The Armenian Military

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The Armenian Military

Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:33 pm


Armenian army capable to defend fatherland
26.01.2007 16:15 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ With professional officer staff and modern
equipment, the Armenian Army is capable to fulfill all tasks set to
it, said RA First Deputy to Defense Minister, Colonel General Mikael
Haruryunyan who took part in the preparation of the forum dedicated to
the 15th anniversary of the Armenian Armed Forces. According to him,
the Armenian Army is well skilled and special attention is paid to
training of the staff. `God forbid, if hostilities are launched the
Armed Forces will be capable to defend the homeland,' he said adding
that Army is not a frozen organism and can develop. `Certainly, not
all the problems were settled during 15 years. There are international
standards we should head for and then apply taking into account
national peculiarities. A national doctrine based on the experience of
developed states should be worked out. I am convinced we'll
succeed. However, we do not want to carry out military reforms at the
expense of the taxpayers. We should do our best to efficiently use the
funds allocated to the army,' the Col. Gen. said.

In Harutyunyan's words, presently the people's trust in the army
reached 80%. He emphasized that the Armenian Army is firm and
equipped. `Any wish to launch aggression against Armenia can be
forgotten. The army is capable to defend the fatherland,' he resumed,
reports IA Regnum.

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Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:34 pm




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Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:34 pm


Yerevan, January 27. ArmInfo. The stable development of Armenia
directly depends on the fighting capacity of its army, Armenian
President Robert Kocharyan said today while awarding servicemen on the
occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Armenian army.

He congratulated the whole Armenian nation on the Army Day and said
that the Armenians are proud of their army. Speaking about the
formation of the Armenian army, Kocharyan said: "In fact, the buidling
of the Armenian state started from the formation of the Armenian
army. The conditions were hard, they were imposed on us, but this is
our fate and we are responsible for all this. I think we al are proud
of those years and our victory."


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Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:35 pm

Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan's message on Army Day
27.01.2007 11:49

RA Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan issued a message on the occasion
of the 15th anniversary of formation of the Armenian Army. The message

`Dear compatriots, commanders and soldiers of the Armenian Army,

I congratulate all of you on the most significant holidays of our
people and independent statehood ` the 15th anniversary of formation
of the Armenian Army.

The Armenian Army that was born one and half decades ago together with
the independence of Armenia is one of the greatest achievements of our
independence. On the first days of its formation it overcame the trial
of the Artsakhi war. One of the glorious pages of the Artsakhi war was
the liberation of Shushi, the 15th anniversary of which we shall
celebrate this year as a brilliant evidence of the power and
combativitû of the Armenian Army.

During the subsequent years in a short period of time the National
Army passed a long way. Today we can proudly state that the Armenian
Armed Forces have not only become a reliable guarantee of security and
defense of Armenia and Artsakh and our independence. They also
effectively participate in international peacekeeping processes,
accumulating necessary experience for countering the challenges of the
contemporary world.

Continuing the efforts for the further development of our country,
creation of a competitive economy and reinforcement of statehood, we
clearly realize that it is also one of the important preconditions for
army building and reforms in the Armed Forces.

On this significant holiday I congratulate the officers and commanders
of the Armenian Army, the soldiers, the whole nation. I wish
long-lasting peace, strength of spirit and national unity, high
combativit ûof the National Army for the sake of secure future
of out state and people.


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Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:35 pm

Golos Armenii, Yerevan,
27 Jan 2007

Armenian army strongest in region - military aide

The Armenian army is well-trained and well-equipped, a top military
aide to the Armenian president has said. Col-Gen Gurgen Dalibaltayan,
the chief inspector of the Armenian army, said that according to
international experts, the Armenian army is the strongest one in the
South Caucasus region. He also said that while some of the service
personnel serve on a contract basis in the army, the Armenian army
will not become a fully professional one in the near future, The
following is an excerpt from Zara Gevorgyan's report by the Armenian
newspaper Golos Armenii on 27 January headlined "We were waging a
liberation war and at the same time, setting up an army in the home

The adviser to the Armenian president and the chief military
inspector of the Republic of Armenia, Col-Gen Gurgen Dalibaltayan,
has answered questions put by a Golos Armenii correspondent.

[Correspondent] Gurgen Harutyunovich, the Armenian army will
celebrate its 15th anniversary on 28 January. Let's recall how
everything started and how the Armenian army formed, grew and
strengthened out of several militia detachments.

[Dalibaltayan] In May 1991, the Armenian government set up a defence
committee that started putting together detachments of volunteers and
planned, directed and organized the range and zone of their


[Correspondent] We often proudly say that the Armenian army is the
strongest and most organized one in the region.

[Dalibaltayan] This is what international experts say, who, when
comparing the armed forces of the South Caucasus countries, have
always put the Armenian army in the first place. Recently, a Western
military specialist said that there are "armed forces in Georgia and
Azerbaijan, and an army in Armenia". What is the difference? If you
give weapons to any grouping it will sooner or later become "an armed
force", while a classic army is a far deeper and complete notion.

