2021 May 24

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

News from May/24/2021: (1) Polls: who would win? (2) Levon criticizes not-one-inch-ers (3) Samvel Babayan (4) High-tech cooperation: ARM & RUS (5) Armenia & Iran discuss trade corridor (6) Geopolitics (7) Border news (8) Rumors & rebuttals (9) Tourism intensifies (10) Free housing (12) Sports drama
by ar_david_hh


Your 13-minute Saturday to Monday report in 3363 words.

rumors & rebuttals: the old fake news about the missing Armenian soldiers being located in Iran

On November 11] fake news was circulated about 83 missing Armenian soldiers allegedly being located in Iran. Iran and Armenia denied it.

The rumors re-circulated in the Armenian media again, claiming 160 soldiers had crossed to Iran. The rumor was again denied by the Irian embassy in Armenia and the Armenian MOD.

https://fip.am/13970 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053115.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/201639 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053138.html

rumors & rebuttals: MOD denies Azeris capturing an Armenian hill 5km from Sevan

MOD says Azeri positions are 30km from lake Sevan, not 5km. "They did not enter Armenia and they did not capture any hill. The hill seen in the Azeri video is on the border. In different parts of that border, on different heights, we also have positions and carry out combat duty."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053118.html

Azeris return cattle they stole from a shepherd

A while ago Azeris stole 42 cattle near Syunik's Aravus border village (near Lachin). They returned 37 after negotiations with Armenian forces, Armenian village mayor, and Russian peacekeepers. The negotiations continue for the other 5.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053154.html

MOD updates the situation near Syunik's Sev Lake:

There are no 1,000 Azeri soldiers near the lake. Some of those who crossed the border on May 22 have returned to their original positions. The situation is overall stable without incidents. Armenian forces continue to keep the Azeri forces blockaded.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053142.html

LHK party proposes Constitutional amendment

LHK MP Gorgisyan: citizens do not have to choose between the lesser of the evil. Vote "for" something, not "against". Our party proposes a Constitutional amendment to increase Presidential and Parliamentary powers. We will restore Diaspora and Agriculture Ministries, obviously with a more efficient structure [several Ministries were merged post-2018 citing the need for optimizations].

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053140.html

LHK and QP share similar views about army structure and AM-RU joint border protection

LHK MP: we should expand the military contract with Russia to modernize the army and border protection. We need the borders guarded only by professional servicemen. Armenia and Russia should create a new joint military unit for Syunik border protection to counter the Turkish-Azeri threats.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053143.html

LHK supports diplomacy over "shots" to resolve Syunik border conflict

LHK leader Marukyan: Azeris must withdraw. The border demarcation can be discussed in the future but not under the threat of violence. The role of diplomats and the international community now is to convince Azeris to withdraw. You can always shoot but the war should be the last option.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053148.html

LHK about occupied territories and Azeri war crimes:

We need to activate OSCE to have a resolution beneficial to Artsakh. Take consistent steps to return the occupied territories and to bring Azeri military-political leadership to justice for their war crimes.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053144.html

voters will be required to take off their masks for photo ID verification

Those who refuse will be escorted out.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=4110211579039898&id=176066689121093

polls: which political party will you vote for?

This is the first poll after major party alliances were announced.

24.8% Pashinyan's QP

14.6% difficulty answering

14.3% Armenia Alliance (Kocharyan + ARF)

13.4% none of the listed

13.3% refused to answer

4.1% Tsarukyan's BHK

3.1% Pativ Unem Alliance (HHK + Vanetsyan)

2.5% Republic Party

2% Marukyan's LHK

...

Per Evnreport calculations, the current polls would translate to the following election results:

Pashinyan's QP 42.1%

Kocharyan & ARF 24.3%

Tsarukyan's BHK 7%

No other party or alliance crosses the respective 5% and 7% threshold to enter parliament.

...

