Monday, 29 August 2016
Posted by Seta at 05:53
Thank you, Seta. Please go ahead so long as Asbarez and Peter are properly mentioned. I appreciate it.
Lucine Kasbarian/ Լուսին Գասպարեան
On 26 Aug 2016, at 19:10, Lucine Kasbarian <email@example.com> wrote:
Book Review: Perspectives from Exile by Lucine KasbarianBY PETER MUSURLIANIt is hard to imagine a comfortable mix of cartoons and genocide, but artist and author Lucine Kasbarian has done just that in her new book.Perspectives from Exile is a hundred pages you can breeze through in a day of focused reading, but it will leave you thinking for weeks to come.The book showcases the exceptional political cartoons of the author. The artwork is good and serves its purpose. But, much more important is the long-time activist’s point-of-view, enhanced by keen observational skills and a lifetime of experience reading, writing, thinking about, and participating-in Armenian issues. Not many Armenian-Americans could do what Kasbarian has done. In fact, one might suggest no other Armenian-American could combine such concise and profound opinions, in this genre, on such topics as: Hrant Dink, the Armenian Genocide, Turkish hypocrisy, corruption in Armenia, and assimilation in the diaspora.Each cartoon leaves the reader thinking. Perhaps Kasbarian’s pointed perspectives leave some of them righteously indignant and others amused, but always intellectually stimulated.The political cartoons were part of a 2015 Massachusetts exhibition commemorating the Armenian Genocide Centenary at the Cambridge School of Weston. Conceptualized and edited by Todd Bartel, director of the Thompson Gallery at the Cambridge School, the book also contains pictures from the exhibit, an insightful interview with Bartel and the author, and a gripping account (and update) of a trip she took to Der Zor in 2010, which she calls, “A Pilgrimage to the Killing Fields of the Armenian Genocide.”Perspectives from Exile should be in every Armenian-American school library and taught in social studies classes in each one of those schools.What Kasbarian has done is unique and a major contribution to understanding the relationship between Armenians, Turks, and America, in the context of the Armenian Genocide over the past 100 years of denial, propaganda, and moral failure.Perspectives from Exile is available through the author’s website at lucinekasbarian.com
Posted by Seta at 05:14
Sunday, 28 August 2016
Araxie, a subscriber to Armenian News, has pointed out that
Armenian neighborhoods of Aleppo come under rocket attack,
26 Aug 2016
The Armenian neighborhoods of Aleppo came under rocket attack of the opposition militants on Wednesday, Arevelk reports, quoting its sources in Aleppo.
According to the source, the rockets fell in the area adjunct to the Armenian Evangelical Church in Aleppo. Head of the Armenian Evangelical community of Aleppo, Rev. Harutyun Selimyan confirmed no fatalities were reported.
He said there were children taking exams at the school at the moment of the attack. “They were lucky to survive,” Rev. Harutyun Selimyan said. He added, however, that the attack had caused serious material damages.
Other districts of Aleppo were also targeted by militants. Six were killed, dozens were wounded.
The family of Mikhail Gutseriev, Founder of BIN Group, tops, with a net worth of $9.8 billion, the 2016 ranking of the richest families of Russia, whichForbes business magazine has publicized.
Russian Armenian Sarkisov brothers are ranked sixth in this list.
They own more than 60 percent of the shares of Insurance Company Reso-Garantia.
The brothers’ real estate abroad accounts for the bulk of their wealth.
The Sarkisov’s net worth is estimated at $1.4 billion.
Money from sale of MFA former building to be used for repairing
that also housed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Armenia,
will be allocated for the repair of streets in capital city Yerevan.
The respective decision was approved at Thursday’s Cabinet session.
This amount, which totals approximately US$4,886,000, will be used for
filling up the cracks on and the current repair of Yerevan streets,
and maintenance of the external lighting network of the city.
In its stead, however, the Armenian state budget will allocate the
same amount to the reserve fund.
The building was sold to Tango construction company, whose proprietor
is Argentinean Armenian billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian.
Aside from purchasing this building, the company also built a new
government building complex, at its expense in downtown Yerevan, for
the MFA and four other ministries of Armenia.
Recent years have seen a steady decrease in the number
Specifically, 40,715 teachers worked in Armenia’s government-run schools in 2011-2012, 39,566 in 2012-2013, 38,483 in 2013-2014, 37,560 in 2014-2015. That is, annual staff reduction involved about 1,000 teachers. In 2015-2016, 35,975 teachers worked in Armenia’s government-run schools.
Armenian families are still living in containers dating to a 1988 quake
August 25, 2016
By Dan Carsen
Back when Armenia was still a Soviet republic, it suffered an earthquake so devastating the USSR actually asked the United States for help.
It was in December 1988. Tens of thousands died and some half a million were left homeless. After local authorities realized how overmatched they were, shipping containers full of relief supplies flooded in.
