Bombing damages in Artsakh and Ukraine

The world’s attention continues to be focused on the events in Ukraine. The Russian army, albeit slowly, continues to make progress, but it is still a long way from achieving its main goals. The US administration, which in the early days of the war was predicting the imminent fall of the capital city of Kyiv, has now changed its tune and is talking about Russia’s eventual defeat. The West is trying to prevent the occupation of a sovereign state by a country with extensive stockpiles of nuclear weapons and to this end, is supplying large quantities of ammunition to the Ukrainian army, which has been able to resist better-armed Russian troops for more than two weeks now.

The widespread support of Ukraine by the Western powers and the focus of the international media on the human tragedies of the war, make, Armenians wonder why the world was silent when Azerbaijan, with the help of Turkey, unleashed a war against the Republic of Artsakh, killing thousands and causing destruction and displacement.

Such application of double standards is not new by big powers, who are always driven by their own political and economic interests. The South Caucasus was of little interest to the West and saw it as a Russian zone of influence. On the other hand, during the Artsakh war, Russia’s interests coincided, to some extent, with the interests of Azerbaijan and Turkey, to which Artsakh and Armenia fell victims.

There is also another important distinction which we should take into consideration. As unpleasant as it is for us to accept, Baku managed to convince the world that the seven regions around Nagorno-Karabakh were “occupied territories” that were to be returned to Azerbaijan. During the past twenty years, all the proposals for a peaceful settlement by the Minsk Group, chaired by Russia, the United States, and France, included provisions for the return of these seven regions to Azerbaijan. Successive Armenian governments also accepted this principle, but did not have the courage to take practical steps in that direction. The only one who was ready to return some territories in exchange for peace, was the first president Levon Der-Bedrosian, who was forced to resign for suggesting a compromise solution for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. When Kocharyan came to power, followed by the Sargsyan administration, they both tried to pursue a policy of buying time, thinking that the “no war, no peace” situation could be prolonged forever. This strategy could have been successful, pushing Azerbaijan to come to terms with the existing status, if Armenia maintained a superior army or at least a balance of power with Azerbaijan.

The course and the outcome of the 44-day war showed that the modernization of the Armenian army during these two administrations was severely flawed. During those years, Azerbaijan spent eight times more on its army than the Armenian side. No matter how much it is said that Azerbaijan is an oil-producing country and has greater financial resources, we must also acknowledge that Armenia could have done more to strengthen its armed forces if corruption was not as widespread and rampant. It was obvious to everyone, that state funds were being wasted to accumulate personal wealth and to build huge mansions, instead of strengthening the capabilities of the armed forces to withstand the enemy’s ambitions.

The events unfolding around Ukraine should drive us to be much more realistic and far-sighted. Armenia cannot rely on other nations to defend its borders. It must pursue the goal of modernizing its army and strengthening its capabilities. At the same time, Armenia must be able to establish normal relations with neighboring countries without compromising its national interests.
This is the direction being taken by the current Armenian government and we should support it.

K. KHODANIAN
“MASSIS”

4 comments
  1. This article says this:

    “The South Caucasus was of little interest to the West and saw it as a Russian zone of influence.”

    That’s not true at all.

    Since the early 1990s the West has built major energy pipelines from Azerbaijan through Georgia and Turkey into Europe and Israel.

    The West has enormous other corporate investments in Azerbaijan and Georgia.

    Israel supports both Georgia and Azerbaijan and is encouraged to do that by the United States.

  2. Armenians are not independent.
    Armenia is another example of designed frontiers
    by the powers who won the First World War
    and achieved to establish their interests.
    During long centuries of the Ottoman Empire,
    The Armenians, like the other peoples,
    were living together in harmony.
    Frontiers, as started to be designed in the beginning of the XXth century, were not in the beliefs and desires of the peoples living together and prosperity was their agriculture, handicrafts, educational evolution, services, cultural activities, scientific brains…in peace !
    While lobbies, institutions and organizations were already READY TO EXECUTE THEIR VICIOUS AND DESTRUCTIVE COMLOTS, to apply their power and domination.
    It is still today’s TRAGIC FACT.
    If I have to do something, TODAY…
    I have to forget about Human Rights.
    I have to accept the cruelty.

