2021 May 28

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Daily news wrap-up

May/28/2021: (1) Bombshell revelations and allegations (2) Levon vs Kocharyan vs Pashinyan (3) Pashinyan supports keeping existing enclaves as they are, accuses ex-regime of opposite while citing draft highway route (4) Meghri corridor, Vazgen Sargsyan, Shushi, and October 27 terror attack (5) more
by ar_david_hh

Your 17-minute Friday report in 4367 words.

former president Levon Ter-Petrosyan about the negotiation process and the options in the 1990s

Levon: we lost the war because the governments did not realize the importance of time. What is possible today may not be possible tomorrow. This problem was left to accumulate.

It should have been resolved at the time when we had just won the war. We could receive a lot more even after making a compromise.

Even the worst scenario that was offered in the 1990s, the "phased resolution", would be much better than what we have today.

Q: what was offered in the 1990s that was rejected?

I supported a phased resolution. We would return Lachin and Kelbajar while keeping a 22km Lachin corridor, not like the 4km that we have today. The 22km would protect against GRAD missiles. We would have had all Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast territories.

Q: what about Karabakh's status?

Karabakh would not receive a final status. [After giving 7 regions and keeping Lachin] we would then begin negotiations over Karabakh's status. That would be the second phase. Karabakh would represent itself during negotiations.

We lost this opportunity when Karabakh was later removed from the negotiation table [he blames Kocharyan]. There was no word about Karabakh being part of Azerbaijan.

Q: so its status wouldn't be clarified?

There are such examples around the world. Northern Cyprus's status is to this date not clarified. Everything else is clear: borders, communities, etc. they are cooperating quite well.

Q: people travel freely in Cyprus

Yeah, there just isn't a final legal status in Cyprus. The EU attempted but they did not agree. We would have the same in Karabakh. It would take a long time. Karabakh would be secure with peacekeepers and economic opportunities.

Times change. Borders lose importance. What Europe was able to do [Shengen] could one day be done in Eastern countries. New relations, new times. Borders may not be as important anymore.


Levon about Azerbaijan's actions relating to POWs and borders

Aliyev believes Pashinyan will be defeated in the upcoming elections so he is trying to take advantage of his weakness to get as much as possible.

Another reason for their behavior is Azerbaijan's 30-year-long humiliation. Just as we are in a difficult psychological state now, the same was in Azerbaijan for 30 years. Aliyev might be appealing to his population with these actions. What the Armenian public demands from Pashinyan now is what the Azeri public demanded from the Azeri govt for 30 years.

Q: but the victory should have been enough, right?

That is what I do not understand. After the victory, the winners are usually more generous. It's the losing side that hates the winner. Aliyev should have done this, but did not.

Here is a story from the 1990s. After we won the war, both sides had POWs. I decided to unilaterally release all Azeri POWs. Vazgen Sargsyan and Serj Sargsyan were concerned that Azeris would not answer the same way. I told them not to worry, I know Heydar Aliyev.

The same jet that transported Azeri POWs brought back all the Armenian POWs on its way back.

Q: about provocations

We also made a mistake by humiliating Azerbaijan by using official maps showing joint Armenia and Artsakh. Azeris watch our TV and see it. Do you know how emotionally powerful maps are? I even know under whose administration those maps began circulating. It was sadism by our government.

Karabakh and Armenian authorities also made a mistake by adding all the liberated adjacent regions into their administrative territories. That was aggression.

Karabakh's self-determination is one thing, but it's another thing when you merge newly captured lands that weren't part of you. It was a provocation.



Levon about Russia's plans in the region

Q: What comes next if Russian peacekeepers leave Artsakh?

If you ask that to anyone they will give you a definite answer: develop your army, win a war, etc., and if you don't say that you are labeled a traitor.

But nobody knows what Russia's plans are. Russia only has one contact in Armenia, and that's Pashinyan. Nobody else knows what Russia's plans are. I doubt that even Pashinyan understands what Russia tells him.

