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Russian Soldier Has Been Accused of Murder in Gyumri Case

January 14, 2015 Armenia No Comments
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16:31, January 14, 2015

Valery Permyakov, the Russian soldier suspected of killing six members of the Avetisyan family in Gyumri on January 12, has been officially accused of murder according to a statement released today by Armenia’s Investigative Committee.

In its statement, the Committee says that sufficient evidence has been unearthed in the preliminary investigation to sustain the accusation against Permyakov.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Hundreds Rally In Armenia After Family Massacre

January 14, 2015 Armenia, Top News No Comments

Hundreds of furious residents of Gyumri marched through Armenia’s second largest city on Wednesday to demand that a Russian soldier accused of killing six members of a local family be handed over to Armenian law-enforcement authorities.

The protest began with a procession of cars that drove around the city and stopped by key government and security buildings. The protesters went on to walk towards the Gyumri headquarters of a Russian military base in Armenia where the soldier, Valery Permyakov, has been kept since being caught on Monday.

After scuffling with Armenian security forces, they broke through a police cordon to approach the base’s main checkpoint located in the city’s outskirts. The protesters were stopped there by more lines of riot police and about two dozen Russian soldiers standing behind them. Organizers of the protest pleaded with the mostly young and male crowd not to clash with them.

Baby Who Survived Gyumri Attack Remains on Life Support

January 14, 2015 Armenia No Comments
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10:53, January 14, 2015

Six month-old Seryozha Avetisyan, the sole survivor of a deadly attack that took place two days ago in Gyumri, remains on an artificial respirator in serious but stable condition according to Armenia’s Ministry of Health.

The child is being treated at Yerevan’s St. Astvadzadzin Medical Center.

The Center reports that the child received serious impediments to the nourishing of the brain.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Now I Can Speak

January 14, 2015 Armenia No Comments
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11:48, January 14, 2015

by Raffi Wartanian

I first met Lousine Shamamian like many others do: through her stand up comedy. Invariably, I found myself watching her web series Lousine: Lesbian Matchmaker To The Straights and felt an immediate sense of intrigue and admiration.

Comedy performance is not for the faint of heart. It requires tremendous honesty, devotion, and courage. Lousine’s self-deprecating and earnest approach to her identity as a lesbian immigrant of Armenian descent simultaneously revolted against the shackles of community judgement and celebrated the art of self-acceptance.

Seeking to capture an “everyday hero” a year later, I reached out to Lousine. I wanted to understand why she created her art, what made her unique, and the nature of the obstacles she faced.

Soldier Suspected of Gyumri Killing Spree Now in Russian Hands, Says Shirak Prosecutor

January 13, 2015 Armenia, Turkey No Comments
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01:41, January 13, 2015

Valery Permyakov, a soldier from the 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri suspected of killing six members of the Avetisyan family in Gyumri early yesterday, was detained an hour ago while attempting to cross the border into Turkey near the Armenian border village of Bayantour.

Gala TV reports that according to Shirak Provincial prosecutor Raffi Aslanyan, Permyakov is now in the custody of Russian military personnel. 

Source: HetqOriginial Article

6 Month Old Child, Lone Survivor of Gyumri Attack, Transferred to Yerevan Hospital

January 13, 2015 Armenia No Comments
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13:31, January 13, 2015

Seryozha Avetisyan, the six month old child who miraculously survived a deadly attack yesterday in Gyumri that left six other family members dead, has been transferred to a Yerevan hospital for further medical treatment.

The child, sustained multiple knife wounds, is   in stable but serious condition according to Yerevan’s St. Asdvatzatzin Medical Center Director Ashot Gyureghyan.

Gyureghyan says that the child’s condition was made worse due to the late arrival of medical help to the family home in Gyumri yesterday morning after the attack was reported at around 6:20am. The medical director says it took almost six hours for the child to receive initial care.

US: "Carder" Pleads Not Guilty

January 13, 2015 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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23:34, January 13, 2015

A Macedonian national accused of belonging to a global identity theft and cyber crime syndicate responsible for US$50 million in financial losses worldwide has pleaded not guilty in a Las Vegas court.

