2020 October 21

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Oct/21/2020 wrap-up: \\ War in Artsakh (Karabakh) \\ Pashinyan addresses nation \\ battlefield & videos \\ Azerbaijan targets civilians \\ Russia & Iran grow concerned over Syrian jihadists & Turkey's expansionism \\ "50+" donation campaign \\ international response \\ calls to recognize Artsakh
by ar_david_hh

Prior events:

October 20, October 19, October 18, October 17, October 16, October 15, October 14, October 13, October 12, October 11 , October 10, October 9 , October 8 , October 7, October 6, October 5, October 4, October 3, October 2, October 1, September 30, September 29, September 28, September 27.

Army spokesman reveals details about the first days of the war, army composition, strategy:

Azeri army was consisted of a few large groups, with each having up to 10,000-20,000 soldiers. Each group had several thousand special units, >100 tanks, >100 other equipment, >200 artillery units, dozens of Smerch, Polonez, etc.

And these groups couldn't pass the first two defense lines. For 5 days they couldn't make a breakthrough, so they changed the strategy. All their forces from 3-4 locations were concentrated in the south which gave them a 12-to-1 numeric advantage. There are few such examples in the history of war.

This 12x army entered the 2nd stage of the war on the 8th day, with only daily 1-2km advancement. From the military-science standpoint, this is a shame.

On September 27th (first day) their first target was our air defense and control points. That's an educated strategy, but they didn't carry it out properly. Almost no damage was done to our control points. The damage to air defense was partial.

In that first air attack, they used about 1,000 drones, precision missiles, and aviation.

Last week they attacked a position in the north with 700-800 people and were thrown back after sustaining 200-300 deaths.

https://t.me/infocomm/23901 , https://t.me/infocomm/23902 , https://t.me/infocomm/23904 , https://t.me/infocomm/23905

more outlets report the presence of Syrian jihadists recruited by Azerbaijan

Military outlet Conflict Intelligence Team has covered the topic of Syrian militants and presented photos and videos.




France24 outlet also covered the topic of militants and shared the videos recorded by militants themselves. "Des vidéos documentent la présence de mercenaires syriens dans le conflit du Haut-Karabakh"



interview with former president Serj Sargsyan who reveals details from past negotiations:

Aliyev has continuously promised that his army could capture Karabakh very quickly. Now they use all of their arsenal, including the Turkish weapons, but it's been 3 weeks and they managed to advance deep only in one direction, which doesn't mean the end of the war.

Armenian army is combat-ready with thousands of experienced professionals. Unfortunately many have died while dealing heavy blows to the opponent.

After years of back and forth negotiations, we could have signed a peace agreement in Kazan in 2011. Minsk Group chairs and Russia made special statements and invited both of us to Kazan.

But while in Kazan, Aliyev pulled out a piece of paper with demands for dozens of modifications to the final agreement. These were things that we had already discussed and ruled out in the prior negotiations. Everyone was shocked and disappointed. Aliyev refused to sign the agreement.

I don't think that was the last chance for making an agreement. Yes, Aliyev broke the ceasefire and attacked us in 2016, but the negotiations continued afterward.

Full: https://factor.am/297992.html

October 21 events / battlefield / international response / donations and demonstrations

00:04: members of the Canadian-Armenian community sent a letter to PM Justin Trudeau, asking for the official recognition of Artsakh and aid for civilians.


00:12: French Parliament MP Francois Pupponi has called for the recognition of the Artsakh Republic and will submit a resolution to Parliament.


00:13 Russian pro-govt NTV outlet: this is looking like a battle for an [Ottoman] empire. Kommersant sources have learned that Erdogan spent several months provoking Baku to start a war, promising any kind of help. The Caucasus is where Erdogan wants to create smoke.

[Mentions Central Asian countries where Turkey can try to radicalize and activate groups, and the threat of terrorist attacks against Russia.]