[Correspondent] So, we proudly say that our army is the strongest in
the region. However, time goes on. Foreigners invest a lot of money
in the Georgian army; Azerbaijan's army expenses grow constantly.
Should I continue my question?

[Dalibaltayan] No, it is clear. The Americans have assumed the
patronage of the Georgian army and train it in the NATO style.
However, that type of an army is not too strong, and the sense of
patriotism (the most important thing) is far weaker compared to the
army that is established in its own homeland and rests on the
experience of generations and the strength of its soil. Today
Azerbaijan is able to spend a lot of money on its military, but
having top military hardware does not mean having a top army. We
spend less, but the money is strictly directed (for the needs of
troops, weapons and replacement of obsolete weapons with new ones)
without wasting money on secondary goals. Armenia really has an army
the military might of which is the key condition for peace.

[Correspondent] Do we have domestic weaponry manufactured here in

[Dalibaltayan] Armenia has appropriate factories. We, however, buy
weapons from Russia because it is cheaper to do so. It is more
expensive to manufacture them here than import them. However, we can
always manufacture rifles, mortars; to cut it short, everything but
heavy hardware. There is nothing to worry about in that respect; we
can have everything we need. By the way, there are also repair
facilities in Armenia, which are constantly modernized. Military
hardware is constantly modernized in those facilities in accordance
with new modern technologies.

[Correspondent] Is Armenia going to manufacture hardware in the

[Dalibaltayan] It is envisaged in the plan of mobilization training.

[Correspondent] I know that the service personnel of some units will
serve as contractors. Tell me more about it.

[Dalibaltayan] It is true. These will be people who have served in
the army and transferred into reserve. They will continue working as
contractors. Therefore, as you understand, we are not increasing the
personnel. Those units currently serve on our state borders, while
the young serve inside Armenian territory. However, it is very
difficult to implement that system completely. The Americans made
their army professional only after the Vietnam War. And that country
is very rich. That kind of a change for an army is a very expensive
process, which we cannot afford at this stage. However, it is worth
it because having a professional army is better in the long run. This
is, however, in the future. At this stage, it is better for us to
accumulate mobilization resources.


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Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:36 pm


With its efficiency Armenian Army is in one line with strongest armies in world
27.01.2007 15:36 GMT+04:00


/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian President Robert Kocharian, Parliament
Speaker Tigran Torosyan, PM Andranik Margaryan, Defense Minister Serzh
Sargsyan, NKR President Arkadi Ghukassian, NKR Defense Army Minister
Seyran Ohanyan, Armenian Prosecutor General, the Armenian Police
Chief, the head of National Security Service, other high ranking
officials, ministers, participants of Artsakh war attended pantheon of
Karabakh War Heroes in `Erablur' January 27. They paid tribute to
those who have died during the Artsakh war, laid wreaths on the
memorial. `Every time we come here and pay tribute to those who went
to protect the fatherland on those fatal days. I am sure that if a
necessity occurs to perish life for the sake of the fatherland, our
guys will fight and protect our country,' stated Serzh Sargsyan,
adding that Armenian recruits are ready to perish their lives for the
fatherland. Serzh Sargsyan also stressed that the peculiarity of the
Armenian Army is the fact that a lot of officers have war experience.

NKR Defense Minister Lieutenant-General Seyran Ohanyan underlined that
the 15-year way, which the Armenian Army has passed, was full of
various events. `The army was formed with joint efforts of the
Armenian nation during military actions, and if we look at it from
tactical point of view, rather mobile troops were formed,' he
thinks. In his words, Unity and responsibility of the Armenian nation
allowed to increase the efficiency of the Armenian Army in a short
period of time after the cease-fire, to restore the loses and increase
the efficiency of the Armenian Army. `The achievement of those 15
years is not only the fact that we could win, but also the fact that
during a very short period of time we could reach the current level we
have in the army, which can compete with the countries in the region
with its efficiency and is in one level with the strongest armies in
the world,' Seyran Ohanyan underlined. `We pass the next generation
all the skills and experience, which were obtained during military
actions during 15 years. I am sure they will be more skilful and
active ready than we are,' concluded Seyran Ohanyan, IA Regnum

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Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:36 pm

05.02.2007 15:14

Armenia has never had the target to have the military reforms serve the
idea of joining NATO, RA Deputy defense Minister, Lieutenant-General
Arthur Aghabekyan declared today during the seminar on defense reforms
organized jointly with the George C. Marshall European Center for
Security Studies.

According to Arthur Aghabekyan, Armenia is leading a complementary
polity, which finds its expression also in the defense sphere. We make
the cooperation with both NATO and CTO serve the further modernization
of the defense complex and resistance to threats. "No such issue will
be discussed either today or in the near future," said the Deputy
Foreign Minister.