Pashinyan 61 seats

Kocharyan + ARF 34 seats

Tsarukyan 10 seats

https://www.evnreport.com/magazine-issues/latest-poll-numbers-imply-a-false-majority-election-outcome

first president Levon blasts "not one inch" politics and talks about events in 80s-90s

Levon Ter-Petrosyan: most opposition parties claim that Pashinyan is solely responsible for the defeat. I disagree. They created Pashinyan. Every political force that came after 1997 [Levon's departure] has turned down favorable resolutions based on compromise, and instead, opted for the destructive course of status-quo. It became the policy of every administration, for which they now blame only Pashinyan.

The elites, political analysts, journalists, academics, and almost all diasporan organizations also carry responsibility. In other words, everyone who turned հայդատականություն and not-one-inch-ism into a national religion that could not be questioned.

The aforementioned administrations essentially did what late Vazgen Sargsyan said:

1) "The land captured with blood cannot be given away with a document." They essentially gave the lands at the cost of more blood.

2) "We will go for compromise only when we are forced to." This translated into capitulation.

But to be fair, Vazgen Sargsyan recognized his mistake and tried to correct it by forming an alliance with Karen Demirchyan. I believe they could return the course to a realistic one, but that encouraging development was stopped by the October 27 terrorist attack in Parliament. [Ultranationalist group killed Vazgen and Demirchyan. Critics accused then-NSS chief Serj Sargsyan of knowingly allowing the crime to happen, which they believe would be beneficial for Kocharyan.]

The former officials [Kocharyan] blame the defeat on the people by calling them illiterate and indifferent, but it's not people's fault. It's people who bear the difficulties of war, blockade, attacks on gas and railways, losing dozens of thousands [since the 90s war].

It's also not the army's fault despite what the former and current governments say. The army fought against numerically and technologically superior enemies.

We lost the war not to Azerbaijan but to the antiquity of political thought. Unfortunately, some people in Armenia and diaspora have not learned and continue with the revengeful threats and vein expectations of foreign aid. This will get worse during the election campaign. It's dangerous and can lead to more losses.

[goes on to list people who he believes are level-headed and have realistic expectations in foreign policy.]

Only special people, particularly the Patriarch of Constantinople Maghakia Ormanyan, had the courage to speak out in public in the Armenian-Turkish relations, urging for caution and prudence. For this, he was overthrown by revolutionaries in 1908.

The members of the Karabakh Committee and Karabakh Movement activists were from the generation of the 1965 national awakening. They were fed with հայդատական demanding ideas with the main slogan being "lands, lands" [likely referring to Western Armenia].

This is why when in 1998 1988 Vazgen Manukyan said "there are no permanent allies and enemies", the crowd and intelligentsia did not accept that. Rafael Ishknayan's "exclusion of the third force" had an even bigger bombshell effect, followed by my 1989 June speech.

The public gradually began accepting this new idea based on realism and no illusions, but a fierce media opposition campaign was launched by Silva Kaputikyan, Lendrush Khurshudyan, and Zori Balayan. They were aided by [ARF offices in diaspora].

But despite their campaign, thanks to Karabakh Committee's reputation, [Levon's] HHsH members ended up defeating Silva Kaputikyan, Lendrush, and Zori Balayan in the elections with an overwhelming lead.

During our administration in 1990-1998, this entitlement did not have a place in our policies. Everything changed after the 1998 coup with the new administration [Kocharyan].

The encouraging part is that while in the old days the entitlement was rejected only by a few individuals, today it's adopted by dozens of thousands of members of a new generation. This inspires hope and optimism for the future.

https://factor.am/373553.html

General Samvel Babayan about the army and borders

Critics say the army should have opened fire at intruding Azeri soldiers. Do you agree?

The bigger issue is we don't have an army today. We don't have enough soldiers to station across the longer borders. We need a new professional army. The money that the government borrows and spends as post-war aid could have been borrowed and spent on the military before the war.

Whose fault is that that "we don't have an army today"?

All administrations in the past 20 years. But there is "guilt" and there is "crime". I suggest examining and punishing criminals.

Many do not agree with you about the army. They claim the army was the only mature institute.