So, picture desperate families, a harsh Armenian winter, and shipping containers everywhere. An immediate solution presented itself: People moved into the containers. They were better than freezing to death, but not much better. They lacked heating, cooling, plumbing, windows and wiring. Desperate people burned toxic quake debris and trash to cook and keep warm.
The situation was supposed to be temporary. For all its faults, the Soviet Union did provide housing for many. But soon the USSR went the way of so many of its crumbled Armenian buildings. Regional conflicts flared up and new nations struggled to adapt to a completely different economic system. Some of the struggles continue, and today, there are still families living in those same shipping containers.
Armenians call them domiks , Russian for “little houses.” In the hard-hit city of Gyumri alone, roughly 10,000 people — men, women, children, generations — still live in them. The domiks were barely habitable to begin with. Though some have improvised insulation and jerry-rigged wiring, they’re generally worse than they were before. After almost 30 years, they’ve rotted and they’re increasingly unstable. Life in the domiks today
Only tremendous effort and ingenuity keep the domiks from being fatally cold in winter and ovens in summer.
As I learned through interpreters, many of the domik families share a similar story: High unemployment drove a breadwinner to work abroad, often in Russia, but for reasons X, Y or Z, the money stopped coming.
Domik resident Melina grew up in and out of orphanages. She and the other residents only wanted their first names used in the story. Melina says she and her two children face a choice between having money for necessities and having their husband and father around. Artyom, a laborer who grew up in a domik, had been working in Russia but came back to his family when that opportunity dried up. Now he can’t find work, and they’re in debt. Melina says they just want their daughters to grow up healthy and have a chance at a comfortable life.
But between the various environmental factors and other symptoms of poverty, “domik kids” are sometimes stunted, often sick, and even more often ostracized at school.
And yet when I visited a cluster of domiks behind a gas station in Gyumri this summer, the families living there welcomed me into their homes.
One reason is that I’m traveling with Vahan Tumasyan. Through the Gyumri-based Shirak Centre aid group, he and others have been bringing domik residents firewood and food and have helped register them with authorities, so they’re officially “people” (with addresses).
There’s no real pattern to where the domiks are, except that they’re generally in undesirable spots, sometimes on land contaminated by defunct Soviet industrial plants. There are single, isolated domiks and there are larger clusters. Regardless, their inhabitants are basically squatters.
All this points to another reason — besides the generally welcoming culture — why we were invited in: When Tumasyan brings outsiders through, the domik families know they might get a new apartment.
“Twenty-eight years later the shipping containers have rotted, and they’re just awful, awful living conditions, especially for the children,” says Peter Abajian, director of the Paros Foundation , a small nonprofit working with the Shirak Centre to get the families into better housing. (Full disclosure: Abajian is married to my wife’s cousin.)
“Their parents have lived in them first and grown up in them,” he says. “And now these children are living in them. These kids have sort of lost track of what a normal life should be.”
The nonprofit partnership provides the money and paperwork needed to get families who sign agreements and meet other criteria into decent apartments. The groups also tear down vacant domiks, providing work, distributing salvageable materials and firewood, and improving the neighborhoods.
But even as Abajian hustles to raise funds from the Armenian diaspora, the numbers are daunting: It costs roughly $20,000 to move a family from a domik to an apartment. Do the math, and that’s a $50 million problem in Gyumri alone, far more than the nonprofits take in.
So the Paros Foundation is trying something else, too, with an eye toward the long term. 'Looking forward'
“The domik kids don’t need arts and crafts,” Abajian says. “They need a meal so they can think, so they’re not starving, so they can do some homework.”
They need other things too, which is why the Paros Foundation created Debi Arach — “moving forward” in Armenian, a year-old youth center in Gyumri meant to improve domik kids’ prospects through a holistic approach. It serves a total of 140 kids aged 6 to 17 in two groups that each come three times a week.
Housed in a rental building that used to be a restaurant and hotel, Debi Arach has computers, classes to reinforce school lessons, and vocational training. As Armenia modernizes, demand for IT experts is outpacing supply. Much of the training at Debi Arach is geared toward computer careers. “The promise is it will get you to a level where you’ll take care of your family, you’ll be able to rent a home and live a normal life here in Gyumri,” Abajian says.
In addition to its eight teachers, the center has a nurse, a psychologist, and maybe most importantly, places where kids can safely bathe and eat healthy food.
When the center started serving meals last year, Abajian says, students didn’t touch the salad. “It turns out they didn’t know what it was. They know bread. They also didn’t know how to sit at a table and eat together, so the teachers sat with them and created this family atmosphere they don’t have in the domiks. And most of them didn’t know how to use the bathrooms because a lot of their schools don’t have bathrooms either.”
Another thing domik kids lack is private space.
“So we’ve made sure that each kid has a locker here,” Abajian says. “They can store clean shoes to wear when they come. We’ve provided summer shoes and winter boots to make getting here easier.”
