2020 June 4
- 1 Anti-Corruption Daily
- 2 Fugitive prince gets a new trial
- 3 Armenia's "cheap weapons" from Russia and CIS
- 4 COVID stats
- 5 COVID action
- 6 school director in hot water after party
- 7 gazebo gang
- 8 Railway bazaar overcrowding
- 9 vending machines sell masks
- 10 coordinated campaign against masks
- 11 random COVID info
- 12 pensions delivered
- 13 COVID aid
- 14 BLM in Yerevan
- 15 gas negotiations / price discrepancy explained
- 16 ANOTHER ONE.
- 17 Your childhood ruined in 3, 2, 1...
Jun/4/2020 News: (1) Army's weapon imports through offshore (2) Where does the gas money go? (3) COVID stats, measures, enforcement, aid, latest update (4) Vending machines sell masks (5) Armenian movie in Cannes (6) Your favorite cartoon (7) other stories...
Fugitive prince gets a new trial
Serj's son-in-law Mikael Minasyan, who is currently hiding in Sochi Russia, was charged with $1.2mln money laundering in March. The Lower Court agreed to arrest him pre-trial.
Today the Appeals Court overturned the arrest verdict, sending the case back to Lower for a new examination to decide his pre-trial status.
Armenia's "cheap weapons" from Russia and CIS
After Pashinyan revealed that the former regime wasted 15bln while purchasing unusable tech (1 arrested), fugitive prince Mikael Minasyan accused Pashinyan of personally benefitting from illegal smuggling of weapons from Russia (earlier he blamed a HHK-linked businessman's cigarette smuggling incident on Pashinyan). Minasyan also accused the govt of importing old weapons and covering up their age.
Defense Ministry spokesman responded:
Armenia hasn't done an illegal weapon deal with a 3rd country since 2018. Sadly, they're involving the Defense Ministry and Minister Tonoyan in these cheap games.
We have law 12.1 which regulates how weapons are purchased, imported, or transported elsewhere. Due to past scandalous weapon trade incidents, this law was amended to save Armenia's reputation in 2009, with the help of now-Minister Tonoyan. Since then, there have been more UN obligations and regulations. The way the system works makes illegal smuggling by govt impossible.
Army has a complex method of obtaining weapons legally.
Military expert Arkadi Grigoryan about using contractors for imports:
Q: Minasyan is saying a man named David Galstyan is using his offshore firm for illegal weapons deal from Russia. Is Minasyan revealing classified info? Could this cause diplomatic issues with Russia?
A: David Galstyan is an independent contractor who does a weapon business with Russia with his offshore firm. Even if not for Armenia, he'll still buy and sell his weapons. He is independent of Armenian govt.
He places an order to buy weapons from Russia and other CIS countries, without mentioning the destination.
Russia knows how this business works. They support this because they're under international sanctions and it's easier to export weapons like this.
Q: Why is the Armenian army buying weapons from contractors like him?
A: Armenia cannot rely on one source [Russia] for weapon purchases. It needs to be diversified, especially if the contractor offers a good price. Russia isn't the only country that has Soviet-made cheap weapons suited for Armenia.
Q: Did Minasyan reveal a state secret?
A: Azerbaijan has always wanted to hinder our ability to buy weapons. Minasyan has just helped them by revealing the sources. He put politics over national security. Another ex-official recently said, "If I were Aliyev I'd attack Armenia in 3-4 months".
Q: so Minasyan's statements are a national security threat?
A: Yes. He gave Azerbaijan valuable information.
Q: Will the Armenian army suffer if contractor Galstyan loses his job?
A: Azerbaijan can learn about weapons deal, let's say with Belarus involving jet flights, and take steps to hinder it.
Q: why is Minasyan going after contractor Galstyan?
A: There could be a competition among contractors with new players trying to enter the market.
Q: Minasyan says Pashinyan spent 27bln on old OSA air defense units while claiming they're new.
A: as you remember from reports, these units are modernized in Armenia upon arrival. They shot drones. HHK also tried to buy the same weapon from Ukraine unsuccessfully; why is Minasyan pointing fingers now?
+697 infected (20% needed hospitalization). +11 deaths. 391 serious. 59 critical. 15 on lung vent.
Healthcare Ministry: the number of healed patients will soon increase because local clinics will begin to count those who are healed after being self-isolated at home.
Pashinyan: there are 20k Armenians who're infected but unaware of it because of no symptoms, like my family... Numbers add up and stress the healthcare system's capacity... There is a 10% chance my family develop pneumonia...
Wearing a mask is now required outside of the home, even if walking alone on the street.
Sevan city will continue to be closed until June 11th.
