“Zhamanak” comments on controversy caused by the Armenian Education Ministry’s plans to intensify the teaching of the Russian language in Armenia’s schools. The paper notes that public reaction to the ministry’s plans has been highly negative because they follow a senior Russian official’s recent calls for Russian to be given an official status in Armenia. Pointing to Prime Minister Karen Karapetian’s categorical denial of his involvement in the initiative, it says it is not clear who instructed the ministry to make such plans.
“Zhoghovurd” reports that Thursday’s official ceremonies in Yerevan’s Yerablur military cemetery, which marked the 26th anniversary of Armenia’s declaration of independence, attracted not only senior government officials and other dignitaries but also many street beggars. “In other words, the real picture of modern-day Armenia was concentrated in that small setting,” the paper. “On one side there were the officials with their luxury cars and bodyguards and on the other a pack of paupers that beg for money and verbally abuse the authorities after not getting what they expected.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that senior officials in Armenia and their male relatives may soon be required to provide new information in their mandatory asset and income declarations: whether or not they have served in the military. “This is certainly a wise decision,” the paper says. “Any official can register their assets in their mother-in-law’s or brother-in-law’s name. But they cannot attribute the brother-in-law’s military service to themselves. The question is what mechanisms there are for verifying such information. For instance, right now any official can claim in their declaration that they received a $3 million donation. This is what many of them do. In the same way, they could report that they dully served in the armed forces and demonstrated exceptional bravery. Who is going to verify that?”