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After the death of Vladimir Lenin , Joseph Stalin took the reins of power and began an era of renewed fear and terror for Armenians.

Armenia was not the scene of any battles in World War II. An estimated , Armenians nearly a third of the population served in the military during the war, and , died.

Soon, life in Soviet Armenia began to see rapid improvement. The church, which suffered greatly under Stalin, was revived when Catholicos Vazgen I assumed the duties of his office in In , a memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide was built at the Tsitsernakaberd hill above the Hrazdan gorge in Yerevan.

During the Gorbachev era of the s, with the reforms of Glasnost and Perestroika , Armenians began to demand better environmental care for their country, opposing the pollution that Soviet-built factories brought.

Tensions also developed between Soviet Azerbaijan and its autonomous district of Nagorno-Karabakh , a majority-Armenian region. About , Armenians lived in Azerbaijan in Peaceful protests in Yerevan supporting the Karabakh Armenians were met with anti-Armenian pogroms in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait.

The violence resulted in the deaths of five Armenians killed in a shootout with the MVD at the railway station. Witnesses there claimed that the MVD used excessive force and that they had instigated the fighting.

Further firefights between Armenian militiamen and Soviet troops occurred in Sovetashen , near the capital and resulted in the deaths of over 26 people, mostly Armenians.

The pogrom of Armenians in Baku in January forced almost all of the , Armenians in the Azerbaijani capital Baku to flee to Armenia.

On 21 September , Armenia officially declared its independence after the failed August coup in Moscow. Levon Ter-Petrosyan was popularly elected the first President of the newly independent Republic of Armenia on 16 October He had risen to prominence by leading the Karabakh movement for the unification of the Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh.

The initial post-Soviet years were marred by economic difficulties, which had their roots early in the Karabakh conflict when the Azerbaijani Popular Front managed to pressure the Azerbaijan SSR to instigate a railway and air blockade against Armenia.

The Karabakh war ended after a Russian-brokered cease-fire was put in place in The status of Karabakh has yet to be determined. By the time both Azerbaijan and Armenia had finally agreed to a ceasefire in , an estimated 30, people had been killed and over a million had been displaced.

As it enters the 21st century, Armenia faces many hardships. It has made a full switch to a market economy. One study ranks it the 41st most "economically free" nation in the world, as of [update].

Armenia maintains cordial relations with both countries. Armenia is a landlocked country in the geopolitical Transcaucasus South Caucasus region, that is located in the Southern Caucasus Mountains and their lowlands between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea , and northeast of the Armenian Highlands.

Armenia is bordered on the north by Georgia , the east by Azerbaijan ; the south by Iran ; and the southwest and west by Turkey.

The terrain is mostly mountainous, with fast flowing rivers, and few forests. Mount Ararat , which was historically part of Armenia, is the highest mountain in the region.

Now located in Turkey, but clearly visible from Armenia, it is regarded by the Armenians as a symbol of their land.

Because of this, the mountain is present on the Armenian national emblem today. The climate in Armenia is markedly highland continental.

Summers are hot, dry and sunny, lasting from June to mid-September. However, the low humidity level mitigates the effect of high temperatures. Evening breezes blowing down the mountains provide a welcome refreshing and cooling effect.

Springs are short, while autumns are long. Autumns are known for their vibrant and colourful foliage. Winter sports enthusiasts enjoy skiing down the hills of Tsakhkadzor , located thirty minutes outside Yerevan.

Out of sub-subindices contributing to Environmental Health subindex ranking on Air Quality to which population is exposed is particularly unsatisfying.

A waste processing plant is scheduled for construction near Hrazdan city, which will allow for closure of 10 waste dumps. Despite the availability of abundant renewable energy sources in Armenia especially hydroelectric and wind power and calls from EU officials to shut down the nuclear power plant at Metsamor , [99] the Armenian Government is exploring the possibilities of installing new small modular nuclear reactors.

Armenian Ministry of Nature Protection introduced taxes for air and water pollution and solid-waste disposal, whose revenues are used for environmental protection activities.

Politics of Armenia takes place in a framework of representative parliamentary democratic republic. Until transition in April Armenian constitution adhered to the model of semi-presidential republic.

According to the current Constitution of Armenia , the President is the head of state holding largely representational functions, while the Prime Minister is the head of government and exercises executive power.

Legislative power is vested in the unicameral parliament is also called the Azgayin Zhoghov or National Assembly. Armenia presently maintains positive relations with almost every country in the world, with two major exceptions being its immediate neighbours, Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Tensions were running high between Armenians and Azerbaijanis during the final years of the Soviet Union. In addition, a permanent solution for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has not been reached despite the mediation provided by organizations such as the OSCE.

Turkey also has a long history of poor relations with Armenia over its refusal to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide , even though it was one of the first countries to recognize the Republic of Armenia the 3rd republic after its independence from the USSR in During the Nagorno-Karabakh War, and citing it as the reason, Turkey illegally closed its border with Armenia in It has not lifted its blockade despite pressure from the powerful Turkish business lobby interested in Armenian markets.

On 10 October , Armenia and Turkey signed protocols on the normalisation of relations, which set a timetable for restoring diplomatic ties and reopening their joint border.

In Armenia, it passed through the legislatively required approval of the Constitutional Court and was sent to parliament for final ratification. The President had made multiple public announcements, both in Armenia and abroad, that, as the leader of the political majority of Armenia, he assured the ratification of the protocols if Turkey also ratified them.

Despite this, the process stopped, as Turkey continuously added more preconditions to its ratification and also "delayed it beyond any reasonable time-period".

Due to its position between two unfriendly neighbours, Armenia has close security ties with Russia. At the request of the Armenian government, Russia maintains a military base in the city of Gyumri located in Northwestern Armenia.

It maintains good relations with the United States especially through its Armenian diaspora. Because of the illicit border blockades by Azerbaijan and Turkey, Armenia continues to maintain solid relations with its southern neighbour Iran especially in the economic sector.

Economic projects such a gas pipeline going from Iran to Armenia are being developed. Armenia is also a member of the Council of Europe, maintaining friendly relations with the European Union, especially with its member states such as France and Greece.

