No personnel increases planned at Russian base in Armenia

No personnel increases planned at Russian base in Armenia

May 21 2004

Yerevan. (Interfax-AVN) – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said
there are no plans to deploy more troops to his country’s military base
in Armenia, but said it would be provided with more advanced weapons.

“We have no plans to add more servicemen to the troops stationed at
Russia’s 102nd Military Base in Armenia. Its numerical strength is
sufficient and optimal,” Ivanov told a news conference in Yerevan
on Thursday.

“Another matter is that we need to provide our servicemen with
state-of-the-art weapons and military hardware. We take these plans
seriously,” the defense minister said.

Genocide survivors speak at CHS History Symposium

Genocide survivors speak at CHS History Symposium
By JESSICA CARR , Daily Times Staff Reporter 05/21/2004

Kent County Daily Times, RI
May 21 2004

WASHINGTON VILLAGE — The auditorium at Coventry High School became
a narrative museum yesterday afternoon when three guest speakers
discussed the horrors of all three genocides of the 20th century
with students from CHS and five surrounding school districts for the
school’s History Symposium.

Moushegh Derderian, one of the last living survivors of the Armenian
Genocide, Alice Golstein, a Jewish woman who, along with her family,
experienced first hand all of the devastations that led up to the
Holocaust, and Loung Ung, a noted speaker on Cambodia, child soldiers,
women and war, refugee issues, domestic violence and land mines were
the three featured guests at the event.

Derderian, now in his 90s, was born in Sepastia, Turkey, which
occupied Armenia in 1911.He made his long and arduous journey to
America in 1920, shortly after the Ottoman Turkish government put up
arms against the Armenians. Derderian discussed with students many
of the brutalities that he experienced during the Armenian Genocide.

Golstein, born in the back forest of Germany at the beginning of
the Nazi era, was raised at a time when the value of all people and
a sense of justice had not yet become equally apparent. Now, as a
historian and senior researcher at Brown University, Golstein uses
her deeply-rooted tragic childhood as the basis for her current life
as an active member of Rhode Island’s Jewish community.

Loung Ung, one of the lucky few to survive one of the bloodiest eras
in the 20th century, is now a renowned speaker on the killing fields
of Cambodia that she and her family had to fight their way through.
Just five years after her birth in 1970, Ung and her family were
forced from there home in a mass evacuation. During her presentation,
Ung detailed for the students in the audience the injustice that
brought her father, mother and sister to an early death.

“My sister died from starvation at 14 years old,” Ung said. “For fear
of my own death, I ate charcoal and pretended it was cake. My sister
was only one out of nearly two million that were killed during this
time. There were so many deaths that families just dug holes under
their homes and pushed the bodies under.”

Ung also told the audience about the 20,000 mass graves that were
filled to the brim with hundreds of bodies, which had been killed by
a blunt instrument to the back of the head.

“I had dreamed that the soldiers that came to get my father would
have used a bullet to kill him rather than the blunt object because
I knew it would have been quicker and less painful,” Ung said.

Above all else, one of the biggest eye opening aspects of Ung’s
discussion, the students in the audience said, was her talk about the
gardens of death, the killing fields, the acres and acres of unusable
soil that stretch across all of Cambodia still because of all of the
land mines that are buried under the soil.

All three of these speakers and the entire day’s activities were made
possible by Mackenzie Zabbo and Nicole St. Jean, two seniors at CHS
working to complete the project requirements of the Certificate of
Initial Mastery (CIM) voluntary senior project.

“I was expecting a tragedy like the screen wasn’t going to be here
for us to use or the projector and the lights weren’t going to work,
but I think everything ended up turning out pretty well,” said Zabbo.
“All of the kids seemed to like all of the speakers and I really
learned a lot from them. There is only so much you can learn in the
classroom, but when we heard each of the individual survivors stories,
it just made so much more of an impression.”

With the help of their senior advisor, Matt Brissette, Zabbo and St.
Jean had been working to coordinate the History Symposium Day since
the beginning of the year.

“We read the book (First They Killed My Father: a Cambodian Daughter
Remembers, by Loung Ung) last year in Mr. Brissette’s class and I
just loved it, so when he suggested that we get her to come I was
just so excited about that,” Zabbo said.

