2020 December 11

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Dec/11/2020 news: \\ Aravus: border demarcation dispute \\ international diplomatic wars \\ opposition vs government: new elections when bro? \\ education reform: international aid \\ point-based driving system \\ COVID \\ crime dropped during war \\ protecting Khosrov Forests \\ beard man bad
by ar_david_hh


Your 10-minute Friday report in 2549 words. I'll probably see you on Monday.

Aravus village land dispute with Azerbaijan / border demarcation & GPS

Aravus is a border village in Syunik province, which is now bordering Azerbaijan because one of the neighboring 7 adjacent regions went under Azeri control. Aravus mayor had recently raised an alarm that the village's agricultural lands could go under Azeri control.

Mayor: // these 36 hectares are ours. However, Azeri generals arrived and claimed their GPS coordinates were showing that these areas were supposed to be part of Azerbaijan. We called one of our Generals, Mr. Poghosyan. //

General Poghosyan: // only on the very first day, when the Armenian army wasn't in this location yet, the opponent came and began pressuring the mayor. The mayor called us and we arrived. The army took over the negotiations from there. //

Mayor: // The army encouraged local villagers to join and become border guards. We were given weapons, food, etc. //

The land dispute arose due to the 1980s border map. There is no clear border here. Armenians had moved slightly forward and installed a temporary checkpoint.

General Poghosyan: // these areas are disputed. None of our positions are behind our state borders. We're either stationed on our main border or slightly forward. As for the disputed agricultural lands, that's not part of our duties. The citizens have to contact Property Management Committee and find out why they were given property ownership licenses in this area. //

Disputed land's registered owner: // I sent letters to the government to ask for help settle the dispute. //

The border is less disputed in other locations. Armenians and Azeris usually install flags to mark their areas. You can see the tents and flags not far away. There are 24/7 guards.

https://youtu.be/06LAI_Ez-So

https://factor.am/319966.html

BBC: The Syrian mercenaries used as 'cannon fodder' in Nagorno-Karabakh

https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-55238803

diplomatic spat between Iran and Turkey over Erdogan's comments

Erdogan visited Paytakaran to meet Aliyev and participate in the parade. During the speech, he referenced Iran's East Azerbaijan Province (where the country Azerbaijan's name came from) by reading a poem that reads, "They [Iran] separated the Aras River and filled it with rocks and rods. I will not be separated from you. They have separated us forcibly."

Iran didn't appreciate Erdogan's pan-Turkic rhetoric and responded: "Pres. Erdogan was not informed that what he ill-recited in Baku refers to the forcible separation of areas north of Aras from Iranian motherland. Didn't he realize that he was undermining the sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan? NO ONE can talk about OUR beloved Azerbaijan." [so did Iran make territorial claims over Azerbaijan??]

Erdogan’s poem has sparked outrage on social media platforms in Iran, with many Iranian users on social media warning about the Turkish leader’s “Neo-Ottomanism” ambitions against Iranian territorial integrity.

Iran has summoned the Turkish ambassador for an explanation. "Iran will not allow anyone to interfere in its territorial integrity, and history shows that Iran will not compromise on its national security," said an Iranian MFA official.

https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/455619/Zarif-responds-to-Erdogan-s-wrong-poem-on-Iranian-Azerbaijan

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037515.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037559.html

EU summit has agreed to impose sanctions on Turkey...

... according to France Press agency's diplomatic sources. There are currently sanctions against two Turkish officials over Turkey's illegal activities in Eastern Medditerentian waters. The new sanctions will expand the list.

Angela Merkel: A report on Turkey will include the issue of Karabakh... We support the discussions relating to weapon sale [embargo] to Turkey within the NATO framework.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037523.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037562.html

Trump will impose sanctions against Turkey

... over the purchasing of Russian S-400 weapons, says Mini-Mike Bloomberg dot com. Secretary of State Miguel Pompeo hasn't shared details yet.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037553.html

an Azeri citizen crossed the border with Armenia's Tavush region

... and was apprehended by border guards near Berdavan. It's rare but not unheard of. The details aren't known. A felony case is launched over illegal border entry.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037500.html

Deputy PM Avinyan met the Chinese ambassador

They discussed the Artsakh conflict, direct investments from China, cooperation in healthcare, and trade.

They touched upon the possibility of resuming discussions on the construction of a copper smelter in Armenia using modern technologies. The possible expansion of "Shanzi-Nairit" plant operations was also discussed.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037558.html

Russian peacekeepers in Artsakh

... used Uran-6 robot sapper (thicc-boy) to look for explosives in Stepanakert airport and Shushi-Stepanakert road. The robot helps to avoid human casualties in the event of an accident (in case you didn't get it).

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037491.html

Russian doctors, who are part of the humanitarian mission, treated 20 patients in Astghashen, Artsakh.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037493.html

"Cultural Heritage Is Caught Up in the Conflict Over Nagorno-Karabakh"

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/dadivank-monastery-nagorno-karabakh

opposition activists continue the demonstrations

A group of anti-Pashinyan activists shut down the Yerevan metro for 40 minutes this morning. A confrontation broke out between the activists and metro riders who were "running late to work". Another rider said he was "transporting medication to someone". An angry rider began asking activists "who sent you here? Shame on you. We have a good country and good army. Go and join the army instead of standing here."