As a result of its historical ties to France, Armenia was selected to host the biennial Francophonie summit in A former republic of the Soviet Union , Armenia is an emerging democracy and as of [update] was negotiating with the European Union to become an associate partner.

Legally speaking, it has the right to be considered as a prospective EU member provided it meets necessary standards and criteria, although officially such a plan does not exist in Brussels.

Among other goals, it aims at improving investment climate. Human rights in Armenia tend to be better than those in most former Soviet republics and have drawn closer to acceptable standards, especially economically.

Although still classified as "hybrid regime", Armenia recorded strongest improvement among European countries [] and reached is its ever-best score since calculation began in Armenia is classified "partly free" in report with data for by Freedom House , which gives it a score of 45 out of Armenia ranked 29th for economic freedom and 76th for personal freedom among countries in Human Freedom Index published by the Cato Institute.

These classification may improve when data, including the period of velvet revolution and thereafter, is analyzed. The Armenian military was formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in and with the establishment of the Ministry of Defence in The Ministry of Defence is in charge of political leadership, headed by Davit Tonoyan , while military command remains in the hands of the general staff, headed by the Chief of Staff , who is Major-General Artak Davtyan.

Active forces now number about 81, soldiers, with an additional reserve of 32, troops. In the case of an attack, Armenia is able to mobilise every able-bodied man between the age of 15 and 59, with military preparedness.

The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe , which establishes comprehensive limits on key categories of military equipment, was ratified by the Armenian parliament in July In March , Armenia signed the multilateral Chemical Weapons Convention , which calls for the eventual elimination of chemical weapons.

The chief executive in each of the ten provinces is the marzpet marz governor , appointed by the government of Armenia. In Yerevan, the chief executive is the mayor, appointed by the president.

Within each province are communities hamaynkner , singular hamaynk. Each community is self-governing and consists of one or more settlements bnakavayrer , singular bnakavayr.

Settlements are classified as either towns kaghakner , singular kaghak or villages gyugher , singular gyugh. As of [update] , Armenia includes communities, of which 49 are considered urban and are considered rural.

The capital, Yerevan, also has the status of a community. Area and population of provinces. The economy relies heavily on investment and support from Armenians abroad.

The republic had developed a modern industrial sector , supplying machine tools , textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics in exchange for raw materials and energy.

Armenian mines produce copper, zinc, gold, and lead. The vast majority of energy is produced with fuel imported from Russia, including gas and nuclear fuel for its one nuclear power plant ; the main domestic energy source is hydroelectric.

Small deposits of coal, gas, and petroleum exist but have not yet been developed. Soviet investment in and support of Armenian industry has virtually disappeared, so that few major enterprises are still able to function.

In addition, the effects of the Spitak earthquake , which killed more than 25, people and made , homeless, are still being felt. The conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh has not been resolved.

The closure of Azerbaijani and Turkish borders has devastated the economy, because Armenia depends on outside supplies of energy and most raw materials.

Land routes through Georgia and Iran are inadequate or unreliable. Nevertheless, the government was able to make wide-ranging economic reforms that paid off in dramatically lower inflation and steady growth.

The cease-fire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has also helped the economy. Armenia has had strong economic growth since , building on the turnaround that began the previous year, and inflation has been negligible for the past several years.

New sectors, such as precious-stone processing and jewelry making, information and communication technology, and even tourism are beginning to supplement more traditional sectors of the economy, such as agriculture.

This steady economic progress has earned Armenia increasing support from international institutions. These loans are targeted at reducing the budget deficit and stabilising the currency; developing private businesses; energy; agriculture; food processing; transportation; the health and education sectors; and ongoing rehabilitation in the earthquake zone.

The government joined the World Trade Organization on 5 February But one of the main sources of foreign direct investments remains the Armenian diaspora, which finances major parts of the reconstruction of infrastructure and other public projects.

Being a growing democratic state, Armenia also hopes to get more financial aid from the Western World. A liberal foreign investment law was approved in June , and a law on privatization was adopted in , as well as a program of state property privatization.

Continued progress will depend on the ability of the government to strengthen its macroeconomic management, including increasing revenue collection, improving the investment climate, and making strides against corruption.

However, unemployment, which was Armenia ranks 47th on Doing Business Index in with 13th rank on "starting business" sub-index.

Research spending is low in Armenia, averaging 0. However, the statistical record of research expenditure is incomplete, as expenditure by privately owned business enterprises is not surveyed in Armenia.

The world average for domestic expenditure on research was 1. Based on this strategy, the accompanying Action Plan was approved by the government in June It defines the following targets: However, the main driver of innovation, the business sector, is not mentioned.

In between publishing the Strategy and Action Plan , the government issued a resolution in May on Science and Technology Development Priorities for — This law is expected to play a key role in shaping the Armenian innovation system.

It allows the National Academy of Sciences to extend its business activities to the commercialization of research results and the creation of spin-offs; it also makes provision for restructuring the National Academy of Sciences by combining institutes involved in closely related research areas into a single body.

Three of these new centres are particularly relevant: The government is focusing its support on selected industrial sectors. More than 20 projects have been cofunded by the State Committee of Science in targeted branches: Over the past decade, the government has made an effort to encourage science—industry linkages.

The Armenian information technology sector has been particularly active: Examples are Synopsys Inc. In medieval times University of Gladzor and University of Tatev took an important role for whole Armenia.

In the —89 school year, students per 10, population were in specialized secondary or higher education, a figure slightly lower than the Soviet average.

In the early s, Armenia made substantial changes to the centralised and regimented Soviet system. Primary and secondary education in Armenia is free, and completion of secondary school is compulsory.

High education in Armenia is harmonized with Bologna process. Armenian National Academy of Sciences plays important role in postgraduate education.

Schooling takes 12 years in Armenia and breaks down into primary 4 years , middle 5 years and high school 3 years. Schools engage a grade mark system.

Interesting feature of primary and secondary education is obligatory schooling in chess playing. Tumo Center for Creative Technologies is one of the most prominent auxiliary education concepts in Armenia.

