2020 July 16

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Jul/16/2020 news: / Tavush Battles / 100 Azeris launch attack, 20 casualties, bodies collected / Videos / Armenian civilians struck / Ilham Aliyev's meltdown / Azerbaijan threatens to bomb nuclear plant / Foreign response & diplomacy / Pro-Azerbaijan EU rapporteur resigns / Fake news / +other topics
by ar_david_hh


Tavush Battles / The first few days

Prior events: July 12.... July 13…. July 14.... July 15....

July 16th / Large invasion with 100 soldiers fails / Azeris sustain heavy casualties (10+ dead) / Bodies extracted

After a relatively calm day, the battles resumed on July 16th.

Army: At 3:40 am Armenian guards noticed a movement. They repelled an infiltration attempt. Azeris sustained multiple casualties and were forced to retreat. No deaths on the Armenia side.

Defense Minister Tonoyan called OSCE to inform about the high number of Azeri casualties.

https://factor.am/269322.html , https://factor.am/269319.html , https://factor.am/269331.html

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Army: We'll let Azerbaijan extract the dead bodies if they stop shelling.

The two sides agreed. Azeris safely walked into the buffer zone to collect the dead bodies from the field.

Video: https://www.facebook.com/100000785095088/videos/3056670647702408/

Alternative video: https://youtu.be/phzJVZhsQSE

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192812 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192738

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Pashinyan & Army: this morning Azeris used 100 soldiers to try to take "Anvakh" military outpost between Movses-Aygepar villages. This wasn't a diversionary attack. It was a classic military attack with lots of resources. Azeris used their highly trained "Yashma" special forces, as confirmed by Azerbaijan.

We don't have deaths or injuries from this attack. They have at least 10 deaths. We have multiple video recordings from multiple fields that show even more casualties.

We don't know what their strategy was. What they did "isn't in the books". You draw a conclusion.

PM reports: https://youtu.be/O605zecsdU0

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192740 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192764 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192771 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192776 , https://factor.am/269455.html , https://factor.am/269665.html

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Armenians destroyed an Azeri tank and artillery locations. Aftermath video: https://www.facebook.com/100000785095088/videos/3055656131137193/

Azerbaijan targets civilian villages after the failed infiltration attempt / Footage

After the failed invasion attempt, Azeris shelled the civilian village Aygepar. Tavush Governor urged civilians to take shelter. Video: https://youtu.be/cIh_bDmyH4Y , alternative video: https://www.facebook.com/shushanstepanyan/posts/3055497261153080 , text info: https://news.am/arm/news/591558.html , https://factor.am/269338.html

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Azeri suicide drone wounded an Armenian civilian in Chinari village. He sustained 10% body burns and shrapnel wounds. He's in stable-serious condition.

When the Emergency Ministry vehicle came to rescue him, another suicide drone hit the emergency truck. No injuries. The emergency truck was properly color-coded to indicate it's civilian, but the Azeri army targeted it regardless.

Armenian army issued a warning, "If Azerbaijan continues to use drones including against civilians, the number of Azeri casualties, in addition to this morning's deaths, could sharply rise."

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192824 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192810 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192788 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192793 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192797 , https://youtu.be/c9x5_zzjPDU

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Human Rights Ombudsman condemned the use of shrapnel bombs against civilians. Photos: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192734

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Women and children will be temporarily relocated out of Artsakh's Talish and Mataghis villages, which are the two most vulnerable ones. https://factor.am/269653.html

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Aygepar's kindergarten was targeted. No one was inside at the time. Photos: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192762

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Azerbaijani army shelled a civilian home in Chinari village. Video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3596768830341494

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Karmir Aghbyur village's water network was targeted by Azeri fire. It's been repaired. 9 houses were damaged. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192799

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Tavush governor: they shelled 10 houses this morning. 2 of them will be rebuilt from ground, while the rest will be renovated. A total of 30 houses were damaged since July 12th. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192774

Azerbaijan threatens to bomb Metsamor nuclear power plant

Azeri Defense Ministry official "reminded" Armenians that they have rockets that can reach the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, "which will cause widespread damage in Armenia".

Armenpress: Armenia hasn't officially threatened to bomb Azeri civilian objects in a similar fashion, including Azerbaijan's Mengichavur water dum [destruction of which would leave the quarter of Azerbaijan underwater.]