    Vicken Tarpinian
    14 March 2022
    Paris

  3. This is a very superficial openly corresponding to a Ter Petrosyan-Nikol Pashinyan narrative.
    First of all it’s absolutely-manifestly false to say, as the article does, that ‘the West was not interested in the South Caucasus…”. Turkey, as a prominent NATO and western ally has always been very much interested in dominating and replacing Russia in the region. This has been the case for centuries as the Iran-Ottoman wars before 1800s and Russian-Ottoman wars since then have shown. Neither Turkey nor bakunistan have even attempted to deny this desire. The west would love for Russia to abandon the region one way or the other. Clearly the consequent vacuum would be filled with genocidal Turkey and the west will no doubt continue to shed crocodile tears about “Armenian ‘massacres'” of 202..? and provide employment for hundreds of academics to research and debate weather to recognise it as genocide for ever!
    As far as the relative strength of the Armenian and bakunistan armies and corruption is concerned the article’s assertions are based on official false and contradictory claims of the pashinyan administration and his many like minded and western funded ‘human rights’ outfits and nothing else. In this regard the following facts need to be considered:
    1. After the Soviet collapse in 1990 the arms and armaments and air power that was left in bakunistan was incomparably more than what was given to Armenia (practically no airforce at all!) and far fewer artillery pieces and missiles, etc. Yet Armenians were able to score major victories due to their unity of purpose and professional organisation of a national army. In contrast Ter Petrosyan (LTP) and Pashinyan were against this and for over 20 years advocated “‘Karabakh’ [Artsakh] is A HEADACHE [!] which Armenia must free itself from” and must establish good relations with the genocidal Turkish states to the east and west without preconditions, notwithstanding the fact that those states have never shown any interest in peaceful existence with Armenia and don’t even hide their aggressive genocidal intents and actions against Armenia. While LTP had to resign in 1998 for advocacy of this utterly defeatist and disastrous (to put it mildly) plans, and while he never gave up on his conspiracies against ‘karabaghcis’ it was pashinyan who succeeded to implement LTP’s defeatist and pro Turkish ‘peace with turks at any price, even without karabakh’ designs after 2018.
    2. Assuming the article’s ‘corruption’ in Armenia thesis is correct it is manifestly and universally acknowledged that a) corruption, and lawlessness, during 1990s LTP rule was infinitely higher; and b) corruption in bakunistan, ruled by an authoritarian and mafia-family police state, at all times, has been huge beyond comparison.
    3. In June-July 2020, that is just 2-3 months before the start of 44 day baku-ankara aggression, that after a 3 day little skirmish in the Tavush region as well as during the 21st Sep Independence Day celebrations, Pashinyan announced with huge fanfare that the ‘Armenian Army is the strongest in the region’. At the same time his Defence Minister David Tonoyan announced ‘…if Azerbaijan dares to start a new war then it will lose new territories… “new territories for new wars…”‘!! Yet after signing November 9th capitulation Pashinyan and his propagandists declare the same ‘strongest army in the region…’ as utterly corrupt and weak with no weapons etc.,
    etc. So what shall we belive? Which one of his statements is a lie? Or ignorant? By July-Sep 2020 Pashinyan had been in power for 27-30 months so either he was knowingly misleading and lying, or worse, ignorant about the strength of the Armenian Army/corruption, either in July and 21st Sep celebrations or after signing the capitulation? Which is it? Your article simply repeats this official contradictory lie without any explanation or challenge or critical comment. That is not good journalism to put it mildly!
    4. Having come to power after his ‘colour revolution’ of April 2018 pashinyan and his administration – a little like sahakashvili and Ukraine’s 2014 colourists – spared no efforts in dismantling Armenia’s relations with its traditional allies AND the state security services but ESPECIALLY THE ARMY. There were repeated changes of personnel at the highest levels of state security service and arrest, persecution, imprisonment and dismissal of hundreds of experienced high and middle level army officers and their replacement with mostly inexperienced novices unfamiliar with the front line and the terrain and without any real training or war experience. To this must be added the mysterious and unexplained purchase at $150mil and DESPITE ARMY GENERAL STAFF ADVICE AGAINST IT of SU 30 fighter jets WITHOUT THEIR APPROPRIATE MISSILES and refusal to spend the money on modernising the army and preparing for the imminent/coming war which Pashinyan’s team rejected as false as late as August 2020.
    5. A little comparison between the 4 day war in April 2016 and pashinyan’s 44 day war acting can be very illuminating: the same ‘corrupt’ Kocharyan-Sargsyan built and armed army was able to mobilise the entire nation and to impose a ceasefire at Baku’s request after 4 days, with minimum loss of fighters (105) and territory, a small insignificant hill. All the negative pashinyan spread rumours and lies immediately after April 2016 war, about ‘no diesel in tanks and soldiers fighting with spades instead of guns’ and other nonsense were dismissed as just that, lies and fabrications, in 2019-20 by the parliamentary commission of enquiry initiated by pashinyan administration’s Andranik Kocharyan after 100s of interviews and meetings with high ranking officers.
    6. However the same over a year long parliamentary enquiry had had the disastrous – but designed – effect (coupled with hundreds of arrests. Imprisonment and dismissals, etc., of high ranking officers) of thoroughly demoralising the army and its high command. Meanwhile society had been deliberately and disastrously been split between ‘blacks and whites…old and new…plundered and plundered…’ destroying any national cohesion or patriotism which had been replaced with cynicism and nihilism,specially towards the army and state structures, a luxury indulged in some powerful western former imperial mature liberal democracies completely unimaginable in Armenia with powerful genocidal and hostile enemies for neighbour!
    7. By Sep 2020, the new colour revolutionaries in competently or otherwise had destroyed the traditional friendly relations with Russia, Iran and China, amongst others and had ‘achieved’ diplomatic relations with Israel and some empty promises from NATO and the west. Therefore we ended up with no friends whatever and completely isolated when the war started in Sep 2020.
    8. The disastrous ‘management’ of the war itself during the 44 days of heroic sacrifice by the Armenian Army fighters and the nation as a whole, is a chapter or book which has been analysed by many military experts and historians but awaits a proper parliamentary investigation which mysteriously is being postponed for no good reason.
    If Masis Post wants to be taken seriously or to help the nation to begin to come to its own it must stop acting as the ‘cour revolution’ by now thoroughly discredited mouth piece, stop repeating their thoroughly exposed lies and propaganda. The job of a newspaper is to hold power to account with critical investigative journalism not parrot its discredited and baseless propaganda.

