Caucasus Reality 10 september — 09:40

40% of Armenian artillery destroyed, soldiers' spirit undermined, coordination of troops disrupted (First day of the war)

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BY FARHAD MAMMADOV, INFORMATION SECTION

As Azeri Daily reported, the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies operating in Russia published a sensational study on the war in Karabakh. In this study, a number of factors were noted that determined the defeat of the Armenian army from the first days of the war.

Russian analysts recall that the Armenian defence plan was built around the main line known as the Ohanyan line, a series of fortifications built in the 1990s after the first Karabakh war. They consisted of obstacles, mines and barbed wire, concrete emplacements, and other permanent fortifications that have not been significantly improved since then.

'This has made it much easier for Azerbaijani planners to identify key targets and use pinpoint strikes to defeat key defensive positions. In addition, it was reported that during the first weeks of hostilities, the Armenians did not make serious efforts to camouflage their equipment from air strikes,' says the CAST study.

The lack of modernisation, according to experts, was one of the reasons for the defeat.

'The complacency of the Karabakh forces cost them dearly: according to some reports, during September 27, the first day of intensive operations, Azerbaijan managed to destroy 60% of the Armenian air defence systems in Karabakh and 40% of its artillery. This lightning strike actually undermined most of the defensive capabilities of Armenia at the very early stage of the war and created the conditions in which the rest of the hostilities unfolded,' the CAST experts conclude.

In fact, the Azerbaijani Army delivered the first blow to the well-known targets. Destruction of enemy air defences was a priority for Azerbaijan, thereby opening the sky for aviation. For these purposes, Azerbaijan even used old AN-2 aircraft.

The study notes that after the breakthrough of the 'Ohanyan line' in the southern direction and the destruction of the air defence, Azerbaijani troops easily hit the retreating Armenian forces, which found it increasingly difficult to defend themselves from air attacks.

On the other hand, the mountainous terrain limited the manoeuvrability of the vehicles, and the Armenians were forced to transport reinforcements and ammunition along the roads controlled by the unmanned aircraft of Azerbaijan. As a result, a large amount of equipment and manpower were destroyed on the roads.

'A large number of abandoned equipment testified to the drop in the morale of the Armenian soldiers and the disruption of the coordination of the troops. Having destroyed a large number of vehicles, the Azerbaijani Army disrupted the supply of the Armenian troops,' says the report.

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