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Mass killing of Armenian servicemen in occupied Azerbaijani lands vs Yerevan's silence

31 July 2010 [12:55] - TODAY.AZ
Many times Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has spoken about combat readiness and bravery of the Armenian army emphasizing moral of Armenian soldiers and officers. Either Sargayan seems to be unaware how deep moral decline in his army is, or just pretends to be.

Frugal military budget does not allow Armenian soldiers not only to receive modern military equipment and clothing but also eat normally. No one wants to serve in the Armenian army. This, in turn, leads to unhealthy atmosphere in the military. As a result, military hazing in the neighboring army has been reported almost every day for many years.  

The situation has deteriorated even more over the recent years. The army faces lack of funds just like the country itself. Serving soldiers remain hungry and sick. Hence the moral decay of the entire Armenian army. Ordinary soldiers are regularly exposed to violence, harassment and abuse by officers. Five servicemen (four of them being officers) were killed in an incident in an Armenian military unit on July 29. As it became known later, they found a soldier asleep on duty. He was awakened and they began to make fun of him. As a result, the young man shot attackers on the spot and then shot himself as well.
This is as regrettable as the extremely unprofessional  behavior of the country’s Ministry of Defence. This incident was reported to public by human right activists. The ministry did not report details, but its official website unexpectedly offered condolences to relatives of the deceased without disclosing their names.
In his turn, former spokesperson for the Armenian Defense Ministry Seyran Shahsuvaryan showed the top rudeness and unprofessionalism when asked by local journalists whether the incident really occurred at a military unit in occupied territories of Azerbaijan. In response, he said the following: "I don't know where it happened.” He also noted law enforcement agencies are dealing with the issue.

Shahsuvaryan seems to be unaware of what has happened or it is easier for him to play favourite game of Armenian officials because it will be hard to explain the world community why servicemen who are Armenian citizens, who Armenia claims have nothing to do with the occupation of Azerbaijan’s lands, die exactly on territory of a neighboring Azerbaijan.

The death of four officers and a soldier is not an isolated case of tragic losses in Armenian army in recent times. 31-year-old army mercenary Artak Nazaryan died several days ago. The Defense Ministry was quick to announce that he died from bullet from the Azerbaijani side. However, this version was completely rejected by human rights activists and the mother of the deceased, saying that a few days before the death the mother visited his son and stayed with him for several days, knowing that that he had problems with other officers.

Facing strong pressure, Armenian Defense Ministry was forced to admit that Nazaryan died not from a bullet from the Azerbaijani side of the contact line now claming he committed a suicide by shooting himself in the mouth. Relatives and human rights activists do not believe this version either.

Armenian people do their best to keep away their sons, brothers and husbands from military service. Relatives of the dead soldiers and officers invariably ask the question: why should their children from Armenia die for land of strangers - Azerbaijani land? After all, majority of those who died during recent incidents hail precisely from Armenia, but not Karabakh.

Only Armenian people can save themselves today as the government failed to do this, caring only for its selfish interests.  How many more soldiers and officers have to die so that local people will realize senselessness of occupation of native Azerbaijani lands? No need to rely on common sense and sober mind of the Armenian authorities.

H. Hamidov

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