Stepanakert man detained after convincing soldiers to forfeit positions to Azerbaijani army
A scandal has broke out in Armenia, after a Stepanakert resident accused the Armenian leadership of conspiring with Azerbaijan to forfeit territories. Meanwhile, the head of the National Security Service has lost his position.
Everything started with an announcement of the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan regarding the arrest of the Stepanakert resident, who had allegedly persuaded Armenian soldiers on the front to yield positions on the Karabakh front, claiming the ‘authorities had already agreed to give them up.’
After this message from Prime Minister Pashinyan, the National Security Service of Armenia began an investigation and martial law was toughened.
All details of the scandal and its consequences, what rules will now have to be observed during the martial law.
What the PM said
The Prime Minister’s announcement appeared on his Facebook page on the morning of October 8. He wrote that he had learned about treacherous behaviour against Armenia several days prior. In his words, some people came to some of the positions on the front line and told the fighting soldiers:
“Nikol sold the land, this is in fact an agreed-upon war, they brought you here to this slaughter house to kill you off, in order to conceal the agreement, it makes no sense to hold the positions”.
Pashinyan says that according to some data, the soldiers were persuaded to leave fighting positions and give them up:
“On my assignment, the NSS initiated an investigation, and one of the key persons was found and arrested in Yerevan. He is a Stepanakert resident. A criminal case is in process”.
The PM called on everybody who had similar information to apply to the National Security Service.
Details from NSS
Immediately after the Prime Minister’s statement about the spy, the National Security Service director Argishti Kyaramyan was fired from his position that he had held for only four months.
After that the special service disseminated an announcement in which they provided details of treacherous actions on the border. The main people involved in it were revealed to be “communication platoon deputy commander and first sergeant of one of the fighting positions” who disseminated false rumors among the soldiers about the agreement of the political leadership to “yield the land”.
The announcement also mentions that these actions influenced the moral and psychological condition of the soldiers, some of whom gave in to the provocation, left their place of service and refused to fulfill their military duty.
A criminal case was filed in the investigation department of the NSS.
Political observer Akop Badalyan commented on the firing of the head of NSS:
“Argishti Kyaramyan’s jump [up the career ladder] was abrupt, and similarly abrupt was his fall. The thing is that his fall didn’t cause decrease of important factors and components of Armenia’s security… Notice an interesting parallel: this abrupt change in the home front takes place in the context of changes Armenian army achieved on the front line.
Success on the front line allows taking important steps in the rear… But the question remains: did the former head of NSS cause suspicions or did it become obvious that he’s not coping?”
Martial law tightened
By the evening of October 8 it became known that the government of Armenia toughened the martial law that was announced on September 27, the beginning of military actions in Karabakh.
Now, according to the supplements to the decision on the martial law
1. Actions, publications, and public speeches criticizing state bodies are forbidden.
2. Propaganda aimed at disruption of the defense capacity of the country is forbidden.
Violation of limitations within the martial law will lead to both administrative and criminal liability. Police will control the fulfillment of the new rules.
On October 9 amendments to the Administrative Offense Code and Criminal Code were introduced in the parliament. According to the changes, those disseminating information that can damage Armenia’s security during the martial law, will be criminally prosecuted.
In particular, this refers to cases when
– gravely dangerous actions, violations cause death of a person through negligence or other grave consequences;
– violation of current rules on publication and dissemination of information damage interests of the state security.
Administrative responsibility is envisaged for the following violations:
– limitations on free movement,
– economic activities and goods turnaround,
– refusal to engage in prompt works,
– refusal to provide vehicles.
Besides, administrative punishment is envisaged in case of organization and participation in protests, meetings, and other activities that will disrupt work of enterprises.