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For 30 years...
To all the lurkers and all my Armenian brothers and sisters, as well as to the few Greek brothers here, let me tell you a couple of three things:
For 30 years, we wanted a strong army, we compromised; we got an army that was pillaged by Robik and Serzhik, and was over reliant on the heroism of our 18-20 year olds
For 30 years we wanted a good economy, we compromised; we got a bunch of Casinos and hotels built for fucking deadbeats to come and waste their cash in hopes it would go to the economy while it was instead going into criminal’s pockets
For 30 years we wanted good leaders, we compromised; we had a Language arts teacher as our first president, two corrupt bastards as our second and third, and then an incompetent journalist who rode on populism to the top.
I’d like to do it over I tell you, we compromised everything. 30 years with an independent Armenia not a fucking peep. For what? For the likes of Ter-Petrosyan, Serzhik, Robik, Pashinyan? So we could end up where we are today?
[OC] The Best MLS Player from Each Country That's Fielded One: Part 1 (UEFA)
Throughout its first 25 years, Major League Soccer has seen players from all different corners of the globe, each with their own career story. Whether it be a guy like Tim Melia or Chris Wondolowski who were scrappy guys that came out of nowhere to be stars in this league, or world famous names such as Zlatan, Beckham, and Henry, the league's history of big names is as diverse as they come. Let's take a look at the best player from each country around the globe. This will be based on national team allegiance. Today, we'll be leading with Europe! Please note that this is my opinion, and in some cases the decisions were tough; I'll be sure to add in honorable mentions where I can, or add notes. Albania: Shkëlzen Gashi ( COL 2016-18) Short list to pick from here, as Gashi's only competition is Jahmir Hyka and Hamdi Salihi. Gashi gets the nod, if nothing else, for his huge 2016 season, where he scored 10 regular season goals (one of which was that year's Goal of the Year) as the Rapids damn near won the Shield. The madlad then went and one-upped that with his absurd equalizer in the playoffs against the Galaxy. His last two years weren't as fruitful, but man, when he was on he could pull something out of nowhere. Armenia: Yura Movsisyan ( KC 2006-07, RSL 2007-09 & 2016-18, CHI 2018) Four choices here, although in the end it's Movsisyan winning out over Harut Karapetyan, who played a couple seasons in the 90s for the Galaxy, San Jose, and Tampa Bay. The fourth pick in a strong 2006 MLS SuperDraft out of Pasadena City College, Movsisyan is mostly associated with RSL, who acquired him in a 2007 trade. With the Claret and Cobalt, he would tally 15 goals in 53 regular season appearances, and in 2009 he'd hoist the club's first MLS Cup. That'd be his last game with RSL until 2016 after some time in Europe with Randers, Krasnodar, and Spartak Moscow (even sharing the Russian PL Golden Boot in 2012/13 with Wanderson). He'd put up a similar clip of 16 in 57 before being waived and finishing his MLS career with four scoreless games with Chicago. Austria: Daniel Royer ( NYRB 2016-pres.) The choice here was largely Royer vs. Andreas Ivanschitz, who was a regular starter for Seattle's first MLS Cup, but I can't say no to a man with over 100 MLS matches played and three straight 10-goal seasons. In all comps, the former Austria Vienna man is just two goals behind Thierry Henry for third on the Red Bulls' all time goal scoring list. Belarus: Sasha Gotsmanov ( COL 2005) Gotsmanov qualifies by default as the only Belarusian player in MLS history. The Minsk native (and son of former Soviet and Belarusian international Sergei Gotsmanov) played one (1) single game for Colorado in October 2005, against RSL. Belgium: Laurent Ciman ( MTL 2015-17, LAFC 2018, TFC 2019-pres.) Shouts to Roland Lamah, who had his moments in Dallas, and Jelle van Damme, who played a season and a half for the Galaxy, but Ciman is the obvious choice. While he's fallen off a cliff as he's gotten older, he's a three-time All-Star and won Defender of the Year in his first MLS season; in his second, he played for Belgium at Euro 2016. At 35, he's lost a step and probably should only be used in emergencies, but at his best he was an elite MLS center back that could also be deployed at right back. Bosnia & Herzegovina: Haris Medunjanin ( PHI 2017-19, CIN 2020-pres.) The first one where I'm not totally confident in my pick, as Baggio Hušidić made this tricky (and as a Union fan I'm afraid of bias). But at his best, Haris is an assist machine (30 in four MLS seasons so far), and a threat on set pieces; the madlad even scored an Olimpico this year. His left foot is probably the best the Union have ever had. While his commitment to defense was nonexistent, give him the ball and he could spray a pass anywhere. Bulgaria: Hristo Stoichkov ( CHI 2000-02, DC 2003) One of three former Ballon d'Or winners to play in MLS (the others being Lothar Matthaus and Kaka, although "playing" is generous for the former), Stoichkov spent the last four seasons of his career in MLS, scoring 22 goals in 72 regular season matches for Chicago and DC. In his first season, a 9 goal in 18 match outing for the Fire, he also won the US Open Cup, scoring the opening goal of the final, a 2-1 win over Miami. (The winning goal, by the way, was scored by our old friend Owen Goal.) Croatia: Damir Kreilach ( RSL 2018-pres.) Mr. Miyagi's favorite MLS player for his crane kick equalizer in the playoffs, the former Rijeka and Union Berlin man has proven to be an excellent utility piece and core part of RSL throughout his time there, scoring 26 goals and chipping in 14 assists in 86 regular season matches and playing all over the damn place (naturally a central midfielder, he's probably still RSL's best forward). At 31, he still has a lot to give. MLS has seen a huge influx of Croats lately, though; before Kreilach's 2018 signing there had only been four Croatian players in MLS history, two of whom barely played. Currently, there are five on active rosters. Czechia: Luboš Kubík ( CHI 1998-2001, DAL 2001) Czech players have had a good hit rate in MLS. In his lone MLS season, Bořek Dočkal led the league in assists, and Zdeněk Ondrášek was a very solid piece for Dallas, albeit one whose MLS time was brief. But no. We have to go with Kubik. The sweeper was Best XI twice, in 1998 and 1999, and won Defender of the Year in 1998 helping Chicago to a MLS Cup-Open Cup double. He'd win another Open Cup two years later, before being traded to Dallas in 2001 and retiring due to injury. So many lethal counterattacks started on the foot of this man, and he is rightfully seen as one of the greatest defenders the league has ever seen. Denmark: Jimmy Nielsen ( KC 2010-13) I debated going WAYYYYYYY off the board here and throwing out Miklos Molnar. His time in MLS was brief, just the 2000 season before he retired, but the man was the best attacking piece on a Cup winner. He could have balled out if he didn't retire early. But nah. We're going with Casino Jimmy, one of the keys towards Kansas City's early 2010s turnaround. A two time All-Star, Nielsen was Goalkeeper of the Year in 2012, a year that also saw him win the Open Cup with the Wiz (on penalties, because KC and penalties, name a more iconic duo at this point). In 2013, he capped off his career by winning MLS Cup, again on penalties, while playing with broken ribs. England: Bradley Wright-Phillips ( 2013-2019, LAFC 2020) This league, man. The list of English players to have represented in MLS is a long one, full of iconic names. Ashley Cole. David Beckham. Frank Lampard. Steven Gerrard. Jermain Defoe. Wayne Rooney. Hell, even Bradley's brother Shaun. But nope. Many of those guys are the butt of many MLS jokes. BWP, on the other hand, is one of the greatest goal scorers the league has ever seen, with two Golden Boots to his name and well over a century of league goals. He was a part of 3 Shield winning teams, and made CONCACAF's Best XI in 2018. And it all started with a quiet trial in 2013 after Charlton dumped him. This. League. And This. Man. Even as a fan of Philly who doesn't care much for the Red Bulls, I respect this dude and everything he's done. I hope he gets another year after winning Comeback Player of the Year this year. Estonia: Joel Lindpere ( NYRB 2010-12, CHI 2013) The only other option here was Erik Sorga, who could dethrone Lindpere as he came to MLS at a very young age. But it's unlikely, as Lindpere was quietly very solid for the Red Bulls during his time. The Tallinn native was a two-time All-Star, and in 2010 he was named the Red Bulls' team MVP. Finland: Alex Ring ( NYC 2017-2020, AUS pres.) T O P I C A L There's a few fairly talented Finns in MLS right now that could make this interesting (I really like Robin Lod's game, and Lassi Lappelainen would be excellent for Montreal if he'd stop getting hurt). Ring however has proven his worth across 4 seasons, including time as NYC's captain. Over 10,000 MLS minutes, mostly for good teams, as a defensive anchor, he will be a fantastic tone-setter for the new Austin team. France: Thierry Henry ( NYRB 2010-14) Oh man, as an Ireland fan I wanted to give this to literally anyone else. I am still bitter, dammit. His best competition is probably Aurelien Collin, who has a closetful of trophies (including a Best XI and MLS Cup MVP). But no...it's Henry. When a big name comes to MLS, what people want to see is someone who treats the league with respect. Henry did that. Not only was he dominant on the pitch, a three-time Best XI nomination, he also respected the history of the club he played for and gave 100%, even though he was getting up there in the years. He's a Red Bulls and MLS legend...as much as I curse that godforsaken hand Georgia: Valeri "Vako" Qazaishvili ( SJ 2017-20) It looks like the San Jose chapter of Vako's career is done and dusted. While the former Vitesse man struggled for consistency, he did put up 26 goals and 13 assists across four MLS seasons for the Quakes, including 10 while being coached by Mikael Stahre, which should probably get him and Wondo some sort of award. We'll see what's next for him, if he leaves MLS or goes back to Europe. His only competition was Quakes teammate Guram Kashia. Germany: Bastian Schweinsteiger ( CHI 2017-19) I'm...actually not sure about this one. I actually changed this while writing, as I very nearly chose Julian Gressel; the former Rookie of the Year has two 10-assist seasons under his belt, and Kai Wagner has also been one of the league's better fullbacks for Philadelphia; Schweinsteiger was solid enough for Chicago in his advanced age for some very frustrating teams (and even moved positions to center back!)