Press aide makes evasive comments on Armenian PM’s media remarks

ArmenPress, Armenia

Press aide makes evasive comments on Armenian PM's media remarks

The following is the text of Nelli Babayan's report published on the
website of the Armenian pro-opposition Aravot newspaper on 20 June
headlined "'The TV company that ran an anti-state propaganda, will no
longer do so, as it has realised its mistake': The prime minister's
press secretary"; subheadings inserted editorially:

The media outlet, which, as Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said, is
running anti-state propaganda, will no longer do so, the prime
minister's press secretary, Arman Yeghoyan told Pashinyan
wrote on his Facebook page on 18 June: "Certain TV companies, in fact
making use of the unlimited possibility of the freedom of speech, have
decided to carry out anti-state propaganda. This is perhaps one of
those cases, when some people again and again confuse the civility of
the authorities with weakness or naivety. Don't do that. Just don't do
that". asked the prime minister's press secretary several
questions. In particular, we asked, which TV company was waging
anti-state propaganda and what were the specific manifestations of
anti-state propaganda of the TV company.

Yeghoyan refused to mention names: "I cannot add anything to what the
prime minister said as regards names and cases. If the prime minister
deems it convenient, he will make comments himself and give names.
What I can say is that the prime minister's words did not apply and
will never apply to criticism of the government. The prime minister
will never reprimand any media outlet for criticising him".

Yeghoyan did not give a specific response to our second question as to
what anti-state propaganda might mean and what the prime minister
implied: "Anti-state propaganda is anti-state propaganda". Answering
our remark that the prime minister's and other users' Facebook pages
circulated in comments the names of Yerkir Media [affiliated to the
Armenian Revolutionary Federation - Dashnaktsutyun] and the Kentron TV
company [affiliated to businessman Gagik Tsarukyan, head of the
Prosperous Armenia party and part of the Tsarukyan bloc], Yeghoyan
said: "No, not Kentron either. And it is not Yerkir Media".

Nevertheless, what are the threats for this TV company, if it
continues to run anti-state propaganda? The prime minister's words
sound as a threat and there is an allusion between the following
lines: "confuse the civility of the authorities with weakness or
naivety". Answering these questions of ours, Yeghoyan said: "The prime
minister expressed his opinion, but there is no threat either in his
direct speech or between the lines. It is just an appeal to concrete
addressees and these addressees have already realised what they
deliberately did and have realised this. The media outlets that do not
regard themselves as addressees of the appeal do not have anything to
worry about. Even those, who these words were addressed to, have
nothing to worry about. They have already realised their mistake. If
they want to make comments, there are no problems".

Yeghoyan stressed: "There were no threats. It was an appeal not to
misuse the broadness of the prime minister's thoughts". Asked as to
what could happen if the opposite happened, the press secretary
answered: "I have already said that nothing specific is going to
happen. They will no longer misuse it".

Asked as to how it had become clear that they had understood it - they
apologised, called, or they no longer ran anti-state propaganda,
Yeghoyan said: "This is based on common logic: When a person takes a
step and the step becomes visible, the concrete person, who took the
step, realises that the general statement is about him". Yeghoyan gave
the following answer to our remark that the person could fail to
understand that the general statement is addressed to him: "In this
case, I am sure that they understood it, as we are dealing with very
experienced people".

Source: Aravot website, Yerevan, in Russian 1446 gmt 20 Jun 18

Azerbaijan to display new weapons at army parade

BBC Monitoring

Azerbaijan to display new weapons at army parade

By BBC Monitoring

Azerbaijan's defence minister has said that a military parade to be
held on 26 June will feature new weapons that this country has bought,
news reports have said.

Zakir Hasanov was speaking at a news conference on 20 June. He said
that Baku had acquired helicopters capable of destroying enemy targets
without entering the battlefield, said. "Those helicopters
are equipped with systems that make it possible to carry out strikes
at a distance of 10 to 50 km," Hasanov said. He said the army would
demonstrate state-of-the art hardware and weapons at the upcoming
military parade. He also said, however, that "we have weapons that we
will not demonstrate yet because we have not yet tested those

APA news agency quoted Hasanov as saying that Baku had bought "new
types of weapons" for its army. "[Azerbaijan has] bought new tanks,
new infantry fighting vehicles and new armoured vehicles that are used
in fighting. All this hardware will be demonstrated at the 26 June
military parade," Hasanov said.

He added: "At present, we have state-of the-art missile and artillery
systems. Those missiles are capable of destroying any enemy target.
The supreme commander-in-chief [Azerbaijan's president] familiarised
himself with those missiles several days ago. All the missiles will be
demonstrated at the parade."

Azerbaijan may have Iron Drome air defence system news website said that the minister hinted that Azerbaijan's
army possessed the Israeli-made air defence system Iron Dome.

