2021 June 13
- 1 Daily news wrap-up
- 2 the army is fortifying eastern borders
- 3 MOD responds to claims about Turkish troops on Syunik borders
- 4 villagers return home after accidentally crossing the Azeri border
- 5 Pashinyan about 15 POWs who returned to Armenia with the help of United States / landmine maps / Russian border guards / border demarcation
- 6 TLDR: map for POW
- 7 Kocharyan would shut down "media outlets and NGOs associated with George Soros"
- 8 Kocharyan campaign promises:
- 9 public TV complains about being pressured to accept "violence-promoting" political ads
- 10 opposition makes an unsuccessful attempt to ban Pashinyan from elections
- 11 Constitutional Court judge shares a pro-Kocharyan video, blames it on daughter's "fat fingers"
- 12 Pashinyan campaign:
- 13 Pashinyan held a large rally in Yerevan's Davtashen district
- 14 Pashinyan about voter bribery:
- 15 update: judge authorizes the arrest of the BHK candidate "A.A" accused of bribery
- 16 update: the court authorizes jailing of Serj-Vanetsyan party member over alleged bribery
- 17 complaints about Syunik's copper factory forcing workers to vote for Kocharyan
- 18 rumors & rebuttals: Aragatsotn governor denies being beaten during the campaign
- 19 construction begins for Syunik's Kapan-Tatev road
- 20 UN Development Program will provide $75 million for 2021-2025 humanitarian projects
- 21 COVID stats over the weekend
- 22 Armenia's new female soccer team defeated Kazakhstan in a friendly match
- 23 mini documentary: Harnessing Wind Power in Armenia
- 24 Friday news
- 25 end of report
- 26 Support David's Daily Armenia News Summaries!
Daily news wrap-up
Weekend news - Jun/13/2021: (1) Army fortifying eastern borders (2) POW repatriation resumes with U.S. intervention: POWs for landmine maps (3) Rumors & rebuttals: Turkish soldiers, governor beaten (4) Reports of voter pressure in Syunik (5) Kocharyan to shut down "undesirable" NGOs (6) Wind energy
This is your 8-minute weekend report in 2048 words.
the army is fortifying eastern borders
Army reports: intense engineering construction is being done on the eastern borders, under the command of 2nd Army Corps. It should be ready by Autumn. Soldiers' will have better living conditions. New shelters, roads, trenches, firing positions.
There are no operations on the borders at the moment because the opponent is not doing any provocations.
We have not recorded any violations in the Sotk mine (Gegharkunik) area since the November 9 ceasefire. The issue was with Nerkin and Verin Shorja sections; negotiations are underway.
The regular soldiers are not in contact with Azeris. Only the commanders communicate with each other.
Videos from frontlines: https://youtu.be/Mug8a4wdGN4?t=8
MOD responds to claims about Turkish troops on Syunik borders
MOD: the media has been reporting that Turkish forces were installed near Syunik's Sev Lake. We've spoken in the past about the Turkish involvement in the Azeri army retraining and coordination. The Turkish presence in the Azeri army has long been proven. There were unwarranted accusations in the media claiming that the MOD is "hiding" the Turkish presence.
As for the images of Turkish soldiers circulated by the media, they were on the Azeri side of the border.
villagers return home after accidentally crossing the Azeri border
MOD: two Tegh villagers were working on the land with the tractor when they got disoriented and crossed into the Azeri side. The villagers were freed after negotiations involving Armenian soldiers and Russian peacekeepers.
Pashinyan about 15 POWs who returned to Armenia with the help of United States / landmine maps / Russian border guards / border demarcation
Pashinyan: two days ago I met the deputy US Secretary of State. The latter told me that Secretary Anthony Blinken sent them on a mission to secure a breakthrough in the return of POWs. I informed him that we are ready.
And today, with the help of our Georgian brothers and EU friends, 15 of our compatriots have reached Armenia through Azerbaijan-Georgia-Armenia land travel.
4 of the 6 soldiers who were recently captured on the border are among them. There are some from Khtsaberd's Hin Tagher, while others were captured during the war. They will undergo a medical examination before meeting their relatives.
We responded to Azerbaijan's step by sharing maps of landmines; it wasn't simply a "POW in exchange for maps". The OSCE Minsk Co-chairs had emphasized the need to demine the areas as part of a humanitarian mission.
