2021 September 7

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

News - Sep/7/2021: Two POWs return __ Pfizer & JJ coming __ Tech investments from Germany __ Commander arrested for deserting __ Big busts: ex-investigative chief, mayors __ Mil. training in schools __ Summing up the aid programs for Artsakh __ Foreign affairs news __ Best postal stamp __ iGorts
by ar_david_hh


Your 12-minute Tuesday recap in 3019 words.

404: Cassations Court upholds the arrest verdict for a battalion commander

Prosecutors report: the officer was the commander of a training battalion in Artsakh during the war. He disobeyed orders from higher officers and left the battlefield without permission, leading to serious consequences for his subordinates.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062587.html

MOD reminds that the ongoing reservist retraining is not "optional"

800 more reservists will be drafted to train in their fields of expertise for the next three months, beginning on September 15. They are part of thousands of reservists, in what MOD described as a "continuous" process.

Avoiding this draft is a felony crime, reminded MOD, noting that the recruits will be legally treated as ordinary soldiers and will receive the same salaries and benefits.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062529.html

Education Ministry plans to expand the new military camp training program for high school students

As you may remember, the Ministry launched a new program to send hundreds of students to spend two weeks in a military camp environment for "hands-on" experience, as part of their NZP army studies curriculum. The changes were made to help the future soldiers to learn how things work.

The results of the June pilot program were reviewed today. The Ministry wants the program to turn into an integral part of NZP classes, and not be viewed as a "summer vacation camp".

https://factor.am/413841.html

Azeri soldiers fired shots towards a civilian house in south-east Artsakh

Artsakh govt: throughout yesterday evening and night, Azeris opened fire towards civilian settlements and Armenian soldiers in the Taghavard-Karmir Shuka region. Four bullets struck a civilian house. No injuries. The peacekeepers and law enforcement have been informed.

Azerbaijan must punish those who commit these violations to prevent it from repeating. A comprehensive investigation is necessary, with the involvement of peacekeepers. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062554.html

two more Armenian captives return from Azerbaijan

The jet landed in Erebuni airport. It brought two soldiers who were captured near Syunik's Sev lake after going missing due to fog in July. One of them had used a cellphone to inform that they got lost.

In exchange, Artsakh returned the "mentally ill" Azeri soldier Jamil Babayev who recently broke into a house in Artsakh and demanded food and water from children, before being arrested.

The post-war negotiations have so far resulted in 104 Armenian captives being returned home.

https://youtu.be/xSbMR42NoOY https://factor.am/413979.html https://hetq.am/hy/article/135453

the government summed up the post-war aid programs in Artsakh

- 101,000 adults and children were issued ֏68K each, and an additional ֏15K if they lost their homes. Total ֏7.5B.

- Those who remained in Artsakh received a monthly ֏68K for four months. ֏27B was distributed to over 100,000 residents.

- 36,000 adults and children who lost their homes to occupation were given ֏300K. Total ֏11B.

- 5,400 residents whose homes became inhabitable due to shelling were given ֏250K. Total ֏1.4B.

- Two aid packages, lasting 9 months, for landlords who temporarily housed Artsakh IDPs and refugees. The landlords were given ֏30K/mo in Armenia, and ֏45K/mo in Artsakh. This has helped to house over 10,000 adults. Total ֏2.6B.

- ֏8K/day was paid to 80 unemployed Artsakh citizens who were doing public works as part of a temporary jobs program. Total ֏24M.

- Unemployed residents were given ֏100K/mo, for three months, to help them gain work experience through paid internships. The employer was paid ֏34K/mo to hire them as interns. A total of 315 recipients have received ֏102M.

- 14,700 children under the age of 5 were given ֏20K. Total ֏290M.

- Families of civilians who were killed, went missing, or received disabilities, were paid ֏1-5 million. 75 recipients received ֏303M.

- The aid for families of missing civilian persons was rewritten. Instead of a one-time ֏1M payment, they received ֏300M/mo. The aid lasts between December 2020 and December 2021, but can stop earlier if the missing person is found.

- Families of missing soldiers received ֏300K/mo for 9 months.

- 7,400 soldiers received ֏500K for having been taken to hospitals for physical injuries or mental health treatment. Total ֏3.7B.

- Wounded soldiers received ֏300K/mo. Total of ֏550M.

- Republic of Armenia residents, who sustained property damage within the Armenian borders during the war, were given ֏52M in aid. It's about 120 residents from Syunik.

- Residents of Syunik's Shurnukh and Vorotan villages, who lost their homes due to post-war border changes, were given a one-time ֏300K and ֏68K/mo for 6 months. There are 44 recipients. Total ֏31M.

- Artsakh residents' utility bills were subsidized. Total ֏8.6B.