At the end of a long day of renovations on the building and coordinating a visit from an American student service group, I ask Abajian why he does this.
“It’s the kids, absolutely. We have to try to save them.”
(another example of the propaganda war with one-sided
again originating from an Israeli source)
Aug 24 2016
An ‘unfrozen’ conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh
Without clarity by the West, another war in the Caucasus is
Recently, one of Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy functionaries made
another outrageous statement on the status of the Azerbaijani region
of Nagorno-Karabakh. Evgeniy Satanovsky, the head of Russian Institute
of the Near East, visited the separatist region (in contravention of
international law) in mid-June and declared: “As I understand it, the
issue that Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan, in terms of military logic
and from the standpoint of practical politics is completely closed.”
In an interview to the Azerbaijani news site Haqqin.az., he followed
up with “Azerbaijan can grind any number of [its] people; it can use
for this purpose any amount of time and money, but it makes very
little sense, frankly. Unless, of course, [the Azerbaijani leadership]
does wish that the war spilled directly onto the territory of
This is an important view of those close to the Kremlin and expresses
Russia’s persistent disregard for international law. It is galling in
the context of Russia’s membership in the Organization for Security
and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, the group tasked with
resolving the now not-so frozen conflict, and given Russia’s repeated
assaults on the territorial integrity of its neighbors. This should
raise international concern and calls for a diplomatic response from
Washington and the other members of the Minsk Group. Given this caused
a major destabilization in the South Caucasus, critical for Western
Europe’s energy security, it is imperative to put Moscow on notice
that the West is aware that the hostilities unleashed by Armenia could
not have transpired without at least their tacit approval.
Compounding this, a serious escalation of the military conflict over
Karabakh in April prompted Armenian nationalists to raise the specter
of recognition in an attempt to unilaterally change its international
status. Armenian deputies initiated a bill to recognize independence,
and the country’s president indicated he recognizes the independence
In the aftermath of hostilities, Yerevan set the stage for recognition
of Karabakh as a possible scenario as a deterrent to further
Azerbaijani military successes, but later seemingly in retreat and
under international pressure, emphasized the negotiation process, and
Armenia’s “hope for a peaceful settlement.” Meanwhile, Baku responded
that recognition of the separatist regime would cause a new war. On
May 3, a spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry stated:
“Recognition of the Armenian illegal regime established in the
occupied territories of Azerbaijan, will mean the end of the official
Yerevan negotiation process within the OSCE Minsk Group. In this case,
Armenia will no longer retain a mandate to negotiate within the
framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. It will be a challenge to the
Azerbaijan will no longer hold any negotiations with Armenia over
Karabakh if it dares to provide official recognition of its
independence in defiance of the international community. In addition,
Turkey’s government unequivocally supported Baku’s position.
Let us look at the hard facts and clarify the status of
Nagorno-Karabakh as an illegally occupied territory by the
Armenia-backed military forces. This territory has only been
recognized by other illegitimate states that exist under Russia’s
security umbrella, namely Abkhazia, South Ossetia and the
Transnistria. This is a clear demonstration of Moscow’s involvement
stirring trouble in this sensitive region.
The U.N. Security Council, U.N. General Assembly, the Council of
Europe and other international organizations do not recognize the
self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. All these international
bodies have repeatedly expressed support for the territorial integrity
of Azerbaijan. This position is enshrined in the relevant resolutions
of the United Nations: Resolution 822 (April 30, 1993), Resolution 853
(July 29, 1993), Resolution 874 (Oct. 14, 1993), Resolution 884 (Nov.
12, 1993), U.N. Security Council Resolutions on Nagorno-Karabakh;
Statement of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (OSCE, 17.03.2008);
General Assembly adopts resolution reaffirming territorial integrity
of Azerbaijan, demanding withdrawal of all Armenian forces (U.N.,
14.03.2008). In addition, the U.N., NATO, EU, Council of Europe,
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Organization of
Islamic Cooperation, and Organization for Democracy and Economic
Development do not consider elections held there to be legitimate as
Nagorno-Karabakh is illegitimately held territory.
In March 2008, the member states of the U.N. with 39 votes “pro” and
seven “con” and 100 abstentions, adopted a resolution recognizing the
existence of the Azerbaijani “occupied territories.” The U.N.
resolution demands “an immediate, complete and unconditional
withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all occupied territories of
Azerbaijan.” Russia, the United States and France voted against the
resolution. These three countries serve as co-chairmen of the OSCE
If the members of the trans-Atlantic community (the United States and
France) continue their “muddle through” approach toward this
“unfrozen” conflict, another war in the Caucasus is inevitable.
• Alexander Murinson is a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center and
Bar Ilan University.
