Armenian army positions said to be underequipped
    Soldiers ask for crowbars, shovels, and picks

    REGION  23 September 2022 - 14:32

    For two years following the 44-day Second Karabakh War, Armenian authorities have claimed to be strengthening the border with Azerbaijan and constructing proper trenches and fortifications.

    However, many frontline soldiers claim the opposite, Caliber.Az reports, citing the Armenian media company Radio Liberty.

    Many pertinent posts have been made on social media, particularly in recent days.

    One of the posts urged the Armenian Defence Ministry to explain why troops in the Syunik (Zangazur) region "request crowbars, shovels, picks, and other working equipment". Other users expressed similar concerns in response to the post.

    A soldier from the front line, who did not want to be named, told Radio Liberty on September 23 that the proper arrangement of positions, for example, reinforced concrete fortifications, can save the lives of many soldiers.

    "The drone cannot carry large-volume projectiles like aviation, its capabilities are very limited, limited to 10-15 kg of explosives. While aviation can carry up to several tonnes of explosives. And in this case, if the trenches are concreted and properly built, the role of drones is reduced to zero, there is no young man already sitting in front of him in the trench under the open sky, who can be immediately destroyed, ordinary concrete, in this case, solves this problem," he said.

    After the hostilities that took place a few days ago on the border, videos appeared on the Internet, which show that Armenia's positions are built in the same way as before the Second Karabakh War, without taking into account the latest tactical changes.

    In this regard, Azerbaijan is acting more systematically, and this should be discussed to change the situation. "If in our case these works are carried out by soldiers on duty who do not sleep and perform engineering work throughout the entire duty, then in the case of the enemy they have a well-developed, well-established infrastructure that very quickly equips its positions with the help of engineering equipment and workers, and we need a lot of time for this," the soldier said.

    The head of the opposition parliamentary faction Armenia, former Defence Minister Seyran Ohanyan recently said that the country suffered the greatest losses in recent clashes precisely in those positions that were not properly equipped.

    "Now we can ask the Armenian authorities a direct question: why is asphalting being carried out, why money is being spent on various wine festivals, why appropriate events are being held inside Armenia, in cities, but the frontline, the trenches are not equipped, at least to protect against conventional enemy shelling and drones," said the former minister.

    Tigran Abrahamyan, secretary of the opposition faction I Have Honour noted that after the 44-day war, the Armenian-Azerbaijani border expanded from the river of Sotk to Araz.

    "An opposition MP recently returned from the frontline, claims that the government has not created adequate defence infrastructure at the new frontiers, although he had about two years to do so," the article says.

    Abrahamyan said that the last escalation lasted about a day.

    "In this case, I will say that the intensity, the means used, were significantly inferior to the hostilities that took place in April 2016, which lasted four days. But if we compare the recorded human losses, then the difference in one day is huge. This also indicates that the front line was not ready for enemy strikes, which led to too large human losses," Abrahamyan noted.

    As a result of four days of hostilities in Karabakh in April 2016, Armenia lost about 100 people, at least two times less than as a result of the fighting that took place in September of this year.

    The pro-government MP, the deputy chairman of the Armenian parliament's defence and security issues standing committee, Armen Khachatryan, admits that there is still a lot of work to be done, while at the same time insisting that "colossal work has been done on new borders" during this time.

    "Yes, it would be great if we had another thousand tractors, another thousand units of special equipment and organised all this very quickly. But what is done is within our capabilities. All technical possibilities are used, and yes, this is an army, sometimes a pick and a shovel are needed. Enough talk about this. It will take several years to build reinforced concrete bunkers along the entire border. Can you imagine several hundred kilometres of iron bunkers? But I will say the following: quite a lot of work has been done on manufacturing iron bunkers, and we have equipped and reinforced iron bunkers in many areas. I cannot name the number of iron bunkers, but there are quite a lot of them, and at the moment the construction is going on," the pro-government MP said.

    "After the 44-day war, the Armenian-Azerbaijani border was lengthened, and a section from Sotk to the Araz River was added - about 400 kilometres. In May last year, in parliament, answering a question about how this new frontline is being set up, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan assured that the positions are being set up properly, but most of the work is secret," the article says.


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