168: ‘Why is the same menu in all restaurants of Nagorno Karabakh?’ – Russian bloggers impressed with Artsakh cuisine


Russian bloggers Natalia Anokhina and Anton Frolov published an article about Artsakh in their blog after their visit touching upon its cuisine.

The bloggers participated in the Wine Festival in Artsakh and shared their impressions from the event.

“Participating in the Wine Festival in Nagorno Karabakh we approached a table where Zhingyalov hats [a type of flatbread stuffed with finely diced herbs and green vegetables] was sold. We have heard about this delicious pie long ago. It is always served in hot condition and is very tasty. But usually their sizes are so big that one cannot eat it easily especially when he/she is not hungry and eats during the blog-tours three times a day”, the bloggers say. “If you ever visit Nagorno Karabakh, you must definitely eat the Zhingyalov hats. Perhaps, it is one of the famous local dishes. You can buy it in the Stepanakert market”, they stated.

The bloggers say they have spent four days in Artsakh, and during that period they have been fed so much that they have collected two kilograms of weight. “In general, the cuisine of Nagorno Karabakh is similar to the Armenian cuisine – kebab, barbeque, vegetables, greens, wine and etc. People will make you happy with this always and everywhere”, the bloggers wrote, adding that vegetables in Karabakh are always fresh.

The bloggers were also impressed by the salads and various hot dishes. They sum up the article by talking about the market of Stepanakert, recommending all foreigners to visit there while being in Artsakh. “Even if you have no plans to buy anything, you can organize an interesting photoshoot there”, they said.

The Russian bloggers also promised to publish another article this time about the wine of Nagorno Karabakh.

168: Intoxicated man batters brother, sister-in-law and baby in Armenian town


A woman from Vagharshapat (Ejmiatsin) reported to the local police station on November 15 that her brother-in-law has battered her, her husband and their 8-months old baby. She claims the man was drunk.

Police reported that officers have validated the report. Authorities did not disclose the identity of the perpetrator.

Police said the man turned himself in to police and testified. “Materials are being prepared,” police said.

Pashinyan submits petition to President Sarkissian to award weightlifters Simon Martirosyan and Gor Minasyan


Acting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan has submitted a petition to President Armen Sarkissian to award world weightlifting champion Simon Martirosyan with the 2nd degree Medal of the Services to the Motherland and weightlifter Gor Minasyan with the Medal of Gratitude, the Armenian government said on Facebook.

Simon Martirosyan became a world champion in the recent World Weightlifting Championship in Turkmenistan, and Gor Minasyan won silver medal at the Championship.

Acting PM Pashinyan visits military base, follows tactical military drills (photos)


Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited a military base of the Armenian defense ministry’s N military unit and followed the special tactical offensive military drills.

Pashinyan was accompanied by acting defense minister Davit Tonoyan and first deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces, Major-General Onik Gasparyan.

Nikol Pashinyan got acquainted with the current situation in the frontline. Thereafter, he was reported on the engineering and fortification works, the new technologies for conducting a reliable defense, the works aimed at increasing the security of the staff in the positions and the technical equipment.

Pashinyan talked to the soldiers and commanders, thanked them for the dedicated service. He encouraged the soldiers and wished them health and peaceful service.

[nice pictures, click on the link]

Pashinyan, Putin hold telephone conversation


Caretaker Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan had a telephone conversation today with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pashinyan’s office said.

Pashinyan and Putin discussed current issues concerning partnership within the framework of Eurasian integration unions, according to the statement of Pashinyan’s office.

RFE/RL Armenian Report – 11/16/2018


Armenian Parliament Rejects Pro-Church Bills

        • Tatev Danielian

Armenia - Catholicos Garegin II (C) celebrates a Christmas mass at the 
Echmiadzin cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church, 6 January 2015.

Deputies from Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK) walked out of the 
Armenian parliament on Friday after failing to push through bills meant to 
protect the supreme head of the Armenian Apostolic Church against physical 

The HHK drafted the two bills after Catholicos Garegin (Karekin) II faced calls 
for his resignation following this spring’s “velvet revolution” in Armenia.

An obscure Armenian group launched a series of protests against Garegin in 
June, accusing him of corruption and close ties with the country’s former 
government. Dozens of its members partly occupied his Echmiadzin headquarters 
in July. Some of them also physically confronted Garegin when he subsequently 
travelled to a medieval monastery in the southeastern Vayots Dzor province.

