2021 May 12

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

May/12/2021: (1) Azeris use fake map to claim a hill near Syunik's Black Lake is their; Security Council meet; fake news on Gegharquniq & shootout (2) Archaeologists discover Roman-era aqueduct & baths in Artashat (3) Army official busted w/treason (4) Artsakh accuses Azerb. of violating UN charter
by ar_david_hh


Your 12-minute Wednesday report in 3293 words.

rumors & rebuttals: Azeris are blocked from installing positions on Syunik hill after 3.5km advancement / Fake news about borders in Gegharquniq, Tavush, Vayots Dzor / NSS threatens legal action over "intentional misinformation campaign"

There is a small lake called Black Lake on the border between Armenia (Syunik) and Azerbaijan. Azeris are supposed to own ~30% but they attempted to install positions on one of the hills that belongs to Armenia. Armenian and Russian sides went to negotiate the Azeri withdrawal.

Defense Ministry: this morning Azeri soldiers came forward while claiming they were doing "border clarification" in one of the locations on the Syunik border. They stopped their activities after Armenian units intervened and began negotiating.

Media publications about skirmishes and shootouts in the Ishkhanasar area [near Black Lake] are fake news. The Defense Ministry would be the first to inform in the event of such developments. We urge the media to refrain from circulating unverified and panic-inducing information. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052075.html

Parliamentary Security Committee Chief Andranik: Azeris came forward with a 1974 map in their hands and claimed that one of the hills was theirs.

[Reporter asks why there was no Armenian position on that particular hill] It's the type of hill that is not suited for defense and cannot be protected properly. In the event of war, you could make it surrender with an operation involving just one soldier. We can't place soldiers on every inch.

There were no clashes; such reports were a planned provocation. The Armenian, Russian, and Azeri sides are negotiating. It will be resolved. This could be a political move by Azerbaijan to stir things up.

An Armenian public official lied about a shootout and several soldiers receiving wounds. Hraparak outlet published an old November 29 photo and wrote that the army is moving reinforcement troops. The only thing left is for our media outlets to give Azeris the location of our secret military units.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052102.html https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1459642354371563 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213614 https://www.civilnet.am/news/606728/3-կմ-առաջ-չեն-եկել-մեկ-բարձունքի-մասին-է-խոսքը․-անդրանիկ-քոչարյանը՝-սյունիքում-միջադեպի-մասին/

Syunik Governor: Azeris used an old map and claimed that the hill is theirs, but in reality it's ours. We are negotiating for them to leave. They will leave when their commander instructs them. There aren't many of them. The hill is 1.8km-2km within our territory. There were no shootings, the two sides are standing face to face. There are ongoing negotiations for them to leave.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213638

MP Armen Khachatryan: after the snow melted, Azeris decided to install their border positions on their portion of Black Lake but ended up crossing into our side. Our side intervened and prevented them. There were no skirmishes.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213590

NSS: false information was circulated by media outlets and social media about alleged skirmishes in Syunik. We warn against the practice of stoking panic among the population. There will be legal consequences against such actions.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052083.html

Human Rights Ombudsman office criticized the spread of misinformation and reminded the authorities about the need to "circulate official information more widely to combat misinformation."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052095.html

Pashinyan held a Security Council meeting about Syunik's Black Lake hill and said: This morning, Azeri troops crossed the Republic of Armenia border and advanced 3.5km, essentially trying to claim the entire lake.

They are using a fake map to justify their actions. We have the real Soviet-era map and it clearly shows this area belongs to Armenia.

These actions are unacceptable for the Republic of Armenia. Our primary plan is to resolve this through negotiations; that's one of the options.

Our army responded with appropriate tactical shifts and other actions. But it's important to note that there were no shootouts.

Unfortunately, as expected, the incident became a tool of internal speculations. I urge once again not to use external security issues for political purposes because this is a matter of national security.

We will make decisions today.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052147.html

[Gegharquniq rumors were fake news]

Opposition MP Taguhi [confirmed by Gegharquniq governor]: dear residents of Gegharquniq province, the circulating rumors about Azeri advancement near Vardenis/Shorja were concerning so I decided to check myself. I just finished speaking with a local commander and learned that no incident of aggressions took place across Gegharquniq borders.

I learned that Azeris had earlier installed their positions further back inside their territory because the snow did not allow them to come closer. Now that the snow has melted, they moved forward [within their territory]. The General reassured that not one millimeter of the Armenian border was affected.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052097.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052103.html

After false rumors were circulated about the border shootout in Syunik, one of the opposition outlets learned that there were Armenian military exercises in nearby Ishkhanadzor and they might have fired shots, which might have coincided with the Black Lake hill incident and created confusion. [This is an unofficial theory.]

