The message of Chief of the General Staff of the RA Armed Forces, Colonel-General Onik Gasparyan

17 November, 2020
Dear compatriots, comrades-in-arms,
The Armenian Armed Forces honorably accepted the war unleashed on September 27 of 2020 by Azerbaijan, its ally Turkey and mercenary terrorists involved and did everything possible and impossible from the very first seconds of the war. The Armenian serviceman fought devotedly, fought for life and death.
Some political figures accuse the leadership of the Armed Forces of presenting an unrealistic analysis to the head of the state on the probable nature of the opponent's actions and capabilities of its Armed Forces. That does not correspond to reality!

I was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces on June 8 of this year and already on June 12, I presented the analysis of the military-political situation in the region and capabilities of our Armed Forces to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and a few days later to the Security Council.

Based on the analysis, I made proposals to increase the level of the military security in the country. In particular, I mentioned that.

1. Our opponent is no longer only Azerbaijan, but also Turkey. Therefore, Armenia cannot effectively confront the joint military potential of these states and it is necessary to direct all the political and diplomatic potential to avoid or at least postpone the war.

2. The proposal was accepted by the Security Council and Prime Minister, but the question was asked: "If we can not avoid the war, what should we do?" I replied that in the war that is imposed on us, we should try to inflict heavy losses on the opponent in the shortest possible time and force it to refrain from further actions. I pointed out that we must avoid a long war taking into account the availability of our resources. Numerous proposals were discussed and approved, the implementation of which should have significantly increased our combat potential. It referred to both the acquisition of armaments and military equipment and the comprehensive ensuring of combat operations.

3. At that time, the issue of forming militias with a staff of one hundred thousand was also raised.

Anyhow, we could not avoid the war and on September 27, the enemy launched a large-scale offensive along the entire front of Artsakh with vastly superior forces. The Defence Army was successfully repulsing all its attacks, inflicting heavy losses and destroying a large number of manpower and military equipment. Unfortunately, our troops as well were suffering heavy losses.

On the fourth day of the war, during the meeting of the Security Council, I presented our losses and assessment of the Armed Forces on the current situation noting that measures must be taken within two to three days to stop the war, otherwise in the event of fighting with this intensity, our resources will be depleted in a short time and with each passing day we will have more unfavorable conditions for the negotiation process.

I presented similar assessments many times during the round-the-clock work with the Prime Minister, as well as at the meetings of the Security Council.

All the attempts and proposals to stop the war at a certain stage were rejected by Turkey and Azerbaijan and we were forced to continue the combat operations, trying to inflict heavy losses on the enemy and force it to sit at the negotiating table.

The agreement with very hard conditions for all of us was adopted as a result of a comprehensive assessment of the situation. We had to choose between the very bad and tragedy. We preferred the very bad.

That day was the worst day of my life, a personal tragedy for me…

But the realization that as a result of that decision we managed to preserve most of Artsakh and the main military potential of the Defence Army, says that we have no right to be depressed. We must unite, recover quickly and prepare to continue the fight.

As Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and direct Commander, I am responsible for all the successes and failures of the Armed Forces.

I bow my head before the memory of all the martyrs and their relatives. A very fierce war was imposed on us and in an unequal struggle, the Armenian serviceman and officer showed the determination to fight to the end, showed the highest moral qualities.

This was a real Heroic Battle and Struggle for existence... The Armenian people can be proud of their serviceman, officer and general.

Comrades-in-arms,

We must not despair and we must continue to defend our homeland, seriously analyze and draw conclusions, rebuild the Armenian army and increase its fighting ability.

Thank you for your selfless service. Let us fulfill the tasks set before us with high consciousness and responsibility, let us be worthy of the devotion of our comrades-in-arms and consecrated martyrs with our unity and unbreakable will.