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Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:37 pm

By S. Hakobian

February 02, 2007

With the victory in the liberation war in Artsakh and preservation of
the territorial integrity and border of Armenia our army has proven
that it is strong and ready to accomplish any military tasks.

On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Armenian army ARF's
Supreme Body organized a visit to the motor-infantry division N58831
named after Vazgen Sargsian in Ararat.

Congratulating the soldiers on the army's 15th anniversary member
of ARF's Bureau and Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly Vahan
Hovhannissian noted that 15 years ago, on January 28, 1992, it became
possible to establish the guarantee of our country's security and
territorial integrity - the Armenian army.

Hovhannissian extended his gratitude to all parents who realize the
necessity to serve in the army and send their sons to the Armenian
national army.

Hovhannissian believes the reason why the enemy does not attack Armenia
is that our borders are strong. He wished the Armenian army peace and
victories noting that the army's value in a time of peace is the same
as in a time of war. "We don't need any enemy attacks. We must be so
strong that no one would even think of attacking us, and you are the
guarantee of this."

The visit to the military unit protecting Armenia's south-west border
was special because it is very closely located to Yerevan and is very
dangerous because it is close to the border with Nakhijevan.

Azeris believe Nakhijevan is very close to Yerevan and if they have
any aggressive plans they are going to use Nakhijevan. This is why
protection of this border is very important for the Armenian side.

Head of ARF's parliamentary faction Hrayr Karapetian noted that
celebration of the army's anniversary is probably the most glorious

"Our army becomes stronger morally and physically. The material
conditions are gradually improved and this is the best guarantee that
the Armenian nation will live in its free and independent country,
and nurture hopes of living in its historical homeland in the future."

Appreciation certificates were awarded to several officers for high
military discipline. The guests presented to the military unit the
film series telling about the heroes of Karabagh war, and several
films telling about the First Armenian Republic, the monuments in
Western Armenia, and a TV and video player.

They also presented the soldiers a book titled "Armenian Soldier" where
the image of the Armenian soldier is crystallized in the images of Dro
and Sebastatsi Murad. 30 members of ARF's Nikol Aghbalian Student Union
visited the military unit to get acquainted with the conditions in the
army to be sure that they will be serving in a strong and secure army.

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Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:37 pm


Yerevan, February 5. ArmInfo. The Armenian Army enters the fourth
stage of its development, RA Defense Minister, Serzh Sargsyan, said
in an interview to the "Armenia" TV channel.

Having reminded the theoretical division of the Armenian Army
development history into three stages, which he published earlier,
RA DM said that he had addressed his deputies, the Heads of some DM
departments and the General Headquarters last autumn and tried to
explain the necessity of carrying out the reforms in the Armenian
Army. According to him, the implementation of reforms in the Army
is a necessity. Though the military efficiency of the Armenian
Army raises no doubts, there are still some deficiencies, numerous
unsolved problems which should be resolved. Moreover, not only a task
of assuring the own country's security is set to the modern Army but
task of participating in the struggle with challenges to the mankind
that requires a joint coordinated work of representatives of Armies
of different countries. According to the Minister, it is impossible
to take a worthy participation in this work without the necessary
reforms. That is why, at the end of 2005, Armenia had approved a
Program of individual partnership with NATO and the CSTO countries
have agreed to improve the united subdivisions, the Minister said. "I
think we already enter the fourth stage and this stage will be long",
RA DM added.


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Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:38 pm


Noyan Tapan
Feb 05 2007

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 5, NOYAN TAPAN. The events dedicated to the 15th
anniversary of the Armenian army will continue till May 9, the 15th
anniversary of the Shoushi liberation. Serge Sargsian, the RA Defence
Minister mentioned about it in the interview to the "Armenia" TV. He
informed that the state commission founded by the RA President's decree
will organize a number of events from now on as well. In the Minister's
words, those events are not end in itself and are called to re-affirm
the army's reputation to be the most improved structure, to start
usage of new standards for holding similar events. In S.Sargsian's
words, military servicemen must again make sure that the people and
the state estimate their hard work, care about them and are proud of
them. In his opinion, it may only positively influence on the Armenian
army's martial readiness and efficiency.

Touching upon the displeasures and criticisms expressed on the occasion
of events dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the army, the Minister
mentioned that "some mercenary journalists and mass media functioning
for special purposes were instructed by their masters, childish but
having great ambitions, to spoil impression and moods in any way,"
but they did not manage. As for displeasures connected with passing
over in silence first RA Defence Minister Vazgen Manukian's role
in the army building, in S.Sargsian's words, his name was mentioned
during programs dedicated to the holiday by a number of TV companies,
and one of TV companies gave him possibility of expression. "Isn't
it enough about a person who was the Defence Minister of Armenia only
few months and did his best to leave that post as soon as possible,"
S.Sargsian mentioned.

In his words, during the 14 years after his being the Minister,
V.Manukian "did not say a kind word about the army," and did not take
part ever in any army event though he was always invited.

