Aug 22, 2017


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“Some officials can block websites, which give information about their offshore accounts”

Starting from November 1st the usage of VPN services, through which access to any blocked website is possible, will be banned in Russia. These are the first steps of Russia to limit internet freedom.

“Russia follows the example of Chinese or Arabic countries; in fact the internet is deprived of one of its main advantages- free dissemination of information,” says information security expert Samvel Martirosyan.

All this started earlier, when Russia decided to block the access to several websites from the territory of its country, “In reality, initially it referred only to the websites, which propagate suicides and extremism, but of course when such a censorship mechanism is created, it becomes more widespread and the media outlets are also limited.”

Like in Russia and other countries, which use such methods, according to the specialists, it gives the opposite results. The more obstacles there are, the more the interest grows.

Armenia is among few countries, where there is full internet freedom. But after such changes in EEU countries, Armenia should be alert in order to prevent unpleasant changes.

“Now it can be good, if some bad websites are blocked, but later some officials can use it and block websites, which provide information about their offshore accounts.”

By the way, besides the blocking of VPN, Russian State Duma adopted a law, which bans anonymizers. Hereafter all the internet users must be identified with their phone numbers.

“Music Armenia” with more participants and high quality

For a good musician, as it turns out, three weeks is not a short time not only for mastering his professional instrument, but also for learning to play the new instrument.


“’Music Armenia’ program of Armenian General Benevolent Union, which has been held for already 5th time, is a wonderful project and I think that it will have a brilliant future, says Svetlana Navasardyan,- Foreign participants are given an opportunity not only to master their knowledge and professional skills, but also get acquainted with the country and its history. And our compatriots living abroad have a chance to know more about their country.”

Bagrat Vardanyan, who has been holding master classes from the first projects, notes that this year the level is higher. His students of this year, for example, are very experiences violinists, gifted musicians and they have passed only creative courses.

The students are mainly pleased with the program and the professors, but some of them are surprised at the methods of education.

Alexandra and Lilya Yaralyan sisters aren’t for the first time in Armenia, and besides this program, they have worked as volunteers at “Orran” benevolent organization for already second year.

According to the words of Dalar Kazanchyan, Director of Armenian branch of Armenian General Benevolent Union, they are happy that this year there are more participants and the quality is higher, and that people from other countries come to get acquainted with our wealthy culture.

Greek violinist came to Armenia to get acquainted with the homeland of his first teacher and beloved girl.


When he learnt that he will take master classes from Bagrat Vardanyan, who was the student of Jean Ter-Merguerian, he was surprised. “I have never even dreamt of it. It was fantastic,” he says.

The participants showed their skills during the Gala concert.

“Gender equality will never become an issue in Karabakh”

The icon of Saint Mary and Child Jesus in Ghazanchetsots Cathedral of Shushi challenges anthropology.  In this picture the body and the left hand of Mary are too long.

Mariam Astvatsatsin

We Are Our Mountains sculpture is one of the most known works in Nagorno Karabakh. It is more known as the statue of Dedo and Babo. In this sculpture the mouth of the woman is closed, which symbolizes humbleness.

Director of the History Museum says that gender equality will never become an issue in Karabakh. Woman is the landlady of the house before the arrival of the man, “But when the man comes, she says everybody to remain silent.”

Instead, one can see pictures of wholly naked women in the gallery of Shushi. This hall receives few visitors.

merk kanayq

Togh village, which is a few hundred meters far from Fizuli, tells much about this land full of contradictions; here insurance service is provided in a dilapidated building.


These gates doesn’t have much to tell, though, famous wine of Karabakh, ‘Kataro’, is made inside these gates. The Director says that ‘Kataro’ is a result of nervousness, “They purveyed grape at AMD 65, and we got angry and started making wine ourselves.” Togh village has its own means for perpetuating the memory; every person entering the village should know that Vrezh and Armencho died young.

Armencho Vrej

Commercial posters on Azatamartikneri Street in Stepanakert show Karabakh salesmen’s fidelity to foreign language; they are ready to present foreign words in Armenian but without translating.


nash dom

Though, this fidelity doesn’t refer only to Russian words. The owner of this shop refused to translate the word ‘Lions’.


The most popular sight of Artsakh, Hunot Canyon, still has a Russian-sounding name, ‘Zontikner’ (Umbrellas).

