2021 August 31

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

News - Aug/31/2021: MFA: peace negotiations must include status for Artsakh __ Lt.Col. charged w/negligence in case of 62 POWs __ March 1st persecutions __ Mayor threatened to destroy roads __ Quake-proof schools __ 1,000 new businesses in Artsakh __ Training rocket scientists __ COVID news __ Debt
by ar_david_hh


Your 11-minute Tuesday recap in 2840 words.

BOOKMARKED: Interview with former Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan

How Shushi was recaptured by Armenian forces after a counterattack on November 8 (Gyorbagyor), and how it fell a day later. Azeris sneaking into villages for recon, panic, & planting flags. Onik's southern attack. Building drones. SU-30SM. And more...

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/pexq9h/interview_with_exmod_spokesman_artsrun/

In Russian: https://www.reddit.com/r/ArmDailyReports_RUS_/comments/pezul0/интервью_с_экспредставителем_мо_арцруном/

Turkey awarded 10 pilots and airforce staff for helping Azerbaijan during the war

A few of them are F-16 pilots.

https://razm.info/153443

Armenia will demand any peace agreement negotiations with Azerbaijan to also address Artsakh's legal status

... announced MFA Mirzoyan during the meeting with MFA Lavrov in Moscow. Artsakh's status must be based on the principles set forth by OSCE Minsk Group (territorial integrity and people's right to self-determination).

Mirzoyan said there are no peace agreement negotiations at the moment. "I would focus on implementing the agreements reached on Nov 9 and Jan 11, if I were the Azerbaijani authorities," said Mirozyan when asked to comment on Aliyev's earlier remarks that Armenia should "recognize Azerbaijan's territorial integrity".

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062032.html

MFA Mirzoyan spoke about borders during Lavrov meeting:

Establishing peace and stability in the region is our agenda, but tensions persist because of Azerbaijan's unconstructive policies. Baku is not following through with its Nov 9 commitments. Moreover, they publicly provoke by direct attacks on Armenia's sovereignty, as we've seen since May 12. Baku constantly generates fake agendas so it won't fulfill its obligations regarding the release of POWs.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062020.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062023.html

MFA Lavrov about border demarcation:

The ongoing border problems are possible to resolve diplomatically, while a long-term resolution is only possible through border delimitation-demarcation. Vladimir Putin is ready to assist. I spoke with him today about how the delimitation should be handled.

Meanwhile, we should reduce tensions by exchanging landmine maps and releasing POWs.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062034.html

MFA Lavrov called for Azerbaijan to return all Armenian POWs unconditionally:

The Nov 9 statement was about people who were POWs at the time of signing the Nov 9 statement. Right now Azeris are holding a group that was captured after the Nov 9 document.

Nonetheless, we've been urging Azerbaijan, during talks at various levels, to release all POWs unconditionally as a humanitarian gesture aimed at establishing trust. It is not up to Russia to decide whether they will be released, however. [Russia had earlier made similar calls for all POWs to be released, per all-for-all principle.]

MFA Mirzoyan: Armenia has long fulfilled its obligation by releasing all Azeri POWs. Azerbaijan should do the same. This can improve the atmosphere of mutual trust and pave way for future negotiations.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062036.html

there is an ongoing criminal investigation regarding the 62 Armenian soldiers who were captured after the war

Context: Azerbaijan violated the Nov 9 agreement which stated that all sides must remain in their positions within the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast territories (not the adjacent regions).

Russia, for unknown reasons, did not station peacekeepers near the villages of Hin Tagher and Khtsaberd, near the Shushi corridor. This led to Azeris attacking a small number of local Armenian village guards, in violation of the agreement. 62 guards from Shirak were captured.

The commander who led the guards was later charged with criminal negligence. Today the court chose not to arrest him before his main trial.

According to the suspect, he led a group of 100 soldiers in December of 2020 to guard the villages. 62 of them were stationed on the nearby heights, away from the rest. According to the suspect, he was given insufficient short-range radio equipment that did not allow him to properly communicate with the 62 soldiers. It was allegedly accompanied by disruptions in cellular connection in the region, which contributed to the group being cut off.