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Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:38 pm


Mediamax news agency
7 Feb 07

Yerevan, 7 February: Armenian Deputy Defence Minister Lt-Gen Artur
Aghabekyan highly rated the international seminar on defence reforms
which completed its work in Yerevan today.

Aghabekyan said that "during the three days [of the conference]
officers of the Armenian armed forces gained lots of useful knowledge
about the similar reforms implemented in the Baltic countries and in
Eastern Europe," Mediamax reported.

He noted that at the current stage the creation of civilian positions
in the Defence Ministry' structure is the most important direction
of the defence reforms under way in Armenia.

The deputy director of the George Marshall European Center for Security
Studies, retired Maj-Gen Horst Schmalfeld, noted the necessity of a
clear separation of the functions of the Defence Ministry and the Chief
Staff of the Armed Forces. He noted the centre's readiness to render
consultative assistance to Armenia in the implementation of reforms.

The Armenian Defence Ministry and the George Marshall European Center
for Security Studies organized the conference.

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Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:39 pm



by Samvel Martirosjan (Yerevan)

The Russian-Armenian military cooperation develops quite dynamically.
Not long ago, Russia lent a sympathetic ear to Armenia's request
concerning training of up to 150 officers. Complicated situation in
the Caucasus forces the authorities of Armenia to pay unfeigned
attention to national defense. According to official data alone, the
2004 Armenian state budget allocated almost $82 million for military
needs, an almost 10% rise against war spending in 2003. Estimates of
the International Institute of Strategic Studies (London) show that
in 2002 Armenia was the CIS leader in the arms spending to GDP ratio
- 6.4%, an equivalent of $162 million.

The CIA claims that as far as this particular parameter is concerned,
Armenia is the 11th in the world; it spent $135 million on its army
in 2001. When the closed parliamentary hearing of fulfillment of the
2003 budget was over not long ago, Armenian Defense Minister Serzh
Sarkisjan said that arms spending would be increased next year
again. Sarkisjan refused to elaborate but said that the Armenian
national army was initiating a program of rearmament.

It should be noted that the population of Armenia, not exactly a
wealthy country, does not object to these measures taken by national
leaders. The population is perfectly aware of the undeclared war with
Azerbaijan that is under way. Serious clashes are regularly reported
in the areas where Armenian and Azerbaijani troops face each other;
shots have been fired by sharpshooters for a decade (ever since the
cease-fire on the Karabakh front was signed). Moreover, official
Yerevan positions itself as a guarantor of security of Karabakh.

Turkey is another potential enemy. Diplomatic relations with Turkey
have never been established. Ankara is still blocking the border with
Armenia and pursuing an openly anti-Armenian policy. Sociologists of
the Armenian Center of National and Strategic Studies discovered that
47.5% respondents in Armenia believe that the war with Azerbaijan may
be resumed within five years, and 7% more expect a Turkish aggression
within the same span of time.


Armenian national army is considered one of the most combat ready in
the Caucasus. These days, it is over 60,000 men strong. According to
the CIA, there are 810,000 men in Armenia aged 15 to 59 and almost
650,000 of them are fit for combat. Most experts say, however, that
mobilization resources of Armenia amount to 300,000 men, i.e. almost
10% of the total population (over 3.2 million).

Under the Treaty on Conventional Arms in Europe, in 2001 Armenia
declared 102 T-72 tanks and 204 armored vehicles (most of them
infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers). With the
military hardware the Treaty on Conventional Arms in Europe does not
apply to, Armenia has up to 700 armored vehicles. Its artillery
comprises 225 pieces of 122 mm and larger calibers including 50
multiple rocket launchers.

The Armenian Air Force includes five SU-25 ground-attack aircraft,
one MIG-25, 35 helicopters (the latter include twelve MI-24 attack
helicopters), and 3,000 servicemen. Yerevan intends to build up this
component of its Armed Forces. Not long ago, Defense Ministry of
Slovenia proclaimed the sale of ten SU-25s to Armenia (nine SU-25K
one-seaters and one SU-25UBK two-seater). The consignment will cost
Armenia $1 million. Armenia bought two IL-76 military transports from
Russia not long ago. The transports were bought at Russian domestic
prices and made it to Armenia together with Defense Minister of
Russia Sergei Ivanov.

Armenia builds up its Air Force in the hope of making it a match for
the Azerbaijani, but its antiaircraft defense is considered the best
throughout the Caucasus. Armenian antiaircraft defense comprises an
antiaircraft missile brigade and two regiments armed with almost 100
antiaircraft complexes of various models and modifications (Osa,
Krug, S-75, and S-125). Numerical strength is estimated at about
2,000 servicemen. Armenian antiaircraft defense developed in a hurry
in the war over Karabakh when Azerbaijani Air Force regularly and
energetically bombarded Armenian trenches and settlements both in
Karabakh and in Armenia's own border districts. There was nothing
Armenia could do about it then. By 1993, however, it already had a
formidable antiaircraft defense in Armenia itself and in the Republic
of Nagorno-Karabakh. Its deployment cut Azerbaijani advantage in the
sky to the minimum.

