Armenia promotes five colonels to the rank of major general

On 24 May, 2024, Armenia’s Defence Ministry reported that the country’s prime minister nominated five colonels to be promoted to the rank of major general. This is one of the highest numbers of officers promoted to such ranks in one act in recent years. These career advancements possibly indicate loyalty, important roles and influence of these new generals within the country’s armed forces.

All colonels, now major generals, were promoted to higher positions by Armenia’s prime minister following the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh war, amid rumours of discontent in the country’s Armed Forces for what many called out as inaction and mismanagement of the war in 2020.

The promoted are the below individuals:

Colonel Artur Yeroyan: Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Col Yeroyan was promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff in February 2024, previously he was the head of the country’s main military academy in Yerevan, the Vazgen Sargsyan Military Academy.

Colonel Samvel Movsisyan: Deputy Chief of Staff, Col Movsisyan was also promoted to Major General. He was assigned the deputy head of military’s intelligence in November 2020, and subsequently the head of the same dept and Deputy Chief of Staff (both positions at once) in June 2023.

Colonel Hrach Stepanyan: Personnel Policy dept head since August 2021, previously the Recruitment department head. Interestingly, in February 2021 he signed a petition with numerous other high-level officers demanding the resignation of the current government. Subsequent career advancements possibly indicate either a change in his political position or a that he was courted by the current government to go against those who had signed the petition.

Colonel Albert Bagdadyan: Operational dept deputy head since August 2021, in December 2020 he was assigned member of the border delimitation committee formed by Armenia’s government following the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh war to negotiate with Azerbaijan on border delimitation, showing a favourable position towards the current government’s policies.

Colonel Aleksandr Tsakanyan: promoted to Major General, he was assigned commander of Armenia’s 3rd Army Corps deployed along the Tavush border with Azerbaijan in August 2021, replacing the more popular Grigori Khachaturov, who had been a strong critic of the government’s appeasement policies towards Azerbaijan political ambitions. Khachaturov was subsequently arrested, later released, but experts and legal teams continue to speak of political persecution against him. All indications show that Tsakanyan replaced Khachaturov to better control the 3rd Army Corps and bring it in line with the current government’s position.

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