Armenian News - NEWS.am presents the daily digest of Armenia-related top news as of 12.05.21:
- The situation is tense at the moment at the Syunik Province section of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border—in the direction of Ishkhanasar village.
Telegram channels even wrote about clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces.
Goris Deputy Mayor Menua Hovsepyan wrote on his Facebook that Azerbaijanis have advanced at the Sev Lake area and are trying to deploy.
Later, Goris deputy mayor Irina Yolyan reported that Azerbaijani forces have passed Armenia’s state border in the Ishkhanasar sector, and advanced in the direction of Verishen settlement. According to her, hundreds are standing there.
However, the Armenian MOD noted that on early Wednesday morning, the Azerbaijani armed forces tried to carry out certain work in one of the border sectors of Syunik Province, on the grounds of "border adjustment."
"After the measures taken by the Armenian [army] subdivisions, the Azerbaijani military stopped that work. At the moment, negotiations are underway to smooth the situation on the ground.
The information being disseminated in the press about the ‘ongoing battles in the direction of Ishkhanasar [village]’ does not correspond to reality," the MOD statement also noted.
Meanwhile, Yerkir.am media agency reported that since Tuesday, the Azerbaijanis have advanced their positions also in the direction of Vardenis town of Armenia’s Gegharkunik Province.
Locals inform that the Azerbaijanis have advanced 3 km their military outposts up in the mountain and descended toward Verin Shorzha village where the villagers' pastures and grasslands are.
- Freedom House has issued a statement in response to reports of abuse of Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) and civilian captives detained by Azerbaijan after their recent armed conflict.
“We are deeply concerned by the reports of dehumanizing treatment and abuse, including torture, of Armenians captured and detained by Azerbaijan after the recent armed conflict,” said Marc Behrendt, director of Europe and Eurasia programs at Freedom House.
Also, it is noted that “the fate of nearly 200 Armenians reportedly in Azerbaijani custody remains unclear amid reports of abuse and humiliation, months after their return was mandated in a cease-fire ending the two countries’ armed conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh [(Artsakh)].”
- The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) of Armenia decided the terms of the election campaign for snap parliamentary elections. The election campaign will be held from June 7 to June 18, inclusive.
The CEC on Tuesday made more than a dozen decisions, which are conditioned by the recent amendments to the Electoral Code, whereby there will no longer be regional electoral lists, and solely a simple proportional representation electoral system—with closed electoral lists—will operate in the country.
In particular, one of the decisions stipulated that the ballots will no longer have regional candidates, and no pen will be used and no marking will be made on these ballots.
Voters will just select one of the existing ballots and put it in the envelope.
It was also decided that the parties and blocs will no longer submit regional electoral lists.
The respective election precincts will be formed by May 26, the parties and blocs planning to run in these elections shall submit their respective documents to the CEC by May 26 at 6 pm, and their registration shall be done by May 31.
The deadline for parties and blocs for withdrawal is June 10, 6 pm.
Online voting will start on June 1 and end on June 13.
The forces fighting for power are actively forming pre-election headquarters, appointing their leaders. It is already known that the work of the pre-election headquarters of the Armenia bloc headed by the second president Robert Kocharyan will be coordinated by former Deputy Prime Minister Armen Gevorgyan. The office of the second president also informs that the headquarters will publish telephone numbers - e-mail address, through which the media and citizens can receive information about the activities of their alliance.
- Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili arrived in Armenia on an official visit. He was greeted by Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia Tigran Avinyan at Zvartnots International Airport.
During his visit, Garibashvili is scheduled to have meetings with acting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and acting Foreign Minister Ara Aivazian.
At the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex in Yerevan, the Georgian PM will pay tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. On behalf of acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, an official dinner will be served in honor of Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili.
- As of Wednesday morning, 354 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Armenia, and the total number of these cases has reached 219,950 in the country.
Also, 16 more deaths from COVID-19 were registered, making the respective total 4,272 cases.
The number of people who have recovered over the past one day is 403, the total respective number so far is 206,078.
- The situation in Gaza Strip is getting worse. Clashes between Palestine and Israel continue.
Shelling does not stop, the civilian population continues to hide in bomb shelters.
According to the Palestinian health ministry, at least 43 people were killed, including 13 children and three women, another 296 were injured of varying severity as a result of Israeli shelling.
In turn, the Israeli media report one dead and two wounded. The total death toll is 5.
Later, Israeli warplanes launched an airstrike at a residential building in Gaza. The nine-story building houses apartments, manufacturing facilities, and a dental clinic, AP reported.