These days, the Armenian skies are controlled by Armenian and Russian
antiaircraft defense units on joint combat duty since 1999. There are
at least 30 MIG-29 fighters and a regiment of S-300s quartered on the
territory of Armenia.

Allies in the Organization of the CIS Collective Security Treaty

Armenia is a member of the Organization of the CIS Collective
Security Treaty. As such, it participates in all events organized
within its framework. In any case, Russia is Armenia's oldest and
traditional ally. Ever since the regaining of sovereignty, the tandem
of Moscow and Yerevan has served as one of the few examples of bona
fide military-political cooperation in the Commonwealth. There is
practically no discord between Russia and Armenia in this sphere.

Russia and Armenia together defend the Armenian airspace or, rather,
the southern border of the Commonwealth. Armenian borders with Turkey
and Iran are manned by almost 2,000 Russian bodyguards who serve
shoulder to shoulder with their Armenian counterparts. Yet, it is the
102nd Military Base in Gyumri that is Russia's major outpost in
Armenia. Unlike Tbilisi or Baku, official Yerevan never brings up the
subject of withdrawal of the Russian troops. When Sarkisjan is asked
the question, he never answers believing it a rhetoric question.
Armenian society regards the Russian troops as a covering force
defending it from the Turkish aggression.

Until recently, the 102nd Military Base had 74 tanks, 17 battle
infantry vehicles, 148 armored personnel carriers, 84 artillery
pieces, up to 30 MIG-23s and MIG-29s, and a regiment of S-300
antiaircraft complexes. In the last eighteen months, however, a great
deal of military hardware was moved there from Georgia. Armenia gave
the land and objects used by the 102nd Military Base over to Russia
and covers some communal services.

Officer training is another sphere of Russian-Armenian military
cooperation. In the first years of sovereignty when Armenia did not
have military educational establishments of its own, officers of its
army were trained in Russia. Even now when Armenia has a military
college on its own territory, the Armenian officer corps honors the
tradition and is trained at Russian military educational
establishments. On a visit to Armenia in late May, Ivanov said that
600 Armenian servicemen are being trained in Russia. "Armenia asks
for the permission to send 150 servicemen to Russia in 2005, and
Russia gave its consent," Ivanov said.

It seems that Moscow and Yerevan do not plan to stop. The first
meeting of the joint Russian-Armenian government panel for
military-technical cooperation will take place this autumn. According
to Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, Russian factories will participate
in the Armenian program of military hardware modernization. He even
said that Russia is prepared to supply the necessary spare parts an

Belarus is another ally of Armenia in the Organization of the CIS
Collective Security Treaty. The two countries signed a treaty in
2002. Under the document, Armenia will receive light weapons, armored
vehicles, ordnance, and optical devices in return for spare parts and
gadgets for military hardware. Armenia also intends to have its heavy
military hardware upgraded at Belarusian factories. Lieutenant
General Sergei Gurulev, Chief of the General Staff of the Belarusian
Armed Forces, says that the Armenian-Belarusian military contacts
"become systematic and deliberate."

Do not forget NATO

Greece is Armenia's best ally in the Alliance. Greece and Armenia
share ancient ties and a common enemy - Turkey. Armenian officers are
trained in Greece. Every now and then Athens puts into motion
military aid programs. In 2003, the two countries signed another
military cooperation accord under which Greece will up the number of
Armenian servicemen trained at the military and military-medical
academies in Athens.

Armenia became a peacekeeper in February. It sent 34 servicemen to
Kosovo where they became an element of the Greek contingent. Armenian
servicemen in Kosovo are paid by the Greeks. Yerevan has been shifting towards NATO lately, mostly within the framework of the NATO's Partnership for Peace Program. Cooperative Best Effort exercise (the first one where Russia was represented) was run on the territory of Armenia in 2003.

Armenian cooperation with NATO is mostly declarative for the time
being, but the United States - the country steadily upping its clout
with countries of the region - has far-reaching plans with regard to
Yerevan. In early 2003, the Pentagon announced several major military
programs in the Caucasus. Washington's military aid to Armenia in
2004 will amount to $5 million even though the US Administration
intended to restrict it to $2 million at first. Armenia and the
United States signed a military-technical cooperation accord in
April. Some articles in the American media imply that the accord
specifies the use of Armenian airfields by the US AF.

Proclaiming complementariness as its foreign political doctrine,
official Yerevan never misses a chance to advance its contacts with
Washington. When the war in Iraq was under way, Armenia remained
neutral. It neither supported the war and America's action nor
condemned them. These days, however, the parliament and government of
Armenia are working on the legislation that will enable Yerevan to
send servicemen to Iraq. The Cabinet already endorsed the decision of
the Defense Ministry to subscribe to the memorandum "On the command
and settlement of issues in connection with activities of the
international division in the forces of coalition in Iraq". At first,
Armenia will probably send 10 de-miners and 3 doctors and some trucks
to Iraq.

