2021 June 8

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

Jun/8/2021:(1) Soldier returned after crossing border (2) Campaign speeches & promises (3) "Fake news": arresting critics (4) 41 bribery reports (5) Front-runners disclose wealth (6) Illegal mining busted (7) Justice & Education reform (8) Raising roads near Lake Sevan to address water rise (9) Choo
by ar_david_hh


This is your 11-minute Tuesday report in 2928 words.

Armenian soldier finds himself in Azeri territory due to thick fog

A solder crossed the border. MOD denied Azeri claims of him being a "saboteur". Armenia has contacted ECHR to ensure the soldiers' rights are respected during captivity.

Azerbaijan later interrogated him and dropped the claims that he was a saboteur. Hours later he was returned to Armenia.

The same day, the MOD launched an administrative investigation against two army Colonels. It's unclear if it's related to the fog incident.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054744.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054772.html https://factor.am/380137.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/215788 https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/11600813 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/215787

Electoral Commission removes/disqualifies six MP candidates

... mostly candidates from small parties asking to be removed.

The notable case was Serj's friend Mihran Poghosyan, the Panama Paper suspect who was hiding in Russia, who recently applied to become an MP in Armenia. The Commission disqualified him today on the grounds of a lengthy absence from Armenia. The police might launch a felony case after accusing him of submitting forged Moscow university documents to claim he wasn't living in Moscow but rather "studying" there, which would have qualified him for elections.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054728.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054743.html https://factor.am/379958.html

Electoral Commission makes another ruling regarding Kocharyan's campaign posters

Recently the Commission found Kocharyan's large book ads, with his face on them, to be in violation of campaign rules. It appears the problem is not the ad itself but the large size and locations.

Since the Commission did not properly word their complaint last time, Kocharyan sued to reinstate his posters and won.

Today the Commission read a new lengthier ruling and reaffirmed its initial findings. Kocharyan's lawyer claimed the court has already made a verdict so the same incident cannot go through the second trial again.

https://factor.am/379759.html

Electoral Commission investigated the top-3 frontrunners...

... after complaints that the parties launched their campaigns before the official date. The complaint was filed by a small party. The Commission found that the parties did not violate the rules mentioned by the plaintiff, citing Article 19.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054737.html

how many bribery reports?

Last week we learned that an election observer NGO recorded complaints about briberies and promises, allegedly offered by Kocharyan's "Armenia" and Serj's "Pativ Unem" alliances. Vanadzor mayor was seen visiting Kocharyan's election office at night, with "lists in his hands". The police have not yet made a statement; no instances of confirmed briberies.

Prosecutors released a statement today: we received 51 general complaints about various forms of violations. After investigation, we launched 9 felony cases.

The other 42 were sent to the police for further examination. 16 of them were not confirmed, 26 are still under investigation.

From the 51 reports, 44 were about bribery or pressure, 5 about obstructing campaign, 2 other.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054785.html

rumors & rebuttals: three people were not arrested under a new law for shouting "Nikol Traitor"

A fact-checker disputed Sputnik Armenia report that claimed 3 men were arrested after shouting Nikol Traitor in Armavir province, and that the law was written after Pashinyan's recent trip to Syunik during which the former regime's activists launched a physical assault against his vehicle convoy.

The fact-checker found that 2 people were detained for questioning and 1 was arrested and could be charged with felony obstruction of a political campaign over disruptive activities, which is a crime.

The fact-checker found that the media outlet incorrectly claimed that the arrested person is the first-ever case to be charged with Article 149 about campaign obstruction which was "adopted after Pashinyan's visit to Syunik". In reality, the law existed since 2003 and has been used against others in the past.

An amendment was made to the law to supplement it back in March, a month before Pashinyan's trip to Syunik.

Another social media report claimed that the campaign disruptors were assaulted by businessman Khachatur Sukiasyan's bodyguards. The latter's office denied the claims.

https://fip.am/15950

the voting and counting process will be recorded on video

It will be broadcasted Live on the internet. "The law requires it. We hired UCOM ISP to broadcast from 1,500 polling stations," said the Commission.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054729.html

Pashinyan offers his son in exchange for POWs:

I'm officially offering Ilham Aliyev to exchange all POWs for my son. I authorize Kocharyan and Serj to negotiate with Aliyev around this topic. This is an official statement. You may negotiate. [Context: Serj earlier urged Pashinyan to swap his son for 25 POWs].

