2020 January 19
Jan/19/2020 :: Daily news collection from Armenia :: Stay informed about the Anti-Corruption busts, Politics, Economy, Diaspora, Daily Life, and more...
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.
Georgi Kutoyan death
Serj's 2016-2018 NSS chief Georgi Kutoyan was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head on Friday. We have more details.
On December 9, 2019, he returned home for a vacation after taking legal classes in the UK. He was staying in his father's apartment. He would occasionally visit his private apartment.
In late-December 2019, a few weeks before his death, he got drunk alone in his private apartment and fired 35 shots towards the walls. His wife collected and saved the shells.
On January 16, he told his family he'll be visiting his private apartment.
On January 17, the family couldn't reach him. His wife went to the private apartment and found his body. The gun was next to his right foot and had no bullet (supports suicide theory).
Various anti-Roboserj political analysts believe Serj is getting rid of liability, while Roboserj circles have accused Pashinyan of the same. They cite the death of 2 other high ranking former officials as "proof". However, neither case indicates murder. One official died in Russia during a beer factory equipment accident (keg and gas explosions do happen), and the other died from suicide with the presence of a family member in the house. One common thing is that all 3 had dark clouds over their heads because of their past.
Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Tag: GeorgiKutoyan NSSsuicide
Armenia's independence & neighbors
Ottoman Empire recognizes the Armenian, Georgian and Azeri independence, but without clarifying the borders.
Jun/1918 - Jan/1920
European nations appointed ambassadors to 3 Republics thus acknowledging their existence.
European powers and the Supreme Council of Paris recognized the de facto independence of Georgia and Azerbaijan, but not Armenia. Armenia congratulated the 2 neighbors and wished them well. Azeri Prime Minister thanked Armenia.
After a week-long delay due to Ottoman Empire's and Armenia's territorial dispute over Western Armenia, the aforementioned European powers recognized the Armenian independence as well. Azeri and Georgian govt congratulated Armenia.
UK ambassador writes to Prime Minister Alexander Khatisyan: the Supreme Council of Paris decided to recognize the current Armenian govt as de-facto the legitimate govt of Armenia, without officially recognizing the borders. We congratulate the long-suffering Armenian people and find this significant for the future of their well being.
Dashnak newspaper writes: this is a historic victory for the Armenian people who fought a long bloody battle. The centuries-long dream of independence is materializing. The final victory will be the day when we have a Full Armenia (Western Armenia).
Prime Minister Khatisyan writes to Supreme Council of Paris: We thank you for the recognition and hope you'll recognize Full Armenia. (nice try bud)
HzhK party writes: the news of recognition is being celebrated by Armenian communities in the Turkish capital of Constantinople. Festivities were held.
Azeri troops launch an attack on Armenia by attempting to invade Yeraskhavan settlement near the Nakhijevan region. Armenians draft a defense battalion:
Armenia and Artsakh commemorated the 30th anniversary of Baku Massacres of Armenians. A minute of silence was held and condemnation speeches were read in both Parliaments. Calls were made for the international community to condemn the act.
What the massacre survivors say (accounts of various survivors):
Human Rights Ombudsman Tatoyan condemned the ongoing anti-Armenian xenophobia in Azerbaijan.
Artsakh Human Rights Ombudsman Beglaryan condemned the massacres and ethnic cleansing and referred to it as a genocide of Armenians because analysis shows it meets the UN's definition of genocide.
"There are numerous pieces of evidence proving that Azeri govt was aiding the murderers from the Azerbaijani Popular Front, while police and the medical system was displaying inaction," said Beglaryan.
Agos Turkish-Armenian newspaper projected the image of late Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink on their building to commemorate his death. He was killed years ago for his ethnicity and genocide-related coverage.
Wrestler Arsen Julfalakyan won the gold medal in Thor Masters competition held in Danmark.
smart people's football
Update: Hovik Hayrapetyan from Artsakh won the Chess tournament named after later mayor Andranik Margaryan. 533 players from Armenia, Artsakh, Russia, Georgia, and Indonesia participated.
gas price drama
Last year Russia increased the gas price from $150 to $165. That is the price the Russian Gazprom firm sells to its Armenia-based subsidiary firm Gazprom-Armenia at the border. The latter then resells the gas to Armenian consumers for $285, after adding the costs necessary for delivery, repair, loss, salaries, orgies, etc.
