By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Between 14 and 18 non-combat deaths have been registered in the Armenian army over the past two months. The soldiers have died as a result of murder or suicide. The Armenian military leadership, however, has not responded to the public outrcry over the soliders' deaths.
Representatives of the occupying army in Nagorno-Karabakh held a service consultation on February 15 to identify the reasons for the deaths. The so-called "defense minister" and "defense army commander" Karen Abrahamyan stated that "The death of every soldier is a grave loss for us, and the bearer of the fault of that loss is every one of us. Recent events show that we are not doing something right somewhere."
It is noteable that for more than 30 years, most of the incidents in the Armenian army have occurred in Azerbaijan’s occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region. It is there that the moral and psychological state of Armenian servicemen, who realize the useless of staying on foreign territory, reaches its lowest point.
Touching upon the deaths of Armenian soldiers in recent days, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Alen Simonyan from the ruling My Step bloc stated: “We will not send soldiers to death, every drop of blood from our guys is priceless.”
Despite Simonyan’s statement, Armenia military elite does not understand that “sending soldiers to Karabakh” is tantamount to “sending soldiers to death.” If the Armenian leadership is really interested in the lives of their own soldiers, then they should simply leave the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
As President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said during the debates with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Munich, up to 80 percent of the military personnel located in Nagorno-Karabakh come from Armenia. The proof of this is the fact that, being killed, these soldiers are buried in cemeteries in Armenia, not Karabakh, and, being wounded, they are taken to hospital in Armenia, not Karabakh.
The critical situation in the Armenian army makes other people related to military affairs speak out. For instance, a veteran of the Armenian special services Vladimir Poghosyan proposed a strange way to combat hazing and other lawlessness: "In the Armed Forces, the role of military counterintelligence, which formally enters the National Security Service, needs to be strengthened."
That is, Poghosyan wants to identify the perpetrators of hazing with the help of special services and punish them as elements harmful to state security. The question arises as to how he will bring agents into the personnel of “conscripts".
Former Armenian Defense minister Seyran Ohanyan has decided to find those responsible for the dire situation in the army. Ohanyan considers everyone but himself to blame:
"In 2011, we seriously took up interpersonal relations in the army," Ohanyan said, hinting at the incompetence of new personnel of the Armenian army leadership, who were appointed after the "velvet revolution."
It is noteworthy that during Ohanyan’s tenure, hundreds of Armenian soldiers died in non-combat conditions. However, no one has answered to the mothers of soldiers who have been picketing each Thursday in central Yerevan.
Meanwhile, head of the Permanent Parliamentary Commission on Defense and Security, MP from the "My Step" faction Andranik Kocharyan, following a meeting with Artak Davtyan, Chief of General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces, said that death incidents in the army would lead to a number of resignations.
"I can’t say how many resignations there will be. However, I do not hesitate to state that there will be resignations," Davtyan said.
The current Armenian military leadership is yet to recognize and reveal the causes of deaths of Armenian soldiers in non-combat situations.