By Rashid Shirinov
The situation in the Armenian army is getting worse day by day, as the violence thrives among the army’s personnel. The continuous violence and outrages in the Armenian armed forces often result in murders and suicides.
As many as 46 death cases have taken place in the Armenian army within the nine months of this year, the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor office has recently reported. The report reads that 17 of the deaths occurred on the territory of Armenia, while 29 took place in Armenia-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and other regions of Azerbaijan.
Twenty one of these cases were deaths due to the ceasefire violation, six were murders, six deaths took place by accident, nine were suicides, and four other deaths occurred due to the servicemen’s health problems.
However, that is not all. There were ten more deaths in October and November, according to Armenian media. Therefore, the number increases to 56.
The statistics were presented by Margarita Khachatryan, chairman of the “Soldier” coordinating council who deals with army issues. As it is peculiar to the Armenian side, she tried to lay the blame for all these deaths on Azerbaijan: “Cases of self-harm result solely from fear of the enemy.” It would be interesting to know how dozens of deaths of Armenian soldiers’ in military units relate to Azerbaijan.
Armenian human rights activist Zhanna Alexanyan was more realistic in her comments on the death cases. She noted that statistics of deaths in the Armenian army has only been increasing in recent years, and no measures are taken to reduce them.
“If it was possible to raise these issues under the former head of the army, to discuss them, to convey the problem to him, then under the new minister everything takes place under cover of darkness,” Alexanyan said. “He has never mentioned scandalous cases, deaths, violations of the right to life. I totally doubt that something is being done to reduce the death rate.”
Lack of discipline, hazing, and health problems are the main reasons for the deaths of Armenian soldiers in their military units, and this has been a well-known fact for years. Judging by quite often reports in Armenian media about deaths of their soldiers in non-combat conditions, the leadership of the Armenian army is indeed not interested in the well-being of their soldiers and takes no actions in this direction. Thus, it is hard to believe that deaths in the Armenian armed forces will reduce in the foreseeable future.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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