The Fragmented Information Of The Ministry Of Defense About The Demonstration of the Damaged Azerbaijani UAV

Karine Ghazaryan

Journalist, semiotician-to-be

On July 21, the Ministry of Defense of Armenia presented the remains of unmanned aerial vehicles at the Military Aviation University after Marshal Khanpertsyan.

Various sources in the Ministry of Defense provided incomplete information about the exhibition. Many media outlets also did not provide the full picture. As a result, the information was partially disseminated on many platforms.

What was exhibited?

On July 21, three types of samples were exhibited at the Khanpertsyan Military Aviation University. Azerbaijani UAV’s which have been neutralized on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in recent days, previously neutralized UAVs and missiles.

However, comprehensive information about the exhibition was not published on the website of the Ministry of Defense ․ It was only mentioned that “the remains of the unmanned aerial vehicles of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces damaged by the RA Armed Forces subdivisions in recent days have been presented.” The website of the Ministry of Defense did not mention that the previously damaged UAVs and missiles were included in the exhibition.

During the opening of the event, the former speaker of the Ministry of Defense Artsrun Hovhannisyan mentioned that not all of the exhibited samples are recently neutralized UAVs. In particular, ThunderB and Hermes-180 ATS had been neutralized before.

Later, the head of the Khanpertsyan Military Aviation University, Daniel Balayan, added that the Spike remote-controlled missiles were also presented.

What did the media write?

Not all media outlets used different sources to build the whole picture.

Thus, the report of the Public Television did not mention the previously neutralized UAVs in its broadcast. The same was done by Armenpress, whose article was reprinted by Medialab.am and Newarmenia.am.

խոցված ԱԹՍ Արմենպրես

Verelq.am and Yerkir.am did not mention “old” models and missiles. There were news outlets that simply reprinted the message on the website of the Ministry of Defense, which also did not mention detailed information about the displayed samples. Armnews TV host Abraham Gasparyan said that the Ministry of Defense showed “14 Azerbaijani drones shot down by the Third Army Corps.”

There were media outlets, for example, Armenia TV, however, that reported the complete information.

Why is this important?

The Armenian side reports that in July it neutralized or destroyed 14 Azerbaijani UAVs, including the expensive Hermes 900. The Azerbaijani side does not accept this information and accuses Armenia of making false allegations.

Armenia, in its turn, was not in a hurry to show all the neutralized UAVs. Thus, the Hermes 900 has not been shown so far.

As in other cases, the degree of transparency of the Ministry of Defense in demonstrating neutralized equipment can be largely due to security considerations. However, the information spread by the Ministry of Defense about the July 21 exhibition was misleading ․ The incomplete information was also reported incompletely by many media outlets, giving the impression that the exhibition was dedicated only to the UAVs neutralized in July.

ադրբեջանական ԱԹՍ Սանամյան

The effects of flawed communication are also seen in the example of social media discussions.

Emil Sanamyan, a researcher on the Artsakh issue, based on the Twitter post of the Defense Ministry spokesman, said that the Ministry of Defense is misleading, as the pictures show previously damaged UAVs, and the Ministry of Defense is talking about neutralized drones in recent days.

Sanamyan’s post was shared by both Armenian and Azeri Twitter users.

Karine Ghazaryan

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