Military casualties in 2016

How many soldiers died in the South Caucasus last year and how

Photo: JAMnews , the village of Chemenly, Azerbaijan, April of 2016

'Caucasian Knot’

At least 221 people serving in the defense and security structures of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia were killed in hostilities, and as many as 97 perished in non-combat conditions during the last year, the Caspian Defense Studies Institute (CDSI) has reported, adding that 20 volunteers were also killed.

Those figures were obtained on the basis of monitoring of the official and mass media reports.

According to the CDSI data, the security and defense units in the South Caucasus lost, killed and perished:

·      In Armenia (the CDSI also included the Nagorno-Karabakh statistics) - 165 people,

·      In Azerbaijan – 147,

·      In Georgia – 6.

“Most of the casualties were reported in the period of escalation of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, on April 2-5, 2016. Then, according to the official data, Azerbaijan’s losses totaled 92 people, Armenia – 77. However, the actual death toll could be different, since the defense agencies of both parties continuously stated that the opponent’s losses were greater,” Djasur Sumerinli, the CDSI Director, reported.

The Caspian Defense Studies Institute (CDSI) launched its activity in Germany, in February 2015. Djasur Sumerinli became the Institute co-founder. Earlier, he used to head the ‘Doctrine’ Journalistic Center for Defense Studies. However, he left Azerbaijan in September 2014. The CDSI emphasizes that it uses publicly available data.

Detailed information, countries cited in alphabetical order.


Azerbaijan’s irrecoverable losses in 2016 totaled 147 people, including 109 killed in hostilities, 38-perished in non-combat conditions.

As far as non-combat losses are concerned:

4 soldiers were killed in road accidents,

·      10 - committed suicide,

·      5 died from diseases,

·      5 became the victims of accidents,

·      3 died as a result of acts committed through negligence,

·      3 died for unknown reasons,

·      8 were shot dead by fellow soldiers.

142 soldiers were undergoing service in the Defense Ministry, 2 - in the internal troops, 1 - in the special enforcement units of the Ministry of Justice, 2 - in the State Border Service. 84 were military conscripts, 18 were serving under contract, 12 were the warrant officers, 33 - officers.

The Caspian Defense Studies Institute also reported that 60 servicemen were wounded or suffered bodily injuries. In particular:

·      50 servicemen received bullet wounds,

·      5 servicemen tripped mines,

·      5 more were injured in non-combat conditions.

'The number of those wounded during the hostilities on April 2-5 2016 could be possibly greater. However, the Azerbaijani side hasn’t provided official statistics on the nnumber of wounded in that period,” said Sumerinli.

According to the CDSI, 37 out of 76 Azerbaijani servicemen, who died in 2015, were killed on the front line: 34 died from bullet wounds, 3 of them tripped the mines.


165 servicemen of the armed forces of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh were killed and perished in 2016, including 112 of them – during the military operations, 53 - in non-combat conditions.

As for the non-combat losses:

·      13 servicemen were killed in road accidents,

·      12 committed suicide,

·      22 were killed by fellow soldiers,

·      4 were killed in accidents,

·      2 died from diseases.

Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh armed forces lost 27 officers, 31 contract soldiers and 107 military conscripts. “All of them served in the military units of the Ministry of Defense of Armenia, including in Nagorno-Karabakh formations,” the CDSI study reads.

173 servicemen from Armenian and Karabakh sides were wounded in 2016.

·      151 of them were wounded during the hostilities,

·      15 were injured in road accidents,

·      7 - in other accidents.

The Caspian Defense Studies Institute provides separate statistics on volunteers fighting on the Armenian and Karabakh side, who were not the personnel of the official defense structure. About 20 such volunteers were killed in armed clashes and 15 more were wounded in 2016.

The CDSI reported earlier that the total loss of Azerbaijani Armed Forces for almost 22 years of ceasefire regime in effect in Nagorno-Karabakh (from May 12, 1994 till April 7, 2016), made about 2,000 people. 785 of that number were killed and 125 died as a result of mine blasts. 


Overall 6 servicemen of the Georgian Armed Forces died in 2016.

·      One of them died from the disease,

·      Two were killed in accidents,

·      Two - as a result of road accidents.

One of those who died was an officer, whereas the rest 5 were the rank and file. All military men served in the Ministry of Defense of Georgia.
“We do not exclude that the actual death toll in the Georgian armed forces could be greater. Our Institute continues investigation in this direction,” the CDSI report reads.

The Caspian Defense Studies Institute hasn’t provided any statistical data on the death toll in the Abkhaz and South Ossetian armed forces.

The opinions, expressed in the article, reproduce the author’s terminology and views and not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial staff

Published: 11.01.2017


JAMnews, The Caucasian Knot 11 January 2017 - 06:15