Posted by Seta at 06:53
ARMENIAN NEWS...(A TOPALIAN) Here is something we should be proud of-Thanks to H for sending it to A Topalian
As the 2016 Summer Olympic Games have come to an end I’ve decided to look back at some of the highlights involving Armenian athletes. The list might be incomplete so any additions are welcome in the comment section!
We are of course extremely proud of all of our athletes who have made it into the Olympics those representing Armenia and even our compatriots in the diaspora. Participating in the Olympics is a great honor for every athlete and my congratulations go out to all of them, both winners and other contestants.
Armenia won a total of 4 medals, 1 Gold and 3 Silver, but several Armenian athletes have also won medals participating for other countries. Let us revisit some of the highlights from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Simon Martirosyan – SILVER
Simon Martirosyan (only 19 years old) became Armenia’s first medal winner at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after winning a silver in men’s 105 kg weightlifting on Aug. 15. Martirosyan lifted a total of 417 kg, and placed second only to Russian Nurudinov of Uzbekistan, who set an Olympic record with a total weight of 431 kg.
Migran Arutyunyan – (controversial) SILVER
In order to advance to the finals Migran beats Rasul Chunayev of Azerbaijan with 4-1. In the finals Migran Arutyunyan takes silver after suffering a controversial loss against the Serbian opponent Davor Štefanek. Migran was winning by a score of 1-0 with a little over a minute left in the bout when the referee offered a passivity on him, his second, making the score 1-1 with criteria in favor of the Serbian.
Typically, the wrestler who is more offensive and taking ground will get at least 1 opportunity from top. Arutyunyan was more aggressive for the entirety of the bout but was given no opportunity from top. The more passive Stefanik was given an inexplicable two chances from top, giving him the 1-1 advantage late with less than a minute to go. Arutyunyan, knowing that time was an issue, promptly stood up from the down position to face his opponent and continue wrestling. With a full minute left to wrestle Arutyunyan pressured forward gaining mat space and yet the officials stayed dormant. Time expired, Arutyunyan was left with a silver medal thus the Serbian athlete got the win on criteria because he was the last one to have “scored” (in this case granted) a point.
As the referees granted the Serbian the win, even though the only legitimate point was scored by Migran, the crowds started to boo and tv commentators and experts equally noted that Migran was unfairly robbed of his gold medal.The Ukrainian and the Armenian wrestling federations have already announced to contest this false decision. An online petition titled: “Mihran Harutyunyan – the victim of injustice” has already gathered over 35.000 signatures.Despite the obvious unfair judgement I think it’s important to remain positive and celebrate this great achievement and congratulate our fellow countrymen for placing our flag on the Olympic podium! Congratulations Migran to us and everyone else who has seen the fight you won GOLD!Artur Aleksanyan – GOLDArtur Aleksanyan took gold in the 98 kg (216 lbs) Greco-Roman competition, defeating Yasmany Lugo of Cuba 3-0 in the gold medal match. Aleksanyan spectacularly defeated Turkey’s Cenk Ildem in the semi finals (by 9 – 0) to advance into finals.Gor Minasyan – SILVERGor Minasyan, just 21 years old, became an Olympic silver medalist in the +105kg division by lifting a total weight of 451 kg! He gave a great performance at the Rio Olympics. Minasyan had previously won a silver medal at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics.
Houry Gebeshian – MADE HISTORY TWICE
Armenian-American gymnast Houry Gebeshian made history on Aug. 7, by becoming the first female gymnast to represent the Republic of Armenia in Olympic competition. Gebeshian competed at the 2016 Olympic Games on the bars, beam, floor, and vault, wearing her all-white leotard featuring a sequin Mount Ararat. She made history the second time when she invented a stunning new move that has since been called after her name. A routine that included a 360 degree turn to get from the low bar to the high bar—in what’s now called “The Gebeshian.”Yana Egorian – GOLD (Russia)Yana Egorian born in Yerevan, was the first ethnic Armenian to win gold in Rio. Yana won the second gold medal for Russia at Rio 2016 with a victory over Sofiya Velikaya in the women’s sabre final. The 22-year-old had to come from behind to claim a 15-14 win over Velikaya, 31, the silver medalist from London 2012.
Seda Tutkhalyan – SILVER (Russia)
17 Year old ethnic Armenian artistic gymnast Seda Tutkhalyan (competing for Russia) won a Silver medal in Rio performing with the song “Artsakh”, composed by Ara Gevorkian, and typical Armenian dance moves. As part of Team Russia, she placed 2nd in the women’s artistic team all-around competition and won a silver medal.
Artem Harutyunyan – BRONZE (Germany)
Artem Harutyunyan, boxer from Germany earned a bronze medal in the 64kg division at the Rio Olympics.
Misha Aloyan – SILVER (Russia)
Misha Aloyan born in Bambakashat, Armenia, earned a silver medal in the 52kg weight class competition, competing for Russia. In the final match he lost to Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov. Bronze went to Joel Finol of Venezuela and China’s Hu Jianguan.