After November 9, we were sharing a limited number of maps for POWs, but Azerbaijan stopped the process for some reason and accused us of refusing to share the maps. That was not true. It was Azerbaijan that stopped the process.
When Lavrov visited Armenia, I even sent a few maps with him back to Azerbaijan. We are ready to continue the POW repatriation process.
Georgian MFA: we've been working for 2-3 months to achieve an agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan freed 15 POWs in return for landmine maps in Aghdam. US Secretary of State official Reeker took part in the process. We thank our strategic partners Azerbaijan and Armenia for realizing the need for taking constructive steps towards regional peace.
Secretary of State Blinken: we welcome the return of 15 captives by Azerbaijan. We also welcome Armenia's decision to share humanitarian information for demining. We're thankful to Georgia's Gharibashvili for the aid.
We once again urge for the repatriation of all captives, and for both states to resume OSCE negotiations.
Russian MFA (and EU with a similar message): Long-awaited and wonderful news. We welcome such steps by the parties.
Pashinyan's spokeswoman: Armenia reaffirms commitment to continue the humanitarian process with the assistance of international partners. We thank the administrations of the United States and Georgia for the return of 15 POWs. We thank the presidents of OSCE Co-chair countries and the EU representatives for the humanitarian efforts in the region.
Pashinyan: their return is not an "event", it's a "process". A new process has begun, as a result of which all the captives will return.
This was not simply an exchange of Artsakh landmine maps with POWs: we responded to the constructive step with a constructive step. The landmine map is for a region that is unfortunately no longer between Armenia and Azerbaijan border. It's in the Azeri rear now.
We are ready to continue this process. We launched it in December by sharing little maps to establish a constructive atmosphere. We only stopped because Azerbaijan stopped returning POWs.
We are ready to share all the maps located in their rear, but the public would not understand if we did so unilaterally while still having POWs. The first constructive step by Azerbaijan was the [return of the soldier who got lost last week due to fog].
Pashinyan about borders: our efforts are towards a peaceful resolution of border conflict. We see an opportunity to achieve that because our international partners clearly defended Armenia's stance, urging Azerbaijan to withdraw from Armenian territories.
I proposed a mirrored withdrawal of Armenian and Azeri troops back to their permanent positions, and for the installation of, for example, Russian border guards and OSCE observers, so we can launch the official border demarcation process.
We've been in very active contact with Russians during this time. Russian forces visited every section of the border and examined it. We are currently deciding where they should be stationed [so it's pretty much decided?]. I'd like to thank Mr. Putin, Biden, Macron.
Pashinyan the following day:
98% of the public cheered the return of 15 POWs. I don't rule out the possibility that there could be attempts to freeze the repatriation process to influence the elections. We must show unity.
Yesterday the opposition was grieving. There is an impression that they did not want the POWs to return so soon, or perhaps earlier they received assurances that they would not return. Now they grieve about us "sharing all the landmine maps" and that "we should have demanded all the POWs". As I've said earlier, a small part of the map was shared. //
Pashinyan traveled through provinces and met the father and grandfather of one of the repatriated POWs. He was surprised to learn that the man's son was among the repatriated POWs; they had met earlier.
https://youtu.be/4eSjjrg2dB4 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1055220.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1055223.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1055224.html https://youtu.be/UY2KjkxWFvQ https://factor.am/381827.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1055237.html https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=155372449954045 https://factor.am/381860.html https://factor.am/381864.html https://youtu.be/FFiUEoxBk-0 https://factor.am/381897.html https://youtu.be/bwPb4No_VSc?t=42
Tags: #POWs #BorderDemarcation #demarcation
TLDR: map for POW
Azerbaijan used to exchange POWs for landmine maps but stopped doing so months ago. After losing hundreds of people to landmine explosions, and receiving pressure from the U.S. amid the latest explosion that took the lives of Azeri journalists, Azerbaijan realized that they are going to lose more people to explosions than the number of Armenian POWs they hold captive, so they agreed to resume.
Kocharyan would shut down "media outlets and NGOs associated with George Soros"
Resident: what will you do about Soros-affiliated media outlets and NGOs that receive orders to write nasty things about our army?
