Friday, 19 May 2017

Armenian News... A Topalian... Missile Strike In Karabakh

RFE/RL Report 

Armenia Confirms Azeri Missile Strike In Karabakh
May 16, 2017

One unit of "military defense equipment" of the ethnic Armenian
Karabakh defense army was partially damaged during a guided missile
strike launched by Azerbaijani armed forces on Monday, according to
Defense Ministry officials in Yerevan and Stepanakert.

In a Facebook post Artsrun Hovannisian, a spokesman for the Armenian
Defense Ministry, said the incident happened in the afternoon as
Azerbaijani armed forces opened fire at one of the Armenian defense
facilities located in the eastern direction of the heavily militarized
line of contact.

The official initially did not specify what kind of military hardware
was hit by the Azerbaijani fire. Later, he told RFE/RL's Armenian
service ( that Azerbaijan launched three Spike missiles
and only one of them hit the target. He said it inflicted only
insignificant damage on an Osa air defense system, while destroying a
vehicle that did not have to do with the system.

Earlier, Azerbaijan's Trend news agency quoted the country's Defense
Ministry as saying that an Armenian Osa air defense system, a supply
vehicle and its crew were destroyed. The Ministry added that the
system's deployment near the line of contact was a "provocation" and a
threat to Azerbaijani aircraft.

Both Hovannisian and his Karabakh counterpart Senor Hasratian denied
that there had been casualties on the Armenian side as a result of the
Azerbaijani strike.

In an identical message posted on their Facebook accounts both
officials said: "We state that the provocation of the Azerbaijani
armed forces will not remain unanswered, while the entire
responsibility for the consequences will lie with the
military-political leadership of Azerbaijan."

The report about the latest incident in Karabakh comes amid heightened
tensions in the Armenian-controlled region that broke free from Baku's
control in the early 1990s, triggering a three-year war that killed an
estimated 30,000 people on both sides.

The Armenia-backed Karabakh military and Azerbaijani armed forces
clashed in April 2016 in what was later dubbed as a four-day war that
killed dozens on both sides.

An internationally mediated negotiation process on the issue
spearheaded by the United States, Russia and France as co-chairs of
the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Minsk Group
has yielded no tangible result in resolving the conflict yet.

[a number of worldwide newspapers have repeated Azeri's version of events]
Agence France Presse
May 16, 2017 Tuesday 10:32 AM GMT
Azerbaijan destroys Armenia air defence system in disputed region

Azerbaijan has destroyed an Armenian air defence system in the
breakaway Nagorny Karabakh region, officials in Baku said Tuesday, as
separatist authorities vowed retaliation, raising tensions in the
festering conflict.

Ex-Soviet Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a protracted conflict
over the disputed region, and frequent exchanges of fire nearly
spiralled into all-out war last year.

"Azerbaijani forces destroyed on Monday an Armenian Osa air defence
system and its crew in the Fisuli-Khojavend sector of Karabakh's
frontline in order to avert the threat it posed to Azerbaijan's
aircraft," an official from the press service of Azerbaijan's defence
ministry told AFP.

The separatist defence ministry in Karabakh said in a statement that
the Azerbaijani army had damaged its military equipment with a guided
missile, but denied casualties among its troops.

"Azerbaijani forces' provocation will not be left unanswered," it said.

The incident came after bloody clashes erupted between Azerbaijani and
Karabakh troops in February that killed several Azerbaijani

In April last year, at least 110 people from both sides were killed as
simmering violence flared into the worst clashes in decades over the

A Russian-brokered ceasefire ended the four days of fierce fighting
but attempts to relaunch the stalled peace process since then have

Baku and Yerevan have feuded over the Nagorny Karabakh region since
Armenian separatists seized the territory in a war that claimed some
30,000 lives in the early 1990s and ended in a frail 1994 truce.

The two sides never signed a firm peace deal.

Energy-rich Azerbaijan, whose military spending exceeds Armenia's
entire state budget, has repeatedly threatened to take back the
breakaway region by force.

But Moscow-allied Armenia has vowed to crush any military offensive.

armenpress News Agency , Armenia
May 15, 2017 Monday
Number of tourism information centers to increase in Armenia's 
By the initiative of the State TourismCommittee of Armenia’s Ministry 
 of Economic Development and Investments and IRAPA French and 
Armenian communities cooperation platform, a meeting-discussion 
was held in the Ministry on May 15 with the representatives of tourism
 information centers, the Ministry told

The meeting aimed at exchanging information on existing working issues
of information centers, establishing mutual ties, as well as
discussing issues related to forming a system of tourism information

“The activity of tourism information centers is important in terms of
providing necessary information to tourists and ensuring ties with
them. And the formation of the system derives from the necessity to
provide a common reliable information”, Chairman of the State Tourism
Committee Zarmine Zeytuntsyan said.

