“Aravot” is surprised that the Armenian officer shown abusing soldiers in a Youtube video has been arrested and prosecuted. The paper is now worried that “this fascist will get a disproportionately mild punishment.” It says the accusation carrying between two and five years in prison that has been leveled against Major Sasun Grigorian “does not seem to correspond” to the gravity of his crime. Grigorian should get a lengthier prison sentence “so that we can be sure that our children won’t deal with such sadists after being drafted to the army.”
“The biggest vice of our society is a lack of the will to fight,” claims “Hraparak.” “We easily come to terms with the fact that we are exploited, offended, humiliated.” The Youtube video scandal is one such example, says the paper. It claims that the soldiers abused by the officer are now defending him. “So when you meet someone fighting for their rights you feel sincere admiration,” concludes the paper.
“In terms of army discipline, I find suicide more dangerous than murder,” former Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutiunian tells “168 Zham.” “A murder can take place when events develop very quickly, in the heat of the moment, and an officer may not notice that build-up. A suicide, on the other hand, doesn’t happen at once. A person reaches that point after a long period of time. What serious reason must a soldier have to commit it? It is the absence of [decent] officers that leads to soldier suicides.” Harutiunian claims that officers faced stricter punishment for such incidents during his 1999-2000 tenure. “In any case, the army is the best structure of our state and achieves objectives set before it in this difficult situation, something which other agencies don’t do,” adds the ex-minister.
Commenting on the latest opposition rally in Yerevan, “Hayots Ashkhar” says that Levon Ter-Petrosian are again toughening their anti-government rhetoric as part of their efforts to “stall for time before the next parliamentary elections.” The pro-government paper says Ter-Petrosian also sought to limit damage caused by his previous speech, in which he claimed that Armenia can not secure its future without making peace with Azerbaijan and Turkey.