2020 December 3

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Dec/3/2020 wrap-up: \\ Artsakh's official recognition \\ telecom monopoly to end in Artsakh; no roaming \\ education reforms: science, European standards \\ aid for soldiers, volunteers, tuitions \\ Russian peacekeepers \\ solar farm project \\ opposition's nominee \\ Aliyev angers Turks; death toll
by ar_david_hh


Your 9-minute Thursday report in 2249 words.

Artsakh recognition & genocide

French National Assembly joined the Senate and approved a resolution urging the French govt to officially recognize the Artsakh Republic.

The Italian city of San Giorgio di Nogaro has recognized the 1915 genocide of Armenians.

MFA Ayvazyan to OSCE: The Armenians of Artsakh cannot live under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan. Armenia strongly condemns the use of force against the Artsakh peoples' right to self-determination. There were ethnic cleansings in areas occupied by Azerbaijan, and those who didn't leave were murdered or tortured.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036702.html , https://factor.am/317120.html, https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036706.html

two people charged over the armed attack

Two Turkish residents of Vienne, France have been charged by prosecutors. They earlier used a hammer and knife to attack peaceful Armenian demonstrators.

https://www.ermenihaber.am/am/news/2020/12/03/Ֆրանսիա-հայ-թուրք/198982

damage assessment and repairs Artsakh

50 buildings were completely destroyed in Stepanakert. 3,000 petitions were filed by residents seeking help to repair damaged buildings. As more people return to their homes, this number will rise.

In Shahumyan's bordering Chareqtar village, 5 out of 55 buildings were left undamaged. Artsakh govt will rebuild them; they made an agreement with a construction company. They will not only repair the damaged ones but also build more homes.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036601.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036678.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036677.html ,

Russian sappers removed mines

... from Stepanakert's N8 school area and aided with repairs and furniture installation. The classes have resumed. They neutralized over 100 explosives in Stepanakert today.

5 schools have reopened in the capital, with another 5 openings next week.

Artsakh State University has resumed the classes.

58% of students and 72% of teachers were present in Artsakh schools.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036605.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036607.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036691.html , https://factor.am/317027.html , https://factor.am/317075.html

Stepanakert airport

... will be used by Russian peacekeepers for humanitarian missions, writes Russian RIA Novosti. AN-12 and AN-26 jets, and helicopters, will fly there first. Il-76 will be used later. The airport hasn't oeprated since the 90s war.

https://factor.am/316908.html

POWs and searches

Russian peacekeepers launched a hotline number to provide info to families of missing soldiers.

Discussions were held between president Sarkissian and HR Ombudsman Tatoyan over POWs.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036660.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036686.html

soldiers receive awards

Ten received medals posthumously. Others received medals for shooting 8 tanks, 4 control centers, enemy personnel, safe evacuation, etc.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202208 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202216

Tegh village: confrontation between Azeri soldiers and locals

Tegh is a village in Armenia's southern Syunik province. It borders one of Artsakh's 7 adjacent regions that were given to Azerbaijan. Tegh became a border village. The borders are being drawn per 1988 Soviet map.

Tegh mayor says Azeri soldiers attempted to pressure locals to leave by claiming the new border will go through the village. The locals did not comply. Azeris eventually left. The Defense Ministry has been made aware.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036692.html

Azeri govt provides "official" number of deaths

Aliyev regime claims to have sustained 2783 losses during the war. Skeptics, including RazmInfo, believe the true number is significantly higher.

The Armenian side has counted over 7,000 deaths, 264 drones, 16 helicopters, 25 aircrafts, 784 tanks and armored vehicles, 6 TOS missiles.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036659.html , https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/288332/ , https://razm.info/147196

Aliyev has already managed to anger Turks

Aliyev declared November 10th their "Victory Day". It angered many Turks because November 10th is the day when Turkey's founding father Mustafa Ataturk had died.

"They say One Nation Two States when it's convenient, then declare their big brother's mourning day as their victory day," said one Turkish user.

"Let Armenia declare war on Azerbaijan tomorrow. Only those with no honor would feel sad about it," said another.

https://factor.am/317127.html

new education reforms / scientific grants / European standards / remote education

The Govt has approved a draft education bill, yet to be approved by Parliament.

Postgraduate courses (Level 1 Crook) will be brought to European standards. They will be included in the higher education system as a third-degree qualification, completion of which will unlock the PhD achievement (Level 100 boss).

