Editorial team of InformNapalm Georgia prepared a new OSINT-investigation identifying Georgian citizens who fought on the side of the illegal armed groups (IAG) in Nagorno-Karabakh, supported by Armenia. In Georgia, such actions fall immediately under several grave offenses according to the criminal code. Read the details in the article.
Against the backdrop of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh region, there have been multiple reports that natives of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia were participating in hostilities on the side of the so-called Artsakh separatists. According to open sources, more than 20 natives of Samtskhe-Javakheti were killed in action in a month of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. Those killed in Karabakh had already lived in Armenia for many years, so some of them became citizens of this country, but they continued to maintain contacts with relatives in Georgia. The purpose of the new OSINT investigation was not the dead, but still living militants who were trained before being sent to Nagorno-Karabakh and could potentially be recruited to participate in hostilities in other flashpoint areas. Some of them were identified through the video of the Armenian Defense Ministry dated October 29, 2020 with the headline “Preparation of immigrants from Javakhk before leaving for the front”, which showed a group of 9 militants from the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia .
As a result of the OSINT investigation backed by insider information from our sources in Samtskhe-Javakheti, it was possible to identify all 9 militants shown in the Armenian Defense Ministry’s report. During the data analysis, it turned out that at least 6 of them currently have Georgian citizenship.
Reason for identification
The Criminal Code of Georgia contains several articles that provide for sanctions and criminal prosecution against mercenaries:
- Citizenship Law of Georgia, Article No. 21 – “A citizen of Georgia loses the citizenship if, without the knowledge of the competent authorities, he/she enters the military service in the police or security agencies of another state.”
- The Criminal Code of Georgia, Article 223 “Formation and participation in illegal military formations, as well as other activities in support of illegal armed groups, provides for a penalty of up to 12 years in prison.”
- Criminal Code of Georgia, Article 310 “Actions of Georgian citizens aimed at undermining the security of Georgia, provides for a penalty of up to 8 years in prison”.
In this context, it is noteworthy that that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan is conducting an investigation into the materials on criminal acts committed against Azerbaijan by a group of people living in the Georgian territory of Abkhazia occupied by Russia.
Background details of militants
- Shirak Torosyan, born 1972 in Georgia, citizen of Armenia.
Commander / instructor of the “Javakh volunteers” group, known in Armenia as a local politician, member of the Armenian People’s Assembly and chairman of the so-called Javakh Patriotic Union.
On his social media pages, he calls on the Armenians from Samtskhe-Javakheti to take part in the military conflict. Torosyan’s statement from 2014 which threatens the Address: territorial integrity of Georgia in case of joining NATO is available in the open sources.
Social media links https://www.facebook.com/shiraktorosyanjavakhk/
Tel +37410558288. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Artem Torosyan, born 1991 in Ninotsminda region of Georgia. Citizen of Georgia. Lives in Armenia.
Graduate of Yerevan University, works in tourism.
- Khachatur Markosyan, born 1987 or 1988 in Ninotsminda region of Georgia. Citizen of Georgia. Lives in Armenia.
Keen traveler, both to Europe and Russia, and to Nagorno-Karabakh, where, along with some other subjects of this investigation, he posed in military camouflage back in 2011.
Social media links https://www.facebook.com/khachatur.markosyan
- Sevak Khachatryan, born 1985 in Georgia. Citizen of Armenia.
A frequent visitor to Georgia, with which he is linked by both family and business ties.
Social media links
- Artush Grigoryan, born 1977 in Akhalkalaki, Georgia. Citizen of Georgia. Lives in Armenia.
Graduate of Yerevan University. Chairman of the Javakh Foundation. Works as fire safety inspection officer. In the photographs, he poses with some other subjects of this investigation, as well as the notorious separatist provocateurVahagnan Chakhalyan.
- Kamsar Kulidzhanyan, born 1979 in Ninotsminda region of Georgia. Citizen of Georgia. Lives in Armenia.
Graduated from the Yerevan Police Academy. Also an employee of the fire safety inspection.
Social media links https://www.facebook.com/kamsar.kulijanyan
- Armen Tevanyan, born 1985 in Tsalka, Georgia. Citizen of Georgia. Lives in Armenia.
Graduate of Yerevan University. Employed in the government service.
Social media links
- Vakhran Sharoyan, born 1982 in Tsalka, Georgia. Citizen of Armenia.
Chairman of the village council.
Social media links
- Armen Avetisyan born 1981 in Akhalkalaki, Georgia. Citizen of Georgia. Lives in Armenia.
Graduate of Yerevan University. Professional journalist. One of the leaders of the Javakh Foundation.
Social media links
All the above mentioned persons are actively campaigning for the so-called Artsakh Republic on social media. In some posts, one can see separatist hints regarding the Samtskhe-Javakheti region and threats against Georgia which, in their opinion, “after the end of hostilities in Karabakh, must be certainly held accountable for its position”.
Considering that the active phase of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh is currently over, it is possible that trained militants may be involved in subversive activities against the territorial integrity of Georgia and other countries.
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