Adam Krikorian – Coach GOLD (USA)
Adam Krikorian is the coach of the Olympic gold medal winning US water polo team.
Adam Krikorian coached the USA team to the most impressive and devastating Olympic water polo tournament run in history. The American women outscored their opponents 73 goals to 32 goals over six games.
Saturday’s seven-goal victory margin was the largest in Olympic championship match history.
It was especially an emotional victory for Adam because 2 days before the Olympic Games began, Krikorian received tragic news by phone. His 48-year-old brother, Blake, the high-tech entrepreneur and co-founder of Slingbox, had died in the Bay Area of a heart attack while surfing.
The victory including the tragedy has received quite some media attention, with headlines such as these:tragedy has received quite some media attention, with headlines such as these:
And many more.
- Adam Krikorian leads way for U.S. water polo team after tragedy
- Purdy: Golden moment for Adam Krikorian and USA women’s water polo
- US women’s water polo team pay tribute to their coach by dragging him into the pool and then draping him in their medals after his brother died two days before opening ceremony
The Mercury news describes the celebration as follows:“One by one, after the anthem and podium ceremony, the USA water polo women took their gold medals off their own necks.The USA Today describes him as:
One by one, they lined up and put all 15 medals over the neck of Adam Krikorian.
Coaches do not receive Olympic medals. Only athletes do. But these athletes wanted their coach to wear and own their medals here Friday afternoon, to know what it felt like, even just for a few minutes.
“We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs,” said Kiley Neushul, the Stanford alum who scored three goals in the USA’s 12-5 victory over Italy. “To put those medals around his neck just felt like giving back what he’s given us.”“Krikorian, one of the most celebrated water polo coaches in U.S. history, has always had a close and special bond with his players. And with everything they had put into defending their title four years later, he convinced himself this moment was about serving them, not him.”
Posted by Seta at 06:22
Friday, 26 August 2016
(this is the article I should have posted last time. Apologies)
Armenia Finishes With Four Medals at Rio 2016 Olympics
August 21, 2016
A record number 33 athletes represented Team Armenia at the
Armenian-American gymnast Houry Gebeshian made history on
Armenian-American gymnast Houry Gebeshian made history on
Simon Martirosyan (b. 1997) became Armenia’s first medal winner
Armenia’s Migran Arutyunyan (b. 1989) won Armenia’s second silver
Later in the same day, Artur Aleksanyan—the flag bearer at the
During his medal ceremony, Aleksanyan wore a shirt with an image
Gor Minasyan also won Armenia’s third silver medal at the 2016
Armenia’s Tigran Martirosyan to get the silver medal of
24 Aug 2016
The International Weightlifting Federation has declared that as a
Gold medal winner in the 85kg weight category Andrey Rybakov
Martirosyan had lifted a combined 380 kg (177+203).
Aug 22 2016
Who wanted to blow up the Russian-Armenian gas pipeline and why
The Georgian special services have reported about the prevention of a
terrorist act, which could have led to far-reaching consequences for
the entire South Caucasus. The Department of the State Security
Service counterintelligence of the Georgian Interior Ministry has
arrested five people on charges of preparing an explosion at the
strategic gas pipeline from Russia to Armenia, through which a small
amount of natural gas is also supplied to Georgia.
According to the Georgian Interior Ministry, Beka Bekauri, Mindia
Vashakmadze, Jaba Melkadze and Nukri Chkadua were detained as they
withdrew several items of TNT, Kalashnikovs, fuses and other devices
necessary for the implementation of sabotage from a cache near the
village of Saguramo. According to the special services, the suspects
were planning to lay four capsules with TNT under the
Russian-Georgian-Armenian gas pipeline at a point where it crosses
this area not under the ground, but in open terrain.
During the preliminary interrogation one of the detainees, Koba
Bekauri, fully admitted his guilt. A police officer, Levan Mamporiya,
has also been arrested in connection with the case, but unlike the
five others, who were captured in the immediate vicinity of the
pipeline, the police officer has not been charged with terrorism, but
in abetting. A seventh member of the group, Irakli Bagishvili, has
been accused of ‘failing to report a criminal intent.’ As a
preventative measure the Tbilisi City Court has opted for two months
imprisonment for all the detainees.
All seven alleged terrorists were members of the organization
‘Caucasian House’, which advocates for the Caucasus to leave Russia's
sphere of influence. They were actively communicating via Facebook
with fighters of the ‘Georgian Legion’ , participating in the war
against the Donetsk People's Republic in Ukraine, and sent the
mercenaries uniforms bought at Tbilisi markets.
Judging by their statements on social networks, the members of
‘Caucasian House’ thought that blowing up the strategic gas pipeline
would be one of the methods of ‘expelling Russia from the Caucasus’.
