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Armenian defence at the edge of abyss: new incentives in avoiding conscription

23 April 2023 09:00 (UTC+04:00)
Armenian defence at the edge of abyss: new incentives in avoiding conscription
Elnur Enveroglu
Elnur Enveroglu
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In Armenia, local media have been giving extensive reports on cases of desertion and evasion of military service since the last two and a half years. After the defeat in the Patriotic War, there was a great depression and demotivation in the country. Distrust and disinterest in military service has arisen, especially among young people. According to the information published by the Joghovurd newspaper of Armenia, the officers and reservists who are already in military service are being released from the military or are leaving the country. This, in turn, seriously affects the military potential of the country.

Games behind a Football mafia

In another report, it is noted that organizations that prepare fake medical certificates, citizenship passports, student cards, including “sports-mafia”, have appeared secretly operating in Armenia.

An analysis of the situation published in the Armenian media showed that football has become a convenient way to exempt from military service - in particular, registration in the CSKA club.

Within the investigation of the situation, parents of military-age football players have been contacted by local press members. The parents have reported that this club had become a place for the liberation of the children of the "elite" from the army. At the same time, according to the media, the issues of registration in CSKA are left to people who do not have and had nothing to do with the army - FFA President Armen Melikbekyan, FFA Vice President Armen Nikoghosyan, whose sons were also released from the army for unknown reasons.

Besides, the report says with the help of two army clubs there could be several dozen, who shirk military service. The Armenian football community experienced a strong shock on this occasion, when the owner of the Pyunik club, Artur Soghomonyan, directly accused the FFA and, among other things, questioned the level of compliance of some CSKA players.

One more Armenian-based source says now the government is making millions out of such counterfiet documents in order to free from compulsory military service. According to the information received from the source, 995 citizens of Armenia who evaded the military service have paid a total of 2.290 billion ADM (US$4.8 million) in 2019 to avoid criminal persecution.

A law passed last year allows those over the age of 27 who never did their compulsory military service to pay a fee and thus avoid prosecution.

The amount of the fee, according to Armenia’s ministry of Defense, differs and is based on the number of years said person has evaded military service.

For example, if a citizen has been “on the run” for nine years, then he has to pay a minimum of 200 times the monthly minimum wage (in this case it is calculated at 1,000 AMD) - 3 million 600 thousand AMD (1000x200x18).

The ministry says these funds are deposited by citizens in a special account opened for this purpose by the state authorized defense body and used to meet military needs in the manner prescribed by the government.

Disorder of conscripts as a military phobia

According to Armenian statistical report, in 2020 during the Second Karabakh War, up to 4000 Armenian servicemen have been killed with several hundreds of missing. After the heaviest defeat of Armenian occupiers there was a great loss of belief in state and power of Armenia.

Today, it is an undeniable fact that in Armenia, parents either hide their children in order to divert them from military service by such false means, or send them abroad through a number of ways.

It should be noted that disinterest in the military exists not only in civilian life, but also within the military service. One of the most common cases is suicide. In Armenia, those who are most deprived of all opportunities are forced into the military and are mobilized to serve on the front line. Intolerable conditions and harsh treatment of soldiers started to create feelings of hatred and fear in everyone. A group of people opposes the government saying "we are sacrificing our children to usurp other people's land". Because indeed, people in Armenia no longer believe in old and sick Armenian dreams of making a so called country over someone's land. People see Armenia's aggression internally and understand that it is useless.


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