In January of this year, 20-year-old conscript Anania Aramyan should have been demobilized and returned home. Instead, a new name appeared in the small military pantheon of the cemetery not far from the village.

Anania, along with 73 members of his platoon, was considered missing for 140 days. And only through DNA examination it was possible to find him in the remains found in Hadrut in December.

The parents are not officially informed about what happened to the boys in the platoon. To find out the truth, the family members of the servicemen visited Artsakh themselves, contacted the rest of the command staff and tried to restore the tragic events on their own.

Anania’s father, Samvel Aramyan, says that they managed to find out the following.

“On October 11, their detachment was transferred from Martuni to Hadrut as the most combative and disciplined detachment. An hour or an hour and a half after the transfer, their car was hit. Who sent them, how did they send them? They have to find out the reasons; it is not my job. They went to the 9th circle, but they went a few more kilometers, 4-5 kms and appeared among the enemy. The children’s car was hit with a rocket and the fight started… They called, said that they no longer had ammunitions, they asked for help, but, as we understand, there was no help. Nobody went after them. And they all stayed there for a month, a month and a half. They came there on December 4-5 and collected the relics. “

The father of the killed soldier says that he does not want to think that the boys were sent to death on purpose. “But I do not know what to assume. If my child has died as a result of someone’s negligence, how does the commander sleep peacefully now? He must be held responsible for that. I am even afraid that one day, at some point, they can blame the dead soldiers for everything… but none of us will sit idly by.”

The very next day after the start of the war, Anania’s older brother, Hayk, left for Artsakh to be with his younger brother on the battlefield. But they never met.

“Everyone was talking about an incident in which the soldiers of the whole platoon were killed. I asked, I said, let’s find out, let’s see which company was that. They said, they were volunteers. We had communication problem; I could not communicate with my brother. When I found out that he did not have any contact with the family for several days, I asked, I inquired, and then it turned out that it was my brother’s car,” Levon Aramyan told us.

He mentioned that he had personally met with the commander of his brother’s division Karen Arustamyan and the commander of the regiment Gor Ishkhanyan, tried to find out from them what had happened and the fate of the boys of the platoon, but in vain. “We talked to the Russians personally, and once we took Gor with us. We told him to go, to beg, to ask and look, to find the children,” said Hayk.

The relatives of the killed soldier say that the most important thing at the moment is to find the bodies of all the soldiers.

“We live on Heratsi street. We come and go every day. There are still missing soldiers; not all of them have been found. Seven out of 73 people have not been found yet. We want everything to be figured out. I wish we learn that the children died during the battle, but if you take them to a useless place, why sacrifice? They were bright as light. They were the chosen, best-trained soldiers, and everyone knew it. We are now working on finding the children. My child has been found; the other parents’ sons have not yet been found. We do not want to leave any parent alone. One day we go to somebody’s wake, the other day—to a funeral, then we are in the morgue, but when all this is over, we will demand an answer,” says Samvel Aramyan.

Anania Aramyan was a resident of Arevshat village, Ararat region. After graduating from school, he entered the V. Brusov Linguistic University, wanted to work in trilingual translation, but was drafted into the army four months before starting his studies.

“My son had big dreams: he wanted to continue his education as soon as he returned from the army, to become a good specialist; he aspired to heights. He used to say that he would achive whatever he aspired for. But they did not let my son do it. If it were not for the war, my son would have been demobilized today, he would have been at home,” says Anania’s mother, Haykanush Simonyan.

Ani Gevorgyan

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