2021 August 20

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

News - Aug/20/2021: Army prepares for large-scale reservist retraining __ Credit system in Armenian schools __ Democracy Index __ Story of Soviet-era AM-AZ railway __ High-Tech Ministry's grant to hire interns __ Pashinyan's EAEU plans __ More mayors busted __ Elina wins European chess! __ Artsakh
by ar_david_hh


Your 12-minute Friday recap in 3006 words.

Grandmaster Elina Danielyan is the European champion!

Yesterday she won a match while playing as black, securing enough points to tie with the leader. Today she defeated the Estonian opponent and became the first female European champion in Armenia's independent history.

11 games, 7 victories, 4 draws, 0 defeats. She also won the bronze medal ding the 2011 European championship.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061313.html https://factor.am/407172.html

Defense Ministry begins preparations to mobilize thousands of reservists for 3-month training

Privates, NCOs, and officers will begin their training on August 25. Some of them could be temporarily deployed on the front lines. The MOD will involve 110 transport vehicles during the exercises.

The reservists will be officially classified as soldiers throughout the training, and will enjoy the same benefits as other soldiers. Their civilian job positions will be preserved. They will receive salaries, the size of which will depend on their rank and other factors.

The time spent in training will be counted towards work/military experience ստաժ.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061268.html

Ministers of Defense and High-Tech held a meeting with representatives of military industry

They discussed ongoing contracts and timeframes, auctions, and removing barriers.

https://factor.am/407187.html

High-Tech Ministry launches a new internship program for hundreds of beginners / 40 hired so far

Ministry: we "Practical Practice for Interns" is a new pilot program launched this year. The goal is to help high-tech companies find workers, and for newcomers with basic skills to find an internship in tech companies.

Participants must be Armenian citizens over 18. It's for beginners or the graduates of a 2020 program by the Ministry that prepared specialists based on cooperation between universities and the private sector.

Nine tech companies [list in the article] won a grant to participate in the new pilot program. They will hire 100 interns who will work for six months. Upon the competition, the companies are required to hire at least 50% of interns for at least one year for at least $300/mo. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061293.html

Education Ministry wants to introduce credits in schools / new system to transition from school to college and university

The Ministry proposed new reforms, yet to be discussed and approved by executive and legislative branches.

Education Ministry report: it's an experiment with a new credit system of transferring from school to university, college, and ուսումնարան. The goal is to improve students' mobility to transition from primary to secondary-professional and higher education.

For example, students in 10-12 grades can use the credits they accumulate from select subject exams [presumably their majors], or credits from external evaluations, in exchange for higher education entry exams (unified or intra-university).

Based on the accumulated credits, the student could be exempted from studying the relevant subject courses (modules) in higher education. //

The article gives a detailed explanation of how the credits are calculated and used. It states that the total workload in the 10-12th grades is 105 credits. 1 credit = 34 hours of student workload, which includes activities in the classroom, extracurricular, lab, preparing for exams, independent studies, etc.

The student must have 17.5 credits in one semester (±10%), and 35 credits in one academic year.

The student's credits, grades, quality, and educational load, are all reflected in the Academic Bulletin, which becomes active the moment the student reaches the 10th grade. These credits can be transferred from one school to another, as long as their educational programs are similar in nature.

The credit system will roll out in two phases. The first one begins in the 2022-2023 academic year, will last two years, and will only include high schools associated with universities in Yerevan and Shirak. The second phase begins in the 2024-25 academic year and will include the entire country.

Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061274.html

Tags: #credits #schoolcredit

Education Minister met British ambassador to discuss cooperation

They discussed old and new plans aimed at promoting English in Armenian provinces, the "Creative Spark" program that helps reform higher education and promotes entrepreneurship.

Minister Dumanyan suggested improving university ties, exchanging faculty staff, and organizing more joint research projects with Britain. He said Armenia wants to study the KPI (performance metric) model used in UK, and how they manage the budget more efficiently.

They spoke about establishing Armenian-British cultural days with festivals and expos. They also spoke about the protection of 4,000 Armenian monuments that went under Azeri control since 2020.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061304.html

16 prominent Australian politicians join an Artsakh friendship group

Dashnaks in Australia announced that several federal Senators and other officials have joined the pro-Artsakh group, which was formed in late 2019 when ex-Artsakh MFA Masis Mayilyan and his delegation visited Australia to meet local Armenian groups. The membership has grown from 40 to 70 since then.