...but man, I don't know. Germany is weird. For a country with such a great footballing tradition, the pickings are fairly slim. Arne Friedrich had one good year for Chicago before injuries claimed his career. Lottar Matthaus was as committed to this league as Schalke are to winning football matches. Stefan Aigner was stifled by Anthony Hudson going galaxy brain. Torsten Frings...existed. I dunno. Greece: Alexandros Tabakis ( ATL 2017) The only Greek in MLS history...and our second one game wonder. Atlanta's FOURTH string keeper in 2017, he managed to sneak into a game against Minnesota with Brad Guzan on international duty, Alec Kann injured, and Kyle Reynish sent off during the match. Atlanta lost 3-2. He's now in USL. Hungary: Nemanja Nikolić ( CHI 2017-19) Dániel Sallói and Krisztián Németh had their moments, but the winner is Nikolić, who came to MLS from the Ekstraklasa and immediately won the Golden Boot. His totals diminished in the three seasons he spent with Chicago, but 51 goals in 96 appearances isn't too shabby at all - it's second in Fire history behind Ante Razov. Iceland - Guðmundur Þórarinsson ( NYC 2020-pres.) Not much choice, 3 guys, all of whom were mostly bench guys. I almost went with Kristinn Steindorsson here on the merits of "he didn't have a penalty saved by Rodrigo Schlegel." Israel: Gadi Kinda ( SKC 2020-pres.) It was either him or Dedi Ben Dayan, really. And I nearly went with the former Colorado left back, but nah, Kinda is very much the superior player. The midfielder born in Ethiopia, Kinda shone brightly in his first season in KC, with 6 goals and 4 assists in his debut season. He'll be a DP next season. Italy: Sebastian Giovinco ( TOR 2015-18) A signing that changed an entire club. Before Giovinco, the Reds were a laughingstock. He came in, won a Golden Boot and MVP right away, led the league in assists, made Best XI three years in a row, led them to their first playoff game, their first MLS Cup final, their first MLS Cup win, and a historic treble. And they damn near won CCL too. The Atomic Ant was must-see from Day 1. It's not just because of him that Toronto is now one of MLS's elite...but he was a huge part of changing that culture. 83 goals in 142 games in all comps. And he dished out his fair share of assists too, with a telepathic partnership with Jozy. Latvia: Raivis Hščanovičs ( TOR 2010) Not much to write about here. 14 games for a bad Reds team. Gets in by default with no other Latvian MLS players. Liechtenstein: Nicholas Hasler ( TOR 2017-18, CHI 2018-19, SKC 2019) Another one by default. 66 games as a utilityman. Won MLS Cup and the Shield, though. Lithuania: Vytautas Andriuškevičius ( POR 2016-18, DC 2018) Only other choice was Edgaras Jankauskas, a forward who played 14 games for the Revs. Vytas played 37 for Portland and zero for DC. Luxembourg: Maxime Chanot ( NYC 2016-pres.) Another one by default but this one's an actually really solid player that finished fourth in Defender of the Year voting in 2019. We take those. Malta: Etienne Barbera ( VAN 2012) 2 games in 2012. Only Maltese player in MLS. Montenegro: Branko Bošković ( DC 2010-12) Pretty much every other Montenegrin player played less than 20 games in MLS. Bošković played 43 before returning to Europe for family reasons. 7 assists in his final season though, which is technically something. Netherlands: Johan Kappelhof ( CHI 2016-pres.) Much like Germany, bright footballing tradition, very shaky MLS history. Which is weird because the Eredivisie exports a lot of guys to MLS. Also, I'm excluding Kelvin Leerdam, as he is probably changing his international allegiance to Suriname. So I'm going with 2017 All-Star Kappelhof, who I think is still fairly solid. But really the choices aren't great. Dave van den Burgh? Roland Alberg scored a hat trick once I guess? Danny Koevermans was decent but injured all the time? Maybe it's a hot take. It probably is. North Macedonia: Oka Nikolov ( PHI 2013) Never actually played, only in a friendly. Watch this space though as North Macedonia is apparently courting LAFC's Danny Musovski. Northern Ireland: Johnny Steele ( RSL 2012, NYRB 2013-14) Another case of shaky opposition, it was either Steele or Steve Morrow, who played 41 games for Dallas in the aughts. Steele played regularly for a Shield winner, the 2013 Red Bulls. Easy peasy. Norway: Vadim Demidov Ola Kamara ( CLB 2016-17, LAG 2018, DC 2019-pres.) Adama Diomande is the main competition here. Kamara's first stint in MLS was a smashing success, scoring 48 goals in 90 regular season matches for Columbus and the Galaxy (he was traded for Gyasi Zardes before 2018). A brief foray to China followed, and while he's back in MLS with DC he hasn't quite been the same. Still a good player on his day, maybe just the Bennyball effect. Poland: Piotr Nowak ( CHI 1998-2002) When I think of early Chicago, Nowak and the earlier-mentioned Kubik are the first two names that come to mind. Kubik held down the back while Nowak was the chief creator in the midfield. Three-time best XI, three-time All-Star, and MLS Cup MVP. ...can I drink my water now? Portugal: José Gonçalves ( NE 2013-16) Gonçalves fell off a cliff in his latter years, but in his first MLS season he won Defender of the Year and in his second he was a key part of a team that made the MLS Cup final and damn near won the thing. Runner up here is Nani who is probably closing in. EDIT: I also forgot to mention Pedro Santos, thanks to the Crew fans who pointed that one out. I still think Gonçalves pips him for his 2013 if nothing else, but Santos is probably closer than Nani. Republic of Ireland: Robbie Keane ( LAG 2011-16) A LOT closer than you think; Time Person of the CenturyJuventus legend Ronnie O'Brien was two-time best XI himself. But nonono. This is Robbie freaking Keane. When we see these big name Euro guys interested in MLS, this is the man we want them to be. Hypercompetitive and holding guys accountable on and off the pitch, and scoring for fun. 83 goals in 125 MLS regular season appearances. Best XI four times. 2014 MVP. MLS Cup MVP in 2014. A closetful of team awards including 3 MLS Cups. This man was a baller, and frankly his departure was the beginning of the Galaxy decline into irrelevance, but that's a story for another time. Romania: Alexandru Mitriță ( NYC 2019-pres.?) Question mark because he's on loan and I have no idea if it'll be permanent, but he was punted out by the Pigeons just as he was really starting to break out. He scored 12 goals in his debut season last year but filled in nicely this year while Maxi Moralez was injured. EDIT: NYC fans have informed me he wasn't punted out, but was loaned out to be closer to his pregnant wife. My apologies. Honorable mention: Alex Zotincă, who played for the Wizards and Chivas USA in the aughts. Brave man. Russia: Igor Simutenkov ( KC 2002-04) Not a lot to pick from here either. 49 games, 12 goals for this forward from Moscow, who now serves as an assistant coach at Zenit. Scotland: John Spencer ( COL, 2001-04) Give Johnny Russell another few years and he'll pass Spencer, but for now I'm leaning the latter. Spencer as a coach was frustrating as hell, but as a player he was Best XI twice and an MVP finalist once. Dude could score goals despite battling injuries in his time in MLS. Just don't let him sign Kris Boyd. Then you lose to Cal FC. No one wants that. Serbia: Aleksandar Katai ( 2018-19, 2020) FROM A SPORTING PERSPECTIVE. And mostly due to a weak pool. Runner up was probably someone like Miloš Kocić. 18 goals in 62 games for Chicago before getting yeeted back to Serbia for Bad People Reasons Slovakia: Albert Rusnák ( RSL 2017-pres.) He has tenure on Ján Greguš, who's the closest competitor, but Rusnák is also good. He followed up a 14-assist debut season (4th in the league) with back to back 10 goal seasons before struggling this year with injury. Slovenia: Robert Berić ( CHI 2020-pres.) Once he got acclimated to MLS, the goals came, and Chicago has its successor to Nikolić up top. He finished with 12 goals in his debut season, tied for second in the league with Ruidiaz and Zardes. Also, from what I saw early on, seems like he's a dark-arts type of guy that gets in your head. That's fun. Spain: David Villa ( NYC 2015-18) I really didn't want to put him here due to recent allegations, and the fact that Pozuelo has already matched his MVP and two Best XI performances.... 77 goals in 117 games though, that's tough to pass on. Sweden: Zlatan Ibrahimović ( LAG 2018-19) It's Zlatan. He pretty much dragged a sorry LA organization to something resembling competitiveness. What the hell did you expect? (Anton Tinnerholm made this hard, though) EDIT: Forgot Gustav Svensson as well in my honorable mentions. Switzerland: Stefan Frei ( TOR 2009-13, SEA 2014-pres.) Pretty self-explanatory, one of the most accomplished keepers in MLS history and with a closetful of hardware. And all it took Seattle to get him was a late first round pick that pinged around so much that it was eventually traded for a coach. Turkey: Sercan Güvenışık ( SJ 2012) 5 games that year. No one else has flown the Turkish flag in MLS. Ukraine: Dema Kovalenko ( CHI 1999-2002, DC 2002-05, NYRB 2006-08, RSL 2008, LAG 2008-10) I'm afraid he'd break my legs if I didn't. One of the most physical and downright dirty players the league has ever seen. Made nearly 300 appearances though, and has one each of the 3 major US trophies (MLS Cup, USOC, Shield), all with a different team. Wales: Andy Dorman ( NE 2004-07, 2013-15) Dorman was a key part of that real good Revs team from the mid-aughts, and just beats out Carl Robinson. He made 112 appearances in his first stint, and played in 3 MLS Cup finals, though they famously lost all three. The Revs brought him back in 2013 after some time in Scotland and England, and was playing semipro in the area as recently as 2018.
Dec/29/2020 news: \\ political party law reformed: idea > individual; transparency; female % \\ Pashinyan responds to "not being enough pro-Russian" \\ who owns which business? \\ protests & snap elect. \\ burglary case & HHK MP \\ humanitarian aid for Artsakh \\ Vitalik flexes muscles \\ bills pass
Your 14-minute Tuesday report in 3589 words.
