“I did not want to be a mother of a hero at that price”

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The Ghazaryan family was one of the first families to leave Yerevan for Artsakh immediately after the end of the 44-day war in search of their son, who had been missing since October 11. The body of 20 years old Eduard Ghazaryan was received and buried more than three months later.

“My wife, I and our children went there. There were no people, no cars, the shops were closed. I told everyone’s parents that our job was there now, we should be there, nobody cares about all this. And all the parents came together. “We went to Arayik Harutyunyan [the President of the Republic of Artsakh], then we went to the military unit,” says Eduard’s father, Alexander Ghazaryan.

He notes that the Defense Army did not participate in the search for the bodies of the soldiers in any way, did not support the families in their search, everything was done by the Ministry of Emergency Situations. “The Defense Army did not even want to listen to us. They did not tell us anything, then it turned out that they were hiding the truth,” he says.

Earlier, we talked about the disappearance of 73 soldiers of the Martuni 3 platoon on October 11, 2020, and about the story of the discovery of the remains of most of them. Six people are still missing; the rest of the soldiers have been identified through DNA testing.

We have recently learned that, based on complaints from the parents of killed and unidentified servicemen, a criminal case has been filed under Article 375, Part 4 (abuse of power or inaction of authorities committed during a martial law, state of war, or in battle, punishable by imprisonment for seven to thirteen years).

Alexander Ghazaryan says that they managed to find out that his son and his comrades-in-arms were sent from Martuni to Hadrut by confidential order.

“It was written in the secret order… Jalal Harutyunyan’s name was written, Kamo Vardanyan’s name… it was ordered that the children should reach the 9th district, they should come under the control of Karen Arustamyan, Hadrut division commander. The executors of the order did whatever and however they could, just to do and get rid of it”. The order stated that the battalion should be sent at 9 am, but they moved at 2 pm, while every minute is important during wars. It is not excluded that this could be one of the reasons for the tragic deaths of the soldiers.

Eduard Ghazaryan’s mother, Natalya Papanyan, says that before leaving for Hadrut on October 11, the soldiers of the platoon fought hard battles in Martuni:

“They held positions heroically. It was not the commander or the military commissar who told us about it, but the volunteers who kept their positions with the children

for two weeks. And only those volunteers were present at the wakes and funerals of our children.”

It is not clear to the mother of the dead soldier how it is possible to send the best platoon to an area handed over to the enemy and then not send any help, even after they have contacted and asked for help.

“Everyone now says that I should walk with my head held high because I am a mother of a hero, but I did not want to be a mother of a hero at that price. Let my son live, let him not be a hero,” says Natalya Papanyan.

Ani Gevorgyan

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