Armath [] laboratories are a prominent concept for engaging pupils into studying technical sciences and applied technologies. Teach for Armenia is works towards the improvement of primary and secondary education enrollment in regions of Armenia.

The Government also supports Armenian schools outside of Armenia. List of universities in Armenia includes many other. The extension programs and the library at AUA form a new focal point for English-language intellectual life in the city.

Armenia also hosts a deployment of One Laptop per Child initiative. On the basis of the expansion and development of Yerevan State University a number of higher educational independent Institutions were formed including Medical Institute separated in which was set up on the basis of medical faculty.

In Yerevan State Medical University was awarded one of the main rewards of the former USSR — the Order of Labor red Banner for training qualified specialists in health care and valuable service in the development of Medical Science.

Nowadays the YSMU is a Medical Institution corresponding to international requirements, trains medical staff for not only Armenia and neighbour countries, i.

Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Georgia, but also many other leading countries all over the world. Nowadays the university is ranked among famous higher Medical Institutions and takes its honourable place in the World Directory of Medical Schools published by the WHO.

However public spendings per student in tertiary education in GDP-ratio terms is one of the lowest for post-USSR countries for which data was available.

Armenia has a population of 2,, est. About 1, Armenians reside in the Armenian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem , a remnant of a once-larger community.

Ethnic Armenians make up Yazidis make up 1. Minorities of Poles and Caucasus Germans also exist though they are heavily Russified.

During the Soviet era , Azerbaijanis were historically the second largest population in the country forming about 2.

Conversely, Armenia received a large influx of Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan, thus giving Armenia a more homogeneous character. According to Gallup research conducted in Armenia has one of the highest migrant acceptance welcoming rates in eastern Europe.

Armenian is the only official language. The main foreign languages that Armenians know are Russian and English.

Due to its Soviet past, most of the old population can speak Russian quite well. Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion, an event traditionally dated to AD The predominant religion in Armenia is Christianity.

The roots of the Armenian Church go back to the 1st century. Because of these two founding apostles, the official name of the Armenian Church is Armenian Apostolic Church.

The Armenian Evangelical Church has a very sizeable and favourable presence among the life of Armenians with over several thousand members throughout the country.

It traces its roots back to which was under patronage of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople the aim of which was to train qualified clergy for the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Other Christian denominations practising faith based on Nicene Creed in Armenia are the Pentecostal branches of Protestant community such as the Word of Life, the Armenian Brotherhood Church , [] the Baptists which are known as of the oldest existing denominations in Armenia and were permitted by the authorities of Soviet Union, [] [] and Presbyterians.

Catholics also exist in Armenia, both Latin rite and Armenian rite Catholics. The Mechitarists also spelled "Mekhitarists" Armenian: They are best known for their series of scholarly publications of ancient Armenian versions of otherwise lost ancient Greek texts.

The Armenian Catholic denomination is headquartered in Bzoummar , Lebanon. Armenia is home to a Russian community of Molokans which practice a form of Spiritual Christianity originated from the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Yazidis, who live in the western part of the country, practice Yazidism. There is a Jewish community in Armenia diminished to persons since independence with most emigrants leaving for Israel.

There are currently two synagogues in Armenia — in the capital, Yerevan, and in the city of Sevan located near Lake Sevan. Armenians have their own distinctive alphabet and language.

The alphabet was invented in AD by Mesrop Mashtots and consists of thirty-nine letters, three of which were added during the Cilician period. Television, magazines, and newspapers are all operated by both state-owned and for-profit corporations which depend on advertising , subscription , and other sales-related revenues.

The number of assaults has recently declined, but the physical integrity of journalists remain at stake. Instruments like the duduk, dhol , zurna , and kanun are commonly found in Armenian folk music.

Artists such as Sayat Nova are famous due to their influence in the development of Armenian folk music. One of the oldest types of Armenian music is the Armenian chant which is the most common kind of religious music in Armenia.

Many of these chants are ancient in origin, extending to pre-Christian times, while others are relatively modern, including several composed by Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of the Armenian alphabet.

Whilst under Soviet rule, the Armenian classical music composer Aram Khatchaturian became internationally well known for his music, for various ballets and the Sabre Dance from his composition for the ballet Gayane.

The Armenian Genocide caused widespread emigration that led to the settlement of Armenians in various countries in the world. Armenians kept to their traditions and certain diasporans rose to fame with their music.

This style preserved the folk songs and dances of Western Armenia , and many artists also played the contemporary popular songs of Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries from which the Armenians emigrated.

Richard Hagopian is perhaps the most famous artist of the traditional "kef" style and the Vosbikian Band was notable in the s and s for developing their own style of "kef music" heavily influenced by the popular American Big Band Jazz of the time.

Other Armenian diasporans that rose to fame in classical or international music circles are world-renowned French-Armenian singer and composer Charles Aznavour , pianist Sahan Arzruni , prominent opera sopranos such as Hasmik Papian and more recently Isabel Bayrakdarian and Anna Kasyan.

Certain Armenians settled to sing non-Armenian tunes such as the heavy metal band System of a Down which nonetheless often incorporates traditional Armenian instrumentals and styling into their songs or pop star Cher.

In the Armenian diaspora, Armenian revolutionary songs are popular with the youth. These songs encourage Armenian patriotism and are generally about Armenian history and national heroes.

Yerevan Vernissage arts and crafts market , close to Republic Square, bustles with hundreds of vendors selling a variety of crafts on weekends and Wednesdays though the selection is much reduced mid-week.

The market offers woodcarving, antiques, fine lace, and the hand-knotted wool carpets and kilims that are a Caucasus speciality.

Obsidian , which is found locally, is crafted into assortment of jewellery and ornamental objects. Armenian gold smithery enjoys a long tradition, populating one corner of the market with a selection of gold items.

Soviet relics and souvenirs of recent Russian manufacture — nesting dolls, watches, enamel boxes and so on — are also available at the Vernisage.

Across from the Opera House, a popular art market fills another city park on the weekends. All but the most spectacular remain virtually undiscovered, allowing visitors to view churches and fortresses in their original settings.

It houses paintings by many European masters as well. Moreover, many private galleries are in operation, with many more opening every year, featuring rotating exhibitions and sales.

