2020 May 13

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Anti-Corruption Daily

May/13/2020 News: (1) The final days of Artsakh war (2) Drama over Parliament fight (3) MP attacked over voting record (4) Kocharyan's 3 petitions get rejected (5) Where do strawberries come from? (6) Ex-police official charged (7) Gloves & smoking (8) COVID reaches PM's office (9) PM roams around
by ar_david_hh

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.


Azeri army shoots village

A civilian house in Berqaber was damaged from an Azeri fire. The bullet struck the living area. No injuries.

Pictures: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/187833

The final days of Artsakh war / One last push towards Baku / Battle of diplomats

Jan/1994: Azeris are exhausted but reject Russia's ceasefire offer. They hope to take back some lands from Armenians.

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Feb/1994: Russia invites Armenia and Azerbaijan for negotiations. They sign an agreement to suspend the shootout.

Azeri delegate recalls: "We were supposed to discuss the return of 6 regions, except Shuni & Lachin. After that, we would discuss Artsakh's independence and Lachin's fate. For reasons unknown to me, those negotiations didn't happen." (IT WAS JUST A PRANK, BRO).

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Mar/1994: Russia urges Armenia and Artsakh to return 1 region to Azeris. Fights continue.

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Apr/1994: AM & AZ release a message about wishing a ceasefire, but random fights continue until May. During this period, Armenians make gains towards Tartar (north-east). They liberate a few Armenian villages. Armenia urges Artsakh not to go further, but Artsakh forces advance to capture Tartar and surrounding areas. They make some nearby gains, including a freeway.

Manvel Tushonka Grigoryan's unit advances from Mataghis to Talish and gets close to Tartar. 50,000 Azeri civilians leave Tartar. Azeris brace for Armenian attack on Tartar, but Artsakh stops at the last moment.

Before it stopped, commander Samvel Babayan (recently ran for president) sensed the war was going to end soon, so he tried to snatch every inch possible, by appearing in frontlines and pushing everyone forward. Babayan joked that had the Russians not stopped him, he would reach Baku.

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May/5/1994: leaders gather in Kyrgyzstan. Armenia, Artsakh, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and CIS sign the documents, while Azerbaijan refuses, claiming their delegate didn't have the legal right. (bruh?)

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May/7/1994: Russian diplomat grabs the document and flies to Baku to find a guy who is authorized to sign it.

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May/9/1994: Heydar Aliyev returns from EU and meets the Russian diplomat. Aliyev throws a temper tantrum saying it's a Russian conspiracy against Azerbaijan. The Azeri ambassador to Russia steps in and says "we need to end the bloodshed". Another Azeri official joins the sign-gang, against Aliyev.

To appease Aliyev, they edit the document to change the wording from "occupied territories" to "invaded territories". Azeris then demand their Karabakh Community Representative Bahmanov to also sign. Great... where is Bahmanov? It turns out he is not in Baku.

Aliyev then asks a lower-ranking guy to sign. He refuses. "Why was that guy's signature even necessary when his immediate boss, another official, was sitting there," recalls the confused Russian diplomat. Aliyev starts convincing this guy to sign. Things get complicated.

--

Russian diplomat takes back the papers and calls Armenia. They rewrite the wording to appease Aliyev. Initially, this document excluded Armenia: the signatories were Artsakh and Azerbaijan. At the request of Aliyev, Armenia is added as a signatory. (Armenia was hesitant because it didn't want to appear as a participant of conflict)

Finally, an Azeri official signs the paper, but another strange thing happens before that. Full story in the article:

https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/05/05/Բիշքեկ-և-Մոսկվա՝-վերջ-արյունահեղությանը-ինչպես-հաստատվեց-1994-ի-զինադադարը/383801

Facebook account of a prominent QP MP is hacked

Private communication was stolen. The Feed was defaced. "This won't go unpunished," said MP Varazdat.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187778

update: the fight between QP and LHK MPs

QP Sasun and LHK Edmon fought earlier. Prosecutors sent the investigation to SIS because officials are involved. SIS called LHK Edmon for questioning and medical evaluation. LHK Edmon interprets the fighting incident primarily as a political one, rather than a felony.

--

LHK Edmon: QP is presenting our sharp criticism as a provocation. This is the beginning of the end for QP... Yes, I have used foul language in the past, we are all made of flesh and bones. I apologize to the families of my opponents if they took my words as insults... QP Alen is lying about LHK not supporting QP during the revolution.

QP Alen: [pulls out his phone and shows a message he claims to prove LHK bailed out] on April/16/2018, during the revolution, I urged you to exit Parliament building and join the streets, you didn't.... You always voted in favor of HHK Taron Margaryan's budget bills and pressured us to do so while in Yerevan Council.

LHK Edmon: we did exit the Parliament building during the revolution and tried to visit wounded protesters in a hospital but the police closed the road. We marched to the public square along with Pashinyan [factcheck: true]... Rumors about us cooperating with Roboserj is nonsense.

QP Alen: Every time the topic becomes Serj's son-in-law Mikael Minasyan, LHK Edmon gets quiet and says "go prove he did something wrong", while he has no problem criticizing ex-IRS boss Gagik Khachatryan. Why is LHK Edmon defending Mikael Minasyan?

LHK Edmon: some QP MPs have a record of helping Kocharyan... We won't address rumors about LHK cooperating with former govt anymore.

Another QP MP: it's time to move on.

(Context: LHK and QP used to be part of the same alliance called Yelq. It broke apart after the revolution.)

