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Armenian News - NEWS.am presents the daily digest of top news as of 27.01.22:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country has sharply worsened.

High officials of the defense ministry, including the PM, have tested positive for COVID-19 after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan as well as a number of other officials and MPs had attended the recent wedding of Defense Minister Suren Papikyan.

Even a reception dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Armenian Armed Forces has been postponed.

Meanwhile, on Saturday a meeting was held with the participation of Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan and Artsakh president Arayik Harutyunyan. However, Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan tested negative for coronavirus.

Now, the PM has self-isolated in the prescribed manner, and his respective illness is asymptomatic. Pashinyan will carry out his duties remotely during this self-isolation period.

2,556 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Armenia, bringing the total number to 358,218.

  • A national guard soldier in Ukraine opened fire on Thursday at a missile and rocket factory in the eastern part of the country, killing five people, the police said.

The gunman fled the scene, leading to a sprawling manhunt that lasted for hours before a suspect was taken into custody. The police identified the man as Artemiy Ryabchuk and said he was born in 2001.

Artemiy Ryabchuk has already been detained.

  • Minorities and refugees in Turkey continued to suffer from rights violations, hate speech, and attacks throughout last year, according to the 2021 report of the Stockholm Center for Freedom—which is an advocacy organization.

As per this report, Armenian cultural heritage in Turkey faced destruction in the year past.

And, separately, a “far-right independent member of the Turkish Parliament threatened Turkish-Armenian lawmaker Garo Paylan with facing the same fate as his ancestors amid debates over the recognition of the mass killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire as genocide by the US administration.”

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invited his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to Turkey, said Erdogan — and reflecting on the aggravation of the situation over Ukraine.

"There are schemes defined by NATO. I hope that Russia will not resort to an armed attack and occupation of Ukraine. We can host the leaders of the two countries and pave the way for peace. We have invited Mr. Putin to our country. A response is awaited. We would like to take certain steps to hold a bilateral meeting," the Turkish president said.

  • NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg lost touch with reality a long time ago and his statements are hard to take seriously, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Wednesday.

His remarks came while commenting on the alliance secretary general's words about a possible military build-up on the eastern side of the Alliance.

The North Atlantic Alliance said Monday that NATO countries were putting forces on alert and sending additional ships and fighter jets for deployment in Eastern Europe, strengthening deterrence and defense for allies as Russia continues to build up its military power in and around Ukraine.

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