Nobody likes to accept guilt. Of course, they will always claim that. Can you tell us whose fault it was that we lost Shahumyan and Martakert villages in 1992? You don't know, right? Now it's the same story. Everyone was passing the guilt in the 90s.

To avoid the same situation, let's examine and understand who should have made a decision, who should have issued an order, who should have reported to higher-ups that the orders weren't followed through. Let's find who is guilty.

What problems can there be if there is border demarcation?

We should resolve the Artsakh conflict first and restore its territorial integrity first. Give it a mandate. If Azerbaijan disagrees, do not discuss other issues. [Foreign Ministry said Armenia will agree to demarcation only if the Artsakh conflict is simultaneously resolved.]

Will you participate in elections?

Yes. We want to prevent internal bloodshed by acting as the force in the middle. Regardless of which side wins, there will be bloodshed.

There are concerns about election bribery.

There will be instances of bribery. Each party should have its trusted representative in each polling station. If you don't even have enough trusted representatives, why are you even running in the elections in the first place?

Can election bribery be stopped?

The state can. I have information that they are working on it in certain locations. Not at a mass scale yet.

Levon said we lost the war not to Azerbaijan but to not-one-inch-ism.

Everyone can cite their old statements and say "I was right". What I say is both sides were wrong. If he bought weapons and prepared the army, we would not be in this situation. You [Levon] did not do that, you sat on the couch, now you claim you were right.

Mr. Levon Ter-Petrosyan, in 1992 the entire nation and opposition gathered in the public square and accused you of intentionally giving away Shahumyan and Martakert villages. Were we supposed to believe that? Why [did we lose the lands], because we could not fight. We weren't ready. As soon as we changed the situation and made progress in the war, everyone said he was a winner president. Now it's the same situation. Keep quiet and prepare your army. Planting large flags on the border won't help. Azeris have 22,000 troops with high-tech. You can't counter that with rifles.

https://factor.am/373631.html https://factor.am/373636.html https://fip.am/15599

the army conducted daytime and nighttime military exercises

https://youtu.be/HAQvekp24ug

Russia and Armenia discuss high-tech cooperation

High Tech Minister Chobanyan met Russian ambassador Kopyrkin. The latter said Russia wants to increase cooperation in the fields of radio electronics, IoT, drones, electronic management, etc. Armenian envoy will visit Russia this summer.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053221.html

Armenian MFA about European Parliament's pro-Armenian resolution:

The resolution urges Azerbaijan to immediately and unconditionally free all POWs. It acknowledges credible reports about the torture of POWs, condemns the opening of [Saddam Park] in Baku.

The EP's findings are very important. It states that Azerbaijan's violations of humanitarian law are equivalent to enforced disappearance. These are war crimes. Armenia will bring the perpetrators to international justice.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053130.html

search crews resume operations in former battlefields

Armenian crews discovered 4 more bodies in southern Artsakh that went under Azeri control.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053232.html

meeting between Human Rights Ombudsmen and PACE officials

Artsakh and Armenia HROs presented details and over 300 pieces of evidence about war crimes and human rights violations carried out by Azeris. They invited international colleagues to visit Artsakh.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053201.html

MFA Ayvazyan met OSCE Minsk Group ambassadors

Ayvazyan discussed the borders during the meeting with US, RU, FR ambassadors. "Armenia is ready to solve the problem diplomatically. Azeri forces must withdraw immediately and unconditionally to avoid future escalations."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053211.html

Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan is ready to work on a peace treaty with Armenia

Aliyev: The peace treaty should recognize the territorial integrity of both countries. We hope that there will be more clarity on this matter after the elections in Armenia.

https://factor.am/373352.html

Belarus and Azerbaijan presidents discussed the AM-AZ borders

Lukashenko said he hopes the issue will be resolved in the coming days.

https://factor.am/373381.html

Russia hopes to see Azerbaijan as part of CSTO military bloc

Russian MFA: the doors are open for everyone but the CSTO rules require its members to have diplomatic relations. There are no official relations between Baku and Yerevan. When it's established, we hope to see Azerbaijan as part of CSTO.

