2021 August 27

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

News - Aug/27/2021: Cybersecurity group __ Reservists join new Army Special Corps __ Azeris reopen southern road __ Repairing 700km roads; new road in Syunik __ $27m aid to Artsakh __ New gas station network __ Anti-corruption busts __ Divers to clean Sevan __ Armenia imports vaccine fridges + more
by ar_david_hh


Your 9-minute Friday recap in 2169 words.

Defense Minister met the reservists who began a 3-month training

MOD Karapetyan: we will help the reservists to adapt to daily life and combat training in camps. We will do everything possible to address social issues and ensure quality living/eating conditions. //

MOD Karapetyan presented the commander of the newly formed "Army Special Corps" MG Artak Budaghyan. The latter is tasked with using the next 3 months" as efficiently as possible".

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061754.html

Defense Minister met a ranking CSTO military bloc official

CSTO's Hasan Kaloev visited Armenia to meet MOD Karapetyan. They discussed issues relating to Armenian borders.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061777.html

High-Tech Minister met the Armenian military drone manufacturers

Minister Vahagn Khachaturyan: These eight companies deserve respect. They had initiated the entire preparatory work with their own means, and even reached the production phase. Our Ministry will undoubtedly support them, as instructed by the Premier. According to my information, the Defense Ministry is ready to replenish its armament with local UAVs even today.

The companies have a problem with long-term contracts because they do not know whether their products will be in demand. They will have to sign contracts in order to be able to, and guarantee, the supply of a certain number of UAVs over the next few years.

How the process works: The company has an idea and creates a product. Further development depends on the state, through cooperation with Defense and High-Tech Ministries. We conduct the experiments. If the product meets the demands set forth by us, a delivery contract is signed. The last part had been the problematic one.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061766.html https://youtu.be/uAmM_wDZzqE

High-Tech Minister on cybersecurity reforms:

We are currently developing methodology and standards for cyber-security reforms. It is a large portion of the government's 5-year plan that relates to us.

Yesterday we formed a group represented by every agency to discuss the technical solutions for cybersecurity.

https://youtu.be/uAmM_wDZzqE https://factor.am/409877.html

the Azeri section of Goris-Kapan road reopens after negotiations; Armenia is building an alternative road to bypass it

NSS in the morning: the negotiations to reopen the road are underway. The Azeri side has provided information about an alleged stabbing of an Azeri Border Guard. We are investigating the information. //

Pashinyan: I have no doubt that Azerbaijan closed the road to damage and discredit the peace efforts. Their behavior shows that such incidents may occur again. We must be vigilant and careful, while having strong nerves and develop the peace agenda.

We predicted that such road closers could occur, so we began working on an alternative road. Generally, reopening all communication routes in the region will play a stabilizing role.

As I've said earlier, the Armenian side has nothing to do with the alleged stabbing incident [that lead to the road closure]. If Azeris have evidence, they should share it. We can launch a joint investigation with AM-RU-AZ.

We must finish the construction of Tatev-Aghvan [an alternative to this border road] by the end of this year. The same is true about other local roads. The border settlements must have uninterrupted access to main roads and regional centers. //

Journalist Tatul Hakobyan: this road closure is not a new issue. This road was almost never used in 1990-1993 because people were being kidnapped and killed. Just as now, back then it was passing through Soviet Azerbaijan.

To reach Kapan, my friends would spend a whole day using the inner Tatev-Aghvan road, which was in ruins. It was a war back then; now it's calmer. When in the Autumn of 1993 Armenian forces entered Kubatlu, Azeris retreated from the road and the traffic resumed.

Since then, Armenian authorities had failed to understand the need to build this alternative Tatev-Aghvan road sooner. We need this alternative road so Azeris won't use their road as another leverage to make corridor demands. //

Iran officially responded to the road closure, complaining that several Iranian cargo companies were unable to travel through Syunik as a result of the closure. Iran hopes that Armenia and Azerbaijan will find a solution soon. Trucks were seen using the alternative gravel road that is currently being asphalted.

Later in the evening, the NSS announced that the road has reopened after two days of negotiations.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061745.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061764.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061782.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061814.html https://factor.am/409825.html https://youtu.be/8JWxO7UCplg https://youtu.be/bHw4785eohQ https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061821.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061821.html https://youtu.be/loqOOfUNc30 https://youtu.be/s4ZmZEcMAoY

Pashinyan responds to Erdogan's message about establishing peace in the region

Yesterday, Erdogan said that the 2020 war had "resolved issues" and made it possible to establish peace in the region. Turkey hopes that Armenia will take steps towards establishing peace.