Kocharyan: we will shut down such offices. There are laws, including in western states, that severely limit foreign financing. We will amend the law to ban or severely limit such organizations. They can either be banned or they could be labeled as "foreign agents". [a copy-paste of Kremlin's recent justification for the closure of Russian opposition offices]
Kocharyan campaign promises:
We promise to turn Armenia into a construction site with new jobs. Most structures in Spitak were built under the Kocharyan administration... The current administration has done nothing for Spitak...
We will have tourism clusters in Lori province...
We need a strong army so Armenia can dictate the agenda...
We need to review the minimum consumer basket...
We will make school administrations free from any political influence...
public TV complains about being pressured to accept "violence-promoting" political ads
H1 asked Human Rights Office and TV regulatory commission to investigate "pressure". H1 says several political forces submitted video clips for campaign promotion that were legally and ethically problematic and contained promotion of violence, and when H1 wrote back to all parties to remind them about ethics, they were accused by some political forces of being biased in ads. H1 says they've worked with some political forces to edit their clips.
Serj-Vanetsyan is the party that accused H1 of "bias" when confronted about the clips' content. They referred to it as political censorship.
opposition makes an unsuccessful attempt to ban Pashinyan from elections
The former chief of Constitutional Court staff Edgar Ghazaryan and BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan asked the Electoral Commission to remove Pashinyan from the ballot list and to render the ruling QP party's ballot invalid, citing "insults used during their campaigns."
The petitions were unanimously rejected.
Judge Arthur Vagharshyan (President Sarkissian nominee) shared an anti-Pashinyan clip from Kocharyan's rally on his Facebook account.
Judge: my little daughter was playing with the phone. It was an accident. I post only once a year on Facebook.
Q: was it a coincidence that your daughter's finger accidentally hit the Kocharyan clip?
Judge: well, it was an accident. I'm apolitical. It's actually not my phone. It's a smartphone used by my daughter. We removed the post within 15 minutes.
We introduced an electronic registration system for first graders as part of school reforms. We built and rebuilt many schools and preschools...
We asphalted lots of roads. The former administrations used to asphalt only the roads that would lead to their businesses. We asphalted hundreds of kilometers leading to forgotten villages...
We were able to create a fishing program in Lake Sevan to allow for fishing while protecting the fish reproduction...
We implemented the first-ever 0% interest loan for farmers to breed livestock. It's 0-5% up to ֏15 million. I urge villagers to take classes and get certified, before getting the loan for building a "smart" barn...
The "elites" are trying to enslave the people again by taking advantage of our failure in the war...
Pashinyan held a large rally in Yerevan's Davtashen district
Pashinyan about voter bribery:
The pre-election campaign is accompanied by arrests of those who give electoral bribes. These arrests will continue. Those who attempt to influence the will of the electorate with bribes will find themselves behind the bars.
Ruben K. from Pativ Unem alliance met a Janfida resident to allegedly organize a ֏9 million voter bribe distribution.
complaints about Syunik's copper factory forcing workers to vote for Kocharyan
elections observer Informed Citizens: we've received various reports from Kapan about Zangezur copper-molybdenum factory [largest taxpayer business] influencing the elections. There are mayors and criminal circles associated with the factory that are being used as levers of influence.
In one of the villages, the company has to pay ֏40,000 to local residents as compensation for the harm caused to their health. They promise not to pay the sums unless residents vote for Armenia Alliance [Kocharyan-ARF].
The factory is a state within a state. But people are vigilant. Many have approached us on the streets and asked us to send more observers to Kapan so that at least in polling stations the factory representatives will not pressure the voters. //
rumors & rebuttals: Aragatsotn governor denies being beaten during the campaign
Governor Gevorgyan denied the rumors circulated by Mediaport telegram channel.
construction begins for Syunik's Kapan-Tatev road
UN Development Program will provide $75 million for 2021-2025 humanitarian projects
Karabakh war victims will be prioritized.
COVID stats over the weekend
6349 tested. 127 infected. 197 healed. 3 deaths. 2909 active.
Armenia's new female soccer team defeated Kazakhstan in a friendly match
mini documentary: Harnessing Wind Power in Armenia
Перевод на русский by Impossible-Ad-
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/nze5y4/weekend_news_jun132021_1_army_fortifying_eastern/
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