It quoted Hasanov as saying that Baku would demonstrate an
anti-missile shield system at the parade. "We possess long-range
artillery missile systems. They are capable of using precise targeting
to destroy ground and air enemy targets. A shield system will also be
demonstrated at the parade. Many say there cannot be this system in
Azerbaijan, but you will see at the parade that it can. This is just
one part of new weapons purchased," the report quoted the minister as
telling the briefing. It added that the minister did not specify what
shield system he was talking about.

Hasanov also said that the country's president had tasked them with
ensuring the army's combat readiness for actual military action. "We
will completely achieve our objectives within several years," he said.
He explained he was referring to acquisition of new military vehicles
and modernisation of military vehicles, and purchase of new artillery
systems. He added that the Azerbaijani army was 90 per cent equipped
with automated control systems. "A colossal amount of work is being
done to this end," he said.

In the meantime, Turan news agency cited the minister as telling
cadets from a military school that the parade would feature
Azerbaijan's anti-missile system. The report said the minister was
speaking about long-range artillery missile systems capable of
destroying ground and air targets deep in enemy territory, and that he
did not provide further detail.

Turan pointed out that Azerbaijan had the Russian-made missile air
defence systems S-300 Favorit, S-200, BUK M1, and TOR2E, the
Israeli-made missile air defence systems Iron Dome, Barak, and Spider,
and also several Israeli- and Russian-made radar systems. In June
2018, Azerbaijan has obtained the medium-range missile systems Polonez
(Belarus) and Lora (Israel), the report added.

Land reclaimed; Armenia losing its own information war

Hasanov also spoke about "a very successful" military operation
conducted by Azerbaijan in its exclave Naxcivan in May to reclaim land
from Armenians. APA quoted him as saying: "As a result of the
successful operation by our army, 11,000 ha of land were liberated
from the occupation. I want to say that our army is now in control of
the road to [the Armenian-held Azerbaijani district of] Lacin. This is
our latest success."

The minister said that Azerbaijan was also a success in an information
warfare that he said Armenia had started against it. "The enemy has
unleashed a large-scale information warfare against us. However, they
are losing to us even in it," APA quoted Hasanov as saying.

Hasanov went on to urge Azerbaijan's media not to yield to Armenian
"provocations". "At present, we all must fight the enemy. The Armenian
special services are using social networking websites to try to make
our soldiers unconfident about their strengths. Media outlets that
respect themselves should not yield to those kinds of provocations. I
am asking journalists to be careful. Media outlets are a great power.
That great power should join the fight against the enemy and defend
the country," he said.

Hasanov also said that the recent change of government in Armenia was
a result of diplomatic efforts by the Azerbaijani president. "We try
to defeat the enemy in all possible ways. You have all seen that the
supreme commander-in-chief [Azerbaijan's president] put an end to the
rule of [former Armenian President and then former Armenian Prime
Minister Serzh] Sargsyan without resorting to the power of weapons,
using diplomacy alone," he said.

The minister added that Azerbaijani army soldiers were provided with
best-quality food, which he said was done "to enhance combat

Baku and Yerevan are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan's
Armenian-populated breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven
districts around it.

Source: BBC Monitoring 21 Jun 18

Tank crews from Russia’s military base in Armenia practicing mountain operations

TASS - Russia's Defense Technologies Newswire
 Thursday 12:54 PM GMT

Tank crews from Russia's military base in Armenia practicing mountain operations

MOSCOW June 21

Servicemen from armored units of Russia's military base in Armenia are
undergoing training under a new program, the Russian Southern Military
District's press office said.

MOSCOW, June 21. /TASS-DEFENSE/. Servicemen from armored units of
Russia's military base in Armenia are undergoing training under a new
program, the Russian Southern Military District's press office said.

"The tank crews are practicing choosing firing positions and
fortifying them at the Alagyaz training range. The servicemen are
firing organic munitions and hitting targets on the move at an
altitude of more than 2,000 meters above sea level," the press office

"This year, a new drill based on the experience gained in modern armed
conflicts has been introduced to their combat training program," Large
Unit Deputy Commander Colonel Alexei Naumenko said.

During gunnery, tactical and special training, the armored units are
interacting with unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crews and
reconnaissance units as part of reconnaissance/attack forces. They are
delivering indirect fire, using organic munitions.

The exercise being held in mountains in Transcaucasia involves more
than 100 servicemen and about 30 items of military hardware.

Sports: IWF lifts ban from Armenia junior team

MediaMax, Armenia

Photo: Mediamax

Three Armenian weightlifters can now compete in World Championship on July 7-14. Rafik Harutyunyan (77kg), Samvel Babakyan (94kg) and Varazdat Lalayan (104kg) will travel to Tashkent with manager Melik Ghukasyan.

“We have selected strong athletes. We have big expectations and we hope we’ll bring home medals. I will head our delegation and participate in IWF conference in Tashkent as well,” said Alaverdyan.