Concept of “disaster zone” to disappear only at end of 2020

The RA Government Action Plan for 2018-2022 envisages completion of state obligations towards 542 homeless families as a result of the earthquake by the end of 2020.

Quick response group to function at Chamber of Advocates on election day

Dear citizens,

The Chamber of Advocates informs that during the snap parliamentary elections a quick response group will function in the RA Chamber of Advocates.

Citizens can apply to Group Coordinator, Lawyer Gevorg Mkrtchyan (Tel: 077007792) on matters of their right to vote.

Asbarez: Russia Drop Sale of Missile System to Baku

A Kh-35 naval missile, similar to the one that Russia has cancelled its sale to Baku

MOSCOW—Russia reportedly has changed its mind to supplying Azerbaijan with the SSC-6 ‘Sennight’ coastal missile system, a version of the Kh-35 turbojet subsonic cruise anti-ship missile, according to Kommersant newspaper.

According to the newspaper, Russian military officials found that even the export of the missile system might pose a potential threat to their own navy vessels in the Caspian sea that are on-duty in Russian territorial waters.

A source familiar with the matter told Kommersant that Russia and Azerbaijan had initialed the deal on a small batch of the systems for a few dozen missiles, however the agreement was never signed.

Kommersant reported that the topic isn’t discussed yet because “a very delicate geopolitical nuance exists.” In recent years, the X-35 missile warhead’s guidance system has been modified to strike also land targets. “We wouldn’t want this weapon to be used in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict,” the source told Kommersant.

In 2013 and 2014, Russia reportedly delivered Uran-E missiles that are similar to the ones in question, in an agreement signed between Azerbaijan and the Russian Tactical Rocket Arms Corporation in 2010.

Stepantsminda-Lars highway open for all means of transport

The Road Department of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Georgia informs the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies that Stepantsminda-Lars highway is open for all means of transport as of December 7 at 15:00.

Israeli case of fake Armenian diplomas began to fall apart

Arminfo, Armenia
Dec 6 2018

ArmInfo. The criminal case of fake Armenian medical diplomas, code-named "License to kill," in Israel, has actually begun to fall apart.  According to the Israeli  media, yesterday the magistrate's court in Nazareth, decided to  change measure of restraint against previously taken into custody 22  interns and pharmacists, allegedly suspected of receiving fake  university diplomas, under house arrest.

The court rejected the police's request to extend the preliminary arrest, finding the  evidence submitted insufficient. Another 21 suspects in the same case  were released from custody without a court hearing.

One of them said: "I knew that this "mountain will bring forth a  mouse. "There was no reason to detain us.  The police caused us  serious damage and harm to our work. We demand an apology!". Attorney  Ahmad Raslan, representing several suspects, also said that "the  police exaggerated the value of the few materials it had to justify  the suspicion." According to him, the detainees are law-abiding  citizens from good families.  To recall, according to police  suspicions, the persons involved in the case – medical interns and  pharmacists, mostly of Arabic origin, presented diplomas to the  Ministry of Health on graduating medical and pharmacological  universities of Armenia. The investigation believes that the  documents are fictitious, since the suspects received them without  completing the full term of training.

To recall, in Armenia the scandal with fake medical diplomas did not  find a factual continuation. The administration of medical higher  education institutions, including private ones, then told ArmInfo  that the sale of diplomas is out of the question, perhaps the matter  concerns forged documents.

Index: Armenia is the first country in Europe by the number of believers

Arminfo, Armenia
Dec 7 2018

ArmInfo. The American Analytical Center Pew Research Center has published data from studies conducted in Europe on the subject of religiosity of the population.

According to the results, 79% of the population of Armenia said that  they believe in God. According to this indicator, Armenia became the  first in Europe. 45% (2nd place) of Armenians said they pray daily,  and 53% (3rd place) that religion is important in their lives.  Moreover, only 34% (12th place) of Armenians attend churches at least  once a month. Based on all the criteria, Romania became the most  religious country in Europe, Armenia ranked second in terms of  overall performance, and Georgia was third.

Armenian Court of Appeal upholds ruling to arrest ex-President Kocharyan – lawyer

RT – Russia Today
Dec 7 2018
Armenian Court of Appeal upholds ruling to arrest ex-President Kocharyan – lawyer
   

Armenia’s Criminal Court of Appeal of the Republic has ruled to arrest the former President Robert Kocharyan, his lawyer, Aik Alumyan, said on Friday. The court has left the decision of the first-instance court as it was and has dismissed the claims of defense. “This means that Kocharyan will be arrested,” RIA Novosti quoted Alumyan as saying. Kocharyan served as president from 1998 to 2008. In July, the former president was charged with an attempt to overthrow Armenia’s constitutional order during 2008 protests that erupted following the presidential election.