The prosecutors decided to launch a felony case over "significant damage to the rights and legal interests of individuals, as well as to the interests of the state and society."

Video https://www.facebook.com/200ddb85-65be-4698-a837-800019053711

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037476.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037478.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037565.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202730

ARF continued to shut down the streets. "Traitor leave. Traitor leave." Arthur Vanetsyan was also present: "Everyone should join us on the streets. We must put an end to this today. We must show that Nikol Pashinyan has no power in this country anymore."

They blocked Sayat Nova-Charents and few other intersections. ARF leader Gegham Manukyan demanded Pashinyan's resignation. The police asked them to move to the sidewalks. Gegham Manukyan was detained.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037534.html , https://factor.am/319990.html

Another ARF leader Ishkhan Saghatelyan was detained while shutting down the roads entering the French Square. The police told activists to clear the roads. A scuffle ensued. One policeman and one protestor were taken to a hospital with head and arm injuries. The police launched an internal investigation.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037548.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037552.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037576.html

A group of protesters closed the Hayuhi Square in Gyumri. "Մեր ակցիայի նպատակն այն է, որ մեր բողոքի ձայնը բարձրացնենք, ու ասենք, որ չենք համակերպվում ընթացիկ գործողությունների հետ, դեմ ենք ներկա իշխանությանը:" A member claimed on Facebook that he was detained. The police denied it.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202774

BHK MP Ivetta: It is too early to assess whether the struggle to have Pashinyan resign has paid off or not. The struggle is underway. I am more than sure that we will succeed in this matter because Nikol Pashinyan's resignation has no alternative.

As for the accusations that only a few people join our protests on the streets, I think the public is still in a state of shock but they will certainly take to the streets soon. The 2018 crowds were small, too, in the beginning.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037511.html , https://factor.am/319834.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202754

Horom residents are mad at the opposition activists. They demonstrated in support of Pashinyan. "We are villagers, but we are not at a level to block the road or break into the parliament building. Whose property are you breaking and for what?" [referring to Nov/10 rioters]

https://factor.am/320102.html

Pashinyan accepted $48 million in bribes from Turkey !!11

... Also, Pashinyan's NSS chief Qyaramyan helped Azeris to invade Hadrut. Also, Pashinyan's NSS chief secretly gave 1,400 passports to Azerbaijan to help them in the war against Armenia.

That is if you believe an opposition party leader Garnik Isagulyan, who insisted on the conspiracy during a press conference a few days ago. The SIS began investigating his claims and found no evidence [surprised Pikachu face?].

The SIS decided to charge Isagulyan himself with Code 333.1 (intentional false report of a crime), which is punishable between a $400 penalty to a few years in jail, depending on "damage".

Another opposition activist Arthur Ghazinyan claimed there was a felony case against Pashinyan and other officials. The SIS denied that, too. (SIS is the agency that investigates public officials)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037487.html , https://www.arlis.am/documentview.aspx?docid=69646 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037501.html

snap elections: before or after electoral code reforms?

The government and opposition parties have been working on electoral code reforms since 2019 to address concerns by opposition parties. Among other things, it could reduce the entry % barrier to help more opposition parties to enter Parliament.

LHK leader Marukyan: if we want to implement these reforms first, then hold the new elections, then we should begin discussions now. The Venice Commission demands a 6-month period between making reforms and holding elections. If we don't want to make the reforms now, then we could hold the elections tomorrow. We haven't yet received an invitation from the government to hold discussions about this.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037503.html

Ruling QP MP Hamazasp: the electoral reform bill will likely be introduced within a month, per required procedures and the time-frame that we agreed-upon during the discussions. These discussions were suspended in September due to the war. Once the bill is introduced [in January], it will be publicly discussed and approved within two months.

We've already made some electoral reforms but those were about local municipal elections.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037510.html

What does each fraction want?

LHK: make my guy a temporary PM and we'll hold elections within 6 months.

Former regime (16 parties): make my guy a PM and we'll hold elections within 1 year. [you get a $10, you get a $10, everybody gets a $10]

Pashinyan: I need 6 months to finish the urgent tasks highlighted in the "roadmap" then we can discuss "what's next".

https://factor.am/319791.html , https://factor.am/320100.html

hero soldiers

Lt. Igit Gevorgyan neutralized over 40 enemy soldiers, 1 tank, and lead his unit skillfully.

Lt. Igor Poghosyan led his unit in a fierce battle, caused heavy damage to the enemy personnel and equipment.

Pvt. Qochar Barseghyan used a machine gun to neutralize enemy soldiers.

Pvt. Tadevosyan evacuated wounded comrades.

Jr. Sgt. Harutyunyan prevented the enemy infiltration.

More: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202775

MoD Vagharshak visited hospitals and issued awards to several wounded soldiers.

Photos: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202804

school attendance in Artsakh

70% of capital Stepanakert's schools are full (6k students out of 8.5k). Some of them are kids who came from other Artsakh regions. 75% of Stepanakert's teachers are back. "Every school except N5 and N9 are open," said MinEdu Hambardzumyan.

