• Հայերեն
  • Русский
  • English


OUR EXPECTATIONS CAME TRUEAn interview with the head of the Ministry of Defense Conscription and Mobilization Service, Col ARMEN AVTANDILYAN


Q: Mr. Avtandilyan, this conscription is over. The difficulties associated with the epidemic were compounded by the Tavush war. Was the conscription and mobilization service led by you able to send the necessary number of conscripts to the military in this situation?

A: The conscription has already ended, and we should proudly state that we have a rather high rate of recruitment, much higher than we provided during the conscriptions of the previous years in relatively peaceful and favorable conditions. It may seem unbelievable, but in order to solve the existing problems more effectively, to face the expected difficulties, we have concentrated considerable potential.

Q: Was it possible to completely exclude the recruitment of conscripts infected with coronavirus?

A: During the conscription we consistently took all the necessary measures to prevent coronavirus.

Q: Are we talking about regular hand disinfection, wearing a mask, maintaining social distance?

A: Not only: To prevent coronavirus-infected conscripts from enlisting in the military, a number of tests were performed, including checking for antibodies in the conscripts’ bodies, and establishing a 14-day quarantine before getting in a military unit.

Due to the coronavirus, an innovation was introduced that was very effective. This is a new procedure for recruiting conscripts. In the past, parents were at the recruiting center after the lottery to determine their place of service, this conscription parents watched the lottery in the territorial divisions of the conscription and mobilization service. This innovation was intended to reduce the movement of people during the epidemic, to eliminate the accumulation of people near the Central Assembly Facility. But at the same time, a number of other problems were solved. For example, if a parent living in Meghri would go long way, spend money to get to Yerevan and watch the lottery, now he could watch the drawing process without leaving his place of residence.

Q: It is supposed that this order will be maintained after the epidemic.

A: Of course, from now on, the residents of different regions will not have to come to the capital during the days of conscription.

Q: The Tavush military operations started during the conscription. How did they affect the conscription process, the conscripts and their parents?

A: Those who are familiar with the mentality of the Armenian people know how we unite when the homeland is in danger, and we fulfill the sacred duty to protect our native land. The same thing happened during the Tavush military operations. We were convinced that we were sending to the army soldiers who were patriotic, full of dignity, brave, ready to give the most for the defense of the homeland. We were convinced that our people, the parents of conscripts, voluntarily, consciously, confidently and bravely hand over to their children the duty to keep the borders of the homeland inviolable, to ensure the safe living of their compatriots. In general, the spirit of the people is very high today. The public’s self-confidence and will to build its security, its present and its future with its own hands was evident in the days of conscription.

Q: The law on citizens who did not undergo compulsory military service in violation of the established order was valid until late 2019 and referred to those conscripts who avoided military service and reached the age 27 by March 1, 2019. In other words, the conscripts who had avoided military service and were waiting to reach the age of conscription were released from criminal liability for compensation. In our previous conversation, you predicted that the flow of conscripts from abroad would increase in this regard. Did the presence of the coronavirus prevent your expectations from being met?

A: I should mention that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked excellently during the conscription days and effectively ensured the transfer of our citizens to Armenia for conscription. All the embassies and consulates organized the necessary procedures with great readiness and speed, and the Armenian citizens wishing to fulfill their military duty came to Armenia by special flights from abroad and were drafted. Our expectations came true. The number of conscripts who returned to the homeland during the epidemic was really large.

Q: Mr. Avtandilyan, during our previous conversation you said that the transfer of the right to head the Central Medical Commission from the conscription and mobilization service to the Ministry of Health will bring a number of positive consequences, in particular, the final decisions will be more correct and fair. Did the parents’ complaints about the conscripts’ health problems decrease during this conscription?

A: It makes sense that the Central Medical Commission should be headed by a specialist, the agency that has conducted medical examinations should take full responsibility for the final decisions. The problem here is not the decrease or increase of complaints, but their qualitative side. I can confidently say that during this conscription, the conscripts’ research and final decisions were more accurate and fair, regardless of the number of complaints. Complaints are not always due to the work of medical commissions and are fair. But if a parent needs to make sure once and for all that the right decision has been made about their son, let him go and dispel his doubts. The problem is that we do not encounter omissions and mistakes in this area. And let’s build trust in the activities of conscription medical commissions.

Q: What do you have to say to the conscripts?

A: I hope that after suffering a disgraceful defeat in the Tavush war and having great human losses, the people of Azerbaijan will understand that in every confrontation with the Armenian army they will take the lives of their children and fill the houses of ordinary Azeris with mourning. The people of Azerbaijan are paying a heavy price for the delusional adventure of their military-political leadership and must do everything possible to curb the aggressive rhetoric of Baku and the encroachments of the Azerbaijani army on our borders. I want our soldiers to serve in peace. But if the Azerbaijani army reappears in our territories, I call on the soldiers to counterattack the enemy so that no one else can stand up. Break the backbone of the enemy who has invaded our land.




Category: #35 (1355) 2.09.2020 - 8.09.2020, National army, Spotlight