Full video: https://t.me/infoteka24/9536

00:47: The UN Security Council members held a closed-door session but couldn't agree to make a joint statement.


00:52: over 30 Belgian public figures have urged their govt and the EU to condemn the attack against Artsakh, sanction Turkey, condemn the use of Israeli-made LORA missiles against civilian infrastructure, threaten to expel Turkey from NATO unless it stops the aggression against Armenians.


2:06: MFA Mnatsakanyan is in Moscow as part of a short trip.


9:08: Los Angeles city council Monica Rodrigues and 14 other members, citing the targeting of the civilian population of Artsakh, have contacted the Mercury LLC company to ask them to drop Turkey as a customer.


9:10 Order of Combat Cross is awarded to Lt. Colonel Tigran Ashotyan, and posthumously to Vyacheslav Voskanov, Vahagn Tumanyan, Tigran Ashotyan, and Tsolak Khachatryan.

Volunteer Menua Hovhannisyan received the title of Artsakh Hero posthumously.

https://t.me/infocomm/23909 , https://news.am/arm/news/609029.html , https://news.am/arm/news/609100.html

10:02: the army has shot an Azeri aircraft at 8:30 am. The situation is stable tense.


10:10: president Sarkissian visits Brussels to speak with the leaders of NATO, the foreign ministry of the EU, and the European Council president.


10:22: no settlements were bombed at night but the shelling resumed in the civilian town of Martakert in the morning. The electricity and water delivery were resumed. The gas is disabled for safety reasons.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1032261.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1032285.html

10:35: "Canada, speak up!" Armenians held a demonstration in Toronto during which they hang a laundry covered in "blood".

"Democracy is under attack. Sanction Turkey and Azerbaijan for war crimes. Children are dying!"


10:59 army: the local battles resumed in the north and south. The operative-tactical situation is under the control of the Defense Army.


11:25: U.S. Senator Edward Markey has called for the official recognition of the Artsakh Republic. He noted Turkey's involvement and the hiring of Syrian militants.

"Since Azerbaijan continues its attempts to resolve the conflict through illegal military force, the international community has no choice but to recognize the independence of the Artsakh Republic in the absence of constructive talks.".


11:36: Yemenidjian family has donated $1m to Artsakh via www.HimnaDram.org


11:44: demonstrators gathered in front of the German embassy and called for the recognition of the Artsakh Republic



11:52 military industry chief: our air defense worked in the southern province of Syunik last night. It shut down an Azeri drone. It's not the first time Azeri drones fly into the Republic of Armenia territory.


12:05: Parliament approved a bill to remove taxes on imported products if they're meant to be used by the military industry, emergency ministry, or healthcare ministry during the conflict.


12:23 army spokesman: they keep feeding false information to the Azeri leadership. At first, they claimed to have destroyed our URAGAN weapon, which we don't have. Now it turns out we had an intercontinental Yars ballistic missile, which I wasn't aware of. (Azeris later claimed "Yars" is also an abbreviation of something in their language)


12:45: the commander of Iran's land army has visited the Khudaferin water reservoir on the border between Artsakh and Iran, where the Azeris stretched across the border. The reservoir is crucial for agriculture in northern Iran.


13:13: Armenian soldiers from Yeghnikner battalion released footage showing the aftermath of capturing an Azeri BTR and destroying a tank, presumably in the north.


13:29: photos of soldiers from the front lines


13:56: Armenians resumed the car caravan demonstrations in Belgium.


14:03: demonstration was held in front of the Italian embassy in Yerevan. The crowd urged for the official recognition of the Artsakh Republic.


14:04: High-Tech Minister visited the military-industrial facilities, where the experts repair damaged equipment, produce new weapons and bombs, "24 hours a day".


14:17: a demonstration was held in Spain against the "terrorist attack against Artsakh". It was attended by the ruling coalition Spanish Parliament MPs (Unidas Podemos) and other public figures.

