2021 May 27

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

May/27/2021: (1) Six captured during landmining & engineering operation to isolate Azeris (2) Armenia advances troops, Azeris ask for withdrawal, negotiations (3) Army provides maps & details (4) Azeri truck explodes (5) Pashinyan's proposal (6) New water reservoir to aid Sevan Lake & irrigation
by ar_david_hh


Your 9-minute Thursday report in 2289 words.

6 soldiers captured during engineering and mining work in Gegharkunik

MOD reports that the Armenian army was conducting engineering work to build positions within Armenian territories when a group of Azeri forces encircled and captured six of them. "The Azerbaijani claims that the Armenians were on an Azeri territory are false."

MOD denied shootout on Tavush borders; the Armenian army was conducting exercises in that area. Across the borders, there were several shots, "mostly in the air".

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053572.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053613.html https://factor.am/375358.html https://youtu.be/HZIZnEjj1nE

Foreign Ministry responds:

These provocative actions carried out by the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan are aimed at aggravating the situation which could seriously jeopardize regional peace.

We strongly condemn the use of force by Azerbaijan against the territorial integrity of Armenia, emphasizing that the leadership of Azerbaijan is responsible for all the consequences. The captured Armenian servicemen must be returned immediately and unconditionally. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053581.html

Foreign Minister of Artsakh referred to Azeri actions as "political and geopolitical terrorism, which is also a blow to CSTO because the terrorism is against a member-state. It is also a blow to Russia because Azerbaijan is throwing a challenge."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053597.html

ruling party leader criticizes CSTO military bloc for staying passive

QP Lilith Makunts: the six soldiers were "abducted" from an Armenian territory. This happens amid some of our international partners' refusal to give a proper assessment; they do not call things by their names. The Armenian public expects CSTO to react very quickly to the events that are taking place. Perhaps CSTO's delay is what allows things to escalate. //

Makunts held a meeting with diplomats representing various states to discuss the borders.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053580.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053619.html

LHK leader wants to attend Security Council session

LHK Marukyan: the leaders of all Parliamentary parties should be allowed to attend the upcoming Security Council session to discuss the criminal acts of Azerbaijan and the continuous use of force.

[The government invited Parliamentary parties to join a security session.]

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053592.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053663.html

Pashinyan gives details about border engineering and mining work, preceding the incident:

The six soldiers were abducted from an Armenian territory. To strengthen our borders, they were doing engineering and mining work. It should be noted that there were appropriate warning signs, so these were not diversionary actions by us. [more on this later]

The ongoing processes are absolutely unacceptable for Armenia and such incidents occur because some people want us to accept the presence of Azerbaijani forces in our territory, which can not happen.

The soldiers and the army are doing their function of protecting the country and it's inappropriate to use the border situation for internal political attacks. No matter how difficult the times are, nervous and unbalanced actions and statements are not appropriate now. This is a matter of national security, a violation of international laws. Armenia must use all levers.

I think our society must unite and stand with our soldiers, our army, our state institutes. The demand is clear: Azerbaijani forces must leave Armenia unconditionally.

It is very important for us to provide this information in detail so that Azerbaijani misinformation does not spread, including in the Armenian media.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053593.html

Pashinyan about Azerbaijan's goals:

We have two opponents who have two goals. We must understand what they are and take action to manage the situation.

One of their goals, as I've said earlier, is to make their presence in Armenian territories a normal and expected thing. The second goal is to incite military clashes. We must not fall for any of these traps.

Our demand is clear: Azeri forces must leave Armenia. We will be sober and manage the provocations prudently.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053602.html Pashinyan visits the Gegharkunik border village near the incident

The six soldiers were kidnapped ~5km from village Kut. Today Pashinyan visited the village to speak with residents.

Pashinhyan in Kut: our position is clear that Azeris must withdraw, we will not give up our borders. The primary goal is to resolve this diplomatically.

Every time Azerbaijan sees that it has a chance to pit Armenians against each other, they become more active. We must make it clear that no matter what the internal divisions are, our first response to their actions will be consolidation.

Obviously, the situation is tense and emotional but we must stay sober and balanced to be able to evaluate accurately and make the right decisions.

It's important not to fall for information wars. Do not believe conspiracy theories about our government having secret deals. We must not lose our determination, we must stand for our state and sovereignty.

https://youtu.be/xfDDuWi4b-k https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053626.html https://youtu.be/vuioGCO0zRw

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053629.html

MOD provides the maps about the latest border confrontation

The six Armenian soldiers were kidnapped 800 meters into the Armenian territory in Gegharkunik. Armenians and Azeris have positions near Mt. Damirdag.