Pashinyan about pre-war negotiations and "avoiding" the war:
The idea that a flexible foreign policy could have avoided this war is being constantly circulated. Those [former officials] who believe in this thesis must answer at least one question: as a result of their "flexible" policy, why was it not possible to avoid the war of 2016, which was preceded by the unprecedented escalation of 2015 and 2014? The "flexible" policy adopted by Armenia for many years led to the introduction of Russian proposals in January 2016, which proposed the return of 7 territories (5 + 2) without any legal status for Nagorno-Karabakh. Why did Russia make such an offer? For one simple reason, as a result of Armenia's "flexible" policy, the Madrid process had come to a standstill because Artsakh could receive a Status outside Azerbaijan only with the consent of Azerbaijan. It was obvious to Russia and everyone else that Azerbaijan would not agree to this, so it was necessary to find ways to break the deadlock. And, by the way, if certain people claim that Armenia's foreign policy after 2018 was not sufficiently pro-Russian and this was the reason for the war, then why in the conditions of the "sufficiently pro-Russian" policy of 2016 were Russian proposals born and why did the April war take place? There was only one way to prevent this war: return the regions and forget about Artsakh's legal status. Now, after the war is over and we know the outcome, the number of supporters of [giveaway of 7 regions] is growing. What they forget is that if we gave away the lands to avoid the war, we would have the same situation in Syunik borders. They used to accuse us of "selling lands" [he means the contradictory statements like Nikol sold the lands, and why didn't Nikol sell the lands earlier to avoid the war]. The biggest failure by the supporters of the "flexible policies" is that they spent years trying to avoid a war instead of preparing for it. Our biggest failure is that we weren't able to recover enough embezzled public property in the past 2.5 years to help us better prepare for the war. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039231.html
businesses owned by opposition leaders
What are the known businesses owned by some of the famous people you might have seen in the public square lately?
20% share in Lorva Amrots Ltd which plans to operate two hydro-power plants on Dzoraget river. Manukyan purchased the shares in 2011 after being appointed by Serj as the head of the Public Council. In 2015-2016, he owned 30% shares in Vanavka Group. In 2015-2017 he had 30% shares in Jermakunq Group. These companies extracted and bottled water. At the time, the director of these companies was charged with illegal bottling and causing ֏55 million in damages to the state. The corruption case was sent to the IRS, which terminated the investigation after "not finding a crime". The companies export the products mostly to Russia.
Vanetsyan is a poor boy, according to the public declarations database. But if you have time, take a look at the investigative report I covered in Ap29/2020 news, according to which Vanetsyan's family allegedly used offshore firms and owns mining shares. More on that here. Here is a Hetq investigative report. Vanetsyan's father owns AV Group flower importing business. About a year ago, the police investigated several flower sellers near a stadium. An opposition outlet claimed that the sellers were "beaten and forced" to testify that Vanetsyan's father was running an underground business. This was never properly proven and the opposition's claim that Vanetsyan was about to be charged did not happen. The police confirmed that there was an investigation against several flower sellers. These flower sellers ended up hiring Vanetsyan's co-party-creator Arsen Babayan as a lawyer. Vanetsyan's father owns 50% shares of A B Export oil import company that began operating in 2017. It was a minor player that quit the market in 2019. Vanetsyan's father also owns 60% of A B Trans transportation company. In Nov/2019, CivilNet wrote about Arthur Vanetsyan's cousins' possible involvement with Zangezur Copper factory (massive business). The same offshore firm in Cyprus, which purchased Zangezur shares, was tied to Vanetsyan's cousins' another business in the same offshore. Vanetsyan's cousins also own a Switzerland-based Exoil wholesale cooking oil and shipping company. In 2019 it had a revenue of $148 million (11 billion Rubles). The cousins don't do this business in Armenia. Per 2019 registration, Arthur Vanetsyan himself owns one apartment, $10,000, and ֏1 million. Media reported in May/2020 that Vanetsyan's cousin purchased a ֏300 million mansion in Yerevan, which was donated to then-new political party "Hayreniq", co-founded by Arthur Vanetsyan and Arsen Babayan (the guy who is accused of helping HHK to fabricate documents in 2018 to hijack the Constitutional Court by appointing HHK MP Hrayr Tovmasyan as a judge). Arthur Vanetsyan's mother served as the chief of the personnel-management department in Serj and Pashinyan administrations, before quitting and working as Serj's aide. Vanetsyan's wife owns Villa Montessori preschool in Yerevan. She also runs the Young Education Center Ltd.
ARF Ishkhan Saghatelyan
Pashinyan appointed Saghatelyan as Gegharquniq governor for a brief period after the 2018 revolution, when Pashinyan created a unity-government, represented by all political parties. The honeymoon soon ended and each party went their way. Saghatelyan owns shares in i-mega Service Ltd. It's a tourism agency founded in 2006. It operates in Armenia, Artsakh, and Georgia. Saghatelyan founded Navasar company and serves as director. It's owned by his father. Saghatelyan family owns the Tsovasar hotel complex on Lake Sevan shores. It's 10,000 m2 (a hectare?). As of 2018, Saghatelyan declared ownership of 8 pieces of land, 2 apartments, ֏18.5 million, $45,000, and €15,000. Saghatelyan's father is the mayor of Gegharquniq's Geghamavan settlement. This municipality had recently sent a letter demanding Pashinyan's resignation. Saghatelyan used to be a shareholder of Shiman Ltd which is no longer active.
BHK leader Gagik "dodi gago" Tsarukyan
BUCKLE UP, KIDS! Overall, Tsarukyan runs 54 companies. Студент, комсомолец, спортсмен, u наконец, он просто красавиц. His business empire was covered in details here. Textile, gas stations, malls, Multi Group empire, Shangri-La Casino, Ararat Cognac & Wine Factory, BMW official office Euromotors (also Hyundai, Gazel, Niva), Multi Motors, Magas Invest, Multi Wellness, Olimpavan sports complex, Kotayk beer factory, TechnAlyumin door & window factory, Multi Rest House hotel chain, Paravon luxury restaurant, Onira Club, Zvartnot's airport's upper-level service company Avia Service, Farm Adama, Multi Pharm pharmacy, Multi Leon gas stations, Multi Solar solar panels. He owns shares in Frank Mueller Yerevan watch company, Fortsa, Multi Gold, Multi Diamond jewelry firms, several fish-breeding businesses. He also runs businesses in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Czechia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia. Per official declaration, he owns $168 million, €29 million, ֏675 million, 14 pieces of land, 6 houses, 2 public buildings, 1 apartment.
Details for BHK MP Mikael Melkumyan and HHK Vahram Baghdasaryan in the link below.
The street demonstrations, organized by the former regime and its allies, continue. They demand Pashinyan's resignation and the appointment of their candidate Vazgen Manukyan as the Prime Minister for the duration of a year, after which they agree to hold new elections. ARF leader Artsvik Minasyan said they don't plan to discuss snap elections with Pashinyan. "Right now, our only demand is Pashinyan's resignation. We demand SIS to immediately hold every criminal accountable". The demonstrators gathered in front of the SIS building to present the demands. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039316.html
Pashinyan meets leaders of several opposition parties
felony case: ex-HHK MP charged with armed attack on ex-IRS official
In August of this year, Russia extradited a former HHK MP Alraghatsi Lyovik to Armenia. He was wanted for allegedly burglarizing and shooting at a senior IRS official a decade ago. At the time, his case was "frozen". It was relaunched in 2018. (magic wand) NSS says: suspect Lyovik, with the help of citizens AK and AN, organized an armed burglary against IRS Chief (?) Avetisyan in 2008. AK was in the United States. In 2004, he stole $150,000 from jewelry shops in Los Angeles. He got caught but managed to flee to Armenia. Once in Armenia, AK colluded with policeman AN to organize a similar criminal ring in Armenia. [MP] Lyovik personally knew AK, and learned about their burglaries. Since Lyovik had bad relations with the IRS chief (victim), he decided to punish the victim by urging AK to burglarize his house. Lyovik revealed the plot to his brother-in-law, who happened to be the victim's personal aide. The latter gave all the personal habits and details about the victim to the burglars. [read the article for the full story, or wait for a Hollywood movie in theaters near you] The burglars and organizers are charged with felonies. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203835 , https://youtu.be/brdozVbwQ6A , https://factor.am/274836.html , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/183522 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203835 ,
Russian Orthodox chapel will be built
... in the Armenian settlement near Nakhijevan where Azerbaijan had earlier shut down a Russian helicopter, which killed and wounded Russian pilots. It'll be on a hill in Yeraskh. Construction starts on January 6th. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039259.html
Vitalik Balasanyan will return the lands, kicks junkies, and restrict Facebook
Artsakh President Arayik earlier announced that he will allow his opponents to take jobs in the new coalition government. Kocharyan-ally Vitali Balasanyan became the Security Council chief. Vitalik: we will return Hadrut and Askeran region with the help of Russian and Armenian military-political efforts. We are in a better situation now to solve territorial issues. We will soon create border guard forces. It will report to MoD, which will report to the Security Council (his office). Drugs have no place in Artsakh. Drug users must quit or leave Artsakh now. We need to return to traditional values of giving women as wives after asking if the man had served in the army. No public official will be allowed to use Facebook during work. More: https://youtu.be/DceHyi4AB5g https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/289056/
search operations are paused / the "welcome to Azerbaijan" sign
Azerbaijan received criticism for refusing to allow search teams to enter the Hadrut region yesterday. They also prevented UNESCO from checking the status of several Armenian cultural sights, after complaining that UNESCO was "biased" against Azerbaijan during the war. HR Ombudsman: Any untrue information can not be a reason to disrupt the humanitarian process [referring to unconfirmed rumors on social media that Armenians opened fire at Azeris in Hadrut. An unofficial Iranian social media channel claims 3 Azeris were killed but due to an internal fight.] The Human Rights Ombudsman also criticized the Azeri troops for installing a provocative "welcome to Azerbaijan" sign on part of a road that went under Azeri control near Syunik borders. The Ombudsman says it's meant to intimidate the locals. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039233.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039237.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039244.html , https://factor.am/325511.html
Context: BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan referred to the majority of Armenian voters as human trash *(or as she says: impure), and called for the establishment of forced re-education camps so people won't vote for a "wrong party" again. The ruling QP party launched a process to terminate her chairmanship in Parliamentary Human Rights Committee. Read yesterday's thread for more details.* QP MP Arthur: the law states that the Parliament can appoint and terminate the chairman. The termination of this seat does not require the same procedures as in the case of MPs and Judges. Armenian Constitution states that in Armenia, human beings are of the highest value, and inalienable human dignity is the inseparable basis of their rights and freedoms. MP Zohrabyan's public conduct is against it. // The law gives the second-largest political party the mandate to appoint the chairman of this particular Committee. BHK, being the second-largest party, said they wouldn't appoint a replacement if Zohrabyan is voted out. QP MP Arthur: per rules, if BHK refuses to appoint a new candidate, the largest (QP) party will receive the mandate. // Parliament voted 78-4 to terminate Zohrabyan's chairmanship. BHK and LHK did not vote. BHK MP Zohrabyan: this termination was a Constitutional crime. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039245.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039264.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039304.html , https://factor.am/325132.html
Parliament votes: registering parties becomes easier / ideology instead of person / financial transparency
The goal of this reform is to have political parties that are more about ideology and less about an individual. The reform will boost internal democracy within parties; it will expand the powers of the Party Assembly. Parties will be required to add more anonymous voting mechanisms. The law also requires more financial transparency. The required membership to register a party is lowered from 800 to 300. Some of the public funding given to political parties will depend on the % of female members in the administrative boards. Parliament voted 99-1 to approve it. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039270.html , https://youtu.be/bPuZViCCCxo
Parliament votes: monthly fees towards soldiers' recovery are raised
Most workers pay a monthly 1000 Dram towards the Soldiers' Fund, which takes care of wounded soldiers and families of those who died. The govt found it necessary to raise the fee to cover thousands of new recipients. Here are the new fees and salary brackets: ֏1,500 for < ֏100k/month ֏3,000 for < ֏200k ֏5,500 for < ֏500k ֏8,500 for < ֏1 million ֏15,000 for > ֏1 million Parliament voted 89-0 to approve it. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039296.html
Parliament votes: ban on public smoking is delayed until 2022
The govt had adopted a law to ban smoking in public cafes and the public display of cigarettes in grocery shops. The ruling party wanted to delay parts of the bill that were set to go into effect in January, citing possible financial issues for businesses caused by the pandemic. QP MP: the cigarette industry pays $383 million to state coffers. Healthcare Ministry: it will be a mistake if you delay this bill for the sake of $10 million in tax revenues. Parliament voted 86-0 to delay the anti-smoking bill until 2022. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039295.html
Parliament votes: no tax on goods donated to Armenia
QP MP: When you donate a charitable product to the Republic of Armenia, you are exempt from customs duties and other tax payments, except for one payment, which we are trying to exempt with this bill as well. // Parliament voted 80-0 to approve it. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039297.html
how is the Judicial Branch doing?