Despite the $15 rise, in 2019 Gazprom-Armenia did not raise the prices for the Armenian consumers, opting to reduce its profit margins, after some criticism by the Parliament.
Last week rumors began circulating that Gazprom-Armenia will stop absorbing the price hike and will increase the price for the consumers in 2020.
Public Services Regulatory Commission chief Garegin Baghramyan confirmed that Gazprom-Armenia wants to raise the prices by $30, but that's not necessarily how much more consumers will pay. These negotiations will finish on April 1st. Then a 3-month discussion will decide to approve or deny. Gazprom-Armenia may be asked to invest $500mln in Armenia in the even of price hike.
IND MP Babajanyan criticized the possible hike:
Regulatory chief Garegin Baghramyan should do his job of fighting for the consumers to prevent a hike, instead of convincing the public why the price should increase. The gas prices are reducing around the world, and they aren't getting more expensive on the border, so why would consumers pay more? Let me remind you that Baghramyan is Arthur Vanetsyan's relative and that's the only reason he was appointed as Regulatory chief last year. Baghramyan should decide whose interests he's defending: the consumer's, Vanetsyan's, or Russian Gazprom's.
(Garegin Baghramyan has a record of successfully preventing water price hike for consumers.)
Informed Citizens NGO:
Due to currency changes, Gazprom earns a lot more money today than it did in 2014 while delivering gas to the Armenian border. On the other hand, Gazprom-Armenia earns less.
In 2014 Europe was paying more than Armenia on average, but due to currency and gas prices changes, today Armenia pays more. Armenians pay more than any EAEU country, and it's one of the highest among CIS republics.
In 2014-2015 Armenian govt asked Russia to calculate the gas in Rubles, but Russia refused.
(A third of Armenia's electricity is produced from a thermal reaction, which needs gas. A gas hike could mean electricity hike.)
Two small but noticeable earthquakes shook Armenia over the weekend. They were 3.6M and 2.4M and 10km deep. It was felt in Gyumri. There were a total of 20 mini aftershocks.
Hetq outlet says a former official broke the law by serving in Parliament and simultaneously being a director of an offshore firm that belonged to him.
In Sep/2007, doctor Armen Melikyan MP and his wife co-founded Raff Limited firm in British offshore. This offshore registrar, named Chobanyan, had also registered a firm belonging to another Armenian oligarch close to Serj administration.
2 months later in Nov/2007 Armen Melikyan became a BHK MP. After becoming an MP, he was required to quit as a director and secretary of the co-founded firm, but he didn't.
MP's firm Raff Limited was doing medical work. In Armenia, MP had also founded other medial firms.
In late 2011 the MP quit Parliament by surprising everyone. Official documents revealed that he quit because he violated the law that prevented him from running a side-business (assuming it's related to one of his Armenia-based businesses, and not the offshore, because Hetq says the ethics committee didn't know he had an offshore firm).
A year later, in 2012, the now-former MP and wife quit from the offshore firm. It became directed by the offshore-man Chobanyan who registers businesses for others.
The firm was closed in 2017. F F F F F F F.
"This type of illegal offshore activities were rampant," writes the author, while bringing other examples.
Thieves shot the window of a parked car belonging to a QP MP and stole his docs. The police are investigating.
Update: Famous actor Hovhannes Azoyan was earlier allegedly assaulted by a qyart man after telling the latter not to harass women during an event.
The police have pressed battery assault and property damage charges against a 31yo suspect. He's told not to leave Armenia.
The TUMO tech education center will open a branch in Berlin. There were talks about this back when German leader Angela Merkel visited Armenia in Aug-2018.
To reduce traffic incidents and combat impunity of wealthy drivers, a new points-based penalty system was implemented in 2020. Wasting 9 points means the driver loses the license. Points can be restored after an exam. DUI is an instant suspension.
Recently some people began posting ads to game the system. The idea is if you get a point, you pay me 60k and I take the burden by claiming I was behind the wheel. (this wouldn't work if a cop stops the driver)
One advertiser claimed he was joking to see how many people would contact about the ad. Two other advertisers did not respond to calls.
