Since December 12, Azerbaijani eco-activists, representatives of Azerbaijani NGOs, media representatives and volunteers have started a protest rally on the part of the Khankandi-Lachin road that passes near Shusha city, near the post of Russian peacekeepers. The main demand of the rally is to create conditions for Azerbaijani representatives to visit the Gizilbulag gold deposit and the Damirli copper-molybdenum deposit in the territory of Agdere district. Apart from that, the Azerbaijani protesters also objected to the illegal transportation of weapons from Armenia to Khankandi via Lachin and insisted on preventing these illegal actions in a civilized manner. Because as a result of the inaction of Russian peacekeepers in the last two years, the facts of transporting weapons from Armenia to Khankandi for non-humanitarian purposes have been repeatedly discovered.
The Armenian side is trying to deny the actions of the Azerbaijani activists, they claim that “120,000” people in the region have encountered a “humanitarian disaster,” and they even say that genocide was committed. They and the peacekeepers unequivocally deny the transfer of weapons through the corridor.
Faktyoxla Lab. (Factchecking Lab.) has conducted research in this direction.
First of all, during the last two months alone, the Azerbaijani media published accurate information about the transportation of weapons and terrorists from Armenia to Khankandi. One such news was published by caliber.az website. The report stated that “a large amount of weapons, portable communications and other equipment from the temporary responsibility zone of the peacekeepers was transferred to Khankandi.”
Another fact was about the transfer of 14 Iranian citizens to the territories temporarily controlled by Russian peacekeepers. According to this fact revealed by Qafqazinfo, the Russian peacekeepers temporarily settled in Karabakh took another step against their mandate and ensured the passage of 14 foreign citizens to the territory of Azerbaijan. According to information, Iranians were sent to carry out terrorist and sabotage exercises and prepare concrete sabotage instructions for illegal terrorist groups that feel very comfortable in the areas under the temporary control of Russian peacekeepers. In addition, it is said that they can train terrorist groups in Karabakh to use Iranian-made weapons.
And now we present the information spread by the Armenians about the weapons and equipment obtained by Faktyoxla Lab. and transferred to Khankandi under the name of humanitarian aid.
The ‘ranger13’ telegram channel, distinguished by its activity during the war, recently shared information about the transportation of a special mobile observation point vehicle and countless large-caliber firearms from Armenia to Khankandi under the name of humanitarian aid. It is said in the post that ‘an Armenian named Karen Hovhannisyan was able to collect a large amount of money from abroad and secretly send weapons to Khankandi and surrounding areas, and report the results to donors and participants in a secret group.’
Based on that sharing, we conducted research. When we inquired about the identity of Karen Hovhannisyan, we did not find any information about it on social media. Apparently, he realized that his data was leaked and froze all his social media accounts. In the end, during the search, we found a video made on this topic.
The video was uploaded to the YouTube channel last December. The Armenian-language video talks about the ‘Mighty Armenian Army’ project and the ‘sacrifice’ of Karen Hovhannisyan. We also present the video so that the other party does not claim that the facts that we will list later are fake and made up.
The short content of the video is as follows:
Karen Hovhannisyan, coordinator of the ‘Mighty Armenian Army’ project, says that this program was created after the April 2016 war. “The sole purpose of creating the program was to be with the army, to solve some problems that the state could not solve. The program combines several subprograms and stages at the same time. At these stages, various activities are carried out, says Hovhannisyan, stating that after the 44-day war, challenges changed and we, the ‘Mighty Armenian Army,’ had to make changes in the program. "A meeting of project leaders was organized and we decided at the meeting that we should have a specific policy line and implement five specific activities to improve the army's readiness. And in that context, it was decided that we should get cars to give as a gift to the army," said Hovhannisyan. According to him, these should be "off-road" vehicles, which are not in the Armenian army, and should do things that can affect the army's combat capability.
If you noticed, the project leader who presented two medical vehicles to the army (seen in the video) talks about how it will affect the combat capability of the army. If we are talking about ambulances, it sounds ridiculous to say that these vehicles will affect the fighting ability of the army. If not, what kind of cars are we talking about?