This box is also a small hint of linguistic generosity, which reminds that in Artsakh shoes from “Ottoman shoes” brand were sold. Their box hasn’t lost its usage for an Artsakh salesman.

Osmanli shoes

Hrachya Rostomyan: “Everybody can blame their problems on others”

“There is a misperception among us that we are strong in individual sports and group sports cannot be developed. But thanks to recent three years’ work in Armenian basketball, we gained a right t participate in the qualifying tournament of the basketball world cup,” Hrachya Rostomyan, the Minister of the RA Sports and Youth Affairs and President of the Basketball Federation of Armenia, said during today’s press conference.

To note, on August 2nd Armenia’s men’s team will receive the team of Slovakia in Yerevan, which will be our team’s first official game within the frames of basketball world cup. Hrachya Rostomyan hopes that our team will successfully perform in those games, though, all the participants are rather strong and experienced.

As for the perspectives of development of group sports in Armenia, the Minister noted, “The most important is to pay attention to every detail. Or else everybody can babble and blame the problems on others. It isn’t easy. We passed a long way. It is a proof; everybody can see it.”

The Minister means the recent achievements of our junior basketball players in Europe B and C divisions.

In a year number of the RA population drops by 15 000

Compared with July 1st of last year, the number of the RA population has decreased by 15 000 and now it makes up 2 979 900.

According to Karine Kuyumjyan, Head of the National Statistical Service’s (NSS) Census and Demography Department, low birthrate and high mortality rates have had negative impact on the number of population.

Besides, during 2017 8700 people have left Armenia and haven’t returned.

Watch more in the video!

Lonely Wolf is an indisputable authority in Karabakh

Every visitor of Karabakh will be offered to visit Hunot Canyon. Water flowing over these nice umbrellas covered with moss is constant. Though, someone has managed to distort this natural wonder with the proof of their love.


Tourists in Karabakh are also offered newly-opened museums and galleries. Those thirsty for art can get saturated with Mongolian canvas- Gobi Desert.

Gobi anapat

Someone may try to recognize Karabakh Mona Liza in the Portrait of Old Woman. It is Bako Sahakyan’s present.

Mona Liza

Donations are the majority of the works at the gallery; in this sense Serzh Sargsyan also singles out with Monte Melkonyan’s canvas.


In the Museum of Geology one can understand that the world of stones can be equally magical like the world of colors. And it has its history in the name of a stone called pyrite, which is known as fool’s gold. But it isn’t gold.

himarneri voski

Though, the attraction of the Museum of Geology is the group of stones, which don’t contain iron in them. Their colors can be seen only under ultraviolet rays. It is a scientific phenomenon; according to the colors geologists can know what the stone contains.


Thanks to these stones the museum provides many free services to tourists. For example, the stones can say whether their dollars are fake or not.

In the History Museum even the most indifferent person can see that Lonely Wolf [Arayik Khandoyan] is an indisputable authority in Karabakh. No police regiment can remove his portrait from this museum.


Fans of military art can see the miniature, which explains how Armenian forces smaller in number and having fewer weapons than Azerbaijani forces were able to liberate Shushi.

The ruins of Tigranakert discovered a few years ago also have much to tell to the tourists. This jug wasn’t for cheese or butter. It is a coffin. The dead person was put in it in the shape one was born and the jug was buried.

dagax 1

dagax 2

The museum is also hospitable for Aghdam swallows, which build nests in different parts of the museum.


Each tourist in Karabakh should be offered to be in Stepanakert market. Here Zhengyalov Hats (bread stuffed with 20 herbs) is made just in the presence of guests.

Jengyalov hac 2

Jengyalov hac 1

The visit of a number of representatives of the Armenian media outlets to Artsakh was organized within the frames of “Discover your country for you” expedition of the RA State Tourism Committee together with the AR Ministry of Economy

Rafayel Vahanyan defeats Noel Studer

Rafayel Vahanyan gained his first victory at the chess festival underway in the city of Biel in Switzerland.

Our veteran chess player defeated International Master Noel Studer in the 6th round.

French chess player Étienne Bacrot heads the standings with 4.5 points. He is followed by Ukrainian chess player Ruslan Ponomariov and Indian chess player Pentala Harikrishna. Our chess player shares 8-9th places.

In today’s 7th round Rafayel Vahanyan will face Hungarian GM Peter Leko, who is on the 7th place with 2.5 points.

