558 Azeri Soldiers Killed, 1,851 Injured During April War, According to Leaked Memo
YEREVAN—A leaked image, which appears to be a memo on Azerbaijani Defense Ministry letterhead, states that during the 2016 April War 558 Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and 1,293 were wounded, far less than what official Baku reported at the time.
The letter was posted on the voskanapat.info by political commentator Hrant Melik Shanazyarian, who does not mention how he obtained the document.
According to a translation of the document, the letter, date April 28, 2016, is addressed to Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov and is from Azerbaijani Army Chief of Staff and Deputy Defense Minister Najmaddin Sadikhov.
In the letter, Sadikhov says that 205 of those killed were soldiers of the Azerbaijani Special Forces, 98 of whom were reportedly killed in Talish, the epicenter of Azerbaijan’s brutal attack in April 2016 on Artsakh positions. Sadikhov adds that 32 Azerbaijani soldiers were killed in the Varanda-Mekhakavan region in the south (formerly Fizouli-Jebrail) and 75 in the other areas on the Artsakh-Azerbaijan border, known as the Line of Contact.
In the memo, Sadikhov also suggests to not transfer the bodies of the dead soldiers at the same time and recommends holding funerals at night in an effort to keep the moral and spirit of the armed forces staff high and to “eliminate the Azerbaijani public criticisms of the armed forces.” Sadikhov suggests to limit the transfer of bodies to 60 a week.
Below is an English translation of the letter made available by Armenpress news agency.
To the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Colonel-General Z. Hasanov
Dear Mr. Minister,
I report to you that the total losses of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces’ staff in the period from April 2 to 6 of 2016 were 558 killed and 1,293 wounded soldiers. Fifty-eight of the wounded soldiers are in critical condition. Fifty-two out of 558 killed soldiers cannot be identified.
Two hundred and five out of the killed soldiers are servicemen of the special-forces of the defense ministry. Ninety-eight of them have been killed during military operations in Talish-Aghdara (Martakert), 32 in Fuzuli-Jabrayil, and 75 have been killed during the military operations conducted at central directions.
In order to eliminate the negative criticisms of the Azerbaijani society toward the armed forces, the further fall of the morale and psychological spirit of the army staff and the panic of the staff, I propose:
Not to conduct the transfer of the bodies of killed soldiers of the Azerbaijani armed forces at the same time (about 60 per week);
To carry out the funerals of some of the killed soldiers during the night hours under supervision in agreement with their parents;
To allocate 5n000 manats (approx. $2,950 USD) from the Defense Ministry’s fund to families of the victims.
Chief of General Staff of Azerbaijani Armed Forces and Deputy Minister of Defense Najmaddin Sadikhov
Asbarez hasn’t validated the authenticity of the memo, and is reporting on the findings