Saturday, 2 September 2017


ARMENIAN TYPOGRAPHY - So Many Languages, So Many Alphabets - Print Magazine 

ARKA, Armenia
Aug 30 2017
Expert warns of troops accumulation in Azerbaijani Nakhichevan 

Azerbaijan has substantially built up its military presence in its landlocked exclave of Nakhichevan, Karen Veranyan, an expert at Noravank research and educational foundation, told a news conference today.

"The Nakhichevan issue is always pertinent in the context of Armenia's national security. Now this region is going through a period of serious militarization, an active accumulation of weapons and military hardware,' Veranyan said.

According to him, Azerbaijan has stepped up its military presence in the autonomy by having sent there
new air defense systems, as well as rockets and artillery, including Russian-manufactured Smerch, Turkish-manufactured T-300 Kasirga, and T-122 Sakarya multiple-launch rocket systems and is conducting annual joint military exercises with Turkey.

According to some sources, at present, Azerbaijan has about 20,000 soldiers based in Nakhichevan (out of an estimated 67,000 total active duty troops), and around 400 armored vehicles, aircraft, air defense and artillery systems.

"Recently, two SU-25 Grach fighters made demonstrative flights along the border with Armenia and in view of the autonomy's border proximity to Yerevan (only 60 km), this circumstance makes Armenia think about strengthening the defense capability of the country," the expert said.

The expert noted however, that Armenia is taking all necessary, effective and symmetrical steps to ensure its security.

"Recently, we signed a number of agreements with Russia, for example, a ratified agreement on a joint air defense system, which is a serious step in maintaining regional stability in general, as well as the treaty on the creation of a joint group of troops," he concluded.

The historic Armenian region of Nakhichevan is currently part of Azerbaijan. In the early 20s of the XX century, together with Nagorno-Karabakh it was handed to Azerbaijan by Bolsheviks. Nakhichevan is separated from the rest of Azerbaijan by Meghri region in southern Armenia. It does not border Nagorno-Karabakh, but has border with Iran and Armenia. The total area of the autonomous republic is 5,500 square kilometers with a population of 440,000 people. -0-

Sputnik, Russia
Aug 30 2017
Israeli Kamikaze Drone Export to Azerbaijan Halted After Live Demo in Karabakh 

The Israeli Defense Ministry has suspended the export license of Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd (ADS), following a newspaper report that the Israeli company had tried to test one of its weapons systems on an Armenian military position at the request of Israel’s defense partner, Azerbaijan.

The decision to suspend ADS’s export license came after reports earlier this month that ADS members, who demonstrated the Aeronautics Defense Orbiter 1K drone in Baku, had been asked by their Azeri hosts to use it to deliver an explosive payload on an Armenian military position in Azerbaijan’s breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, The Jerusalem Post said.

After the ADS specialists operating the drone refused to use it against the Armenian position, their senior colleagues took over, operating the drone themselves.

As a result of the suspension, the Israeli firm will lose around $20 million in the next two years as it is prevented from continuing exports to Azerbaijan, the newspaper wrote.

Relations between Baku and Yerevan have been strained due to the conflict in the breakaway Karabakh region.

The conflict in Azerbaijan's Armenian-dominated Nagorno-Karabakh began in 1988, when the autonomous region sought to secede from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, before proclaiming independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The violence in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on April 2 last year. Baku and Yerevan accused each other of provoking hostilities that led to multiple deaths on each side.

A cease-fire was agreed on several days later on April 5, yet hostilities continue.

Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
August 28, 2017 Monday
Spiritual leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan cannot have serious impact
on NK conflict settlement process – political scientist

The Nagorno Karabakh conflict is a political issue, so it’s hardly possible 
for the spiritual leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to have a serious impact 
on the conflict settlement, political scientist Alexander Iskandaryan told reporters,
commenting on the information according to which His Holiness Garegin
II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and Chairman of
the Caucasian Muslims Council Sheikh-ul-IslamHajiAllahshukur
Pashazadehare going to discuss the NK conflict and regional peace
during the upcoming meeting in September, Armenpress reports.

“I don’t think this meeting can somehow affect the Nagorno Karabakh
conflict settlement process. It is a political issue, and I don’t
think that the spiritual leaders can make changes in the process. The
spiritual leaders meet from time to time, but it cannot have a serious
affect on the process”, he said.

His Holiness Garegin II and Sheikh-ul-IslamHajiAllahshukur
Pashazadehwill meet in September. According to preliminary data, the
meeting will take place in Moscow on September 8. They will discuss
issues related to the Karabakh conflict and regional peace. The
meeting is being organized under the mediation of Patriarch Kirillof
Moscow andAll Russia.

ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia
August 28, 2017 Monday
US Ambassador: Armenia conducts a good, balanced policy with all its
neighbors, including with Russia and Iran, as well as with the US and
the European Union
Tatevik Shagunyan. 

Armenia is doing a good job balancing relations
with all its neighbors, including with Russia and Iran, as well as
with the United States and the European Union, US Ambassador to
Armenia Richard Mills said in an interview with Radio Liberty in
response to a question about how the tension in the Russian-American
relations affected the relations of the US with Armenia."Upon my
arrival in Armenia, my position was clear: the US never viewed its
relations with Armenia as a game with a" zero "result, that is, when
our relations became stronger and deeper, however, Armenia's relations
with other countries would have worsened . This was never the goal of
the US government, and I do not think this is the goal of the Armenian
government. But we made it very clear that our goal is to be sure that
Armenia can make sovereign decisions about which way it chooses, what
economic and political model it chooses, "the ambassador said.

He stressed that the United States wants to give Armenia the tools to
continue to make sovereign decisions and not to succumb to pressure
from other states. "I think we have a good example in terms of
Armenia's ability to balance its interests and work with the United
States. This is Armenia's participation in the NATO exercise "Decent
partner", which took place in early August this year in Georgia.
Armenia should be proud of being the only CSTO member to take part in
these exercises, and made a very important contribution by providing a
medical service that served all the participating countries. This
helped the Armenian armed forces, these exercises and security in
Europe, "the diplomat summed up.

Panorama, Armenia
Aug 29 2017
New survey shows abortion rate declining in Armenia 

The fertility rate, total (births per woman) in Armenia is reported at 1.7 while the rate was 2.8 in 90s per women, Karine Saribekyan, Director of the Maternal and Child Health Department at the Armenian Ministry of Healthcare, told reporters on Monday while presenting the data of the newly released “Armenia Demographic and Health Survey 2015-2016” (ADHS).

In Saribekyan’s words, a tendency of declining abortion rates is observed in Armenia. According to the research, in 2015-2016, 69% of pregnancies ended in live births in 2015-2016, 23% - in induced abortions, while 9% - in miscarriages, and stillbirths. The previous research conducted in 2000 suggested abortions rate at 55%, 45% in the research conducted in 2005, and 29% - in the Demographic Research of the year 2010.

The head of the department detailed that two third of the induced abortions were due to the woman’s wish to have no more children, 8% - with diseases in offspring, another 8% for sex-selective reasons.

ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia
August 26, 2017 Saturday
In the first half of 2017, Armenia increased the volume of polished
exports by 92.5% per annum, with imports growing by 52.4%

Alina Hovhannisyan. In the first half of 2017, Armenia sharply
increased polished exports - by 92.5% per annum, against growth of 2.3
times for the same period in 2016, and by 70% in the same period in
2015. A positive trend was also registered for the import of products
of the lapidary industry, where in quantitative terms the volumes of
supplies increased by 52.4% in the first half of 2017 (against the
growth of 2 times in the same period in 2016, and a decrease of 57% in
the same period of 2015).

According to the data of the RA Customs Service, in the first half of
the year 2017, Armenia exported 133.8 thousand carats of diamonds, the
customs value of which increased by 17.9% per annum to $ 53.1 million.
From Armenia, raw materials are exported mainly to the United Arab
Emirates (38.4%), Russia (24.3%), Belgium (19.5% %), Switzerland
(7.4%), and the rest is in the USA, Canada, and Germany.

Meanwhile, during the reporting period, 244.2 thousand carats of rough
diamonds worth $ 75.3 million (with an annual growth of 28.2%) were
imported to the republic. Primarily, rough diamonds are imported to
Armenia from the United Arab Emirates (53%), Belgium (11.1%), Russia
(8%), Switzerland (7.9%), Canada (6.8%), India (6.7%) and the rest
from Thailand, South Africa, and Hong Kong. By way of comparison, we
note that for the first half of the year in 2016 Armenia exported 69.5
thousand carats of diamonds worth $ 45 million, and imported 160.2
thousand tons of diamonds carat with a total value of $ 59 million.
Armenia does not have its own diamond deposits and imports rough
diamonds for further processing and export of diamonds mainly to the
same countries from which raw materials are imported. Traditionally,
the import of diamonds exceeds exports, which is explained in the
Ministry of Economy by their re-export to third countries. Armenia's
accession to the Eurasian Economic Union has banned the re-export of
rough diamonds.