Russia has plans. We don't know if they will leave or stay. If they leave, it's possible a new war could break out, but I'm not a prophet. I don't know what Russian or Turkish plans are.

Q: is CSTO dead?

Again, nobody knows what Russia's plans are. They have a long-term serious strategy in our region and Syria. The West has gotten accustomed that this region is Russia's playground. Post-Soviet republics don't matter much to the West other than when it comes to using them to cause problems for Russia.


Levon about Robert Kocharyan's negotiating skills

Q: You said that the party of war [Kocharyan] took over with your departure. Kocharyan counters that by saying there was no war during his administration.

You are citing his words partially. He said all the offers that were made at the time were being rejected by Azerbaijan. That is the key part. Kocharyan should have thought about why Azerbaijan was rejecting the offers.

Azerbaijan was rejecting offers because they knew that the time was working in their favor. Kocharyan never understood this elementary thing.

You have to put yourself in your opponent's shoes during a debate to understand their motives. The time ended up working well for Azerbaijan; it grew economically. Meanwhile, our army shrank due to emigration. Our army is smaller than what we had in 1994-95.


Levon about how Kocharyan ousted him from president's office in 1998 / Vazgen Sargsyan

Flashback 1998 February: Kocharyan and Serj complained that Levon wanted to make too many concessions. They eventually pressured him to resign.

Q: if you knew that your departure would be catastrophic, why did you leave?

There would be civil war otherwise.

Q: but Vazgen Sargsyan said, "If he stays, we leave."

So what? He said that after my resignation. Vazgen had realized his mistakes so he had to find excuses. He realized his mistakes very quickly and formed an alliance with Karen Demirchyan to neutralize Kocharyan. [TLDR: Vazgen and Kocharyan were both not-one-inch-ers but Vazgen changed his mind and became open to land concessions, before his assassination in Parliament.]

Q: wasn't the Vazgen-Demirchyan alliance just for political power?

Not at all. You can say that for anyone but not Vazgen. He could make honest mistakes but he wouldn't betray the state interests. His initial mistake was to believe that if we won once, we could win again and that with enough determination we could do it. He realized his mistake very quickly.

Levon about how the Armenia-Azerbaijan balance was broken because of oil lobby / Bill Clinton and Gingrich

Q: when was the balance broken and how come we did not feel that?

I felt it that's why I agreed to resign. The balance began breaking in 1996-1997 when the international oil consortium was formed in Azerbaijan, attended by US and UK representatives. Aliyev's rhetoric changed after this.

A day before the Lisbon conference, a simple document was presented about Karabakh. It had been approved several times before. It was about OCSE encouraging the Minsk Group to resolve the Karabakh conflict. It was a standard document.

We arrived in Lisbon. [MFA] Vardan Oskanyan meets us while hyperventilating. He said something changed. He said last night the United States presented a new document and agreed around it with everyone else except for us.

I vetoed it. I also know how that document reached Bill Clinton's desk. It was the Texas oil lobby that worked for Aliyev. I know personally who lobbied for it. It was Clinton's opponent Gingrich.

That's when the balance was broken. Azerbaijan was encouraged that it could use external forces to succeed. After this, when Kocharyan admits that Azerbaijan was not agreeing to any document, that was the reason.

The time was in favor of Azerbaijan. Armenian government's calculations were catastrophically wrong.


Levon about Turkey's surprisingly balanced policy in the 1990s

Q: Was Turkey active in the early days?

Not at all. Turkey was balanced in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Turkish diplomat event stated that Armenians have the right to live in Karabakh and that the conflict must be resolved "somehow".

Turkey had a great foreign ministry. They had two great institutes from the Kemalist period: MFA and Army. Their MFA was very serious. They were often criticizing Azerbaijan for attempting to drag Turkey into the Karabakh conflict.