Police waited for several days before forcing the protesters out of the Mother 
See of the Armenian Church. This prompted strong criticism from the HHK and 
other conservative critics of the newly elected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. 
They accused the government of showing contempt for “traditional Armenian 

One of the HHK bills would ban any demonstrations inside church premises. 
Pashinian’s cabinet spoke out against the bill last month. Only 43 members of 
the 105-seat National Assembly voted for it.

Armenia - Deputies from the Republican Party of Armenia attend a parliament 
session in Yerevan, 10 September 2018.

Citing this summer’s incidents, HHK lawmakers also drafted separate legal 
amendments that would obligate the state to provide Garegin with bodyguards on 
a permanent basis. Some of them seemed to imply that the summer protests 
against him were provoked by other, non-traditional religious groups active in 
the country.

“We want to protect the Catholicos against sexual and religious minorities that 
are financed from abroad and fight against the Armenian statehood and Armenian 
faith,” the HHK’s Hakob Hakobian said during a heated parliament debate.

“Our church is an inseparable part of our national security. Anyone who is 
against that church is also against national security,” declared Samvel 
Nikoyan, another deputy representing the former ruling party.

Lawmakers allied to Pashinian rejected the bill. One of them, Lena Nazarian, 
said there is no need for such legislation because the government will protect 
the Catholicos whenever he feels that his security is at risk.

Another pro-Pashinian deputy, Sasun Mikaelian, argued against “protecting the 
Catholicos against the people.” Mikaelian said the HHK itself is responsible 
for Garegin’s perceived unpopularity because the latter had grown too close to 
the previous government.

“Against whom is the prime minister protected by his security detail? Against 
the people?” countered the HHK’s Margarit Yesayan.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) also backed the HHK 
initiative, saying that not only Garegin but also the church as a whole needs 
stronger state protection. “I don’t think it’s right to put the Catholicos in a 
situation where he himself has to ask for protection,” said Armen Rustamian, 
Dashnaktsutyun’s parliamentary leader.

Only 28 mainly Republican deputies voted for the bill. Their colleagues 
representing Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party, the second largest 
force in the outgoing parliament, abstained.

“This is the most disgraceful vote in independent Armenia’s history,” charged 
Eduard Sharmazanov, a deputy parliament speaker affiliated with the HHK.

“There may be 28 of us today. There will be 2,800 of us tomorrow and 2.8 
million the day after,” Sharmazanov said before he and several other HHK 
parliamentarians walked out in protest.

Armenia - Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II meets with the acting Prime 
Minister Nikol Pashinian in the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, 14Nov,2018

The Armenian Church’s official position on the proposed legislation is not 
known. Its chief spokesman could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The HHK bills were debated two days after Pashinian visited the Echmiadzin seat 
of the church and met with Garegin. The premier acknowledged the church’s 
“special significance” for many Armenians. Few other details of their meeting 
were made public.

Pashinian had strongly criticized Garegin in the past.

The Armenian Apostolic Church is one of the world’s oldest Christian 
denominations to which the vast majority of Armenians nominally belong. 
Armenia’s constitution recognizes its “exceptional mission” in the country’s 
history and social life.

U.S. Sanctions On Iran ‘Explained’ To Armenian Government, Banks

        • Emil Danielyan

U.S. -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and U.S. Treasury Secretary 
Steven Mnuchin announce sanctions against Iran during a news conference at the 
Foreign Press Center in Washington, November 5, 2018

A team of U.S. officials has visited Armenia to brief its government and 
private sector on the implications of economic sanctions against neighboring 
Iran that have been re-imposed by President Donald Trump.

The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan said the “subject matter experts” from the U.S. 
departments of state and treasury met with senior Armenian government officials 
on Thursday and Friday as part of Washington’s efforts to “explain U.S. 
sanctions policy against Iran to governments around the world.”

“They also met with the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Armenia as well 
as with private banks, members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia, 
and Armenian academics and think tank experts,” read an embassy statement.

“The delegation emphasized U.S. efforts to change the Iranian regime’s malign 
behavior through maximum economic and diplomatic pressure, while also outlining 
areas for cooperation with partners like Armenia,” it added.

Armenian government bodies issued no statements on the discussions with the 
visiting U.S. officials.

Armenia - Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian (R) meets with U.S. National Security 
Adviser John Bolton in Yerevan, 25 October 2018.

The discussions came less than a month after U.S. National Security Adviser 
John Bolton’s trip to Armenia. The renewed U.S. sanctions against Tehran were a 
major theme of his talks with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and other Armenian 

Bolton said he told them that the Trump administration will enforce the 
sanctions against Iran “very vigorously” and that the Armenian-Iranian border 
is therefore “going to be a significant issue.”

