There is a black ribbon on the main road to Ohanavan village. On it is written “Arman 20”. On the table at the Levonians’ dining room are photos of Arman in kindergarten, in a party dress, at school with his classmates, on an excursion, in his backyard. A serious, sad, thoughtful little boy who is gone now.

He looks very much like his mother Hripsime. Mother has the same eyes, slow and discreet speech. Her husband, Armen, cannot talk about his son for long, tears are choking him. He leaves the room crying. Grandma mourns in the corner: “They brought my baby, they took him, then they brought his corpse.”

“If the Turks had killed him, we wouldn’t suffer so much; they were worse than the Turks,” says Arman’s father. It was the village head who reported the murder to Levonyans. People are offended. “They didn’t come from the military unit, no one condoled with.”

Arman Levonyan was killed on September 28 at 06:50 AM in Mataghis military unit of the Defense Army. Arman Levonyan’s mother, Hripsime Mikayelyan, told that she had spoken to her son two days before his death. He was neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with military service. When asked, “how are you?”, he used to reply “I’m fine.” Not an extra word about the army.

The Investigative Committee released an announcement quite late on the day of the incident. “A criminal case has been instituted in the Third Garrison Investigation Division on the incident on the basis of Article 104 (1) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia for murder.”

According to information received from Mataghis military unit, the option of qualifying the case as suicide was discussed in advance. But the fact that the shot was fired in the chest area and aimed downwards, ruled out the hypothesis.

What happened in the military unit was not reported to the Levonians. Arman’s family members found injuries on his body. “There was a big wound on his head, in the cheek area. The forensic doctor said it has happened two days before his death,” says Arman’s uncle. It is no secret to him that Arman was subjected to violence before his death. What was the cause of the crime, what was the disagreement or the dispute between Arman and his associates, is unknown.

Two people are in custody. One, Garnik Mkhitaryan, was brought to Mataghis military unit after a well-known scandal occurred in the Meghri military unit in the spring, when the soldiers voluntarily left the military unit. They were later sent to disciplinary battalions and front lines as punishment. G. M. is one of those servicemen. He admitted during the first interrogation that he had hit Arman Levonyan, but, in a few days, renounced his preliminary testimony.

P.S. We have made some scandalous publications about the situation in Mataghis military unit, presenting the culpable morals there. The commander of the military unit Armen Gyozalyan was offended for it, and the Defense Ministry organized a demonstration visit to Mataghis to show that we had an exemplary military unit there. The excited reporters took interviews from Commander Armen Gyozalyan. And here’s a new crime. A source in the Defense Ministry reports that after Levonyan’s murder, it was decided to move Armen Gyozalyan to another military unit. The MoD probably understood that Mataghis’s ratings would not be saved by “patriotic” visits, and more operative measures were needed.

Syuzan Simonyan

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