TODAY.AZ / Politics

Armenia keeps losing soldiers in non-combat conditions

03 September 2019 [11:02] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Abdul Kerimkhanov

The constant bullying, violence, hazing and humiliation of human dignity in the Armenian military units result in the increase in the number of non-combat losses among the military personnel.

The loudest case in the past month happened in the Fuzuli direction of the front line. As a result of the vigilance of the Azerbaijani units, an Armenian serviceman Aro Ghazaryan, who deserted from the Armenian occupying military unit in Nagorno-Karabakh, was detained.

During the initial interrogation, it was found that the reason for the desertion of the Armenian military was the arbitrariness prevailing in the Armenian military unit, as well as an unbearable and inhuman attitude to the military personnel. The repeated exposure of Kazaryan to physical and moral influences by commanders and other military personnel for a long time was also evident in hematomas in the head area and numerous wounds on the body.

Another case of non-combat losses in the Armenian army happened in Gyumri in early August, where the body of Samvel Mezhlumyan, a soldier of the Armenian army, was found in one of the houses. Ensign Mezhlumyan, who served in a military band, hanged himself. Artsrun Hovhannisyan, press secretary of the Armenian Defense Ministry, confirmed the information.

Meanwhile, an Armenian soldier in a hospital stationed in a military unit in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh stabbed himself with a razor in order not to return to military service.

A criminal case has been opened against the interim head of the food service of one of the Armenian military units, who, abusing his powers, stole food of soldiers in January-March 2019.

In mid-August, an employee of the Armenian border troops was arrested on suspicion of receiving a bribe. The Armenian National Security Service (NSS) said that an employee of one of the border units, having met and made friends with two citizens, offered them to help get a job at the NSS for a bribe. In September-December 2018, under this and other pretexts, he received 3.1 million drams from these citizens, which is approximately $6,500.

After two days, another case of receiving a large bribe was revealed, in which a former officer of one of the military commissaries of Armenia was involved.

It turned out that the former employees of the commissary, using their connections in medical circles, tried to help conscripts get off with military service in exchange for money. For this, they received amounts ranging from $3,000 to $8,000. With the help of the staff of the medical commission, they falsified medical documents, making false diagnoses and organizing the process of deferment from the Armenian army.

Here is another case: the head of the Military Police Department of the Armenian Defense Ministry was arrested in Yerevan on charges of receiving a large bribe and abuse of power on August 24.

Meanwhile, during the preliminary investigation on August 27, it turned out that the commander of the division of one of the military units of the Armenian Armed Forces, during the period from April 2016 to July 2019, stole almost 20,000 liters of diesel fuel and 100 liters of gasoline for a total of 9.5 million drams ($20,000) from the emergency reserve, which was envisaged for the division.

He also stole 900 liters of gasoline from current resources, subsequently sold it, and appropriated the received money.

Meanwhile, on August 25, officers from the Tumanyan city police department detained a 35-year-old contract soldier of the Armenian Defense Ministry who was suspected of using and selling drugs.

Thus, myths of Armenians about the “fighting efficiency” of their army are refuted by these real facts of arbitrariness in the Armenian army, as well as hazing and non-combat deaths.

The continuing losses and bullying in the Armenian army show the entire sad picture of the real state of the Armenian army.

Various human rights activists in Armenia note that hazing of conscripts has a strikingly violent form in the country’s army. Soldiers who have undergone more than six-month service bully new conscripts, while those in their last six months are regarded as ‘senior’ soldiers, who enjoy various privileges, including immunity from such a treatment.

Thus, some Armenian soldiers commit suicides because of being bullied in army, while others die because of being severely beaten and shot by their fellow soldiers. This was common during the 10-year rule of Sargsyan in Armenia, and Pashinyan and the new defense minister of Armenia should have long carried out serious reforms in the country’s armed forces in order to stop these terrible deaths.


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