2021 March 31
- 1 Daily news wrap-up
- 2 polls: which public officials have the highest personal rating. Scale 1-5.
- 3 polls: are you aware of the June 20 snap elections announced by Pashinyan?
- 4 polls: do you believe the elections will be fair and transparent?
- 5 polls: whom will you vote for?
- 6 poll: which source of media do you prefer for learning about political parties' plans? (multiple choice)
- 7 polls: how often do you believe you come across fake news and misinformation?
- 8 poll: who do you believe spreads misinformation?
- 9 polls: which country/union should Armenia improve the relations with?
- 10 former US representative to OCSE Minsk Group about "Lavrov Plan"
- 11 90s war hero Arkadiy Ter-Tadevosyan has passed away
- 12 March 1st victim lawyers and NGOs gave a press conference about Constitutional Court's verdict
- 13 incidents
- 14 images of Iskander shells
- 15 US State Department report about Azerbaijan also mentions 44-day war
- 16 US State Department about the Armenian justice system, high-profile trials, army, free speech, etc.
- 17 Google to contribute $29 million to Gyulbenkyan-EU fund to fight fake news
- 18 All Armenia Fund will build new roads connecting Artsakh settlements to highways
- 19 Artsakh public transport expands with 2 new routes
- 20 All Armenia Fund donated 10 buses to Artsakh
- 21 High Tech Minister resigns after the cafe confrontation
- 22 video: lung ventilators made in Armenia
- 23 COVID stats
- 24 prosecutors launched 95 felony cases relating to arms smuggling out of Artsakh during and after the war
- 25 NSS busts a scam that targeted families of missing soldiers
- 26 someone at Gyumri's Austrian Children's Hospital is facing embezzlement charges
- 27 video: police caught two men who recently stole a bronze statue in Yerevan
- 28 new conflict is brewing between Ukraine and Russia
- 29 Artsakh refugees continue to return to their homes
- 30 modular schools are being built in small settlements
- 31 soldiers will be taught patriotism
- 32 Education Minister Dumanyan: 100 days in office
- 33 Eurasian Development Bank will have new digital tools for work migrants
- 34 World Bank predicts a 3.4% economic growth for Armenia
- 35 apricot intensive gardens provide a much higher yield
- 36 update: the unified center for public services
- 37 historic: Armenia vs Romania / third victory in a raw / World Cup 2022 qualifiers
- 38 today in history
- 39 end of report
- 40 Support David's Daily Armenia News Summaries!
Daily news wrap-up
Mar/31/2021: (1) Polls: Ratings. Party with highest support. Top news sources. Who spreads most fake news? (2) Constitutional Court (3) Lavrov Plan (4) Iskander in Shushi (5) US State Dept. report on Armenia & Azerb. (6) Himnadram's new roads & buses (7) Many apricots (8) Soccer success (9) Economy
Your 12-minute Wednesday report in 2970 words.
polls: which public officials have the highest personal rating. Scale 1-5.
Surveys by GALLUP International among 801 phone responders in March 26-29. Margine of error 3.5%.
HR Ombudsman Tatoyan 3.7
President Sarkissian 2.4
Kocharyan and Tsarukyan 2.1
Edmon Marukyan 1.9
ARF Ishkhan Saghatelyan 1.5
Vazgen Manukyan 1.5
Arthur Vanetsyan 1.4
polls: are you aware of the June 20 snap elections announced by Pashinyan?
92.5% yes, 7.5% no polls: do you plan to participate in the elections?
51.9% yes, 30.9% no, 17.2% don't know
polls: do you believe the elections will be fair and transparent?
44.5% yes, 43.1% no, 13.5% don't know
polls: whom will you vote for?
(Combined: non-former block 35.1%, former bloc 16.2%, NONE 24.6%)
Pashinyan's QP 31.7%
Tsarukyan's BHK 4.4%
Edmon's LHK 2.7%
Serj's HHK 2.4%
Vazgen Manukyan 1%
Sasna Tsrer 0.5%
Arthur Vanetsyan's Hayreniq 0.4%
Citizen's Decision 0.1%
poll: which source of media do you prefer for learning about political parties' plans? (multiple choice)
I don't care about their plans 13.5%
News sites 9.4%
I don't know 8%
Social network 3.7%
Local meetings 2.6%
Party's official website 1.1%
Wall posters 0.1% (WHO IS GONNA CLEAN IT UP?)
polls: how often do you believe you come across fake news and misinformation?
Every day or almost every day 79.8%
At least once a month 2.1%
Multiple times a month 8.1%
I don't know what's fake news 4%
poll: who do you believe spreads misinformation?