Many international experts are inclined to believe that for almost the
whole year the precious stones market will be stable. But by the end
of the year the situation can change significantly. This is due to the
fact that recently there is a strong shortage of stones. To this state
of affairs has led to the fact that the existing resources are quite
exhausted. In other words, the resources of mines where stones are
mined are very much depleted. Worldwide, very few diamonds are
currently mined. It is this state of affairs that will lead to the
fact that the demand for these stones will increase significantly. But
the very diamond will be very small in order to fill the market.
According to some experts in the diamond market, the demand for
diamonds will be observed for a long time. Therefore, there is a great
opportunity to invest in diamonds. International experts believe that
the polished market will be quite stable until 2020. The growth in the
value of polished diamonds may be further influenced only by
macroeconomic uncertainty, which will inevitably be combined with
access to financing. But, despite this the minimum cost of precious
stones is not expected.

ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia
August 28, 2017 Monday
Hovhannes Chamsaryan: 

850 lawyers have joined the strike of Armenian lawyers
Ani Mshetsyan. To the strike of lawyers in Armenia on September 13,
850 defenders have already joined. The lawyer Hovhannes Chamsaryan
said this in a conversation with the ArmInfo correspondent.

According to him, the number of protesters will grow with its
approach. On this day, Armenian lawyers intend to boycott all court
hearings. The protest is caused by the fact that recently before the
court sessions, as well as before meetings with clients, law
enforcement officers search lawyers. Cases of violence against them
also became more frequent. This practice began to be applied at the
beginning of several high-profile trials over the members of the Sasna
Tsrer group, which captured the Police Patrol Service of the Republic
of Armenia in 2016, over two factions accused of illegally storing,
distributing and using weapons and ammunition, Minister of Defense of
Artsakh Samvel Babayan, who is accused of involvement in the attempt
of illegal cartload of weapons in Armenia Igla. In connection with the
searches and unwillingness of the defenders to obey them, the lawyers
of many of the defendants who are being held on these cases find
themselves entering the courtroom, because of which the court sessions
are postponed.

In this connection, Chamsaryan noted that it is illegal to search
lawyers while performing official duties, since he can have strictly
confidential information on the next case. "In addition, there is a
lawyer's secret, the disclosure of which contradicts the interests of
his client. Recently, as you can see, searches have increased, against
which we are now speaking. Such behavior on the part of judicial
officers is contrary to all international legal standards and norms,
"he said, stressing that in addition to searches, police officers also
used force against lawyers in recent times.

Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
August 28, 2017 Monday
Number of asylum seekers increases in Armenia

The number of asylum seekers in Armenia has increased in the first 
half of 2017, according to the data of the National Statistical Service 
of Armenia, reports Armenpress.

Most asylum seekers were from Syria, Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, Azerbaijan.
The number of foreigners from CIS countries who were granted residence
status in Armenia has also increased.

55 people have sought asylum in the first half of 2017 compared to the
46 of the previous year. This year 25 people from Syria, 9 from
Ukraine, 7 from Cuba, 6 from Iran and 4 from Azerbaijan have sought

4 people have been rejected from the asylum claim.

2055 foreigners were granted residence status in Armenia: most of them
were from Russia (451), from Iran (336) and from India (265).

Aug 28 2017
The Promise Home Entertainment Release Details
28th August 2017 James Thompson 

Academy Award® Director Terry George ( Hotel Rwanda ) brings us an epic story of courage and resistance with The Promise . Starring award winning actors Christian Bale ( The Fighter, The Dark Knight ) and Oscar Issac ( Inside Llewyn Davis , Star Wars: The Force Awakens ), The Promise is based on actual events that took place during the Armenian Genocide during the onset of the First World War. It arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on 4 th September and on Digital Download from 29 th August, courtesy of Entertainment One.

In 1914, brilliant Armenian medical student Michael (Isaac) moves to the the great city of Constantiople to continue his studies where he meets fellow Armenian Ana (Charlotte Le Bon: Anthropoid ) and her boyfriend Chris (Bale), an American photojournalist dedicated to exposing the truth of the Ottoman Empire’s plans to enter the Great War. It’s not long before Chris’s suspicions come to pass and the Empire descends into war-torn chaos where the unlawful extermination of the Armenian people is the top of their agenda. Determined to protect their lives and countrymen Michael, Chris and Ana join forces with exiled rebels in order to fight back against the might of The Empire and aid the Armenian people in their flight to safety.

The stellar cast also includes Tom Hollander ( The Night Manager ), Jean Reno ( Leon ) and James Cromwell ( The Green Mile ).