Pashinyan's son Ashot: I'm ready.

https://youtu.be/DBMl27EoDQM?t=15

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/215773

Pashinyan about irrigation:

There are countries that develop agriculture in deserts. Today they export food. We are promoting drip irrigation in Armenia. Any farmer who installs it will not pay for water for 5 years.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054717.html

Kocharyan & ARF promise $3 billion investments in 3 years:

After restoring the Agriculture Ministry, we will resolve one of the biggest problems: irrigation. We will have complete reforms in healthcare and education. We will restore our army in 3 years.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054787.html

Pashinyan about new reservoirs:

In the near future, we will design and build reservoirs with a capacity of 500 million cubic meters. Some are small, some are big. Some settlements will have to agree to install a drip-irrigation network for the small reservoirs to be efficient.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054721.html

Pashinyan about Armenia's potential:

We live in heaven. I can see it while I travel across Armenia. But we have so far been unable to enjoy our heaven. The majority of our farmlands are unutilized.

We live in a large country but have not realized it yet. In 2019 when my friend and premier of Singapore visited Armenia, he said "Well, you are a large country, your problems are different."

That sentence shook me. Imagine this: Singapour has one of the best economies and living standards, yet it's around half the size of Lake Sevan. We have been unable to turn our heaven into heaven. We should acknowledge that we have heaven.

https://youtu.be/dnXFVGfqBog

https://factor.am/379720.html

Kocharyan about authorizing Amulsar mining:

If its operation will harm Jermuk as a resort city then it should not operate. Determination and predictability are necessary to have investments...

We need jobs in services and hospitality.

https://factor.am/380029.html

Kocharyan about economy & security:

These elections aren't about individuals. Do we want to have a safe country, or continue to kneel? Do we want to have a fast-growing economy or unemployment and emigration? Internal peace or atmosphere of hate? These are the options we have to choose from.

Is the current government able to solve these problems? They are the ones who created it. Ask yourself which party has enough knowledge and experience. We believe it's the Armenia Alliance. That's why we are here.

ARF Ishkhan: the ghost of disgraceful and shameful defeat is circling in the country. We must close that chapter on June 20.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054734.html

Kocharyan about giving amnesty to "persecuted" mayors charged with corruption:

We promise peace. There won't be vendettas if we win, but there will be justice. We will give amnesty to all the mayors that have been persecuted and pressured in the past few years. [Context: widespread anti-corruption busts resulted in dozens of municipality mayors being charged after the 2018 revolution.]

https://factor.am/379995.html https://youtu.be/ETkok5SIzyk?t=444

LHK Marukyan about resolving the border conflict:

If we win, we will remove the Azeri troops with diplomatic efforts. Our foreign policy will be balanced. Our theses for internal unity to counter the enemy together are becoming more relevant. We will strengthen our 540km borders with the help of technologies.

The personal attacks between Pashinyan and Kocharyan are concerning. LHK is offering an alternative.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054739.html

BHK Tsarukyan promises to forgive your loans:

I promise not to lie during my speech. The situation is difficult: jobs, economy, politics, healthcare, loans. We must forgive the loans because people cannot repay them.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054766.html

Tsarukyan about security:

Our 30-point program starts with security. We must improve the relations with Russia. That's the only option. They have proven that they support us on any issue. And today the Armenian-Russian soldiers must stand on our border, shoulder to shoulder.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054766.html

Tsarukyan about economy:

We should invest to reopen the closed factories. We should separate Agriculture Ministry from Economy Ministry. We should have so many jobs that others will come to Armenia for work. Look at Arab countries.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054766.html https://youtu.be/U8fH_8HZXJQ

Tsarukyan about small & medium business:

In any country, small and medium business accounts for 30% of the budget resources. In Armenia, it's 1%. It's disgraceful. We don't have a small and medium business; we have people trying to make ends meet. We should give tax waivers to 300,000 families for a year.

I will use my connections to help the country.

https://factor.am/379885.html

Pashinyan about Artsakh's self-determination:

Yes, we in a seriously injured situation, but today I see more opportunities to resolve the Artsakh issue in accordance with our ideas, compared to what we had 4 years ago.

I can't give you all the details for the same reason I could not share negotiation details in 2018-2019. I can only say that OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs have expressed the need to resume negotiations to clarify the final status of Karabakh.

