March 27
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There is an impression that the investigation and the government are busy concealing everything about the incident. This was announced by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at Thursday's Cabinet meeting of the government of Armenia—and referring to the tragic fire in the accommodation of a military unit on January 19.

"When you read the comments of some people, you get the impression that the fire did not start because of the use of the 5-liter can of gasoline that I described, or that we described, but I don't even know what happened, something else happened," he added.

In response, Prosecutor General Anna Vardapetyan said: "We have no intention of concealing anything. Withholding the names of individuals is only intended to ensure the possibility of excluding the escape of those persons.”

Argishti Kyaramyan, Chairman of the Investigative Committee, also confirmed that the testimony of all the questioned witnesses attests to the fact that the theory put forward from the beginning—that is, the burning of the stove with gasoline—was substantiated.

Pashinyan, in turn, added that a witness had said that gasoline for bulldozers was used.

"But then the question arose that bulldozers actually use diesel fuel, what does gasoline have to do with it? Then it turned out that gasoline is necessary to turn on [the bulldozer].

According to the data of the case, it is substantiated that the fire in the stove was out, a soldier brought wood, filled [it]. The officer said: ‘Light [it] with something that will catch fire.’ And the soldier said: ‘There is ash in it, it will catch fire by itself.’ The officer tried to set fire to [the stove], then asked the drivers for diesel fuel, after which, for some reason, he decided that gasoline is more convenient. The witness saw the gasoline container on fire and the officer's clothes on fire; also, the area on fire. All that is substantiated at this moment," the Armenian PM said.

Earlier, Armenian reported that at around 1:30am on January 19, a fire broke out in the accommodation of the engineering-sapper platoon of the military unit located in the territory of Azat village of Armenia’s Gegharkunik Province. Fifteen servicemen have died as a result of this fire, and seven others were injured. Four of them were discharged from the Vardenis town hospital after receiving medical treatment, whereas three others with severe burns were transported to National Center of Burns and Dermatology in the capital Yerevan.

Immediately after the incident, the commander of the 2nd Army Corps and seven other high-ranking military personnel were relieved of their positions.

A few hours after the incident, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at the Cabinet meeting of the government that an officer had poured gasoline in the stove of the aforesaid accommodation. After which, when the fire had gotten to him, he had thrown—with a self-protective instinct—the 5-liter can of gasoline in his hand towards the accommodation, and this had caused the fire.

But later, the platoon commander told reporters that there was no gasoline in the accommodation, essentially refuting the PM. The Military Prosecutor also stated that it is not yet clear whether it was gasoline or diesel fuel.

Criminal proceedings have been launched into this incident.

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