‘Day of Retribution Will Come,’ Sarkisian Says

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian (left), accompanied by Artsakh’s Defense Minister Movses Hakobyan, inspects troops at Artsakh’s Tigranakert Military Training Center, following several days of join military exercises between the armed forces of Artsakh and Armenia

TIGRANAKERT, Artsakh—On Monday, on the third day of his working visit to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the President of Armenia Serzh Sarkisian, in company of Artsakh’s President Bako Sahakian, observed the Armenian and Artsakh armed forces’ joint operative-tactical military exercises at the Tigranakert Military Training Center, dubbed “Unity 2014.”

A tank biathlon competition was demonstrated during which the best participant in shooting and other categories was awarded. The Presidents of the two Armenian republics observed the exercises from an observation tower followed by an award ceremony dedicated to the servicemen actively involved in the military exercises and military service. Sarkisian congratulated the participants of the military exercise for demonstrating courage and high fighting abilities in the imitated battle and the successful implementation of these large-scale military exercises.

In his speech, Sarkisian told the officers and soldiers in attendance, “We all remember everything, and the day of retribution will come,” referring to the downing of an unarmed Artsakh Mi-24 helicopter by Azeri forces that resulted in the death of three Armenian servicemen.

“Remember, many papers have been written on the rights of humans and nations, but those rights need to be protected, and you are the guarantors of those rights,” Sarkisian said in his speech to Armenia’s and Artsakh’s armed forces. “A lot of peoples of the world truly take pride in their armies, but you are responsible for our life and the security of our people.”

Following Sarkisian’s speech, a military parade took place at the Tigranakert Military Training Center.

Presidents Sarkisian and Sahakian also attended the opening of a newly-built military hospital in Martakert.

Sarkisian’s full speech is provided below.

* * *

Honorable generals and officers,

Dear soldiers,

The biggest, the most large-scale and useful military exercises that have been ever conducted with the cooperation of the NKR Defense Army and the RA Armed Forces are coming to their end, and despite the deplorable occurrence, I think that the military exercises have succeeded. Of course, corresponding experts and executives are yet to sum up, analyze and draw conclusions about them but we are happy for what we saw in the imitated battle. You demonstrated high fighting abilities, will and devotion to the Motherland. Well done, thank you.

Throughout these days, not only your proud parents, but also the entire population of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and the Republic of Armenia have focused their attention on you, because your are our hope and belief, our sword and shield, and as you know, the shield is stronger and the sword is sharper when they are used for just purposes. You serve the ends of justice

Thank you.

Of course, you have been followed by foreigners and, first of all, the ones who consider us their enemies, who use indiscriminate methods and are able to murder a sleeping person with an axe, who are able to destroy a non-dangerous helicopter that has got into a difficult situation. It is their business. You do your work well. We all remember everything, and the day of retribution will come. Your task is very clear: continue in the same spirit. I have said numerous times and I am reiterating that the war instigated by the Republic of Azerbaijan at the beginning of the 90s was also the result of underestimation, and if, God forbid, they instigate war once again, we too will be guilty of giving them the chance to underestimate us.

Respectable officers,

Dear soldiers,

Your behavior demonstrated in the imitated battle and the contact line, as well as your fighting trim deserves not underestimation, but appreciation. Your mastery already makes very many Azeri simpletons change their opinion about war. They thought that fighting against Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia was a short and pleasant hobby, something like a flash mob – to assemble, perform an act, be photographed and disperse. No, there will be no flash mob and pleasant walk. I am confident that war will not occur either, because you are strong and are standing here.

Dear soldiers,

Remember, there has been written a lot on papers, including rights of humans and nations, but those rights need to be protected, and you are the guarantors of those rights. A lot of peoples of the world truly take pride in their armies, but you are responsible for our life and the security of our people. We believe in you and resting on that belief, we will do everything to reach a fair solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and ensure Armenia’s and Artsakh’s security.

We are grateful to you. You are our sons, we have your back and you are our defenders. Remember it. I wish all of you success. Military exercises are not the end, but the beginning of your fighting trim, diligence, sufferings, because both war and military exercises are emergency situations. And an emergency situation requires emergency actions that are full of difficulties and sufferings. But remember: there is no holier thing than serving the Fatherland’s security. You do it very well.

I would like to thank you on behalf of our people.

I wish you good service.

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