Surrendered Armenian soldier satisfied with conditions of detention, says ministry

By: Mushvig Mehdiyev

Azerbaijani Defense Ministry issued an official statement in regard to the Armenian soldier who earlier in this March surrendered to the Azerbaijani side, noting that Andranik Grigoryan is not facing any security threats.

“Grigoryan has not complained about the conditions of his detention, or about his health,” read the statement.

“The Armenian conscript is completely safe and is kept pursuant to generally accepted standards of human rights,” the statement noted.

Armenian soldier Andranik Grigoryan, 24, voluntarily surrendered to Azerbaijan on March 22, reportedly in an effort to save his life.

During an interrogation, Grigoryan said he could not contemplate another day in the Armenian armed forces since it meant dying a senseless death, defending a government which cares not for its people. Judging by his words, he was quite confident that his life would end in tragedy should he stay with Armenia armed forces.

He added that one more soldier, whose fate is not known to him, was also planning to surrender alongside him. Apparently, that soldier is no longer alive, he added.

Grigoryan revealed the realities facing the Armenian armed forces, including the shortage of weapons, poor morale, difficult living conditions, and low food supplies and so on.

The Defense Ministry said the Armenian soldier claimed that despite the government’s zealous efforts to conceal the outcomes of the frivolous sabotage assault on March 19, which ended up in the deaths of more than 20 soldiers and injuries of dozens, everybody will absolutely know the truth.

“Civilians are entrenched as sentries because of the lack of soldiers,” Grigoryan said, adding that he doesn’t want to be the next victim of Yerevan rulers’ dirty games.

As talks focused on Azerbaijan’s occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region, Grigoryan gave details on the chaos and intolerable conditions prevailing in the occupied lands, namely in the absence of military discipline, shortages of weapons, ammunition, food and medicines, conflicts between the local Karabakh population and Armenians from Armenia, and the mutual hatred between officers and soldiers.

Grigoryan said numerous soldiers in the Armenian military units wish to cross over to Azerbaijan, adding that a lack of self-confidence had stopped many to do so.

“I’ve been planning to defect from Armenian armed forces for quiet some time. I could not envision wasting my life in such a manner. So I finally did what I had to do to survive. Contrary to my expectations, I was well received here. I’ve been fed and made safe,” he said.

Grigoryan seized the opportunity to call on his comrades, who are being forced to hold weapon, to follow his decision and to immediately lay down their arms for the sake of their life.

He blamed the Armenian authorities for demonizing Azerbaijan saying: “Azerbaijanis are not as described and they are not the criminals we were told to hate, those in power are the guilty parties.”

Meanwhile, the recent escalations along the Line of Contact has sparked serious shiver in Armenia, noted the Defense Ministry.

Spokesman for the ministry, Colonel Vagif Dargahli said that before Armenia’s recent losses and failures, many in Yerevan were feeling rather nervous.

The recent observations show that there is a chaos and anarchy among both the public and military troops in Armenia, added Dargahli.

“In recent years, the Armenian armed forces have fired at Azerbaijani positions from heavy machine guns, as well as 60- and 82-milllimetred mortars. We adequately responded by volleys of weapons of higher caliber. The most important thing is that there is no loss on our side,” he said.

He explained that there is a considerable lack of servicemen at the military units in the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

Azerbaijani armed forces inflicted a heavy blow on the enemy forces on the front line – destroying and wounding up to 20 Armenian soldiers as a result of military skirmishes that took place on March 19.

While the Azerbaijani brass came up with an official statement, the Armenian Defense Ministry avoided to asses Grigoryan’s voluntary capitulation, saying “No comment is available in view of the conscript’s action.”

Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized Nagorno-Karabakh territory was turned into a battlefield and zone of aggravated tensions after Armenia sent its troops to occupy Azerbaijan’s lands. As a result, 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory stands under military occupation. For the past two decades, and despite calls from the international community, Armenia has refused to withdraw its troops and retreat within its national borders.

SOURCE: Azer News