The defense is based on general military duty with 24 months of first service and (2013) amounts to 45,000 men. An additional 210,000 people are estimated to be mobilized. In 1992, an agreement was signed with the Russian Federation on Public Security, supplemented in 1997 with a 25-year agreement on Russian military bases in Armenia.
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The defense organization includes thirteen motorized regiments and two infantry regiments with 200 tanks (half T-72) and 15 fighter aircraft (Su-25-Frogfoot) and attack helicopters. The semi-military domestic and border defense units amount to 4,300 men. The equipment is semi-modern of Russian/Soviet origin.
In the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia has supported the warring tribesmen, who have managed to take control of almost the entire enclave. The Russian Federation has 3,300 men stationed in Armenia consisting of a greatly reduced infantry division and 18 fighter aircraft (MiG-29 Fulcrum).
Defense costs decreased in 1996-2012 from 6.2% to 3.9% of GDP. Armenia participates in UN peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan (ISAF) and Serbia (Kosovo Force, KFOR). To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that ARM stands for Armenia.
Throughout the 19th century Russia waged several wars against Turkey and Persia, annexing little by little to new Armenian territories, and eventually the whole of eastern Armenia fell to the Russians. This area was inhabited by more than 2 million Armenians, but the largest part of Armenia, with a population of over 4 million, still belonged to Turkey.
While Russia was defending Armenia against invasions and wars, eastern Armenia experienced a period of prosperity while Armenians residing in the Ottoman Empire faced persecution and harassment. The riots and clashes were often witnessed, which the Turks tried to prevent with drastic reprisals. It was used as an excuse that during World War I, the Armenians had expressed their sympathy for the Russian army that had attacked from Transcaucasia, and therefore the “Young Turks” regime carried out a massacre against some 2 million Armenians. While shooting the men, women and children were sent to desert areas in Syria, where they perished by exhaustion, while the survivors fled to the Armenian colonies abroad.
When the Russian Empire collapsed, the independent state of the Republic of Armenia was proclaimed in Yerevan. Turkey attacked Armenia in 1918 and 1920. Although the Armenian army managed to win some victories, the young republic experienced severe economic setbacks and its territory was severely cropped. In late 1920, the Soviet-Armenian Republic was proclaimed by a coalition of communists and nationalists, and by a revolt, in February 1921, the sitting government was overthrown. With the help of the Red Army, who had arrived from Azerbadjan, the Communists took power after three months of hard fighting.
Armenia, Georgia and Azerbadjan formed in 1922 the Association of the Transcaucasian Socialist Soviet Republics, which joined the USSR. To avoid ethnic conflicts between Armenians and Muslims, the Soviet regime adopted a separation policy that allowed the division of nationality groups into administrative units, which ruled that entire peoples were moved. The Independent Socialist Soviet Republic of Nachichevan was proclaimed in 1923, affiliated with Azerbaijan, purified for Armenians, and at the same time “took over” the Azerbadjan Nagornij Karabakh, a historic Armenian area that Azerbadjan had previously renounced in 1920. The Transcaucasian Association dissolved in 1936, and the republics involved individually sought admission into the Soviet Union.