By Abdul Kerimkhanov
There is a growing dissatisfaction among the Armenian public over the authorities’ handling of the army.
Earlier, in September mothers of Armenian soldiers who died in non-combat conditions, protested unfair investigation of their sons’ deaths. In yet another round of protests, the mothers of killed soldiers demanded that they are paid compensation from the country’s Military Insurance Fund.
Recently, Chairman of the Coordinating Council of the “Soldier” Public Organization Margarita Khachatryan, appealed to the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan urging him to spend a night in soldiers’ trenches to see for himself the conditions under which the soldiers live. The call to spend the night in the trenches was quite logical since Pashinyan had long been using army around his PR campaign.
He even used his son for this campaign. According to the PM’s narrative, Ashot Pashinyan serves in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, sleeps in the same barracks and eats in the common dining room. However, this lie was exposed. Turns out, Pashinyan’s son actually spent most of his time in a hotel, where he was brought and from where he was taken by helicopter. Sometimes he visited his military unit to maintain the rating of the Pashinyan family.
In September 2019, the Armenian press reported that Ashot Pashinyan was brought to Yerevan due to a conflict with colleagues. In fact, Pashinyan was simply badly beaten because he had made negative remarks to officers and colleagues and also reported them to the command. All this had sad consequences for him.
As part of Armenian PM’s endless attempts to promote himself as a pro-army leader, he periodically wore camouflage and drove briefly to the front line. All these are amusing because Pashinyan did not serve in the army when he had to. That explains why he cannot understand what army life is.
Meanwhile, the parents of Armenian conscript soldiers, especially those serving in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, are unhappy with the Armenian authorities.
“Prime Minister, if you have money and don’t know where to invest, if you can raise the minister’s salary to 1.5 million drams ($3,142), then increase the commanders’ salaries in the trenches so that they don’t leave the trenches,” Khachatryan stated.
Khachatryan’s anger is understandable. As Armenian media noted recently, the salaries of ministers and their deputies have been significantly (at the same time by secret order) increased.
Co-founder of the National Agenda Party Avetik Chalabyan believes that amid the practical freezing of defense spending, Pashinyan doubled the salaries of three ministers by secret order bypassing the law, significantly increased it for the remaining heads of ministries, as well as their deputies and chief secretaries of several ministries.
“It is well known that in Armenia the salaries of senior officials are regulated by law, but over the past year and a half, the law has long been replaced by the will of one person,” he complains.
He asked, “how then will Armenian PM look into the eyes of the mothers of the dead servicemen who staged protests near the walls of the government in the hope that Pashinyan will respond to their problems?”
PM has long been engaged in activities harmful to Armenian statehood (an endless search for external and internal enemies). In the meantime, Armenian experts note that Azerbaijan is arming itself, while the Armenian government spends a lot of money on renting an airplane, an armored foreign car for the prime minister, and repairing the mansion in which his family lives.
The Armenian media has started questioning what other secrets related to finances the Armenian government has. It seems that Pashinyan has long been confusing government money with the family budget. Most likely, the next exposure, according to the forecasts of experts familiar with this issue, will concern the foreign accounts of Pashinyan and his wife, on which millions of Armenian oligarchs are registered.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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