Samvel Babayan’s trial- live

NKR DA former Commander Samvel Babayan has been arrested along lines of the case to smuggle an Igla anti-aircraft missile system into Armenia.

The Criminal Court of Appeal refused the mediation to review the detention.

Follow live the first court hearing into the case!

“Armenian government has failed to ensure full accountability after July events”

Human Rights Watch published an article on July 30 year after attacks on protesters, journalists

The Armenian government has failed to ensure full accountability for police violence against largely peaceful protesters and journalists a year ago, Human Rights Watch said today. At the same time the authorities have indicted at least 32 protesters, convicting 21 of them, with 11 sentenced to prison.

On several nights in July 2016, largely peaceful, anti-government protests took place in the Armenian capital, Yerevan. At some protests, the authorities used excessive force, assaulting many demonstrators as well as journalists reporting on the events. Authorities arbitrarily detained many protest leaders and hundreds of participants, pressing unjustified criminal charges against some. No officials have been prosecuted.

“A year after Yerevan’s July protests, victims of police violence are still waiting for justice and accountability,” said Giorgi Gogia, South Caucasus director at Human Rights Watch. “The public’s trust in police and the justice system is severely shaken, and an effective accountability process is essential for restoring it.”

The protests erupted after armed men from a radical opposition group, Founding Parliament, violently seized a Yerevan police station on July 17, 2016. They are alleged to have killed three policemen and taken hostages. Before the gunmen surrendered on July 31, public support for them and disaffection with the government grew into a protest movement, with almost nightly demonstrations in the capital.

The police response was heavy-handed at times. At a July 29 protest in the neighborhood of the seized police station, police fired stun grenades into peaceful crowds, causing first- and second-degree burns and fragmentation wounds on some demonstrators and journalists. Police did not give proper warning or attempt to use other less violent means to disperse the crowd. Police, and unidentified people in civilian clothes acting with them, attacked protesters and some journalists, punching, kicking, and beating them with wooden clubs and iron bars.

Police arbitrarily detained hundreds of protesters between July 17 and 31, and beat many detainees, in some cases severely. Police did not allow some detainees to get prompt medical care for their injuries. Police held some people for up to 12 hours without documenting the detentions, including holding more than 100 people overnight in a gymnasium. Authorities denied many detainees’ basic rights, including prompt access to a lawyer of their choosing and the opportunity to inform a relative of their detention and whereabouts.

The authorities promptly opened an investigation into the police misconduct, but the investigation has led to limited accountability, Human Rights Watch said. No criminal charges have been brought against any law enforcement officials.

Some police have faced disciplinary actions that included dismissals. In early August 2016, authorities fired the Yerevan police chief for “failing to prevent violent attacks on protesters and journalists,” and suspended or reprimanded at least 17 other officials. Following internal inquiries police also sent several cases to the Special Investigation Service, the government agency responsible for investigating crimes committed by law enforcement.

However, in December 2016, President Serge Sarkisyan awarded the Yerevan deputy police chief, who participated in police operations against protesters on July 29, a medal for “excellent maintenance of public order.”

“Commending an official for his role in a police operation that involved excessive force and serious injuries to protesters and journalists raises serious questions about the government’s commitment to accountability,” Gogia said.

Armenian authorities have aggressively prosecuted protest participants and leaders. Of the 21 people convicted, 11 received prison terms ranging from one to three-and-a-half years, seven received conditional sentences, and three were fined. Most pleaded guilty, in part to be guaranteed a speedy trial, a lesser sentence than the maximum allowed by law, or both, their lawyers said. Charges included using violence during mass disorder and interfering with the work of a journalist.

Trials of 10 protesters are ongoing. They face charges of using life-threatening violence against officers on duty during the July 19 protest in Yerevan.

The trial of Andreas Ghukasyan, one of the leaders of the July 29 protest, is expected to begin soon. He is charged with organizing mass disorder during the demonstration. At least four other men who were particularly vocal and active in the July 29 protests are under investigation for the same alleged crime.

Ghukasyan has been in pretrial detention for one year. During that time, the authorities brought additional charges against him, related to his alleged intention to support and join the gunmen in the police station.

“The government should make publicly available any credible evidence that justifies the serious criminal charges against the protest organizers and participants,” Gogia said. “The authorities should not seek to prosecute protesters and impose long prison sentences in retaliation for their vocal, but peaceful activism.”