https://factor.am/373613.html

CSTO chief Zas: CSTO is taking steps to peacefully resolve the border conflict

He held a phone conversation with MOD Vagharshak.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053246.html

Armenian MFA met Iranian ambassador

They discussed the need to withdraw Azeri troops from Armenian territories. Iranian MFA will visit Azerbaijan and Armenia tomorrow.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053164.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053180.html

Iran and Armenia discuss trade route connecting the Black Sea to Persian Gulf / Syunik roads / railway

Infrastructure Minister Papikyan hosted Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami.

They discussed the development of roads near the borders, activation of Armenia-Iran transit transportation, legal reforms to make transport easier.

They discussed Armenia's north-south highway project and its role in the Persian Gulf-Black Sea trade corridor.

Mohammad Eslami said Iran is interested in railway and road connections between Armenia and Iran. They discussed increasing the involvement of Iranian construction companies in Armenian infrastructure projects.

Minister Papikyan provided updates on the road design and construction in Syunik's Sisian-Qajaran and Qajaran-Agarak sections.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053208.html

IRS chief visits Iran to discuss Meghri checkpoint improvements

Armenia and Iran discussed improving facilities and other infrastructure on the border checkpoint. They want a new joint electronic system to better manage international cargo transfers and fight narcotrafficking.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053224.html

free housing for Artsakh IDPs: the first phase begins

The government and All Armenia Fund have been financing the construction of housing for Artsakh IDPs. Applications are now open to receive a house as part of the first phase. The keys will be given in the coming months. The houses are located in villages in Askeran, Martuni, Markaterk Martakert, and Shushi regions.

https://factor.am/373499.html

Moscow schoolchildren donate books to Artsakh students

Hundreds of donated books were delivered by Russian peacekeepers to Martuni No. 1 school. Another organization from Chelyabinsk donated several computers.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/214413

Azeris got into another mass brawl in the Georgian capital, this time with Kurds

One Azeri was killed and several injured. Last week a fight broke out between Azeris and Georgians in another Georgian city over a grocery store dispute.

https://factor.am/373502.html

Armenian churchman in Jerusalem

Hundreds of Israeli civil society members paid a visit to an Armenian churchman located in the Armenian Quater of Jerusalem to issue an apology for the recent attack carried out by Jewish religious groups.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053168.html

Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin opens a bank account in Artsakh

... to transfer €30,000 that Azerbaijan is required to pay him as compensation after the ECHR ruling that found that Lapshin's rights were violated in Azeri jail.

https://factor.am/373406.html

Lapshin has been spending a lot of time in Armenia lately. He has a YouTube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/user/puerrtto/videos

Charles Aznavour bust was installed in Stepanakert and Paris

The sculptors in Artsakh had two choices for his facial expression: reserved and concerned or smiling. They settled for the latter as a "symbolic move for future generations." Saturday marked his 97th anniversary.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053101.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053107.html

strong weekend winds uprooted trees in Yerevan

https://youtu.be/KbNPvxYsD1E

tornado in Ejmiatsin-Zvartnots section

https://youtu.be/V_buKz14njg

tornado seen from Yerevan

https://youtu.be/5vqqTSIxi38

lightning photos from Yerevan

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/214483

QP MP Manukyan: it's time to think about that agricultural insurance

The government-subsidized insurance was implemented about a year ago and signed 1546 contracts in 2020 to protect against frosting, hail, and fire. The number of contracts doubled in 2021, reaching 3523. It covers 7062 hectares of land.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/214486

wolves are caught on nature camera

https://youtu.be/1HLbFbdxF14

Back to the Future

Not the movie. It's an arts expo in Gyumri's Style gallery featuring 50 Armenian artists including from diaspora. Minimalism, abstract, pop arts, etc.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053184.html

how will humans live and interact in the future?