Hay Dat message: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061273.html

documentary by CivilNet about Armenia-Azerbaijan railway that used to pass through northern city Ijevan

An abandoned train station and rusty rails... That's what the Ijevan railway looks like today. It transported passengers for over 20 years during USSR.

In 1971 they launched the Ijevan-Aghstafa (northern AZ) route. It was mainly for industrial cargo transport but also used by residents of Tavush, Gazakh, Aghstafa.

15 pennies was the cost of keeping your personal items in the station's lockers. Drop the coins, place your items, choose a pin code. Today the only person around is Vladik Minasyan, a homeless man who helps the guards to prevent the facility from being filled with trash. Vladik was reading a book about WW2 when the reporters "intruded".

--

The elder generation in Ijevan remembers when the railway was operational.

Resident 1: in 1975 I went to Baku, Ashgabat, Bayramaly(?) sanatory. The train was good and fast. //

Resident 2: I took the last ride in May 1989 to return home from the army. //

Ijevan railway is in the north, while another proposed railway is in the south, through Meghri. While the Meghri population is mostly against its reopening due to fears, the majority in Ijevan seem to support reopening the northern route. Pashinyan administration recently proposed reopening the northern railway as part of the Jan 11 trilateral statement between AM-RU-AZ.

Resident 3: we are under blockade right now. There are not many routes. They should reopen it to so we can continue to travel as before. I can't get to Russia. The jet gives me sickness, while driving is not an option either. //

Resident 1: it'll cost millions of dollars, though. Who will pay for it? //

During USSR, the northern route had 8 stops. The first one was Aghstafa (AZ). The first-ever Aghstafa-Ijevan train arrived on May 27, 1973. It was wrapped in flowers and the giant portrait of Lenin.

The second route was to the south. Hrazdan-Meghradzor stretched to Fioletovo. It reached Dilijan via a tunnel, then Ijevan, then Yerevan. The Yerevan-Aghstafa route became operational.

Taxi driver Levon Ohanyan from Ijevan is one of the workers who helped build the Ijevan-Dilijan section. He worked between 1985-1992, until the last day when the railways were decommissioned after the fall of the USSR.

The 35km Ijevan-Dilijan route passed through a 3km tunnel. Unlike in the south, where the railway was entirely removed and [cough], the tracks in the north were mostly preserved.

Restoring the Soviet-era network will cost Armenia a few hundred million dollars, according to an Armenian businessman who said he received that number from the Russian side.

He believes restoring the Meghri railway would cost $250M, and the Ijevan $450M (includes restoration of 8km tunnel). Restoring the Akhuryan section in the far west near the Turkish border would cost $16M. The Yeraskh-Nakhijevan connection would cost $5M.

The businessman says it's not economically sound for Armenia to rebuild the 45km-long southern Meghri railway at its expense, because the revenues it would generate would be minimal, with a $6/ton tariff not being enough to cover the costs.

On the other hand, he supports the railway through Nakhijevan. "We can build the 5km section on our end [north-west of Nakhijevan] and invite the residents of Nakhijevan to reach Georgia via Armenia, just as we already do."

In the Aghstafa line [north-east] that travels through Barkhudarli to Ijevan, all we need is to spend a few pennies to build one terminal on the Armenian side to handle customs for the passing the cargo, said the businessman.

AM-RU-AZ are yet to decide who pays for which railway construction.

https://youtu.be/5hDQXw786ME

UEFA Europa Conference League

Henrikh Mkhitaryan's Roma defeated Turkish Trabzonspor 2-1. Henrikh made the goal pass.

https://youtu.be/P9jJBjs1hEo https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061230.html https://www.chiesaditotti.com/2021/8/19/22632755/trabzonspor-2-roma-1-conference-league-recap

UEFA Europa League

Rangers 1-0 Alashkert. The Armenian team will host the Scotch team on Thursday.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061231.html

a dude with a grenade enters a gambling center in Yerevan

A 34yo resident of Yerevan entered a sports bookmaker office in Malatia District with a grenade in his hand. The police were able to negotiate for his surrender.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061266.html

two cops were fired for unethical conduct

... as part of a routine investigation by the police ethics committee.

https://factor.am/407123.html

anti-corruption: mayor of Bagravan (Shirak) is charged with embezzlement

Investigators' report: the 2002-2017 mayor of Bagravan registered two residents as municipal employees. They never went to work but the wages were deducted from the budget and embezzled. The mayor is charged with forgery and embezzlement. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061249.html

anti-corruption: 🎡 spin the magic wheel to find out which mayor is next 🎡

ta ra ra ra ra ra ra

ta ra ra ra ra

ta da da da da

ding ding ding ding

-> Gusanagegh (Shirak) <-

Investigators' report: the 2005-2021 mayor of Gusanagegh bypassed the municipal council to sign a contract with a company belonging to his son, giving him an illegal ֏1.4M grant.