On 13 April , the Armenian government announced a change in law to allow freedom of panorama for 3D works of art. Cinema in Armenia was born on April 16, , when the Armenian State Committee of Cinema was established by a decree of the Soviet Armenian government.

The film was premiered in Cairo on March 13, In March , the first Armenian film studio; Armenfilm Armenian: Арменкино "Armenkino" was established in Yerevan, starting with a documentary film called Soviet Armenia.

Namus was the first Armenian silent black-and-white film, directed by Hamo Beknazarian in , based on a play of Alexander Shirvanzade , describing the ill fate of two lovers, who were engaged by their families to each other since childhood, but because of violations of namus a tradition of honor , the girl was married by her father to another person.

The first sound film , Pepo was shot in , director Hamo Beknazarian. A wide array of sports are played in Armenia, the most popular among them being wrestling, weightlifting, judo, association football, chess, and boxing.

Being a landlocked country, water sports can only be practised on lakes, notably Lake Sevan. Competitively, Armenia has been successful in chess, weightlifting and wrestling at the international level.

It also hosts the Pan-Armenian Games. As part of the Soviet Union, Armenia was very successful, winning plenty of medals and helping the USSR win the medal standings at the Olympics on numerous occasions.

The first medal won by an Armenian in modern Olympic history was by Hrant Shahinyan sometimes spelled as Grant Shaginyan , who won two golds and two silvers in gymnastics at the Summer Olympics in Helsinki.

To highlight the level of success of Armenians in the Olympics, Shahinyan was quoted as saying:. But those difficulties notwithstanding, 90 percent of Armenian athletes on Soviet Olympic teams came back with medals.

Armenia first participated at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona under a unified CIS team, where it was very successful, winning three golds and one silver in weightlifting, wrestling and sharp shooting, despite only having five athletes.

Since the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer , Armenia has participated as an independent nation. Armenia participates in the Summer Olympic Games in boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, judo, gymnastics, track and field, diving, swimming and sharp shooting.

It also participates in the Winter Olympic Games in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and figure skating. Football is also popular in Armenia.

The latter achievement saw FC Ararat gain entry to the European Cup where — despite a home victory in the second leg — they lost on aggregate at the quarter final stage to eventual winner FC Bayern Munich.

Armenia competed internationally as part of the USSR national football team until the Armenian national football team was formed in after the split of the Soviet Union.

Armenia have never qualified for a major tournament although recent improvements saw the team to achieve 44th position in the FIFA World Rankings in September The national team is controlled by the Football Federation of Armenia.

The Armenian Premier League is the highest level football competition in Armenia, and has been dominated by FC Pyunik in recent seasons.

The league currently consists of eight teams and relegates to the Armenian First League. Wrestling has been a successful sport in the Olympics for Armenia.

Traditional Armenian wrestling is called Kokh and practised in traditional garb; it was one of the influences included in the Soviet combat sport of Sambo , which is also very popular.

The rebuilding of the regional schools was financed by the Armenian government. In , a cycling centre was opened in Yerevan with the aim of helping produce world class Armenian cyclists.

Armenia has also been very successful in chess, winning the World Champion in and the World Chess Olympiad on three occasions. Armenian cuisine is closely related to eastern and Mediterranean cuisine ; various spices , vegetables , fish , and fruits combine to present unique dishes.

The main characteristics of Armenian cuisine are a reliance on the quality of the ingredients rather than heavily spicing food, the use of herbs, the use of wheat in a variety of forms, of legumes, nuts, and fruit as a main ingredient as well as to sour food , and the stuffing of a wide variety of leaves.

The pomegranate , with its symbolic association with fertility, represents that nation. The apricot is the national fruit. This article incorporates text from a free content work.

To learn how to add open license text to Wikipedia articles, please see Wikipedia: Adding open license text to Wikipedia. For information on reusing text from Wikipedia , please see the terms of use.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the country. For other uses, see Armenia disambiguation. For other uses, see Hayastan disambiguation.

Republic in South Caucasus in West Asia. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. First Republic of Armenia. Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. Government of Armenia and Politics of Armenia.

Human rights in Armenia. Armenians in Poland have an important and historical presence going back to the 14th century. The Armenian emigrants, taking with them a handful of native soil in a piece of cloth, were scattered in southern Russia, into the Caucasus , in the land of the Cossacks, while 50, from among them came to Poland.

They settled mostly in the cities, and in many places they became the nucleus of the Polish bourgeois class. Kamieniec-Podolski Kamianets-Podilskyi , that crown of Polish old fortresses, received its fame from the Armenians who settled there.

In Bukowina and in all Galicia, the Armenian element plays a role of the first order in political and social life, in industry and in intellectual movement.

Finally, in Poland proper and its capital, Warsaw , the descendants of those who once were the great nation on the Arax , rendered themselves illustrious in all careers.

In the battles of Grunwald and Varna , the forebears of the Alexandrovics, the Augustinovics, the Agopsovics and Apakanovics took part.

Through successive immigrations, the Armenians of Poland gradually formed a colony, comprising 5, All acts and official deliberations were conducted in the Armenian language and in accordance with the laws of that nation.

The peaceful life of the colony was troubled in the Despite the ensuing rift between the majority of the Armenian community and the few followers of Torosowicz the Armenian community finally reentered into communion with the Holy See forming the Armenian Catholic Church which retained a separate hierarchy and used the Armenian Rite.

In Bukowina, they lived in the city of Suceava and vicinity. The regions of Poland where Armenians were concentrated such as Eastern Galicia were annexed into the Soviet Union as part of the agreements reached at the Yalta conference.

As a result, the Polish Armenian community became dispersed all over Poland. To combat this dispersion they began to form Armenian Cultural Associations.

Most Armenians living in Poland today origins are from the post-Soviet emigration rather than the older Armenian community.

The treaty, however, was rejected by the Turkish National Movement , and never came into effect. The movement used the treaty as the occasion to declare itself the rightful government of Turkey , replacing the monarchy based in Istanbul with a republic based in Ankara.