“Obviously, we don’t want to cause damage to our friends in the process,” 
Bolton told RFE/RL’s Armenian service. “So I think conversation between the 
government of Armenia and the United States is going to be very important.”

Speaking in the Armenian parliament a few days later, Pashinian said he made it 
clear to Bolton that his government will maintain Armenia’s “special” 
relationship with Iran. “We respect the national interests of any country, but 
the Republic of Armenia has its own national and state interests which do not 
always coincide with the interests and ideas of other countries,” stressed 

Bolton tweeted after his visit that Armenia is an “important friend” of the 
United States.

With Armenia’s borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey closed due to the 
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Iran as well as Georgia serve as the sole conduits 
for the landlocked country’s trade with the outside world.

U.S. - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol 
Pashinian meet in New York, 25 September 2018.

Armenia also imports Iranian natural gas and other fuel. The volume of the gas 
supplies should rise sharply after the ongoing construction of a third power 
transmission line connecting the two countries is completed next year.

Accordingly, both the current and former Armenian governments have supported a 
2015 multilateral accord on Iran’s nuclear program that led to the lifting of 
the U.S. sanctions. Trump unilaterally pulled out of that deal earlier year.

Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian commented on the move’s possible impact on 
the Armenian-Iranian relationship in an interview with the Russian TASS news 
agency published on Friday.

“For us, this is a highly sensitive issue because Iran is an important partner 
of Armenia with which we have … a bilateral agenda extremely important to 
Armenia,” said Mnatsakanian.

U.S. officials have yet to publicly say which Armenian-Iranian commercial 
operations, if any, could be affected by the renewed sanctions.

According to official Armenian statistics, Armenian-Iranian trade stood at $263 
million last year. Pashinian and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani discussed 
ways of expanding it when they met in New York in September.

Tsarukian’s Indicted Bodyguard Also Running For Parliament

        • Gayane Saribekian

Armenia - Businessman Gagik Tsarukian and his chief bodyguard Eduard Babayan 
(R) at an election campaign rally in Hrazdan, 11 April 2012.

The chief bodyguard of Gagik Tsarukian prosecuted on assault charges is among 
the candidates of the tycoon’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) running in the 
December 9 parliamentary elections.

Eduard Babayan was arrested in early July hours after a 50-year-old man in 
Yerevan was hospitalized with serious injuries. The latter claimed to have been 
beaten up at a compound of Armenia’s National Olympic Committee headed by 
Tsarukian. He said he was hit by Tsarukian before being repeatedly kicked and 
punched by Babayan and another person.

Both the tycoon and Babayan strongly denied assaulting the man. The burly 
bodyguard was charged even though the alleged victim later retracted his 
incriminating testimony.

Babayan was freed on bail in August. The BHK leadership subsequently decided to 
include him on its list of more than 170 election candidates.

A senior BHK representative, Vahe Enfiajian, defended the decision on Friday, 
insisting that Babayan did not beat up anyone.

“There are no bad figures on our list, there are only good figures there,” 
Enfiajian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “As for who will enter 
the [new] parliament, it’s up to our people to decide.”

Asked whether the BHK considers the bodyguard a political figure, he said: 
“Every citizen of Armenia has a right to elect and get elected, and whether or 
not they should engage in further political activities depends on [voters’ 

Armenian media have repeatedly implicated Tsarukian’s bodyguards and Babayan in 
particular in violence, including against opponents of the country’s previous 
governments, in the past. The tycoon always denied those claims.

The BHK boasts the second largest group in the outgoing Armenian parliament. It 
controlled five ministerial posts in Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s 
government until recently.

Armenia Insists On Keeping Top CSTO Post

        • Heghine Buniatian

Armenia - Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian, 21 May 2018.

A representative of Armenia must run the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty 
Organization (CSTO) until 2020, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian insisted 
on Friday.

Russia and five other ex-Soviet states making up the alliance agreed in 2015 
that their representatives will take turns to serve as the organization’s 
secretary generals on a rotating basis. They appointed Armenia’s Yuri 
Khachaturov to that position in 2017.

The new Armenian government cut shot Khachaturov’s three-year tour of duty 
after he was controversially charged in July in connection with the 2008 
post-election violence in Yerevan. It hoped that another Armenian official will 
be allowed to replace Khachaturov.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian insisted on that at a CSTO summit held in 
Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on November 8. Belarusian President Alexander 
Lukashenko as well as Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev demanded, however, 
that a representative of Belarus be named as new head of the CSTO.