In Askeran, 1.5k out of 2.4k students are back. In Martakert, 2k out of 3.3k. In Martuni, 1k out of 3.6k.

100 out of 217 education centers remained under Armenian control after the war.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037513.html

POWs and search operations

The process of finding missing soldiers and bodies continues. The Healthcare Ministry has so far examined 2996 bodies. From the identified ones, 302 were done with the help of DNA.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037547.html

Search operations continue in Jabrayil and Fizuli directions. There is one unit in each location. A small group of family members of missing soldiers were authorized to join the search crews, upon the families' insistence.

20 bodies were found in Jabrayil yesterday. 1 in Talish. Search operations continue in every region. The speed depends on cooperation by Red Cross, Russia, and Azerbaijan.

802 bodies have been recovered since November 13th.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037550.html

free healthcare for families of missing soldiers

... is part of Pashinyan's "roadmap for the next 6 months". The Healthcare Ministry urged families to dial the hotline and apply.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037506.html

crime went down by 19% during the war

In October, YoY.

https://factor.am/319945.html

archaeological excavations in Tavush, Berd, Tavush

You did not misread that. Tavush province has a city called Berd which has a castle named Tavush (which is like a berd). The Education Ministry issued a grant to a company to begin excavations. This summer they had discovered several structures: a citadel, a church ✔, a water canal, old settlement.

The locals will be hired to help. Eventually, Tavush could become a tourist attraction point.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037508.html

education reforms: Global Partnership for Education

The Education Ministry applied to cooperate with the GPE international organization in 2018. It invests in developing countries to improve education and establish closer connections with private foundations and civil societies.

The Ministry filed the paperwork for the first round of grants and was approved to receive $523k in aid. Next year, international experts will arrive to assess the issues and find solutions.

Once that's done, Armenia will apply for the second round, which will be a $5 million grant to implement the solutions.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037479.html

point-system was implemented for driving

... this year to replace monetary penalties with deductible points. It discourages the rich from routinely violating rules and getting away with paying "pennies". So far no driver has crossed the 9-point mark, however, 1,695 drivers had their licenses suspended for 6 months for severe violations.

The number of incidents recorded by cameras is down by -12.3% (-171,673) from last year, in the first 11 months.

During that period, there were 3564 incidents (-17%), 289 deaths (-18%), 5189 injuries (-954).

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037466.html

COVID stats

+3057 tested. +1077 infected. +29 deaths. +1592 healed.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037488.html

Ukraine has placed Armenia on the "Green List" due to the reduction of cases. Armenian travelers won't have to submit a test or self-isolate. COVID health insurance is still required.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037582.html

"I am amazed by nature, people, and cuisine," said British doctor Paul Ransom who visited Armenia to help against COVID.

Interview: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037528.html

Dram inflation in November

November 2019: $1 = 477.1 Dram

November 2020: $1 = 499.6 Dram

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037465.html

infrastructure upgrades

2km of water pipes and a new reservoir were built in Akunq. It'll improve irrigation and reduce waste.

6.5km section of M-3 Margara-Vanadzor-Georgia border road has been repaired.

Paraqar-Ejmiatsin M-5 road repairs are done.

Two Ijevan roads have been renovated as part of govt subsidy.

Norapat's 500 residents will have gas now.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202808, https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202781 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202802 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202800 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202806

Khosrov Forests will have a new 24-hour guard

Beginning next week, newly formed groups of guards will monitor Khosrov in 3-day shifts, on a 24-hour basis. They'll use vehicles donated by the CNF nature organization.

Nature Minister Romanos: Khosrov State Reserve is an object of strategic importance in the regional and socio-economic sense, particularly in the Ararat region. The guards will cooperate with local law enforcement and authorities.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202807

$4.5 million in donations were raised

... by the "Moving Mountains" initiative's online fundraising, which substituted the New York-based gala event this year.

64 villages will receive help with education, healthcare, and social services. A SMART center in Lori will get funding. Houses will be built for Artsakh refugees.

More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037530.html

Secret Santa for Artsakh kids

Activists launched a "Secret Santa" campaign to gather funds to buy gifts for kids living in Artsakh. $22,000 was collected. "Kids usually want school items, clothing, toys, and sports equipment," said coordinator Diana Petrosyan [ակա dzyunanush?].

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/288568/

Top-5 bestseller Armenian literature books in November

5) 731 օր քեզ համար, by Ta Tever.

4) Բալզակ. մի շան պատմություն, by Leon Ness.

3) Ինձ պիոններ չնվիրես, by GOhar Navasardyan.

2) Կախվածություն, by Syune Sevada.

1) Էս ի՞նչ եք անում, տղերք, by Vazgen Sargsyan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037443.html

beard man bad (video in Russian)

https://youtu.be/JP0qlvuegJ4?t=139

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

Yesterday: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/kao17m/dec102020_news_bbc_interviews_azs_jihadist/

Armeniapedia's archive of daily news threads:

http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/kbbl0t/dec112020_news_aravus_border_demarcation_dispute/

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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