Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

The number of servicemen’s death cases caused as a result of ceasefire violations sharply increased in January-June 2022, as compared to 2021

July 18, 2022

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In the first half of 2022, 30 servicemen’s death cases were recorded in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Artsakh. 9 of them were caused as a result of ceasefire violation, 7 cases were caused as a result of car crash, 7 were caused as a result of health problems, 4 were caused as a result of suicide or inciting suicide, 2 were caused as a result of murder, 1 was caused as a result of accident.

 

The data was collected based on the information disseminated through mass media and official sources, as well as the responses to HCA Vanadzor inquiries addressed to the official structures (the RA Ministry of Defense, the RA Prosecutor General’s Office, the RA Investigative Committee).

 

For the sake of comparison, it should be mentioned that during January-June 2021, death cases of 29 servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Artsakh were recorded, 9 of which were caused by car crash, 8 were caused by health problems, 4 were caused by accident, 4 were caused by suicide, 3 were caused by ceasefire violation, 1 was caused by murder.

 

It should be noted that there were 6 cases of murder and suicide in the first half of 2022 (there were 5 such cases during the same period last year). The statistics of cases of suicide and murder still remains worrisome. 

 

Comparing the causes of death cases recorded in 2021 and death cases recorded in January-June, we can record that in 2022, the number of death cases caused as a result of ceasefire violations sharply increased, while the number of death cases caused as a result of health problems and accidents decreased.

 

Death cases caused as a result of ceasefire violations in 2022 were recorded among compulsory-term servicemen, contractual servicemen, officers. Death cases caused as a result of health problems were recorded among contractual servicemen and officers; death cases caused as a result of car crashes were recorded among contractual servicemen, officers and non-commissioned officers; death cases caused as a result of accidents were recorded only among officers; death cases caused as a result of suicide were recorded only among compulsory-term servicemen and reservists.

 

It should be mentioned that as a rule, no official publication is made regarding servicemen’s death cases caused as a result of health problems and car crashes.

 

The RA Investigative Committee did not provide HCA Vanadzor with any data regarding the servicemen’s names, types of service, regions where the cases occurred. It should also be mentioned that after July 2021, in response to HCA Vanadzor inquiries, the RA Investigative Committee provides only a part of the requested data․ This is incomprehensible, since similar information is provided for one period, and is considered confidential for a different period. It is noteworthy that in 2021, in the report “Conduct of the RA Ministry of Defense in terms of providing information” HCA Vanadzor addressed the issue of the high level of confidentiality of the defense agency in the context of providing information.

 

It should be mentioned that 30% of the death cases recorded in 2022 occurred as a result of ceasefire violations, while 70% was recorded in non-combat conditions, in particular, 23% was recorded as a result of car crash, 23% was recorded as a result of health problems, 13% was recorded as a result of suicide, 7% was recorded as a result of murder, 3% was recorded as a result of accident.

 

Since there are more death cases recorded in non-combat conditions and they are particularly caused as a result of health problems, suicide, and murder, it is obvious that prior to involving persons in military exercises, the RA Ministry of Defense subdivisions do not implement proper complex medical examination of the reservists’ health state, do not contribute to the formation of proper capabilities for military service, preparation, do not take measures aimed at ensuring the servicemen’s safety, and this entails a situation where servicemen die as a result of violation of the military service rules by a fellow serviceman, or committing a suicide, or as a result of an illness they had had previously. Since the 2020 war, HCA Vanadzor has regularly received information about this.

 

The full report is available HERE (in Armenian).




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