A nearby military station confirmed about exercises but denied rumors by opposition Hraparak outlet and MediaPort Telegram channel, which had earlier claimed that the soldiers in Lusakert military base were being deployed on Syunik border after an alarm was raised. "These were pre-planned military exercises in our military unit."

https://fip.am/15498 https://168.am/2021/05/12/1511166.html

MP Arthur Hovhannisyan: the truth is that Azeris attempted to do positional work in Syunik but they were stopped after the intervention. The Armenian political bands took advantage and launched a media campaign.

At first, an outlet newspressAm circulated rumors about shootout. Then HraparakAm circulated November 29 photo claiming that troops are being moved right now. They were joined by former Syunik governor Vahe Hakovyan [Kocharyan's alliance member] with his outlet ParaTv, and with the help of their mini-mayors, they began circulating fake news about wounded soldiers.

Then the Dashnaks with their YerkirAm began lying about border tension in Gegharquniq province, which was again a complete lie.

Knowing that we are in a difficult situation after the war, these circles are attempting to create an atmosphere of fear and tension to win political dividends.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213632

other misinformation about borders

Defense Ministry denied rumors about shootouts on Tavush's Voskepar-Baghanis-Voskevan borders. The head of the Public Council, who has been residing near Tavush border for several days, accused the rumor-spreaders of being "Aliyev's agents".

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213653 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213654

Rumor was circulated claiming Azeris poisoned bordering Armenian villagers after hundreds of residents developed signs of poisoning. However, it was pointed out that the settlement's water source is far from the AM-AZ border. Subsequent water samples showed no poison in it.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213643

some non-fake news from borders

Today the government allocated 5 pieces of land to NSS to strengthen positions in Syunik's Kapan and Goris.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213639

Kocharyan's co-defendant will lead Kocharyan's election campaign

Armen Gevorgyan and Kocharyan are charged with $4 million bribery. Gevorgyan will lead Kocharyan's election campaign. He used to be an aide.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213594

Who qualifies to vote remotely from abroad?

This year the remote voting is between June 11-13. It applies to diplomats and their families, soldiers, and legal entities registered in Armenia with representatives located abroad.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052081.html

prosecutors form a special group tasked with monitoring election integrity and possible media reports about violations

https://factor.am/369868.html

National Security Services bust a high-ranking army official with high treason & passing secrets to Azerbaijan

NSS report says: evidence was obtained showing that a former high-ranking army official committed treason against the territorial integrity and security of Armenia and Artsakh.

We also found that he formed a group, and without a license, imported military equipment and sold it to a foreign national in Armenia.

treason charges

While serving as an army official, he had access to secret documents. Several years ago he went to Georgia where he was recruited by the Azerbaijani intelligence agencies. He collected military armament and personnel-related secrets about Armenia and Artsakh, and transferred them to Azerbaijan. He also provided other assistance in carrying out hostile actions.

He had financial problems which served as the motive for transferring the secrets to unidentified Azeri agents, in exchange for money. With the help of a foreign company, he developed a plan to transfer data disguised from Armenian intel agencies.

He collected information about military positions, purpose, personnel details, weaponry and quantity, radio-tech, equipment, plans, and other details, and stored it in his house. He used his personal connections in the army to speak with other officers in Armenia and Artsakh to obtain further info.

Upon gathering the information, he made multiple trips to Georgia where he altered his physical appearance before meeting Azeri agents in the Azerbaijani embassy and outside, and made phone calls, to share the gathered information.

As a result of his actions, Azerbaijan was able to make accurate calculations about Armenian forces to draw tactical conclusions for its own army composition in certain areas.

Additionally, he illegally obtained and stored sniper rifles, thousands of bullets, F-1 grenades, machine guns, and other weaponry in his personal residence until Jun/3/2020.

The suspect has been arrested. The case was sent to prosecutors to charge him with treason and illegal business.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052057.html https://youtu.be/ZU6VPamJGVo

Tags: #treason #ArmyTreason

Azeri civilian hospitalized after landmine explosion near AM-AZ border

https://factor.am/369858.html

Artsakh government accuses Azerbaijan of violating UN Charter and international laws, calls for de-occupation of Artsakh territories

Artsakh MFA: a trilateral ceasefire was reached in 1994 between representatives of Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. It was followed by the CIS statement then Bishkek Protocols, which were co-signed by representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh, Kyrgyz (Bishkek host), Russia, and CIS.

It was followed by a 1995 agreement under OCSE to strengthen the ceasefire.

After the 2016 April escalation known as the 4-day war, a ceasefire was once again reached with Russian mediation.