The Supreme Court protects or punishes judges. It also handles complaints. It's separate from the Constitutional Court. bad boys 19 complaints against judges were heard, 14 of which were petitioned by Justice Ministry and 4 by Judicial Ethics Board. 10 judges ended up receiving disciplinary penalties, 3 received a warning, 3 were reprimanded, 2 were terminated, 4 were cleared. the system is overloaded 61 judges are handling 6470 felony cases. 86 judges handle 175,940 civil cases. 24 judges handle 17,390 administrative cases. The number of Arbitration cases rose from 3100 to 9900. finances This year, Supremes appointed 20 new judges. Supreme's budget remained the same this year. They returned ֏607 million in savings back to state coffers. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039249.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039284.html
anti-corruption: SIS busts an IRS agent
SIS says: IRS border inspector took a bribe from a citizen to help him avoid paying Millions of ֏ in import taxes by splitting a large load into smaller pieces, so each piece would fall below the taxable threshold. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039293.html
Police and Nature Ministry have set up additional checkpoints as part of measures against whitefish poaching in Sevan. 24/7 monitoring on all alleys leading to the lake. They will also travel across markets to catch contraband whitefish. Why? It's the egg-laying season. Fishing is banned for now. The legally-allowed fishing tools were temporarily removed from the lake. https://youtu.be/8ZyRGpEazMQ https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039339.html
...the rest should have access to other jobs. There is an opportunity now because many businesses operate remotely. Call Center workers don't have to visit an office. Businesses would rather pay less to hire a rural remote worker than more to hire someone in a Yerevan office. The High Tech Ministry has an ongoing program to teach IT to 5,000 citizens. We must help workers to expand their skillset. We're working on a program to allow a worker to quit the job, not worry about the food on the table, and have enough time for education and learning new skills. The villagers should ideally lease their smaller lands to large agricultural producers," said Economy Minister Qerobyan. Full interview: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039319.html
State regulators bust another price-fixing ring: fruit mafia
Yesterday, the Economic Competition Committee busted the egg industry's alleged price-fixing and anti-competitive practices. Today they say a similar collision was observed in the orange, mandarin, kiwi, lemon industry. The companies Best Fruits, Art-Fruits, and Promout were slapped with a ֏39 million in penalties for colluding to raise the prices for the products that had an increased demand during the pandemic period. http://www.competition.am/.../resources/Vo370_17_12_2020.pdf https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039269.html
Lenovo slapped for "anti-competitive practice"
The Economic Competition Committee heard a petition filed by Oazis Computer company against Lenovo. The latter was issued a warning for anti-competitive behavior. Public Regulator: "Lenovo" company had the ability to influence the process of importing Lenovo computers to Armenia from non-EAEU trade bloc countries. "Lenovo" took steps to reduce the import of Lenovo computers from non-EAEU states, by discriminating against Oazis Computer importer. Lenovo is given a month to correct the issue and fix the requirement and standards related paperwork. (Facebook next?) https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039333.html
Artsakh will also increase childbirth benefits
First child: ֏300k instead of ֏100k Second child: ֏300k instead of ֏200k (or ֏500k if one parent is disabled) As for monthly child care subsidy payments, it goes from ֏15k to ֏27k until the child turns 2. https://factor.am/325487.html
700 Artsakh families continue to live in 40 settlements of Gegharquniq province. The All Armenia Fund (HimnaDram.org) has provided food and household items to 241 families ahead of New Year. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039313.html
daily life in Syunik bordering villages Shurnukh and Vorotan
Jan/3/2021 news: __ Top-10 anti corruption charges of 2020 __ POW & search __ Russian aid __ Refugees return __ Protecting the church __ Artsakh's international recognition __ Oil & gas news __ Chess & soccer events __ Guinness World Record __ Importing more Iranian products __ Syunik borders __
Your 7-minute Sunday report in 1743 words.
10 notable anti-corruption cases in 2020
10) SIS concluded the investigation of former president Serj Sargsyan's alleged embezzlement of ֏500 million in agricultural subsidies in 2013. Serj appeared in court as a defendant in February. The case continues. 9) ex-HHK MP and ex-Soccer Federation Chief Ruben Hayrapetyan (oligarch Nemets Rubo) was charged with large-scale embezzlement. In February, he was charged with embezzling $1.5 million-worth lands belonging to the Soccer Federation. (he was earlier implicated in the case about organizing the kidnapping, extortion, and torturing of a man who allegedly stole from his restaurant) 8) ex-Yerevan Mayor and Transport Minister HHK Gagik Beglaryan was charged with embezzling ֏230 million in state property. He was also interrogated as part of a ֏23 billion embezzlement in the North-South highway construction project. His brother is implicated in a ֏85 million embezzlement case. 7) ex-Culture Minister Hasmik Poghosyan (wanted) and ex Israel Ambassador Armen Smbatyan (paid a bail) are charged with using an offshore scheme to embezzle the state property. 6) Serj Sargsyan's brother Alexander was a defendant in the case of the 14 stolen paintings by Martiros Saryan. Pashinyan announced that Alexander's $30 million bank account was frozen. Alexander agreed to return the funds to state coffers. $26 million was recovered. $7.5 million was recovered as part of Martiros Saryan's painting case. Another $19 million was recovered -- or as he says, "donated" -- for the army modernization. 5) Powerful Churchman Archbishop Kchoyan (Bentley guy) was charged as part of an investigation of the forceful appropriation of another businessman's property by using an offshore firm, which was run by several individuals, including the churchman and allegedly the former Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan. More on that here. 4) Felony case was launched over the purchase of $42 million in weapons that turned out to be dysfunctional. Pashinyan mentioned this on several occasions, blaming the former regime for "wasting resources instead of developing the army." More recently, Pashinyan criticized General Movses "Mosi" Hakobyan, saying the waste took place under his administration. 3) Serj Sargsyan's chief bodyguard Vachagan Ghazaryan and his alleged accomplices had their felony tax-evasion charges dropped after compensating ֏3 billion ($6.3 million) to state coffers. 2) Serj's son-in-law Mikael Minasyan (Povar Ishik) was charged by IRS in March after the "revelation of an unprecedented level of corruption in modern Armenian history". Minasyan is accused of illegal enrichment. The investigation continues. Minasyan is residing in Russia, which won't extradite him due to close connections. Details on Mishik's case here, here, here, here (laptop recovered with 9000 files), here, here, here, here, maybe here, definitely here, here, here, 1) BHK leader Gagik Tsarukyan was charged with organizing an election fraud during 2017 and financial crimes by his casino Shangri La. The investigation began in late 2019 after a construction firm, with ties to Tsarukyan, paid a bribe to a Yerevan official in an unrelated incident. Tsarukyan likely learned about the pending charges against him and launched a major opposition campaign against Pashinyan, to then frame his charges as "political persecution" for being critical to the government. https://www.civilnet.am/news/2021/01/03/2020-ի-10-քրեական-գործերը/414983 https://www.evnreport.com/politics/the-political-rise-and-fall-of-tycoon-gagik-tsarukyan
Armenia will import 2250 types of products from Iran instead of Turkey, amid the 6-month ban on Turkish product imports. "This will be a good opportunity for Iranian producers. In the next step, [Armenia] will supply its required raw materials from Iran," said the chief of the Iranian trade agency. The govt had earlier met Chinese representatives to discuss the replacement of other Turkish items with Chinese ones. https://en.mehrnews.com/news/167965/Armenia-to-import-2-250-goods-from-Iran-instead-of-Turkey
border "demarcation" process continues in Syunik
The process to install Armenian and Azeri troops continues on the new borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan, in the Syunik province. The border was formerly Syunik (Armenia) - Qashatag (formerly Artsakh). Syunik's Shurnukh and Vorotan were built on the immediate internationally-recognized border, and some of them were on the Azeri side. As a result, a dozen buildings will go under Azeri control. Shurnukh village mayor complained about losing several houses and Azeris being too close. Syunik governor said border guards have been installed in areas surrounding Shurnukh. Russian and Armenian guards are placed in certain parts of this 21 km border. https://factor.am/325886.html
European Court for Human Rights has approved a petition by Armenia to implement emergency measures to require Azerbaijan to share information about the conditions of 23 POWs. "So far, such petitions were approved for 80 POWs, 18 of whom have already returned home," said Armenia's representative in Court. Armenia's HR Ombudsman Tatoyan criticized Aliyev for calling Armenian POW soldiers "terrorists" and for keeping them arrested, which delays the swap process. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039433.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039480.html
New Years Eve memorial concert in Yerablur Pantheon:
... in the Fizuli region that went under Azeri control during the war. Azeri prosecutors launched an investigation. In turns out, some Azeri civilians visit these areas without allowing the sappers to clear the areas from landmines first. So far, 10 Azeris have died or received injuries from such explosions after the ceasefire. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039473.html
They built the second rapid-deployment modular mini-town in Getavan, after finishing one in Stepanakert earlier. Another one will be built in Berdashen this month. The blocs will house 300 peacekeepers. They will have access to various convenience shops. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039452.html
Russian humanitarian aid in Artsakh
Russia sent 5,000 m2 glass for window replacement, 70 tons of metal parts, 34000 bedding items, to Martuni and Martakert cities. Earlier they sent 20 mobile electricity generators to help the areas that were cut off from the main electric grid. Russian doctors have so far treated 1044 Artsakh residents with various complaints. There are medical teams that travel in rural areas to provide care, including mental health services. The doctors received New Year's gifts from the medical administrator Oleg Bagayev. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039453.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039463.html
