On November 7, Ruslan Arestakesyan received a call from his nephew, 18-year-old Aram Torosyan, a three-month conscript. Aram said that he was on the outskirts of Shushi, he was injured in two places, needed help, and was not the only one injured; he said “We are many here, help!”

The soldier’s uncle rushed to Shushi. In a few hours he was on the outskirts of the fortress-city. But he could no longer help Aram. The city was besieged by the enemy. Days later, the bodies of Aram and the other victims were taken out of Shushi.

Aram, who fought in the war from day one until the last day, became known to many on November 3, when journalist Semyon Pegov of the Wargonzo telegram channel reported on the fighting in Karintak. The smiling soldier was immediately recognized by acquaintances, who then sent the video to his parents.

“They called us from Russia and said that they had seen Aram in the video. We opened it and looked and were surprised. We called and said, ‘Why did you not tell us about it?’ He said, “O, you already got it?’ He did not say anything, he only said that he was a OK and that everything would be fine,” says the mother, Taguhi Arestakesyan.

Later she learned that her son had fought with a detachment of twenty people in Karintak. He had even rescued two wounded soldiers from the front line.

“At that time, he was under siege for twenty days and did not tell us anything, but he was calling us.”

The father, Taron Torosyan, learned about his son’s participation in the war by chance, from one of his acquaintances on the front line, who said over the phone that Aram was with him.

“That’s how I learned that my child was at war from the first day to the last. His commander was killed on the fourth day of the war. And, they were left without a commander. Under Shushi, they joined the police special forces. He asked for help on OMON’s phone when he was injured, but no one came to help.

Taron Torosyan remembers the last phone conversation with his son: “He was crying, his voice was trembling. I said, son, what happened, he said, ‘father, my friend was shot, Emil is shot.”

The father says with unsteady voice that he could not have imagined that it was the last conversation with his son. The soldier’s mother constantly looks at her son’s photos and says: “He was always smiling. There was a smile on his face until the last day, even when he was taken to the morgue, they said he had a smile on his face.”

Ani Gevorgyan

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