I don't know 11.7%
polls: which country/union should Armenia improve the relations with?
former US representative to OCSE Minsk Group about "Lavrov Plan"
Russian MFA Lavrov created a plan a decade ago, the existence of which he denied as late as in 2017, according to which Armenia would give away 5 regions, wait some time, then give another 2 regions (Qarvachar and Lachin). The negotiations of self-determination would be postponed to a later date, after installing Russian troops.
Former US representative to OSCE Minsk Richar Hoagland recalls:
OSCE developed the Madrid Principles throughout the years. It would end with a self-determination referendum. While I was a member of the Minsk group, Russian MFA Lavrov revealed his own plan, which became known as Lavrov Plan.
When it was published, I asked my fellow co-chair Russian representative Popov if he truly believes that Russia would implement the plan if Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed, to which he honestly admitted: "no, of course".
It was then that I realized that Nagorno-Karabakh is not a two-sided issue between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In reality, Russia plays a key role.
Russia can resolve conflicts in Abkhazia, Ossetia, Transnistria, eastern Ukraine, but it prefers not to do so for various reasons, one of which is losing influence over those countries. //
90s war hero Arkadiy Ter-Tadevosyan has passed away
Also known as Commandos, Maj.Gen. Tadevosyan was born in 1939. He participated in Togh and Shushi battles in the 90s. Public officials sent condolences and remembered his accomplishments.
March 1st victim lawyers and NGOs gave a press conference about Constitutional Court's verdict
They criticized the verdict that struck down Article 300.1, which could allow Kocharyan to avoid the harshest punishment he is charged with.
The attendees called the verdict a "political decision". Some of them criticized the Pashinyan administration for not purging the entire Constitutional Court during the 2019-2020 processes.
Who are the Constitutional Court judges?
There are 9 judges: 5 appointed by HHK, 1 under QP but nominated by fellow judges, 1 under QP and possibly QP-friendly, 1 under QP and QP-friendly.
President Arman Dilanyan: approved by HHK in 2018
Ashot Khachatryan: approved by HHK in 2010
Arevik Petrosyan: approved by HHK in 2010
Hrayr Tovmasyan: approved by HHK in 2018, former HHK MP
Arayik Tunyan: approved by HHK in 2014, held a job at Kocharyan's cabinet
Yervand Khundkaryan: approved by QP, but nominated by the judicial branch which isn't "QP-friendly"
Arthur Vagharshyan: approved by QP, nominated by President Sarkissian
Edgar Shatiryan: approved by QP, nominated by QP government
Vahe Grigoryan: approved by QP, strongly anti-former regime
An Armenian civilian from Davit Bek (near Lachin) received wounds from a landmine explosion.
Azeri officer Heydar Aliyev drowned in a lake in the Martuni region.
images of Iskander shells
Serj recently criticized the leadership for not using Iskander sooner during the war. The Iskander was allegedly used towards the end of the war when Azeris reached Shushi. There was a video allegedly showing an explosion.
Pashinyan would later counter-criticize Serj, saying the missiles purchased by the latter were not exploding at full capacity.
To defend its reputation, Russia claimed Iskander was never used at all. Pashinyan took back his words to prevent diplomatic wars.
Military figures, however, continued to insist that Iskander was used while denying the Russian claims. Recently Azeri sappers released photos of a used Iskander shell presumably caused by it. According to their report, the images were taken in Shushi.
US State Department report about Azerbaijan also mentions 44-day war
It mentions that Azerbaijan captured the regions "with Turkish support". It talks about the murder of POWs filmed by Azeri soldiers which were analyzed and confirmed as authentic by Bellingcat and others.
It also talks about political persecutions in Azerbaijan.
US State Department about the Armenian justice system, high-profile trials, army, free speech, etc.
The report talks about numerous problems with governance, flaws in the judicial branch, temporary media restrictions during the early pandemic days and martial law, etc.
Freedom of Speech: Individuals were free to criticize the government without fear of reprisal.
Political prisoners: "There were no credible reports of political prisoners or detainees."
The state of media: "Media outlets in general lacked diversity of political opinion and objective reporting. Private individuals or groups, most of whom were reportedly tied to the former authorities or the largest parliamentary opposition party [Gagik Tsarukyan], owned most broadcast media and newspapers, which tended to reflect the political leanings and financial interests of their proprietors.
Broadcast media, particularly public television, remained one of the primary sources of news and information for the majority of the population. According to some media watchdogs, public television, which underwent leadership change during the year, continued to present news from a pro-government standpoint. On several occasions independent media experts expressed concern about cases of bias on public television, claiming such bias was especially obvious during critical political debates and coverage of developments. Nonetheless, public television was largely balanced and open and accessible to opposition voices."