Ara Ghazaryan from Los Angeles built the world's smallest chess and made it into the Guinness World Records book. It's 8x8 millimeter. "Ara Ghazaryan is an Armenian American artist who uses jewelry to express his art and formerly held this record title. The chess board itself is made from 18 k yellow and white gold with Armenian apricot wood and rests on a frame made of platinum, 18 k yellow gold, rubies, and diamonds. The figures measure in height from 1 mm for the pawns to 2.4 mm for the kings." Photo: https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/78603-smallest-handmade-chess-set https://factor.am/325695.html
The All Armenia Fund has transported 600 Artsakh children and their parents, residing in various provinces of Armenia, to watch performances in Yerevan's Tumanyan Puppet theater. Santa, Dzyunanush, and the Elves surprised the children with gifts in the end. The Foundation will help thousands of children by the end of January. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039451.html
parts from Pashinyan speech: past & present, investigation, border demarcation
We will need a comprehensive evaluation of how and why things developed and ended that way. We must face the reality and admit that we have made mistakes for many years, the mistakes we have made have been systemic, conceptual, substantive. This cannot be a result of one person or events in just a few years. Did I understand all this while taking office as Prime Minister? Of course. Was I trying to change the situation? Of course. I am now more convinced than ever that there was simply no time to stop the spinning wheel of history. The borders in the Syunik sector are being adjusted, or rather, the Armenian Armed Forces are being stationed on the internationally recognized borders of Armenia (there were no soldiers here before because Syunik was not bordering Azerbaijan before the war). This process changes certain setups we're familiar with, introduces inconveniences, complications, and emotions. In reality, this is being done to ensure and strengthen the safety of Syunik. How? In areas outside of the Republic of Armenia, there was a high risk of military actions, which could carry on to Syunik with all their consequences. By doing the border demarcation of our internationally-recognized lands, we are introducing security assurances. Additionally, Russian border guards are already stationed in some parts of Syunik, which creates a whole new situation. The demarcation can complicate travel on some roads, but these are issues that can be resolved by having an AM-AZ-RU document (specifically about road safety). Not one millimeter of Syunik or Republic of Armenia land has been conceded. Any claim to the contrary is simply false. The people, only the people, should decide the fate of the government and not the elite circles. My November 18th Roadmap will address post-war issues and establish internal stability. "Let's build Armenia anew." I chose this slogan before the war to guide Armenia's transformation strategy. And this formula is useful for our future as well. We have to perceive the world in a new way, we have to look at what we have to do in a new way, we have to re-evaluate our capabilities in a new way, first of all in education, science, technological development, we have to build our dream anew, and we have to dream anew. Glory to our fallen heroes, glory to our living heroes, and glory to those who will still be heroes on the way to realizing the dreams of our people. Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038333.html
borders: fake news, rumors, and rebuttals
Artsakh president office: the media rumors about giving Karmir Shuka (south) to Azerbaijan is fake news. Moreover, we plan to build new housing there soon. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038399.html MoD denied media rumors that two Tavush villages are being handed over to Azerbaijan and that the soldiers were told to leave. "Refrain from spreading unverified fake news," said MoD. Tavush governor called the reports "irresponsible and dangerous". https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038457.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038464.html Sosu Purak is a park in Syunik province, bordering Azerbaijan. The Nature Ministry rebutted the media rumors about half of the park going under Azeri control. *"Sosu Purak, which is managed by Zangezur POAK, has 64.1 hectares of lands, which are located within the Republic of Armenia." https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038477.html
border demarcation continues in Syunik / Pashinyan visits the border settlements
NSS says: border adjustments are being made in Goris-Kapan road sections under the mediation of Russia. (read Friday report for details). The process will finish in a few days. It'll nesure safe passage for cars. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038380.html Syunik governor Melikset: don't exit the Armenian border to collect or chop wood. Keep your animal herds within Armenia. The border roads will have info-plates with numbers that you can dial if you have questions. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038383.html Pashinyan before visiting Syunik: I am saddened to learn that my visit to Syunik has ignited certain passions. I hope you will be convinced that my decision to visit Syunik is not intended to inflame everyone. I made the decision to convey my respect and appreciation for the people of Syunik. The second most important reason is to answer your questions, to give the necessary explanations. Not a single millimeter of land has been ceded from Syunik Province of RA and I hope we'll be able to talk about this. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038397.html protesters A group of protesters, lead by the city's deputy-mayors, closed the Goris road so Pashinyan couldn't enter the city. The police were involved, there was a scuffle. Goris mayor ex-HHK Arush Arushanyan was taken to the police station earlier that day and charged with attempting to organize an unauthorized event/protest (Code 34-2251) to prevent the PM from entering the city. HHK and BHK officials gathered outside of the police station to show him support. 2010 border demarcation law, the "GPS" myth Pashinyan met the crowd in Sisian. One of the opposition's complaints has been "GPS is inaccurate and cannot be used for demarcation", to which, Pashinyan answered, "[the demarcation] is done multiple times, with different methods. There is no issue in this regard." Pashinyan: There is a lot of talk about *"giving away" Syunik". In fact, it is quite the opposite. When we deploy our border troops in accordance with the Armenian border, our level of security increases because that border also becomes the border of the security system of which we are a member. The demarcation is carried out following the law adopted in 2010. The issue is that the current borders, the description of the administrative borders of our communities, were clarified by the law on the "administrative-territorial division of the Republic of Armenia", adopted in 2010. In that law, for example, villages Khndzoresk and Tegh were drawn to include borders with Azerbaijan. The government in 2010 had accepted that demarcation; now we're facing problems here. And today, some of the people, who ask why and how the borders are being demarcated this way, are the same officials who were public officials in 2010, who adopted this law.If what we're doing today is "treason", then what happened in 2010 is even more of a "treason". "why didn't CSTO get involved during war?" Pashinyan: why didn't CSTO act during the war? For the same reason: our 2010 law states that this is what our official Republic of Armenia border is and that anything beyond Tegh village is Azerbaijan. CSTO, naturally, couldn't act beyond our official borders. We have received assurances that in the event of action within our borders, the bloc will act. army & people Resident: our army did not lose the war. Pashinyan: Our army and the people are heroes, there can be no two opinions about it. That doesn't mean there weren't issues, or some soldiers and generals didn't complete their tasks. We must build our self-confidence and optimism one by one, we must rebuild Armenia and Artsakh. meeting in Sisian Pashinyan visited Sisian city Pantheon. He then met a crowd in the main square and thanked them for "for such an understanding, for such an acceptance". During a speech in Sisian, Pashinyan said he will avoid confrontation with those who closed the road to Goris city. He said there were families and supporters who wanted to meet in Goris, and that one of the reasons the road was closed to possibly prevent that from happening. Father of a fallen soldier: Pashinyan still has 8 months to go. He must and will answer all the questions. Tomorrow, ARF Ishkhan Saghatelyan and those guys [ex-regime] must also answer. Tomorrow they [ex-regime] will say "go ask Nikol if you have questions". So Nikol should do his part and answer the questions, so others can answer theirs. Pashinyan: please try not to politicize today [about giving ARF Ishkhan's name]. Father of a fallen soldier: we must give their names. The same names and their parties are gathered in the public square today. Today you [Nikol] must enter Sisian and elsewhere with your head held high and without bodyguards. Let's get rid of pain and sorrow then we will know what to do next. various concerns Residents spoke about various border and social issues. Pashinyan: I came to look at Syunik residents in the eye. I know that I'm guilty in many ways. Our citizens deserve more. Unfortunately, not a single government, including ours, has been able to deliver what our citizens deserve. I apologize on behalf of all governments. priest vs Pashinyan While in Syunik, Pashinyan entered a church and lit a candle in memory of the fallen. Upon exiting, he came across priest Pargev Zeynalyan. Pashinyan raised his hand to greet but the priest let it hang in the air. Pashinyan left. A church representative said the priest had the right to express his political beliefs. That didn't prevent the crowd, angry at the priest's conduct, to march to the church and block its entrance. They wanted to kick the priest out. The police told the crowd not to enter. The priest refused to meet the protesters. The protesters left and promised, "not to allow the politicized priest to enter that church again". The priest denied subsequent false rumors about police allegedly raiding his house over the incident. (of course, gotta throw a couple of fake news here and there for "political persecutions" illusion)
border demarcation: Shurnukh border village suburbs
Mayor of border village Shurnukh, Syunik: The 12 houses in the lower suburbs, which according to rumors were supposed to go under Azeri control, will stay under Armenian control, according to the latest updated information. The army and Russians came and began working on border installation beyond the village area. I'm not entirely sure this is the final status, it could change, so stay tuned. There will be a demarcation process but I don't know when. Our local volunteers guard the borders. Women and children were evacuated from the area for now, just in case. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203332
re: Russians will guard parts of 21km Syunik road
MoD says: some of the 21km Goris-Kapan road goes through disputed areas. We have an agreement for Russian border guards to monitor Goris-Kapan and Goris-Davit Bek sections to ensure safe passage. Armenian and Azeri troops will be stationed on opposite sides of the road. More info in the coming days. (if you look at the map, the road is the exact border) https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203346
