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Armenia | Political upheaval and confrontation with Russia, following Pashinyan’s statements about Iskander missiles
Defence Redefined
Published on 25/02/2021 at 10:14

In an interview with the local news service 1in.am on Tuesday, February 23, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan answered the question why Armenia did not use the Iskander missiles during the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War.

Journalist’s conversation with Nikol Pasyanan in detail: 

Question: Serzh Sargsyan (former Prime Minister of Armenia) said “I am surprised why the Iskander missiles were not used on the 3rd or 4th day of the war. Does this concern you?

Answer: The question addresses me, but I think Serzh Sargsyan must have the answers to many questions and should not ask questions regarding the answers he already knows. So, for example, let him answer why the Iskander missiles did not explode or why they exploded by 10%. 

Question: Is this what happened?

Answer: I do not know.

When asked by the journalist if it is possible for the missiles to explode only by 10%, Pashinyan replied ironically: “I do not know. Maybe it’s a weapon of the 1980s.”

The remarks sparked criticism against Pashinyan, who has spoken out against Russian weapon systems. Of course, his statements were not left unaddressed by Moscow. The Iskander missile systems were not used in Karabakh, Russian experts told the TASS news agency on Wednesday, commenting on Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s claim that the system was ineffective.

“The Iskanders were not used during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and were not launched. Therefore, it is necessary to ask Pashinyan where his fantasies derive from,” military expert Viktor Murakhovsky told TASS.

The Iskander tactical missile systems were delivered to the Armenian army and the units were trained for their operation. The ballistic missiles were launched at the Kapustin Yar training ground in the Astrakhan region of Russia,” he said. “Everything was checked one hundred percent and there were no complaints,” Murakhovsky said.

On his part, military expert Dmitry Litovkin speculated that Pashinyan’s statement was the reaction of the Armenian leadership to the fact that the war did not follow the scenario they expected.

“You do not show your fists after a fight. As far as I know, the Iskanders were not used during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Therefore, it is wrong to talk about launching them. Perhaps, the leadership’s frustration with its defeat has such side effects,” he said.

Russian pro-government lawmakers and experts have strongly condemned the statements made by Nikol Pashinyan, who “implies that Armenia’s most advanced Russian missiles proved useless during the recent war with Azerbaijan.”

It is worth noting that the Russian Ministry of Defence itself refused to comment on Pashinyan’s claims about the quality of the Iskanders delivered from Russia to Armenia.

Also read: Azerbaijan parades displaying victory in the streets of Baku – Heavy death toll for Armenia – VIDEO

Pashinyan is constantly looking for those responsible for the defeat in Artsakh, notes Yerevan political scientist Andranik Tevania. “Everyone is to blame for this: the Armenian army, the Armenian people, Artsakh, Russia, America, but not Pashinyan himself. Pashinyan must somehow respond to his allegations. And he found nothing smarter than calling the Iskanders a defective weapon. Everyone understands that this is a lie,” said the expert. 

Tevanian also said: “There were no official reports proving that the Iskanders were used. Opposition activists and journalists spoke out, but later denied the allegations. It was reported that the Iskanders were used in the battles for the city of Susa, but no one has yet explained the way and when the missiles were used.

However, after Pashinyan’s statement, the main question that all experts are trying to answer is how it is possible for the missiles to explode only by 10% and the remaining 90% to remain inactive. “How can 10% of a missile explode and the remaining 90% not explode after hitting a target?” said Seyran Ohanyan, a retired General who served as Armenia’s defence minister during the acquisition of the Iskander missiles.

Also read:

Iskander | Armenia’s strategic weapon threatening Azerbaijan

 

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