An Armenian soldier killed another soldier in his unit before taking his own life on August 27. The incident took place while the two soldiers were on combat duty at a post along the border with Azerbaijan. Human rights activists have decried the number of noncombat deaths in Armenia’s army. According to human rights activist Zhanna Andreasyan, a dozen of the 54 Armenian soldiers who died in the first half of this year were killed by Azerbaijani forces, while 15 soldiers died in a major fire at a military barracks in January, and most of the other noncombat deaths were by suicide. Senior or mid-ranking military officers are rarely prosecuted for deaths or serious incidents in their units, which investigators regularly cover up, according to Andreasyan.
The Armenia Alliance has announced its support for Andranik Tevanyan in the upcoming mayoral elections in Yerevan on September 17. The opposition alliance decided not to nominate a candidate for the election, citing the security challenges facing Armenia and Artsakh. Disagreeing with the boycott, Tevanyan resigned from his post as a member of parliament and started the Mother Armenia bloc to run for mayor. Tevanyan will be running against former deputy prime minister Tigran Avinyan, former mayor Hayk Marutyan and former Labor Minister Mane Tandilyan, who is representing the opposition Aprelu Yerkir bloc.
Beka Grigoriadis has protested outside the Georgian parliament every day since May 29 to demand his son’s release from jail. 21-year-old Lazare Grigoriadis has been charged with throwing a Molotov cocktail at the police and faces up to 11 years in prison. He was arrested in March during the protests against the foreign agent law, which were met with a violent police crackdown. Lazare’s 42-year-old father has lost over 60 pounds since he started his daily protest, since he has sewn his mouth and a single eye shut, a protest tactic in Georgia. “I will give up the most precious thing I have – my life – to save Lazare, but not yet. I will try everything else first,” Beka told OC Media.
Foreign investors are expressing their willingness to return to Turkey after the Central Bank raised its interest rate to 25-percent on August 24. Many foreign investors left Turkey in response to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s unorthodox economic policies, which included cutting interest rates in response to rising inflation. Turkey’s inflation rate, which reached almost 60-percent at the end of 2022, has decreased to about 48-percent last month. Turkish authorities plan to release a comprehensive economic program next month and start holding meetings with investors abroad, in order to restore the trust of foreign investors.