Sunday, November 29, 2020

Armenians Lost Using Soviet Weapons while Azerbaijanis Won Using Israeli and Turkish Ones, Felgengauer Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 26 – In addition to command mistakes on Yerevan’s part, Armenia lost the latest round of the Qarabagh war because it was using Soviet weaponry supplied by Moscow while Azerbaijan won because it was using more modern Israeli and Turkish arms, Pavel Felgengauer says.

            The result of the fighting was thus foreordained because Soviet and Russian arms based on Soviet models are increasingly behind the times in comparison with weapons systems produced by others. That affects the outcome of fighting, but it also will have an impact on Russian arms sale, the military analyst says (

            Moscow enjoys several advantages as far as sales to Third World countries are concerned. It doesn’t have to operate under the constraints Western governments routinely impose, and it is far more ready and able to use massive bribes to get potential purchases to agree to buy the weapons Russian producers offer.

            But when potential purchasers see how poorly the weapons they are being offered perform against those other countries are producing, they are going to be less interested in purchasing what Moscow offers. That will mean that Moscow will either have to increase bribes or offer more advanced Russian models.

            The first of these will only highlight still more just how much at odds with the international order Moscow now is; the second will create the potential for more and more serious conflicts if those who do get cutting-edge Russian weaponry conclude that they will thus be able to fight others armed by Western countries.

            Felgengauer points out that Yerevan made several critical mistakes even with the constraints on the weapons systems Moscow was prepared to sell it. On the one hand, it purchased jets that could not deal with drones and that in the numbers Armenia bought could not give it battlefield supremacy.

            And on the other, it failed to acquire equipment that would allow it to monitor what was in fact happening on the ground. As a result, while Azerbaijani forces had real time knowledge of where forces were and thus could respond, Armenia was thrown back to “the age of Napoleon” and could only guess what was going on.

            The results for Armenia were both sad and predictable, and they will be absorbed not only in Yerevan but everywhere else Moscow may try to sell the less-than-modern arms that it usually offers, the independent analyst concludes.

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