In 2010, the mayor conspired with the municipal chief of staff to give away ֏9.5M worth of agricultural equipment as a gift to his son's company. The mayor is charged with multiple criminal counts. He is instructed not to leave the country. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061261.html

residents clash with police while protesting construction of the 12-story building in Yerevan

There is an area known as FizGorodok on Alikhanyan Brothers Street. The area was built in the 1950s to house the physics institute workers. The district has 8 small buildings.

Some of the nearby residents are protesting the construction of the 12-story building. They complained about "illegal property appropriation done in the past that the municipality has failed to reverse". Two protesters were detained after pushing policemen during the attempt to enter the construction zone. The area was a playground before being privatized in 2004. The city said they are doing their best to address the illegal appropriation issue.

https://youtu.be/dz0By5_hML8 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061289.html https://youtu.be/3YiW_mbPpv0 https://factor.am/407055.html

VIDEO: demolition of illegal buildings continues in Yerevan

Destination: Circular Park.

https://youtu.be/wRsXdXGQJUs

VIDEO: Yerevan's "Korea Gorge" mini-bridge has been rebuilt

Originally build half a century ago, it connects Davtashen to the Kanaker-Zeytun district, and Yerevan to Kotayk province. The new bridge is double the width and has a water removal network.

https://youtu.be/eXbDWIpLGeo?t=7

mass brawl between ethnic Armenian and Uzbek groups in Moscow

Around 20 construction workers couldn't share something and began fighting in a northeastern district of Moscow. Several participants were detained.

https://factor.am/407045.html

new Foreign Minister Mirzoyan held conversations

... with his Artsakh counterpart Babayan and Russia's Lavrov. The latter invited Mirzoyan to visit Moscow.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061285.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061292.html

funding for reconstruction in occupied territories of Artsakh has slowed down in Azerbaijan

Aliyev had earlier announced plans to spend $1.3B in 2021. Only 17% ($219M) of it was financed in the first half of 2021. It remains to be seen whether the construction will activate in H2.

The most expensive projects are the planned construction of three airports in Varanda (Fizuli), Kovsakan (Zangelan), and one near Lachin. Some Azeri experts criticized the plan, calling it unnecessary. They expect widespread embezzlement during the process.

https://factor.am/407088.html

Azeri regime continues to destroy monuments relating to WW2 victory in occupied territories

The latest one was the bust of WW2 war hero Sergey Khudyakov (Armenak Khanferyan) in Mets Tagher village. Khudyakov, a marshal of aviation who helped defend Moscow from Adolf's invasion, was the commander of the Air Force of the Western Front and chief of staff of Red Army's air force.

The Azeri regime destroyed the monument which included a statue of Mig-17.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061317.html

Russian peacekeepers conducted demining operations in Artsakh's Kolkhozashen (Martuni) village

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/295059/

there are 300,000 Afghan migrants in Turkey right now, announced the Turkish president

... in response to rumors claiming 1.5 million.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061321.html

Turkey's Erdogan has spent 150 million Lira on his personal security this year

... which is more than the funds spent on cybersecurity and anti-organized crime operations, according to critics.

https://factor.am/407153.html

COVID stats

7861 tested. 508 infected. 293 healed. 5 deaths. 7131 active.

Azerbaijan recorded 3,968 infections.

Right now there are two young patients aged 22 and 28 in critical condition in Yerevan. Global numbers incident that you are no longer "immune" if you are young. Vaccination remains the best solution.

Russian experts have discovered that Sputnik-5 reduces the likelihood of "Delta" hospitalization by 5x.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061247.html https://factor.am/407132.html https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/295061/ https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061322.html

police are checking public transport to enforce mask rule and prevent overcrowding

Both passenger and driver get a citation if a passenger rides without a mask.

https://youtu.be/7c99k15mypc

Russian Premier said the economy is recovering in the EAEU bloc

Mishustin: the pandemic showed that EAEU is flexible enough to adapt to challenges. The economy is gradually recovering. Agriculture +0.6% in first half; industrial production +4.4%, processing industry +6.5%.