Moreover, Armenia even permitted the United States to modernize its
communications, one of the most vulnerable items. Yerevan expects to
get communications means from American companies. The deliveries will
be paid for by the White House (the sum amounts to $7 million).
Commenting on it, Sarkisjan said that Russia is quite understanding.
"We are allies. It means that the strengthening of one partner will
benefit the other," said Sarkisjan. "We initiated the process a year
ago, and I found our Russian colleagues quite understanding." He said
that from military cooperation with the United States Armenia
expected to up combat potential of its own army.

So, Armenia ups its military might against the background of the
deepening crisis in the relations with Azerbaijan, the crisis that
threatens to deteriorate into another full-scale war. It should be
noted as well that in any conflict the Armenian national army may
count on servicemen from Karabakh. In fact, the Karabakh army even
leaves the Armenian behind in some parameters. Karabakh armed
formations cannot match the Armenian army in manpower (about 20,000
servicemen and mobilization resources at 60,000 men), but they are
certainly ahead of Armenia in heavy military hardware: 316 tanks, 324
armored vehicles, 322 artillery pieces of calibers over 122 mm, 44
multiple rocket launchers, and the antiaircraft defense system that
performed flawlessly in the hostilities in the 1990's.

Translated by A. Ignatkin

Yes Tseghakron Em - Yev aha K'yerdnum Vahagni Achi Vrah Yerbek Chmexanchel Ukhtis Dem - Aprel, Gorcel u Mernel Vorpes Tsexamard.
Posts: 143
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Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:43 pm

Among the multitude of armed formations, which have sprang up
in the post-Soviet sphere, the Defense Army of Karabakh turned
out to be one of the most battle worthy.

No. 42(322)
October 26, 2002
Transcaucasia / Armies of the World

Today people are starting to forget about Nagorno-Karabakh. But
this small and strongly crisscrossed land, lost in the Caucasian
heights, which by population size is second to any Moscow region
(according to the latest information the population of NKR is
only 145,128), played a colossal role in recent history. It was
exactly here that the physical deterioration of the last world
empire started. It was also here that the first war developed
in the post-Soviet sphere, which put under the doubt the very
idea of the existence of such a community of people as the Soviet
People. After begetting a hurricane, Artsakh - the historical name
of Nagorno-Karabakh - was destined to vanish from the political
map of the world: the Azeri side had a massive military and
economic superiority. But thanks to its army, Nagorno-Karabakh
not only survived, but also enlarged its own borders...

While getting ready to go to Karabakh, it was not our goal to
identify who is to blame in conflict, which flickers to this
day. We were interested exclusively in "technical" issues: how
was it formed and according to what principles does the army of
the state function, which instead of official borders has front
lines and is not accepted de-jure anywhere.

More Than Guerrillas

There is no need to explain to the participants of enforcement
of a "constructive order in Soviet Transcaucasia" who are the
fedayees. Armed with anything they could get their hands on and
unclear who they were controlled by, the bearded guerrillas
(partisans) stood against a no less exotic Azeri fighting
force. In the beginning stages, military weapons were a big rarity
here and the character of the military actions was very similar to
gang fighting on a city level using common makeshift weapons. In
those times Soviet generals didn't hide their contempt towards
this "wild war" and its participants. Up to the point when blood
still wasn't being shed in abundance and humor on military themes
wasn't too dark, in many headquarters spread throughout
"smoldering" Caucasus, the Karabakh conflict was referred to as
the battle between shepherds and cattle breeders.

The irony was present even when the fighting sides transferred
into tanks and planes, when instead of gradoboykas (Translator's
note: guns used for agricultural purposes) they started using
frontline artillery - as the military warehouses and equipment
in the region turned out to be more than sufficient. True, in
Moscow they still hoped that these "peoples' military
specialists" will never be able to adapt the modern military
hardware which they inherited after the division of Soviet
Union. But the hopes were dispersed when the so-called Karabakh
War, which in Artsakh is considered Patriotic, went according
to all rules of military art...

They don't wear beards in the NKR Army any more. It is not
outlawed, but it is also not encouraged. The outward appearance
is clean cut - the camouflage is sawn on the local fabric from
Greek material, thus strikingly resembling NATO. And if we put a
Russian soldier next to one from Karabakh, the visual comparison,
unfortunately, won't be in our favor. At the least, we didn't
see a single soldier with a pitiful appearance, the likes of
which are abundant even in Moscow. People wear the uniform with
dignity here, even women and instructors of military-sporting
schools: 70 percent of the population directly or indirectly
are considered potential "military assets".


