Human rights activist links Armenia’s losses in April fights with corruption
This April marked the first anniversary of the clashes on the contact line in NagornoKarabakh, which were dubbed as a ‘four-day war’. Then, in response to the provocations of the Armenian army, the Azerbaijani armed forces inflicted powerful strikes at the positions of the aggressor country and liberated several settlements and important heights.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced that roughly 30 tanks, up to 15 armored guns and fortifications belonging to the Armenians were destroyed, 320 Armenian soldiers were killed and more than 500 servicemen of the enemy were wounded during the clashes.
The armed provocation showed that the aggressor country is not capable to withstand the power of Azerbaijani Army, and also revealed the poor state of the Armenian army. The state-level corruption in Armenia and horrifying thievery in the military sphere were named among the reasons for Armenia’s big losses.
Casualties during the escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in April 2016 were not only caused directly by warfare but also by lowquality fuel, equipment malfunctions, and insufficient ammunition in the Armenian army, said Artur Sakunts, head of the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor office (HCAV).
A study by the HCAV earlier indicated that the loss of the Armenian side could be lesser if it weren’t for a shortage of ammunition, malfunctioning weapons and equipment.
After the publication of the study report, the Vanadzor-based human rights organization filed a crime report to the General Prosecutor’s office based on its findings; the office, however, has left the report without a response neither considering it nor dismissing it for lack of legitimate justifications.
Sakunts, addressing a press conference on April 26 said, HCAV does not intend to remove the matter from the public agenda.
“We have filed an appeal again because we have to see whether they have actually investigated anything. By covering up these crimes the authorities are failing to fulfill their obligation to disclose and punish the violations of the right of people to life,” he said.
“We should center our attention not only on the March 1 [2008 postelection clashes] and October 27 [1999 Armenian parliament shooting] events but also the topic of military operations, because it showed the vulnerability [of the Armenian armed forces], the grave consequences of the corruption and the low quality management in the field of defense,” Sakunts said.
The battles revealed the poor state of the Armenian army, where soldiers were left without elementary means of protection, including bullet-proof vests, helmets and night vision devices. Moreover, it turned out that most of the military equipment of the Armenian army was unusable as the armored vehicles had no fuel, ammunition was sold or “lost”, and money allocated for the personnel was embezzled.