City gone in 30 seconds: How deadly earthquake devastated Soviet Armenia three decades ago

RT- Russia Today
Dec 7 2018
City gone in 30 seconds: How deadly earthquake devastated Soviet Armenia three decades ago (PHOTOS)

The city of Spitak destroyed by a powerful earthquake. December 7, 1988. © Sputnik / Alexandr Graschenkov

The city of Spitak was levelled in just 30 seconds as a powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake unleashed massive destruction across northeast Armenia 30 years ago. The disaster killed at least 25,000 people.

Armenia, a part of the Soviet Union at the time, was hit by a catastrophic quake on December 7, 1988. The tremors struck at 11:41am local time, and the buildings began to collapse almost instantly.

Spitak, which was at the epicenter of the earthquake, was almost entirely levelled in just 30 seconds. It was home to 18,500 residents.

The violent tremors severely damaged 21 cities and 324 villages. Among them is Armenia’s second-largest city, Leninakan (presently called Gyumri), which, too, got partially demolished by the disaster.

No matter how small or tall, the buildings everywhere folded like a house of cards.

There was a loud bang. Moments later we heard several powerful quakes,” Mariam Karapetyan, who was a daycare center worker during the disaster, recalled.

“My colleague thought that a war had started.”

“We couldn’t see the sky, and felt that everything was covered in smoke,” said Agram Stepanyan. He was 15 at the time, and had to flee for his life.

“Our school turned into chaos. Everyone ran… Two or three people jumped from the second floor windows.”

At least 25,000 people died that day, and around 20,000 more were injured.

Rescuers from all over the Soviet Union came to help clearing the rubble and evacuating the bodies. Several foreign teams also joined in.

One of the rescuers, Andrey Dyachenko recalled how people started to bury the dead in Spitak.

“You could bury three cities with that amount of coffins. That’s how I felt,” he said.

More photos at

Baku sent a note to Moscow related to Artsakh representatives` participation at Lazarev Club`s meeting and statements made on it

Arminfo, Armenia
Dec 7 2018

ArmInfo.Azerbaijan expressed dissatisfaction to the Russian Foreign Ministry through the country's embassy in Moscow related to inviting Artsakh representatives to the  first meeting of the Lazarev Club, which was held on November 30 -  December 1 in Yerevan, as well as with the remarks. This is stated in  the message spread by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic  on Wednesday.

"Lazarev Club" is an informal, permanent discussion platform  established to support the Russian- Armenian public dialogue and  expert-analytical assessment of the state and prospects of the  development of the geopolitical situation in the region. It got its  name in honor of the famous family of Armenian philanthropists  -Lazarevs – the founders of the Lazarev Institute of Oriental  Languages.

"The Lazarev Club meeting contradicts the efforts of the OSCE Minsk  Group co-chair countries, including Russia, to advance the  negotiation process on resolving the Armenia-Azerbaijan  Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said,  Trend informs. 

"The organizers' invitation of representatives of Artsakh to the  meeting, as well as statements of Zatulin, former chairman of the  Council of Veterans of the Russian Foreign Ministry, having the rank  of extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador Vladimir Kazimirov  and Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS Countries headed by  Zatulin, Vladimir Yevseyev, and some others voiced during the meeting  of the club and containing open attacks against Azerbaijan's  sovereignty and territorial integrity are aimed at damaging the  existing high level of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia,"  the Azerbaijani ministry said. 

Chess: Armenia’s Manuel Petrosyan among leaders of Rome chess festival

Panorama, Armenia
Dec 7 2018
Sport 18:09 07/12/2018 Armenia

Italy is hosting the 3° International Chess Festival Roma Città Aperta from 2 to 9 December, in participation of 76 chess players, including 12 GMs, from 20 countries.

Armenia is represented by GMs Manuel Petrosyan, Vahe Baghdasaryan and IM Tigran Harutyunyan at the chess tournament, the Chess Federation of Armenia told Panorama.am.

After collecting five points at six rounds, Petrosyan is leading the table with two other players.

The two other Armenian representatives are legging behind the leaders with 4,5 points, apiece.