Pashinyan: we received certain positive signals from Turkey in terms of regional peace. We will evaluate those signals and will respond to positive signals likewise.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061746.html https://youtu.be/NGqnusuKVEE?t=73

government allocates $15.4 million to rebuild 51km of important roads

Yerevan-Yeraskh[Nakhijevan]-Goris-Meghri-Iran

Some sections of the Turkey-Armenia-Georgia road that passes through Vanadzor.

And a few other sections in Syunik and Shirak provinces.

Pashinyan: in 2019 we set a goal to build 500km roads annually with federal budget alone. We will meet that goal this year. This doesn't include the construction of the North-South highway, and other [200km] road repairs as part of co-subsidy programs in which the cost is shared by federal and local budgets. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061759.html https://youtu.be/Rin3uwENVlM

government to send $27 million in aid to Artsakh

Finance Minister Khachactryan: even though Artsakh's own revenues are increasing and the economic life is recovering, they still need assistance with social programs. This aid will help pay public wages, pensions, healthcare, and utility subsidies. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061760.html

Artsakh is building a new water reservoir in northern Martakert Province

... under the supervision of Russian peacekeepers because it's near the ART-AZE border. The new reservoir will help save and manage underground water springs.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061743.html

Pashinyan plans to binge-watch his electoral campaign videos to memorize the promises he made

Kind of. A group will be formed to examine campaign materials and prepare a to-do list consisted of smaller issues raised by rural residents, that might have fallen through the cracks and forgotten.

https://factor.am/409806.html

government allocates $53,000 to organize a bike tournament on Lake Sevan shores

It's for the "Prime Minister Cup" tournament that stretches from the Shorzha village in the lake's east, towards the peninsula. The goal is to promote a healthy and eco-friendly lifestyle, said the government.

Half of the budget is the prize fund that will be distributed to top-20 cyclists.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061761.html https://youtu.be/rE2SXKmxbGI

professional divers are recruited to clean the Lake Sevan

Nature Ministry signed a memorandum with the ArmDiving club to unite the efforts and share their equipment to explore the waters, clean up the shores, and remove polyethylene fishing nets from the lake's bottom.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061772.html

COVID stats

6383 tested. 522 infected. 359 healed. 11 deaths. 8721 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061744.html

travelers under the age of 6 will no longer have to submit PCR test

Beginning on September 6.

https://factor.am/410101.html

authorities increase enforcement of mask mandates

Health inspectors visited public places including shops and transportation to enforce mask mandate. A dozen tickets were issued. The efforts began on August 19 after it became clear the COVID numbers are rising.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061791.html

Healthcare Minister Avanesyan is worried about the state of the pandemic:

14 hospitals treating COVID.

1,500 beds (350 free).

61% of hospital patients are in serious or critical condition.

We can deploy 2,700 beds if needed but that will stress the healthcare system which is preparing for the busy Autumn season.

Because of Delta, we have young patients without underlying chronic illness in critical condition. Our doctors are fighting for their lives. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061750.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061753.html

vaccination efforts are gaining steam ahead of the upcoming restrictions for the unvaccinated

7.1k vaccinations yesterday alone, bringing the total to 268k. Only a few dozen instances of infections after vaccination, with none being serious.

Minister: lines were formed in some clinics. We're taking steps to speed up the process. There were problems with the manufacturing of the Sputnik-5 vaccine but we should have the batch of second doses next week. No such issues with AstraZeneca and Chinese vaccines. Every clinic has both doses for every patient.

Starting in October, all workers must either submit a PCR test every two weeks or get a vaccine. The exceptions are pregnant women or those who have a doctor's instruction.

We've seen an increased use of masks lately. That's great. This is a simple solution that helps. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061751.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061778.html

Armenia has imported 30 vaccine refrigerators with the help of EU and WHO

It is unclear whether these units are part of the Healthcare Ministry's earlier-announced efforts to revamp Armenia's refrigeration network, which would allow the storage of Pfizer and other vaccines that have stricter storage requirements.