“Then he suggested that we incorporate all three of the genocides
into one big event and make it the school’s first History Symposium
Day,” St. Jean said. “So that is what we did. It was a lot of work,
but I really learned a lot and enjoyed every part of it, especially
hearing the individual survivors’ stories.”

According to Brissette, seeing that this year’s History Symposium Day
was such a tremendous success, it is something that he would like to
make a permanent fixture in the school’s yearly agenda.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

BAKU: Aliyev meets NATO secretary general Sheffer

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan
May 20 2004

[May 19, 2004, 23:59:00]

On the 19th of May, President of the Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliyev
visited NATO Headquarters, where was sincerely greeted by NATO
Secretary General Yaap De Hoop Scheffer.

The President of Azerbaijan and the NATO Secretary General had a
one-on -one meeting, during which the parties had a comprehensive
opinions exchange on the Azerbaijan-NATO partnership.

NATO Secretary General highly appreciated the active involvement of
Azerbaijani militaries in the NATO peacekeeping operations and
expressed gratitude for that to the leadership of the Republic.

President Ilham Aliyev in his turn thanked for the respects and
warmness shown to him, and stressed the process of Azerbaijan’s
integration into the European structures would be continued.

During the meeting, the parties also touched upon the settlement of
the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, exchanged views on
a number of regional and international issues.


Afterwards, President Ilham Aliyev viewed a photo exhibition devoted
to the NATO-Azerbaijan cooperation and Azerbaijani culture, which had
been arranged by Azerbaijan representation to NATO .

After familiarization with the photo exhibition, President Ilham
Aliyev addressed the Council of Northern Atlantic Alliance.

In conclusion, the Azerbaijan President and NATO Secretary General
held a briefing for journalists.

Soccer: Delura double galvanises Germany: Germany 5 – Armenia 0
May 19 2004

Delura double galvanises Germany

Germany continued their bid to reach the UEFA European Under-19
Championship finals with an impressive 5-0 win against Armenia in
Bratislava in their opening match in Group 3.

Early lead
A young Armenian side was comprehensively out-manoeuvred by a
disciplined German team, who were physically and tactically stronger
and took a 2-0 lead early in the match thanks to two goals from
Michael Delura at the FK Rapid Ruzinov stadium.

Well-taken goals
The FC Schalke 04 striker opened the scoring in the 15th minute,
bursting on to Sahr Senesie’s pass and shooting into the top corner.
The same player doubled the lead four minutes later as he broke clear
down the right and escaped the attentions of two defenders to score
with his left foot.

Penalty third
Armenia had a brief spell of pressure at the end of the first half
but struggled to to find a way through to Rene Adler’s goal. It was
Germany who started the second half the stronger and Armenian
goalkeeper Edel Apoula Edima Bete was forced into three good saves
but there was nothing he could do to stop Senesie’s penalty after
Mkhitar Grigoryan had handled.

Substitutes strike
Germany added gloss to the scoreline with two goals in the last five
minutes. First, substitute Enis Alushi dribbled past four defenders
and his high shot somehow evaded Bete to make it 4-0, before
Senesie’s clever back-heel allowed another replacement, Christian
Gentner, to make it five.

‘Team display’
“We played really well as a team today,” said Germany coach Dieter
Eilts. “Everybody wanted the ball, wanted to go forward and it
brought a reward. We had seen Armenia’s games from the first
qualifying stage and knew if they lost the ball in midfield they’d
have problems getting back. So we tried to hit this weakness and
succeeded rather well. Now we have to play Portugal and this will be
a totally different game.”

Portuguese test
Slovakia defeated Portugal 2-1 in Wednesday’s other fixture in the
section and Eilts’ team will go into Friday’s meeting with the
Portuguese in Bratislava in good heart. Armenia meet mini-tournament
hosts Slovakia the same day.

Minnesotan found slain in Armenia

Minnesotan found slain in Armenia
Matt McKinney, Star Tribune

Minneapolis Star Tribune , MN
May 20 2004

A Minnesota man who left the Midwest to teach in the exotic locales
of Tibet, India and the emerging nations of the former Soviet Union
was found stabbed to death outside his apartment Monday night in the
capital of Armenia, where he had been working for the past year.

Joshua Haglund, 33, a graduate of Mounds View High School, was planning
to leave Armenia in a few days for a trip through Iran before returning
to Minnesota for the summer, according to his family.