The prosecutors will make their case during the trial.

https://factor.am/411237.html

MFA Lavrov is satisfied with ongoing negotiations to lift communication blockades:

I'm satisfied with the AM-RU-AZ meetings at the deputy Premier level, aimed at restoring economic and passenger connections in the South Caucasus. We hope the resumption will help the countries economically and will serve as a tool to stabilize politics.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062037.html

MFA Mirzoyan about Afghanistan:

We support peace in the region and we will respect the Afghan people's decision. As a CSTO member, Armenia will participate in Afghanistan discussions during the September CSTO session.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062041.html

exchange between Armenia's Human Rights Ombudsman and Azeri MOD

HR Ombudsman Tatoyan presented evidence that Azeri soldiers intentionally torch the grass near the front lines to harm nearby farmers. Azeri MOD responded with a denialist message.

Ombudsman Tatoyan: there is evidence coming from multiple residents and sources. We decided not to publish it all at once. But since the Azeri MOD denied it, we are publishing more evidence. [a video near a Gegharkunik border village]. The Azeri MOD is trying to cover up their criminal activities. They should immediately stop these violations. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061984.html

mass reservist gatherings continue

It began last week. Some have already begun shooting exercises. Others are just now joining their units. The 2nd Army Corps has welcomed the recruits, who will train for 3 months.

https://factor.am/411337.html

14 schools are currently being rebuilt with earthquake resistance

... as part of a $107 million project co-financed by the government and the Asian Development Bank, that will eventually rebuild 46 schools across Armenia.

Some schools are ready. They come with disability accommodations, elevators, better-equipped classrooms, sports centers, etc.

20,000 children will attend seismically-safer schools upon completion.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062038.html

Armenian students win silver and bronze medals in European Junior Informatics Olympiad

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/219915

SpaceCamp-2021: an "unprecedented program for Armenian students"

High-Tech Ministry: the development of a science-based economy and industry is one of our priorities. For that, we need to train a competitive workforce.

One of the programs towards this goal is the SpaceCamp-2021 summer camp, co-organized by the Ministry, the AYAS Foundation, the COAF foundation, and the Rocket Model Association of Armenia.

It's being held in Lori COAF's SMART Center between Aug 29 - Sept 1. Students who won medals in physicals, math, informatics, and astronomy were invited. They will be joined by their peers from COAF's robotics and programming center, and Javakhq's ArMath center.

The opening ceremony was on Sunday. The students will learn space engineering through games and tutorings until Wednesday.

https://factor.am/410748.html

Pashinyan takes a vacation until Friday

Will be substituted by deputy-ասֆալտշիկ Suren Papikyan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061975.html

vacation is over for kids

The school year has begun for 37,000 first graders, one day earlier than the usual September 1, because of the pandemic regulations.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061977.html

Georgia is struggling to contain COVID

Schools, colleges, and universities will begin the academic year with remote classes until October, while preschools will remain closed until then. An option to resume in-person classes will be offered to parents in settlements with a below 4% infection rate.

The public transport will be restricted until the schools open.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062022.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062031.html

COVID stats in Armenia

5666 tested. 524 infected. 361 healed. 14 deaths. 9110 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061988.html

no effort is spared to murder people

Healthcare Ministry: dear anti-vaccine advocates, false news spreaders, and those who are afraid of "microchips". Do not endanger other people's lives by spreading unscientific and false information on social media. The number of daily deaths is rising.

We will sue you for defamation if you continue to spread false statements about us. //

This was in response to a coordinated Facebook campaign by anti-vaxxers to "help" teachers not to get vaccines, while claiming that Healthcare Ministry workers are using secret backdoors to avoid vaccines, and that teachers could use the same "backdoor".

https://factor.am/411262.html

health inspectors raided dozens of businesses in Yerevan to ensure COVID safety compliance

Eleven citations were issued.

https://factor.am/411310.html

U.S. State Department's travel advisory to the Caucasus

Armenia: reconsider travel (Level 3)

Azerbaijan & Georgia: do not travel due to COVID (Level 4)

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/armenia-travel-advisory.html

STATS: Armenia's debt and treasury bonds

Total debt was ~$8.9 billion as of July. +12% since January. +1.1% since June.

$6.6b external, $2.3b internal.

External debt did not rise in July, while the internal +4.8%.

$465m is borrowed by the Central Bang.

Non-residents acquired 3x as many treasury bonds as they did last year. The residents acquired +0.05% more in July.

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/295182/

ruling party rejects the appointment of a deputy Defense Committee chief

The Parliament recently voted to approve the heads of Committees. Each Committee now has to individually hold a vote to appoint their deputy chiefs.