Prosecutors allege that Jordan Georgievski was part of the criminal organization Carder.su, which traded in the large-scale trafficking of stolen credit card information and counterfeit cards, money laundering, and drug trafficking until it was shut down by US law enforcement in 2010, according to the BBC.

Georgievski, 41, was indicted in the US in January 2012. Prosecutors claim that, using the screen name “Devica”, Georgievski  sold counterfeit credit cards in collaboration with associates from the website. Last February, Interpol placed him on their “Red Notice” most wanted list, enabling any police force that detained Georgievski to extradite him to the US. He was arrested by Albanian authorities crossing into Albania from Kosovo in July, and on Jan. 9 he was handed overto the US.

Russian Soldier Murder Suspect: ‘I entered Avetisyan house at random’,

January 13, 2015 Armenia, Turkey No Comments
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14:11, January 13, 2015

Hounan Poghosyan, First Deputy Head of Armenia’s Police, reports that the Russian suspected of killing six members of a Gyumri family early yesterday, told Russian military officials after being captured that he entered the Avetisyan home randomly and that he didn’t even know if anyone was inside.

The suspect, Valery Permyakov, a soldier stationed at the Russian 102nd military base in Gyumri, was captured in the wee hours of this morning some 2,000 meters from the Armenian border with Turkey.

Poghosyan also reports that Permyakov told Russian military investigators that he hadn’t planned on crossing the border and that he was merely hiding in the area.

Gyumri Russian Consular General: ‘Yesterday’s Attack a Gross Crime’

January 13, 2015 Armenia No Comments
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15:21, January 13, 2015

Yevgeny Konishev, Russia’s Consular General in Gyumri, today labelled yesterday’s deadly attack on the Avetisyan family as a gross crime that has no justification.

Konishev, during a meeting with Gyumri municipal officials, expressed his condolences regarding the attack that resulted in the death of six Avetisyan family members. A Russian soldier has been detained as a prime suspect.

“At this dramatic moment, all Armenians and Russians sincerely mourn the victims of this tragic event,” Konishev stated, adding that the loss of life was a universal misfortune.

“We bow our heads before the innocent victims and wish to convey our condolences to their family and friends,” the consular general said, describing the incident as a “blow to the flank of the Russian nation for which there is no pardon.” 

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Featured Books

Book Reviews

John Balian’s “Novel Approach” Brings the Armenian Saga to the Masses – An interview with John Balian by Lucine Kasbarian

Gray Wolves and White Doves cover art

Armenians often wish for a tale about the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath that would make a blockbuster film and draw attention to their cause. John Balian’s new book, Gray Wolves and White Doves (CreateSpace/Amazon.com), may be that tale.

 Largely autobiographical, this atmospheric novel is presented through the eyes of an innocent young boy trying to make sense of the world as he grows up amid repressive conditions in Western Armenia/Eastern Turkey during the 1960s and 70s.

 This fast-paced, multi-layered narrative takes readers from Hanna Ibelin’s (a.k.a. Jonah Ibelinian’s) close-knit family life in the perilous Asia Minor region of Palu to terror and tragedy while en route to Syria’s Kamishli, to a bleak existence on the mean streets of Istanbul.

New Children’s Picture Book From Armenian Folklore

Teaneck, N.J. and Belmont, Mass. –  An Armenian folktale retold by Armenian-American writer Lucine Kasbarian and illustrated by Moscow-based artist Maria Zaikina debuts with Marshall Cavendish Children’s Publishers in April 2011.

The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale is from the ancient Armenian oral tradition and culture, which was nearly obliterated during the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in 1915. The author learned the tale from her father, editor and columnist C.K. Garabed, who would recite it to her at bedtime. He had learned it from his own grandmother, a celebrated storyteller from the Old Country.  The tale was first put to paper by Armenian poet Hovhannes Toumanian at the turn of the 20th century.

“We Need To Lift The Armenian Taboo”

Turkish writer and publicist Ahmet Insel labels the initiative of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party to pray namaz on the ruins of Ani as provocation.

In an interview with “A1+,” the publicist said the initiative was supported only by a small percentage of Turks.

“They offered namaz in Ani in protest against Christian rites carried out in Trabzon and Akhtamar. The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahceli said if Christians are allowed to pray inside museums, similarly he can pray namaz in Armenian churches,” said Ahmet Insel.