The Promise is an undeniably effective film that shines a light on a shocking part of history that is still unknown to many today. The sweeping shots of the incredible backdrops of Europe are a feast for the eyes, adding to the outstanding performances from the cast. The Promise will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on 4 th September and on Digital Download from 29 th August, courtesy of Entertainment One.

Public Radio of Armenia
Aug 28 2017
Henrikh Mkhitaryan equals 23-year Premier League record
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has made Premier League history in terms of the number of assists he has made already this season, according to .

The former Borussia Dortmund ace created Marcus Rashford’s goal as Manchester United took a 1-0 lead over Leicester City on Saturday, meaning he has five decisive passes to his credit already this season.

No-one has ever made a quicker start to the season in this regard, with the 28-year-old Armenia international playmaker drawing level with Ruel Fox of Newcastle, who also created five goals in the first three matches of the 1994-95 campaign.

United have maintained their perfect start to the campaign after a 2-0 win over the 2015-16 champions, meaning they have now scored 10 times – half of which have been thanks to Mkhitaryan assists.

He set up strikes for Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial in the 4-0 win over West Ham on the opening day of the season then created goals for the Belgian and Paul Pogba a week later against Swansea.

Number and Armament of the Armed Forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan 
– Union of Informed Citizens
August 29,2017 | 

As it is known, Armenian state authorities are reluctant to pulish figures related to the personnel and the technical resources of the RA Armed Forces. For that reason, “Union of Informed Citizens” NGO has decided to publish some not classified information related to the number of the armed forces of Armenia, Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and Azerbaijan, which the RA Ministry of Defense refuses to publish.


Armenia has been member of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe since 1990s. The treaty regulates issues related to arms control. Within the framework of the treaty, foreign military inspectorates have visited Armenia numerous times, and Armenian specialists have carried out inspections in a number of other countries (Turkey, Greece, Great Britain, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldova, and etc.).

Under the treaty, states are obliged to submit reports related to the number and distribution of conventional arms (both personnel and technical resources).

Based on the proposal by the Armenian Ministry of Defense, we have examined the 2017 report prepared based on the CFE member countries’ reports, which we have used to compile the information below (all data as of the beginning of 2017).

We will also try to highlight the data that have changed compared to 2016. The changed data are in italics.

Armenia and Artsakh

Number: According to the report, the overall number of Armenian servicemen is 44.800, 41.850 out of which are ground forces (the rest serve in the air force and air defense). The total number of recruits in the ground forces is 18.950.

In the report on Nagorno Karabakh Republic, the numbers are not completely unambiguous since NKR is not a member of CFE and, hence, is not accountable to it. Nevertheless, according to the report, the number of the armed forces of Nagorno Karabakh is between 18 and 20 thousand.

However, the report assumes and we do not rule out that part of the armed forces personnel and equipment may be included in the numbers presented for the Armenian armed forces. This is also confirmed by the circumstance that during the 2017 parliamentary elections, there were only around 21.000 people in part of the lists of voters doing the compulsory military service and the contractual servicemen. Meanwhile, that list should have included around 19 thousand voters doing compulsory military service and about 5 thousand contractual servicemen.

Hence, we can conclude that part of the 42 thousand servicemen mentioned in the report were in Nagorno Karabakh or served there (Armed Forces of NKR).

Thus, the total number of Armenia’s and Nagorno Karabakh’s ground forces probably amounts to 50-55 thousand servicemen.

Another 4300 servicemen serve in the RA Police and in the border troops.

Structure: The Armed Forces of Armenia are composed of:

    • 5 army corps (one intelligence, tank, artillery battalions, 2-4 motorized infantry regiments in each of them, sometimes also signal, self-propelled artillery, logistics battalions, and other forces). Only the 5 th Army Corps including Yerevan and Gyumri is different in that it has a more modest composition of troops.
    • 5 separate brigades (special, artillery, motorized infantry, and air defense).
    • 6 separate regiments (2 air defense and radio-tech each, 1 anti-tank and engineer each). Compared to last year, one radio-tech regiment has been added.
    • Air force.

Armaments: According to the report, the Armed Forces of Armenia have: 
    • 101 T-72 tanks (additional 8 older tanks), and about 200-300 similar tanks are possessed by the Armed Forces of Nagorno Karabakh (verification of data on Artsakh is very difficult). Armenia also possesses 1 T-90.
    • 86 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), 12 reconnaissance combat vehicles, and 130 armored personnel carriers. 75 of IFVs are BMP-1. Majority of armored personnel carriers are BTR 60 and BTR 70. And there are about 250-350 IFVs and armored personnel carriers in the armaments of Nagorno Karabakh Republic.
    • 232 artillery units with a diameter of more than 120 mm, including 38 self-propelled, 131 towed units, 51 multiple launch rocket systems and 12 large-caliber mortars.

