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Address By Colonel Samvel Ramazyan, Defence Attaché of the Republic of Armenia At the Diplomatic Reception on the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary Of the Creation of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia PDF Print E-mail
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Samvel Ramazyan 

25 years are separating us from the memorable days when the Armed Forces of the newly-independent Republic of Armenia were created. 25 years for such a country that has lately celebrated the 1700th anniversary of adopting Christianity as state religion, and in the nearest future it will celebrate the 2800th anniversary of its capital Yerevan, is not such a long period but merely an instant in the history of thousands of years.

From time immemorial the states formed in the Armenian Highland such as the Urartu-Ararat Kingdom, Hayasa, Nairi, have been known in Asia Minor for their victorious wars. It is the war for liberation fought by our forefather Haik that starts the formation of the Armenian people. Being one of the most powerful states in the region, Armenia successfully fought against Babylon and Assyria, Achaemenid Persia and Rome, later Armenia used to stop the in-roads of the Arab, Mongol-Tatar, and Seljuk hordes.

Such world-famous military leaders as Dareh, Lucullus and Marcus Crasos were defeated in Armenia. Historical sources witness that the Armenian troops rendered assistance to other nations crowning their names with honour and glory. Led by Forefather Zarmire Armenians fought for Troy-Ilion, liberated Rome under the leadership of Byzantine Armenian General Narses, participated in the battles of Gavgamela and Magnesia, later those of Grunwald.

In 451, under the leadership of St. Vardan Mamikonian, father of St. Shushanik, the Armenians heroically faced the Zoroastrian army at Avarayr in defence of their faith. Being heavely outnumbered, they were defeated but left the coming generations the motto: “Death not realized is death, but death realized is immortality”.

In 1375, after the collapse of Cilician Armenia, in the 600-year-old absence of Armenian statehood, the Armenians continued to give birth to talented military men that crowned their names with glory in foreign armies.

In the period of 1918-1921, during the short period of independence, the Armenian forces wrote new glorious pages of dedication and courage in the history.

Immediately after the establishment of Soviet power in Armenia, the Armenian generals and officers, about 1.500 of them, were exiled and imprisoned in the concentration camp for over a year. Very few of them returned to Armenia from exile, and even those few were later banished or again exiled.

In the course of the World War II Armenia formed and sent to the German front 5 national divisions, one of which, the Tamanian Division participated to Berlin operation in 1945. The Armenian people gave 4 marshals and 1 admiral, over 200 generals, among them Chief of the Soviet Navy General Staff Admiral Hovhannes Isakov-Isahakyan, Air Forces Commander Marshall Sergey Khudyakov-Khamperiants.

The Armenians of Diaspora have also heroes who participated in the struggle against nazism and fascism in Europe. They fought in France, Greece and Italy.

The creation and history of the Armenian Armed Forces form an organic part of the historic reality of the establishment of the Armenian statehood. For both of them the beginning was February 1988 – the beginning of the national struggle for reunification with Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).

The Armenian Armed Forces (as well as the Armenian Statehood itself) had to overcome several difficult stages in the course of its formation. One can say that the Armed Forces during those years performed a multifold task. While in the process of creation, the Armed Forces both defended the Armenian boundaries and people, and had to combat and defeat a mean adversary who had dared to launch an undeclared war.

The military theory researchers are unanimous in noting that it is exceptionally thorny to build the army at the time of combat operations. Nevertheless, the Armenian nation succeeded in combining these two complex tasks and conveying the heroic and devoted armed units in a regular army.

In last war we have seen on many occasions the backs of the enemy retreating in disorder. Our rounds of fire and volleys glorified freedom of the man and the nation, human and national dignity. We did not succumb either to inexperienced recruits, or to skilled mercenaries (even Afghani mojaheds), or to the exceeding numbers of the enemy.

We have won in a excruciating and disproportionate war. Some, by saying “disproportionate war” mean the fact that the enemy had more money, more military equipment and more troops. It is true, but for us it was a “disproportionate war” because the strong was fighting against the weak, and we were the strong. Freedom fighters were fighting against the invaders, and we were the freedom fighters. The just was fighting against the unjust.

Our country’s Armed Forces, during the past years, have also seen phases of significant reform aimed at reorganizing, upgrading of its armaments and professional level of the staff, its standards and capacities. As of today, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia are actively involved in international military cooperation, including peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Lebanon.

The challenges of the 21st century radically change the perception of the military security concept. No country, regardless of its power and geographic location, can anymore guarantee its security alone. This is why the international military cooperation has vital importance in the process of army building.

Here, on the hospitable soil of Georgia, I cannot but reflect upon the Armenian-Georgian military cooperation tracing back to the ancient times. More than twenty centuries are looking at us to tell of numerous episodes of such cooperation amalgamated with radiant instances of bravery and self-sacrifice by both Armenian and Georgian warriors battling against common enemies side by side.

According to the Gerogian myth about brothers Hayos and Kartlos, the forefathers of Armenians and Georgians fought together for their freedom against Bel, the ruler of Babylon, the epitome of evil.

We remember our ancestors and grandfathers who fought together against invaders.

We remember Armenian-Georgian joint armies led by Vakhtang Gorgasali and Vahan Mamikonian, both sides’ warriors killed at the battlefields “for faith and homeland” in 5th century.

We remember Armenian-Georgian joint rebellion led by Vardan Mamikonian and Gurgen against Persia in 571.

We remember Armenian and Georgian units of the Byzantine army at the battle of Manazkert against Seljuk Turks in 1071.

We remember our common royal dynasties.

We remember the liberation of the Caucasus from Seljuk Turks by Georgian and Armenian forces under the leadership of King David Aghamashenebeli and Queen Tamar, their Armenian commanders.

We remember more than 20.000 Georgian and Armenian soldiers killed at the battle of Garni against Khwaresmid Empire’s army in 1225.

We remember the rebellion of Davit Bek, the commander-in-chief of Armenian liberation struggle, and the volunteers from Georgia in 1722…

The episodes of historical and present-day Armenian-Georgian cooperation can be enumerated continuously. Sure, it has established a firm foundation for mutual cooperation in the present-day geopolitical situation.

We are confident that the Armenian-Georgian military cooperation will further expand to continually contribute to the strengthening of the friendship between our nations, a friendship, based on common civilization and values that has cast deep roots in our hearts, souls and minds.

The Armenian nation and its Armed Forces are ready to stand up against any threats imposed on us by our adversaries. Armenia is not rich in oil or gas or other natural resources yet, to retaliate any challenges, we have the most powerful resource: our will to protect truth, faith and justice.

We can proudly state that our compatriots and friends may rest assured that the Armenian Armed Forces will spare no effort to preserve peace and security for our homeland and Caucasus and let God avert our Armed Forces from the need of demonstrating their power and will at the battlefield.

God bless the Armed Forces of Armenia.

God bless the Armed Forces of Georgia and all our partners.

Colonel Samvel Ramazyan,

Defence Attaché of the Republic of Armenia

Tbilisi

January 26, 2017

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