In , Turkish nationalist forces invaded the fledgling Armenian republic from the east. The violent conflict finally concluded with the Treaty of Alexandropol on 2 December After the fall of the republic, the February Uprising soon took place in , and led to the establishment of the Republic of Mountainous Armenia by Armenian forces under command of Garegin Nzhdeh on 26 April, which fought off both Soviet and Turkish intrusions in the Zangezur region of southern Armenia.

Armenians enjoyed a period of relative stability under Soviet rule. They received medicine, food, and other provisions from Moscow, and communist rule proved to be a soothing balm in contrast to the turbulent final years of the Ottoman Empire.

The situation was difficult for the church, which struggled under Soviet rule. After the death of Vladimir Lenin , Joseph Stalin took the reins of power and began an era of renewed fear and terror for Armenians.

Armenia was not the scene of any battles in World War II. An estimated , Armenians nearly a third of the population served in the military during the war, and , died.

Soon, life in Soviet Armenia began to see rapid improvement. The church, which suffered greatly under Stalin, was revived when Catholicos Vazgen I assumed the duties of his office in In , a memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide was built at the Tsitsernakaberd hill above the Hrazdan gorge in Yerevan.

During the Gorbachev era of the s, with the reforms of Glasnost and Perestroika , Armenians began to demand better environmental care for their country, opposing the pollution that Soviet-built factories brought.

Tensions also developed between Soviet Azerbaijan and its autonomous district of Nagorno-Karabakh , a majority-Armenian region.

About , Armenians lived in Azerbaijan in Peaceful protests in Yerevan supporting the Karabakh Armenians were met with anti-Armenian pogroms in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait.

The violence resulted in the deaths of five Armenians killed in a shootout with the MVD at the railway station. Witnesses there claimed that the MVD used excessive force and that they had instigated the fighting.

Further firefights between Armenian militiamen and Soviet troops occurred in Sovetashen , near the capital and resulted in the deaths of over 26 people, mostly Armenians.

The pogrom of Armenians in Baku in January forced almost all of the , Armenians in the Azerbaijani capital Baku to flee to Armenia.

On 21 September , Armenia officially declared its independence after the failed August coup in Moscow. Levon Ter-Petrosyan was popularly elected the first President of the newly independent Republic of Armenia on 16 October He had risen to prominence by leading the Karabakh movement for the unification of the Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh.

The initial post-Soviet years were marred by economic difficulties, which had their roots early in the Karabakh conflict when the Azerbaijani Popular Front managed to pressure the Azerbaijan SSR to instigate a railway and air blockade against Armenia.

The Karabakh war ended after a Russian-brokered cease-fire was put in place in The status of Karabakh has yet to be determined.

By the time both Azerbaijan and Armenia had finally agreed to a ceasefire in , an estimated 30, people had been killed and over a million had been displaced.

As it enters the 21st century, Armenia faces many hardships. It has made a full switch to a market economy. One study ranks it the 41st most "economically free" nation in the world, as of [update].

Armenia maintains cordial relations with both countries. Armenia is a landlocked country in the geopolitical Transcaucasus South Caucasus region, that is located in the Southern Caucasus Mountains and their lowlands between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea , and northeast of the Armenian Highlands.

Armenia is bordered on the north by Georgia , the east by Azerbaijan ; the south by Iran ; and the southwest and west by Turkey.

The terrain is mostly mountainous, with fast flowing rivers, and few forests. Mount Ararat , which was historically part of Armenia, is the highest mountain in the region.

Now located in Turkey, but clearly visible from Armenia, it is regarded by the Armenians as a symbol of their land.

Because of this, the mountain is present on the Armenian national emblem today. The climate in Armenia is markedly highland continental. Summers are hot, dry and sunny, lasting from June to mid-September.

However, the low humidity level mitigates the effect of high temperatures. Evening breezes blowing down the mountains provide a welcome refreshing and cooling effect.

Springs are short, while autumns are long. Autumns are known for their vibrant and colourful foliage. Winter sports enthusiasts enjoy skiing down the hills of Tsakhkadzor , located thirty minutes outside Yerevan.

Out of sub-subindices contributing to Environmental Health subindex ranking on Air Quality to which population is exposed is particularly unsatisfying.

A waste processing plant is scheduled for construction near Hrazdan city, which will allow for closure of 10 waste dumps.

Despite the availability of abundant renewable energy sources in Armenia especially hydroelectric and wind power and calls from EU officials to shut down the nuclear power plant at Metsamor , [99] the Armenian Government is exploring the possibilities of installing new small modular nuclear reactors.

Armenian Ministry of Nature Protection introduced taxes for air and water pollution and solid-waste disposal, whose revenues are used for environmental protection activities.

Politics of Armenia takes place in a framework of representative parliamentary democratic republic. Until transition in April Armenian constitution adhered to the model of semi-presidential republic.

According to the current Constitution of Armenia , the President is the head of state holding largely representational functions, while the Prime Minister is the head of government and exercises executive power.

Legislative power is vested in the unicameral parliament is also called the Azgayin Zhoghov or National Assembly. Armenia presently maintains positive relations with almost every country in the world, with two major exceptions being its immediate neighbours, Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Tensions were running high between Armenians and Azerbaijanis during the final years of the Soviet Union. In addition, a permanent solution for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has not been reached despite the mediation provided by organizations such as the OSCE.

Turkey also has a long history of poor relations with Armenia over its refusal to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide , even though it was one of the first countries to recognize the Republic of Armenia the 3rd republic after its independence from the USSR in During the Nagorno-Karabakh War, and citing it as the reason, Turkey illegally closed its border with Armenia in It has not lifted its blockade despite pressure from the powerful Turkish business lobby interested in Armenian markets.

On 10 October , Armenia and Turkey signed protocols on the normalisation of relations, which set a timetable for restoring diplomatic ties and reopening their joint border.

In Armenia, it passed through the legislatively required approval of the Constitutional Court and was sent to parliament for final ratification.

The President had made multiple public announcements, both in Armenia and abroad, that, as the leader of the political majority of Armenia, he assured the ratification of the protocols if Turkey also ratified them.

Despite this, the process stopped, as Turkey continuously added more preconditions to its ratification and also "delayed it beyond any reasonable time-period".

