A recent report on Azatutyan Radio told of a commander beating a recruit to death, on Armenian territory in southern Armenia. As usual, nobody expects anything to happen, punishment-wise, to the commander. This follows a similar event in Shamshadin, at the border post there. According to a resident of Shamshadin, a Yerevantsi soldier had asked his commander for leave, but was turned down. Later, while the commander was on vacation, his replacement granted the soldier a 10-day leave. When the commander returned, he was infuriated that the soldier had accepted permission from his replacement. Soon after, the soldier was found dead, in a dangerous border area near the village of Chinari, close to Khoranashat monastery. Locals believe that the soldier was murdered and then his corpse taken to the border area, so Azeris could be blamed for the killing.
“Azatutyan Radio won’t carry this story,” the Shamshadintsi said. “But we know what happened. People shouldn’t wonder why parents do anything they can, including bribery, so their sons don’t have to serve in the Armenian army. I know these things happen in Azerbaijan, Russia, and elsewhere. But we’re a small nation. We can’t afford this.”