Big Little Army

The military budget of NKR is an impressive 20 percent of
GDP. These kinds of spending percentages are not permissive,
neither in the United States nor Russia. But to make up for
it, in the past ten years, gone like a moment, they created
here a well functioning military structure: infantry, armored,
rocket-artillery forces, air defense forces, rear logistical
services and all the necessary military services including,
a reconnaissance battalion and a special forces unit formed on
the base of national guard...

In reality, here they know not only the appropriate place for
a joke, but also the appropriate time. They warned us still
in Yerevan that Karabakh Armenians are not only the most kind
hearted but also the most warlike: from the four famous Soviet
Armenian marshals, three were from Karabakh. People here, as is
appropriate for the highlanders, are serious with a no-nonsense
character. If the decision is taken that everybody must go through
military service, everybody does it, regardless of the position
of the parents, two years from start to finish.

Ohanian's Line


We should assume that the Defense Minister of NKR doesn't
contradict his commander-in-chief all the time. But in any case,
even for the president it is hard to pressure his military
minister so easily. The point is that General-Lieutenant Seyran
Ohanian is not simply a bureaucrat in uniform, but one of the
thirteen national heroes, whom people respect no less than
general director of AVPK "Sukhoy" (Sukhoy, famous Russian fighter
and attack plane design bureau) Michail Pogosian, who also has
Karabakhi roots.

Seyran Ohanian has marched from cadet to battalion commander in
the Soviet Army. He served in the military group in Germany,
Kirovabad, then in 336th Stepanakert Mechanized Infantry
Regiment. He says that when the time came to make a choice, he
went to defend his smaller homeland, as he would probably do if
he had to, the socialist Fatherland. He was in the command of a
regiment, afterwards, during the heaviest fighting, he commanded
the Mardakert front. He didn't leave the battlefield even when he
was badly wounded and lost a leg. But in 6 months, he was back
fighting and after signing of the ceasefire, he kept himself
busy by building military fortifications. He spent his days and
nights in the field, and worked at such a pace, that even people
with two legs couldn't keep up with him. It was with his active
participation that the military training center, of which even
the elite Moscow facilities can be jealous, was built from zero.

They almost worship their commander in AOK. For example, the
massive system of defensive fortifications, which today similar
to Maginot Line encircles the entire borders of Karabakh, is
unofficially called Ohanian's Line. During the war, they say,
Azeris were offering one million dollars for the head of the
commander of Mardakert front.

Soviet School

At the time of our visit, on General Ohanian's work desk there
was a book by Marshal Shtemenko, "General Headquarters in
War Years". "We take all that is positive from the experience
of the Soviet Army and are actively filtering out all that is
negative." By the way, the 200 thousand strong army of Azerbaijan,
as is known, is energetically reorganizing according to the
Turkish style. Even their military step is Turkish nowadays.

Today, Soviet style (one regiment - one defense region) regiments
of AOK are countered by two Azeri corps, each with five-six
brigades. Brigades are formed by six to eight battalions. But
if opportunity comes, the breakthrough attack will be carried
out by the elite units, including the Marines, which are now in
the rear and are carrying out intense military training under the
direction of Turkish instructors - who are not the worst military
specialists in the world. That is why the "euphoria of victory",
ruling now in Stepanakert, seriously concerns Karabakh command.

Today Azerbaijan's army is several-fold larger in number, than
the armed forces of Armenia and NKR together. But in Karabakh,
they think that these forces are not sufficient to break through
the Ohanian's Line so easily. Besides, here they prepare for
the possibility of war in real terms: exactly once a week, no
matter what, soldiers and officers of Artsakh conduct live-fire
training exercises in the field. They are also replenishing their
supplies of armaments, even though in the 'pyramids' (armories)
there are still war-time machine guns. But the main problem is
the officer cadres.

From three thousand officers of AOK only forty have served in
the Soviet Army. Three hundred more went through training in
Yerevan military academy and in Russian establishments of higher
learning. Recently Boris Davidov, commander of 4th regiment,
graduated with honors from All-Military Academy in Moscow. In
the peaceful past Davidov was the graduate of Timiriazevsk
Academy. Behind the shoulders of the Deputy Defense Minister
lieutenant-colonel Aleksan Aleksanian are the Polytechnic
Institute and the academic courses "Vistrel" (Shot). Students
from Azerbaijan don't neglect Russian military academies either,
but as Moscow instructors communicated to "Itogi", officers from
Karabakh are working harder than all the others.

In Soviet times there was an axiom: if three Armenians served in
a subdivision at the same time, it meant a guaranteed disorder
and brothel in the whole stationed division, if there were more
Armenians - an utter lawlessness would ensue. In simple terms, it
was thought that it would be impossible to create a regular army
purely "comprised of Armenians", because it was thought, these
people were spoiled by the warm climate and abundance of food and
wealth. For AOK this axiom turned out to be false. At one time,
Alexander Lebed (famous Russian General and elected governor of
Krasnoyarsk, who brokered ceasefire in the first Chechen War),
who visited Karabakh after the war, acknowledged, that the
battle readiness of AOK is higher than the Russian Army, and
there is more order. It was not hard to compare the two, because
the military life and methods of training are almost identical.