Army: the Azeri official who threatened to bomb the nuclear plant should undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192804 , https://youtu.be/c9x5_zzjPDU

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Reuters, RIA News, Interfax, and other outlets wrote articles mentioning nuclear threats. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1022053.html

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MP Rubinyan: "by threatening to bomb the nuclear plant, Azerbaijan is once again exposing its inhumane, backward, and terrorist agenda." https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192817

-- Justice Minister Badasyan: this should be worrying for the entire region as well as the international community. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192821

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Parliament official: Azerbaijan threatened to violate the Geneva convention, which prohibits the targeting of buildings that contain dangerous materials, including nuclear plants. We'll make sure the international community is made aware. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1022022.html

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ex-MP Ashotyan: the threats came from an Azeri public official. The regime isn't hiding its terroristic and fascist nature. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1022033.html

Ilham Aliyev's meltdown / Gets mad at ambassadors

Yesterday Aliyev fired the Foreign Minister Mammedyarov. Today he blasted ambassadors to several countries and accused them of working for those countries' interests and being recruited by those countries' security forces.

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Aliyev: we warned the foreign intelligence (of our friendly countries) that we know that they're bribing our ambassadors, that they gave them houses. These officials ignored the best interest of Azerbaijan and Azeri public.

It shows the nature of fake friendship with these countries. They try to weaken us and spread false information about Azerbaijan's government.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1022052.html

Ilham Aliyev angry that few Azeris are willing to go to war

Ilham Aliyev: those protesting citizens who were chanting "I want to fight in Karabagh" should go and sign up at the draft agency. I asked the draft chief and he said only 150 have signed up since the beginning of the clashes.

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Draw a conclusion. How many people were protesting yesterday in Shahid's Park? Thousands…. yet only 150 signed up. I asked where the most applications came from and he said Tovuz region (the hotspot) with 60 applicants.

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I repeat, we don't need a full draft right now. We know how many people we need to solve a problem. But no one should turn themselves into a street hero.

Context: Aliyev is mad that nationalist protesters called for govt members' resignation for poor handling on Tavush Battles.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021896.html

Armenian veterans & volunteers are mobilizing

War veteran MP Rustam Gasparyan gathered a meeting with his "Black Leopard" veteran group and began collecting volunteers. They're waiting for Defense Ministry's call. https://news.am/arm/news/591547.html

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Sasna Tsrer's Jirayr Sefilian: Historically, Tavush positions have been favorable to Azeris. Azerbaijan made a mistake. They began shelling civilians with 122mm shells. Now we have an opportunity and legal right to change the borders. We need to use this opportunity. https://youtu.be/Lm1EH-NFXrk

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Yezidi MP Rustam Bakoyan: Dozens of Yezidi-Armenians have come forward to draft. I call for the Yezidi diaspora abroad to help the Armenian lobby to stop Aliyev's actions. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192746

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Defense Ministry: thanks, but we don't need volunteers right now. Our soldiers are handling it properly. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192764

Fake news during battles / Imaginary drone & accounts

Army: Azeris spread fake news about allegedly downing Armenian X-55 drone. The image they attached to the report is also fake. We don't even have X-55 in our arsenal. (update: Army said they don't have the type of X-55 shown in the image) https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192758

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Azeri hackers and Armenian-speaking Azeri agents coordinated a campaign to edit and publish fake audio calls in which Armenian soldiers allegedly panic and talk about heavy losses.

Example fake audio (WARNING: your 5-year-old niece can do better editing job): https://youtu.be/hUL-K4heGII

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192813

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Azeri news outlet circulated a social media post written by someone imitating the Armenian army spokeswoman with a hope to spread panic among the public. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192722

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Azeri Haqqin outlet incorrectly stated that Armenian soldier Narek Petrosyan was killed. The soldier came forward to dispute his death. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192783

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Azeri hackers used Armenian social media accounts, pretending to be govt accounts, to encourage civilians in bordering areas to gather all in one place. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192796

Armenia buries the fallen soldiers

Funerals took place in Yerablur military cemetery in Yerevan. The Prime Minister, Catholicos, Defense Minister, and others were present. The army handed the posthumous medals to 4 fallen soldiers' parents.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192763 , https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=738813480202104

Angry mob smashes Armenian apricots

Azeri civilians in Moscow purchased several boxes of gyozal Armenian apricots and smashed them with their feet, as a sign of protest.