It is noteworthy that the report does not include the two “Smerch” multiple rocket launchers shown during the military parade in Yerevan in September 2016.
There are additional 250-300 artillery systems in possessed by the Armed Forces of Nagorno Karabakh Republic. Among them, 40-50 are BM-21 “Grad” multiple rocket launchers.

    • The anti-tank units mainly possess “Fagot”, “Shturm”, and “Konkurs” systems. The anti-tank units also have Š¢-12 antitank guns.
    • Air defense armaments of Armenia’s and Artsakh’s Armed Forces include S-75, S-125, “Krug”, “Osa” and “Kub” There are also “Igla” and “Igla-1” portable air defense systems in the possession of Armenia and NKR. Armenia also has two divisions of S-300PS missile systems. It is worth noting that though not mentioned in the report, the 2016 military parade makes it clear that Armenia’s air defense also possesses “Buk” missile systems.
    • The military aviation is composed of 15 Su-25 “Frogfoot” jet aircrafts, 14 training airplanes, and 2 IL-76 During the recent year, the air force has obtained only one non-combat A-319 Airbus.
    • Armenia also possesses “Krunk” unmanned aerial vehicles of local production, which, however, were not included in this year’s report.
    • The Air Force also possesses 11 Mi-24 and Mi-8 helicopters, as well as 2 Mi-9 helicopters (mainly for commanders).
    • From tactical ballistic missiles, Armenia possesses 8 “Elbrus” and 4 “Tochka” missiles.

During the recent year, 4 “Iskander” type missile systems were added.

Number: According to the report, the total number of servicemen in the armed forces of Azerbaijan is 66.950, 56.850 out of which are ground forces, 7.900 are the air force and air defense forces and 2.200 serve in the navy.

There are 5.000 servicemen in the border troops (including coastal troops) of Azerbaijan. Furthermore, the police forces have about 10.000 personnel.

Structure: The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan (ground forces) are composed of 5 army corps commands, which include 23 motorized infantry brigades. Besides, there are 2 artillery, 1 rocket-artillery, 1 anti-tank, 1 engineer, 1 security, 1 signal and 1 logistics brigades.
The air force and the navy of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan are separated. The navy has one reconnaissance brigade of marine troops.

Armaments: According to the report, the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan have: 
    • 439 tanks, 95 out of which are T-55, 244 are T-72 and 100 are T-90s. These tanks were designed in 50s to 90s respectively.
    • 191 infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), 15 reconnaissance combat vehicles, and 568 armored personnel carriers. The production of 88 of the IFVs dates back to the late 1980s, and these are BMP-3. 90 of the armored personnel carriers are of Azerbaijani production.
    • 554 artillery units with a diameter of more than 120 mm, including 123 self-propelled, 207 towed units, and 112 multiple launch rocket systems. At the beginning of last year, Azerbaijan had 6 “Solntsepyok” heavy flamethrower systems. This year their number has grown to 18.

In the artillery armament, there are also 148 mortars of 120 mm diameter, 36 out of which are self-propelled armored “Nona-C” and “Vena” systems.

    • The anti-tank units mainly possess “Fagot”, “Metis”, “Konkurs”, “Skif”, “Malyutka”, “Spike-LR” and self-propelled “Khrizantema” systems.
    • The Air Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan is composed of “Krug”, “S-125”, “Osa”, “Strela-10”, “S-200”, “Buk-1M”, and “Kub” systems, as well as 2 divisions of S-300PM2 “Favorit” The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan also possess “Igla-1” and “Igla-C” portable air defense systems.
    • The Azerbaijani air force possesses 21 attack aircrafts (most of them are SU-25 “Frogfoot”), 14 MIG-29 “Fulcrum” fighter jets, 12 training and 4 military transport planes.
    • The report contains contradictory information about Azerbaijan’s unmanned aerial vehicles. But according to other sources, their number fluctuates between 50 and 120, part of which is produced in Azerbaijan.
    • The air force is also equipped with 26 “Mi-24”, 13 “Mi-8”, 2 “Mi-2” and 20 Mi-17
    • From tactical missiles, Azerbaijan possesses 4 “Tochka” missiles from 1960s.
    • Azerbaijan’s naval forces are mainly equipped with 4 combat, 8 patrol, 6 amphibian and other (with smaller capacity and logistics-type) ships.

It is worth noting once again that all the data are as of beginning of 2017 and are considered open (not classified) information.

Union of Informed Citizens

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