Armenia’s Military Crisis is a Social Crisis

At about midnight on November 19, four Armenian soldiers were killed and four others wounded as a result of a “firearm related incident” in one of Karabakh’s  southern military outposts. The shootings come about four months after a similar incident reported from another Karabakh Armenian frontline detachment, where one officer and five soldiers were killed as a result.

Yerkir Media’s Gegham Manukyan examines the growing crisis facing the Armenian military and offers a very powerful and chilling commentary about the state of Armenian society in general.

With Armenian soldiers being killed, hazed, and abused at the hands of their fellow servicemen, Manukian asks a very poignant and difficult question to hear let alone answer: How can a nation that gives birth to heroes of valor and honest hard-workers also giving rise to a sub-culture that pays homage to evil men that rape, murder or steal?

Where is Armenia headed if its public media, national culture and the mothers and fathers encourage the next generation to embrace the dishonest life–one of crime, corruption and individual self-interest?


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  1. arto said:

    Thank you for addressing these issues. Somehow I don’t think much will occur. The cesspool of corruption is deeply embedded in society and government, and those that are truly productive and capable are pushed either to the bottom heap of society or leave for overseas. Armenia is at a crossroad and eventual elimination is a real possibility.

    • Lusik said:

      There is no lasting society in the world history which would not have two parts. Part of beauty to be proud of, and an ugly part of constant concern and shame. We should not let ugly, corrupted part of us to gain force. As to elimination. Forget it.

  2. Aram said:

    We have a country without moral leadership and until we Armenians (Diasporans and Locals) change it the country and the nation will be limping from one crisis to the other. Each of us has the challenge and the choice ahead of us.

    • Lusik said:

      Moral leadership? You would like seeing somebody like Aliev, Gul, Medvedev, Obama, Saakashvili, Sarkozy ruling Armenia?

    • An said:

      Armenia is a new country and its leadership matched the people living there. If you would like to help go there invest and try solving one problem at a time. It’s easy to blame only a few people for all the problems. However, when you start solving one or two yourself, you will see that’s not the case.

  3. eddy said:

    The general injustice and lack of rule of law which existed in the society is being transferred into army. One cannot speak of “professional “army, when we have in streets of Yerevan (above all Mashtoz Avn.!) so many car accidences (hide and run), illegal constructions across the country, illegal transfer of lands and tree cutting, abuse of authorities.. Therefore vote buying, establishing a feudal system police, judges, Chief Public Prosecutor have become a part of problem and not a part of the solutions

    All three presidents and there coalition partners are responsible for this situation!

    Nothing will change… herr an example how families being abused, instead to pay tax and obey the law! I would say such action are good to help to create a feudal system and secure the power of a corrupt ruling elite

  4. facts said:

    Why are we surprised of such developments at all????? When acting presidents staring from 90´s are calling the army to protect there fake elections/power and ordering to fire on civilians and at the same time our (first) ex president is demanding loudly and openly from army to not obey commands and so on!.. Let ask what did so called tradition parties to prevent such catastrophic developments? Why should our national army be better than the reality is in the society?

    • Lusik said:

      Because it is not exactly the fact. The fact has a background, which is not reported.

  5. Z said:

    What? The commanders must know what’s going on among their soldier, they must be aware of their issues and adress them properly, and not let them do that like they do..

  6. Lusik said:

    Lamenting again?!
    Armenia remains in blockade. All neighbors – both christian and non-christian, have intensified and unified recently the efforts to intimidate, brake and finally scavenge the country. Now international community demonstrates an activated involvement. There is no need to list recent escalation of the tactics of intimidation and hunting down of Armenians everywhere.
    Oil money. Our neighbors – near and far, got money to commission the fall of Armenia. The clouds are dark and passing really very low. Azeris know that on the battlefield they will lose. So, their leaders corrupt international offices of all kinds. And, our own ex-leaders as well.
    If you read events of 1920, you will be surprised to learn from whom an Armenian leader might ask for “help”. So, it is not new. But we survived all these treason. Because at the end, people wake up and decide.
    You also, pull yourself together.

    • john said:

      Lusik you’re very perceptive. you understand what really going on. quite a few of comments here resort to old knee jerk reaction and don’t have a clue or worse!

    • Samuel said:

      I don’t take issue with the substance of your comment. What I am worried about is that in some of your comments you are an apologist of a corrupt regime. The question is not about which personality the RA leadership should adopt (“obama, sarkozy, etc etc). It’s the fundamental idea that Armenia must be a ‘country of law and not of men.’

      By focusing primarily or exclusively on our ‘neighbors’, a large majority of the diaspora have diluted this vision.

      And I permit myself to say that when insurmountable restriction on ‘peaceful change’ exists in a country fraught with injustice, it gives way to “indirect means” of change. And no amount of any “fund” will calm RA citizens from effecting change they rightfully deserve.
      O.W. Holmes put it quite well: “Between two groups of men who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds, I see no remedy but force.”

  7. arto said:

    Lusik, your positive enthusiasm is great but unrealistic. Nations are not built on hope and positive talk. They’re built on the discipline, hard work and collective efforts of their people and government. To say that Armenia is in a blockade is a joke. Armenia has never been in a blockade. We have always had our border to Iran open and our border through Georgia/Russia open (with the exception of the Russian-Georgian war). After all these years, have you seen a free-trade agreement between Armenia-Georgia-Iran. Do you see a railway line between these countries? If our government wanted to they could have blockaded Azerbaijan and Turkey. Do you see a law-abiding society that respects and encourages hard work and honesty? All we need is another major world war and we will be left defenseless like we were in the first one and that’s the end. We don’t need anyone to help or defend us. We are stronger then everyone else but only if we begin to encourage the traits I mentioned above and make it a part of the law. Hope is for fools. Action is what counts.

  8. Vahe said:

    I think it’s time to clean up. Azerbaijan is getting stronger everyday, Armenia needs to fix up it’s act so society doesn’t feel the need to leave the country. We have to be efficient as a country,

  9. Katia K. said:

    I hope we will wake up and pull ourselves together before it is too late!

  10. ArdeVast Atheian said:

    I am the chair of the Libertarian party of the Los Angeles County Central Region. Armenia should declare itself a Libertarian country governed by principles of individual rights and guarantees from coercion and deception. A free market society with a minimal government is your best guarantee against power hungry and corrupt figureheads. If they wanted me, I would go there and write a Libertarian Constitution for our country, guaranteeing liberty, choice and security for everyone. Virtue can never develop without liberty and a free market economy.