- Artsakh residents' pensions, social aid, and public salaries were subsidized by Armenia. Total ֏28.8B.

www.HimnaDram.org

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062561.html

Tags: #ArtsakhAid

interview with analyst Garik Keryan, the Chair of Political Institutes at YSU, on the Russian role in the region:

Russia has been gradually shifting its stance to a more pro-Armenian position on the Artsakh conflict, after realizing that it has been deceived by Turkey and Azerbaijan despite cooperation attempts.

Today, Russia is saying the conflict has not been resolved, and that we still have to determine Artsakh status, and so on. The Russians made a very primitive mistake by cooperating with Turkey and Azerbaijan. They have been deceived and backstabbed by Turkey for 300 years.

Moscow began gradually changing its stance only after Turkey sent its MFA to Ukraine to take part in the Crimean Platform, during which he claimed "Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine", despite Turkey receiving from Russia the S-400 weapons, nuclear power plant program, a gas pipeline, and a concession in Syria.

Crimea to Russia is like Artsakh to Armenia. It's sacred for Russia. Russians realized their mistake with allowing the Artsakh war to end this way, and for allowing the growth of Turkish influence in the South Caucasus.

Azerbaijan also deceived them. Russia's main goal was for Azerbaijan to join the Russia-led bloc [EAEU and CSTO]. Aliyev had long hinted "solve the Karabakh issue and we will join". Not only did they not join, but Russia realized they lost Azerbaijan.

Today there are more favorable conditions for a fundamental discussion of the Artsakh issue than before the war, although it will be difficult to bring Azerbaijan to the negotiations table because the only item left on the table is Arstakh's status. Azerbaijan will not recognize the independence of Artsakh unless they fall under very serious sanctions.

Turkey and Azerbaijan will try to delay negotiations for as long as possible. If you want Azerbaijan to negotiate, you have to convince Turkey.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062512.html

polls reveal low ratings for Erdogan's ruling party

57% of Yöneylem survey respondents said they won't vote for Erdogan as president. 33% said they will.

36% would vote for the ruling AKP party. It had won 42% in 2018.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062565.html

BOOKMARKED: in case you missed Monday news with polls from Armenia:

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/pj95od/news_sep62021_polls_did_you_vote_are_you/

anti-corruption 🍿: authorities arrest the former chief of Investigative Committee Aghvan Hovsepyan as part of an embezzlement and laundering case

SIS reports: Aghvan Hovsepyan served as the General Prosecutor in 2004-2013, and as the head of the Investigative Committee from 2013-2018. Throughout this period, he participated in the management of a number of private businesses.

Hovsepyan took a ֏190M bribe and committed a ֏800M embezzlement. He also helped launder ֏1.3B in stolen assets. More details later. Hovsepyan is facing six criminal charges. He was arrested today. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062534.html

prosecutors seek to reverse Kocharyan-era felony charges against activists relating to March 1st, 2008

After the 2018 revolution, prosecutors announced that several criminal charges that were pressed during the former regime were illegal. The European Court for Human Rights had also confirmed some of these March 1st arrests are illegal. Prosecutors helped to clear several individuals.

Another similar case is Aram Bareghamyan's trial. Prosecutors escalated his case to Cassations Court and ask the judge to strike down the old verdict. The plea was granted and the case was sent back to Lower Court.

On Monday, the prosecutors asked the Lower Court to drop the case entirely.

https://factor.am/413858.html

anti-corruption 🍿: Kocharyan & Co's bribery trial resumes, defense lawyer quits

Former President Kocharyan and his aide (currently HD MP) Armen Gevorgyan are accused of millions of dollars in bribes from the mining industry.

Gevorgyan's lawyer Eric Alexanyan announced that he consulted with Gevorgyan and decided not to represent him anymore. The lawyer said he believes the judge has a negative attitude towards him, so his resignation is meant to help the client's odds.

Defendant Gevorgyan said he doesn't know how long it will take to find a new lawyer, but he definitely plans to get one.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062543.html https://youtu.be/6tdKom0QH_8 https://factor.am/413703.html https://factor.am/413705.html

anti-corruption 🍿: mayor of Astghadzor (Gegharkunik) is charged

Investigators report: the 2008-current mayor of Astghadzor signed an illegal land lease agreement with his wife in 2013. His wife then sub-leased the land for a much higher price until 2020, causing ֏3.1M in damages to the state. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062573.html

investigators launch a felony case after last month's fights in the Parliament

Bottle wars. One of the MPs who received punches was HD MP Gegham Manukyan. The investigators launched a case under Article 118 (beating, $200 fine, or 2 months in jail if guilty). There will be no felony charges relating to the other confrontations.

https://factor.am/413783.html

someone is hellbent on nominating HD MP Arthur Ghazinyan as deputy chief of the Parliamentary Defense Committee

Ghazinyan has been rejected twice already, after two Q&A sessions with him. Ruling MPs also complained that it will be impossible to work with Ghazinyan because of his routine personal insults and "unfounded claims".

