Mingachaur Hydroelectric Station

Mingachaur Hydroelectric Station

When the leadership of the country and the army understand that the armed forces are not able to carry out the task, being obviously weaker than the enemy, they begin to threaten with the blow to civilian targets. This is how terrorists act all over the world, Armenia does the same. In 2014, two years before the April 2016 war shock, Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan, dismissed after the April defeat for lack of talent, said at a meeting of the Armenian government: "Azerbaijani forces are afraid of the Armenian side's actions at the Mingechaur Reservoir." In 2017, the Armenian newspaper "Golos Armenii" (Voice of Armenia) wrote about the plans of the Armenian armed forces to strike rockets at the Mingechaur HES from Yerevan rockets. And last week a panic shout came from Khankendi. On July 24, 2018, the Minister of the puppet army (Levon Mnatsakanyan), composed of citizens of another country, stated that the army of defense of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic would immediately strike a blow at Mingechaur HES in Azerbaijan, if necessary.

The Armenian military and politicians for a long time threatened with an attack on Azerbaijani civilian objects and settlements. The major cities (Baku) and energy infrastructure facilities (often referred to as oil pipelines) are named as targets. At the same time, they cynically ignore the fact that they are giving out intentions to become war criminals.

Let's look at encyclopedic reference books:

The definition of the term war crime is given in Part 2 of Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, according to which war crimes are:

- deliberate attacks on the civilian population or individual civilians not directly involved in hostilities;

- deliberate attacks on civilian objects, that is, objects that are not military targets;

- intentionally committing an attack when it is known that such an attack will cause accidental death, or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects, or extensive, long-term and serious damage to the natural environment that will be clearly disproportionate to the concrete and directly anticipated overall military superiority;

- an attack on unprotected and non-military targets of a city, village, dwelling, or building, or their shelling with the use of any means.

The most interesting and calming for the Azerbaijanis is the truth that, with all the will, Armenia cannot cause such damage to the dam of the Mingechaur HES, so that to serious results. The photo shows that the dam in Mingechaur is not a concrete wall as an Aswan HES in Egypt, but an earthen rampart. In this connection, the former Foreign Minister Tofiq Zulfugarov published a relevant analytical note.

He wrote:

- The Armenian side, through social networks, as well as its own Russian-speaking media and some Russian media under their influence, is actively trying to introduce into the Azerbaijani public the idea of ​​an "unacceptable degree of loss and destruction", in case of resumption of hostilities. ... Armenian propaganda and a number of Armenian politicians began actively replicating information about the catastrophic consequences of their impact on the Mingechaur dam.

In order to understand how realistic are the fantasies of the Armenian "strategists", let's at least determine at an amateurish, but factual level, what exactly is in question:

1. Generating capacities of the Mingechaur HES are higher than 10% of the total generating capacity of Azerbaijan. Therefore, even if this hydroelectric power station is put out of operation, the remaining energy capabilities will make it possible to compensate for this loss in the shortest possible time (by the way, for example, Metsamor produces 40% of Armenia's electricity and together with Vorotan cascade of HES make up a critical percentage of Armenia's consumed electricity. But this just a small digression about the vulnerability of power systems).

2. The main object of attempts to intimidate the Azerbaijani public is not the destruction and destruction of the HES, but the destruction of the Mingechaur dam, thanks to which the Mingechaur reservoir with the volume of approximately 19 billion cubic meters of water was formed.

3. According to Armenians, the main danger to Azerbaijan is that if a dam is destroyed at once, a short-term wave with a height of more than a dozen meters can be formed, which will cover several dozen square kilometers of lowlands, and will flood vast areas down the Kura River.

Here are roughly the theses on which Armenian speculations are based, designed for the Azerbaijani public.

In order to understand how real is this danger and what are the possibilities of the Armenians to destroy this dam, let's get acquainted with some facts on the Mingechaur HES.