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187785 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187786 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187795 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187801 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187808 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187818 , https://factor.am/249534.html , https://youtu.be/srBPoNQygPw , https://youtu.be/6soX7lQwMSo , https://factor.am/249486.html

Robert Kocharyan to remain in jail

The court rejected all 3 petitions by Kocharyan to be released on bail, or based on "good behavior" assurances provided by former PMs, or due to COVID.

Rob is recovering from surgery and wasn't present. The crowd had to wait outside the courtroom due to COVID. The verdict came at the moment when Rob's lawyer was giving an interview outside. Chants began.

The next trial is on May 19th.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/187790 , https://youtu.be/AKbmFE8731k?t=8

Changed his mind?

Justice Minister Badasyan decided to ask Venice Commission for their opinion around the Constitutional Court crisis in Armenia.

There will still be a referendum to kick the "lifetime" judges, but the Ministry decided to consult Venice nonetheless.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/117087

MP is attacked after voting in favor of Lanzarote convention

QP earlier voted to ratify the Lanzarote convention to fight child sexual abuse.

A group of self-proclaimed traditional value defenders called "Kamq" protested the convention. They believe the convention is a sexual perversion because it teaches sexual stuff to kids.

An activist allegedly followed and confronted a QP MP for his YES vote, and made threats against him. Later, the MP was "attacked" by a cyclist. An activist is arrested and charged with Felony 316.1 "making threats or violence against an official for doing his duties".

Kamq has a record of inappropriate public behavior. Earlier they protested the anti-female-abuse "Istanbul" convention.

--

QP MP: the Lanzarote convention is not about teaching sex or rape to small kids. It's about helping kids to detect suspicious behavior and avoid becoming a victim. It's the advanced version of "don't take candy from strangers".

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187780 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187789 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187792 , https://factor.am/249471.html

Strawberries are sweeter than helicopters

Hraparak outlet speculated that at the request of 1st lady Anna Hakobyan and Defense Minister Tonoyan, the army is buying strawberries from "Green Food" company associated with 1st lady.

Hraparak wrote: Hakobyan has a friend named Feschyan. They run a strawberry company called Green Food. They got close when Nikol was in prison. Feschyan visited Nikol in prison. Now Hakobyan is doing a favor by choosing Green Food as a supplier.

--

Fact-checkers tried to get details and wrote:

5 companies went through a competition to deliver high-quality food for soldiers. One of these companies is Mediteq. It specializes in fruits. In turn, Mediteq works with 200 other companies, one of which happens to be Green Food. The army did not sign contracts with Green Food.

Mediteq says Green Food has the best price/quality value for strawberries, and that no one pressured them about doing business.

The Green Food owners (which 1st lady Anna Hakobyan is not part of) denied Hraparak's claims that they did favors to Pashinyan and received anything back, saying, "I never had contact with the Pashinyan family during Nikol Pashinyan's prison times."

As for Minister Tonoyan, he said he has "good relations with everyone but never sponsors anyone".

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187816

ex-police official is charged

The ex-cop, who oversaw the police vehicle fleet, allegedly stole 18mln worth car and motorcycle parts from the inventory. He is arrested. A felony case is launched.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/187828

=Smoking and gloves for ordinary people

The Latest WHO study shows that smokers have a harder time defeating COVID. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187796

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Gloves may give you a false sense of security. It might be best to wash your bare hands frequently, instead of wearing gloves. Gloves require proper disposal. Wearing for too long will result in bacterial growth on your skin. https://factor.am/249345.html

COVID stats / It reaches PM office

+1,453 tested. +180 infected. +3 deaths. 2149 active. 3718 all-time.

2 members of PM's HR department got infected.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187782 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1015206.html

COVID aid

73bln distributed to citizens and businesses as part of 17 aid packages so far. 1.1 million recipients.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1015139.html

Pashinyan urges the public to be more cautious

PM said: we're gradually reopening the economy. Every one of us has a responsibility to be careful, but today I see plenty of people on the streets who don't care. Use masks while talking to others. We'll have to re-introduce restrictions if you don't.

--

Pashinyan took a walk in Republic Square to observe large gatherings. He came across a group of protesters in front of Central Bank, who had been protesting since yesterday (about lowering interest rates). PM complained that 20 protesters were packed together without masks.

Protesters complained that Banks didn't give them a loan vacation during COVID. Pashinyan responded, "Banks take into account the financial record before giving a vacation. 500,000 have qualified so far. Send me an in-depth letter about your complaints."

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One passer-by told Pashinyan he doesn't believe COVID is real, so he doesn't wear a mask. (you can't have COVID if you don't have 5G towers /s)

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PM came across a kid. "Does your daddy tell you at home that COVID is all fake?". Turns out the dad was standing nearby; he laughed and said: "We're wearing masks Mr. Pashinyan."

--

"We have no choice but to extend the emergency, but with relaxed restrictions," said PM later.

https://youtu.be/hq1olxkraxM , https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=576223939688053 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187781 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187805 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/187809

IRS begins implementing the reduced penalties

The late-payment penalty is halved at 0.04%.

Previously, IRS was allowed to freeze a company's assets if it owed 0.5mln. Now the debt must be >1.5mln to give IRS powers.

9,800 businesses had their assets frozen since 2018.

http://arka.am/en/news/business/armenia_s_state_revenue_committee_recalculates_reduced_fines_for_non_fulfillment_of_tax_obligations_/

Heavy hail in Yerevan today

https://youtu.be/nyP6VZq2FQ4?t=4


Link to original report and comments: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/gj4szq/may132020_news_1_the_final_days_of_artsakh_war_2/


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