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Interview with head of Coordination Council of “Soldier” NGO Margarita Khachatryan

– They say, the minister banned to call you “Frost”, and that you, too, refuse this nickname.

– I was called so by the officers in the late 1990s. In those years, when the army had many shortcomings, when officers did not realize that the heart of the army is the soldier, I was unwanted for the officers, as I identified the injustice.

And now the soldiers and the officers call me “Mom jan”. The minister says correctly, now I am not Frost-Moroz, but a loving heart for the military.

During the recent trip, I found that there are military units that do not comply with the technology of cooking. It is summer, it’s hot. Is it impossible to give a soldier instead of soup to eat something else? Because of the heat, they still do not eat the soup, and it’s all gone. Recently, hygiene items get late and then, for example, toothpaste is not of very good quality, so the soldiers ask to bring it from home. They also ask for underwear, because that which gives the army is awkward, with rough seams.

But on the positions the food is better. Soldiers prefer to serve on the border than in the military unit. Today, soldiers are protected by the officer, the officer is the guarantor of the security of soldiers, and I say this with joy.

Again, among the recruits there were a lot of guys with health problems. Well, this is the generation of the 1990s. If future soldiers at least once in three years are examined in clinics and treated for diseases, today, there would be no such complications. And we give a respite to the sick recruit and send home, for example, for a year. And who is involved in his treatment? No one! And the following year he is again called to the military commissariat.

We must also change the order of distribution of recruits from the assembly point. Poor guys all day in the hot sun are waiting, in the heat food is spoiled that parents have put with them. At least there refrigerators are needed. I think you need to send recruits by groups, but not wait all day and send all in the evening.

In the army, problems are solved and will be solved, that’s only human loss which is not irretrievable…

Interview by Gayaneh Poghosyan

Category: #31 (1100) 13.08.2015 – 19.08.2015, Army and Society, Spotlight