The indefinite ceasefire agreement, which stopped the military aggression by Azerbaijan against the Artsakh population, was viewed by the international community as a binding document to prevent bloodshed and to create conditions for a peaceful resolution.

The UN General Secretary, OSCE president, CoE general secretary, and OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries have repeatedly emphasized the importance of the need to comply with this agreement.

On September 27, 2020, with the help of Turkey and international terrorists, Azerbaijan launched a new aggression against Artsakh, thus grossly violating the 1994 and subsequent agreements.

By doing so, Azerbaijan violated the UN Charter and basic principles such as non-use of force, peaceful resolution of conflicts, respect for fundamental freedoms, and the right of peoples to freely control their own destiny.

Azerbaijan's illegal actions violated the principles of "pacta sunt servanda" (treaties must be observed). They used banned weapons, tortured and killed prisoners of war, kept POWs illegally, and destroyed heritage sites; these re are all subject to international legal liability.

The November 10, 2020 ceasefire mediated by Russia does not absolve Azerbaijan of responsibility. The outcome of this military aggression is illegal because they are a result of illegal use of force.

We believe that the establishment of a lasting peace requires rectification of the consequences of the recent armed aggression, including the de-occupation of Artsakh territories, the release of POWs, as well as conscientious conduct of negotiations under OSCE Minks Group.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052064.html

Tags: #UNresolution #MilitaryAggression #UNcharter

anti-corruption: former mayor of Meghradzor is facing felony charges

Investigators said: the director of Noralusin company, with the intention of building an illegal structure on an illegally-obtained land in the Phoenix village (Kotayk), contacted the Meghradzor municipality to obtain permission to build a cottage.

He built the structure not only illegally but also intruded into the neighbor's territory. He then conspired with Meghradozor's former mayor and an unlicensed individual to measure the lands and submit them to a state property management agency.

[a few more land shenanigants later...]

The ex-mayor of Meghradzor and his aide are charged with felony abuse of power and falsifications.

https://factor.am/369865.html

thousands of young soldiers will receive help with finding jobs

A social program titled "New Page" will help one thousand soldiers under 30y to obtain skills, assess their needs and abilities, and find work. Numerous employers have joined the program to accept workers.

Human Resources Association of Armenia: we finalized the work on collecting information and forming a database. Classes began in April. 66 participants have already enrolled in classes, with hundreds in line. 80 job positions were offered by employers, with hundreds pending assessment. We expect 884 hirings within 6 months.

Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052082.html

Pashinyan forms a taskforce to discuss VAT tax reforms

https://factor.am/369871.html

program to resume vegetation and forests on river basins

Nature Ministry is planting 135K willow trees near Masrik and Karchaghbyur rivers as part of a German-Armenian COVID aid program to hire local workers affected by COVID-economics.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213583

humanitarian aid has increased

Armenia has received 8.2% more aid this year so far. 8.1x more prepared food, 5.9x more plastic items.

EU -19%

USA +90%

Spain +22x

Netherlands +29x

Czechia +27x

France +3x

China +2x

https://factor.am/369889.html

COVID stats

3892 tested. 354 infected. 403 healed. 16 deaths. 8550 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052062.html

Armenia receives the second pair of Sputnik-V vaccines

The new 14,000 units will supplement the 14,000 that were received earlier. Sputnik-V is reserved for high-risk groups, while AstraZeneca is for anyone above 18.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052059.html

public vaccination sites expand

If the line in clinics is too long, you may try a mobile vaccine site in Yerevan's Northern Avenue, Dalma Garden Mall, MegaMall, Gyumri Vardanants Square, Vanadzor's Hayq Square, or a booth near Dilijan municipality.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052059.html

update: disability law reforms are also aimed at reducing corruption, improving disability access, providing personal assistance

Earlier this month Parliament approved a bill to reform Armenia's disability system to take into account the person's surrounding environment and the practical ability to function in the society, which will be the defining factor that determines their disability status. The 1-3 ranks were replaced with light, medium, heavy, deep ranking. The reform was done in cooperation with international experts.

Labor & Social Affairs Ministry: the new ranking system will evaluate the person's health, cognitive abilities, environmental factors. The goal is to maximize their integration with society according to their limitations.

To reduce corruption risks, the process of forming the groups that assess the disability will change. There won't be permanent groups anymore. There will be a registry containing specialists' details that will be used to form groups. Each specialist will select the time when they are available for work. They will be selected and dispatched. They won't know ahead of time who their patient will be.

Existing support programs are maintained: medicine, medical aid, financial aid, etc. From now on, even if the person is found not to have a disability but still requires some assistance, they will receive assistance in order to prevent worsening of the condition.