It’s recommended to avoid direct sunrays


On August 1-5 in the Republic high temperature is predicted. In the daytime up to 38…40 degrees above zero and a high risk of fire is predicted in the valleys of Syunik, in Yerevan and Ararat Valley. The daily average air temperature will be 4-5 degrees higher than normal.

The index of ultraviolet rays is predicted to reach 6, so it’s recommended to avoid direct sunrays from 11:00 to 15:00.

In the Republic

On August 1-5 no precipitation is predicted.

Southwest wind speed is 3-8 m/s.

On August 3-4 the air temperature will go up by 1-2 degrees.

In Yerevan

On August 1-5 no precipitation is predicted.


Serviceman receives fatal bodily wound

A criminal case has been instituted in connection with the death case of serviceman Arkadi Levon Ghambaryan.

According to the preliminary data, the serviceman received fatal bodily wound on July 28, 2017 at about 16:40 because of violating the rules of using the weapon.

The criminal case has been initiated according to the RA Criminal Code Article 373, Part 3.

Investigation is underway. Necessary investigative activities have been initiated to find out all the circumstances of the incident.

Note; Everyone charged with alleged crime offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

Armenia’s junior basketball teams win in their divisions

Armenia’s U-16 girls’ basketball team in the final of Europe C division championship held in Gibraltar defeated the team of Malta with 63:44 score and gained the title of the winner.

Armenia’s U-16 boys’ basketball team in the final of Europe C division championship held in Andorra also gained victory. In the final game our basketball players defeated the team of Gibraltar with 88:70 score.

a1+basketbol 2

The New Yorker: How Levon Aronian learnt to play chess

American The New Yorker published a large article entitled A Chess Master with an Unpredictable Style and the Hopes of a Nation dedicated to Armenian Grandmaster Levon Aronian.

“In 1988, war broke out between Armenia and its Soviet Republic neighbor of Azerbaijan, over the long-disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. It was another tragedy in a century of tragedies for Armenia, going back to the genocide carried out by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian people, beginning in 1915. When the 1988 war began, thousands of ethnic Armenians who lived in Azerbaijan fled their homes. One of them was Melikset Khachiyan, a chess player who studied the game, as a teen-ager, under Tigran Petrosian, Armenia’s greatest-ever player. Khachiyan had shown early promise, but a shot at the game’s highest level, in an era of legends like Kasparov, Karpov, and Tal, eluded him. Now he needed a place to stay. He headed to Yerevan, Armenia’s pretty, pink-stoned capital; there, Grigory and Seda Aronian offered him a room in their modest home on the edge of town. Rather than pay rent, they suggested, he could teach their six-year-old son, Levon, chess.

Three years later, shortly after the Soviet Union collapsed and Armenia became an independent nation, Levon Aronian, under Khachiyan’s tutelage, quit school to focus on chess full time. Now thirty-four, Aronian is ranked seventh in the world and has one of the highest ratings in chess history. Armenia, a nation of three million people, is the game’s perennial overachiever. Per capita, more players from Armenia have attained the coveted status of grandmaster than any other country, and Armenia has won men’s gold at three of the last six Chess Olympiads, the highest honor for a national team. Armenia’s President is also the head of the country’s chess association, and he has spearheaded a chess revolution: Armenia is now the only country where the game is a required part of the national curriculum, and its top players receive a state stipend. “For a small, landlocked country, chess is a particularly ingenious way, and effective way, of mobilizing both competitive spirit and sports competition and intellectual discipline, without the need for huge infrastructural resources and, of course, financial spending,” the Armenian-American writer Peter Balakian told me recently.”

Read more on The New Yorker

Heroic act by pilot of plane damaged in hail

From yesterday the hero of the media outlets is a citizen of Ukraine, pilot Oleksandr Akopov, thanks to whom the plane damaged in hail successfully landed at Ataturk airport of Istanbul.

The front part of Atlas Global airline’s plane, windscreen and autopilot had been damaged in hail.

There were 121 passengers and 6 crew members on board of the plane carrying out Istanbul-Ercan (North Cyprus) flight.

All the media outlets praise the pilot, who assesses his act to be normal.

Today Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko awarded the For Courage medal to Oleksandr Akopov.

Watch the video!


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