More post offices and banks began drawing queue lines to guide the customers to keep a distance.
Pashinyan called for a widespread anti-pandemic movement in Armenia:
"Respect safety, ask others to do so, and send me photos of unsafe gatherings especially in govt buildings so we can punish irresponsibility. After we shared the photos of violations, within hours, many banks began taking action afraid of their reputation...
Don't attack people personally with hate speech if you see them violate safety...
I got a letter from a diasporan who noted that Armenians have a strong habit of hugging, kissing, and greeting one another with a handshake after meeting on the street. This can contribute to the problem..."
school director in hot water after party
Pashinyan shared a photo showing a Last Bell school party with dozens of unmasked kids in a room. The director was the organizer.
Education Minister Arayik: sometimes asking nicely doesn't work. We'll take the strictest measures against the director.
Party hard, recover harder: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=626462851285780
The police approached a group of old men playing backgammon in a backyard gazebo. Many weren't wearing masks. "Go home grandpas," asked the police.
"Why? Show me where it says its illegal," replied one. They left the gazebo.
Railway bazaar overcrowding
Pashinyan shared a photo of Yerevan railway bazaar, packed with people, some of whom without masks.
vending machines sell masks
Earlier the Parliament discussed ways to make masks more affordable by cutting the middle-man.
Today PM shared a photo of a vending machine selling one for ֏100. All 7 Metro stations will have one. 50 more machines will be installed in public places.
It's serviced by 2 firms, one of which produces 300k masks per day.
coordinated campaign against masks
German-Armenian doctor Saribekyan said:
Someone offered me cash to "talk about" the effectiveness of masks and vaccines. They launched an office in Armenia to coordinate a campaign to pay Armenian doctors to spread some info. Beware of any doctors claiming masks are useless; they might be paid by the campaign.
random COVID info
Experts from various universities gathered to advise the public:
Don't disinfect gloves; they must be thrown away after short-term use.
COVID19 kills more than many other known viruses. In some EU countries, it's at 10% rate. >40yo especially risky.
People with a good immune system aren't safe from COVID.
Antibiotics won't help.
Vitamin D is known to help against respiratory problems, but its effect on COVID19 is still being examined.
Seniors will once again get their pensions delivered to their homes so they can avoid long HayPost queue.
Next month the Parliament will discuss a bill to get rid of cash payments and transfer pensions directly to a bank card electronically (with exceptions).
100bln in aid distributed so far, as part of 19 packages.
The govt expanded the list of 8th COVID aid package recipients to include 1.9k businesses with 9.1k workers.
550k people and 17k businesses received loan vacations worth ֏1.4trln.
Alikhanyan Laboratory donated 20 ozone generators, Made in Armenia, to be used for disinfecting medical devices in confined areas.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017405.html Armenian lab develops a disinfectant
Earlier we learned that the Armenian National Academy of Sciences created Bioxil-2 chemical to disinfect COVID. They claim it's been tested to be effective.
It doesn't contain chlorine; it has more hydrogen peroxide and activators.
DO NOT DRINK IT. Thank you.
Davit Ananyan thanked his colleagues and PM for the past 2 years of work.
BLM in Yerevan
A group of Armenians gathered in front of the U.S. Embassy to say "BlackLivesMatter".
gas negotiations / price discrepancy explained
Public Utilities is negotiating the gas price with Gazprom-Armenia (GA) for local consumers. Utilities wants a 4% rise instead of GA's suggested 11%. Utilities wants the keep the price bracket to give discounts to the poor.
GA's reason behind the increase:
Gas on the border went from $150 to $165, yet we kept selling to people for the same $255 ($90 higher).
From that $90 overhead: $43 paid as tax, $12 wasted through infrastructure leaks, $19 wages, $16 profit.
If we raise the internal price to $275, we'll accumulate 60bln and spend another 230bln on infrastructure upgrades this decade. End.
GA denied rumors that its director's salary is ֏20mln/mo. The avg salary in GA is ֏227k.
A budka was removed from the Yerevan sidewalk after the city negotiated with the owner.
Your childhood ruined in 3, 2, 1...
Russian SoyuzMultfilm will produce a sequel of popular cardoon Դե սպասիր (De Spasir, Nu pogodi).
The main antagonist is a wolf. Here is its new image: https://tlg.fyi/breakingmash/18408 Armenian director's movie in Cannes Festival
Director Nora Martirosyan's "Si Le Vent Tombe" is included in Cannes' The First Features program. It's co-produced by Armenia, Belgium, and France.
The movie is about Artsakh and was filmed there.
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.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/gwmv9m/jun42020_news_1_armys_weapon_imports_through/
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