Georgian counterintelligence had been following them since the
beginning of the year, but did not take any actions until they got the
opportunity to catch the attackers red-handed as moved to the
immediate implementation of the long-planned violent action that could
have led to the discrediting of the Georgian authorities, and even to
a diplomatic conflict between Georgia and Armenia.
The basic version of the investigation was the connection of the
suspects with a group of former Georgian soldiers operating in
Donbass. The prosecutor leading the investigation told reporters that
the cache from which the criminals took the explosives and other
weapons was ‘an official, albeit a secret vault’ of the Ministry of
Defense, and the members of the group could have learned about its
location only from former employees of the Georgian Defense Ministry.
Aug 23 2016
Armenian Court Sentences Russian Soldier to Life in Prison
GYUMR– An Armenian court on Tuesday found Russian soldier Valery Permyakov guilty of murder and sentenced him to life in prison for the gruesome massacre of an entire Armenian family in January 2015.
A Gyumri district court found Permyakov guilty of all charges brought against him, including the murder of seven members of the Avetisyan family, breaking and entering, robbery and attempting to cross the nearby closed border with Turkey illegally.
On January 12, 2015, Permyakov repeatedly shot and stabbed seven members of the Avetisyan in their house in Gyumri, including a 2-year-old girl and six-month-old boy.
The boy was seriously wounded in the attack and died of his injuries a week later.
Permyakov, who was based at the large 102 nd Russian military garrison just outside Gyumri, immediately abandoned his post without leave and attempted to cross the closed border with Turkey after leaving his uniform and an automatic pistol at the crime scene.
Russian border guards later detained Permyakov in a village located on the Armenian-Turkish border and immediately handed him over to Moscow’s military officials in Gyumri.
While in custody, Permyakov confessed to the crime and said he’d forced his way into the Avetisyan’s home because he was thirsty.
A Russian military court found him guilty in August 2015 of desertion, theft and illegally carrying weapons in a civilian zone. The tribunal sentenced him to 10 years in a military prison but initially refused to hand him over to Armenian authorities to be tried for murder.
The court’s decision and the heavy-handed approach of Russian authorities and their refusal to turn Permyakov over to Armenian prosecutors sparked mass protests in Gyumri and the Armenian capital Yerevan, with thousands of protestors coming out against Moscow's military presence and deep-rooted political and economic influence in Armenia.
The multiple-homicide led to mass protests in Gyumri and the Armenian capital Yerevan against Russia's military presence in Armenia.
Russian authorities eventually turned Permyakov over to Armenian authorities to be tried for murder under Armenian law.
Their decision came after demonstrators demanded that Permyakov be tried for murder in an open Armenian court instead of by a Russian military tribunal’s closed court proceedings that guarantee immunity for the defendant from local prosecution.
Frayed Relations in Armenia's Hinterland
Located on a harsh, windswept plateau 120 kilometers north-west of the capital Yerevan, Gyumri is Armenia’s second largest city.
It has served as a Russian garrison town since the tsarist period. Known until 1992 as Leninakan, 60 per cent of the city was severely damaged by the December 1988 Spitak earthquake that killed up to 50,000 people.
The historic city of 125,000 people has suffered from high unemployment and widespread poverty since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and continues to harbor several thousand IDPs displaced by the earthquake more than a quarter century ago.
Russia’s military presence in the city is regarded as controversial. While Armenia is Moscow’s staunchest ally in the South Caucasus, opposition groups in Yerevan argue that the presence of a Russian base in Armenia serves an obstacle to Western investment and much-needed reforms in the country.
Armenian critics also charge that the presence of the base ties the country’s sovereignty and security too closely to the will of the Russian government and causes growing resentment among the local population as Russian military personnel repeatedly flaunt local laws and often terrorize the city’s residents.
The murder of the Avetisyan was only the latest deadly incident involving Russian servicemen in Gyumri.
In 1999, two drunken Russian soldiers armed with AK-74 automatic rifles went into the city and killed two men and injured 14 others.
The two suspects, Denis Popov and Alexander Kamenev, were originally tried in Armenia and sentenced to 15 years in prison. However, they were later handed over to Russian authorities after 24 months, repatriated and set free once they returned to Russia.
Public opinion in Armenia remains divided over whether to continue to allow Moscow to station thousands of troops along the country’s highly sensitive border with archrival Turkey.
A June 2015 poll in Armenia found that 55 per cent of respondents believes the presence of another state’s military bases in Armenia acceptable as a means of protection against Turkey and its close ally Azerbaijan.
Stone that conquers time
Armenian tuff as key national building material
August 24, 2016
In the soviet era, Armenian tuff was used not only in the territory of the USSR but abroad as well, for example during the construction of the United Nations headquarters in New York in 1951. To build the complex, architects, designers and engineers from the Soviet Union, United States, Brazil, France, Canada, Sweden, Australia and China, as well as consultants from Greece Poland and Yugoslavia were invited.