“This is the first day that I have not cried all day,” said his mother,
Maxine Haglund-Blommer of Shoreview. She said she saw her son a month
ago at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as he passed through
town after attending a California job fair.

“He interviewed with five or six countries, then he stopped back here
with his suit. ‘Hi, how are you? My plane’s leaving in five minutes,’
and then he was gone.'”

Josh HaglundCourtesy Haglund FamilyHaglund, an experienced traveler
who has lived for extended periods in Japan, India and Puerto Rico,
told his mother last Friday that one of the interviews had led to a
job offer in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

He told her it would be his last overseas assignment.

“He said, ‘This is my last trip, Mom. I want to live close to you
guys.’ That was his plan,” she said.

Haglund’s death was characterized as a homicide by authorities in
Yerevan, Armenia’s capital. No arrests have been made, according to
an online news account.

A passerby found Haglund lying on the street outside of his apartment,
according to an article posted on the Web site, an
online English-language newspaper. A witness told authorities that
Haglund was badly wounded but still alive when she found him and that
he said something to her in English that she could not understand.

An ambulance arrived a few minutes later, but he had died, she said.
Police said it appeared that he had been beaten and stabbed inside
his apartment and that he had gone outside on his own.

A witness told the online newspaper that an open bottle of wine and
three glasses were found inside Haglund’s apartment, a clue that has
made his death only more confusing for friends at home.

“It must be something really serious,” said Sayompol Samod, a friend
from the Twin Cities, “because in the news article, there was a
[mention of] an open bottle of wine and beating to death. And one
article said it was a contract killing; another said it was a personal
motive. We are here so far away in the dark and not knowing what was
going on. The embassy is not telling us anything.”

Haglund earned an undergraduate degree in political science from the
University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in teaching English
as a second language from the University of Toronto. He taught there
for a time before embarking on his latest assignment.

He moved to Yerevan last year to take a job at the state-run
Linguistics University through an exchange program overseen by the
U.S. State Department. Armenia, which gained independence from the
former Soviet Union in 1991, is a nation of 3.3 million people that
lies just east of Turkey.

Haglund-Blommer said she and her son planned to go camping in the
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness this summer, in what was to be
a continuation of a yearslong custom of mother-son camping trips that
took them to Mexico, Canada, New York and elsewhere.

“A lot of times Josh and I would go camping alone,” she said. “That
was the thing we did for the last 15 years. If every mother could have
the same connection that I have with Josh. … And I’m not singling
him out as anything special or anything. It was good.”

Haglund’s far-flung travels were never without an invitation to his
family to join him, his mother said.

“He was really always trying to get the family to come over,” she
said. “He always wanted to include his family in the places he was.”

Haglund, who enjoyed cooking, once treated his family to a Thanksgiving
meal of dishes he had learned to cook in all of the places he had
been. “The meal he put on was just amazing,” said Haglund-Blommer.

“To think he met such a violent death is just a real hard thing to come
to grips with,” she said. “Maybe we’ll never know what happened there.”

He is survived by his parents, a sister and two brothers. A sister
died in infancy. The family will learn today when the State Department
plans to ship his body home, his mother said.

Services will be held at St. Odilia Church in Shoreview at a time
and date to be determined.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Parliament Vice-Speaker Blasts U.S. For Fresh Criticism

Parliament Vice-Speaker Blasts U.S. For Fresh Criticism
By Ruzanna Khachatrian and Karine Kalantarian 20/05/2004 04:16

Radio Free Europe, Czech Rep
May 20 2004

Deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian slammed the United States on
Wednesday for its latest critical report on human rights practices
in Armenia, saying that Washington should address its own vote
“falsifications” before questioning the legitimacy of Armenian

Torosian, who is a leading member of Prime Minister Andranik
Markarian’s Republican Party (HHK), also indicated that the U.S. has no
moral right to teach Armenia lessons of freedom and democracy after the
scandal over mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by the American military.

“It would be interesting to hear the State Department’s opinion about
George Bush’s [November 2000] election, about falsifications committed
and about reasons why the [U.S.] court hearings remained incomplete,”
Torosian told RFE/RL, reacting to the Armenian section of the State
Department on U.S. efforts to protect human rights around the world.

“It would also be interesting to know the State Department’s opinion
about the recent disgraceful actions in Iraq,” he added.

