsidies to boost rural teaching \\ Lebanese repatriates \\ Chess boycott \\ ...
by ar_david_hh


Medals for Tavush Battle heroes / Pashinyan speech / Details about weapons and casualties

During a ceremony in Sardarapat, Pashinyan gave 71 "military cross" medals and the title of a Hero to a captain for their participation in July battles.

Many of the recipients were present, while others are in frontlines.

For the first time, the national Hero title is given to a soldier who is alive. (needs fact-check tho)

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Pashinyan: // not many know this, but we had 0 deaths and 1 light injury on the immediate frontline, while Anvakh outpost was being heavily bombed. This is a sign of an unprecedented tactical improvement. We have a combat-ready and intelligent army.

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The myth about AZ winning the war "within 24 hours" is gone, and so is the idea that AZ not attacking AM is a "compromise" on their part.

We've been saying for 2 years that the language of threat against us is futile.

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We've been making behind-the-curtain improvements in the army in the past 2.5 years, in addition to what you see publicly.

The July battles also displayed our military industry's capabilities.

We shot down high-tech equipment that was believed to be invincible. They were shot with weapons modernized by Armenian engineers, with Armenian technologies. 70% made in Armenia, 30% imported then modernized in Armenia.

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These events also highlighted the bigger issues in the region and strengthened our trust towards our military allies. //

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Hero Ruben Sananyan receives the medal: https://youtu.be/1SlGLqLgvyQ?t=105

Another medal for Gregory Khachaturov (the son of March 1st suspect Yuri Khachaturov): https://youtu.be/jFb9ya0U6RM

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Full speech text: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026169.html

Full speech video: https://youtu.be/BG6lpNLj6Rw

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026165.html

Other military news / captive Alaverdyan / Geneva Convention / Volunteer Army / July & April Battles

The command post of several military units held exercises to improve their organizational skills.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026152.html

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MoD Tonoyan: the April Battles audit committee has done extensive work. Let's wait for results before I comment on specifics. The military-political situation hasn't changed after April Battles.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026143.html

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MoD Tonoyan: we're investigating the full details on how soldier Alaverdyan ended up in Azeri territory. The preliminary theory is that he got lost due to weather, but he could have been abducted, too. The UN, Red Cross, and OSCE are trying to help bring him back.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026140.html

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MoD of Armenia: Azerbaijan's dictatorial regime has gone so low, that they're trying to conceal their major failures during July Battles by forcing [captive] Alaverdyan to read a fabricated text.

By publicly violating his dignity, Azerbaijan is breaking the Geneva Convention. Azerbaijan is one of the few countries that refuse to ratify the additional protocols attached to the Geneva Convention.

https://factor.am/279382.html

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MoD Tonoyan: the purpose of creating a new Volunteer Army is to prepare the general public so they can respond to military threats that stem from around Armenia, in the event the existing army is not enough.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026142.html

COVID stats

+181 infected. +276 healed. +5 deaths. 5,052 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026106.html

Armenia will have the vaccine by Spring 2021

There are 8 vaccines around the world in the 3rd stage of testing. Armenia will select one after they're ready and registered.

If Moderna offers it at a lower price, Armenia won't buy the Russian one. Azerbaijan and Belarus decided to buy from Russia.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/284551/

https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/08/28/COVID-19-ի-դեմ-ռուսական-պատվաստանյութը-առաջիններից-կստանա-Բելառուսը-դիմողների-թվում-է-Ադրբեջանը/393652

COVID mask rule

Special guest speakers during ceremonies hosted by high-ranking political, judicial, and religious figures are no longer required to wear a mask. It applies to hosts, too. Ordinary guests and the audience should continue to wear one.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026163.html

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MoD Tonoyan issued rewards to several Russian soldiers in Gyumri Base for using their mobile equipment to test for COVID.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026134.html

Economists discuss COVID / Economy / Investments / Tourism / Agriculture

Guests said: we applaud the agricultural aid packages from the government but these changes won't be visible for a few years, due to agriculture's "cycle" period.

Don't expect agriculture to save our GDP this year.

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Tourism is complicated. It suffered heavily, but Armenia gives and takes tourists, which means Armenian tourists who would normally travel abroad ended up staying home and becoming internal tourists, so on the macro-scale, the tourism didn't suffer catastrophically. Provinces are the benefactors.

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In the past decade, investment trends have changed globally. The flow used to go from developed countries to developing countries. Now it's reversed.

It's hard for Armenia to attract large investments, especially since neighboring Georgia has a more attractive tax system.

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Armenia has the lowest productivity in entire Europe and CIS bloc. Kyrgyzstan is ahead of us.

Our monetary policy should encourage technological advancements in the industry so we can become more competitive. Financial stability isn't enough.

https://factor.am/279470.html

No extended hours in school / Working parents

The govt wants to relaunch education gradually. For now, schools won't operate with extended hours. That means the parents who work will have to leave early to take care of kids.

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Labor Ministry reminds about a law that requires paying the parents their full salary even if they leave 2 hours early, as long as it's for taking care of a child under the age of 12.

Missing >2 hours means getting paid only for the number of hours worked that day.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/194420

Polls: Armenians about doing business in Armenia

54% know someone who opened their business. (19% in Japan and 82% in Saudi Arabia).

54% said the conditions to start a business in Armenia are good.

49% are afraid they'll fail.

70% believe they have what it takes to start a business. (14% Japan, 36% Russia, 82% in Saudi and India)

https://youtu.be/fE5yMiMBaMY

World Bank suspends international "Doing Business" ranking

They found errors and are reviewing the work done in the past 5 years.