The CSTO leaders said they will again try to reach consensus on the issue when 
they meet again in Saint Petersburg, Russia on December 6.

In an interview with the Russian TASS agency, Mnatsakanian said this does not 
mean that another Armenian official cannot become new head of the CSTO. He said 
Armenia must keep the vacant post as it has a “good cadre potential for that.”

“The organization comprises six equal members and they make decisions by 
consensus,” stressed the minister.

Lukashenko reiterated his demands when he met on Monday with a senior diplomat 
from Azerbaijan, a country which is at war with Armenia and not part of the 
CSTO. He noted that another Russian-led bloc, the Eurasian Economic Union, is 
also run by an Armenian.

“This is a very heavy burden for a country which is going through a period of 
transition,” added Lukashenko. “Can Armenia carry that burden?”

The Armenian Foreign Ministry denounced Lukashenko’s comments.


Press Review

Lragir.am says concerns about negative consequences of the Armenian 
government’s failure to amend the Electoral Code are proving misplaced with the 
looming start of campaigning for the December 9 parliamentary elections. The 
online publication argues that the existing electoral system no longer bodes 
well for vote buying and other illegal practices because the new government has 
the political will to counter them.

“Zhoghovurd” reports in this regard that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has 
made clear that his government will bear political responsibility for the 
proper conduct of the upcoming elections. “Pashinian said in this context that 
any use of administrative resources must be ruled out,” writes the paper. It 
says this statement is “very important” as it sends a strong message to 
election contenders and his loyalists in particular.

“There are already reports that in some electoral districts in the regions 
rating-based candidates [running on an individual basis] have started competing 
with each other with dishonest methods in order to win as many votes as 
possible,” explains “Zhoghovurd.” “And now after the prime minister’s statement 
some people really need to sober up. Or else, we will have to conclude that 
some representatives of the new government are using old methods of work.”

“Zhamanak” reacts to the Court of Cassation’s decision on Thursday to overturn 
a lower court’s decision to free former President Robert Kocharian from 
pre-trial custody. The paper says that the ruling precludes any “shadowy” 
involvement of Kocharian in the December 9 elections. Kocharian will thus be 
held in check in the run-up to the snap polls, it says.

(Lilit Harutiunian)

Reprinted on ANN/Armenian News with permission from RFE/RL
Copyright (c) 2018 Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Inc.
1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

Shoah Foundation shares Armenian Genocide info with LA educators

PanArmenian, Armenia
Nov 16 2018

PanARMENIAN.Net – Educators attending a professional development conference at Ferrahian High School. Two University of Southern California (USC) Shoah Foundation staff members recently shared the Institute’s work related to the Armenian Genocide with Armenian school educators in the Los Angeles area, The Armenian Mirror Spectator.

Education and Outreach Specialist Sedda Antekelian and Program Officer Manuk Avedikyan shared information about the educational use of testimony in the Institute’s Visual History Archive and on the Institute’s educational website, IWitness.

On September 22, the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Yervant Babayan Institute of Pedagogy for Research and Development hosted “Best and Promising Practices and Resources Conference” for teachers of Armenian language, history, religion and culture. The conference took place at the AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Center in Pasadena.

The founder of the AGBU Babayan Institute, Armenian Film Foundation board member, Professor Emeritus Dr. Silva Karayan organized the conference with the goal of revealing innovative resources and best practices among experts and other educators to enhance Armenian-American education within the community’s various schools.

Both Avedikyan and Antekelian presented in the last panel of the conference, along with Lilit Keshishian from the USC Institute of Armenian Studies, among other notable experts in the Armenian community. Avedikyan demonstrated various ways of searching the Visual History Archive (VHA) to research testimony. Antekelian highlighted testimony-based resources available through the IWitness Armenian Genocide Education program and effective strategies for how to integrate testimony into the classroom.

Educators and presenters from Sept. 22 AGBU Babayan conference. On October 6, Antekelian led two introductory workshop sessions at the 18th Annual Professional Development Day Conference for all K-12 Armenian school educators from California at Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School in Encino. Up to 400 educators were provided with the opportunity to access up-to-date research-based teaching methods and strategies for the 21st century learner from multiple experts.

Never have I thought

Nov 6 2018

8 out of 10 children living in Armenian villages missing the preschool education because of lack of these centres.