The report in question, released on Monday, reaffirms strong U.S.
criticism of last year’s disputed presidential election in Armenia.
“President Robert Kocharian was re-elected in a controversial vote
that was marred by numerous serious irregularities; as a result,
the election did not meet international standards,” it says.

The report also says that the Armenian authorities’ human rights
record remains “poor,” pointing in particular to continuing reports
of arbitrary arrests. Its findings were defended on Wednesday by U.S.
Ambassador John Ordway who argued that it is based on a Human Watch
Report on Armenia issued last February.

“I would say that it is a very objective review of the situation in
Armenia and reflects both the positive and the negative aspects that
I think most observers and most Armenians would agree are present in
this country,” Ordway told reporters.

Torosian played down the U.S. criticism. “The opinion of international
organizations’ opinion is always much more important than that of
certain state structures,” he said.

The Armenian government’s official reaction was more cautious. “We
take such reports seriously,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamlet
Gasparian told RFE/RL. “Having said that, we do not always agree with
all conclusions.”

“The problems mentioned [in the report] really exist,” the chairman
of the parliament committee on foreign affairs, Armen Rustamian,
said for his part. “The report should once again remind us that we
are not alone in the world and that we are being closely watched.”

Meanwhile, the Armenian opposition, which refuses to recognize
the outcome of the presidential ballot, welcomed the U.S. report
as vindicating its case for regime change. “The State Department,
which represents the official position of the United States, in
effect states that there is a serious problem with the reelection of
Armenia’s president and thereby casts doubt on Kocharian’s legitimacy,”
said Victor Dallakian, a senior member of the Artarutyun alliance.

Boxing: Abelyans verbal swipe at Harrison

Abelyan’s verbal swipe at Harrison
JIM BLACK May 20 2004

The Herald, UK
May 20 2004

William Abelyan, the WBO featherweight title challenger, loosed off a
verbal salvo at champion Scott Harrison yesterday in a clear attempt
to spice up next month’s bout at Glasgow’s Braehead Arena.

If Abelyan is to be believed, 26-year-old Harrison is constructing a
smokescreen by declaring that he will give his rival a “hammering” in
response to the Armenian’s earlier boast that he will “cook” the
Glaswegian on June 19.

Abelyan, 25, accused Harrison of “talking big and running scared”
before adding: “Harrison has got a big mouth and I am going to shut
it for him. The boxing ring is my house and Harrison is not welcome.
“I’ve read what he’s been saying and he’s talking a lot of garbage.
He’s scared and that’s why he’s talking big. But we will see if he’s
talking just as big when he’s face-to-face with me.”

The pair were originally scheduled to begin hostilities in March, but
Abelyan was forced to call-off after sustaining a hand injury during
his final sparring session at his Las Vegas training camp.

No sooner had the promoters, Sports Network, rescheduled the bout for
May 29 than Harrison damaged a bicep in is left arm while doing
pull-ups in the gym, necessitating a further delay.

Abelyan, though, insists that he has not been inconvenienced. “I’m
ready to fight Harrison right now,” he said. “If my team told me that
we were going to Scotland tomorrow I would jump straight on to the
plane because I have never been more up for a fight than this one.”

Abelyan, who moved with his parents to California from Yerevan at the
age of nine, has pledged to make an emotional homecoming once he is
champion. “I wanted to achieve something special before returning as
a hero,” he said.

Boxing: Abelyan brands Scott a bigmouth

Glasgow Daily Record, UK
May 20 2004


By David Mccarthy

WILLIAM ABELYAN last night vowed to shut Scott Harrison’s mouth after
the Scot insisted he’d hammer his Armenian challenger at Braehead on
June 19.

American-based Abelyan reacted with fury and insists he is ready to fly
to Scotland tomorrow to sort out the WBO world featherweight champion.

That won’t be necessary but come June 19 Abelyan’s anger should ensure
a terrific tear-up.

Speaking from his training camp in Las Vegas, he said: ‘Harrison’s
got a big mouth and I’m going to shut it for him.

‘He’s talking a lot of garbage. He’s scared that’s why he’s talking
big but I’ll be over there for the fight soon and we’ll see if he
talks just as big when he’s face to face with me.’

Abelyan, 25, insists his training has not been disrupted despite two
postponements of the fight following Harrison’s arm injury.