MP Henrique Santiago shared photos from the rally and expressed solidarity with Armenians.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1032281.html , https://news.am/arm/news/609034.html

14:24: the donations to www.1000plus.am go directly to soldiers and their families for medical and disability treatment. It has collected $4.5m so far. A Parliament MP recommends donating to that website if you can't decide between that and the www.HimnaDram.org


14:36: a short video was created for foreigner tourists


14:39: Azerbaijan's recorded losses so far: 6458 soldiers, 4 TOS, 580 tanks and armored vehicles, 23 aircrafts, 16 helicopters, 202 drones, etc.


This graph shows the number of soldiers Azerbaijan lost every day since the beginning of the war. Note that in some days it's the sum of the previous few days.


A new group of deceased Azeri soldier names was identified by activists. The Aliyev regime keeps the list secret.

Among them are Lt. Colonel Rahim Heseynov and special forces Major Rahim Husseinov.




924 deceased Azeri soldiers have been identified by non-official sources so far, which is part of the overall deaths. 161 Syrian mercenaries are known to have died.


After identifying the names of dead Azeri soldiers, activists then created a map to identify their home regions, and it appears the ethnic-minority areas are represented disproportionately higher, which is in line with the complaints that the authorities are using some minorities as cannon fodder.


14:43 Pashinyan to IRNA govt-run Iranian outlet: Turkey's import of Syrian militants destabilizes the whole region and poses a threat to neighboring countries. Region's nations should take action against it.

Yes, there is also a threat of foreign intervention in the region. Azerbaijan already uses Israeli-made drones. This war was well planned ahead of time.

Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1032284.html

15:53: Artsakh church diocese leader Pargev Srbazan praised the brave 18-year-olds. "Our boys can defend, but we need to move forward, and for that, we need to secure their back. Whoever has the ability should take up arms and hold the second and third lines. I'm confident that with our national unity we will solve our problems just as we did in Sardarapat. "



15:15: all former presidents of Armenia and Artsakh held a meeting.


15:16 Washington Post: What’s needed for a first step toward peace for Armenia and Azerbaijan


15:18: Russian MFA met with MFAs of AM and AZ


15:46: Artsakh human rights Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan visited the Shushi church, which was recently bombed by Azerbaijan twice, and performed the song Ո՞ւր է ընկերդ, կռո՛ւնկ.


A man performs "Yeraz im yerkir hayreni" in the same church:


15:47: UCOM and Beeline Telecoms will make some phone calls, text, and roaming services free while connecting to Artsakh.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1032293.html , https://news.am/arm/news/609055.html

15:49: army released footage showing the destruction of Azeri positions with artillery and missiles. Dozens of soldiers are seen running away while bombs explode nearby.



16:13: the German Bild outlet reporter has called out Aliyev for canceling the planned interview.

"The President of Azerbaijan agreed to give an interview about the war in Karabakh. Now, however, he has suddenly given up on that idea. "What questions are you afraid of, Mr. President?" The German journalist wrote, reminding that both the President of Armenia and the Prime Minister have already given an interview to Bild."

"When I was reporting from Armenia, gov. of Azerbaijan was complaining that we were not listening to „both sides“, they offered interview with the President. Of course, I said yes. Now they don't want anymore. Maybe there is a reason why they are on 168 of Press Freedom Index," wrote Paul Ronzhsimer.



16:20: the Civil Aviation Committee has thanked the Armenian airline companies for non-profit humanitarian flights, some of them paid by the airlines themselves.


16:27: the Nature Ministry has contacted international institutes to inform about the environmental issue caused by the war. It's about bodies rotting in the battlefields, disease causes by them, animals eating bodies then possibly spreading disease, and a threat to various animals in Red Book.

The World Health Organization had earlier announced that it's "unlikely" that the dead bodies will cause significant health problems unless you drink water contaminated by the body. (the F?)




