In one of the last houses of the village of Getamej is mourning. Neighbors and friends do not leave Arthur Gevorgyan and his wife Alvard alone. A few days ago, Arthur and Alvard buried their son, the private Vanik Gevorgyan, and now they are in shock. “It seems to me that everything that happened is not real, it is a movie,” says Alvard Sargsyan, “I do not believe it happened, I feel as if he will come back, I’m waiting.”

22-year-old Vanik Gevorgyan, who has served for more than a year in Artsakh’s army, was killed in one of the military units called “Ara Ler” in Artsakh under mysterious circumstances.

The body was discovered in the evening of September 2, in a semi-destroyed building. There was a rope wrapped around the soldier’s neck. Typical injuries of a hanged man have been found on his neck. The preliminary investigation body has proposed a preliminary version of suicide. However, Vanik’s body was in an unnatural, strange position for a hanged person, with his feet on the ground.

The suicide version seems so unbelievable that the Artsakh Defense Army specifically stated in a statement on the death of a soldier that death occurred “still in unclear circumstances”. “According to the commander, the boy’s abdomen was 15-20 cm above the ground, his legs were fallen to the ground, and the rope was thrown from the semi-destroyed building’s window, the body was in sitting position. How could he be hanged?” says Vanik’s father, Arthur Gevorgyan.

Neither he nor the mother of the deceased believe in suicide version. “My boy was lively, happy person and did not have any problems. He was very pleased with his service. He was saying it was normal, it was very good. If there were anything, I would feel from his voice,” says Arthur Gevorgyan. From the officers who arrived from Artsakh’s military unit on the day of his son’s funeral, he could not get an explanation of what happened to his son. “We too do not imagine what happened,” they said. They also reported that there were no eyewitnesses.

Vanik Gevorgyan was a bouncing, tall young man, physically strong. He was a driver at the military unit. “His life was booming, he was always in a hurry, perhaps, he knew that his life would be so short,” she says, remembering that her son was a sportsman and mastered martial arts, including judo.

“Perhaps my son was killed, but they did not have enough strength to raise his body, they left his legs on the ground,” Alvard tries to guess. Vanik graduated from the Art & Theater Institute, the Operator Department. He worked with famous film director Aram Shahbazyan.

“ I would believe if they said that five people hanged themselves because of Vanik, but Vanik hanging himself is absurd,” says Aram Shahbazyan to He has been present at the young soldiers’ autopsy. He tells us:

“There were no traces of violence on his body, but the thread around his neck was a cutting one. The only thing that the doctors said was that the operation was done when he was alive. The position in which his body was found is very fishy. From a certain point, anybody who hangs himself tries to save himself. Vanik’s legs were on the ground. He could get up, stand up, and be saved. That’s why I think it is all mysterious and absurd. There is no trace of violence, but it is not excluded that there were witnesses in the process.”

Vanik’s parents believe that investigators will disclose the mystery of their son’s death.

Syuzan Simonyan

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