2021 April 5
- 1 Daily news wrap-up
- 2 Armenian post office Haypost will have an air delivery service
- 3 video: Armenian-made solar panels are being installed on 100 Yerevan buildings
- 4 COVID stats (update: from Saturday to Monday)
- 5 Healthcare Ministry wants to conduct an autopsy on COVID patients
- 6 COVID vs real estate market: the rent is too damn
- 7 How much does 1 m2 housing cost in Yerevan's...
- 8 construction volumes are increasing in Armenia
- 9 COVID and war vs consumer price increase in March YoY
- 10 de-mining and search operations
- 11 Artsakh condemns Ilham Aliyev for presenting the war as a religious struggle
- 12 European Parliament MP Nathalie Loiseau condemned Azerbaijan's destruction of Armenian religious sites
- 13 another Italian city officially recognizes the Artsakh Republic
- 14 ruling party leader Makunts about improving Armenia-Turkey relations:
- 15 re: Russia asked the Azeri gas agency SOCAR to temporarily deliver Russian gas to Armenia
- 16 Russian peacekeepers delivered humanitarian aid to Artsakh's Taghavard village
- 17 Armenia received 312 tons of humanitarian aid worth $2.751M in January-February 2021
- 18 conscript-turned-commander Karen Badoyan receives Combat Cross posthumously
- 19 Narek Hovhannisyan and Tovmas Tovmasyan receive the title of Artsakh Hero posthumously
- 20 anti-corruption: IRS busts its own agents with collusion in 2009-2017
- 21 anti-corruption: Shushi mayor is charged with aid embezzlement
- 22 anti-corruption: Artsakh's Martakert officials busted with aid embezzlement
- 23 anti-corruption: Artsakh's Avetaranots mayor is charged with aid embezzlement
- 24 a mayor is a suspect in a shooting incident outside a gambling facility
- 25 Memory Garden
- 26 Armenia celebrated Easter over the weekend / church explains the story
- 27 Pope Francis's Easter wishes:
- 28 Vazgen Manukyan opens Demirchyan street for traffic
- 29 Robert Kocharyan will form an alliance to participate in snap elections
- 30 George Kent talks about elections in Georgia and Armenia
- 31 former CoGS Onik's lawsuit can proceed, says the judge
- 32 Kocharyan's defamation lawsuit against ANC's Aram Manukyan
- 33 Public Council chief Styopa Safaryan will sue pro-Kocharyan outlet and an official
- 34 filing lawsuits could become 4x more expensive, a whopping $8 increase / new exemptions added
- 35 1.9M earthquake near Gegharquniq's Shorja settlement
- 36 2.2M earthquake near Syunik's Dastakert settlement
- 37 tropical hot air will bring summer to Syunik
- 38 kindergartens are being renovated in Syunik
- 39 Viber messaging app blocks 1,200 accounts in Armenia
- 40 nature program / free food will be provided to 200 pregnant women in Alaverdi
- 41 Nature Ministry will reform the environmental assessment system (SHMAG)
- 42 Pashinyan about the road renovation projects:
- 43 Grigoryan Brothers "Don's Bat" (Official Music Video) with National Museum of Australia
- 44 Kosy: bedding made in Armenia
- 45 Armenian boxers secure 9 medals in an international competition in Ukraine
- 46 weightlifter Isabella Yalyan wins small silver medal in European competition
- 47 Armenian athletes are preparing for Tokyo Olympics / old doping problems / qualification
- 48 first-ever international women's soccer competition in Armenia
- 49 new books for the week
- 50 end of report
- 51 Support David's Daily Armenia News Summaries!
Daily news wrap-up
Apr/5/2021: (1) Post office to launch air delivery (2) Artsakh busts Shushi mayor & others w/aid theft (3) Yerevan installs solar (4) Hero title (5) Real estate & consumer $ (6) Foreign affairs (7) Environmental news (8) Easter (9) Kocharyan to lead alliance (10) Lawsuit fee reform (11)
Hello there. This is your 13-minute Weekend to Monday report in 3195 words.
Armenian post office Haypost will have an air delivery service
Haypost Air will be its subsidiary company. It will operate several jets. "We will significantly improve the postal delivery process and reduce the time of international mail delivery." Details later.
video: Armenian-made solar panels are being installed on 100 Yerevan buildings
The EU and Yerevan officials are working on a solar project. 100 large apartment complex buildings with 6,000 families will have solar on their roofs.
It aims to provide a 50% discount on the energy bill. "If residents pay 1000 Drams on elevators' electricity today, now they will pay 500." Low-income families will receive cheaper electricity.
All the stairways and entrances will be lit with LED lightbulbs that detect motion and sound, "something that hasn't happen in the past several decades." The wiring is ready; will be connected this Autumn.
The 360W panels are assembled in Armenia. The installation project costs €1.250M, from which 20% is paid by Yerevan. The solar panels will become the residents' property after the installation, and serve them for 15-20 years.
COVID stats (update: from Saturday to Monday)
11,944 tested. 2,261 infected. 2,344 healed. 62 deaths. 15687 active (slightly down).
One of the hospital officials says people are a lot more likely to need oxygen aid during the ongoing third wave. Don't gamble with your health, stay safe. 👌
More on oxygen: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/210636
Healthcare Ministry wants to conduct an autopsy on COVID patients
When the pandemic began, the Ministry said they won't conduct an autopsy on patients who died from COVID due to a lack of special autopsy centers that can make it safe to work on bodies. Later, the Ministry created Armenia's first "pandemic-certified" autopsy center.
Ministry said today: in the past year, the autopsies on patients who had COVID have revealed that it is possible to prevent the spread of infection during an autopsy by using ordinary PPE and safety protocols. We have drafted a bill to allow autopsies.
COVID vs real estate market: the rent is too damn
The transactions and prices remain low, says the Cadastre Committee. Experts believe it's due to reduced incomes and Dram's recent inflation.
In January, there were 8.4K transactions, or -22% YoY. It's the lowest in 4 years. The activity is higher in the second-hand market.
QP MP Tunyan: the January and February of 2020 was unusually active in the market, so this year's YoY sharp decline isn't unexpected. I do see a positive trend forming, however. The activity could resume in mid-2021. There is increased construction activity. //
Housing prices declined by -4.9% in Yerevan and -3.5% in provinces.
New rental contracts -35%.
How much does 1 m2 housing cost in Yerevan's...
Center 605K (was 665K)
Arabkir 435K (was 462K)
Davtashen 314K (was 348K)
construction volumes are increasing in Armenia
֏16.222B worth of construction was done in February. That's +1.1% YoY.
Residents funded ֏4.659B of it or +40%.
The government funded ֏4.196B or +15%.
International loan funding ֏1.063B or -46%.
Municipalities spent ֏380M or 4.9x.
COVID and war vs consumer price increase in March YoY
Overall 5.8%, Alcohol and tobacco 9.2%, Transport 8.8%, Househols appliances 8.8%, Food and bevarages 7.4%, Clothing 6.9%, Healthcare 6.6%, Misc 5.2%, Restaurants and hotels 2.5%, Education 2.1%, Utilities 1.5%, Leisure 1.2%, Telecom 1%
de-mining and search operations
Artsakh Emergency Ministry, Russian peacekeepers, and HALO Trust sappers began the next phase of operations to find and neutralize bombs near Stepanakert, Martakert, Martuni, and Askeran.
Names of 54 more deceased soldiers were identified and published.
Two more bodies were found in Fizuli battlefields.
Artsakh condemns Ilham Aliyev for presenting the war as a religious struggle
Artsakh MFA: Azerbaijani President continues to provoke anti-Armenian sentiments not only in Azerbaijan but also in societies of Turkic-speaking and Muslim countries. He deliberately adds ethnic-religious overtones to the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, trying to unite the Turkic-Muslim worlds around Azerbaijan's aspirations. //
MFA warns the international community to take action before the expansionist aggression reaches them.
European Parliament MP Nathalie Loiseau condemned Azerbaijan's destruction of Armenian religious sites
In the article in La Croix newspaper, she mentions several churches damaged or destroyed by Azerbaijan, and that it's done systemically. "The Director of the Union of Architects of Azerbaijan called for Armenian churches in Artsakh to be destroyed."
She urged UNESCO and OSCE co-chair countries to take action.
another Italian city officially recognizes the Artsakh Republic
Grazie San Vito dei Normanni. The resolution condemns the Azeri aggression and urges the Italian govt to recognize the Artsakh Republic.
ruling party leader Makunts about improving Armenia-Turkey relations:
Turkey continues to show an unfriendly and hostile attitude towards Armenia. If they change their policies, even with small steps, it could allow Armenia to think about establishing relations with Turkey. This isn't about becoming "friends". We must strengthen our state while preserving historical memory.
re: Russia asked the Azeri gas agency SOCAR to temporarily deliver Russian gas to Armenia
We learned recently that Russia planned to repair its gas pipeline in southern Russia. It's the pipe that delivers gas to Armenia through Georgia.
As a temporary bypass, Russia asked Azerbaijan to use the Azeri pipeline to deliver 150M m3 Russian gas to Armenia through Georgia. The contract is expected to end on April 15.
Russian peacekeepers delivered humanitarian aid to Artsakh's Taghavard village
It's near Karmir Shuka in south-center.
Armenia received 312 tons of humanitarian aid worth $2.751M in January-February 2021
Up 19% from last year. Textile had the largest $801K share, industrial products $554K, chemicals $512K, devices $465K.
Most donations in this period came from the United States with $757K (+95% YoY), China $471K (4x YoY), Spain $427K (+115%).
conscript-turned-commander Karen Badoyan receives Combat Cross posthumously
Artsakh president Arayik issued a posthumous Combat Cross medal to conscript Karen Badoyan from Noratus. He fought in Karakhanbeili and Martuni region.
Having joined the army in 2019, he became the platoon leader in the absence of a local commander and organized defense to repel multiple attacks.
He destroyed 6 tanks and 1 cargo vehicle. November 3rd was the day when his group fell after a drone attack.
Narek Hovhannisyan and Tovmas Tovmasyan receive the title of Artsakh Hero posthumously
The Senior Leuthenants, who lead sniper and rifle platoons, received the Order of the Golden Eagle (hero) posthumously.
They conducted a reconnaissance mission in the enemy's rear flank and dealt them large human and equipment losses with subversive attacks. They fought in Sghnakh, Qarin Tak, and Shushi, and died on November 7th in Qarin Tak.
anti-corruption: IRS busts its own agents with collusion in 2009-2017
IRS says: so-called "cargo" companies provided customs clearance services for products imported from Turkey, UAE, and China between 2009-2017.
Several IRS agents colluded with these "cargo" companies to falsify the true value of their imported products to pay ֏4.546B less in taxes. A felony case is launched.
anti-corruption: Shushi mayor is charged with aid embezzlement
Artsakh authorities said: mayor Artsvik Sargsyan was appointed to handle issues faced by Shushi IDPs and refugees. He falsified the aid recipient list to add 7 unqualified individuals for personal benefit.
The unqualified people ended up receiving ֏2.1M in aid. The mayor is facing 3 felony charges.
anti-corruption: Artsakh's Martakert officials busted with aid embezzlement
Artsakh authorities said: an aid program was launched after the war to help the Artsakh population. Several Martakert officials falsified documents to add unqualified 88 residents to the aid recipient list.
They embezzled ֏23.8M. A dozen felony charges are pressed.
anti-corruption: Artsakh's Avetaranots mayor is charged with aid embezzlement
Artsakh authorities said: mayor Sevak Baghdasaryan falsified the aid recipient list to add 277 unqualified residents so they would qualify for the ֏300K aid program. They embezzled ֏83.1M. A felony case is launched.
a mayor is a suspect in a shooting incident outside a gambling facility
Shots were fired at a vehicle parked in a parking lot of Tsakhkadzor's Royal gambling center. An unnamed mayor of an unnamed settlement is one of the suspects. The police are investigating.
(and that concludes our daily "mischievous mayors" report)
Last year Yerevan joined an international initiative "Memory Garden" to plant 27M trees in memory of WW2 victims. Today the ambassadors of Russia and other states went to Haghtanak Park to plant 150 trees.
Armenia celebrated Easter over the weekend / church explains the story
A candlelight liturgy was held on Holy Saturday in St. Gayane monastery, attended by Catholicos Garegin B and public officials.
Church explains the tradition: Easter is the most important of five main Christian holidays. The last week of Great Fast is called Holy Week. Each day represents Christ's last days on the earth and brings the believers closer to the Holy Resurrection.
The Holy Saturday marks his funeral. His body was descended from the cross, wrapped in a blanket, and placed in a grave. The hole was closed with a giant stone. Since it was Saturday, per Jewish tradition, they left while hoping to return the next day to finish the funeral.
Meanwhile, Christ descents to Hell, destroys it, and resurrects on the third day.
Candlelight is held on Easter Eve. It marks the lighting of the temple's torches and the distribution of candles to the people, who light them and take them home to enlighten the world with the light of Christ.
It marks the beginning of Holy Resurrection and ends the 48-day fast by eating egg, fish, and your favorite չամիչով փլավ. The red painting on the egg signifies the blood slipped by Christ. The eggshell is the sky, the membrane layer is the oxygen, the egg white is the water, while the yolk is the Earth.
The priests sing and burn incense to spread the smell among the believers while declaring Քրիստոս յարեաւ ի մեռելոց, to which the believers respond Օրհնեալ է Յարութիւնն Քրիստոսի.
Aram A Catholicos sent a congratulatory note: "May the resurrected Christ expel evil from our homeland so that our people can open a new bright page in the history of Armenia with a united spirit and renewed faith and will."
Pope Francis's Easter wishes:
May God allow the prisoners of war, especially in eastern Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh, to return safely to their families, and may he inspire world leaders to curb the arms race.
Vazgen Manukyan opens Demirchyan street for traffic
The former regime's candidate Manukyan decided to de-occupy the street near the Parliament and focus on traveling through provinces. Meetings are scheduled in Sevan city on Tuesday. Earlier Manukyan opened the main Baghramyan Avenue.
Robert Kocharyan will form an alliance to participate in snap elections
He will lead an alliance of political parties. "I lead the country for 10 years but I'm not a member of any party. I'll lead a coalition of likely two parties." He didn't reveal which ones.
George Kent talks about elections in Georgia and Armenia
US State Department official Kent: After not having fair elections for the last 25 years, in 2018 Armenia held the best elections in the post-Soviet space. I believe Georgian citizens can ask this question: Why can’t we have the kind of elections Armenia had? //
America recently expressed criticism around political events in Georgia.
former CoGS Onik's lawsuit can proceed, says the judge
Onik is suing to get his title as the army chief back. Defendant Pashinyan's lawyer asked the court to throw away the case. Today the court ruled against Pashinyan, saying the lawsuit can continue.
Kocharyan's defamation lawsuit against ANC's Aram Manukyan
Kocharyan wants Manukyan to apologize for what he believes was defamation. The judge sided with Kocharyan and refused to delay the trial when asked by the defendant.
The defense attempted to present "evidence" but was blocked by the judge who said, "we aren't in that phase yet." The defense criticized the court over "bias" and will file a motion to ask the judge to recuse herself.
Public Council chief Styopa Safaryan will sue pro-Kocharyan outlet and an official
Safaryan believes the pro-Kocharyan 168.am outlet and Yuri Khachaturov's son Igor are guilty of defamation for writing "թուրք քիրվայի դուրսպրծուկ», «քեզ էդ անկարայի չվերթին տեղ չեն տալու". He wants 500K in compensation and an apology.
filing lawsuits could become 4x more expensive, a whopping $8 increase / new exemptions added
A Parliamentary commission gave a preliminary green light to a government bill that aims to increase court fees.
Government representative: in the past 20 years, the fees have gone unchanged despite the incomes rising by 4x. As of 2018, some ֏9B was spent on courts while they generated only ֏1.7B in revenues. The revenue-expenditure ratio is much higher in Georgia and Ukraine.
In Estonia, the lawsuit fee is $89 which is 52% of their minimum consumer basket. Compare that to Armenia where the fee is only $2.8. We are raising it to $11.
Besides raising the minimum fee, the bill will also establish the upper limit as $18.7K to $39.6K in Cassations, Appeals, and Lower courts.
We also reviewed the system of privileges to provide additional exemptions. No fee will be paid for challenging a mayor's decision relating to gatherings/protests, for domestic violence lawsuits, for inheritance lawsuits relating to deceased soldiers.
1.9M earthquake near Gegharquniq's Shorja settlement
The area has seen numerous earthquakes in the past few months.
2.2M earthquake near Syunik's Dastakert settlement
It happened on Saturday, 8km south of Dastakert. No casualties.
tropical hot air will bring summer to Syunik
The temps are expected to rise by 10c and reach 32c in Syunik and 29c in Yerevan this week because of an air movement from the Arabian peninsula.
kindergartens are being renovated in Syunik
Six buildings were renovated in Syunik's Sisian settlement since last year, said Minister Papikyan. "These repairs are one of the priorities of government's infrastructure subsidy program."
Viber messaging app blocks 1,200 accounts in Armenia
They were used for scamming residents. Viber reminds users not to give away banking or personal information.
nature program / free food will be provided to 200 pregnant women in Alaverdi
... as part of a program to help the local population. The funds come from environmental fees collected from the local copper mine.
Residents are also given trips to resorts, extra food for children, hygiene products for the newborn.
The copper mine was closed after the 2018 revolution because of unfiltered excessive sulfur dioxide pollution in nearby settlements. The government provides aid to local residents who suffered because of this factory. In 2019, two nearby settlements joined the aid recipient list.
Nature Ministry will reform the environmental assessment system (SHMAG)
Minister Romanos: the Environmental Impact Assessment Center will convert into an entirely new institute with powerful abilities. The entire SHMAG (land assessment) procedure needs to change.
We formed an expert group a few months ago to draft a new bill to amend the existing law, which is widely criticized by environmental protection groups and businesses.
An electronic system will be created to handle SHMAG from the start, to involve international experts if needed, to increase transparency during examinations, to meet international law, to clarify the officials' duties, etc.
The bill will be ready by August.
Pashinyan about the road renovation projects:
We see many roads in poor conditions while traveling through villages. We cannot have such roads in our country. This is about what we have and haven't done.
Armenia has only 7,000km of state roads. Keeping them renovated is not a big problem. In the past 2 years, we renovated over 1,000km of interstate and inner-settlement roads.
Grigoryan Brothers "Don's Bat" (Official Music Video) with National Museum of Australia
Kosy: bedding made in Armenia
Kosy has been importing bedding items for 15 years. In 2019 they decided to completely switch to local textile production. The workforce increased from 2 to 50. They will begin to export the products to EAEU bloc countries this year.
Armenian boxers secure 9 medals in an international competition in Ukraine
Several boxers secured a ticket to finals and semi-finals.
weightlifter Isabella Yalyan wins small silver medal in European competition
Armenian athletes are preparing for Tokyo Olympics / old doping problems / qualification
6 Armenian athletes have so far qualified for the games. Interview with Deputy Education & Sports Minister Karen Giloyan.
Where are we at right now?
The National Olympic Committee of Armenia cooperates with the international Olympics agency. Our Ministry works with them to ensure a good representation by Armenia. We hold routine talks with the Premier about the games.
Our team isn't complete right now. We are waiting for qualification tournaments to end to find out who qualifies.
For the first time in our history, athletes will receive psychological support before the games. A team of professional sports psychologists was formed and is currently working with them.
How many players can we expect to send?
Hard to predict, but perhaps 15. Our Olympics committee expects 20.
How did COVID impact the games?
Badly. It interrupted the chain. Great work needs to be done to restore what was lost. Many athletes ended their careers. If the pandemic worsens again, the athletes might isolate themselves in sports centers.
Armenia had a doping problem before the 2016 Rio Olympics. Are we clean today?
Yes. The issue was with weightlifting, but they are completely clean today. Today we have chosen the normal human path, to work hard and achieve good results.
Moreover, our weightlifters want to take part in WADA (international doping agency) sports gathering ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
Will the level of state award change?
It was increased recently. No additional increases are on the agenda, especially in today's conditions.
Will we have champions?
Yes, and several (BIG IF TRUE). Any athlete must strive to win. Their job is to win. The athletes know that we need victories today more than ever.
first-ever international women's soccer competition in Armenia
... will be held this week. It's called "Our Game" and will be held in Charentsavan stadium between Armenia, Lithuania, Lebanon, and Jordan. The entrance is free. The matches begin on Wednesday. The tournament could become a tradition.
Armenia's female team was formed last year and has several diasporan players.
new books for the week
Armenian author: Նազար, by Յակոբ Մնձուրի. It's about a drama in his home village. It's the first time the book is published as a separate book. It debuted in 1929 in a Boston-based magazine.
Translated: My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante. It's about a friendship between women that began in the 1950s in a poor neighborhood of Neopli and continues for 60+ years.
end of report
The accused are innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "appear" guilty.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/mku2u6/apr52021_1_post_office_to_launch_air_delivery_2/
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