16:38 Pashinyan went Live on Facebook (620,000 views so far): let's talk about the current state, the problem, and solutions.

The negotiations are de facto dead right now. We've always stated that mutual concessions are necessary. The practice has shown, however, that Azerbaijan found that what's absolutely necessary for us is not acceptable for them. I'll tell you in a moment when the negotiations can resume.

There are discussions about our cooperation with Russia. It's at a high level. There is always contact with them and we're cooperating. Russia has done maximum while being a Minsk Group mediator and an ally.

Our goal is to fight until the end for the rights of our people regardless of anything. That means taking up arms for as long as necessary. This will allow us to eventually reach a state where diplomatic negotiations will be acceptable, because right now Aliyev wants Artsakh's capitulation.

I call upon the mayors of cities and villages, public officials, and NGOs, to begin a process of forming volunteer groups for the defense. Their tasks will be coordinated by the armed forces.

This is a turning point. We're a nation who have seen a genocide, which was partially possible because people relied on their neighbor for defense. Today we have legends who have proven themselves on the battlefield; it's necessary for us to stand beside them.

Yes, the situation is hard on the front lines. There are battles in the whole southern front. There is one important detail, however. Our observations show that Azeris are throwing their last reserves.

Yes, their resources are very very big, but our soldiers are causing unimaginable losses for the opponent. That's one of the reasons they reject the humanitarian ceasefire because that would mean the collection and burial of their numerous soldiers.

They're afraid that almost ten thousand bodies will return, including that of the hired mercenaries and Turkish soldiers, and that the monetary losses to equipment will be revealed especially since we began downing Bayraktars.

Today we need to repeat our history's victorious chapter. The situation was much worse in the 90s. People thought everything was lost. But our people found the solution because there were people who took it upon themselves to defend Artsakh.

Today we have many such defenders, too, but we need to stand next to them. Volunteers should give a military oath and become soldiers, and carry out the necessary tasks regardless of how tough it sounds.

The fate of Artsakh is in the hands of one person, and that person is you.



Mayors of Armavir, Ejmiatsin, and Vanadzor responded to Pashinyan's calls and began a volunteer recruitment process. Two mayors signed up for the draft.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/199238 , https://factor.am/298456.html , https://factor.am/298449.html

16:55: the names of 62 fallen soldiers were identified, bringing the total to 834.


16:56: the govt signed an order to ban the import of Turkish-made products beginning December 31st.


17:10: QP MP and 90s war veteran Sasun Mikaelyan was wounded earlier. "Nothing has happened to me. I was just renewing the old shrapnel," he joked. The doctors are still trying to remove the metal from his back. (Sasun "Iron Man" Mikaelyan?)


18:52: Artsakh president Arayik created a new committee tasked with assisting the refugees who moved to Armenia and those in need of aid. The work of volunteer groups will be coordinated


18:56 army: Azerbaijan is using 152mm "DANA" self-propelled artillery systems made in Czechia, against Artsakh.

Razm.info has found that Czechia sent them to Israel, then sometime later Azerbaijan bought them from the latter.

Photos: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1032332.html



19:02 army spokesman: the battles continue in the south. Small groups of Azeri soldiers are being neutralized in localized battles.


19:09 Pashinyan lists the steps:

1) Form a volunteer group with >30 members.

2) Choose a leader.

3) Contact the leader's local military commissariat.

4) Undergo a training in one of the military bases.

5) Defend the front lines.

6) Win.


20:05: NATO leader met president Sarkissian and expressed the importance of establishing a ceasefire. "If NATO-member Turkey stops the intervention, the ceasefire will be possible," said Sarkissian.

"Third countries [Turkey] should stay away from Karabakh conflict," said Mike Pompeo.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1032337.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1032340.html

21:00 army spokesman's briefing: the battles resumed in all directions in the morning.

In north Azeris made several attack attempts but were repelled after sustaining heavy losses. Their aviation forces made no success.