“I would never have imagined that I could do important things besides housekeeping. It is like a dream that I felt could never come true with two little children at home,” said Heghine, who has already been working for six months as a teacher with 16 children in the Marts village kindergarten. It was established by UNICEF using the alternative model for preschool education services, the purpose of which is to ensure that every child in the community has an equal opportunity for early childhood development.

Eight out of ten children living in Armenian villages do not go to kindergarten for various reasons, including the lack of an available facility. The shortcomings in the structure of ECD facilities in the country push women out of the labour market or force them to reduce their working hours. This is especially true for women who have small children in places where the labour market, legislative or cultural factors reinforce the role of women as family caregivers and housewives. On the other hand, early childhood development is the most crucial part of the education system, as it aims to improve the cognitive, physical and social skills of children aged 3–6 years.

This model has been developed for small rural communities with few children, where there is no budget to support a full-fledged kindergarten, while the kindergarten in the nearest town is too far away. The model is based on international studies that suggest the overall time period (in terms of years) spent frequenting a kindergarten is much more important for the future of a 3–6-year-old child than the number of hours the child spends in that facility.

We spoke to Heghine for a long time and she often repeated that the children coming to the kindergarten differed from the ones who did not. She shared a personal story. “We didn’t have a kindergarten before and I was very upset that my elder daughter Lilit, who is now six, could not attend and had to enrol directly in school. But now my 4-year-old Liana is already coming to this kindergarten. They are very different from each other from the point of view of self-sufficiency, behaviour and socialisation skills.”

International studies have shown that quality interventions during early childhood development are small investments that later lead to major benefits for the child, his or her family, society and the economy overall. Imagine the education system as a ladder. Removing preschool education means withdrawing the first couple of rungs in the ladder and expecting the child to climb up to the third rung at once.

With the support of UNICEF, around 140 children aged 3–6 in 12 communities of the Syunik and Lori regions will now start their journey of education from the very first rung. The model does not just ensure that children receive the opportunity for development and learning, it also provides jobs to the communities and has a positive impact on their social life.

We cannot end the story without sharing Heghine’s enthusiasm. During our conversation, she was half-embarrassed and half-proud when she mentioned that, although a teacher’s work is difficult and comes with a high level of responsibility, this is her opportunity to also focus on herself and her personal needs outside of her everyday role at home with her children.

Such services, especially in small communities, create new opportunities for women to enter the labour market, become active players in the economy and, considering the new pension system, help them ensure a better future for themselves.

Film: KIN International Film Festival kicks off in Yerevan

Panorama, Armenia
Nov 16 2018
Culture 12:19 16/11/2018 Armenia

The 15th KIN International Film Festival kicked off Thursday in Yerevan and is due until November 19. According to the Ministry of Culture, this year the film festival has received over 500 applications, among them 52 films from 20 countries have been included in the festival competition program. The festival has a small but diverse and interesting program which offers spectators good-quality movies.

The festival's programs include "Short Film Competition Program", "Guest Program", "Chaykhana" international multimedia platform program, a retrospective and mobile application (for Android mobile phones)  dedicated to the American-Armenian actress Flora Zabel.

Within the framework of the festival lectures on "The Visual Language in Cinema", "The Creation of Cinematic Silence", a Round-Table Discussion on "Women in the Contemporary Film Production" will take place.

Among the Jury members are Laurie Gordon (the director of Montreal International Animated Film Festival and founder of Musi Vision Films, Canada), Nvard Hovhannisyan (Chaykhana Media Multimedia Platform media manager, Armenia), Conny Beißler (operator, Germany), Siranuysh Galstyan (film critic, candidate of arts, prose writer, Armenia), Anush Babayan (co-founder and editor-in-chief of the online magazine "Cineversus", Armenia).

The festival film screenings are open to the public free of charge.

The festival is being sponsored by the Ministry of Culture.

Sports: Acting PM asks president to award weightlifters Simon Martirosyan, Gor Minasyan

Panorama, Armenia
Nov 16 2018

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has applied to President Armen Sarkissian to award leading weightlifters Simon Martirosyan with the 2nd Degree Order for Services to the Motherland, and Gor Minasyan with the Medal of Gratitude, the government said on Telegram.

Simon Martirosyan, a European champion and Olympic silver medallist, was crowned world champion after lifting a combined total of 435kg, setting several world records, while heavyweight Gor Minasyan, an Olympic silver medallist, grabbed the silver with the result of 450kg in the World Weightlifting Championships held in Ashgabad, Turkmenistan several days ago.