Today the Defense Committee discussed the nomination of HD MP Arthur Ghazinyan as the deputy chief. Ruling QP MP complained that it would be impossible to work with Ghazinyan because of his repeated personal insults and "unjustified" claims. "Would you vote to confirm Ghazinyan if you were in our position?", asked the QP MP to HD MPs.

HD MP Gegham Manukyan responded saying Ghazinyan's insults were only aimed at Pashinyan. "It's a matter of principle how you will vote. I would not vote for him if I were you," said Manukyan.

The ruling MPs held a Q&A with Ghazinyan relating defense issues, and eventually took HD Manukyan's "honest" advice and voted against his appointment. The opposition will nominate someone else.

https://factor.am/411044.html https://youtu.be/zrgK2N2XxWs https://youtu.be/EWIte3Ryd3s https://youtu.be/sEZx-2NWchI https://youtu.be/McdGNzRccY4

small hydropower plant receives a ֏300K penalty for abusing the nature

Nature Ministry inspectors said the Isodrom LLC.'s power plant had used more river water than authorized, causing ֏22M in damages.

https://factor.am/411163.html

ECHR rules against the former regime in the March 1st case, brought by ex-MFA Arzumanyan

Ex-MFA Alexander Arzumanyan sued Armenia in the European Court for Human Rights for violating his right to freedom of assembly and association.

After the events of March 1, 2008, the authorities launched "The Trial of Seven" against several prominent opposition figures. The ex-MFA was among those who were accused of attempting to overthrow the government. He received 5 years but was freed after an amnesty.

He filed an ECHR complaint in 2009. Today the court ruled that his rights under Convention 11 were violated. In particular, his right to assembly was violated. The Armenian government will have to pay him €9,000.

Simultaneously, the ex-MFA wants Armenia's Cassations Court to overturn the old Appeals Court verdict. That case is ongoing.

https://factor.am/411169.html https://www.rferl.org/a/Seven_Prominent_Armenian_Oppositionists_On_Trial_/1361523.html

former QP MP Sasun Mikaelyan also wins an ECHR case relating March 1 st

The Armenian government must pay Sasun €12,800 in penalties and legal fees, for violating his right to bring witnesses during the trial, freedom of speech, and assembly. He was sentenced to 8 years after March 1st.

https://factor.am/411274.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062054.html

Levon's revenge

Lights went out during Kocharyan's multi-million dollar bribery trial today. Kocharyan and his aide-turned HD MP Armen Gevorgyan are accused of taking bribes from the mining industry.

Judge Danibekyan was forced to delay the trial because the session could not be sufficiently publicized/recorded by hand. The next trial is on Sept. 7.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062005.html

anti-corruption: mayor of Kasakh is charged with threatening to destroy village roads and retaliate against residents unless they voted for Serj's PU alliance

SIS reports: mayor Ara Mkrtchyan took advantage of the fact that several residents were dependent on him. He treated to cause material damage if they voted for Pashinyan's QP party, and demanded a vote for the PU alliance.

On June 17, the mayor and the director of Neurosis Clinic organized an employee meeting, during which the mayor told the residents that they "owe" a PU vote because the mayor had allegedly been "kind" to the residents for years. The mayor informed that his daughter, Anna Mkrtchyan, was running under the PU ballot.

The mayor threatened to destroy the asphalt that was built under his administration and to worsen the social status of municipal workers and others who depend on his decisions, unless they voted for PU.

He then bribed the residents by promising to asphalt the nearby road if they comply.

Mayor Ara Mkrtchyan is facing two criminal counts. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062046.html

anti-corruption FLASHBACK: mayor of Kasakh (Kotayk) and other officials are charged with ֏41M embezzlement

Police reports: the mayor agreed with a resident to sell a 9600 m^2 land for $15 per m^2 (total $144,000). The mayor and other officials then conspired to embezzle part of the sum. They rigged the land auction process and forged documents to claim the land was sold for a lower price, so they could embezzle the remainder.

Another piece of land was illegally given to a municipality official who quickly resold it for a much higher price. //

https://youtu.be/ifT6pOTA45M

anti-corruption: authorities bust former public officials with fraud and abuse in road construction case

NSS reports: a ֏149M agreement was signed between Vayots Dzor governor's office and a construction firm in 2015. The firm was supposed to renovate a pedestrian walkway in the Arpa Gorge in Jermuk city.