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Here is a funny story that's likely unrelated: 10 months ago, after World Bank changed the way they calculate the rating, Armenian Central bank found an "error" in Doing Business ranking and promised to help them fix it.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/284531/

10 months ago: https://armtimes.com/hy/article/172328

Anti-corruption busts rise in Gegharquniq

The corruption busts +16% in this province during 1H20 vs 1H19.

25 mayors or municipal officials, 6 school directors, etc.

$475k in damages to the public. $62k recovered.

The courts heard 25% more felony cases.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026133.html

Robert Kocharyan accuses Pashinyan administration of corruption

Kocharyan accused the govt of corruption for increasing the instances of using state-funds to purchase auction items from a single buyer by 72%.

However, a fact-checker found the claims to be false, noting that such purchases have reduced by 37% compared to 2017.

https://fip.am/12439

General prosecutor charges cops with assaulting a suspect, then coverup

General prosecutor office says: we're in process of identifying instances of abuse of power by law enforcement agents against detainees and inmates.

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Records show that, on June 7th, a Man had an argument with his neighbor, then cussed and assaulted the cops who arrived at the scene.

He was taken to a detention center, whose employees noticed bruises on the Man and filed a report about it.

The Man claimed he got the bruises while working at home and refused medical forensics. Cops decided to ignore the bruises.

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A month later, the Man filed an online report stating that the bruises were, in reality, a result of being assaulted by the cops who had earlier arrived at the argument scene, and that he chose silence because the cops promised to drop the charges against him.

The prosecutor's office examined the cops' earlier decision to ignore the Man's bruises and found it to be unwarranted.

It turns out, the cop who decided to ignore the bruises after an "investigation" is the cop who is suspected of assaulting the Man.

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Prosecutors will charge the cops and resume the original investigation of bruises.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026114.html

Tag: #PoliceBrutality #torture

Child protection laws?

Recently there were widely publicized instances of children being beaten and killed

by family.

Today the civil society groups launched a discussion and said: //

The public should stop interpreting children as someone's property and begin to view them as subjects of law.

Even in schools, we don't promote children's independence and development of personality. The govt has to fix this, while we need to raise public awareness. //

More: https://factor.am/279492.html

https://factor.am/279495.html

https://youtu.be/2usc_cHjeOI

Eco-village Kalavan

https://youtu.be/HUbQlIjVJ3E

Education Reforms: Teachers to get salary raise and subsidies for working in borders/mountains

Education Ministry wants to solve the teacher shortage problem in bordering regions and mountains.

They want to encourage city teachers to move in exchange for the following:

1) Subsidized moving costs for them and their families. (new aid)

2) Up to $100 to transport household items. (3x more than before)

3) Free travel back to original residence 4 times a year.

4) Some form of rent subsidy.

5) $20/mo utility subsidy. (2x more than before)

6) Bonus wages size of 30% of salary. (new aid)

https://factor.am/279530.html

update: Beirut explosion and repatriates

Diaspora Committee chief Sinanyan: // you'll be surprised by the number of people willing to share their homes with Lebanese-Armenian repatriates. Some people are offering their unused dachas to house them.

800 people have moved from Lebanon so far. We have two weekly flights from there. The jets are full.

We're finding temporary solutions until our main aid package is ready.

Artsakh can help 150 families. Some have already moved. Two families of doctors recently moved there and found a job with the help of govt. //

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/194508

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/194459

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15th Armenian resident has died in Beirut. Anet Khachikyan succumbed to her injuries after spending 24 days in a coma.

https://www.arevelk.am/am/content/10/753/Պէյրութի-պայթումին-հետեւանքով-զոհուած--հայորդիներուն-թիւը-հասաւ-15-ի.-Մահացած-է-Անէթ--Խաչիկեանը.html

Armenian chess team boycotts Olympiad

The team advancing to 1/4th tour, and while playing against India (2.5:2.5), Hayk Martirosyan made a move but a glitch at Chess.com didn't record it, resulting in defeat for Martirosyan.

The Armenian Chess Federation filed a complaint but it was rejected by FIDA after 2 hours of deliberations.

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The player was connected to the internet and was using the Zoom app. Chess.com verified that his IP address never changed, the Zoom was un-interrupted, but somehow his move wasn't recorded by their system.

The team chose to boycott the 2nd round with India.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026172.html

Infrastructure++

A kindergarten in Gyumri was housing kids in a trailer ever since the 1988 earthquake. The govt is building a new 2-story building for $357k. It'll have a localized heating system.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026098.html

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Video about rebuilding the houses damaged by Azeri fire during July Tavush Battles. Some border villages are having all of their roads repaired.

https://youtu.be/fsOSWgXVQRo

Gyumri will have a new education-cultural center

The city and feds worked together to create 3 new education-cultural facilities, scheduled to open during next week's Gyumri Day ceremony.

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Gyumri History Museum, Mkrtich Armen Library, and Gyumri Community Exhibition.

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The opening ceremony will host Canadian-Armenian painter Gevorg Kasabyan's artwork. There will also be archaeological pieces borrowed from "Kumayri" museum.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026101.html

It's that time of the week... book junkies

Top-3 most commonly read documentary-genre books in Yerevan during July.

3) Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman

2) Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Hariri

1) The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, by R. Sharma

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025933.html

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You've read 1854 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/iiehco/aug282020_news_new_details_about_tavush_battles/

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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