Due to its position between two unfriendly neighbours, Armenia has close security ties with Russia. At the request of the Armenian government, Russia maintains a military base in the city of Gyumri located in Northwestern Armenia.

It maintains good relations with the United States especially through its Armenian diaspora. Because of the illicit border blockades by Azerbaijan and Turkey, Armenia continues to maintain solid relations with its southern neighbour Iran especially in the economic sector.

Economic projects such a gas pipeline going from Iran to Armenia are being developed. Armenia is also a member of the Council of Europe, maintaining friendly relations with the European Union, especially with its member states such as France and Greece.

As a result of its historical ties to France, Armenia was selected to host the biennial Francophonie summit in A former republic of the Soviet Union , Armenia is an emerging democracy and as of [update] was negotiating with the European Union to become an associate partner.

Legally speaking, it has the right to be considered as a prospective EU member provided it meets necessary standards and criteria, although officially such a plan does not exist in Brussels.

Among other goals, it aims at improving investment climate. Human rights in Armenia tend to be better than those in most former Soviet republics and have drawn closer to acceptable standards, especially economically.

Although still classified as "hybrid regime", Armenia recorded strongest improvement among European countries [] and reached is its ever-best score since calculation began in Armenia is classified "partly free" in report with data for by Freedom House , which gives it a score of 45 out of Armenia ranked 29th for economic freedom and 76th for personal freedom among countries in Human Freedom Index published by the Cato Institute.

These classification may improve when data, including the period of velvet revolution and thereafter, is analyzed. The Armenian military was formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in and with the establishment of the Ministry of Defence in The Ministry of Defence is in charge of political leadership, headed by Davit Tonoyan , while military command remains in the hands of the general staff, headed by the Chief of Staff , who is Major-General Artak Davtyan.

Active forces now number about 81, soldiers, with an additional reserve of 32, troops. In the case of an attack, Armenia is able to mobilise every able-bodied man between the age of 15 and 59, with military preparedness.

The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe , which establishes comprehensive limits on key categories of military equipment, was ratified by the Armenian parliament in July In March , Armenia signed the multilateral Chemical Weapons Convention , which calls for the eventual elimination of chemical weapons.

The chief executive in each of the ten provinces is the marzpet marz governor , appointed by the government of Armenia. In Yerevan, the chief executive is the mayor, appointed by the president.

Within each province are communities hamaynkner , singular hamaynk. Each community is self-governing and consists of one or more settlements bnakavayrer , singular bnakavayr.

Settlements are classified as either towns kaghakner , singular kaghak or villages gyugher , singular gyugh. As of [update] , Armenia includes communities, of which 49 are considered urban and are considered rural.

The capital, Yerevan, also has the status of a community. Area and population of provinces. The economy relies heavily on investment and support from Armenians abroad.

The republic had developed a modern industrial sector , supplying machine tools , textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics in exchange for raw materials and energy.

Armenian mines produce copper, zinc, gold, and lead. The vast majority of energy is produced with fuel imported from Russia, including gas and nuclear fuel for its one nuclear power plant ; the main domestic energy source is hydroelectric.

Small deposits of coal, gas, and petroleum exist but have not yet been developed. Soviet investment in and support of Armenian industry has virtually disappeared, so that few major enterprises are still able to function.

In addition, the effects of the Spitak earthquake , which killed more than 25, people and made , homeless, are still being felt.

The conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh has not been resolved. The closure of Azerbaijani and Turkish borders has devastated the economy, because Armenia depends on outside supplies of energy and most raw materials.

Land routes through Georgia and Iran are inadequate or unreliable. Nevertheless, the government was able to make wide-ranging economic reforms that paid off in dramatically lower inflation and steady growth.

The cease-fire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has also helped the economy. Armenia has had strong economic growth since , building on the turnaround that began the previous year, and inflation has been negligible for the past several years.

New sectors, such as precious-stone processing and jewelry making, information and communication technology, and even tourism are beginning to supplement more traditional sectors of the economy, such as agriculture.

This steady economic progress has earned Armenia increasing support from international institutions. These loans are targeted at reducing the budget deficit and stabilising the currency; developing private businesses; energy; agriculture; food processing; transportation; the health and education sectors; and ongoing rehabilitation in the earthquake zone.

The government joined the World Trade Organization on 5 February But one of the main sources of foreign direct investments remains the Armenian diaspora, which finances major parts of the reconstruction of infrastructure and other public projects.

Being a growing democratic state, Armenia also hopes to get more financial aid from the Western World.

A liberal foreign investment law was approved in June , and a law on privatization was adopted in , as well as a program of state property privatization.

Continued progress will depend on the ability of the government to strengthen its macroeconomic management, including increasing revenue collection, improving the investment climate, and making strides against corruption.

However, unemployment, which was Armenia ranks 47th on Doing Business Index in with 13th rank on "starting business" sub-index.

Research spending is low in Armenia, averaging 0. However, the statistical record of research expenditure is incomplete, as expenditure by privately owned business enterprises is not surveyed in Armenia.

The world average for domestic expenditure on research was 1. Based on this strategy, the accompanying Action Plan was approved by the government in June It defines the following targets: However, the main driver of innovation, the business sector, is not mentioned.

In between publishing the Strategy and Action Plan , the government issued a resolution in May on Science and Technology Development Priorities for — This law is expected to play a key role in shaping the Armenian innovation system.

It allows the National Academy of Sciences to extend its business activities to the commercialization of research results and the creation of spin-offs; it also makes provision for restructuring the National Academy of Sciences by combining institutes involved in closely related research areas into a single body.

Three of these new centres are particularly relevant: The government is focusing its support on selected industrial sectors. More than 20 projects have been cofunded by the State Committee of Science in targeted branches: Over the past decade, the government has made an effort to encourage science—industry linkages.

The Armenian information technology sector has been particularly active: Examples are Synopsys Inc. In medieval times University of Gladzor and University of Tatev took an important role for whole Armenia.

In the —89 school year, students per 10, population were in specialized secondary or higher education, a figure slightly lower than the Soviet average.

In the early s, Armenia made substantial changes to the centralised and regimented Soviet system. Primary and secondary education in Armenia is free, and completion of secondary school is compulsory.

