On April 1, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s wife, Anna Hakobyan, stated at the inaugural ceremony of the playground named after the fallen soldier Davit Shahnazaryan in Acharkut, Tavush, and then reiterated twice that we had 11,000 deserters during the 44-day war.
“We like to lose track of reality in words. And I have always wondered: what is the reason for this, why do we conceal the reality in words? And today I have to ask why we are hiding the reality. And the reality is that during our war, during the 44-day war, we had 11 thousand deserters. I am not expressing myself otherwise, please understand what I am talking about. 11 thousand soldiers, volunteers, officers, etc. You imagine 11 thousand, don’t you? What a number it is.”
A few days before Anna Hakobyan’s statement, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev also voiced a similar idea. “There was no single deserter in our army. According to the latest data, there were not 10,000 but 11,000 deserters in the Armenian army,” he stated.
Fact Investigation Platform sent an inquiry to the Prosecutor’s Office requesting to provide the data on desertion during the war.
According to the response received from the Prosecutor’s Office, 1786 criminal proceedings against 10,687 persons were initiated in accordance with Article 361 (7) (voluntarily abandoning the military unit or place of service), Article 362 (3) (desertion) and Article 364 (3) (refusing to perform military service duties) of the Criminal Code.
Out of these 1786 criminal proceedings, 280 were terminated. As a result of merging other proceedings, the number of criminal proceedings under investigation has become 226. In total, 756 people received the status of accused.
In other words, a total of 756 people are accused of desertion during the war.
Out of these, cases of 143 persons were sent to the court with an indictment, of which trials were completed and judicial acts were issued for 64 persons, the cases of other 79 persons are still in the trial stage.
Thus, it can be stated that the statement about “11 thousand deserters” by Ilham Aliyev and later by Anna Hakobyan is untrue. Currently, 756 persons have the status of accused under the relevant article of which only 64 persons have a judicial act.