In Center, which was intense today, several infiltrator groups tried to advance towards our positions but retreated after receiving artillery strikes. The videos were published earlier today. They were mainly without armored vehicles

In the southern front, the battles continued further south towards the Araks basin. Their every advancement attempts were repelled. They couldn't advance a millimeter. They didn't use much air force here but one aircraft was downed in the morning.

The battles continue but aren't as intense as in the previous days, although it's still heavy. Mainly artillery, not many armored vehicles, many groups of infiltrators and infantry.

Armenian conscripts and hired contractors remain the main force that defends the front lines. The reservists and volunteers have supplemental duties.

Azeris fabricated a video allegedly showing how Armenians supposedly moved a herd of pigs into a Mosque, as a counter-propaganda for their deliberate bombing of Shushi church.



21:03: video showing the volunteer doctors and crews gathering and distributing aid for Artsakh.


21:34: the media wing of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (or an outlet allied with it) released a news clip about the conflict.

It accused a pan-Turkist (ultra-nationalist) outlet Gunaz.tv of trying to stir things up and move the conflict into the Iranian territory.

It mentioned the import of terrorists from Syria, Ilham Aliyev's close ties with the Israeli government, and accused Israel of trying to destabilize Iran.



22:13 Russian military ANNA correspondent from Artsakh: Turkish forces can be at our [Russian] doorsteps soon. Don't be surprised if they open a base in Azerbaijan, which is the same as a NATO base. Everywhere where there is a Turkish base, there are also Syrian terrorists.

We spent time fighting the terrorists far away, and five years later, they are at our doorsteps. Turkey will have all the influence to meddle in Central Asia. Yet another conflict zone at Russia's doorsteps.

Erdogan continues to increase his influence in the Turkic and Central Asian world. The issue of NATO bases in the Baltics is nothing compared to what we will have if Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (Central Asia) blow up. Tens of millions of refugees. Can Russia handle that? I doubt it...

So it's time to think about the value of our partners. Maybe if we spend some money now, we'll avoid bigger losses tomorrow. And all that is needed now is to shoot 40 drones. [unclear if he means Bayraktars in Artsakh, but it sounds so]


COVID stats

+4,340 tested. +1,836 infected. +20 deaths. +485 healed. 17,869 active.

One of the deceased was 16-year-old, the first child death recorded in Armenia.

Healthcare Ministry: remember to follow safety tips. Our doctors are battling on two fronts right now.

Healthcare official: there are fewer serious cases now compared to the first wave of the pandemic. 20 (+2 tomorrow) hospitals and clinics are treating COVID. These facilities usually only treat COVID patients to reduce the risk of infecting wounded soldiers.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1032271.html , https://news.am/arm/news/609038.html , https://news.am/arm/news/609053.html , https://news.am/arm/news/609068.html

IRS published employment and wage stats

There were 632k workers in September, up by 15.6k YoY. The highest number in recorded history.

The overall taxable income has increased from 115b to 126b Drams.

The average (not median) salary went from $386 to $413.


high-tech my-tech stuff...

ArctX provides high-tech solutions to international clients. It's founded by a Korean businessman Ryan Kang. The latter has decided to move the company entirely to Armenia, citing the growing tech sector in Armenia.

The company has donated $15,000 to www.HimnaDram.org


why it's so important to donate now

Himnadram chief: When you donate to www.HimnaDram.org (or www.ArmeniaFund.org), that money goes towards humanitarian aid for residents.

That means the government has to spend less on people, which frees up money for "other important things" during the war. Your every luma will be spent appropriately.

We're starting a new campaign "50+" to urge monthly donations. If we imagine that 1 million people join, we would have $50 million a month. "$50" is symbolic. This will revive Artsakh after the war.






You've read 3424 words.

Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/jfkjk9/oct212020_wrapup_war_in_artsakh_karabakh/

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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