  4. Instead of criticizing the article, the paper and PM Pashinyan in a comments section, it would have been wiser if Mr. Nazarian published his comments/thought as an article in any Armenian or non Armenian newspaper, and this is for a wider audiences.
    Here are few points to refresh Mr. Nazarian’s memory…

    – You lose a war when a nations prime ministers were busy building mansions and traveling to Europe for gambling instead of modernizing the army
    – Our democratic nation is surrounded by dictators, from North to south and from east to west
    – Azerbaijan was preparing for this war in the last 20 years
    – Let’s not fool ourselves, the green-light for Azeri to attack Artsakh was given by Europe, United State and Russia
    – A nation of a 3 million fought against Turkey, Israel, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and mercenaries
    – I do not recall anyone stood against Turkey when they were invading Syria, Libya and Cyprus. Artsakh was next on his agenda
    – Armenian diaspora proved the be useless

    Comments shouldn’t be lengthier than the article itself. Constructive criticism is what we need now a days,

  5. There is only one point of comparison. Artsakh was a region transferred to a neighbouring country by Moscow without the agreement or even consultation of its native population. Crimea also was a region transferred to a neighbouring country by Moscow without the agreement or even consultation of its native population. Both transfers were reversed by military means, and with the approval of the majority of each region’s population. Both transfers were refused to be recognised by an international community that did nothing but repeat meaningless statements about territorial integrity. The international community also considered that the opinions of the native population had no validity, repeatedly rejecting their internal attempts at referendums and elections. I guess that Russia is a bit wiser than Armenia – or it, unlike Armenia, has actually learned something from what happened to Artsakh in 2020. And it is acting now to prevent the same from happening to Crimea at some future date.

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