It probably comes from a hugely popular Russian thinktank called Rybar the rumor picked up by the Russian media that Armenia has started arming Ukraine with weapons.
According to Russian information, Yerevan has started or is planning to transfer to Kiev very valuable and sophisticated weapons systems, including
- OTR-21 Tocska-U short-range ballistic missile systems
- and 9K33 Osza type self-propelled air defense systems.
None of them are state-of-the-art technology, but they’re valuable for what they’re worth: both long-range strike capability and air defense play an important role in the war, and the old Soviet systems are certainly worth more to Ukraine now than getting nothing.
Moreover, Yerevan is able to transfer these assets to Ukraine in such a way that the transfer may never be revealed: They also play an important role in Ukraine’s arsenal. And through Turkey, they can easily transport any weapon to the West without being noticed, if it is really made, such a decision has been made.
According to some reports the Ukrainians also have a large number (more than 200) of missiles https://twitter.com/clashreport/status/1726578080175505680 to the Tocks.
Rumors should be treated with reservations for the time being, since they can only be read from Russian sources.
At the same time, it would not be far removed from reality if Yerevan really stood by Ukraine in order to score “good points” with the United States and other Western countries.
No matter how you look at it, the relationship between the two former Soviet member republics, Armenia and Russia, began to deteriorate radically, quickly and spectacularly in recent months. Moscow and Yerevan used to be very close allies: so much so that Russian military bases also operated on the territory of Armenia, Russia was the primary supplier of arms to the Armenians, and the economic ties between the two countries were particularly strong.
The relationship between the two countries slowly began to deteriorate in recent years, but the spectacular breaking point came at the end of September 2023.
Azerbaijan launched a comprehensive attack on the Armenian-inhabited Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Russian peacekeepers in the region could not do anything to prevent the conflict over the territory from reviving for the third time.
The army of the separatist Armenian “Republic of Astarkh” laid down its arms in one day, Yerevan declared that they would not interfere, The Armenian population of over 100,000 people in Nagorno-Karabakh left the region completely in a few days. leaving behind empty ghost towns in the historic area.
Thus, Armenia probably lost Nagorno-Karabakh forever and Russia could not do anything to prevent this.
The Armenian government openly and explicitly began to accuse Moscow because they could not guarantee the peace and security of the Armenian population.
In view of this, many Perhaps he has already made a particularly hostile gesture towards Russia in Yerevan, among other things:
- they kept it first joint Armenian-American military exercise on the territory of Armenian (this started even before the Azeri invasion),
- entered the scope of the International Criminal Court, according to which they must arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin, if the leader enters their territory,
- they began to reduce Russian military industrial exposure and they started buying weapons from other countries (e.g. India),
- omitted to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) its previous session and they did not participate in the organization’s October military exercise in Kyrgyzstan,
- Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has already hinted that maybe he will liquidate the Russian military bases operating on the territory of Armenia and expel the Russian soldiers, since their presence, according to him, “does not bring any visible advantage” to Yerevan.
Russia is apparently similarly hostile to Armenia’s actions: according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Kremlin, Yerevan is working to “break with the centuries-old friendship of the Russian and Armenian people” and completely betray the “fraternal bond between the two peoples.”
In such a nexus, it cannot be ruled out that the Armenians really gave or will give some Tochka to Ukraine.
Due to his bold steps, Yerevan could even begin to fear a Russian military invasion, but from the point of view of deteriorating diplomatic relations now it can be especially beneficial for the country that it does not have a direct border with Russia. If Moscow wants to invade, they would first have to cross through Georgia and/or Azerbaijan, so Yerevan can easily decide to keep “muscling” with Russia, so to speak, and move closer to the West.
Cover image source: Ozkan Bilgin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images. The photo shows an Armenian Osa air defense system captured by Azerbaijan in Baku.