In Armenia, the deputy head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces was fired.
He “dared” to question Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s words about the uselessness of the Russian Iskander missiles. When asked if it was possible that the missiles would have a 10% chance to explode on impact, he replied:
“Of course, impossible!… Sorry, but this is not serious. It is not serious to draw conclusions with such superficial assessments. I don’t know who said what, but I repeat – it’s impossible.”
This relates to an interview with Nikol Pashinyan published in Armenian media.
Pashinyan voiced the opinion that in the 2020 conflict with Azerbaijan, as a result of which Nagorno-Karabakh was lost, Russian missile systems were “guilty”, since “they did not explode or only exploded at a rate of 10% when striking a target.”
The Russian Iskander ground-to-ground missile systems are in service with the Armenian army. It seems to the chief official of the republic that it was the armament from Russia that caused the loss of the territories of Karabakh by official Yerevan, even taking into account the non-recognition of Artsakh by Armenia’s authorities.
Pashinyan commented on the assumptions of former Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan about the need to use air defense systems on the fourth day of last year’s war. How anti-air systems relate to a missile that’s purely a ground-to-ground strike weapon is incredibly questionable.
“I think he should have answers to many questions and not ask questions, the answers to which he knows. Or maybe he will answer why the fired Iskander missiles did not explode or only exploded 10% of the time,” Pashinyan said.
During the last conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, at least 16 missile systems were in service with Armenia: eight Elbrus, four Tochki and four Iskander.
Armenian media and other reports, still, somehow pile up the Iskander with other air-defense system. It appears that whoever is reporting on this is unsure of what they’re speaking of.
Over a month after the outbreak of hostilities in Karabakh, in November 2020, Colonel-General Movses Hakobyan, who resigned from the post of chief military inspector of the country, made a statement at a press conference that the Armenian side nevertheless used one “Iskander” at the time of hostilities.
“It was applied, but I cannot say in which direction,” Hakobyan stressed then.
Clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke out on September 27 last year. The parties then reported on the many casualties among the military and civilians. It is also known about the use of armored vehicles and artillery by the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides.
It should be noted that the issue of the loss of territories by Stepanakert has become very painful for Armenia. Prime Minister Pashinyan said that the text of the then promulgated statement on the cessation of fighting in the region “is inexpressibly painful for him personally and for the people.” But at the same time, according to the politician, Armenia and Karabakh made a decision to end active military clashes as soon as possible in order to avoid heavy casualties.
At the same time, after the signing of the agreement, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made a statement on the “surrender of Armenia.” A completely justified statement.
After all the aggravations and negotiations, Baku achieved peace on favorable terms. However, Pashinyan does not want to admit responsibility for what happened, but is looking for the culprits among third parties, in particular, “among the Russian air defense systems.”
Now, it should (once again) be repeated that the Iskander is not an air defense system. Also, it is unlikely that one of the missiles was used, since it is quite a notable event, as the missile is incredibly powerful and hard to miss it being shot in an “undisclosed direction.”
It could be that the missile was simply misplaced, and they thought they shot it. Nobody will ever know, after all, according to Pashinyan 90% of the time they don’t even explode. Even though Armenia has never actually launched an Iskander missile.
It could also not explode if its warhead was sold off for some easy profit.
The Iskander and its launch vehicle. One should keep in mind that these missiles can likely take down any aircraft if it served that purpose. It would be suitable to take care of, say, a flying Aircraft Carrier, if those could fly. Click to see full-size image
In conclusion, blaming the Russian Iskander for the loss could be entirely justified, if nobody on Armenia’s side read the “Operation Manual” and figured out that the missile is not an anti-air one.
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