University management efficiency will improve. The governing council will be limited to 12 members: 6 from the university and 6 from civil society & businesses circles. Members cannot be public officials or politicians. [opposition criticized the bill saying the rector will be too dependent on the government]

The bill will provide scientific research grants, pensions for some students to cancel out their tuition, competitive auctions to promote innovative research, etc.

Remote education will be allowed to help students with financial problems, time management, etc.

Armenian Language exam will become mandatory for university admission.

[The opposition criticized govt's plans to remove the federal requirement for students to take the Armenian Language classes in universities. The government argues that the students had already spent 12 years studying the Armenian Language in schools, so their time in universities should be focused on their majors instead. The government wants to make the Armenian Language optional, but not "ban" it. Universities will have the flexibility to decide if it's mandatory or optional.]

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036636.html , https://youtu.be/vOdg7FU-9cU?t=232 , https://factor.am/317023.html

fired & hired

Vahan Hunanyan was appointed as deputy PM Avinyan's adviser.

Syunik governor's resignation was accepted today.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036643.html

The Govt approved the bill to establish a new Anti-Corruption Committee. It'll be a centralized institute that handles a case from start to finish, rather than involving several agencies and reducing efficiency. Parliament is yet to approve the bill.

Some investigators will be "fired" from other law enforcement agencies and hired in the new one.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036657.html

NSS refuted "fake news" circulated by a former employee Grigori Tavadyan who claimed that NSS agents are quitting en-masse in recent times. NSS said, "5 agents quit for reaching the age limit, 3 quit after finding another job, several others' employment was terminated after they died during the war."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036666.html

meet your new temporary Prime Minister!

His name is Vazgen "Vernatun" Manukyan, a former Prime Minister (1990-1991) who is allied with Kocharyan/Serj camp. The 17 opposition parties formed a "National Salvation Council" (Հայրենիքի փրկության խորհուրդ), which then voted for Vazgen Manukyan as their nominee.

If MPs elect him as the new PM, he will hold new elections within a year, said opposition figure Arthur Vanetsyan. "He will serve as independent PM until the snap elections. He won't participate in the elections."

"Vazgen Manukyan will bring stability to Armenia," said ARF Ishkhan Saghatelyan.

"Pashinyan should leave while he has a chance, otherwise there may not be a chance later," said BHK Iveta Tonoyan.

Vazgen Manukyan will introduce his plan of action on December 5th.

--

Opposition LHK party [the only notable opposition party that is not part of the former regime] will nominate its leader Edmon Marukyan as the new PM, in the event the PM's seat is vacated. LHK refused to support Vazgen Manukyan's nomination, saying that Manukyan had "burned the bridges with one side in the past" and is too divisive.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036671.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036679.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036693.html , https://factor.am/316994.html , https://factor.am/317001.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202199

opposition held demonstrations

ARF activists and allies closed the Baghramyan street near France Square while chanting "Nikol davachan". The police came and asked them to move to the sidewalk.

They went and closed Tumanyan street. Some drivers got out and confronted them, asking them to open the road. The police detained several activists who sat on the road.

https://factor.am/317017.html , https://factor.am/317065.html , https://youtu.be/Nu_GyFhJxx4

anti-corruption: Nemets Rubo / ex-Armavir mayor / rigged auction

Investigative Committee: ex-mayor of Armavir city and several officials colluded to rig a land auction in 2010. The land was given to former [HHK] MP Ruben Hayrapetyan [Nemets Rubo]. The latter did not participate in the auction and wasn't in Armenia at the time.

Only the deputy mayor and another accomplice are charged with a felony. The others, including the ex-HHK MP, won't be charged due to the statute of limitation.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036611.html

guns & not roses

A 61-year-old resident of Ararat went to the police station and voluntarily handed over 4,300 bullets, 45 grenades, and rifles. Numerous similar incidents occurred in other places. The police also routinely stop vehicles to search for possible contraband coming out of the warzone. Glory to Arstotzka.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036699.html

judicial reforms

The president of the Constitutional Court Dilanyan met PM Pashinyan and Parliament Speaker Mirzoyan to discuss judicial reforms.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036665.html

update: large-scale photovoltaic solar farm project

"Masdar Armenia" has a large-scale solar farm investment initiative. "Ayg-1" is one of its projects. An auction will be held to select the construction companies for the construction in Talin and Dashtatem settlements. It will be 200MW in capacity. The government confirmed the list of prequalified construction companies today.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036636.html

govt approves aid package for bordering residents living in Armenia

... who had their properties, total of 75, damaged during the war. One house was completely destroyed. Cash compensation will be wired to recipients' bank account.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036626.html

other aid packages

As mentioned earlier, today the Govt finalized the approval of several aid packages.

