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Three months after losing the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan still continues his quest to find the perfect excuse.
The most recent one backfired, heavily.
On February 24th, in an interview, Pashinyan claimed that the reason Armenia lost the war against Azerbaijan was Russia’s Iskander missile.
According to his estimations the missile only exploded 10% of the time upon impact. As such, the “40-year-old weapon” was ineffective, and led to Yerevan’s defeat.
He has gone through almost every possible reason for losing the war, except admitting poor leadership and gross mismanagement of the forces.
Deputy Chief of the Armenian Armed Forces General Staff Tiran Khachatryan immediately rebuked Pashinyan, saying that his claim was “frivolous”.
In response, the Armenian Prime Minister released the official from his position.
Following that, the head of the Armenian Armed Forces General Staff, Onik Gasparyan released a statement, signed by all his deputies and other military officials demanding that Nikol Pashinyan immediately resign from the country’s leadership.
Pashinyan, in response, did what he does best – said that he had released the Chief of the General Staff, because he would not be questioned.
He called his supporters to take to the streets because this constituted a “military coup” and began “actively” leading the country through Facebook livestreams.
There are protests in Yerevan, both in support and against Nikol Pashinyan. His leadership has all but failed, and he alone undermines the vestiges of Armenia’s statehood.
Following his statements, he was mocked by the Russian Defense Ministry, which denied that the Iskander had been used in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
He was also mocked by Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev, who called his statements “anecdotal”. He also entirely denied that the Iskander had been used at all during the conflict.
Even Turkey released a statement playing along with the “military coup” narrative, saying that it was against it. Understandable, for Ankara, Armenia under inadequate leadership is a perfect neighbor.
After months of excuses, various accusations against past leadership, current military leadership, its own citizens and Russia, Pashinyan went too far. He still refuses to hang onto power, but he is becoming increasingly isolated in his attempt to “leave power in the people’s hands,” as he calls refusing to resign.