The law emphasizes the need to have a disability-friendly environment. Public buildings will have 3 years to adjust with disability access. There will be penalties for non-compliance which will increase if not corrected within a year. The goal is not to issue fines, so there will be a widespread awareness campaign first.

The law also envisions an institute of a personal assistant. After assessing the needs, the government will provide personal assistant as a service.

This is a cornerstone law. Other laws and services will be later added based on it.

Full: https://youtu.be/jcqHlTS5v3I

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052101.html https://factor.am/369708.html https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/n5opp8/may52021_news_1_army_to_retrain_commanders/

Tags: #DisabilityLaw #SocialServices

Armenian tech startup Hexact

... presented their "Hexowatch" tool and had one of the best campaigns in popular SaaS platform "AppSumo"'s history. The latter only launches one campaign per day. Hexact's campaign generated $400,000 in sales; only a few had scored more than that.

AppSumo has 2-3 million monthly visitors who found Hexowatch as time-saving and good for business.

Hexact rep.: Angel investors and Venture Funds are important for the development of startups, but there are other options, too. This is one such "case study" and serves as a way to attract funds and understand customer needs.

It takes a great effort to be featured on this platform but it's not impossible at all. You gain a new customer base, brand advocates, and learn which way to develop. //

Hexact was founded in 2019 in the US and has an office in Armenia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052069.html

Georgian Premier visits Armenia

Irakli met Pashinyan, the two exchanged friendly speeches and spoke about the need to expand the economic partnership. "Armenian-Georgian cooperation is one of the most important guarantors of regional stability... The Karabakh conflict should be resolved with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group... In this regard, it is important to maintain a balanced and constructive position on issues that are sensitive to each of us," said Pashinyan.

Georgian Premier said peaceful resolution has no alternatives and Georgian is willing to help with dialogue. Irakli visited Tsitsernakaberd.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052104.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052107.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052108.html

Eid al-Fitr

Today Muslims are celebrating the breaking of the Fast, which marks the end of Ramadan. Pashinyan congratulated the leaders of several Muslim states.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052058.html

Yerevan transport was partially paralyzed amid fuel dispute between oil supplier and bus company

A contract dispute arose between CPS Oil company and "Yerevan Bus" company, resulting in long lines in bus stops. It's because hundreds of bus drivers were holding a protest: "The city has a contract with a fuel company but the latter hasn't provided us the fuel for two days."

CPS Oil, the company that delivers the fuel, responded by blaming it on the bus company itself, saying they haven't paid the bills for several months so it's time to "execute the contract". CPS Oil said they have always tried to help the financially struggling bus company but it can't last forever, and that the company has to repay the ֏190m in debt.

In the afternoon, the municipality said the problem was partially resolved after they held negotiations with the fuel supplier. The fuel deliveries resumed. "The vehicles belonging to the company have been refueled and will resume operations soon, we apologize for the inconvenience."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052052.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052070.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052077.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052080.html

archaeologists discover Roman baths, aqueduct, and palaces in Armenia's Artashat city / Roman Emperor Trajan's 114 AC invasion of Armenia

There is a river and a chain of hills near Khor Virap. Archaeologists found 2nd Century AD Roman aqueduct foundation, Roman baths, and palaces.

Institute of Archeology and Ethnography: excavations in Artashat began back in 1970. In recent years (2018-2019), the city's excavation was split into two directions.

The first group is near the river, not far from Araks River. The second group is consisted of German-Armenian experts and is located in southcity, on the slopes of Khor Virap hill-chain.

The Roman bath discovered near the river is large and has mosaics, a double-heating floor, a complex system of water removal and delivery, a Regia (urban promenade), and many structures full of murals.

The finding of this district reveals a very interesting period of Artashat's history when the Roman culture had a serious influence on local culture.

In the past two years, we examined almost 40 hectares of area. It was known since 1970 that Artashat 15 hill had structures and that the hills were surrounded by a 10-kilometer wall, but at the time, experts did not know the conditions on the slopes.

Our first excavation revealed two palaces in the lowland. A geophysical anomaly was emerging, which caused great confusion. Eventually, we learned that it was the base of a Roman aqueduct. This is a rare occurrence not only for Armenia but for the Middle East.

By judging from its direction and shape, we concluded that it was receiving water from the springs of the modern-day Vedi River in Artashat. The aqueduct was 30km in length. It was built in the 2nd century AD.

Roman emperor Trajan invaded Armenia in 114 AC and we remained under Roman rule until late-116 AC. This is the period when the aqueduct was built

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052110.html

Tags: #Artashat #RomanBath

ICYM yesterday's news

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/na5x46/may112021_newsletter_1_armenians_built_baku_2/gxucnpn/

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/naz9hj/may122021_1_azeris_use_fake_map_to_claim_a_hill/

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