Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has commended Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian army as he awarded medals to several dozen of its soldiers who demonstrated courage and valor in fighting against Azeri troops during the April 2-5 clashes.
“You have once again showed who the Armenian soldier is… When it is necessary to fight, you become the most disciplined, the most ingenious, and the most combat ready troops,” Sargsyan said at an award ceremony held at a military base in Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday.
“I said years ago that if we are forced to fight, today’s soldiers and officers would fight no less courageously than their fathers, grandfathers and senior comrades did. You have proved that you are much more combat-ready, brave and formidable.”
Sargsyan stressed that in the face of Azerbaijan’s aggression “not a single Armenian soldier or officer left his position”. “They fought selflessly to the very end,” he said.
Ninety-two Armenian soldiers and volunteers were killed during four days of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. More than a hundred were wounded. A number of Armenian civilians were also killed in Azerbaijan’s missile strikes or by its commandos who raided at least one village in Nagorno-Karabakh.
President Sargsyan also spoke about the savage behavior of Azeris during the four-day hostilities as he addressed the Karabakh soldiers.
“[In Azerbaijan] They teach their troops different things; they take pride in their troops who cut off ears of the dead enemy, that is, of our soldiers and officers; they see as quite normal when members of their special force – it’s impossible to call them soldiers – cut off the ears of 90-year old people. They cannot be called normal troops; rearing like that will make them no good. Such a style is inherent in terrorists’ line of conduct. The word “terrorist” derives from “terror”, which means they want to terrorize us, to scare us, but they will fail. We are afraid of only one thing – being not free and living without honor.”