I urge fellow member states to expedite the digitization of their economies. The creation of a common digital space will also help deepen the integration. We have some progress here: the digital employer/employee searching platform launched in July. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061245.html

EAEU bloc leaders agree to tackle the climate change

The leaders of the member-states discussed climate change. Russia's Mishustin suggested the creation of a comprehensive strategy to address the issue.

Pashinyan: it requires additional efforts and multilateral cooperation. We need serious multi-layered dialogue to reduce the impact on nature while maintaining economic growth. We support the idea of forming a high-level working group to synchronize regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and environmental payment mechanisms. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061238.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061253.html

Pashinyan called for the creation of a common energy market in EAEU

Since 2019, Pashinyan has urged for the creation of a common market that would regulate how the oil and gas trade is handled in the bloc, and possibly the pricing. Today Pashinyan said significant work has already been done by the bloc towards the common market, "which would ensure a stable development of economies."

Pashinyan: the members launched discussions this year to create an agreement that will form a common gas market. I'm glad that all EAEU members have agreed on the five principles of the agreement. We expect continuous work based on mutual understanding and taking into account the interests of all member states. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061243.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061253.html

Pashinyan spoke about logistics in EAEU, organic agriculture, pricing competitiveness:

transport

There is a need to develop common principles for the regulation of the transport sector in the bloc. I applaud the 2021-2023 roadmap for the implementation of a coordinated transport policy. The document envisages the development of Eurasian transport corridors and the synchronization of laws in member states.

The COVID convinced us about the need to have a transport-logistics cooperation within EAEU. This is why the "green corridors" were formed to allow the movement of [first-aid & emergency] products during the pandemic. This has allowed us to prevent food deficits and trade interruptions.

agriculture

I would also like to mention the urgency to implement the "Roadmap for the Development of the Common Market of Organic Agricultural Products". This will ensure the sustainable development of the agro-industrial complex.

insurance

The next topic I'd like to discuss is increasing the competitiveness of EAEU-made products in internal and external markets. To achieve this, we need to form a system of joint insurance assistance for exports. We support the formation of an organization that will involve additional insurance resources, that will increase internal and external exports. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061253.html

the next EAEU Intergovernmental Council will be held in October in Yerevan

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061253.html

PHOTOS: some public beaches in Lake Sevan now come with basic accommodations and decorations

Sevan National Park has installed sun sheds, lounge chairs, toilets, changing rooms, medical rooms, playgrounds for kids and adults, and disability ramps, on three of the eight public beaches.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061275.html

32 roads and 1 square will be renovated in Gyumri by the end of this year

Large-scale road construction work is underway. It's co-funded by the EU's EBRD and Armenian government. Some of the roads will have new lighting and water removal system.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061276.html

new irrigation network in Gavar (Gegharkunik) supplies water to 50 households

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061294.html

Democracy Index: Armenia still ahead of Georgia despite the damage done by 2020's martial law and restrictions

London-based Economist Intelligence Unit prepared a 2020 report. Armenia is in a "hybrid" zone.

Nordic best

Armenia 89th

Georgia 91

Turkey 104

Russia 124

Azerbaijan 146

Iran 152

North Korea worst

http://arka.am/en/news/politics/armenia_ranked_89th_out_of_167_countries_democracy_index_2020_report_of_economist_intelligence_unit_/

first meeting was held to discuss the ongoing renovation of Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant's N2 bloc

Infrastructure Minister Sanosyan visited the NPP to learn about the ongoing repair process that will extend the NPP's lifespan. It's on schedule.

The main work is done by Russian's nuclear giant Rosatom Service. Its director Yevgeny Salkov said the company has experience with such renovation, and brought the example of the 2019 renovation of Kola NPP, which increased its lifespan by 15 years.

The officials also discussed the safe management of nuclear waste. The next meeting is scheduled for later this year.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061244.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061264.html https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2019/12/reactor-no-2-kola-nuclear-power-plant-gets-15-years-extended-licence

top-10 bestseller children's book in July

10) Telephone Tales, by Gianni Rodari

5) Շունն ու կատուն, by Hovhannes Tumanyan

4) Շաղգամը, by Atabek Khnkoyan

3) Ով է ապրում տնակում, by Vladimir Suteev

2) Kolobok

1) Wild Symphony, by Dan Brown (maestro mouse and his gang of musicians)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060996.html

end of report

The accused are innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "appear" guilty.

News archive: http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

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Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/p8ca2s/news_aug202021_army_prepares_for_largescale/

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