The meeting was attended by representatives of tourism information
centers, information management bodies and specialists who shared
their knowledge on the international experience and model, by giving
also practical recommendations to the meeting participants.

Within the frames of 2017 tourism development annual program, it is
expected to provide state assistance to 5 tourism information centers.

ARKA, Armenia
May 17 2017
Many computers in Armenia infected with WannaCry 

WannaCry cryptolocker, a virus spread worldwide, has already reached Armenia, Samvel Martirosyan, a cyber security specialist, said in an interview with ARKA News Agency.

In his words, about 1,000 computers in Armenia, not only in the private sector, are already infected with WannaCry.

“The problem is that software in many computers is not updated, and this makes them more vulnerable to possible attacks,” Martirosyan said in his interview. “This applies to both home computers and office equipment in government agencies.”

To avoid problems, he said, users should update all systems in time and not to shut down antivirus software.

Commenting on reports about the imminent second wave of the global cyber attack, Martirosyan didn’t rule out it, since the virus is based on open-source software, and this gives other hackers room to use this vulnerability. --0---

Panorama, Armenia
May 17 2017
British MP: UK should recognize the Armenian Genocide
Author Nvard Chalikyan 

British MP Stephen Pound in the video interview says that the United Kingdom owes it to the Armenian people to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Pound, who has raised this issue as well as the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh many times in the British Parliament, also criticizes Azerbaijan for its aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh and for being a failed state.

Mr. Pound, who has personally visited Artsakh, describes Stepanakert as a modern city. He also saw in Shushi the bullets that were left over as a result of the fighting; “I saw a… missile sticking out of the wall of a Monastery! We can’t have that”, – he says. He believes that such visits are important because on the one hand the ongoing cross-border incursions from Azerbaijan are very dangerous, and on the other hand because Azerbaijan stages propaganda wars, publicity coups and gives special treatment to some parliamentarians from UK. The propaganda war in Europe is being fought by an organization called TEAS – The European-Azerbaijani Society.

“[TEAS] spreads propaganda that there are refugees and displaced people on both sides. When I was in Stepanakert, I saw with my own eyes – underneath the famous statue of the Daddy and Mommy houses were being built. So if Armenia can build it why on earth Azeris are not building houses for their people; why are they still in tents? I was told that Nagorno-Karabakh was an ‘occupied’ territory. But everybody I spoke to [there] said they were Armenians. Of course they are!” – says the MP.

Pound believes that the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh is important to the Western nations today partly because it was the most awful consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“Of all the wars that took place (Chechnia, Donetsk)... that was the single most bloody and most awful one, because Nagorno-Karabakh was forcibly contained within the area by Stalin... Also, Azerbaijan is an Azeri country who speaks the same language as the Turks; therefore many people in their folk memories felt there was a great similarity with the past. [The people of Karabakh] were people who were quintessentially Armenian, and you have to allow the people the privilege of choosing where they want to be – they wanted to be in Armenia”, – he says.

As for Azerbaijan, Steven Pound highlights that Azerbaijan has many internal issues with corruption, human rights and economy and that instead of focusing on Karabakh they should pay greater attention to these issues.

“Azerbaijan is a failed state. It is a state which is run on corruption, a state which is immensely rich but is utterly corrupt at every level – from President to the President’s family... The Azeris have more important things to do than to worry about Artsakh... When you have a country that is a failed state the easiest thing to do is to choose an enemy outside. The idea of Armenia being an aggressor nation I find particularly bizarre. On the other hand Azerbaijan jails dissidents, has no free press, has utter censorship. They find it easier to say ‘don’t look inwards, look outwards... Instead of worrying about Armenia they should look at their own reflection in the mirror”, – he says.

Stephen Pound has also many times raised the issue of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the UK in the British Parliament. “I think I owe it, like anyone else in this Parliament does, to those people whom we didn’t help in 1915”, – he says, calling the report by Lord Bryce and Arnold Toynbee on the Armenian Genocide as a way in which England made reparation for its lack of assistance during those times.

The British MP stresses also that what the Ottoman Empire sought to destroy was a very advanced and unique Armenian culture, and says that Turkey should pay reparations to Armenians, following the example of Germany and Austria.

“The reparation issue is entirely valid and fair. Germany has paid reparations to Poland after the World War II. If Poland could get reparations from Germany and Austria (they created a fund of reparations which is absolutely important because it gives a closure) it means that Poland can now be at peace with Germany.

Never mind what happened before, they have accepted it, apologised for it and made reparations. If modern Turkey could do the same thing then I think that could bring a measure of peace and satisfaction to Armenia. Ultimately, when I visited Western Armenia, as I still think of it, I would love to see those villages occupied again, particularly around Lake Van – they are so Armenian. Reparations are very important because they are an actual physical demonstration. If Germany and Austria could do it, Turkey also can”, – says the British MP.

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