The opinion of Artur Martirosyan, the chairman of the project management board, was also included in the video. He also "clarifies" the purpose of the purchase of emergency medical vehicles: "In January, a meeting of the management board of the "Mighty Armenian Army" project was held. First of all, we decided on the annual plan of the project. Here we already have two cars, we have plans aimed at solving very important problems. I'm not saying now, but within months, let's say by June, we will be able to do something. Then we will look at the progress of the project again." Marine Hovhannisyan, the mother of the soldier Armen Hovhannisyan, who was killed in Agdere in 2014, says that she joined the project in 2016. "Karen Hovhannisyan said that she wants to build a project that will support the army, we are very interested in this program. I lost my child in 2014, he died on the border in Mardakert (Agdere-ed.). At that time, I had an idea that I should somehow continue my child's unfinished business." It should be noted that Armine Stepanyan, the sister of the terrorist "Enemy" Varda, was one of those who expressed an opinion in the video. He said "trust is the most important thing in this initiative. Trust in each other, trust in Karen Hovhannisyan.”
Russian version available here
Now we present Karen Hovhannisyan closed group statuses and reporting opinions. In fact, these ideas are a confession of a crime, an exposure of "Armenian terrorism" in disguise.
So let's focus on:
Post 1. September 9, 2021
Karen Hovhannisyan writes: This post is for closed group only and posting of photos from here is prohibited. This is the last car we bought. Furnishing is done at the expense of our American friend. The price is 2,500,000 drams. After some technical support work is completed, this vehicle will leave the region and begin combat duty. With your permission, let me bring you another good news. The government allocated 10 cars to the organization that renews (converts) these machines. In other words, the government allocated money for the "transformation" of 10 cars. Finally, we were able to prove the importance of these "mobile control centers". This is the victory of our program.
Note: Hovhannisyan clarifies some points in this post. "10 more car 'conversions' and 'mobile control centers' statements and photos paint the rough picture.
Post 2. September 11, 2021.
Karen Hovhannisyan writes: Dear friends, let your pain fall on the head of the Turk. We have bought the 6th SUV to complete the stage. So we bought the 6th SUV worth 6,000,000 drams. 6,000 euros or 3,460,000 drams were transferred by the Armenian House of Culture in Grenoble (France), whose director is Daniel Maranjanyan. So, another off-road vehicle was sent to be updated (converted-) today. Another off-road vehicle will soon go on combat duty and fulfill its assigned mission - the mission of protecting human life and health and defeating the enemy. Live like an Armenian.
Note: If you noticed, he said that "another off-road car has been sent for renewal.” You can guess what this "transformation" is.
Post 3. November 2, 2021.
The status reads: Dear friends, I thank each and every one of you. Through our program, a "mobile control station" operates in ‘Artsakh.’ For security purposes, I limit sharing. The main thing is that every penny reaches its goal.
Note: It was an ambulance after all. If we pay attention to the photos, it resembles a control station machine of a real battle. That is what Hovhannisyan meant when he said "transformation".
Post 4. November 12, 2021.
The post reads: Dear friends participating in the program, the last SUV purchased with the new program according to the state. Let's say: have a successful combat duty. Thanks to you, the Armenian Army has seven off-road vehicles, which will be mobile control centers. Now we will fire with revenge shells.
Note: Three messages are given here: successful combat duty. In fact, medical vehicles that enter the territory in a military situation are also considered to be on combat duty. But when the fighting is not going on, what kind of combat duty does an ambulance go on? Hovhannisyan himself admits that these are not ordinary ambulances intended for medical service, as seen in the pictures, but mobile control centers as we know them.
Post 5. April 20, 2022.
Karen Hovhannisyan wrote in the closed group "Mighty Armenian Army": "I want to talk about some things in this closed group, let it stay here, among the group members. I took and delivered the second batch of shells and mortars to Artsakh. During the day, under the control of the Russians, we were able to move the boxes safely and secretly. Before moving the missiles to Artsakh, we faced a problem. We bought mortar shells from local manufacturers. It was also a good chance for them. They tested their product 15 times. As a result, their products are already used in Artsakh...
Note: Finally, Karen Hovhannisyan openly admits everything. 1. He took and delivered the second batch of shells and mortars to Khankandi. That is, this step has already been taken once, this is the second attempt. 2. They were able to transfer this ammunition in broad daylight, in front of Russian peacekeepers, without any inspection or danger. 3. The shells were produced by an unknown company in Armenia. This means that weapons and shells can be produced in an ordinary workshop in this country, and they even test it against Karabakh and Azerbaijanis.