The construction of the Mingechaur dam lasted from 1945 to 1954, and is still the largest erosion dam in Europe. Specificity of this dam is that special soil devices in the form of pulp (a mixture of soil and water) is delivered to certain areas, and in this way an earthen obstacle is actually erected, and in our case a clay obstacle to water forms the dam itself. According to the data, 16 million cubic meters of clay were deposited in this dam over 9 years, which is reinforced from the inside of the reservoir with an 80 cm layer of concrete and a multi-layer layer of bitumen. Let's add to this that a couple of years ago one of the specialized companies strengthened the dam also with a special composition of the penetron system.

It is noteworthy that the dam was designed and constructed during the end of World War II, when in the Soviet Union, all objects of this strategic importance were built with the ability to withstand the impacts of aviation and missiles in the event of war.

That is, even if you look at the images from Google Earth, you can see that this is actually a whole mountain with a wide base, 1.5 km long and 80 meters high. Therefore, any engineer or specialist of the mine explosion profile will confidently say that for a one-stage blasting of a dam, dozens, and possibly hundreds of tons of explosives, must be laid in its base. Such an amount can be delivered only by a dozen heavy vehicles, by air (bomber aviation or cargo helicopters) and missile strikes. It is impossible to imagine that saboteurs secretly deliver several explosive trucks. Armenia does not have this class of bomber aviation. Consequently, there remain missile systems.

Even if the air defense system of Azerbaijan misses some missiles, for example, R17 (which is in service with 8 SS-1 Skud B launchers), 500 kg of explosives in the warhead of these missiles can make a funnel 3-5 meters deep.

One or more of these missiles may disrupt the work of the station, but it will not be able to ensure the simultaneous destruction of the dam, let alone the creation of a multi-meter wave that will rush to the areas of the Kura lowland.

The R17 SCAD missile, created more than 60 years ago, is in service with many countries around the world. The creators of this type of weapons assumed that the use of a nuclear warhead would not require high accuracy for targeting these missiles, but when replacing nuclear warheads with ordinary ones - a high-explosive type, it turned out that deviations of several hundred meters sometimes make this type of weapon ineffective for high-precision strikes on the enemy.

The greatest use of these missile systems were during the Iran-Iraq war. Specialists say that each side used more than 450 missiles. However, the results show that they have a limited deterrent effect on civilians, and as a means of influencing the enemy's armed forces and its significant economic facilities are absolutely ineffective without a nuclear warhead. Absolutely useless were Iraqi launches in the direction of Israel during the Gulf War.

Therefore, it can be safely assumed that even if the Armenian armed forces launch all the missiles of the SCAD system in the direction of the Mingechaur dam, then they cannot deliver and concentrate tens of tons of explosives, and they will not achieve the effect of one-stage destruction of the dam.

I am sure that the Armenian military understands this very well, as well as the fact that the vulnerability of the Metsamor NPP and the Vorotan power cascade in the context of the strike and missile capabilities of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces is incomparably higher, both in terms of geographic location, and in terms of quality and quantity.

The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan in its statement pointed to the catastrophic consequences for Armenia of retaliatory strikes by the Azerbaijani armed forces.

However, I am sure that not only the military but also the politicians in Armenia understand very well what the real advantage that Azerbaijan achieved in equipping its own army means in reality. They are also clear that the imbalance towards Azerbaijan is growing more and more, but instead of making political conclusions and changing their attitude to the negotiation process, the Armenian side and their patrons continue to launch disinformation in the hope of intimidating Azerbaijan.

I suppose that the next, after the Mingechaur dam, a variant of intimidation, will be a myth about the Armenian "dirty bomb", made from industrial waste of the Metsamor AS.

But I would like to advise the "workers of the propaganda front of Armenia" before launching a new "information duck", it is better to get acquainted with Armenia's obligations to return the spent fuel to the exporter - that is, Russia.

In conclusion, I would like to say once again that no information manipulation can replace the lack of political will of the new Armenian hands

In conclusion, I would like to say once again that no information manipulation can replace the lack of political will of the new Armenian leadership and its real desire to achieve peace.

Such information games can only drag out time, but it is impossible to solve the main problem in order to withdraw your country from the crisis and open the way to the development of Armenia," Tofig Zulfugarov believes.

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