A ruling party MP recently joked that Kocharyan will nominate the same candidate again. The prophecy was true. Others complained about time being wasted.

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/295335/

Jonathan Lacôte will complete his diplomatic mission in Armenia

Pashinyan met the departing French ambassador Lacôte and noted that the AM-FR relations have improved despite the challenging times. Pashinyan said Armenia will be more active in the French-led Francophonie union after the pandemic and war.

Lacôte recalled "exciting memories from the 2018 peaceful revolution", and that "the democracy in Armenia is now irreversible after the latest events". He said France will continue to help with ongoing reforms.

They also discussed investments, education, and healthcare programs.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062556.html

Hrachya Poladyan will complete his diplomatic mission in Iraq

He met the deputy Premier of Iraq. The latter thanked the departing ambassador for efforts to open the Armenian Consulate General and the Armenian Cultural House in Erbil. "Armenians are a valued people in Iraq and are always in safe hands," said the deputy Premier Faud Hussein.

The President of Iraq Barham Salih hopes Armenia will expand its diplomatic presence and activate more economic and cultural ties.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062524.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062526.html

Pashinyan congratulated Brazil and Israel

Brazil marked its independence from Portugal. Israelis are celebrating the Rosh Hashanah (New Year) holiday.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062528.html https://factor.am/413739.html

Armenia-Georgia relations

Pashinyan will soon visit Georgia to discuss various programs with the Georgian leadership.

Meanwhile, the Armenian Parliament will reshape its Armenia-Georgia Friendship Group. Parliament president Alen Simonyan met his Georgian counterpart Kakha Kuchava today. They discussed the new Friendship Bridge that's being constructed on the ARM-GEO border and other joint projects.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062584.html

Armenia-Japan relations

MFA Mirzoyan met the Japanese ambassador Fukushima and discussed topics relating to cultural ties, development of institutes, reforms, tech cooperation.

The ambassador said that Japan views Armenia as an important partner in building a free and open world order, based on the rule of law. They spoke about the post-war humanitarian programs financed by Japan.

https://factor.am/413765.html

Armenia-Netherlands relations

Parliament president Alen Simonyan met the Dutch Senate president Anthony B. and thanked him for passing 17 resolutions condemning Azerbaijan, during and after the 2020 war.

The Netherlands opened an embassy in Yerevan last September. The two discussed areas of cooperation.

High-Tech Minister Khachaturyan met the ambassador today. Several Dutch tech firms are interested in digitization efforts in Armenia, developing the tech startup field, etc.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062592.html https://factor.am/413835.html

€40 million high-tech grant for Armenia

High-Tech Minister Khachaturyan met German GIZ agency representative Madeleine Rauschenberger. GIZ plans to invest €40M in Armenia to promote tech businesses, innovative tourism projects in provinces, and the startup ecosystem.

Minister Khachaturyan said the "German model" can be exemplary for Armenia. They spoke about digitization efforts, and the possible participation of German tech firms in Armenia's upcoming Engineering City in Yerevan.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/220382

European countries launch a competition to choose the best postal stamp

You will find the Armenian stamp (eagle) and vote for your favorite design in this link.

The depicted քարարծիվ eagle is in Armenia's Red Book. The stamp is designed by Rem Sahakyan for HayPost.

Armenian Swallow bird stamp had won this competition in 2019. In 2020, the stamp depicting Gyumri won second place.

https://europa2021.posteurop.org/#/europa2021/en https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062520.html

VIDEO: someone tried to smuggle half a pound of cocaine through the airport

NSS reports: last Friday, a French national smuggled 211 grams of cocaine via the Nice-Paris-Yerevan flight. It was discovered by agents at the Zvartnots airport. The suspect is under arrest. The "full circle" is being identified. //

[In other news, the movie industry suspends operations and the economy is in freefall due to unexplained productivity loss.]

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062519.html

consumer pricing: year-over-year change in August

Overall +9%

Food and soft drinks +15% (+1% from this July)

Vegetables +66% (+5% from this July)

Fruits -9%

Cooking oil +29% (-3% from this July)

Fish +25%

Seafood +1.5%

Meat +10%

Pork +40%

Daily, cheese, eggs +12%

Eggs +46% (-1% from this July)

Alcohol and tobacco +9%

Non-food +9%

Clothes +10%

Utility bills +1%

Household appliances +9%

Healthcare +5%

Transport +10%

Communication +1%

The government’s projection of GDP growth for 2021 is 3.2% (down from 6% that was made in July amid more favorable numbers).