Tuff (from the Italian tufo) is a type of rock made of volcanic ash ejected from a vent during a volcanic eruption. Following ejection and deposition, the ash is compacted into a solid rock in a process called consolidation. Tuff is sometimes called tufa, particularly when used as construction material, although tufa also refers to a quite different rock. Rock that contains greater than 50% tuff is considered tuffaceous.
Armenian tuff belongs to a group of rocks that emerged from volcanic ash billions of years ago, its main feature being porosity. Tuff is a relatively soft rock, so it has been used for construction since ancient times.
Perceived as a symbol of eternity, houses built with tuff embodied durability, security, wealth and beauty.
Tuff has over 40 colors, varying from black to white. However, the pink tuff is mostly used for construction in Armenia. The monuments and buildings that stood through centuries despite significant temperature fluctuations prove its endurance.
The Mirror, UK
August 22, 2016 Monday
Henrikh Mkhitaryan visits Blackpool as Manchester United
By Liam Corless
The Armenian started three pre-season games but was a sub against
Leicester in the Community Shield and in United's opening two Premier
his Manchester United players the whole weekend off following their
win over Southampton.
The Armenian didn't let the wet weather in the seaside town dampen his
spirits and was snapped smiling while getting into his car after an
evening meal at the Beach House Bistro Bar.
Revellers looked on in shock as the £26million attacking midfielder drove away.
Mkhitaryan became United's third major signing of the summer in July
but, despite impressing in pre-season, he is yet to start a
competitive game for his new club.
He's come off the bench in all three of United's fixtures so far this
season - against Leicester in the Community Shield and against
Bournemouth and Southampton in the Premier League.
Prior to Friday's win over Saints, Mourinho explained why he
overlooked Mkhitaryan in United's first two games of the campaign.
"I went to the [Community Shield] against Leicester and I was reading
the game and I thought we needed the speed of Jesse Lingard," Mourinho
"And I decided to play Rooney both games in that position close to
Zlatan and I didn't start with Mikhy.
"Some managers when they buy players, when it is their decision to buy
players, the first thing they think is to protect themselves and to
protect their choices.
"The players they buy have to play all the time. I am not like this.
Before me comes the team, and what I think is the best for the team.
"In those two matches, Mata and Lingard were the best options for the
team, adapted to the reality of the Premier League so I made that
"But Mkhitaryan is a super football player and he will be given a lot
of opportunities this season."
(there follows a particularly nasty piece of Turkish propaganda
After Israel, the new goal is Armenia
By ADNAN OKTAR
It should not be forgotten that love is more powerful and profound than the insidious schemes of the shadow groups.
Having fallen out with its friends for a while due to the ongoing problems with its neighbors, the Turkish nation has finally found happiness with the latest developments. Through our considerable efforts, requests and encouragements, the Israel-Turkey and Turkey-Russia relations that we have long wished to be restored finally have been. In the same vein, the statement, “We will take new reconciliatory steps in our relations with Egypt and Syria, as well,” made by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim last week, was very promising. It was the sign of an anticipated and long-awaited period.
What about our Armenian brothers and sisters? In the wake of all this progress, will there not be an attempt to build bridges with the Armenians that are our friends and citizens? There will surely be. Unity is the destiny that certainly awaits these two peoples.
The First World War, during which the world went through an astonishing frenzy and total eclipse of reason, led to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, altered the borders of many countries, and turned into a shameless arena for not only massacres, but also foul propaganda. Forced to wage war in a vast geography extending from Africa to the Middle East, from Anatolia to the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire also waged a horrible war in its own territory against its own fellow citizens, the Armenians.
The Armenian-Turkish war, which was fought within the Ottoman borders, was one of the biggest disgraces in history, during which the both sides made grave mistakes. Both sides were led by an erroneous ideology through the materialistic and racist incitements of a certain insidious groups. The atrocious war pitted two sister nations against each other, and both sides sustained terrible loses.
All of those who died in that war were Ottomans. Armenians and the Turks, who were the citizens of the same country, were forced to fight each other. Many years later, the mass graves that belong to the same period were opened and these graves were found to hold the bodies of both the Turks and the Armenians. This is horrific, gruesome and tragic, because this was a foul war in which dark groups acted in their self-interest. Every time the details of a war are uncovered and scrutinized, we always come upon horrific scenes that reflect the atrociousness of it. Thus, countries refrain from keeping the account of the past and bringing the perpetrators of wars to book.
Otherwise, NATO would not exist now, nor would the European Union that reunited the England and Germany. The Japanese could not live in the US, or the Algerians in France, or the Jews in Germany.
During the First World War, the English exploited the Armenian issue as a major propaganda campaign against the Ottomans.
The English Foreign and Commonwealth Office establishing “the War Propaganda Agency” in the Wellington House building in Buckingham Gate, London, in 1914, in the first sign that the course of the war would be shaped by propaganda activities.