Now, if they purchased Armenian grapes, they could turn the smashed mixture into wine. Just saying…

Video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2596970430521352

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1022039.html

Foreign Affairs & Diplomacy

U.S. Representative Kareine Clark criticized Azerbaijan for shelling Armenian villages. https://news.am/arm/news/591541.html

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Mike Pompeo: stop shooting right now. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192726

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Azeri president Aliyev: we need to increase the military budget and spend it more wisely. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192739

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Armenian MFA: Azeri leadership put themselves in a deadlock with their short-sighted actions. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192747

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Armenia: we informed CSTO military bloc that we're in control of the situation and don't need assistance. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192800

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Armenia has contacted 55 countries and 300 officials about Azerbaijan's crimes against civilians. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192826

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Uruguayan MP Pedro H. condemned Azerbaijan's attacks on the Armenian border. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1022010.html

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The governor of French Rhone-Alpes condemned the Azeri aggression. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021962.html

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Turkish MP Garo Paylan: Erdogan's statements are adding fuel to the fire. The conflict between our neighbors should be resolved with justice and impartiality. https://factor.am/269667.html

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Two Dutch MPs submitted a report to the MFA in which they mention Armenia's month-long complaints and Azerbaijan's illegal and undeclared military exercises at the border (the U.S. earlier condemned Azerbaijan for holding undeclared military exercises). https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021931.html

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Ilham Aliyev: we're ready to negotiate with Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh, but those talks must be substantive. https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30730340.html

Armenia scores diplomatic victory / Pro-Azeri European rapporteur resigns

Armenia is building the 3rd civilian highway to connect to Artsakh. Three rapporteurs of the European Parliament wrote a report about it, and condemned Armenia's plans while stating "Armenia should have gotten Azerbaijan's permission first".

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Armenian govt complained about the biased report "which goes against OSCE format", and pointed out that the chief rapporteur Trayan Bacecku Traian Băsescu has an anti-Armenian history in his home country. Today Băsescu resigned from his role as a regional rapporteur.

The second rapporteur has accepted Armenia's complaints and said they'll take it into account.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192801

Armenia lowers poverty line / Free medication for more people

Poverty is calculated by points, depending on various factors.

Today the govt lowered the point-threshold, allowing 27,000 additional residents to get meds completely for free. Around 227,000 people qualify.

Medications include several drugs for cancer, tuberculosis, mental health, diabetes, stroke, etc.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192798

Institutional reforms to fight corruption

Earlier the govt created a new anti-corruption institute tasked with vetting public officials to check if they have "shady" history, unreported wealth, etc.

Today the govt authorized the institute to audit the person within 2 years after they leave the public office, if there is evidence that they have an abnormal amount of wealth.

Officials must disclose certain types of financial transactions over $2,000.

Officials must disclose their properties valued over $8,000, instead of current $17,000.

"We'll have the most advanced wealth declaration system in the world," noted Justice Minister Badasyan. The bill needs Parliamentary approval.

https://factor.am/269449.html

Public TV laws amended / Minority quotas / OTA

Parliament voted 79-17 to approve a bill to require TV operators to give ethnic minority communities at least 30 minutes of weekly TV time, and 2 hours on radio.

The bill also requires all TVs operating on free public airways to allow all local broadcasters to make the TV available across Armenia.

https://factor.am/269484.html , https://youtu.be/m8OAvNBTLOk

Alcohol is bad, did you know?

Parliament voted 95-1 to end an exception that allowed Armenian brandy companies to advertise their alcohol on TV during the daytime. It'll be allowed after 10:30 pm.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021978.html

Govt issues tax waiver for $62 million investment

"AA Tranzit wants" to produce butter in Gyumri. They'll spend $62mln to import equipment, factory tech, lease a land, etc. 50 new jobs with a $250 salary.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192759

Yerevan to purchase 200 buses instead of 100

"What seemed impossible a year ago, is now a reality. Earlier we announced an auction to purchase 100 12-meter buses. Additionally, we'll purchase 100 smaller buses. They'll have disability ramps etc.," said Mayor Marutyan.

https://factor.am/269370.html

Victory Park

It's more pretty now. Yerevan's Green Department reaped 36 hectares of dried out grass, dead trees, and weed, and planted 20,000 bushes and flowers.

Photos: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192819

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You've read 1953 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/hsfydg/jul162020_news_tavush_battles_100_azeris_launch/

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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