$60/per refugee/per month for anyone who housed refugees.

Up to 3 million AMD for disabled soldiers. 5 million AMD for families of fallen soldiers. (this is presumably separate from the government-run "1000Plus" Foundation's aid which gives monthly aid to soldiers and families).

Another proposal is to subsidize the 2H2020 university tuition for soldiers and their children.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036636.html

Himnadram's new high-tech prosthetics laboratory for soldiers

The Soldiers' Rehabilitation Center, which currently treats 120 people, will soon have its own prosthetics lab with German-Dutch technologies. It's funded by www.HimnaDram.org and its partner "Vereniging Armeniëfonds Nederland".

"The lab is first of its kind in Armenia. Its modern solutions will maximize the patient's functionality and prevent future complications."

3D tech will analyze the individual and make the customized prosthesis. Armenian specialists will be trained in Europe to provide better care.

"This is our first program, out of many to come, done specifically for soldiers who were wounded while defending the homeland," said Himnadram.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036638.html

telecom monopoly will end in Artsakh / no roaming ripoff / same prices

Context: Hayk Yesayan co-founded UCOM ISP in Armenia. Last year the board fired him over disputes. He created a competitor company called Telecom-Armenia, which ended up purchasing another financially troubled Beeline ISP. Meanwhile, Artsakh has had only one ISP for decades and they were complaints of monopoly.

Today Artsakh president Arayik met Telecom-Armenia director Yesayan. They agreed on investments to improve network quality.

Every ISP operating in Armenia will soon be granted a license to compete in Artsakh. President Arayik says the [abnoxiously-high] roaming fees will end sometime in 1H2021 and the quality will be brought on par with Armenia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036645.html , https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/288329/

Central Bank about inflation:

There are no significant risks of uncontrollable acceleration of inflation. No significant imbalances exist in the real sector (export, import, money transfer, etc.).

Moreover, while the "risk premium" for Armenia had increased during the war, today it's down again.

The recent devaluation was a result of uncertainty about future economic and political prospects. Certain product prices could continue to rise regardless, due to global price increase and other causes.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036630.html

new hospital in a border settlement

Tavush's Aygedzor settlement (near Chinari) will have a new modern medical center that will treat locals and have "strategic importance". The builder will be the "Stone Development" company; construction beings next week. Mockup images in the link below.

It'll serve the nearby 5,000 population, replace the existing clinic that is in poor shape, come equipped with a lab, adjacent buildings, and a large bomb shelter.

Experts will volunteer from abroad in the initial period. The govt is working with student doctors.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036689.html

circus building will finish the repairs

... by the end of 2021 (or when the Half-Life 3 is released, whichever comes latest). They're behind schedule. The govt pardoned the "late" penalty today. The company will invest another $5.9 million to finish it, after which, they're required to hire at least 30 workers within a year.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202175

COVID stats

+3453 tested. +1277 infected. +1433 healed. +26 deaths. 22448 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036616.html

A fact-checker has found that an outlet likely allied with the former regime spread misinformation to portray the Healthcare Minister as anti-Russian (surprised pickachu meme) who allegedly "rejected the Russian vaccine and opted for another foreign one".

The fact-checker says the claim was false. Moreover, the Minister was part of the group of volunteers who took the "Sputnik V" vaccine during its experiment.

https://fip.am/14085

arts & sports

Adolf Hitler has won 85% of votes during local elections in Namibia. "As a child, I considered my name normal. Only when I was a teenager did I learn who that person was," said Adolf Hitler.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036704.html

"Polish Days in Armenia" will be held between December 7-9, in case you like WW2-era movies.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036612.html

Armenia and Azerbaijan to resume hosting UEFA-certified matches post-war.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036710.html

A 17th-century Armenian Gospel written on a calfskin was sold for $93,000 in Sotheby's auction. The initial value was $9,000.

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/288322/

humanitarian aid

Cellist Sevak Avanesyan launches a fundraiser for Artsakh musicians. He earlier performed in Shushi's Ghazanchetsots church after it was bombed. The clip went viral. Now he wants to aid fellow musicians.

https://www.facebook.com/donate/866839447391749/10157262701991621/

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036622.html

The French company "Celise care" will donate 6 ambulance and transport vehicles to Artsakh. The representatives will visit Artsakh to familiarize themselves with the situation.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1036694.html

96-year-old grandpa Surik grew 3 tons of potatoes and donated them to the army.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202213

you can help 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/k4um4a/dec12020_wrapup_new_anticorruption_court_new/

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/k66lnz/dec32020_wrapup_artsakhs_official_recognition/

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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