Flying Russian Style

During the war Karabakhis shot down several dozen Azeri planes and
helicopters and unfortunately, one of their own MiGs. Following
that, they themselves would joke bitterly: "After that military
loss the Armenian Air Force was reduced exactly by a half". In the
beginning of the war the Armenian military aviation was comprised
only of two planes. By the way, that unfortunate pilot remained
alive. He parachuted and landed on the town square where he was
given a good beating until the anxious defenders of Stepanakert
figured out what had happened. Now, as the unfaltering sense of
humor of the Armenian Radio (a line of famous jokes in Soviet
Union) confirms, during every flight over the capital of NKR, he
sends advance notification to the Air Defense Forces of Karabakh,
which are part of Armenia's Air Defense Forces, and thus part
of CIS'.

It is not a secret that the planes of Azeri Air Force were
manned mainly by Russian and Ukrainian crews, who were flying
for money of course. Some of them were captured. Participants
of the Karabakh War say that they could visually tell when the
planes were flown by Russians: the bombs were released not on
populated areas but in the mountains. One of them even landed
his plane on the Armenian side. He didn't become national hero
of course, but he got some applause for making some money and
in the process not harming fellow Christians...


On the Border Clouds Are Menacing...

"We have won only due to our high spirit!" - says General
Ohanian. In the beginning the defense detachments of Karabakh had
no military experience, no weapons - the main military warehouses
were on the Azeri side, furthermore just before their pullout,
the Soviet Interior Troops carried out a thorough combing of
Karabakh. That is why they were fighting practically with bare
hands and trophies, until they secured supplies from Russia
(remember the scandalous and criminal cases about arms shipments
of Pavel Grachev's times). Monte Melkonian, (Armenian born in
Lebanon and Harvard graduate) the legendary in Karabakh commander
of 2nd regiment, used to make his subordinates account for
destroying enemy tanks instead of capturing them intact.

Experience came later. And now, the opponents of the NKR Defense
Minister are arguing that the military training should be built
on the basis of their own military traditions. Seyran Ohanian
prefers a compromise: own military experience plus classic Soviet
military tactic. According to his opinion, the next war will be
different - more professional. Here is how they picture the future
battles in Stepanakert. Before, they thought that with the start
of the hostilities the first line of trenches will be taken by
the experienced reservists and the new recruits will take the
second line of defense. The thinking was that the "old timers"
will not dare to retreat. General Ohanian thinks differently:
in order to facilitate the merging of experience and training,
reservists and new recruits should be mixed in one unit...

According to Karabakh reconnaissance, there were intense ground
works on the other side of the frontlines at night and in the
morning Azeri positions became closer. In some areas two opposing
armies are separated only by fifty meters. A tank can cover
that distance in one swing. But colonel Davidov is sure that his
subordinates will hold: "You can't run from a submarine!" Really,
Karabakhis have nowhere to retreat.


Yes Tseghakron Em - Yev aha K'yerdnum Vahagni Achi Vrah Yerbek Chmexanchel Ukhtis Dem - Aprel, Gorcel u Mernel Vorpes Tsexamard.
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Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:29 pm

Postby Lernakan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:46 pm

May of our victories

Dear compatriots,

May 9 is the day of victories. That day in 1992, one of the biggest victories of the Armenian nation, the liberation of Shushi, was won. That victory was a breaking point and defined the historic victory of the Armenian people. In this struggle, crowned with a victory, our nation stood up as a unity pursuing a united goal.

The Artsakh liberation war was the evidence of the Armenians' daring and freedom-loving spirit; it came to prove that time and circumstances cannot erase the awareness and willingness to stand for its rights from the memory of the new generation. This great achievement was accomplished by great losses paid for the liberated Artsakh, and the possibility to gat rid of a victim's psychology and looking to the future with confidence.

Compatriots, May 9 is inerasable from our memory because it is also the Victory day against the fascism. The nation that has seen the first genocide of the 20th century took the new form of hatred and imperialism with an alarm. More than 600,000 Armenians around the globe fought in the WW II, half of them never returned home.
Armenians contributed a great deal in confronting the Nazism.
Dear compatriots,

We are congratulating you for the victories won in the Artsakh liberation war and against fascism. On this remarkable day, we bow before the memories of those Armenians who paid with their lives in the WW II and the heroic war of Artsakh.

We convey our gratitude to the veterans who are still alive after going through the hell of the wars. Let us deserve those heroes by making our homeland prosperous and never compromising the achievements we today have.

ARF Supreme Body of Armenia


Yes Tseghakron Em - Yev aha K'yerdnum Vahagni Achi Vrah Yerbek Chmexanchel Ukhtis Dem - Aprel, Gorcel u Mernel Vorpes Tsexamard.
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Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:29 pm


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