press unions condemn attacks on media outlets / free press
First incident. Former regime's activists attempted to prevent Pashinyan and tens of thousands of participants from marching to Yerablur Pantheon on weekend. During the incident, they identified a journalist from "Azatutyun" (pro-western) and began assaulting him. (Azatutyun office was also raided by supporters of former regime on November 10th). Second incident. 5TV is owned by Kocharyan's friend. It has a record of manipulating interviews and information in general (e.g. the March 1st documentary). Some people don't like them for this reason. 5TV reporter was cussed by Pashinyan supporters, while QP MP Andranik Kocharyan refused to take questions from him. Third incident. Opposition activists cussed Azatutyun reporters and tried to prevent them from doing the work. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038471.html
PRESS casualties during the war
HR Ombusmn: Five foreign and two Armenian reporters received severe injuries during the war. One reporter was killed. They were targeted by Azerbaijan intentionally. They were wearing PRESS uniforms, which are visibly different from army uniforms. Azerbaijan prevented reporters from working in front lines and launched a felony investigation against some international reporters (Semyon Pegov) for visiting Artsakh. https://web.archive.org/web/20201219074426/https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203315
felony investigations post-war / SIS launches an investigation to examine:
1) Reports of officers disobeying commands during the war, and desertion. 882 cases are being examined. Dozens have been charged. 2) Several civilian and military individuals intentionally spread alarming information to create panic among soldiers in the front lines (Vitalik's friend's incident, possibly), and claimed that the war was already decided, it was a conspiracy, and that it was pointless to fight. There are multiple felony cases regarding this. Investigation continues. 3) A felony case is launched against an officer who refused to do his duties in the southern part of Artsakh. (if this is General Movses Hakobyan, expect him to cry "political persecution" because he was the first one to give a press conference to create a narrative, a-la Dodi Gago). 4) Investigations over claims made by General Movses Hakobyan on November 19th. We're investigating a group of high-ranking officials for possibly violating protocols set by the Defense Ministry, which lead to reduced performance, which impacted the outcome of the war. We are also examining the reports, submitted by various political parties, to investigate the $5 billion offer that was made to Pashinyan by Aliyev (the offer Aliyev made to Serj and Pashinyan to give away 7 regions without a fight). 5) A felony investigation was launched [to investigate Pashinyan] after [former regime figure] Garnik Isagulyan claimed that Pashinyan took a $48 million bribe from Turkey and that his NSS chief Qyaramyan gave away 1400 passports to Azerbaijan, and helped Azeris to invade Hadrut. Isaghulyan was invited to SIS to provide evidence; he refused. The examination found no proof of these claims. A felony case was launched against Isagulyan himself for making false reports. 6) There were multiple reports in mid-November that Shushi was "sold" and an order was given for soldiers to deliberately retreat so Azeris could take it. This was investigated by SIS and NSS, courts were involved, reports from various media outlets are being investigated, including Arayik's leaked phone call and General Samvel Babayan's "post-mortem" interview. Additionally, there is an investigation of the embezzlement of property belonging to the army. Besides investigating these claims, we will also investigate their impact on the final outcome of the war. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038432.html
lawsuits / Pashinyan's son / army officer / Dmbo Gago
Volunteer soldier Mikael Mikaelyan is suing pro-Kocharyan blog "Politik" over an alleged defamation. The soldier says: Earlier I wrote that on October 1st I was yelling at deserting soldiers not to leave positions near Jabrayil. Then a similar story in Kubatlu; I wrote that I witnessed how Pashinyan's son Ashot was yelling at deserting soldiers; he was asking them to stay and help. My post received a lot of attention. It's clear that these two were separate incidents on separate dates, right? They [former regime] began calling me a liar because I could not have seen Pashinyan's son on October 1st because he was sent to the front lines on the 5th. They wrote an article "Yet another chatlakh who says everyone routed except Ashotik". https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202933 Deputy Army General Chief of Staff Tiran Khachatryan is suing BHK MP Naira Zohrabyabn over an alleged defamation. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038342.html BHK chief Gago's casino "Onira Club" (Shangri La) was in legal trouble over alleged financial crimes. It also lost the license on July 9th over not paying the necessary fees. The casino is now suing the Finance Ministry to have its license back. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203413
306 refugees returned to Artsakh on Sunday. 1.6km of roads were cleared of explosives, and 1 house was renovated. The peacekeepers have so far renovated 23 houses and rebuilt 8km of electric lines in Martakert. 35 patients were given medical care in Chartar settlement. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038385.html
The Public Utility Commission decided to keep the electricity prices the same for low-income families, and 90% of those who consume less than 400 kW/h. The large-scale consumers will see AMD 3 increase. The rate will go into effect in February. (the nuclear plant will be closed for much of the year for the final big renovation; there were talks that it could impact prices) https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/288860/
7km of roads and water drainage were repaired and installed in Horbategh, Vayots Dzor. It's a tourist area. Locals hope the renovations will improve their economic status. Smbataberd, Tsaghatsqar complex, and St. Hreshtakapetats are located nearby. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203420
All Armenia Fund met Artsakh govt to discuss housing for refugees and the homeless. They plan 9 new buildings with 236 in Askeran, 132 in Martuni, while the assessment for capital Stepanakert and elsewhere continues. Contracts were signed with construction firms. Artsakh govt thanked Himnadram for continuous help. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203336
What is ForgottenVision? ForgottenVision is the Andra Chansen for Eurovision - a second chance for real entries form Eurovision, entries that weren't winners or haven't exactly become classics. Buit we all have those personal favorites we're fond of, and just maybe, they'll do better on a second go? So, in ForgottenVision, everyone enters a contest that fits the above description, see exact criteria a few paragraphs later. Well yeah lol, i just said early October. After some intense shady back room negotiations, it was decided to open ForgottenVision as soon as possible. I know, this is very sudden, but few people usually know in advance when a contest opens anyway, so i don't think it makes that much of a difference. Now, this leaves us with the polls from this post. And we run into a problem - two polls, the questions of multiple entries from a single country and the time period, they ended dead even. So, what do we do? I have to decide something, so, to keep it easy, but open: no entries from the Top 5 of each year (that poll was decisive), only one entry per country (should keep it simple enough), and NO YEAR RESTRICTION, as long as we're pre-2015. An entry needed a chance to become forgotten in the first place, after all. We can switch it up next year, depending on your feedback So, what entries are eligible? An entry has to be
a real Eurovision entry from before 2015, so between 1956 - 2014
from the country you claimed with your sign-up
must not have finished in the Top 5
must have been an official entry, entries from a national final are ineligible
entries that failed to go past the semis, or Kvalifikacija za Millstreet, or that 1996 audio-only pre-qualification ARE eligibe.
please send in the according Eurovision video perfomance, so i can cobble together a videofile with my non-existing video editing skills (seriously, they're awful), if time allows it
Signups open NOW (just pick a country, you can send the entry later)
update: Tsarukyan's gold mine didn't have a license
Back in July we learned that Nature Ministry issued a $200 fine to BHK leader Tsarukyan's Mkhart gold mine for operating without an environmental audit. The Ministry sent the case to prosecutors for examination. The report says: // Tsarukyan's Multi Group company operated the mine without a license to use water since 2011. The structures were built without a SHMAG environmental assessment, and the pollution exceeded the legal limits. The mine underwent an audit on Feb-12-2018. This audit revealed a document that exposed the existence of these unauthorized structures (factory and mine's tailing). // https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028576.html
ex-official's company fined for damaging a river
Former Investigative Committee chief HHK Aghvan Hovsepyan's family runs a hydro-plant called Astghaberd. It was licensed in April 2020. It received a $400 penalty (second occurrence) for blocking too much river water. https://hetq.am/hy/article/121829
Vedi Reservoir / new and expensive
85 reservoirs were built in Armenia during USSR. New ones are needed to solve the water shortage. Vedi Reservoir is being built, since 2017, near the Ararat province's Vedi river. The $90m project is co-funded by France (75) and Armenia (15). It'll be completed by 2022. irrigation 4,000 hectares land in 8 settlements of Ararat valley will be auto-irrigated without electricity use. Part of these lands is already irrigated with Hrazdan river water. It remains to be seen whether the $90m project is "worth it". seismic stability Armenia was divided into 4 seismic zones after the 1988 earthquake. On the scale of 1-4, the Vedi reservoir is in the Level-3 danger zone. The builders took this into account and will make it resistant to 9-10pt quakes. "Even during the 1988 quake no reservoirs were destroyed in Armenia," said the builder. More: https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/09/23/Վեդիի-ջրամբարը-ոռոգման-համակարգի-հին-ու-նոր-խնդիրները/395799
Kocharyan's lawyer is in trouble for not disclosing properties / Grants from George Soros
You're supposed to disclose your income and property if your spouse is a judge. Kocharyan's top lawyer Hayk Alumyan's wife Armenuhi Badiryan is a judge. Alumyan hasn't filed declaration paperwork for 9 years. CivilNet outlet contacted the Corruption Prevention Committee (CPC). The CPC then asked Alumyan to explain why the docs are missing. Alumyan claims his record contains attorney-related legal secrets that are protected under law, so he's exempt from the declaration. CPC, citing a law, made a counter-claim. If Alumyan fails to submit the docs, CPC will launch an ethics hearing which could turn into a felony case. CPC only needs the 2019 documents. "Our primary job is to prevent corruption and to give a person a chance to correct their mistake." Alumyan is currently preparing the documents.
