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Armenia marks the 30th anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck the country on December 7, 1988, at 11:41am local time.

According to official figures, the disaster claimed around 25 thousand lives, about 19 thousand people became disabled, and close to 530 thousand others were left homeless.

The Armenian government, representatives of the political forces and diplomatic missions visited Gyumri to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the earthquake.

The government held a special outdoor Cabinet session in Gyumri. The government approved the decision to mark December 7 as the day of commemoration of the earthquake victims and disaster resistance.

The Court of Appeal upheld the judgement of the first-instance court on remanding Armenia’s second president Robert Kocharyan in custody, his attorney Hayk Alumyan told reporters.

Six prosecutors, including Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan, were participating in the court hearings that commenced on November 27.

Kocharyan was charged with breaching Armenia’s constitutional order during the March 1, 2008 events in Yerevan.

The saga over election of the CSTO secretary general continued on Thursday after Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko told reporters that the issue has been almost settled during the Eurasian Union summit in Saint Petersburg. He insisted that the representative of Belarus was approved for the post.

However, his statement was rejected by the Armenian side. Arman Yeghoyan, the spokesperson for the acting PM Nikol Pashinyan, said the issue of the CSTO secretary general is unresolved yet.

His words were confirmed by the Kremlin’s spokesman on Friday. Dmitry Peskov admitted that Lukashenko raised the issue during the meeting, but said “the work will continue”, as the matter has not been settled yet.

The Armenian Defense Ministry showed a video of fire from the S-300 long range surface-to-air missile systems.

The air space of Armenia is impenetrable thanks to the exceptional readiness by the air defense personnel, as well as modern weaponry with which the Armenian army is consistently and continuously complemented, the Ministry of Defense said.