Sunday, 17 April 2016

Armenian side confirms 92 losses as a result of Azeri aggression
14 Apr 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

The combat and non-battle losses of the Armenian side in the recent
clashes along the line of contact with the Azeri side total 92 people,
the Armenian defense ministry said late on Wednesday.

“As many as 64 servicemen and 13 volunteers and reservists were killed
in clashes along the line of contact on April 2-5,” the ministry said.

Captain Argishti Gaboyan is missing.

Non-battle losses over the period from April2 to April 13 in
conditions of aggravated tensions at the line of contact include nine
servicemen and two militias.

Apart from that, four Nagorno-Karabakh civilians were killed as a
result of the enemy’s criminal actions, the Ministry said. Nalbandian: Armenia has submitted the proofs of Azerbaijan's war
crimes to Office of the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Human
Armenia has launched measures to bring Azerbaijan accountable 
under international legal norms for the atrocities committed during 
its military aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh on April 2-5. 
Edward Nalbandian, Foreign Minister of Armenia, made such 
statement on the Armenian Public Television, on April 13.
"The proofs have been submitted to the UN OHCHR already today. A
special letter was sent. This process will be continued, of course,"
the minister said.

Earlier, on April 13, Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan and US
Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills discussed aggression initiated by
Azerbaijan against Nagorno- Karabakh and the current situation on the
line of contact of Karabakh and Azerbaijani troops. Ohanyan presented
the main specifics of Azerbaijan's aggression including military
crimes against servicemen and civilians by Azerbaijani military
forces, as well as harshly violations of other provisions of law on
armed conflict and emphasized that he will be consistent in presenting
these crimes for international legal assessment.

To recall, the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and
Missing Persons of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic disseminated a
statement wherein it said: "On April 10, in accordance with the
arrangement reached earlier, the State Commission on Prisoners of War,
Hostages and Missing Persons of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, through
the mediation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
and the Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman in
Office, carried out the exchange of bodies of the deceased between the
Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan near the Bash Karvend
settlement. The bodies of 18 servicemen of the NKR Defense Army,
fallen as a result of the large scale military aggression unleashed by
Azerbaijan on April 2-5, were transferred to the NKR side during the
exchange. At the presence of the representatives of the International
Committee of the Red Cross, the NKR State Commission on Prisoners of
War, Hostages and Missing Persons registered that all bodies of the
deceased transferred by the Azerbaijani side had signs of torture and

The Daily Star, Lebanon
April 13 2016
Armenians gather in rare anti-Russian protest
Agence France Presse

YEREVAN, Armenia: Hundreds of Armenians Wednesday took part in a rare
protest in Yerevan against the country's ally Moscow, demanding that
it stops selling arms to Azerbaijan and pelting the Russian embassy
with eggs.

The crowd, carrying pictures of soldiers and civilians killed in the
recent bout of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh, – a separatist region of
Azerbaijan populated by ethnic Armenians – walked along central
streets shouting anti-Russian slogans and finished by picketing the

The rally is not the first following the violence, which left at least
110 people dead earlier this month and ended with a shaky truce, but
it was a first to be directed against Moscow, Yerevan's strategic and
military ally.

"I came here to tell Russians – it's you who is killing our children,
by giving weapons to a potential killer," said 56-year-old Hranush
Serobyan, referring to Azerbaijan.

A Moscow-mediated ceasefire went into effect last week after the worst
outbreak of violence since the 1994 ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh,
where Armenia-backed separatists seized control in the early 1990s war
that claimed some 30,000 lives.

Russia supplies weapons to both Armenia and Azerbaijan and indicated
that it will continue to do so after the recent bloodshed, infuriating
some Armenians. Moscow also maintains a military base in Armenia, a
poor, landlocked country.

"They tell us it's just business," 23-year-old student Vahe Asatryan
said of the arms sales. "Perhaps we made a mistake in choosing an
ally. We don't need an artificial ally."

