Seda Manukyan, a resident of Gyumri, tells Forrights that her son is serving in the Jabrail military unit, which was bombed by Azerbaijan, that soldiers were under siege and fled in panic. His son, Misha Yerkanyan, a conscript, was left alone in the forest for two days during the 44-day war, then came under Azeri fire, was wounded and miraculously survived.

Misha Yerkanyan was drafted into the army on July 28, 2020. When the war started, he was a soldier of only two months.

“On September 27, when the war started, we thought the recruits were not participating. Then it turned out that their military unit had exploded, many — mostly officers– were killed. And so the children hid in the woods for two weeks without commanders,” says Seda Manukyan, the soldier’s mother.

While wandering in the woods, Misha and his fellow servicemen lost each other. It was later revealed that his co-servicemen were taken prisoners. Misha was left alone in the forest for two days. He was not wearing armor. He took off an armor from a killed Azerbaijani soldier and put it on, which later saved him.

“Misha has not eaten anything for days. There was sugar in his pocket, that’s what he used. Then he left the forest for Hadrut and went to the buildings to ask for help, but it turned out that the town already was taken by and full off Azerbaijanis. They followed him and shot him. The bullet went in and out of his right arm. Misha ran, crossed the river, lay down next to the corpses and hid. Azeris, seeing that he was wounded, did not continue to follow, thinking that he would die,” the mother tells.

Some time later, Misha went out of hiding and met a group of volunteers and journalists. The journalists filmed the wounded Misha Yerkanyan, and the family found out about their son on TV. Since that day, Misha has been treated in various hospitals for five months. The 18-year-old soldier got many health problems during the war. The wounded arm has not yet been completely healed.

“He was electrocuted, but he did not feel anything at all. He can move his arm, but is not able to hold anything. He is right-handed; he will not be able to hold a weapon. It is also written in the diagnosis that the muscles are not fully functioning. Misha has to undergo a full course of physiotherapy before his arm can start functioning,” Seda said.

Doctors wrote that Misha is fit for service, but with restrictions. It is unclear to Seda what those restrictions mean. “He will have to do all the necessary exercises together with everyone. His arm will not be cured,” the mother adds anxiously.

 In addition to the arm injury, Misha got other illnesses too

“Misha has stomach ulcers. Those wounds exploded during the war. He now has erosion of the stomach, problems with the duodenum. During this time, he also suffered from severe pneumonia. Then he became infected with COVID-19. His psychological condition is serious. He jumps up in his sleep, he has fears and anxiety. He thinks he is being chased,” said Seda.

According to Seda, the doctors said that Misha should be under medical control, especially for stomach problems. Misha should follow a special diet to avoid further complications. “I strongly doubt that it is possible to do so in the army. How can he diet there? It is not possible. He should be under his mother’s care,” Seda Manukyan tells us.

The mother is worried that after going through so many hardships, injuries and illnesses, Misha will have to return to the same service. “I do not know if he is able to carry out his service. I do not understand what a service with restrictions means. He cannot serve in the army with his arm injury and stomach problems. He needs motherly care,” says Seda Manukyan.

Two days ago, Misha was taken to a civilian hospital, Erebuni Medical Center. After being examined there, the doctors found another disease in the soldier — a disorder of the pancreas function.

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