He added: ‘I’m ready to fight now. If my team said to me, ‘William
we’re going to Scotland tomorrow to fight Harrison’, I would be
straight on the plane. I have never been up for a fight more than
this one.

‘It’s the title and the fame I want, not the money. After I win the
title I will return to Armenia a hero.

‘I will be the first world champion boxer ever to come out of the

‘The boxing ring is my house and Harrison is not welcome.’

Tickets purchased for the original date of May 29 will remain valid
for June 19.

Tickets, priced at £30, £50, £75 and £125, are available from Keith
Prowse Ticketing on 0870906 3839, Braehead Arena on 0870 444 6062
and online at

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Shoreview teacher found stabbed to death in Armenia

Shoreview teacher found stabbed to death in Armenia
BY LENORA CHU, Pioneer Press

Pioneer Press, MN
May 20 2004

A 33-year-old Shoreview native was stabbed to death Monday in the
Armenian capital of Yerevan.

Joshua Haglund’s body was found in a downtown area Monday night. He
was stabbed three times and apparently had been beaten, according to
a report by the Associated Press.

“We got a phone call from the U.S. Embassy in Armenia, and they
said he had gotten killed outside his apartment,” said Dan Blommer,
Haglund’s stepfather. “They said it did not appear to be a robbery.”

Haglund was several weeks away from completing a 10-month
English-teaching contract at a Yerevan university under the U.S.
State Department’s English Language Fellow program.

His sister Barbara MacKenzie, who kept in constant communication
with him via e-mail, said she wasn’t aware of any trouble he was in
or any enemies he had.

U.S. authorities were still waiting for details about the killing,
according to Stuart Patt, a spokesman with the State Department’s
Bureau of Consular Affairs.

“We’re doing everything we can to assist (the family) and make
arrangements,” Patt said.

Haglund graduated from Mounds View High School, earned a bachelor’s
in political science and English from the University of Minnesota and
later received a master’s in education from the University of Toronto.

Fluent in Japanese, Spanish and Hindi, he had taught elementary school
in Minneapolis and also spent a number of years teaching English in
Japan and Puerto Rico and working in India.

“He just felt he needed to make the world a better place by helping
people learn English,” MacKenzie said.

Haglund had two nieces and a new nephew and was “very family-focused
even though he was abroad for a good part of his adult life,”
MacKenzie said. “He made intentional purposeful visits back home to
see his family in Minnesota. It’s just a great loss for our family.”

Haglund last visited Minnesota in March. In June, he was scheduled
to return for a month before starting a new teaching assignment in
Saudi Arabia.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Minnesota teacher killed in Armenian capital

Minnesota teacher killed in Armenian capital

Associated Press
May 20 2004

YEREVAN, Armenia – A Minnesota man who traveled the world to teach
English in India, Tibet and other nations was found stabbed to death
outside his apartment here, his family said.

Armenian police said the body of Joshua Haglund, 33, was found in
downtown Yerevan, the Armenian capital, on Monday night with signs
of beating and three stab wounds. The U.S. Embassy identified Haglund
but didn’t say where he was from.

Dan Blommer, Haglund’s stepfather, confirmed that Haglund was from
Shoreview and had been teaching at Yerevan’s Linguistics University
under the aegis of the U.S. Department of State’s English Language
Fellow program.

“We got a phone call from the U.S. Embassy in Armenia, and they said
he had gotten killed outside his apartment,” Blommer said. “They said
it did not appear to be a robbery.”

An official with the Armenian Prosecutor General’s office, who asked
not be named, said the killing had “personal motives” and voiced hope
that perpetrators could be quickly found.

Haglund last visited Minnesota in March, his family said. He was
planning to leave Armenia in a few days for a trip through Iran before
returning to Minnesota for the summer.

An experienced traveler, Haglund had lived for extended periods in
Japan, India and Puerto Rico. Last Friday, he told his mother, Maxine
Haglund-Blommer, that a recent interview had led to a job offer in
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He told her it would be his last
overseas assignment.

“He said, ‘This is my last trip, Mom. I want to live close to you
guys.’ That was his plan,” she said.

Haglund graduated from Mounds View High School, the University of
Minnesota and the University of Toronto.

Armenia, which gained independence from the former Soviet Union in
1991, lies just east of Turkey.