Traffic safety NGO says these types of ads are usually a joke and that the points-based system is more resilient. In the event of real points-sales fraud, the police can launch a felony investigation. Even if someone sells his points to others, he can only help 9 people before running out of his points.
Even before the new system, there have been instances of fraud in which people swapped their documents, or lied about being broke.
The NGO supports the points-based system and says it can be improved by encouraging good drivers with extra points. As of writing this post, Gryffindor had 10 points.
These guys got towed away for drifting on snow in Vanadzor:
Artsakh Republic imports and exports for 2019 vs 2018:
Imports +15%, total 145bln.
Exports +20%, total 123bln.
76% of exports were through northern Vardenis-Martaket highway. 23% through southern Goris-Stepanakert.
he made it
Singer Andy Madadian has his own Hollywood star now. The Armenian-Iranian artist left Iran for the US at the age of 22.
'Sometimes nicknamed the “Persian Bono” or “Persian Elvis”, the Iranian-Armenian American artist is being honored on the Hollywood Boulevard sidewalk on Friday,'
VIDEO (34:48 is the star part) https://youtu.be/vBoiA4KMVqk?t=444
anime, but Armenian
Sevada Grigoryan is an Armenian painter with a style that involves lots of colors. The main subjects are humans and families. He spent 4 years in China and found artistic success in the country. Bits from the interview:
Q: You began to paint from an early age. Any painters from your family?
A: None in my family. I was 9 when I started painting in Jermuk, where there were no professional tutors at the time. Then some arts graduate came and opened a class, but he went to the army. I loved painting so much that every time I'd travel 35km to visit the nearby Vayq settlement for classes. Some of my tutors were Lyudovig Berberyan and Ghukas Chubaryan. The latter taught me how to paint humans. Then I started to tutor others in Jermuk.
Q: Your paintings portray village life and family harmony. How do you call this style?
A: I adopted this style, for which I do not have a name for, in 2003. I use acrylic because it dries out fast and lets me add the second layer quicker, unlike oil paints. I love this material. Maybe I'm just impatient.
As for characters and their attire details, I took the idea from my grandma's traditional taraz dress. We're from Goris. She used to wear red and green elements, they call it "չխկի" (and I call it Creepz & Bloodz). I give attention to attire details.
Q: Any international expo stories?
A: In a 2005 expo in Kobe, Japan my "Տիրամայրը մանկան հետ" (The mother with the baby) piece was rated in top-100 out of 8,000 paintings from 81 countries.
Q: So when did you move to China? What are your impressions about it?
A: Dongdong & Lulu arts house invited me to Nanjing province. I've always liked the Chinese rich history. I ended up taking wushu martial arts classes there and even won a gold medal. I still practice it in Armenia. You can see many people in China train martial arts out in the open, it's a lifestyle. Wushu clams you inside.
Q: In Nanjing, you had a solo art exhibition titled Towards Light with an emphasis on Chinese culture. What was the response?
A: I participated in 13 expos, group and solo. During Towards Light we played Komitas music. It was open for 3 months. Many paintings were sold. The Chinese like arts and they're welcoming.
Q: You returned to Armenia after discovering China. Any plans?
A: I participated in expos here. I plan to place my art in small cafes to maximize interaction. It's one thing when you look at it from the screen, and another when you see it in-person.
Sevada Grigoryan is a member of UNESCO International Federation of Artists in France since 1995.
Update: Civil aviation chief Revazyan collected 335k donation money by working as a waiter at Roomz cafe. A painter Vaghinak Ghazaryan donated an additional 300k. Combined they have 700k. The 6yo kid needs 960k for surgery.
Ashotsk wants to be a great place for skiers. Govt is working with investors: https://youtu.be/CP6BWQQ1J48?t=61
A competition was held there: https://www.facebook.com/armenpress/videos/175059173582276/
Comedian Sergei Danielyan will have a stand-up comedy titled "BOLOLA" in Los Angeles on February 15th. He has a segment where the attendees tell their funny stories. Daneilyan picks the best ones and tells it to others during future gatherings.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/er2fr0/jan192020_daily_news_collection_from_armenia_stay/
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