Libel/Slander Laws: "Media experts noted a decrease in the number of libel and defamation cases against media outlets by lawmakers, former officials, and others during the year. According to the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, 55 cases were filed with the courts during the first nine months of the year."
Google to contribute $29 million to Gyulbenkyan-EU fund to fight fake news
Galust Gyulbenkyan Foundation, European education institutes, and expert groups will collaborate to fight misinformation.
All Armenia Fund will build new roads connecting Artsakh settlements to highways
Himnadram.org: New and safe roads connecting settlements to highways will be built in Artsakh according to safety and economic priorities.
A shortcut road connecting Martakert to a nearby highway will cut travel by 20%; it'll be built this year. It will bypass part of the Drmbon-Stepanakert section by traveling through Chankatagh.
Asphalt will be laid in several roads of Martuni region's Qert and Kagharts, Martakert region's Upper Hoghart and Kochoght, and Askeran region's Badara. They will connect the settlements to highways.
Artsakh public transport expands with 2 new routes
Beginning in April, two new transport routes will connect Stepanakert, Nngi, Martuni, and Karmir Shuka.
All Armenia Fund donated 10 buses to Artsakh
High Tech Minister resigns after the cafe confrontation
A reporter saw Arshakyan dining at a cafe and began asking why he was there. The latter became agitated and threw fists at the reporter and his camera. He later apologized.
Today he decided to resign and called for public officials to respect journalists and to have a society without violence.
There are reports that Tavush governor Chobanyan could replace him as the High Tech Minister.
video: lung ventilators made in Armenia
High Tech Ministry: last year we cooperated with engineers and NASA JPL labs to create lung ventilators. They are advanced engineering units that use algorithms to decide the appropriate oxygen volume and pressure for the patient.
5 units are currently being tested ahead of certification and production.
6354 tested. 1148 infected. 459 healed. 18 deaths. 15168 active.
prosecutors launched 95 felony cases relating to arms smuggling out of Artsakh during and after the war
95 charges were filed. 14 dropped because suspects were unknown. 13 were found innocent. 63 ongoing cases. 39 individuals have been charged.
NSS busts a scam that targeted families of missing soldiers
NSS says: the suspect learned that a man lost his grandson during the war. He decided to defraud the man's relative living in Canada by contacting over social media and claiming that they needed money for the grave. The victim wired $2,700 to the suspect. The suspect is arrested.
someone at Gyumri's Austrian Children's Hospital is facing embezzlement charges
Last week the Gyumri police department received a report of alleged corruption at the hospital. According to the report, hospital staff registered children as patients to receive government-subsidized care but ended up embezzling the subsidy funds.
The police raided the offices last week. The director says he is unaware of embezzlement incidents. There are no official suspects at the moment.
video: police caught two men who recently stole a bronze statue in Yerevan
They confessed to that and another theft.
new conflict is brewing between Ukraine and Russia
Borch wars are brewing (pun intentded). Ukraine says it's their traditional soup and asked UNESCO to register it as such. The move is expected to result in widespread mass protests in Russia, and possibly Poland.
Dow ended -7.5%, NASDAQ -6.4%, Bitcoin -92.5% (or as Borat would say... not).
Artsakh refugees continue to return to their homes
70% of the Karmir Shuka population has returned. That's 790 residents with 233 farms. The rest are waiting for housing renovation to finish.
Several IDPs from other regions expressed interest in moving in. Two apartment complex buildings are being built.
modular schools are being built in small settlements
Education Minister Dumanyan: the construction of small modular schools in 16 settlements began in 2020 and will finish this year. Another 30 is on the list. We aim to double by 2024. They are for small settlements with few students.
soldiers will be taught patriotism
Education Minister Dumanyan: this year we plan to equip military units in Armenia and Artsakh with books about Armenian history and culture, as well as fiction genre, foreign language, etc.
The aim is to increase combat effectiveness and the cultural-historical education of the soldier.
Education Minister Dumanyan: 100 days in office
He listed several education reforms and programs enacted since he took the office:
Eurasian Development Bank will have new digital tools for work migrants
Tigran Sargsyan is a former Premier who currently serves as Deputy Chairman of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB). Recently, his project called "Digital Initiative Foundation" created an app that allows citizens of a few EAEU states to test negative and travel freely. They plan to expand it to other member-states.
Another program that's being developed is titled The Work in EAEU. Its goal is "to make migrants' lives easier by establishing digital services" and establish cooperation between migration services of member-states.
Besides helping migrants, it will also allow Russia to "keep tabs on migration flow and prevent illicit activities.".