Some in the crowd shouted "Shame!" and "Free and independent Armenia"
and even pelted the Russian embassy with eggs and coins, as police
attempted to cordon off the building. 
Newspaper: Russia Armenian wealthy were made clear that 
helping Armenia could prove costly

YEREVAN. – From the very first day of the fundraising that began to
help Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), it became apparent that Russian
Armenian businessmen were not particularly active, according to
Zhoghovurd daily.

“Apparently, the RF [i.e. Russian Federation] authorities, especially
RF President Vladimir Putin, were upset that, after the four-day
Karabakh-Azerbaijan war, a wave of anti-Russian sentiments rose in
Armenia at the hands of Armenia’s young officials, and that the RA
[i.e. the Republic of Armenia] authorities directly accused Russia of
selling weapons to Azerbaijan.

“Zhoghovurd received information from the Moscow-based business
circles that the RF government circles have made it understood to
Russia’s ethnic Armenian wealthy that their assisting Armenia
financially can cause problems for their future activities. In other
words, Russia’s Armenian wealthy just had to make a choice of whether
to transfer money to Artsakh despite the Russian authorities, or
adhere to the ‘instruction.’

“As it seems, they chose the second option,” Zhoghovurd wrote.
Nobel Prize laureate is impressed by Armenian cuisine
April 15, 2016
Robin J. Warren

Yerevan /Mediamax/. Australian scientist, Nobel Prize laureate
(Physiology or Medicine) Robin J.Warren stated that he is immensely
impressed by Armenia and Armenian people.

“Armenia is very hospitable, and Armenians are warm-hearted and
welcoming. I am struck by how peaceful Armenians are, while having
such difficult relations with neighbouring countries,” said Australian
scientist during the conversation with journalists at UWC Dilijan

Nobel Prize Laureate noted that he is also very impressed by Armenian cuisine.

“I grew very fond of Armenian dishes. I’m sure that people in Armenia
don’t have to torture themselves with diets, while in my country,
Australia, or in Europe, people eat lots of fast-food. Armenian food
is pure, with no additives. I don’t know how you do it, but don’t let
McDonalds and fast-food enter your country,” said the scientists.

RFE/RL Report
Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Russia Agree On `Energy Corridor'

Armenia, Georgia, Iran and Russia reportedly agreed on Wednesday to
create in 2019 an "energy corridor" that will sharply increase
electricity supplies among them.

Energy Ministers Aleksandr Novak of Russia, Hamid Chitchian of Iran
and Levon Yolian of Armenia as well as Georgia's Deputy Energy
Minister Ilia Eloshvili signed a "roadmap" to such a multilateral
arrangement after talks held in Yerevan. They did not speak to
journalists after the signing ceremony, leaving it to Armenian Deputy
Energy Minister Areg Galstian to present details of the framework

"The roadmap formalizes actions and programs that should be realized
in time for the physical launch of the North-South energy corridor in
2019," Armenian and Russian news agencies quoted Galstian as
saying. He said it contains time frames for the construction of new
power transmission lines that will allow the four countries to
synchronize their power grids and engage in significant seasonal swaps
of electricity.

Two such lines, slated for completion in 2018, will connect Armenia
with Iran and Georgia. In Galstian's words, Georgia and Russia plan to
build similar facilities to also link up their transmission networks.

"It is expected that the North-South energy corridor will have a
capacity of around 1,000 megawatts," said the Armenian official.

"This will stimulate competition among national power generating
companies," he went on, according to "The [energy] market
should open up, first of all for large consumers using high-voltage

According to Galstian, the four countries have seasonal surpluses of
electricity that can already be supplied to one another in limited
amounts. In particular, he said, Georgia and Iran plan to start such
exchanges through Armenian territory later this year.

"In the strategic sense, this will mark substantial progress, even if
we are talking about small supply volumes for the time being,"
Galstian added, according to the Arka news agency.