From that date forward, this office has come to be known as the Wellington House.
The main goal of the propaganda activities carried out by the Wellington House was to distribute provocative publications to the detriment of Germany and the Ottoman Empire. In order to win over the US, which was leaning towards the Turks, to their side, the English deep state of the era launched a defamation policy aimed at the Ottoman Empire.
To that end, the Wellington House had certain well-known writers and politicians, the English historian Arnold J. Toynbee in particular, publish many books, articles and brochures. The most famous among them was The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916, known as the Blue Book. This book introduced the Turks in such a fallacious and hateful manner that, even though the information offered in the book was refuted with scientific evidence, the information still wasn’t excluded. In the wake of the war, Toynbee visited Turkey as a journalist to investigate, and he could not hide his bewilderment when he realized that nothing was the way he had been informed, and that the Turks had sustained heavy losses as well. He accepted that the Blue Book was written for propaganda purposes, and this time wrote a book that introduced the Turkish people in a positive light. However to this day, the Blue Book is yet to lose its validity.
In the following years, the English government issued an apology to Germany acknowledging the fact that the propaganda produced by the Wellington House was based on aspersions; yet, despite the appeals lodged by Turkey at the government level, Turkey never received a similar apology.
Hovhannes Kajaznuni, whose name was frequently mentioned among the aspersions cast in the Blue Book and who became the next leader of the Armenian Dashnak Party and the first president of Armenia, stated in his speech at the Dashnak Party congress in 1923 that, at that time, some Armenian groups revolted under the influence of Russia, that both sides sustained losses, that Dashnaks established a dictatorship and that the Armenian terrorism was initiated with an aim to win over the Western public. He indicated that Turkey was acting in self-defense against all these activities.
According to him, there was none other to blame then the Dashnak government.
Not only the propaganda against Turks, but actually the Armenian-Turkish conflict as well was a provocation of the English deep state. Both sides fell for this provocation, and making a grave mistake, two sister nations fought against each other. This is a horrible picture. A brutal, gruesome war was waged; but this was not genocide.
Armenians had always been one of the most prized parts of the Ottoman Empire.
In Turkish history, they had always been on the forefront of politics, arts and science. A substantial number of the Ottoman pashas were Armenian. During the prime ministry of Ali Pasha, the Ministry of Public Works was Armenian. Ohannes Gümüşyan was another Armenian who ran the Ministry of Public Works in the Ottoman Empire.
There were also other Armenians who ran the ministries of commerce, forestry and mines. The Ottoman Parliament of 1876 included 46 non-Muslim parliament members, nine of whom were Armenians. In the parliament established following the declaration of the constitution, there were 11; and in the parliament of 1914 there were 12 Armenian parliament members. Four of the aforementioned Armenian parliament members were the members of the Hunchakian Party, and two were members of the Dashnak Party. In the parliament of 1908, there were 13 Rum and five Jewish parliament members.
Throughout Ottoman history, the Armenians came to be known as “Millet-i Sadika” (the Loyal Nation). Thus, the events of 1915 were nothing but a grave mistake made by two sister nations who fell for the provocations of the English deep state.
For so long, the Turkish government has been trying to provide evidence that the 1915 incidents were not genocide but a bilateral conflict. The request made by the Turkish government to analyze the documents that belong to that period was rejected by various lobbies that reside in the West.
This scheme that was designed to drive a wedge between the both countries can only be frustrated through the efforts of Turkey.
The anguish of the past should immediately be compensated for. Speeches emphasizing the fact that Armenians are our brothers and fellow citizens should be addressed urgently and persistently, and the Armenians who once left Turkish lands should be unconditionally readmitted to Turkey.
Efforts such as reopening the Akdamar church after a period of 95 years should be increased, and more places of worship should be set up for the Armenians. More bilateral talks should be held on the government level, the peace talks should not remain unfulfilled, and the Armenia-Turkey border should be reopened posthaste, and visa and passport requirements should be abolished.
Our Armenian brothers and sisters have always been the ornaments, the beauty and color of Turkey. It is our desire to once again live together with these beautiful and high-class people. Their presence will make Turkey an even more beautiful country.
Love should be the definitive prerequisite for Turkey in its relations with its neighbors and friends. The relations that are based on politics and self-interest are easily affected by even the most insignificant complications and quickly become as instrument to politics. In order to prevent this, it is imperative to strengthen our bonds with Israel through love and friendship, and rejuvenate the sense of brotherhood with Armenia developed by our mutual history.
It should not be forgotten that love is more powerful and profound than the insidious schemes of the shadow groups. In this regard, a great responsibility falls on the Turkish government and the Turkish people.
Here is to hoping that this new period will bring about the reconciliation of our Armenian and Jewish citizens that were forced to leave our country.
Posted by Seta at 01:00