“4 months pass since the ending of Armenia-Azerbaijan war started in last autumn for Nagorno-Karabakh. As Armenia could not stop the Azerbaijani army’s rapid attack, which had a great military-technical advantage, Armenia was obliged to peace in difficult circumstances. Since then ceasefire prevails in the region ensured by about 2 thousand Russian peacekeepers,” wrote Dmitry Vinogradov in his article titled “The endless minefield of Karabakh. Armenia has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in vain” published in “Svobodnaya pressa”, APA’s Moscow correspondent reports.
The article reads that despite the silence of weapons, military persons and civilians continue to die in the conflict zone. The reason for this is, in the true sense of the word, minefields scattered all over Karabakh, which every week produces a bloody harvest of a shattered life and broken destinies. Since the peace agreement signed, more than 50 people stepped on a mine, including Russian peacekeepers.
The result of the war last year showed that those costs are meaningless. As it is known, the intensification of mining did not help the Armenian armed forces to control the territory – in the condition of absolute air superiority, Azerbaijanis with special mobile groups broke of enemy defense fast enough which cost hundreds of millions of dollars and took control of most part of Karabakh.
Minefield “inherited” from Armenians mainly located in the seven districts adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh in which Azerbaijan restored control and was a key element of the negotiations on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh over the years.
The author writes that active demining works are conducted in all districts, where heavy battles were conducted during both the first and second Karabakh wars, today. Azerbaijani and Armenian specialists, Russian peacekeepers and forces of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, as well as Turkish deminers have been involved in these works.
“Number of unexploded ordnance is especially very much in the territories, given under the control of Azerbaijan. The process of mining the territory was conducted during the first Karabakh war here and continued during the period between the two wars. Sudden aggravation of the situation in the spring of 2016 just increased the tempo of mining of the territory during recent years. It seems the Armenian side understood that great war is inevitable.
Demining is a long process, which requires resources. Since the end of combat operations in November of the previous year, 27 sq. km territory of Azerbaijan has been cleaned from mines. About 40,000 combat weapons, which can cause danger in the future, have been found in this small area. We are talking about the territories ruled by the Armenian armed forces for about 30 years. Almost every inch of territory has been mined during these years.
The total value of the mines and unexploded ordnances, found in a small demined area of 27 sq. km. is USD 3 million. According to the assessment of deminers, about 4.5 million mines may be planted in the territories, which have been cleaned or planned to be cleaned in the future. It becomes clear from calculations of specialists that the total value of mines, planted from the Armenian side may be USD 340 million. In local scope, it is an astronomic amount. It means that Armenia spent 50% of the military budget or 10% of the state budget for 2020 on mining of the Azerbaijani territories.