Armworld: Summing up the events of the war of 2016, how would You describe this year?
The year was full of various events, there has been a tragic and crucial event for us, in particular, the four-day April war. This was followed by a series of layoffs in the Ministry of defence and the Armed forces of Armenia, new appointments, until the appointment of a new Minister of defence, against some officials was instituted several criminal cases.
The most important key event, of course, was the April war. It was an unprecedented number of victims, since after the conclusion of the ceasefire agreement in 1994, there have been so many victims due to incidents on the borders.
In addition, this war was a serious test for the defensive system that we built for 25 years. The war showed that although the army of the enemy exceeded the Armenian forces in number, the number of military equipment, for some varieties and quality, and although the Azerbaijani side in the battle to take the employees of the special forces, the Armenian side managed to resist them, not allowing the enemy to achieve military superiority.
Of course, this style of many human lives, as with the Armenian and Azerbaijani side. It is impossible to say how many soldiers were killed on the Azerbaijani side. After much research was able to specify only approximate figures. It is known that this country always hide their real losses. According to official data, in 2016 the Azerbaijani side supposedly suffered 116 35 combat and non-combat losses. Supposedly 96 of combat casualties are the result of the April war.
Meanwhile, in may, representatives of the US state Department, speaking about the April war, said both sides together had suffered 350 casualties, including civilians. If from this figure deduct the losses of the Armenian side that the Azeris only in the April war has lost 250 soldiers.
— Then, we heard that the soldiers of the Armenian side was armed with technology still Soviet years, and it was said that the army was not really ready for large-scale military action, intelligence was wrong, in consequence of which the attack was unexpected for the Armenian side.
— I assume we are talking about arming the 80s. I note that all over the world now use these weapons. Used even older weapons.
For example, the United States in his army using the B52 bombers, which are armed with the 1950s. You need to understand that no matter new or old available weapons. Matter how these weapons perform their tasks. In addition, a significant part of the old weapons can be upgraded with the help of electronic control capabilities. It is less costly than the purchase of new weapons. So with less cost to obtain weapons, equivalent to modern.
So, I think the question of old weapons exaggerated and were made in the discourse to discredit our army to supposedly show that our army is weak and is supposedly responsible government, the government. Not thinking that between the Armenian and Azerbaijani armies, there are significant differences in the matter of modern weapons.
And intelligence should really work much better and be able to properly analyze your opponent’s every move. This time they thought that the steps of the Azerbaijani side of the border are another diversion, and treated this seriously. This should not be allowed.
— Do you think we have mastered the lessons of the April war?
— Of course. First, was our revised security doctrine. Also accelerated the pace of implementation of projects in the sphere of defense. Not to say that before the war was not carried out steps to build military positions, development of military industry. This, too, the position was equipped with monitoring devices, night vision devices, but after the war this process intensified sharply.
The same thing happened in the direction of the military industry. The impression is that only after April, this area has become one of the key. But it’s not. Even in 2015, a law was passed about the military-industrial complex, and then began the legal process of development of this sphere, has adopted a number of documents, developed the concept, identified priorities, based on which we shall have to develop the military industry.
Even held in 2016, the military-industrial exhibition was planned long before that. It is also one of the achievements of our military sector last year, as signed many contracts for the development of Armenia’s defense industry, agreements were reached with different countries.
— Armenian experts complain that they have good ideas, inventions in the field of military industry to make weapons or use of technology, but the government is not going to meet them, and these ideas remain on paper.
— People who expect that their ideas can come to life and this right will be allocated, not pragmatic. In the military industry need tens of years to bright idea to bring to life and begin mass production.
The technique, which is now being developed in Russia or the United States, will go into operation only after 15-20 years, if you pass the test. These weapons and technologies should be tested, to improve, to develop, to become perfect, to at a crucial moment on the battlefield, it became clear that they do not work. That’s why for us until such investment is impractical, as it is cheaper to buy ready-made and reliable, tested weapons from other countries.
Of course, more profitable, much more profitable it would be spending a lot more money, we have to establish research centers, to organize the production to be independent from the outside world even in the matter of arms supplies. But this requires a lot of time and investment. The government has taken steps in this direction, we cannot assume that nothing is being done. But the results will be tangible only after a few years.
It has been almost ten months since the April events, but the international community did not give adequate response to Azerbaijan’s actions. What are the development in this direction, can Armenia do expect that Azerbaijan at least to some extent, will be brought to justice?
— As I recall, during the last twenty years was brought to liability only to those countries that had problems with the United States. Azerbaijan is a full member of the international community, and I don’t think against him will resort to such steps.
But besides, we must admit that the statements of the OSCE Minsk group often coincide with the position of the Armenian side. Today Armenian side and the co-chairs of the Minsk group focus on international mechanisms of investigation of incidents, their prevention, withdrawal of snipers from the first line, in Azerbaijan, of course, responds with hysteria. That is, the views of the Armenian side and the OSCE Minsk group aimed in the same direction, which cannot be said about Azerbaijan.