Who needs war
Photo from Gevork Kazaryan’s archive; taken during the CIS military trainings in Armenian, in 2012
Armenia has already got used to a wording ‘an unprecedented tension on the contact line between Nagorno-Karabakh armed forces and Azerbaijan.’ The morning of April 2 began with the same words in Armenia. However, the situation on the border was far from being calm the day before that or even a month before. The real escalation reached its peak in September 2015 year.
Like now, the Armenian Defense Ministry then also issued a statement, calling on the international community and the OSCE Minsk Group to pay attention to the situation, since the next step would be to shift to full-fledged hostilities.
However, nothing has changed by and large – the tension subsided, but has not stopped, now reaching another peak again.
Today, there have been again reports on casualties among the civilians. Vaginak Grigoryan (DoB 2004) has been killed as a result of shelling of Chartar settlement from ‘Grad’ multiple rocket launcher. Two more children have been wounded. The death of 12-year-old schoolboy has been a real shock – one cannot get used to it.
The key issue for everyone in Armenia has been as follows: is the war being levied.
Political experts’ reaction
Alexander Iskandaryan, political analyst, Director of the Caucasus Institute said, a full-fledged war would have been accompanied by all-out offensive along the entire front line, with the long-range attacks and shelling of Stepanakert. What is going on is just a campaign aimed at raising the level of confrontation:
‘During his visit to the USA, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan termed Azerbaijan’s position as destructive and following that Azerbaijani armed forces immediately launched attacks on Armenian positions. Aliyev’s visit to the United States cannot be termed as successful and he apparently ordered to launch the attacks from Washington due to certain problems that he had probably faced there. Moreover, it was an emotional order.’
Iskandaryan considers that it is beneficial for Azerbaijan to aggravate the situation on the border due to the fall in the world oil prices, as well as because of domestic political and social problems in the country, they are trying to divert people’s attention to the escalation of tension on the front line:
‘During the past few years, Azerbaijan was aggravating the situation. First the snipers were used, then there were subversive attacks, artillery shelling. Today it delivers strikes using aviation. Thus, Azerbaijani authorities are talking not only to their own society, but also to the international community, making it clear that status quo is inadmissible. ‘
Some other Armenian political analysts also share Iskandaryan’s opinion. And all of them unanimously claim that : this is not a war.
Ruben Meghrabyan, political analyst and expert at Armenian Center of Political and International Studies, believes that:
‘The international community will, by all means, condemn official Baku’s actions. Azerbaijan would not take a risk if it has not had the Russian weapons. That’s exactly due to those many-billion dollar worth contracts on supply of weapons from Russia, that make Azerbaijan feel so confident, and each shot made in the direction of Armenian positions is on the conscience of Armenia’s strategic ally. Russia benefits from a controlled instability in the region, which it can manage exclusively. ‘
In social networks
Armenian Facebook-users reacted in a reserved and laconic manner, mostly sharing the articles from more or less reliable sources of information. Besides, as it usually happens in such cases, there were the words of encouragement to the soldiers, serving on the border and their mothers.
Meanwhile, Facebook users from Stepanakert were activity expressing their opinions:
‘I’ve just talked to certain people. Azerbaijan started operation in the north and south, trying to take in some of our posts. At first they succeeded, but now the posts have been already repulsed. The operation was conducted using military hardware. There were special task forces operating in both directions from the Azerbaijani side and they sustained considerable losses – at least 50 were killed. They got ambushed in the north; a helicopter tried to come to the rescue and it was downed.
Our forces are deployed and are preparing to exercise it seriously. The enemy surely lost its surprise element. They delivered attacks on settlements too. They achieved the opposite effect. Not a panic, but rather an anger, that is spatting over Artsakh in one’s sight.’
‘First of all, we all need to calm down. If it has been a large-scale war, I would not have had a chance to write this post. What we could observe is the outcome of the meetings, held in Washington. Biden met with Serzh Sargsyan, Aliyev and Poroshenko. Obama – with Erdogan. They forgot to invite Russia to a nuclear safety conference.
Following the meeting, Turkey and Azerbaijan were named as ‘key countries’. So, what’s new? This is the news only for the Russian politics and diplomacy.
Armenia was pushed into the ring and the command has sounded. Now the referees are closely watching the fighting capacity of the conflicting parties and will draw the conclusions. The situation is similar to that in 2008. Then our soldiers coped with and rectified the situation. I am sure, they will cope with it this time too. ‘
Meanwhile, Armenian First TV channel has showed volunteers from Yerevan, departing to the border – the elder generation, that has finished its own war, is leaving again to support the youth serving in the army.
The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, as usual, expressed ‘deep concern’ and reported that an agreement had been reached to hold a meeting in Vienna on Monday. According to the US Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, James Warlick, discussions on the situation will begin on Tuesday. The main thing is that it won’t turn out to be too late.
The opinions, expressed in this article convey the author’s views and terminology do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editorial staff.