Galstian announced that Armenia will also boost imports of cheap
electricity which is generated by Georgian hydroelectric stations and
reaches peak levels in spring and summer months. For that purpose, he
said, the Armenian government will bring forward from October to May
2016 a planned brief stoppage of the Metsamor nuclear plant's reactor
needed for its refueling and regular maintenance.

"The rescheduling will allow Armenia to use the cheaper electricity of
Georgian hydroelectric plants, which develop a surplus in that period,
instead of the more expensive energy of [Armenian] thermal power
plants," explained the vice-minister.
British journalist: Recognition of NKR and sanctions against
Azerbaijan is only solution to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

If Azerbaijan ever occupied the Nagorno Karabakh Republic
(NKR)/Artsakh by force, as it tried to do by launching a military
offensive on 02-05 April, Artsakh “would be subject to ethnic
cleansing on a wide scale”. Therefore, the formal international
recognition of NKR, backed up by the threat of sanctions against
Azerbaijan, is the only measure that will make the required shift in
the dynamics of the conflict and deter any future aggression. This is
the opinion of British independent journalist, photographer and writer
Russell Pollard, who has visited the NKR/Artsakh more than 
10 times, is well familiar with the life of the Karabakh Armenians, 
the realities of the NKR and the conflict on the ground, and has
portrayed it all with photos on his website.

In an exclusive interview with Nvard Chalikyan from
Russell Pollard also noted that the coverage of Azerbaijan’s recent
aggression on the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR) in the UK media was
scarce, biased and used out-of-date terminology that reinforces
inaccurate stereotypes. “The [media] narrative needs to be focused on
the human rights of the 150,000 citizens of the Nagorno Karabakh
Republic (Artsakh) who simply want to have a normal life and to be
able to live in peace… NKR is not about a war, it is about people who
have lived in adversity for decades, and who continue to thrive
despite this - there is a great human story to be told”, – he said.

Below is the full interview with Russell Pollard.

Nvard Chalikyan: On April 2-5 Azerbaijan launched a full-scale
military attack on the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) which was
in line with Azerbaijan’s previous statements of using force to
conquer NKR. As someone who has been in Artsakh many times and is
familiar with the conflict on the ground, how can you interpret
Azerbaijan's actions and the recent escalation?
Russell Pollard: The cease-fire has been relatively stable for 22
years. It is not in the interests of the people and Government of NKR
to change the military situation as, whilst ever there is peace, there
is hope, and a future. The position of Azerbaijan is diametrically
opposite, and the prolongation of the ceasefire seems to drive a more
entrenched and ideological perspective on the situation. This is
conflated by an irrational need to “take back” Karabakh without any
obvious geo-political value, or concern for the welfare of the
Armenians living there.
Over the last few years as the oil price has dropped, there has been
an increased level of international exposure to the questionable
practices of the Aliyev regime, and a general disquiet amongst the
people of Azerbaijan. The fact that this led to a significant
escalation seemed inevitable as Aliyev tried to divert attention away
from his internal activities. It felt like the actions of a desperate
The first “false ceasefire”, the short-term territorial gains, then
losses, and a renewal of the ceasefire after 3 days, implied to me
that there was a serious error of judgement on Aliyev’s part. The
significant defence spending did not translate into military
superiority, which I’m sure came as a surprise to many people in

N.C.: Azerbaijan claims Nagorno Karabakh is their territory, while it
is a historical fact that Nagorno Karabakh is an indigenous Armenian
land, much older than Azerbaijan itself. What was your impression of
the land of Artsakh when you visited?
Russell Pollard: There are many Armenian churches throughout NKR which
are not recent builds which confirms that Armenians have lived there
for centuries. Historically, Azerbaijanis did live in regions of the
current NKR prior to the war, and whilst this might have been relevant
25 years ago, I don’t believe that this is a factor in considering the
future in 2016.

