According to official sources, since March 12, Azerbaijan has been conducting large-scale military exercises, which will last 5 days and finish on March 17. In military exercises, up to 25 000 servicemen and officers are involved, about 250 tanks and other military equipment - 1000 units of missile and artillery installations and mortars, 50 units of aircraft - airplanes and helicopters. It is also known that military exercises were started in violation of international law, as reported by RA MFA press secretary Tigran Balayan, noting that the OSCE was not informed in advance about the organized exercises.
It should be noted that, according to the norms of international law, the OSCE member states not only need to inform the structure in advance, but also include it in their agenda and inform the neighboring states beforehand, as well. However, none of the abovementioned points was fulfilled. This is not only a violation of international norms, but also a demonstration of this state’s attitude to the OSCE and to the security problems in the region as a whole. Many experts connect such a behavior of Azerbaijan and the performance of unforeseen military exercises with the forthcoming presidential elections in this country in April.
Ilham Aliyev always linked the Artsakh issue with pre-election propaganda, using it to demonstrate the so-called national unity. Part of this hateful propaganda is the organization of military exercises, which are also demonstrative actions on the part of the incumbent president in terms of demonstrating his own "military power." That is, it can be surely noted that the initiated large-scale military exercises are the most significant part of Aliyev's pre-election campaign.
Thus, it can be predicted that Armenophobia and the propaganda of hatred towards Armenia will become an integral part of the pre-election propaganda of all presidential candidates of this country. They view hate propaganda as the only resource of consolidation, which is also an indicator of this “nation’s” failure and disorganization. It is clear that in such conditions military exercises become a "good" means for demonstrating one's own strength. However, this also points to the fact that in the neighboring country they have nothing to offer or discuss in a formal struggle for presidency in order to attract the public’s attention.
The reason for this mental scarcity is not only in the totalitarian system prevailing in this country, but also in propaganda of Armenophobia, conducted for many years at a state level. It should also be noted that this propaganda is not only the result of state policy, but also part of the culture of the Azerbaijanis, which in the post-Soviet period was given state status. The military exercises launched, in addition to being a purely military event, are of a marked propagandistic and anti-Armenian character and aimed against Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia.