By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Armenia's Deputy Defense Minister Gabriel Balayan has said that there a number of problem in the Armenian army, including suicide and lack of food that contribute to the growing disorder in the army.
In an interview with local journalists, Balayan said that "lack of food can lead to borrowing money among soldiers, accumulating debts, quarrels, even murders and suicides." This is at odds with the Armenian military leadership’s previous statement that almost complete victory over famine has been achieved in the army.
Balayan also admitted that many mentally ill soldiers are serving in the Armenian army. “We have witnessed that there are problems with conscripts who have certain restrictions in connection with mental health,” Deputy Defense Minister said.
It is noteworthy that for some reason, most problematic soldiers in the army are those who come from poor families. This is a reality reflecting the existing problems in the Armenian economy.
Contrary to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s optimistic statements, Armenian people are suffering from poverty. Some poor families even send their children to the army so that the child is guaranteed three-time meals every day since there is no food at home.
Poverty in Armenia is in contrast to the Armenian media reports that 549,594,100 drams or $1.15 million was spent on New Year's festivals in Yerevan. It is worth noting that in 2017, some 192.5 million drams ($400,000) were spent on New Year celebrations in Yerevan. That is to say, over the past two years, Yerevan’s holiday expenses increased by three times. Such expenditures provide a good basis for embezzling state funds.
Such unprecedented funds are allocated only to those areas that relate to the entertainment of Pashinyan and his entourage, in particular, huge amounts of money were allocated earlier on houses, cars and bonuses to officials.
However, as soon as it comes to financing the army, there is no money.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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