by Benny Kashian
It is undeniable at this point that Armenia’s PM Nikol Pashinyan failed miserably not only in the war with Azerbaijan but for not being prepared for the imminent conflict despite having ample time.
Up until now, Pashinyan’s blame on his predecessors hasn’t sat well with his opponents. They argue Pashinyan took office knowing all the too well what he was up against and that 2.5 years was not a short period of time to prepare for war. They have a point.
Pashinyan has taken one wrong decision after another. He purchased SU-30 jets for $120 million without their missiles, making them virtually useless. A recent report suggested that for $120 million, Armenia could’ve had 24 drones to combat the enemy who arguably won because of its own use of unmanned drones.
Perhaps the biggest mistake Pashinyan has made since coming to power was implementing pro-Western and anti-Russian policies that didn’t sit well with Putin for obvious reasons. What Pashinyan was thinking to cut ties with Armenia’s only ally remains a mystery to this day.
Now revealed reports suggest that the Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces, Onik Gasparyan warned Pashinyan on June 12th that Azerbaijan and Turkey were planning a large-scale war against Artsakh. He also told Pashinyan that Armenia was not prepared and so it should avoid war at all costs.
What’s even more demoralizing is that on September 30th, 3 days after the war broke out, Gasparyan told the prime minister that Armenia should immediately accept a ceasefire.
While several ceasefire agreements were reached and constantly broken by the enemy, Pashinyan and Artsakh’s president Arayik Harutyunyan had one opportunity that could’ve changed everything. It was a ceasefire sponsored by Russia on October 19th in which Azerbaijan was to take back its 7 regions while Armenians kept Artsakh. Both Pashinyan and Harutyunyan refused the deal which changed the coarse of the war and caused the calamity we are witnessing today.
While most Armenians are focused on Pashinyan’s failures, it would be unfair to forget Harutyunyan’s disastrous decisions. As Artsakh was losing thousands of soldiers, Harutyunyan was falsely claiming victory and persuading more soldiers to fight. Harutyunyan was also allegedly blaming his troops when they were running away from the frontline realizing they had no chance of survival against Turkish and Israeli drones. Sadly, Harutyunyan didn’t take the blame once.
As a result of these tragic incidents, we are now paying the price for the wrongdoings of a couple of men who’s arrogance ran their decisions and their motives remain unclear to this day.