Map: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053620.html

Video map: https://youtu.be/0Fqr9j0CKD4

army command provides full details / "1,000 Azeri soldiers can be destroyed any moment" / "you have one hour to return them" / Armenia stations troops, negotiations underway

Deputy CoGS Edward Asryan: Azerbaijan's provocative actions are in multiple directions. Our units are taking counter-measures to attempt to expel them from territories. The situation escalated last night near Gegharkunik (Verit Shorja - Kut section)

how events unfolded

The tensions increased at 5:00 am. We noticed that Azeris, who were within our territory, were trying to consolidate. To counter that, we decided to install a new unit on their wing (in between).

During these events, the enemy surveillance noticed our unit and encircled it. Four of our soldiers were conducting works at the time [presumably trenches and minig], while two others were observing from a distance. The two of our soldiers approached to negotiate the release of the other four, but they were also captured.

Our group that was installing positions was larger than 6, only 6 of them were captured.

map of events

Here is the map. As you can see, Azeris had intruded in two directors further apart. Our units decided to install a position between them to prevent the enemy from joining forces. As we speak, our units are installing more positions around Azeris.

overall numbers in Syunik and Gegharkunik

No more than 1,000 Azeris continue to remain in various parts of Armenian territories. They are deprived of the ability to carry out any serious work. If we go for a military solution, these 1,000 soldiers won't be able to leave, they will be destroyed indiscriminately.

can Azeri soldiers be captured, too?

We analyze all options. We do not think capturing Azeri troops will resolve this issue because that would be a military solution. Our soldiers could be captured, too, if we capture them; we are stationed in front of each other. The primary goal is to kick them out without the use of weapons. Sometimes hand fight is used with rifles attached to the back.

Azeri forces are encircled in some locations

The Azeri forces in this particular location, shown in the map, are not encircled by us, but in other locations, they are. They have to negotiate with us to withdraw. There have been instances in multiple locations when we allowed them to leave their positions and retreat.

who gives commands to open or not to open fire?

The government has never ordered us not to open fire. Decisions to fire are made by army command. The political leadership's task is to find a diplomatic solution. [In other news, foreign minister Ayvazyan quit/fired today]

when would the Armenian army open fire?

If we see signs that the enemy is trying to dictate its terms, a military force will be used unequivocally and all the enemy servicemen will be destroyed.

negotiations are underway

We deployed soldiers in the aforementioned Gegharkunik positions today between 5:00 am to 10:00 am. Negotiations are underway with the help of Russian peacekeepers. The enemy wants both Armenian and Azeri troops to pull back. We will pull our troops back only if they return the captured 6 soldiers. No other condition will be acceptable for us.

Our soldiers are ready to carry out their duties but to avoid a difficult situation, we are trying to resolve this through negotiations.

Azeris were given an hour

Initially, we gave Azeris one hour to return the 6 soldiers. An hour later Russian colleagues called us to inform that the Azeri army command is holding discussions in Baku about the captured soldiers. This is why we chose not to conduct operations.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053642.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053644.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053648.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053659.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053661.html https://factor.am/375427.html https://factor.am/375436.html https://factor.am/375448.html https://youtu.be/0Fqr9j0CKD4 https://factor.am/375464.html https://youtu.be/BnZDVDUiuKU https://factor.am/375471.html https://youtu.be/F6ownD6OihY https://factor.am/375580.html https://youtu.be/QM3ERfIhxN4

Tags: #borders #SixSoldiers #ArmyReport #Kut #Gegharkunik

Pashinyan offers a solution: install international observers instead of AM-AZ soldiers before clarifying border positions

Pashinyan during Security Council meeting: to relieve tension on Gegharkunik and Syunik borders (from Sotk to Khoznavar), I suggest withdrawal of Armenian and Azeri troops back to their permanent stationing locations, and the installation of international observers: Russia or OSCE Minsk Group members.

If the situation is not resolved, the provocation may inevitably turn into a large-scale conflict. This is an open proposal to the Azeri government: we both agree to leave the border in a mirrored fashion, we return to permanent stationing locations, we station Russian or OSCE observers, we clarify where the border positions should be with the help of international observers. If Azerbaijan's goal is truly to clarify borders, they shouldn't have a problem with this proposal. This is the fastest and best solution to avoid military conflict.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053663.html https://youtu.be/fUGyMI3uEiM

statements by foreign officials

French MFA said they are concerned about the latest escalation and said that a border delimitation/demarcation should be part of the negotiations without further escalation.

