Farhad Mamedov, the head of the South Caucasus Research Center, recently shed light on Armenia’s military involvement in Karabakh in a post on his Telegram channel.
Mamedov revealed that Armenia, in a significant move, has once again acknowledged the armed formations from Karabakh’s Armenians were indeed an integral part of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia. This revelation came to the forefront when the Prosecutor General’s Office of Armenia initiated a criminal case based on an interview with Samvel Babayan.
The charges in the criminal case were notably under two key articles. The first being “Military Service Negligence” (Article 550 of the Criminal Code), pinpointing carelessness or non-performance due to negligence. The second article was “Leaving Means of Combat to the Enemy” (Article 545 of the Criminal Code), which pertains to not coercing a commander to surrender or leave behind fortifications or combat equipment to the enemy. Interestingly, as of the moment, there are no accused in the case.
Highlighting the inconsistency in official statements, Mamedov pointed out the fervent assertions by Armenian officials, experts, and diplomats that the “Defense Army” had no connections with the Armenian Armed Forces. Yet the current criminal case suggests otherwise. The “Military Service Negligence” charge directly implies the negligence of one serviceman of the Republic of Armenia towards other servicemen of the same Republic.
Furthermore, Mamedov emphasized that equipment, which falls under “Leaving Means of Combat to the Enemy”, is registered under the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia.
Despite these glaring revelations, Mamedov believes that Armenia’s leadership and its patrons might still argue that the armed formations in Karabakh weren’t a part of the Armenian Armed Forces. He criticized this stance by stressing that such military presence hindered the reintegration of Karabakh’s Armenians into Azerbaijan. After the setback on September 19, remnants of the Armenian Armed Forces, according to Mamedov, orchestrated an exodus of Karabakh’s Armenians to Armenia. He provocatively questioned if Armenia labels this movement from Karabakh as “ethnic cleansing”, then aren’t the orchestrators of this move the very leaders of the Armenian Armed Forces in Karabakh?
Concluding his revelations, Mamedov noted that the individuals involved in these actions and the pseudo-administration of the region are, in fact, citizens of Armenia, receiving salaries from Armenia’s state budget.