This project will also have an app. "It'll be of great assistance to many Armenian seasonal workers who routinely travel to Russia." The app allows them to handle paperwork remotely, while located in Armenia.
For example, they can find a job, agree on the salary, receive all the necessary documents, sign the documents remotely, etc.
The EDB is currently working on creating a profile for each member-state. The profile describes the economy, the level of digitization and development in some areas, etc. It'll allow EDB to hold direct talks with the states to help improve conditions.
World Bank predicts a 3.4% economic growth for Armenia
The report talks about the COVID and war that resulted in a 7.6% economic decline and 7 percentage points rise in poverty. The economic recovery will be gradual.
While talking about the economic and geopolitical challenges, the report lists certain management gaps and the judicial system as weak points that can prevent Armenia from reaching its full potential.
Foreign investments are expected to remain modest, while the government borrowings will keep reserves at a comfortable level in the medium term.
The Debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to cross 70%. The inflation will remain within the Central Bank's 4% target, but it could increase if there is a sudden global food and fuel price hike.
World Bank: Armenia was gradually improving its economy before the pandemic. It had sound economic governance, which was strengthened by a strong fiscal rule, while improving financial sector control and having monetary policy relating to inflation.
The authorities embarked on an ambitious reform program that was aimed at strengthening governance in 2018. The economic growth was 6.4% in 2018 and 2019. We expect +3.4% in 2021, +4.3% in 2022, and maybe by 2023 it could return to pre-COVID levels. //
apricot intensive gardens provide a much higher yield
A few months ago, an intensive garden for apricot was planted in Armavir's Artamet settlements. It's expected to provide the largest yield in Armenia.
Economy Minister Qerobyan: it's 20 hectares but we plan to quadruple it. There was a ֏500M investment co-funded by "Modern" company and the government. //
One of the co-owners is the SPAYKA agricultural giant's head of project management department Baghdasaryan.
Baghdasaryan: after planning for few years, we applied during the war to receive funding from ACBA bank. It's a շալախ apricot intense garden, a type of garden that's rarely used in Europe.
The intense garden isn't just about the number of trees, but also about the design of how they are planted. The density is very high: 2,000 trees per hectare. Compared that to 120 trees. (daiyum?)
Intense gardens provide more yield, while the traditional tree gives 200kg in its lifetime and requires a much larger space.
We planted trees in a way to always receive sunlight. All branches will receive it equally.
We are approaching the point of being competitive in foreign trade. This is important while competing against Uzbek, Turkish, and other exporters who often do anti-competitive "dumping" in Russian markets.
The garden is 20ha but we obtained 80ha land. The rest will be planted later. We have 8 workers now, 25 by the end of this year.
We would like the government to help with subsidizing water use. 1ha = 1,000 m3 water. It's a big number when you scale it.
It costs ֏25M to plant 1 hectare. Starting from the 5th year, each hectare brings 50 tons. With a kilo selling for ֏350, that's ֏17.5M from each hectare. It pays for itself in 6-8 years.
update: the unified center for public services
Last July the Justice Ministry created a new office where citizens can handle the paperwork from different departments without having to travel to different facilities. In its first 5 months, the center has served 13k residents, says the MinJust.
historic: Armenia vs Romania / third victory in a raw / World Cup 2022 qualifiers
Romania began the game by focusing on long-range shots but were unsuccessful. Armenia was counter-attacking in the first 20 minutes. The ball was under Romanian control 71% of the time.
The 2nd half began with Armenian coach Jojo Caparros swapping 3 players. One of the additions was 19-year-old Edward Spertsyan. This was his first match.
The newb ended up scoring a goal in the 56th minute. However, Romania tied the score soon, then scored the second goal, 1:2.
Then a Romanian player received a red card and they had to play with 10 players. Armenia dominated the game towards the end of the match. One goal was scored with a head, while the third and final goal with an 11-meter penalty.
Armenia 3:2 Romania
Armenia currently leads Group J with 9 points. Second-place Germany, with 6 points, is yet to play its match. It's looking increasingly good for the Armenian team.
Macedonia vs Armenia - September 2
Germany vs Armenia - September 5
Armenia vs Lichteinstein - September 8
today in history
1770: sailor James Cook realizes that New Zealand is an island and takes a route to Australia
1889: Eiffel tower's official opening ceremony is held by architect Gustave Eiffel
1901: first Mercedes car was released
1993: Dadivank was liberated
1994: Bruce Lee's son Brandon Lee dies from an accidental shot fired during the filming of the movie The Crow
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/mhekub/mar312021_1_polls_ratings_party_with_highest/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2020 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2021 Daily Armenia Reports|