Austrian MFA said Azerbaijan must return Armenian POWs, while a German MP called for immediate Azeri withdrawal from Armenian territories. "Armenia's territorial integrity must be respected. Border violations are unacceptable, and Azerbaijani troops must immediately withdraw from the disputed territories," said MP Barbara Hendricks.

Lithuanian MFA: "A demarcation agreement can only be reached at the negotiating table, not by mobilizing troops."

MFA Ayvazyan met with the Indian ambassador to discuss the borders.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053687.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053662.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053662.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053672.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053673.html

resignations, firings, and vacations

Foreign Minister Ayvazyan announced his resignation today.

Kotayk governor was fired. or resigned.

Ministers of Nature and Infrastructure will go on an annual vacation.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053680.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053680.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/214853

Azeri military truck explodes on landmine

Azeri media reports that the border situation escalated last night after an Azeri truck exploded on a landmine. It was supposed to deliver supplies to Azeri military units when it blew up. There are casualties.

Some observers have claimed that the truck blew up within the Armenian territory, likely near the area where last night's escalation began. The theory is that this truck's explosion is tied to the aforementioned Armenian mining work last night.

Pashinyan, however, explicitly mentioned today that last night's mining and trenching work was being done with clear markings to be visible to Azeris.

https://factor.am/375412.html

government allocates lands for Russian border guards in Syunik

Kapan, Meghri, and Tegh settlements, joined by the federal government, gave some pieces of land to the State Property Management Committee. The latter will authorize Russian soldiers to use them free of charge as part of the ongoing border protection mission.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053616.html

bill approved: trading old vehicles for new ones will become easier

Finance Minister: the bill amends import tariff laws to help the trade-in system. Currently, when a manufacturer representative sells vehicles to a business which then resells them to individuals, the manufacturer representative cannot do VAT հաշվանցում, while the VAT tax base is calculated from the total sale price. //

Additionally, a middleman seller will be exempt from a 10% income tax.

Pashinyan: the goal is to develop the Trade-in system to swap old vehicles with new ones. It's a widely used practice in the world. //

Parliament voted 74-0-5 to approve the bill.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053585.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050742.html

free tuition for war participants & their families

The government has so far paid ֏895m ($1.7m) to subsidize tuition for 4,213 students (families) who participated in the 2020 war. Today they allocated another ֏586m for 2,735 more students.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053603.html

additional funding for free cancer and stroke treatment

Recently the government made cancer and stroke surgeries free and decided to subsidize medication. Today they allocated additional ֏800m for chemotherapy and ֏300m for free stroke surgeries.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053603.html

some farmers to receive more seed subsidies

There is a government program that subsidizes the purchase and import of seeds for farming. Some farmers, who pay VAT during the import, will receive an additional ֏20/kg subsidy from the state. "The goal is to increase the volume of high-quality fall wheat."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053603.html

Soccer Federation received ֏50m funding

... to prepare for the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053603.html

French-Armenian water reservoir project to reduce stress on Lake Sevan, save electricity, cut waste

Today the government approved deadline-related amendments to an agreement between Armenia and the French Development Agency.

It's about the construction of the Vedi Reservoir. Its 29.4 million m3 capacity is expected to reduce the utilization of Lake Sevan waters for irrigation.

The switch from mechanical to natural water flow will save an annual 19,000,000 Kilowatt-hour in electricity while irrigating 3220 hectares (300 new) of lands.

Water losses will be cut by 20%. Drip-irrigation networks will be built.

The project is 71% complete.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053603.html

COVID tests

3503 tested. 140 infected. 308 healed. 5 deaths. 4649 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053587.html

Armenian wrestler defeats Azeri opponents, becomes European Champion

58kg Davit Hovsepyan.

https://factor.am/375653.html

Armenian weightlifter wins Silver in Youth World Championship

81kg Karen Margaryan.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/214879

yesterday's news

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/nlpfxk/may262021_1_pashinyan_shares_new_details_about/

Все Новости за 26 мая 2021 (translated by Impossible-Ad-)

https://www.reddit.com/r/ArmDailyReports_RUS_/comments/nm1lv5/все_новости_за_26_мая_2021/

end of report

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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/nme74p/may272021_1_six_captured_during_landmining/

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