There has got to be a way to combine nature, urban development, and various scenarios of staying connected. That was the purpose of the "La Biennale di Venezia" expo held in Venice.

Armenia's TUMO center joined hundreds of world-renowned architecture studios and artists to present their ideas.

https://factor.am/373786.html

Henrikh Mkhitaryan will stay in Roma

... despite the fact that the new coach will be Jose Mourinho, with whom he has a rocky relationship dating back to their Arsenal years. Juventus and few other teams were negotiating for his transfer.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053131.html

Mkhitaryan is excluded from the upcoming national team match "to take a rest" before big matches

Coach Caparros decided not to invite Mkhitaryan. He invited BKMA's goalie Arman Nersisyan and a few others.

Coach Caparros: the upcoming two matches are important. We will play against teams that are preparing for the European competition. It will be a warmup ahead of our official matches in September. However, no friendly match is less important.

Several main players are missing from the list because we want to allow them to take a rest while involving younger players instead. This will be their best chance. They performed well internally. We want to measure their abilities against Sweden and Croatia. //

Mkhitaryan: I was surprised to learn that I wasn't on the list. The coach's explanation is not convincing to me. In any case, I wish my teammates good luck.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053234.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053239.html

fight between Pyunik coach and ex-player / soccer drama is the best drama 🍿

The media writes: Pyunik coach did not like player Anton Kobyalko's performance and used a slur against his mother before canceling his contract. Before returning to Russia, the player visited the training base to demand an apology for the slur. The coach refused to apologize. The player slapped the coach and left. The coach followed him to the airport and beat him up.

The coach: we did have a disagreement with the player but what the media wrote is completely false. They presented it as a Hollywood movie. I wasn't at the airport. While in the training base, I told him I don't need him as a player anymore. I did not use a slur against his mother. I will shake his hand when I see him next time. He tried hard and never berayed the team.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/214422

young Armenian wrestlers win more medals in European Championship

63kg Hrachya Poghosyan wins gold. He defeated Azeri, Georgian, Russian, and Swedish opponents.

77kg Samvel Gevorgyan wins bronze after defeating Georgian guy with 11:4 score.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053134.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053135.html

wrestlers win 4 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze medals during another int. competition in Russia

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053151.html

Economy Minister provides April 2021 vs 2019 job market stats

Qerobyan: We have a 5.7% increase in employees and a 20% increase in the tax base compared to 2019. I'm not even comparing it with 2020 because of the lockdown. Of course, there is no reason to relax and we must accelerate the growth and increase productivity.

https://factor.am/373391.html

sharp increase in Yerevan-Gyumri travel

The railway company will consider adding more wagons on weekends to meet the demand.

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/293089/

tourism continues to pick up the pace

Russian Aeroflot airlines will launch biweekly Yerevan-Yekaterinburg flights beginning on June 10, said the Russian Ural Tourism Association chief Mikhail Maltsev, who paid a visit to Armenia to learn about tourism opportunities in Armenia. "The Urals are a very important tourist market for Armenia, such a visit for the study was very important."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053113.html

COVID stats since Saturday

10,428 tested. 283 infected. 911 healed. 23 deaths. 5138 active (down). 26,562 vaccinated.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053084.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053136.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053170.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053186.html

doctors receive medals for service during pandemic and war

President Sarkissian hosted several doctors, students, and ambulance workers. "Thank you to each of you for your work, your compassion, your dedication, your care."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053199.html

Sputnik-V becomes available for the elderly in a risk group

Until now, Sputnik was reserved for patients under 54. AstraZeneca was for the elderly.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053125.html

Moderna vaccine co-founder Nubar Afeyan is doing pretty well financially

He is among 9 new billionaires from the pharma world.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053086.html

friday news

English: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ni0orf/may212021_1_border_demarcation_facts_myths/?

Russian (by Impossible-Ad-): https://www.reddit.com/r/ArmDailyReports_RUS_/comments/nifxw7/все_новости_за_21_мая_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

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Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/nk6w9w/news_from_may242021_1_polls_who_would_win_2_levon/

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