High education in Armenia is harmonized with Bologna process. Armenian National Academy of Sciences plays important role in postgraduate education.

Schooling takes 12 years in Armenia and breaks down into primary 4 years , middle 5 years and high school 3 years. Schools engage a grade mark system.

Interesting feature of primary and secondary education is obligatory schooling in chess playing. Tumo Center for Creative Technologies is one of the most prominent auxiliary education concepts in Armenia.

Armath [] laboratories are a prominent concept for engaging pupils into studying technical sciences and applied technologies.

Teach for Armenia is works towards the improvement of primary and secondary education enrollment in regions of Armenia.

The Government also supports Armenian schools outside of Armenia. List of universities in Armenia includes many other.

The extension programs and the library at AUA form a new focal point for English-language intellectual life in the city. Armenia also hosts a deployment of One Laptop per Child initiative.

On the basis of the expansion and development of Yerevan State University a number of higher educational independent Institutions were formed including Medical Institute separated in which was set up on the basis of medical faculty.

In Yerevan State Medical University was awarded one of the main rewards of the former USSR — the Order of Labor red Banner for training qualified specialists in health care and valuable service in the development of Medical Science.

Nowadays the YSMU is a Medical Institution corresponding to international requirements, trains medical staff for not only Armenia and neighbour countries, i.

Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Georgia, but also many other leading countries all over the world. Nowadays the university is ranked among famous higher Medical Institutions and takes its honourable place in the World Directory of Medical Schools published by the WHO.

However public spendings per student in tertiary education in GDP-ratio terms is one of the lowest for post-USSR countries for which data was available.

Armenia has a population of 2,, est. About 1, Armenians reside in the Armenian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem , a remnant of a once-larger community.

Ethnic Armenians make up Yazidis make up 1. Minorities of Poles and Caucasus Germans also exist though they are heavily Russified. During the Soviet era , Azerbaijanis were historically the second largest population in the country forming about 2.

Conversely, Armenia received a large influx of Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan, thus giving Armenia a more homogeneous character.

According to Gallup research conducted in Armenia has one of the highest migrant acceptance welcoming rates in eastern Europe. Armenian is the only official language.

The main foreign languages that Armenians know are Russian and English. Due to its Soviet past, most of the old population can speak Russian quite well.

Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion, an event traditionally dated to AD The predominant religion in Armenia is Christianity.

The roots of the Armenian Church go back to the 1st century. Because of these two founding apostles, the official name of the Armenian Church is Armenian Apostolic Church.

The Armenian Evangelical Church has a very sizeable and favourable presence among the life of Armenians with over several thousand members throughout the country.

It traces its roots back to which was under patronage of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople the aim of which was to train qualified clergy for the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Other Christian denominations practising faith based on Nicene Creed in Armenia are the Pentecostal branches of Protestant community such as the Word of Life, the Armenian Brotherhood Church , [] the Baptists which are known as of the oldest existing denominations in Armenia and were permitted by the authorities of Soviet Union, [] [] and Presbyterians.

Catholics also exist in Armenia, both Latin rite and Armenian rite Catholics. The Mechitarists also spelled "Mekhitarists" Armenian: They are best known for their series of scholarly publications of ancient Armenian versions of otherwise lost ancient Greek texts.

The Armenian Catholic denomination is headquartered in Bzoummar , Lebanon. Armenia is home to a Russian community of Molokans which practice a form of Spiritual Christianity originated from the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Yazidis, who live in the western part of the country, practice Yazidism. There is a Jewish community in Armenia diminished to persons since independence with most emigrants leaving for Israel.

There are currently two synagogues in Armenia — in the capital, Yerevan, and in the city of Sevan located near Lake Sevan. Armenians have their own distinctive alphabet and language.

The alphabet was invented in AD by Mesrop Mashtots and consists of thirty-nine letters, three of which were added during the Cilician period. Television, magazines, and newspapers are all operated by both state-owned and for-profit corporations which depend on advertising , subscription , and other sales-related revenues.

The number of assaults has recently declined, but the physical integrity of journalists remain at stake. Instruments like the duduk, dhol , zurna , and kanun are commonly found in Armenian folk music.

Artists such as Sayat Nova are famous due to their influence in the development of Armenian folk music. One of the oldest types of Armenian music is the Armenian chant which is the most common kind of religious music in Armenia.

Many of these chants are ancient in origin, extending to pre-Christian times, while others are relatively modern, including several composed by Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of the Armenian alphabet.

Whilst under Soviet rule, the Armenian classical music composer Aram Khatchaturian became internationally well known for his music, for various ballets and the Sabre Dance from his composition for the ballet Gayane.

The Armenian Genocide caused widespread emigration that led to the settlement of Armenians in various countries in the world. Armenians kept to their traditions and certain diasporans rose to fame with their music.

This style preserved the folk songs and dances of Western Armenia , and many artists also played the contemporary popular songs of Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries from which the Armenians emigrated.

Richard Hagopian is perhaps the most famous artist of the traditional "kef" style and the Vosbikian Band was notable in the s and s for developing their own style of "kef music" heavily influenced by the popular American Big Band Jazz of the time.

Other Armenian diasporans that rose to fame in classical or international music circles are world-renowned French-Armenian singer and composer Charles Aznavour , pianist Sahan Arzruni , prominent opera sopranos such as Hasmik Papian and more recently Isabel Bayrakdarian and Anna Kasyan.

Certain Armenians settled to sing non-Armenian tunes such as the heavy metal band System of a Down which nonetheless often incorporates traditional Armenian instrumentals and styling into their songs or pop star Cher.

In the Armenian diaspora, Armenian revolutionary songs are popular with the youth. These songs encourage Armenian patriotism and are generally about Armenian history and national heroes.

Yerevan Vernissage arts and crafts market , close to Republic Square, bustles with hundreds of vendors selling a variety of crafts on weekends and Wednesdays though the selection is much reduced mid-week.

The market offers woodcarving, antiques, fine lace, and the hand-knotted wool carpets and kilims that are a Caucasus speciality.