The Turkish writer arrived in Armenia to participate in a book festival. Presentation of Armenian version of Dialogue sur le tabou arménien (Dialogue about the Armenian Tabou) co-authored by Ahmet Insel and Michel Marian was held during the festival.

US Media Discusses The Armenian Genocide

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA –  KFI 640, a popular news/talk radio station hosted by Bill Handel on September 23 aired a live interview with Michael Bobelian, the writer of a new book titled  Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-long Struggle for Justice

The book chronicles the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, and recounts a people’s struggle for justice in the face of a century of silence and denial.

During the interview, which was aired during the prime morning time slot, Bill Handel addressed both the efforts within the United States to ensure that the US government appropriately acknowledges the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s ongoing denial.

Handel, a well known and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, has discussed the Armenian Genocide during past shows.

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Capitalism Run Amok Is Just Plain Capitalism

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16:37, January 17, 2015

By Markar Melkonian

The source of Armenia’s misery and humiliation, we often hear, is not capitalism per se, but rather “gangster capitalism,” “a broken system,” “capitalism run amok.”

The goal for the future, then, is to “fix the system,” to reform capitalism, to make it more like regular, pure, genuine Free Enterprise, the kind of capitalism that works. But what if Armenia’s actually existing capitalism already is genuine capitalism?

An economist once observed that the only existential meaning of “enterprise” in the term free enterprise is “whatever capitalists happen to be doing at the time”–and “free” is the accompanying demand that they be allowed to do it.

Ukraine: Cops Go After Casinos, Suggest Yanukovych Connection

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21:45, December 15, 2014

Ukraine’s ministry of internal affairs has launched a campaign against illegal casinos amid fears that a large network of underground gambling dens could be providing an income source for the son of the country’s disgraced former president Viktor Yanukovych.

The new crackdown on unlawful casinos – an ongoing scourge for law enforcement agencies in Ukraine since regulation was made stiffer with a 2009 law – was launched on Dec. 8 after an announcement on Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov’s official Facebook page.

Avakov, who keeps a lively and occasionally angry Facebook commentary on current affairs, pledged to put a complete stop to the establishments within ten days; first in the capital of Kyiv, then the rest of the nation.

Yerevan Calling: A Weekly Roundup of Random Musings from Armenia

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13:05, October 3, 2014

Here it is dear readers, the debut of a weekly column I hope to maintain on a regular basis.

It’s sort of a catch-all of news snippets, irreverent commentary, and personal observations on what’s happened during the week here in Yerevan, and throughout Armenia.. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting, if not slightly diverting.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Regards – Hrant

Oct. 2 – Protests Throughout Armenia: A Game of Numbers & Solidarity

Three separate protest rallies took place in Armenia today.

As Hetq reported earlier, business owners in the town of Sevan kept their stores and factories shut to protest changes to the so-called volume (sales) tax. Local residents flocked to the bread factory to wait on line for a loaf or two.

China: President Takes Action Against High Ranking Corrupt Officials

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21:31, July 30, 2014

Zhou Yongkang, one of China’s most powerful former leaders, is under investigation in the highest-level corruption inquiry since the Communist Party came into power in 1949.

Under current president Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is investigating Zhou for “serious disciplinary violations,” as the officialXinhua news agency reports. Media has not yet, however, specified the allegations against him.

The probe is an attempt to show the length to which Xi and the party will go in order to combat abuse of power reportsThe Wall Street Journal. 

A commentary published in the officialPeoples Daily makes the point that regardless of  an official’s rank or supporters, punishment will result for violating laws or the party’s discipline. 

Armenian Gangs: Caught between an Archetype and a Cliché

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19:15, July 12, 2014

By Marineh Khachadour

“The whole thing started with a scene straight out of a mobster movie. It was around 6 p.m. when more than a dozen men from two organized crime groups opened fire on each other in a North Hollywood parking lot. Witnesses say nearly everyone was armed, and the shootout quickly went mobile. The men took off in cars, exchanging fire as they weaved through the Whitsett Avenue traffic.”

Stories such as this are not unique to Armenians in the American press, but this investigative report recently published in the LA Weekly is about Armenian Power, the Los Angeles based Armenian gang that operates in the heavily Armenian populated communities of Glendale, Burbank, and North Hollywood.