Turkey honestly wanted to improve relations with Armenia. They even gave us wheat and opened the road at one point. Turkey changed after Erdogan.

Q: but even during Erdogan in 2008, when Serj was meeting Turkey over Soccer Diplomacy, Turkey was saying just give away two regions and we will improve relations.

In the initial period, Erdogan still had diplomats true to Kemalism. He gradually degraded Kemalism and surrounded himself with Islamists. Then the world changed. Syria conflict began. New issues, new times.


Pashinyan's response to former officials: you have no moral right to criticize us / negotiation process / wartime reporting / conspiracy theories

Pashinyan responds to former officials: they have no moral or political right to criticize us. Today they accuse us of everything imaginable. Although we all have shortcomings, the vast majority of accusations against us are unwarranted.

What exactly is our "treason"? The fact that the 7 regions are not ours anymore? You have all been negotiating to give them away since 1995-97.

Is our "treason" the fact that a war started? Wasn't the 2016 war treason then? Could we avoid this war? Of course we could, but only if we met all the Azeri demands.

As Serj Sargsyan himself said, the final solution would be to give Karabakh and its territories to Azerbaijan or to have war. Serj himself said that Azerbaijan did not agree to have just the 7 regions. So if Azerbaijan was not satisfied with the 7 regions, let's think logically, what else would they want? Shushi, Karabakh entirely, Meghri, enclaves.

So where is our "treason"? The political force that signed the Batumi and Alexandrapol agreements is calling us traitors today. When you publicly call those who signed those agreements "traitors", then come back and we will talk.

Screaming "traitor" is not how to resolve issues. We can scream louder. What we have done in 3 years for the economy, army, citizens, had you met the third of that pace in the past 30 years, we wouldn't be in this situation today. Thieves scream "thief" the loudest.


They criticize us for not involving the public to decide the Karabakh issue. What we said is that if there is a more or less acceptable solution, we would present it to the public.

They criticize us for saying "we will win" during the war. What else were we supposed to say? "We will rout"?

They say we kept it secret that we were losing lands during the war. How did we keep it secret? We published maps showing that the entire south and Talish were lost.

conspiracy theories around his son during war

At first, the former regime claimed my son wasn't even in the army during the war. Then they learned he was in the front lines. Then they changed rhetoric claiming he was in a "safe" place. Then it turns out my son's friend died from a strike while they were in the same trench. They were taking cover while protecting each other during the strike. That bomb could not have decided that my son would survive and not his friend.

Now they claim we gave 1,800 deaths just to evacuate my son. Nobody evacuated my son. My son retreated with his units, just as many others did.

We lost a lot today but we preserve the right to look people in the eye. Who are those who scream "traitor" today? How about Serj and Kocharyan are held accountable for October 27? The National Security Services, lead by them, was made aware of terrorist Nairi Hunanyan's plans [Hunayan allegedly spoke about his plans during a private meeting, an NSS official was informed about it, but no action was taken].


These are difficult times, but the struggles and war we went through were unavoidable. The war was an earthquake that crumbled many things. When things crumble, people's first reaction is that we did not build the structure properly because the cement and steel were stolen.

It is not I who is blaming the former regime right now, it is them who are blaming us today. We must have this conversation.

Armenia is a structure that was built for 30 years. Throughout that period, the cement was stolen, the steel was stolen, so the building did not withstand the shock.

When we came to power in 2018, we made desperate attempts to reinforce the building, starting from the army. None of the former officials have the right to criticize us today.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053734.html https://factor.am/375913.html https://youtu.be/7N1mbTCzw14

Pashinyan about Levon Ter-Petrosyan's plans:

Today Levon Ter-Petrosyan talks a lot about what the situation was in the 90s, but in the end, he does not clearly state what his vision was for the final settlement [legal status] of the Karabakh issue.