The governor's office was supposed to ensure the job was done. [You can guess what happened next. Part of it was allegedly stolen]. Multiple public officials and firm representatives are facing criminal embezzlement and abuse charges. //

https://factor.am/411021.html

✔ mayors arrested

✔ R. Kelly has a new accuser

✔ Taliban declares they want to be friends with U.S.

✔ Scroll for more SNAFU

Artsakh will have thousands of new businesses and greenhouses as part of transition to long-term development plans

There is an effort to help Artsakh resident start their own business. One thousand Armenian families from Armenia and the Diaspora will contribute to the establishment of 1,000 businesses.

The All Armenia Fund himnadram will take care of 100 projects, aimed at establishing greenhouses. Another participant is AGBU. The government is searching for partners.

Social entrepreneurship tutoring kickstarted in Artsakh on Saturday. It's part of a wider plan to transition from "one-time giveaways" to the type of aid that can secure a long-term development.

https://factor.am/410970.html

Dashnaks' worldwide "Hay Dat" network welcomes the first Artsakh branch

The Bureau decided to open a Hay Dat office in Artsakh, citing the 2020 war. It is a strong message that Artsakh people's right to self-determination and international recognition is a top priority, said the Bureau.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062017.html

U.S. ambassador Tracey visited a dairy manufacturer co-funded by USAID

U.S. embassy: one of Armenia's delicious and healthy dairy producers is Lori's Hamov Kat. USAID helped to develop this company with production volume and quality. This successful project has also led to new jobs in the region. //

The aid was given as part of ARDI project that ended in 2019.

https://factor.am/410837.html

one of the demographics programs is amended to help more families

There is a 2020-2023 program that pays up to $8,000 to young families with more than three children to purchase housing. The government has just amended the terms to define "young family" as people under 30, instead of 25.

The move is expected to increase the number of recipients, 1.5K of whom have already received ֏1.1B in aid. There has been a spike in new applications, so an additional ֏420M will be allocated soon.

Other amendments include the removal of the requirement for parents to register all their children as property co-owners, and giving more time for parents to apply for aid.

https://factor.am/411209.html

Diaspora Committee's iGorts program welcomes volunteers to Shirak province

iGorts is a relatively new program that invites qualified diasporan experts to volunteer and help govern Armenia, in exchange for a tiny compensation. It is now available in Shirak province, the first outside Yerevan.

Sofia has just arrived from Russia to work at Shirak governor's office. She earned a Master's Degree at Saratov National Research University before working in various firms.

iGorts hosted 50 diasporan experts last year. They plan to match that number this year.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062061.html https://youtu.be/vyugvGhhZwU

VIDEO: armed bank robber arrested in Yerevan Mall

Someone with a BLOW MAGNUM gas pistol robbed ֏102 million from a bank branch located in Yerevan Mall.

He fired a warning shot while fleeing. The mall's security guards ambushed him in a parking lot and smacked his face on the asphalt before the cops' arrival.

https://youtu.be/1qAicnOmJhk https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061997.html https://factor.am/411071.html https://factor.am/411313.html

temperatures across Armenia are expected to drop 10c later this week

... after reaching 40c in some areas.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062027.html

Aimchess US Rapid chess: how is Levon Aronian doing?

He has 9.5 out of 15 points and shares the 3-4th place so far. The next playoff match is against Azerbaijan's Rajabov, who is 6th.

https://factor.am/411008.html

VIDEO: Armenian football team is training ahead of N. Macedonia match

But are they training hard enough? We will find out on September 2, during the World Cup match.

Superstar Henrikh Mkhitaryan joined the team, headed by Spanish coach Joaquin Caparros. Caparros and Henrikh will give an interview ahead of the match.

https://youtu.be/0nPNA8p2WyQ https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061983.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061998.html

today in history

1908: novelist and painter William Saroyan is born in Fresno.

1927: zoravar Andranik Ozanyan dies. Հաջորդ կայարանը՝ դրախտ:

1940: Turkish-Armenian newspaper Marmara publishes the first edition

1952: world renowned violinist Kim Kashhashian is born

1993: Armenian forces capture the town of Kubatlu in southern Artsakh

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1061966.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/pfdr6u/news_aug312021_mfa_peace_negotiations_must/

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