Post 6. August 23, 2022
Karen Hovhannisyan wrote in the closed group "Mighty Armenian Army": Dear friends participating in the project, yesterday I transferred another 1 million drams for the company that produces the projectile. Tomorrow (I am sure that these mortars and shells will be widely used in the Armenian army, like the others presented by us), the batches will be ready and we will take them to ‘Artsakh.’ Now every bullet is very important for ‘Artsakh’ and our motherland in general. Please ignore defamatory posts. People live in ‘Artsakh’ and border regions and they need us. These posts and interviews have one purpose: to disappoint us so that we don't act and think that everything is fine. This military failure is not a defeat for us"
Note: No further comment is needed here. Everything is clearly written.
So, why exactly in an ambulance?
In the recent past, we have often seen how Armenians disguised their activities under the name of "humanitarian step".
For example, on October 26, 2020, let's recall the news of the detention of emergency medical vehicles sent from abroad at the Lars checkpoint on the border with Georgia. At that time, the Georgian side did not allow the cargo to pass to Armenia on the grounds that the ambulances were carrying weapons. At that time, we well remember that there was a serious exchange of words between the two states, Armenians making noise, and Georgians presenting evidence with restraint.
The second fact was voiced in the statement of professional MMA fighter Eduard Vartanyan to the Armenian media. Vartanyan told the Armenian media that "The Armenian general in Jabrayil stopped the ambulance, dropped the soldiers in it and got on it himself. Azerbaijan's UAVs did not hit civilian vehicles and objects. That's why the Armenian general got into the ambulance and fled the area."
The third fact was recorded during the last shooting from Hadrut by Semyon Pegov, an employee of the infamous Wargonzo project, nicknamed the "burning fox". He was sure that the Azerbaijani Army does not shoot at ambulances. So, Pegov came to Hadrut in an ambulance (during the handing over of corpses-ed.) and filmed from there, spreading a fake report that this city is still under the control of Armenian terrorist groups.
So, what are the provisions in the Conventions on "Misuse of Internationally Protected Emblems"?
- Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1), Article 38.
- It is prohibited to make improper use of the distinctive emblem of the red cross, red crescent or red lion and sun or of other emblems, signs or signals provided for by the Conventions or by this Protocol. It is also prohibited to misuse deliberately in an armed conflict other internationally recognized protective emblems, signs or signals, including the flag of truce, and the protective emblem of cultural property. It is also prohibited to make use of the distinctive emblem of the United Nations, except as authorized by that Organization. source
- Extract from ICRC publication "International humanitarian law: answers to your questions"
“What are the provisions of humanitarian law governing use of the emblem?”
“Misuse of the emblem”
Any use not expressly authorized by IHL constitutes a misuse of the emblem.
- Misuse of the emblem for protective purposes in time of war jeopardizes the system of protection set up by IHL.
Misuse of the emblem for indicative purposes undermines its image in the eyes of the public and consequently reduces its protective power in time of war.
The States party to the Geneva Conventions have undertaken to introduce penal measures for preventing and repressing misuse of the emblem in wartime and peacetime alike. source
- Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, article 119. "Misuse of protected emblems".
Criminal liability is provided for in Article 119.1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Azerbaijan for carrying Red Cross or Red Crescent insignia by persons who do not have the right to carry the Red Cross or Red Crescent in the military operation area, as well as abusing the Red Cross or Red Crescent flags, insignia or the color of sanitary transport vehicles.
According to the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On the use and protection of the emblems of the Red Cross and Red Crescent", the following are the signs protected:
- Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems;
- Red Cross and Red Crescent name;
- Distinctive signals for the recognition of medical compounds and medical vehicles.
If it comes in violation of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, as well as the aforementioned Law:
- Use of the emblems of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent as a protective and distinguishing sign, as well as distinguishing signals;
- Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems in the names of legal entities, trademarks for purposes incompatible with the goals and principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement;
- The use of any symbols similar to the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems is prohibited by natural and legal persons on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
According to Article 119.1 of the Criminal Code, criminal acts must be committed in the region of military operations (the place where the crime was committed, district, city, village, etc.) as well as during the war (the time when the crime was committed).
- One of the main demands of the eco-activists, Azerbaijani NGO representatives and volunteers in front of the post of the Russian peacekeepers - the demand to "stop the illegal transportation of weapons" is fair.
- Arms and ammunition and other equipment were sent from Armenia to Khankandi through the roads controlled by peacekeepers, and this process slowed down only after the rally started.
- Carrying military equipment in an ambulance, committing inhumane acts and allowing such abuses are prohibited by International laws, Conventions and Protocols.