Former Army General Blames Pashinyan For Artsakh Defeat

Armenia's former Head of  military control service General Movses Hakobyan
Armenia's former Head of  military control service General Movses Hakobyan

Armenia’s former Head of military control service General Movses Hakobyan

YEREVAN (—Movses Hakobyan, Armenia’s former top army general, on Thursday accused Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of making disastrous decisions that allowed Azerbaijan to make major territorial gains during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Hakobyan charged in particular that three days after the outbreak of the war on September 27 Pashinian stopped the reinforcement of Karabakh Armenian army units with reservists drafted as part of a military mobilization.

“The country’s prime minister issued an order to stop the reinforcement and send volunteers to the frontline instead on the third day of the war,” Hakobyan told a news conference held one day after he resigned as head of the Armenian Defense Ministry’s Military Oversight Service. He described Pashinian’s alleged decision as a “crime.”

Hakobyan said that many of the volunteers sent from Armenia were poorly trained and could not help frontline troops struggling to repel Azerbaijani attacks. He claimed that more than a thousand of them deserted their units within days.

“Officials responsible for that process cannot deny this and they know that they will eventually be held accountable for not performing that [reinforcement] function. The conversation was recorded,” he said without elaborating.

Pashinyan was quick to strongly deny the allegations through his press secretary, Mane Gevorgian.

“I think that Armenian law-enforcement bodies must investigate all statements made by Mr. Hakobyan and that they must be clarified and evaluated one by one,” said Gevorgyan.

Prosecutor-General Artur Davtyan said afterward that his office has sent video of the Karabakh-born general’s news conference to the Special Investigative Service for examination.

Hakobyan, 55, is a prominent veteran of the first Karabakh war of 1991-1994. He was the commander of Karabakh’s Armenian-backed army before serving as chief of the General Staff of Armenia’s Armed Forces from 2016-2018. Pashinian sacked him shortly after coming to power in May 2018.

Hakobyan also criticized on Thursday arms acquisitions carried out by Armenia’s current leadership. He singled out the purchase of Russian Su-30SM fighter jets and second-hand air-defense systems, saying that none of them proved useful in the latest war.

Hakobyan said the former Armenian government had planned to use the funds spent on these weapons for buying more advanced air-defense systems from Russia. They would have enabled Karabakh Armenian forces to shoot down many more Azerbaijani combat drones that caused them substantial losses.


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  1. Ani said:

    It’s so disgusting how everyone blames only him. As if he was the sole person acting in all this. Such cowards all around. Yes he made mistakes but the blame doesn’t fall only on his shoulders. All those parliament members, military officials who failed to assure a strong army on their part, a lever hone who complied with the corrupt regime of the past 30+ years has to share that blame of loss. There are many videos of soldiers who testify to the lack of weapons, the poor organized effort by the military units. No one basically did their job during these past 30 some years. The country was just being ripped apart by the corrupt previous leaders and Pashinyan fell into their trap. I feel like the Armenian people are this family of kids who’s family decided to abandon them in the midst of a fire and only one crippled parent is desperately trying to take out the fire. All those resigning officials and even the President have disappointed me deeply. We definitely now see the weakness and the instability of their service.

  2. sylva portoian,MD said:

    My simple analysis is…
    There was no Armenian defeat in Artsakh…So-called Karabakh
    Turkey entered in with all his generals and well-equipped army,
    trained by NATO, Israel, so-called Great Britain…etc
    with Drones, Ballistic Missiles, forbidden phosphoric bombs…
    supported by Tramp the godless …
    all the world sold arms to Azeri’s to get money,
    those who killed our brave young soldiers …
    this I will not call defeat, they fought for 44 days …
    could not do better…we are proud of them forever…
    “My tears will never dry even after I die”
    I will put this stanza on my grave …
    I hope my grave will be in Armenia, nowhere else…
    November 19, 2020