HHK tatik roasts Pashinyan with a diss track / Thanks America / Asks Putin to wire cash
HHK party has a fangirl grandma known as "HHK tatik". She used to stay outside of HHK office and Parliament to ask for handouts while praising Serj. Today she thanked the United States Congress and the government for recognizing the Armenian genocide. She also thanked Vladimir Putin. "I love you very much, Vladimir Putin. My father died in WW2 at the age of 40. I'm his only child. I ask you to help with an apartment for my 7-child family. I'm sending you my bank account. Can you wire some cash to grandma?" She then badmouthed Levon Ter-Petrosyan and read a poem about Nikol Pashinyan being a liar. (gotta give it to grandma, she knows how to appease Putin) Full: https://youtu.be/Pr5m5Tj-Lf0
former officials busted with stealing money dedicated for elderly
The report says: // Labor Ministry officials and social services employees embezzled public funds in 2015-2018. The budget envisioned funds to help thousands of lonely elderly and disabled. For the funds not to be cut, the officials exaggerated the number of recipients by entering thousands of fake names. $373,000 was embezzled. A felony case is launched. // (HHK tatik should get apartment money from Serjik instead of Vlad. Change my mind.) https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/196472
U.S. authorities arrest former HHK MP Arthur Gevorgyan
Tsarukyan's Multi Group director Sedrak Arustamyan is a suspect in 3 cases: bribing HHK's IRS boss to give Tsarukyan's business favorable conditions, North-South highway fraud, and knowingly continuing an illegal construction in Yerevan despite being told to stop. Today's trial is for the latter. He asked Yerevan deputy mayor to appear for questioning. It's about construction on Abovyan 5/1, 5/2, 5/5 address. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196538
Tsarukyan's "voter bribery" case
BHK leader was earlier charged with buying voters during the 2017 elections. Two dozen people are facing charges. 162 people have been questioned, including ex-BHK officials, some of whom confessed. https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30856187.html
19 years ago today, Kocharyan's bodyguards murdered his co-villager in the Paplavok restaurant's toilet for simply greeting Kocharyan with "privet Rob". That case was recently sent for retrial after new evidence and witnesses emerged. The old verdict was a slap on the wrist. https://youtu.be/9MZe1xxLloo?t=237
drone footage contradicts former police chief's claims
Ex-top-cop Vladimir Gasparyan allegedly assaulted Azatutyun journalists for filming his [illegal] Sevan mansion with a drone. He claimed the drone endangered his health and privacy by flying 10 meters away and intruding in his backyard. The police investigated the drone footage and found that the drone was at least 40 meters above and "couldn't even identify people by face". The police refused Gasparyan's petition against journalists. https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/285445/
NSS busted one of their own agents w/corruption
The report says: the agent defrauded 6 citizens of $2,700 by giving fake promises about being able to "solve" their DUI cases and giving them driver license in exchange for a bribe. A felony case is launched. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196523
still no air travel to Russia
On Monday, Russia lifted the COVID-related travel ban with three EAEU states, but not Armenia, which prompted criticism and accusations of purposeful discrimination. Dozens of people gathered in front of the Armenian govt building demanding the ability to return back to Russia. EAEU states have agreed to meet in Yerevan to discuss travel and other issues on October 8th. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196492
COVID stats / Govt warns not to lose vigilance
+3,913 tested (the number is high due to mass testing of teachers and co-workers of infected people). +374 infected. +240 healed. +3 deaths. 3,748 active. 272,235 tested. Pashinyan: there is an increased physical movement activity. The numbers are rising. We need to remember about personal responsibilities. Inspections will become stricter. Healthcare Minister Torosyan: 30% of beds are free. 5+3 hospitals are handling COVID. Next week we'll find out if the resumption of schools caused a big spike. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196511 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028611.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028612.html
consumer product prices
Product prices +0.8% YoY in the January-August period. August YoY: all together +1.8%, food & beverages +1.6%, fruits +31%, sugar -4%, meat -4%, cheese and eggs -4%, eggs -21%, fuel -23%. https://factor.am/286292.html
deputy Education Minister and anti-plagiarism chiefs are sacked
Grisha Tamrazyan had disagreements with QP MP Julfalakyan over sorts (Education Ministry includes Sports Ministry). This resulted in the MP's resignation. He had problems with Tamrazyan. Tamrazyan was also criticized by his fellow Education Ministry official Gogyan in a case involving plagiarism investigation of Economics university's rector. There was a back and forth argument. The anti-plagiarism chief Gogyan will also leave his position. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196544 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028720.html
old HayFilm movies will be digitized
Education Ministry and Cinema Center began a process to digitize old Armenian movies and documentaries that were left abandoned in the HayFilm office. They're mostly from the 1980s and 90s. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/196554
freedom of speech / the U.S. Library of Congress
You may remember that when the Emergency State was declared, per legacy law, the media was required to circulate only official info about the virus. After prompt criticism about free speech, the govt quickly lifted the restrictions. Pashinyan would later complain that the removal of restrictions allowed conspiracy theories to aid the spread of the virus. Nonetheless, the restrictions weren't re-implemented.
The Library of Congress prepared a report about the fake news and how various countries dealt with it, and also mentioned the aforementioned process in Armenia. It mentions another law drafted by Nature Ministry that could allow the Ministry to keep certain info secret from the public. Critics say it will hinder environmental activists' efforts, while the Ministry says it's needed to protect rare animals/plants by keeping their location/details classified. The Library also mentioned a law that restricts the entry of foreign channels in Armenia's free over-the-air public airways, unless an agreement is signed first. The govt says it's aimed as "protecting the Armenian language" and "prioritizing programming in Armenian" by preferring Armenian channels over foreign ones. https://www.amerikayidzayn.com/a/5595119.html , https://factor.am/286364.html
Russia-Armenia shipping costs will drastically reduce
High-Tech Minister Arshakyan: // HayPost and Russian Post signed an agreement to reduce shipping fees beginning in October 1st. 3x reduction between the Moscow region, and 1.5x reduction with the rest of Russia. To Moscow region: $6 for 1kg and extra $2.6 per additional kilo. To other regions: $12.5 for 1kg and extra $3 per additional kilo. This is great for our small and medium online businesses. // https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028623.html , https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/285439/
relations with USA, RUS, EU, and neighbors
Security Councilman Grigoryan: a Russian analytical agency published a report about CSTO bloc cooperation which gave Armenia a very high mark. Pashinyan: we'll soon hold the second round of strategic cooperation talks with the U.S. We have unusual but effective relations with our colleagues. The U.S., EU, and Russia are very important to us. There will be an EAEU meeting in Yerevan soon. Relations with Iran and Georgia also remain warm. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028641.html
police reforms enter a new stage
Armenia will have a new high-paying and better-equipped police patrol. The U.S. is aiding with the reforms. The applicants will be tested in 3 phases: Step one (complete): check the applicants' computer and tech skills. Step two (ongoing): check their physical skills. 1km run, strength measurements, etc. (էլ պուզատիկ միլիցյա չենք տեսնելու? 😞😞😞) Step three: 5-month learning courses in the police academy. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/196579
a new bridge near the Georgian border
The govt formed a committee tasked with preparing the construction of a new bridge on Debed river near the Sadakhlo-Bagratashen border point. Some nearby lands will be legally taken from villagers in exchange for compensation to allow the construction of the bridge. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1028670.html
A group of volunteers are helping Nature Ministry to save storks by washing them. In some areas, as much as 60% of the population is covered in dirt and oil waste. The theory is that stonks look for food from above, notice a fish breeding facility with plenty of fish, land there, and submerge in facility's pollutants. Photos: https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196536
You've read 2185 words.
Disclaimer & Terminology
1) The accused are innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, even if they sound guilty. 2) Currency in Armenian ֏ unless specified otherwise. 3) NSS/SIS/SOC = law enforcement agencies. QP = Civil Contract Party. LHK = Bright Armenia Party. BHK = Prosperous Armenia Party. HHK = Republican Party. ARF = Armenian Revolutionary Federation Party 4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Idontknowmuch: PART 1 ; PART 2 ; PART 3 ; PART 4 ; PART 5. 5) ARCHIVE of older posts by Armeniapedia.
In May/6/2020, before the "big bust" that got BHK leader Tsarukyan in trouble, the regulators had audited his Shangri La casino and found violations. The Casino was given time to fix the problems. Later, after Tsarukyan's alleged voter bribery and financial crimes were revealed, his casino was implicated in a criminal case. Today the Finance Ministry revoked the casino's license for failing to pay fees for 2020Q3. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192177
Regulators audited the Electric Networks of Armenia...
... and issued a $21,000 fine. The company routinely overcharged consumers by writing higher usage numbers in the books, likely due to an error. Other problems were found. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192145
BHK plans to "defend Armenia's traditions"
BHK leader Tsarukyan has instructed BHK's youth wing to organize a campaign against the upcoming Education Ministry reform that will merge Armenian Church subject with Armenian History in schools. Tsarukyan called it an attack on Armenian values. The Ministry says having it as a separate subject makes no sense, but schools will have flexibility.
BHK will also protest against the upcoming education reforms that will help children better protect themselves against pedophiles. BHK and other hardline traditionalists believe it'll teach sexual materials to children. The govt denies it, saying the education is more like "don't take candy from a stranger's van". https://news.am/arm/news/590348.html
After the 2018 evolution, it was revealed that the former administrations generously distributed diplomatic passports to their friends. Kocharyan's and Serj's entire family line, singer Sirusho, grandchildren, etc. received the privilege. After the evolution, 395 such passports were revoked, while 762 new were issued.
The full list of owners is still considered a secret because "it contains classified information". Journalists want to get their hands on the list to make sure MFA isn't doing the same shenanigans. MFA responded saying "the passports were issued according to law." https://factor.am/267065.html
...doesn't like the fact that Turkey's Erdogan wants to convert the Hagia Sophia museum-church into a mosque. Greek politicians proposed converting Ataturk's house-museum in Thessaloniki into a museum dedicated to the Greek Genocide. The Hagio Sophia's topic was brought up in the Armenian Parliament today, with an MP expressing his dissatisfaction. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021147.html
stirring the pot in 3... 2... 1...