It must be clearly stated that his idea of resolving the issue was giving the whole of Karabakh to Azerbaijan and considering the topic closed. If the word is said, it must be said to the end. [Levon later denied wanting to give Karabakh de-jure and fully].

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053734.html https://factor.am/376029.html

Pashinyan about Robert Kocharyan's "Meghri corridor" and "October 27" / "Vazgen was shot after security council meeting about Meghri corridor"

Kocharyan and Levon brag about being "peacetime" leaders and ensuring peace, but as Levon himself said during his interview, Azerbaijan was taking advantage of that to strengthen its army. The status quo was working in Azerbaijan's favor.

Kocharyan says if the Armenian leader was a Turkish agent he would have done what I have. And I said if the 1999 leader was a Turkish agent, he would summon a security council meeting and talk about giving away Meghri to Azerbaijan. My administration never even discussed the Meghri corridor; I said we have not and will not discuss it.

Kocharyan, on the other hand, had summoned a security council meeting to discuss Meghri. Armenia would have one land and one air border [with Georgia]. Vazgen Sargsyan and Karen Demirchyan expressed disagreement over the Meghri corridor during the Security Council meeting.

Then, Vazgen went to Meghri and gave a speech and said that Mehgri would blow up in Yerevan. Then someone entered parliament and killed Vazgen.

If the 1999 leader was a Turkish agent, there would be an October 27 terror attack.

Istanbul document

After the October 27 attack and the Meghri corridor discussions, they went to Istanbul and signed a document that states that the Karabakh issue can only be resolved within the framework of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Why wouldn't a Turkish agent sign that?

kicked from negotiations table

If the leader was a Turkish agent in 1998, what other service would he have rendered to Turkey and Azerbaijan, if not to exclude Karabakh representatives from the negotiation table? At the time, Armenia was still in the position to exert power and withdraw from negotiations because the Azeri army was weak.

domestic issues

What else would a Turkish agent do if not embezzle funds out of Armenia, deprive people of freedoms, use skinheads to oppress the youth, take the youth to the army and feed them with cattle food?

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053734.html https://factor.am/375913.html https://youtu.be/7N1mbTCzw14

Tags: #MeghriCorridor #KeyWest #October27 #PashinyanSpeech

Pashinyan about how he did not agree to give Armenian enclaves to Azerbaijan amid November 9 ceasefire pressure:

[Backstory: immediately after the November ceasefire, Serj's son-in-law Mishik circulated a document drafted by Azerbaijan and claimed that Pashinyan planned to sign it to give away Armenian enclaves as part of the November ceasefire. In reality, as we now known, the three leaders ended up signing a different document that was more beneficial to Armenia. Pashinyan reveals details for the first time.]

Yes, there was such a topic in one of the drafted November 9 documents. It was about the return of 7 villages [to Azerbaijan]. I clearly said -- and I can prove this -- that under no circumstances I will sign that document.


Tags: #BorderVillages #November9

Pashinyan about the demarcation document and fighting fake news:

I think the best way to fight fake news is to increase the public's media literacy. People get emotional and believe in things. But anyone who did not read the leaked [by Mishik] demarcation document emotionally, understood that there was nothing extraordinary there.

The document was published and presented as treason against Armenia. But only the first three lines were revealed conveniently. The rest was blanked out.

Think logically. If the document was treacherous, and the intention of the leaker was to expose treason, why would they blank out the full text? Quite the contrary, they should have published fully.

A reasonable person would read and ask questions, and realize that they were being manipulated. I believe the leak was an Azeri effort because the agreement was that Azeris would leave Armenia followed by signing the demarcation document. It all ended up not happening.



Tags: #Mishik #DocumentLeak #FakeNews #demarcation

Pashinyan dismisses rumors that he wants to exchange enclaves / talks about highways:

Today they use the topic of enclaves against us. The discussions around enclaves were always on the table. If you read the Meghri exchange document [during Kocharyan administration], you will see that enclaves are mentioned.