The chances of implementing the "separation for salvation" formula have significantly increased. We need to work consistently in this direction.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054736.html https://youtu.be/dG556GcGJE0

Pashinyan vows to mass-layoff "officials serving as Trojan horse":

[When he took the office in 2018, he promised there wouldn't be mass layoffs of staff even if they were perceived as somewhat corrupt and affiliated with the former regime. Now he is vowing to change that.]

There will be կադրային ջարդ (mass layoffs) if I'm elected. We will fire those officials who were given a chance by the revolution but instead hid in the corridors of state offices and acted as Trojan Horse. Give me the mandate to kick all of them out from the public administration system.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054749.html

Pashinyan traveled through Aragatsotn province

https://youtu.be/19RYIVulxho?t=99

Tsarukyan traveled through Gavar

https://youtu.be/W7DmvGpZA_w?t=117

Serj's alliance leader Vanetsyan discloses his property ownership

106 m2 apartment on Yerevan's Baghramyan St.

Doesn't own a car.

Earned $4,000 in the past year; it was his NSS pension.

Savings are $44,000.

https://factor.am/379788.html

Levon Ter-Petrosyan discloses his property ownership

A house and land in Yerevan. 3 public spaces.

A 1997 Lincoln Town Car [with Italians always sitting in the backseat?]

Last year's income: $21k from a pension, $200 for doing some work for Matenadaran, $23k from Impreso Ltd.

$2,000 in a bank deposit.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/215647

Pashinhyan discloses his property ownership

$24k from salaries as Premier.

$3,300 in cash.

$4,800 in a bank account, down from $9,000 last year.

No apartments or vehicles [did he actually donate his Yerevan apartment to a low-income family in 2019?]

https://factor.am/380054.html

Kocharyan disclosed his property ownership:

Owns $3.8 million.

One 195m2 apartment in Stepanakert and one 1715 m2 in Yerevan's Isakov Blvd.

Received $53k in a corporate bond, $78k (?) in interest from bank deposit, $199k from Russian SISTEMA company.

Holds 0.0306% of SISTEMA company shares/stocks.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/215620

Armenia holds discussions with United States DoD's Defense Threat Reduction Agency

DTRA rep. met Emergency Ministry today to discuss the handling of chemical, biological, nuclear, and radioactive crises, how to respond to chemical weapon attacks, etc. "The program will contribute to the development of biological threat detection, prevention and response capabilities in Armenia."

Armenia will import special devices this Autumn and invite experts for training.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054767.html

Konstantin Orbelyan appointed music director and conductor of New York City Opera

Orbelyan is Armenia's Opera & Ballet Theater director besides being a conductor. His "Rigoletto" will be performed [in New York] on August 29. "We welcome Maestro Orbelyan in the NYC opera family."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054740.html

Baku facing backlash after blocking ethnic Armenian soccer commentator

A very famous Russian commentator Vasili Utkin complained about Azeris blocking a Russian commentator with Armenian origins from being accredited for European competition. He criticized the ethnic discrimination, and referred to those who blocked him as "cattle".

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054771.html https://en.armradio.am/2021/06/08/baku-blocks-football-commentator-nobel-arustamyans-accreditation-for-euro-2020/

IRS suspends an illegal mining operation

IRS says: we received info that someone was conducting mining without a license in Mastara tuf mine in Aragatsotn. The investigation revealed that the company illegally mined and produced 6,700 m3 tuf stones. 1 m3 = ֏7,400

The miner has failed to pay dozens of millions in taxes and fees.

https://youtu.be/BIOKN21rFEE

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054745.html

Justice Minister lists the recent anti-corruption institutional reforms:

1) "Judicial Code" constitutional law was amended in March 2020 to bring judges' disciplinary liability in line with international standards.

2) The creation of new Anti-Corruption Committee and Anti-Corruption Courts [a new court that handles only corruption cases].

3) Public officials' declaration system reforms [broader range of officials to disclose more types of properties and transactions], and an ethics check institute.

4) Confiscation of the property with illegal origin.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054714.html

mandatory teacher accreditation

... is separate from the voluntary accreditation that can raise their salaries 30-50%. In the mandatory one, the state requires a retraining every 5 years.

This time teachers can choose from one of 48 organizations for retraining, to take their 30 classes and gain enough credits to pass.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054718.html

roads are being raised near Lake Sevan due to address increasing water levels

Crews have been working on the Sevan-Martuni-Getap section of interstate road for a month now. "The need arose as a result of the rising waters of Lake Sevan", said the Gegharkunik government.

