Tuesday, December 12, 2006

An interesting tidbit about the Azeri soldier apprehended by the Karabagh border guards.

While browsing zerkalo.az, a (usually anti-Armenian hate filled) newspaper based in Azerbaijan, I came across an interesting tidbit about the Azeri soldier apprehended by the Karabagh border guards. A wekk or so ago the Armenian news sources reported that an Azeri soldier was captured after he crossed the border and entered Karabagh.

Well, it turns out the soldier, Vusal Garajayev, is from a poor family. His mom tells Zerkalo that her son suffers from bronchial asthma. She says that their family did not have enough money to treat his illness. As far as I know, kids who have health problems like that are not sent to combat duty. My guess is that when she says 'treat his illness' she really means 'pay bribe to get him free' of army duty or a cushy position like a cook.

An earlier version of the article had a mention of earlier incidents like this when the Azeri soldiers were captured and then returned to Azerbaijan. It turns out that these soldiers were convicted of treason and sentenced to 12-13 years in prison. There was a 'military analyst' who claimed that the border is mined both on the Azeri and the Armenian sides, and crossing it is a dangerous endeavor. So the explanation given that this Garajayev fella crossed because of heavy fog seemed unlikely to this analyst. What he implied was that this was either a premeditated act of 'treason', or some botched reconnaissance mission. The truth may be that he simply escaped the bullies.


Zee said...

Hmm, I just started to read and catch up on the history of your lands. Interesting story!

Haik said...

Most of teh Azeribaijani soldiers sent to the boarder (or in the past to the war) are from poor families or ethinic minorities.
Most of the time they are sent and fogotten about. So basically they become slaves of the state and the Aliyev clan. I am not quite sure if this practice has been changed in the past 5 years but reading that and other stories I doubt that it has.
So those solders become so hopeless that their either blow themselve on a mine or try to become POW. I guess sometimes they even pass the boarder to find some food to feed themeslves.
They are like people in No-Man's Land.

nazarian said...

I don't know, Haik. From the pictures that I've seen, the Azeri army looked like a well equipped force - they don't look like hoodlums. I can't say whether they are better equipped than the Armenian army, though.

Speaking of equipment, the best equipped army is the Georgian one which looks indistinguishable from the American forces. They are not the rag tag army of a 10 years ago.

Basically, the balance of force in Southern Caucasus boils down to competent military leadership, and the objectives as all three of the armies are nicely equipped, and especially in Georgia's case, well trained.