N.C.: What do you think would happen with Karabakh Armenians should
Azerbaijan succeed in its plans to conquer NKR or as they misleadingly
put it, to “take it back”?
Russell Pollard: NKR was never part of an independent Azerbaijan so
there is not a question of it being “taken back”.  If Azerbaijan
occupies NKR by force, then there will be no future for Karabakh
Armenians in those lands. All of the existing state infrastructure
would be removed, and replaced by a much more authoritarian regime
which will not be sympathetic to the Armenian population. The country
will be subject to ethnic cleansing on a wide scale.

N.C.: You have noted before that the only option for the solution of
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the recognition of the NKR. Given
Azerbaijan's intentions and actions don't you think the international
recognition of NKR will serve as a deterrent against future aggression
of Azerbaijan?
Russell Pollard: Conflicts such as this will only be solved by the
bold and brave actions of individuals. It will not be solved by the
international community compromising every principle it has to avoid
the smallest risk of upsetting nations who don’t deserve that level of
respect. A modern, humanitarian world is democratic; the
self-determination of people is a fundamental aspect of that. An
approach based on territorial integrity which is contrary to the will
of the people, is medieval.
Formal international recognition, backed up by the threat of
sanctions, is the only measure that will make the required shift in
the dynamics of the conflict and deter any future aggression.
Continuing with the same impotent committees and bland politics that
have been the only options for the last 22 years is no solution, and
will not prevent future escalations.

N.C.: What is your opinion of the coverage of the recent escalation of
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the international media in general
and in the British media in particular?
Russell Pollard: I can only really comment on the British media. There
was no coverage of any consequence in the mainstream media and no one
I spoke to was aware that the conflict had re-started even though they
were aware of NKR from my involvement. I’m afraid to say that the
Caucasus is too far away, and too much of an unknown problem, for it
to be considered a priority in the UK media. Also other major
conflicts, together with local matters consume the available media
space. The few reports I read on the internet from the national TV
station were brief, biased, and using terminology like “separatist”,
“breakaway”, “enclave” etc. that are 25 years out of date and that
only serve to reinforce a confused, and inaccurate stereotype. An
objective impression one would get from this reporting is of a highly
militarised group of bandits living in a state-less structure
constantly in conflict with Azerbaijan.

N.C.: What would you say the true state of affairs is? What would be
an accurate presentation of the reality of the Nagorno-Karabakh
Republic and of this conflict in the media?
Russell Pollard: The media presentation is very backward looking and
concentrates far too much on why the original war started and does not
clarify the ambiguity of the last months and years of the Soviet
Union. The point of history that should be emphasised is that the
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic became independent from the Soviet Union
before it collapsed and was never part of an independent sovereign
Azerbaijan. Now, this is simply about the self-determination of the
people of NKR.It is important for people to know that NKR is a state
under the definition of the Montevideo convention, namely – it has
permanent population, defined territory, a government, and the
capacity to enter into relations with other states. People should be
aware of the high population of young people in the country (born
since the 1994 cease-fire) who are being educated at all levels, with
a number of Universities, including an active Youth Ministry, and NGO
structure, developments in industry and agriculture, IT and
telecommunications, infrastructure, arts and culture. This is despite
being under economic constraints by the lack of recognition and the
constant threat of attack by Azerbaijan. The narrative needs to be
focused on the human rights of the 150,000 citizens who simply want to
have a normal life and to be able to live in peace, the majority of
whom were born in those lands.In my opinion, NKR is a safe place to
live. The level of violent crime committed from within is negligible
compared to the UK. The only safety concerns are from Azerbaijan. Any
future must be mindful of its security and must assure the protection
of the people of NKR. The recent flare up reaffirms this risk, and
demonstrates why the buffer zones are critical to the defence
policy.NKR, like any country has many very positive attributes, and to
suggest that it is solely defined by the war with Azerbaijan is
narrow-minded lazy journalism. Too many journalists want to
sensationalise, and to concentrate on "exposing" the well-trodden
aspects of the past. NKR is not about a war, it is about people who
have lived in adversity for decades, and who continue to thrive
despite this – there is a great human story to be told!

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