There are two sections that will be raised, gabion will be built, double-layer asphalt. Up to 3.5 meters raise.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054726.html

Gegharkunik's Nerkin Getashen resumes road construction after 2020 suspension

The ֏250m project is co-subsidized by federal and local authorities. 11 roads will be asphalted.

Getashen will also have a new 6.7km irrigation network. Ready in 2022.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054727.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054777.html

photos: railway giant imports 27 new fancy passenger wagons

Russian-owned South Caucasus Railways has imported the first batch of new wagons. They will make their debut during the June 15 reopening of the Armenia-Georgia border. Two more locomotives will be imported this summer.

Russian ambassador: this investment will help Armenia's tourism and economy. The modern wagons are made in Tver's factory. They come with vending and coffee machines, toilets, water purifiers, shower cabinets (ցնցուղախցիկ?), USB ports, TVs, colored lighting.

https://factor.am/379843.html https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1169067246942058

3,460 Artsakh residents traveled from Yerevan to Artsakh in May

The capital continues to provide free bus trips to refugees.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/215778

Minister presents public education stats:

The number of public schools remained the same ~1,335 in 2020 and 2019, but the number of enrolled students increased from 361k to 388k.

The program that provides free food to children will expand to all provinces within the next two years.

Universal inclusive education has been introduced in Yerevan and 8 provinces.

21 new preschools were built last year.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054751.html

President Sarkissian...

met the Minister of High Tech, Economy, and FAST [science and tech] foundation chief to discuss the promotion of science in Armenia, including as part of his ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) initiative.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054760.html

private and public sector join to discuss broadband internet accessibility

Broadband Internet Week is being held in Yerevan. The High Tech Ministry and telecom operators were joined by a CIS representative to discuss the development of the internet.

Telecoms: The meeting will promote cooperation between the public and private sectors, which is a precondition for the development of the internet and the implementation of best practices. //

There will be lectures about internet reach, infrastructure mapping, using the most efficient broadband tools, etc.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054761.html

Japan will donate 51 fully-equipped ambulance vehicles

Healthcare Minister Avanesyan: Azerbaijan targeted ambulance vehicles during the war. The state budget and All Armenia Fund purchased 37 all-terrain ambulances and 10 Ford reanimobiles recently.

The diaspora has since donated more ambulances to Armenia and Artsakh. The fleet is fully stocked now. Japan will donate another 51 this year.

Our goal now is to make capital investments and prevent things from reaching the point that we have to ask the international community for ambulance vehicles.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054716.html

COVID stats / no deaths for the first time in a long while

3067 tested. 73 infected. 105 healed. 0 deaths. 3122 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054709.html

Healthcare Minister Avanesyan about COVID fight:

I hope the number of vaccinations will surpass 50k by the end of this week.

The healthcare system did not have a shortage of protective equipment last year. It's important in terms of protecting medical workers. The system was able to meet almost all goals despite being under immense pressure.

Last year the healthcare budget ended up being ֏142b, significantly higher than planned [֏111b]. The additional funds were spent on the pandemic.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054706.html

Tourism Federation chief agrees with industry reps: tourism is slowly reviving:

Right now, most arrivals are from countries where the borders are open: Russia, Georgia, Iran, USA, Ukraine, and some EU states.

The number of tourists in the first quarter of 2021 is greater than in most of 2020 combined.

2020's Q2 + Q3 + Q4: 65,000

2021's Q1: 86,000

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054713.html

a breakthrough in the physics of blood clotting

There are tiny things in the blood that act as super-glue to plug injured blood vessels. They form a clot when there are many. Scientists have discovered that an "asynchronous" activity can decrease clot volume by 90%. The finding could lead to better ways to treat clotting and bleeding.

Full: https://www.news.gatech.edu/2021/06/07/breakthrough-physics-blood-clotting?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=email

today in history

1588: ethnic Armenian architect Mimar Sinan dies. He served as a chief architect under multiple Ottoman rulers.

1869: Chicago inventor McGaffet patents "sweeping machine", a hand-pumped non-motorized vacuum cleaner.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1054688.html

in case you missed the June/7/2021 news

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/nul372/news_jun72021_1_hadrut_treason_two_confess_to/

Все Новости за 7 июня 2021

Translated by Impossible-Ad-

https://www.reddit.com/r/ArmDailyReports_RUS_/comments/nuxunl/все_новости_за_7_июня_2021/

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/nvdzbu/jun820211_soldier_returned_after_crossing_border/

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