Obsidian , which is found locally, is crafted into assortment of jewellery and ornamental objects. Armenian gold smithery enjoys a long tradition, populating one corner of the market with a selection of gold items.

Soviet relics and souvenirs of recent Russian manufacture — nesting dolls, watches, enamel boxes and so on — are also available at the Vernisage. Across from the Opera House, a popular art market fills another city park on the weekends.

All but the most spectacular remain virtually undiscovered, allowing visitors to view churches and fortresses in their original settings. It houses paintings by many European masters as well.

Moreover, many private galleries are in operation, with many more opening every year, featuring rotating exhibitions and sales.

On 13 April , the Armenian government announced a change in law to allow freedom of panorama for 3D works of art. Cinema in Armenia was born on April 16, , when the Armenian State Committee of Cinema was established by a decree of the Soviet Armenian government.

The film was premiered in Cairo on March 13, In March , the first Armenian film studio; Armenfilm Armenian: Арменкино "Armenkino" was established in Yerevan, starting with a documentary film called Soviet Armenia.

Namus was the first Armenian silent black-and-white film, directed by Hamo Beknazarian in , based on a play of Alexander Shirvanzade , describing the ill fate of two lovers, who were engaged by their families to each other since childhood, but because of violations of namus a tradition of honor , the girl was married by her father to another person.

The first sound film , Pepo was shot in , director Hamo Beknazarian. A wide array of sports are played in Armenia, the most popular among them being wrestling, weightlifting, judo, association football, chess, and boxing.

Being a landlocked country, water sports can only be practised on lakes, notably Lake Sevan. Competitively, Armenia has been successful in chess, weightlifting and wrestling at the international level.

It also hosts the Pan-Armenian Games. As part of the Soviet Union, Armenia was very successful, winning plenty of medals and helping the USSR win the medal standings at the Olympics on numerous occasions.

The first medal won by an Armenian in modern Olympic history was by Hrant Shahinyan sometimes spelled as Grant Shaginyan , who won two golds and two silvers in gymnastics at the Summer Olympics in Helsinki.

To highlight the level of success of Armenians in the Olympics, Shahinyan was quoted as saying:. But those difficulties notwithstanding, 90 percent of Armenian athletes on Soviet Olympic teams came back with medals.

Armenia first participated at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona under a unified CIS team, where it was very successful, winning three golds and one silver in weightlifting, wrestling and sharp shooting, despite only having five athletes.

Since the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer , Armenia has participated as an independent nation. Armenia participates in the Summer Olympic Games in boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, judo, gymnastics, track and field, diving, swimming and sharp shooting.

It also participates in the Winter Olympic Games in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and figure skating. Football is also popular in Armenia.

The latter achievement saw FC Ararat gain entry to the European Cup where — despite a home victory in the second leg — they lost on aggregate at the quarter final stage to eventual winner FC Bayern Munich.

Armenia competed internationally as part of the USSR national football team until the Armenian national football team was formed in after the split of the Soviet Union.

Armenia have never qualified for a major tournament although recent improvements saw the team to achieve 44th position in the FIFA World Rankings in September The national team is controlled by the Football Federation of Armenia.

The Armenian Premier League is the highest level football competition in Armenia, and has been dominated by FC Pyunik in recent seasons.

The league currently consists of eight teams and relegates to the Armenian First League. Wrestling has been a successful sport in the Olympics for Armenia.

Traditional Armenian wrestling is called Kokh and practised in traditional garb; it was one of the influences included in the Soviet combat sport of Sambo , which is also very popular.

The rebuilding of the regional schools was financed by the Armenian government. In , a cycling centre was opened in Yerevan with the aim of helping produce world class Armenian cyclists.

Armenia has also been very successful in chess, winning the World Champion in and the World Chess Olympiad on three occasions.

Armenian cuisine is closely related to eastern and Mediterranean cuisine ; various spices , vegetables , fish , and fruits combine to present unique dishes.

The main characteristics of Armenian cuisine are a reliance on the quality of the ingredients rather than heavily spicing food, the use of herbs, the use of wheat in a variety of forms, of legumes, nuts, and fruit as a main ingredient as well as to sour food , and the stuffing of a wide variety of leaves.

The pomegranate , with its symbolic association with fertility, represents that nation. The apricot is the national fruit.

This article incorporates text from a free content work. To learn how to add open license text to Wikipedia articles, please see Wikipedia: Adding open license text to Wikipedia.

For information on reusing text from Wikipedia , please see the terms of use. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the country.

For other uses, see Armenia disambiguation. For other uses, see Hayastan disambiguation. The Armenian emigrants, taking with them a handful of native soil in a piece of cloth, were scattered in southern Russia, into the Caucasus , in the land of the Cossacks, while 50, from among them came to Poland.

They settled mostly in the cities, and in many places they became the nucleus of the Polish bourgeois class. Kamieniec-Podolski Kamianets-Podilskyi , that crown of Polish old fortresses, received its fame from the Armenians who settled there.

In Bukowina and in all Galicia, the Armenian element plays a role of the first order in political and social life, in industry and in intellectual movement.

Finally, in Poland proper and its capital, Warsaw , the descendants of those who once were the great nation on the Arax , rendered themselves illustrious in all careers.

In the battles of Grunwald and Varna , the forebears of the Alexandrovics, the Augustinovics, the Agopsovics and Apakanovics took part.

Through successive immigrations, the Armenians of Poland gradually formed a colony, comprising 5, All acts and official deliberations were conducted in the Armenian language and in accordance with the laws of that nation.

The peaceful life of the colony was troubled in the Despite the ensuing rift between the majority of the Armenian community and the few followers of Torosowicz the Armenian community finally reentered into communion with the Holy See forming the Armenian Catholic Church which retained a separate hierarchy and used the Armenian Rite.

In Bukowina, they lived in the city of Suceava and vicinity. The regions of Poland where Armenians were concentrated such as Eastern Galicia were annexed into the Soviet Union as part of the agreements reached at the Yalta conference.

As a result, the Polish Armenian community became dispersed all over Poland. To combat this dispersion they began to form Armenian Cultural Associations.

Most Armenians living in Poland today origins are from the post-Soviet emigration rather than the older Armenian community.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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