Armenia hopes to boost the vaccination rate by importing Western-made vaccines other than AstraZeneca.

https://factor.am/410037.html

famed composer Vladilen Balayan has passed away at the age of 97

Bio: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061757.html

President Armen Sarkissian condemned the terrorist attack in Kabul airport

Sarkissian: It is necessary to unite forces in the fight against international terrorism to exclude monstrous manifestations of intolerance towards universal human values.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061780.html

monthly honorarium to increase for USSR artists

The government decided to raise the payments from $80/mo to $200/mo for Armenian citizens who were given the title of honorary artist of USSR in the areas of national artist, painter, and architect.

Education Ministry: the reason is that artists have long faced social issues in Armenia, especially self-employed and senior ones, who have served to benefit Armenia's cultural life for decades without sufficient financing. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061793.html

Sasna Tsrer's 2016 hostage takeover trial begins in Appeals Court

Several members of the group were earlier sentenced to lengthy prison time for killing and taking cops hostage. The panel of judges and defense lawyers got into an argument today. One of the defendants was ordered to leave the room. The trial continues.

https://youtu.be/nk9jJK-EDoU https://factor.am/409994.html https://factor.am/409959.html

update: cops arrest another suspect in the Harsnakar kidnapping and torture case involving ex-HHK MP Nemets Rubo

TLDR: ex-HHK MP Ruben Hayrapetyan owns restaurants. He is accused of torturing and extorting an employee after locking him up in his restaurant. Rubo's son and others are also charged. Rubo is on the run. Others were arrested. One more suspect was arrested today.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061811.html

anti-corruption: Aparan mayor and 3 others are charged with corruption

Aparan had earlier merged with multiple villages. Investigators say one of the village mayors (2005-2017) conspired with the Aparan mayor and other officials to forge documents and ignore illegal construction. They are facing criminal charges.

https://factor.am/409707.html

anti-corruption: Sisian mayor and 6 others are charged with corruption

Investigators report: in 2016, the mayor forged documents to claim a contractor had finished the job. [It's about the embezzlement case involving a school heating system that we learned about earlier. The number of officials charged with the alleged crimes has reached seven.]

https://factor.am/410081.html

a new $60 million gas station network with higher standards

Economy Minister Kerobyan: foreign investors are interested in a $60 million project to build a new gas station network in Armenia. It'll have higher standards. The fuel will be imported from Georgia and Russia.

As for high prices liquid fuel market, we are doing everything possible to lower the prices. It recently went down in some stations from ֏280 to ֏240. Our goal is to help the Armenian importers to establish contacts with foreign suppliers that sell the fuel for a lower price. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061784.html

anti-corruption: IRS audits gas stations and finds instances of tax evasion

Uncle Samvel found 65 instances of sales receipts not being printed by gas stations this week. In another instance, a company was caught importing fuel without documentation, so it could presumably sell it without an official record. An investigation is launched.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061788.html

IRS's "mortgage loan refund" program is being digitized, will send refunds within 3 days instead of 19

The tax authority's new electronic service will also eliminate the need to share the same documents multiple times.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061737.html

Armenian tech giant PicsArt raises another $130M, approaches $1.5B valuation

Hovhannes Avoyan’s free-to-use editor is fast becoming the Photoshop for the TikTok and Instagram generation. Avoyan taught a class at the American University and tapped two former students, Artavazd Mehrabyan and Mikayel Vardanyan, to turn Picsart into a business.

Full: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2021/08/26/picsart-is-techs-newest-unicorn---and-adobe-should-be-afraid/

top-10 bestseller documentary books in July

10) Անդրանիկ, by Ավետիս Թէրզիպաշեան

9) Խոսողը՝ չգիտի, իմացողը չի խոսում, by Շանթ Նավոյան

8) Պայքարելու իրավունքը, by Մոնթե Մելքոնյան

4) All the Kremlin's Men, by Mikhail Zygar

2) Չխրատվող ժողովուրդը, by Գարեգին Նժդեհ

1) The monk who sold his Ferrari, by Robin Sharma

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061561.html

a certified chad from Sevan sets a Guinness World Record

Varazdat Hakobyan already had one record. He set a new one after using one hand to pull 4 train wagons weighing 84 tons.

Representatives of Guinness book were present for the event. His previous record was pulling a 23-ton train for 3.5 meters.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061818.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

Donations: soldiers' families, humanitarian aid, US tax-deductible donation.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/pcucim/news_aug272021_cybersecurity_group_reservists/

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