Now they say "oh they are giving lands". What exactly are we giving? There is an international practice per "paritetayin" principle that states that Artsvashen can remain under Azeri control, while Tigranashen can remain under Armenian control. We are going to offer that.

Today they are creating the illusion that our "treacherous government" came to give enclaves. Go read the old Meghri document.

HHK party today accuses us of wanting to give Tigranashen [enclave]. I will say this, and it is factually verifiable. Plans to build the North-South highway began in 2010. The former government drew the blueprint of where it would travel. According to that draft, after the Artashat settlement, the highway would not stretch to Yeraskh and Paruyr Sevak. Instead, it would go through Vedi to Urtsadzor to Zangakatun.

As a result of this route, the project becomes $100 million more expensive. So why don't you use the existing road near Yeraskh and Paruyr Sevak? Why is the route so zigzag and passes through unnecessary hops and hills? Do they think we would never ask this? [he is suggesting that the former regime envisioned giving away enclaves]

https://factor.am/376042.html https://youtu.be/2z528Uf1HEY

Tags: #enclaves #NorthSouth

Pashinyan about Meghri corridor, Shushi region, and Artsakh:

The situation we have right now is de-facto the same as what was being negotiated de-jure in the previous 30 years.

I will say this again as I did in November: Shushi has always on the table. Lately, the old Meghri exchange document was circulated again. What does it say:

Meghri is given to Azerbaijan, while Karabakh, Shushi region, and Lachin are given to Armenia. Notice the comma between Karabakh and Shushi region. It was viewed that Shushi was separate from the main Karabakh issue and was in the same category as the Lachin corridor.

As Koharyan's Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan said, it was an "occupied territory."

I forced Serj Sargsyan to slip up during an interview and admit something regarding the Karabakh referendum vote. He admitted that the referendum would be among the "population" which includes 40,000 Azeris. [Pashinyan is basically saying Azerbaijan always wanted Shushi, Shushi Region was viewed separately from Karabakh, and that the repatriated Azeri population in Shushi Region would eventually vote to break free.]

In 2020 we fought against what the former regime had been negotiating.


Tags: #Shushi #Meghri #KeyWest

Pashinyan about the return of POWs:

The issue of POWs is a painful one, but their return is only a matter of time. We make efforts for their return every day, without exaggeration. I think the process will intensify after the elections because Azerbaijan uses POWs to influence the elections. It's one of the reasons.


Pashinyan about having separate Professional Army and Border Guards:

There is a need for serious and profound reforms in the military. The army contractor's salary must significantly increase under the condition that the soldier will be professional.

Right now, part of our contractors conducts a 2-week-long patrol on borders, followed by 2 weeks of farming or driving a taxi. Half of the time is spent on non-military activities.

The soldiers' job should be the development of their military skills. This soldier should not be stationed on the borders, that should be the job of border guards. This solder must be permanently stationed in a military facility and train to use weapons and tactics, and quickly travel to the border when an alarm is raised.


Russian MOD: Armenia and Russia will continue to deepen strategic partnership

Armenian MOD Vagharshak was on a working trip to Moscow to discuss Armenia-Russia military cooperation.

Shoygu: Russia and Armenia are strengthening their military cooperation in a bilateral format, in international bodies, and within CSTO. The relations continue to remain strong. I congratulate the Armenian people on the anniversary of the First Republic.


Defense Ministers of Armenia and Russia reach an agreement to take steps to resolve the border situation

MOD Vagharshak presented details about the Azeri intrusion. The two also discussed the peacekeeping mission in Artsakh.


all three OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs urge for the release of all POWs

That's as close as OSCE can get without naming names. The message also applies to six Armenian soldiers who were captured yesterday. "All for all principle."


the United States urges Azerbaijan (by naming names) to withdraw troops, release POWs and detainees

US government: we remind Azerbaijan to immediately release all POWs and other detainees, and to respect international human rights obligations about the treatment of detainees.