System of a Down drummer Dolmayan caused some noise after criticizing the "Black Lives Matter" movement on his Instagram page. He isn't happy with the "media coverage, sensationalism, and the riots." Possible context: The recent defacement of an Armenian Genocide Memorial in Colorado has rubbed some Armenians the wrong way. It was addressed by the White House. http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/282793/
CNN documentary: What it's like to visit a country [Artsakh] that doesn't officially exist
Breaking news. The govt has approved a bill that will grant the Healthcare Ministry a full authority over all private and public medical centers across Armenia during Emergency situations. "It's needed to make the fight against pandemic more efficient," said the govt. The bill needs Parliamentary approval. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021190.html
Rebel leader is captured during a tense standoff
A young woman had a confrontation with a policeman about COVID rules. It appears she didn't have an ID on her, attempted to leave the scene, and when told about ID's requirement, she said, "I don't care about the law and the Emergency Taskforce's order." The police dragged her to a police station while she screamed. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=355693375398332 , https://youtu.be/zTAoVuBzEU8
The debt as of January 1st of 2020 vs 2019... Foreign: $5.7bln vs $5.5bln Internal: $1.7bln vs $1.4bln The debt to GDP ratio is expected to rise due to COVID. It was earlier predicted at 57%. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021116.html
New rules to reduce corruption in social aid departments
Right now the same public office accepts petitions for aid submitted by seniors, before deciding whether grant it. This opens the door for corruption. Some workers would ask for a bribe to approve the aid. The govt decided to separate the decision-makers. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192025
The utility commission authorized TEAM to broadcast TV and radio over cable. TEAM was formed after UCOM's founder left UCOM and founded TEAM. https://hetq.am/hy/article/119212
Monitoring the construction quality
Gegharquniq had 103 subsidized infrastructure upgrades last year. 23 were unfinished because the govt refused to accept them due to poor quality. 5 of them were road repair upgrades, 4 of which have since fixed the problems. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021175.html
Russian tech giant and UN to help Yerevan w/traffic
Yandex tech giant's experts have been examining traffic in Yerevan center, near the Circular Park, to see how traffic patterns change based on location, time, holidays. Several roads were examined. Some had 45km/h speed one way, but much slower in the opposite direction. Isahakyan Street was the slowest with speeds dropping to 4km/h. Yandex's data is sent to two Russia-based companies for a further examination before it's sent to Yerevan municipality. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192182
USAID gave the Education Ministry $825,000 for a project. Fewer disabled kids will be left out of schools and be forced to attend special centers away from peers or families. Disability ramps will be built in some schools. 56 schools will be renovated with accommodations. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021107.html
Last time he scored a goal but the team lost. This time, while playing against Parma, he scored a goal and gave a pass that led to the second and victorious goal. Roma 2:1 Parma. Sofa Score declared Heno the best player of the entire match with an 8.8 score. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192152
You've read 1315 words.
Disclaimer & Terminology
1) The accused are innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, even if they sound guilty. 2) Currency in Armenian ֏ unless specified otherwise. 3) NSS/SIS/SOC = law enforcement agencies. QP = Civil Contract Party. LHK = Bright Armenia Party. BHK = Prosperous Armenia Party. HHK = Republican Party. 4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Idontknowmuch: PART 1 ; PART 2 ; PART 3 ; PART 4 ; PART 5. 4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Armeniapedia.
NSS report says: in 2009, Yerevan mayor Beglaryan colluded with Center District officials to embezzle property. They organized an illegal scheme to donate 4 properties worth $488k, located on "expensive" streets, to an accomplice, who then sold them to Beglaryan's family for pennies. The properties, in reality, belonged to Beglaryan. He used others to launder and conceal the theft. A felony case is launched. https://factor.am/277085.html
other criminal cases involving Beglaryan On March/24/2020 we learned that HHK Gagik Beglaryan, a former Transport Minister and Yerevan mayor, was placed on the wanted list and an arrest warrant in-absentia was issued. At the time, he was charged with embezzling $483k worth property at the expense of a kindergarten. The investigation began after new mayor Hayk Marutyan busted 27 instances of kindergarten embezzlement by the former regime.
Pashinyan's Kotayk trip / Roads and kindergartens / Magic wand / Արամուսի լավ գյազար կիլոն 2,000
Pashinyan: The first kindergarten in 40 years is being built in Aramus village. Official: // After 2018, they began enforcing tax laws and restaurants began paying taxis. That money is what's paying for this kindergarten. (magic wand) With population 4,000, Aramus will have a new gas network on several streets. By the end of 2020, the entire village will have gas. \\
On Oct-2018, two cops and their secretary in Ararat were charged with stealing $57k worth funds from their colleagues' salary bonus budget, plus some tax evasion. Today the court made a guilty verdict. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025289.html
Policeman rejects a bribe and busts a driver's license buying attempt
The report says: a few months ago, an 18yo man failed his behind the wheel test. He scheduled the second exam but failed again, so he used his friend's help to bribe the policeman in charge of licensing. The policeman refused the bribe and pressed 3 counts of felony bribery charges. The suspects are told not to leave the country. https://factor.am/277219.html
Massive property corruption ring is busted / ex-Minister
The report says: several officials stole $2.8m between 2008-2014. A company wanted to buy a property belonging to Urban Development Ministry. The Minister and other officials organized an illegal process to sell the property for half the price, causing $1.3m in damages. Similar property transactions were made for the Minister's family members. The SIS has launched a felony investigation. https://factor.am/277243.html
Lydian miner: // we're reopening the analytical chemistry lab in Gorayq village which was operating since 2007. It was earlier shut down after illegal activities by environmental activists. Local youth will be able to learn and work with science. Armenia will have its first-ever "internationally certified technology of passive treatment for acid rock drainage." (Google Translate) \\
A group of 200 Geghamasar residents shut down a highway to protest the activities of nearby Sotq mine. They complain that the recent explosions created a cloud of toxic dust. The mine's representatives agreed to meet the protesters. The highway was opened. https://factor.am/277132.html , https://factor.am/277206.html
Civil society groups discuss election reforms / Ineligible voters inflating electoral numbers
NGOs held a meeting: The govt has SECT system that contains information about whether the person is located in Armenia. Since SECT was implemented in certain checkpoints with delays, it doesn't have accurate info about people who left/entered. Another problem for SECT is caused when the person changes their last name abroad, for example after marriage. If "Sasun" moves to Russia and writes his name as "Sergey", it'll case a problem.
One way to fix the problem with ineligible voters being on voter lists, as it's done in Georgia, is to require a valid ID to keep the person on the list. These days, expired passports are not accepted for any transaction except for voting. This exception should be removed.
This will remove 188,000 people from voter lists. Inflated numbers cause various problems. It makes it harder to gather enough % votes to add an issue to a ballot.
We also need to make sure people are registered to vote in districts where they actually live. This is especially important for provincial elections because local officials have a record of collecting residents from elsewhere to vote in another location.
Many people don't want to register their real address as their voting address because they want to hide the fact that they own the new address they live in (tax purposes?). We must make it clear to the public that these electoral changes have no legal effect on their property ownership issues.
.... is being rebuilt after being bombed by Azerbaijan during Tavush Battles. New roofs were installed on several houses. Photos: https://factor.am/277077.html
Bordering villages to have Smart Barns
Moo. Thirty-four high-tech barns will be built in Gegharquniq's and Vayots Dzor's bordering regions, co-funded by Economy Ministry and the UN. Up to 70% of the barn's cost can be subsidized. Must have a valid passport and a two-week veterinary training. http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/284154/
ex-Defense Minister becomes Pashinyan's chief adviser
Vagharshak Harutyunyan was a Lt. General. He was critical of the Kocharyan administration and allegedly played a role against Kocharyan's plans to give a "corridor" to Azerbaijan in Armenia's southern Meghri province. He was fired by Kocharyan and had his military rank stripped in 2002. He described it as "political persecution". In 2019, Pashinyan restored his military rank after finding Kocharyan's decision illegal. Today he was appointed as Pashinyan's adviser. https://factor.am/277300.html https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30126601.html https://www.azatutyun.am/a/1569941.html
After Pashinyan gets grilled by BBC's HARDTalk, Ilham Aliyev next?
Tourism-Armenia Association signed a deal with a COVID testing laboratory to conduct 6-hour tests for tourists visiting Zvartnots airport. The visitors will get a 50% discount and will receive the results on email. If it's negative, they'll be allowed to exit the quarantine instead of waiting 14 days. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025282.html
COVID restrictions will be relaxed
Universities will also resume in September. Libraries, museums, theaters can operate under open-air. TV anchors don't have to wear a mask if they're alone in the room. Restaurants can perform live music under the open air. The max number of patrons near a table increases from 5 to 8. https://factor.am/277222.html
This 6-year-old kid cooks better than you. Admit it.
Mom found out about an upcoming cooking competition in Goris and registered his 6-year-old son Mher Harutyunyan. He became the youngest participant. The kid prepared a stuffed fish with a salad and was declared the winner. He won a trip to a cooking show. "Mher has been helping grandpa and mom in kitchen since the age of 3. His dream is to open a restaurant." https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025247.html
With the airports "closed", more people choose hiking and nature adventure, says the Tourism Committee. Armenia has 11 companies that organize hiking to mountains. They gather 1,000 people every weekend. Lately, there has been a great interest in rafting and canyoning. The youth also prefers horse riding and biking. Off-road car travel among a small group is also common. They install tents to take a rest. High-end hotels are already full for the next month. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025214.html
A herd of bezoar goats was captured by nature camera
The desperate man thanked his supporters for gathering in the square for a show of support. "We built this country together. Who do you wanna give it to? Think hard, Belorussians. What is wrong with you? You've wanted to be called "people" for centuries. End me now, and it'll be the beginning of the end of yours." https://youtu.be/QvCgC_Ub1Ac?&t=73
What angered the public the most was the brutality by the special forces and executions of protesters. Local administrators were confronted and scolded by the angry crowd, who demanded the release of the detained activists. https://youtu.be/XjZn91kZZEY
Doctors went on strike because they weren't allowed to enter jails to treat the thousands of detainees. There are widespread reports of torture. Medics chanted "resign" and "tribunal". https://youtu.be/ODf4JlGD4RY
Journalists noticed a fleet of trucks coming from Russia. They said the trucks look similar to Russian National Guard trucks that often appear during protests in Russia. https://youtu.be/yGx-DvXx3wU
1) The accused are innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, even if they sound guilty. 2) Currency in Armenian ֏ unless specified otherwise. 3) NSS/SIS/SOC = law enforcement agencies. QP = Civil Contract Party. LHK = Bright Armenia Party. BHK = Prosperous Armenia Party. HHK = Republican Party. ARF = Armenian Revolutionary Federation Party 4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Idontknowmuch: PART 1 ; PART 2 ; PART 3 ; PART 4 ; PART 5. 5) ARCHIVE of older posts by Armeniapedia.
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