By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Bullying, criminal relations between fellow soldiers, as well as officers and subordinates continue to be the most serious problems of the Armenian army. With the change of power, nothing in this matter has changed.
Former Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan earlier said that the army is a mirror of society. He spoke in this manner in response to criticism of the army from the public. But what's the point of blaming the mirror if you don't like what you see?
It is not surprising that after the change of power, the Armenian society’s attitude to the service in the army also has not undergone any changes. Parents of conscripts continue to show a lack of desire for their sons to serve in the Armenian army. They are willing to do anything possible to save children from this heavy duty. Serving in the army for the Armenian citizens is not a sacred duty, but a crushing yoke.
Recently, Armenian media reported that the staff of the National Security Service of Armenia revealed a case of theft of property under the pretext of giving a bribe.
Based on the data, two Armenian citizens, several commanders of different units of the Defense Ministry and occupation units of the Armenian Armed Forces stationed in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan were engaged in fraud. Abusing the trust of citizens, they promised to arrange their sons’ passage of military service in chosen units or early demobilization. Bribes were collected from Armenian citizens under the pretext of delivering this money to the commanders and medical experts. The fraudsters were operating from September 2018, the size of bribes varied from $600 to $1,500.
It is reported that the accused had admitted their guilt.
This is not the first case in Armenia when fraudsters extort money, promising to release conscripts from service or to help avoid sending them to the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh. However, the current news is very remarkable, because this was already under the new government, in the "new" Armenia, where thieves, fraudsters and bribe-takers are almost daily promised to be imprisoned. This proves that nothing has changed in the society's attitude towards the army.
It is noteworthy, that the Armenian officers, subunit commanders and military personnel participated in the lawlessness. This indicates the complete degradation and demoralization of the Armenian army.
It becomes clear that the parents of Armenian conscripts are ready to pay money to anyone who gives them hope to save their children from such an army. Although Pashinyan every time declares that Armenia "has nothing to do" with the Karabakh conflict, the citizens of this country for some reason undergo compulsory military service in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
This problem is constantly causing friction between the authorities and society. Pashinyan’s demonstrative sending of his son to "serve" in Karabakh has not changed anything. Perhaps it was expected that thousands of young people would follow Pashinyan’s son to the contact line, but it did not happen. The more pathos in the statements of the authorities, the louder the promises and patriotic slogans, the more fear in society, the more inventive Armenian citizens become in trying to hide their sons from the hostilities in a foreign land.
Nothing in this plan will change until the Armenian army recovers. A healthy climate in the armed forces and in Armenian society is impossible as long as the country is in the status of an occupier, while its small budget works for the continuation of delaying the conflict resolution and for supporting the occupation regime in Karabakh.
But for now, Armenian citizens are regularly sent as cannon fodder to the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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