The economy grew +13% in the second quarter of 21 vs 20.

http://arka.am/en/news/economy/armenia_s_prices_for_food_products_and_soft_drinks_in_august_2021_increased_by_15_1_from_august_2020/ http://arka.am/en/news/economy/armenia_s_consumer_prices_index_in_august_2021_grew_by_8_8_compared_to_august_2020_according_to_nati/

tripartite memorandum is signed between the Finance Ministry, Eurasian Development Bank, and the Analytical Credit Rating Agency

Armenia will be given a sovereign credit rating, access to rating services, and credit ratings for bonds issued in Armenia.

EDB Bank representative: we have years of successful cooperation and projects with Armenia. We welcome the government's efforts to improve the business environment and conditions for private investments. //

https://factor.am/413590.html

the iGorts diaspora program has "convinced" dozens of experts to stay in Armenia

The program was launched last year to invite skilled Armenian experts to join the government branches. Over 50 participants from last year's program were issued certificates of completion today. 22 of them have decided to stay in Armenia.

Diaspora Committee chief Sinanyan: Thank you for your contributions in the fields of healthcare, education, culture, social work, territorial management, economy, and investments. 22 of you decided to stay and work in Armenia: 14 in government branches and 8 in the private sector. //

Healthcare Minister Avanesyan: thank you. This was a very successful program. I hope to expand cooperation in the future. //

Diasporan expert Hayk Margaryan: I decided to stay in Armenia. I was appointed as the director of the National Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Another three diasporans will join us. Repatriation was very important for me. Today I live in Armenia with my wife and two children. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062582.html

COVID stats

4659 tested. 501 infected. 398 deaths. 15 deaths. 9702 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062525.html

Armenia will import Pfizer vaccine by the end of this month

Back in July, the government allocated €3.5B for the purchase of Pfizer and Sinopharm doses. Armenia has made the payments and is currently waiting for the delivery.

Healthcare Ministry recently imported dozens of special refrigerators that will allow the safe storage of this type of vaccine.

Moderna is still out of reach. Sometime in Autumn, Armenia will import Johnson and Johnson and another 300,000 does of American-made Novavax.

https://youtu.be/WuScVfsnTfU https://factor.am/413947.html https://hetq.am/hy/article/135382

new water supply network and disinfection facilities are being built in Tsaghkashen (Gegharkunik)

All 120 households in the village will be connected to the newly revamped network. New chlorine stations and pumps will be built, in addition to 11km of new delivery pipes.

The construction began in August. The aim is to finish sooner than the projected 2023 deadline. It's co-financed by the government, Germany, and EU banks.

Tsaghkashen mayor (not under arrest): right now we have corroded metal pipes from the 1960s, while the water isn't being disinfected with chlorine. Residents receive water only two hours a day. This large-scale construction will improve the quality of life. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062538.html

Ararat's Ranchpar village will be connected to the gas network

75% of the residents will see the blue light this year, with the rest in the following years. It's a co-subsidy program between federal and local authorities.

https://factor.am/413562.html

Armenian rock bands will perform for children with cancer

Nemra, The Beautified Project, and Lav Eli will hold a concert in Aram Khachatryan music hall on September 9. The proceeds will be donated to the City of Smile charity foundation.

Rockstars' press conference: https://youtu.be/7r0xzyVYapQ https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062540.html

shooting of new film "Fortress" kicks off in Sicily, Italy

It's co-produced by Jessica Woodworth and Armenia's Angela Frangyan. Armenia has both financial and creative participation.

https://factor.am/413611.html https://en.armradio.am/2021/09/07/fortress-shooting-of-new-film-co-produced-by-armenia-kicks-off-in-sicily-italy/

PHOTO: delicious Gata Festival will be held in village Khachik (Areni, Vayots Dzor) on September 18

Previously, participants baked gata with sizes ranging from just 3cm to 4 meters.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/220334

today in history

1812: the battle of Borodino. Napoleon defeats the Russian army and captures Moscow.

1822: Brazil breaks up with Portugal.

1995: ֏ the ֏ Armenian ֏ dram ֏ sign ֏ is ֏ created ֏. It resembles the letter "d" of the Armenian alphabet. (a genius move)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062508.html

nobody:

Andy Madadian: Eshgheh.mp3

is Caparros trolling?

We are facing a very challenging match, said Armenian soccer coach Joaquin Caparros, while referring to tomorrow's match against Liechtenstein in Armenia. He said the team will be motivated by the Armenian fans in the stadium. "The team knows how important these 3 points are."

DO NOT F!CK THIS UP, JOJO.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062589.html

Armenian boxers have already won 4 medals in CIS "Olympics"

Thousands of athletes from the post-Soviet bloc are competing in Kazan, Russia. Armenian team has 55 members. Three silver and one bronze, so far.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/220362

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/pjurkl/news_sep72021_two_pows_return_pfizer_jj_coming/

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