During the “Vremya” news program of Russian “First Channel” aired on September 17, 2022, reference was made to the actions of operative group of the CSTO monitoring mission on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border,
The operative group, led by the head of the CSTO Joint Staff, Colonel-General Anatoly Sidorov, arrived in Armenia on September 15, two days after Azerbaijan’s attack on the sovereign territory of Armenia.
The Fact Investigation Platform revealed a number of misleading and obviously biased statements in the mentioned reportage of Oleg Shishkin, the reporter of the news program.
The reporter fails to notice from the air the Armenian settlements along the border
Journalist Shishkin starts his report from inside the helicopter, which, according to him, is flying along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border at an altitude of about 2600 meters. According to the journalist, the helicopter transporting the military personnel of the Operational Headquarters also flies in parallel.
“Their task (Ed. referring to the military staff of the Operational Headquarters) is to carefully study, record the facts and draw conclusions. The activities begin in the air, on the border. Below is a beautiful mountain landscape: there are no settlements at a distance of many kilometers“, reports the Russian reporter.
The wording of the Russian journalist that “there are no settlements at a distance of many kilometers” from the border, in the aforementioned context, is misleading and may create a misconception that the military operations did not take place in peaceful settlements.
In fact, the task of the CSTO operational mission, as the reporter himself notes, is to study and record facts, which they carry out in the directions of the border where the Azerbaijani aggression started.
In those directions, just a few kilometers away from the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, there are many Armenian settlements.
Earlier, FIP.am referred to the distance of such settlements from the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, the same settlements that were targeted by the Azerbaijani attack.
For example, Sotk settlement of Gegharkunik region, according to the Google Earth satellite map, is located more than 8.5 km inwards from the border of Armenia, Verishen settlement of Syunik region – more than 9 km, Karashen settlement – more than 3 km, Jermuk city – 13 km.
However, the reporter of Russia’s “First Channel” does not talk about the location of these settlements near the border, rather, he claims the opposite. This creates the impression that there was not an invasion-attack, the direct target of which was the settlements, but there were clashes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, far from the settlements.
Presenting only the perspective of Baku: the reporter does not mention anything about the killed and injured Armenian residents
In his report, the journalist of Russia’s “First Channel” also presents only the official statement of Azerbaijan that Baku “was forced to fire in response to the provocation of the Armenian side”. At the same time, the reporter avoids referring to the official point of view of the Armenian side.
The Russian reporter, continuing to refer only to the official sources of Azerbaijan, notes that Azerbaijan has two wounded civilians.The reporter does not say a single word about the wounded and killed civilians from the Armenian side, whereas the Armenian side officially announced that 7 civilians were wounded and 3 civilians were killed.
Thus, the reportage of the Russian “First Channel” repeats only the theses of the official Baku about the motives of the military escalation, the geography of the clashes, as well as the information on the casualties among civilians. As a result, the Azerbaijani aggression of September 13 is presented as a border incident and not as an invasion of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, during which Armenian settlements were purposefully targeted.