We consider any military movement on disputed areas as provocative. We urge both sides to return to their original positions and not to install landmines or fortifications [that one was probably about Armenia, without naming names].

Specifically, we urge Azerbaijan to withdraw to the May 11th positions. We welcome their willingness to cooperate. That will create conditions for peaceful border demarcation. The US is ready to help both sides.

The Karabakh negotiations should resume ASAP as part of the OSCE Minsk Group format.


US Representatives and Senators condemn Azerbaijan

Rep. Jackie Speier: Azerbaijan's attack on Armenia and the capturing of six soldiers is disgusting. Aliyev has shown that he is not interested in peace and diplomacy.

Sen. Menendez: I unequivocally condemn the recent capture of Armenian soldiers by the Azerbaijani armed forces. Azerbaijan's aggression only exacerbates tensions. I demand the immediate return of the soldiers.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053725.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053726.html

Ilham Aliyev is not happy with European Parliament's pro-Armenian resolution

EP recently called for the immediate release of all Armenian POWs. Aliyev blamed it on the 'Armenian lobby' in Europe.


Belgian Chamber of Representatives urges Azerbaijan to release POWs

The chamber adopted a resolution unanimously. It also condemns the torture of POWs. It urges federal authorities to pressure Azerbaijan to release them. It notes that 188 POWs are still believed to be in Azerbaijan.


Armenian MOD denies Azeri claims of opening fire on Nakhijevan borders

MOD: this is another delusion of Azerbaijan. We did not open fire. We cause of the Azeri soldier receiving a wound should be sought in the qualities of interpersonal relations and discipline within the Azeri army.


CIS republics held a meeting to discuss various topics

Deputy Premier Mher Grigoryan used the opportunity to present the situation on the border and called for the immediate withdrawal of Azeri soldiers from Armenian territories.


Armenia marks 103th anniversary of First Republic

In 1918 Armenians regained their independence after 9 centuries, following battles and victories against Turkey in Sardarapat, Gharakilisa, and Bash-Aparan.

French Ambassador: I wish Armenia, which measures its history by millennia, to be able to live its independence in peace and prosperity.


The political and religious leadership visited the Sardarapat memorial to pay tribute, and released congratulatory messages. There was a large presence of foreign officials who sent envoys to Sardarapat; the UK ambassador congratulated and wished for health and peace. The media complained about not being allowed to enter the ceremony area.


https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053707.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053720.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053741.html https://factor.am/375922.html

COVID stats

2835 tested. 104 infected. 301 healed. 7 deaths. 4443 active.


LADANIVA French-Armenian music band is in Armenia

They gained popularity in Armenia with the [https://youtu.be/Pv2YlbEWaM8 Vay Aman song. The first concert is in Hamalir tomorrow. The 12-member group will present new and old songs.

The group gave a press conference today and revealed why they call themselves LADANIVA: Lada Niva is a popular vehicle in former Soviet republics. [bruh]

It's a car used for travel, we also travel around the world, said the lead singer Jacqueline Baghdasaryan, who moved from Yeghegnadzor to France (?) at the age of 3.

This is Louis Thomas's first visit to Armenia. He was greeted with a Lada Niva vehicle in the Zvartnots airport. He likes the Yerevan architecture and the Armenian alphabet.

Louis is fascinated that Armenians eat raw fruits (ցոգոլ). "We will find time to search for green apples," he said. Initially, he thought Jacqueline Baghdasaryan was just weird for eating raw fruits until he realized the entire nation was weird and hooked on tsogol.

Video: https://www.facebook.com/100001068566587/videos/4096092283769683/

Full article and how the band was formed: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053750.html

read Thursday news for details about the border fortification/mining operation and six captives


Все Новости за 27 мая 2021 (by Impossible-Ad-)


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/nn4m1a/may282021_1_bombshell_revelations_and_allegations/

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