Davit Rafayelyan died on the way to Shushi on November 7. He was a sergeant and spent a year and a half in the 5th Battalion in Hadrut.

David was under siege in Hadrut for days, then escaped with the recruits under his responsibility and moved to other positions. He did not tell his parents anything, and only with the map shown by Artsrun Hovhannisyan [Defense Ministries representative] on TV did his father see that his son’s positions had fallen under the control of the Azerbaijani side.

After the siege was lifted, David and his fellow servicemen were transferred to Fizuli, then to Khndzorstan, and then to Shushi. The father, Ara Rafayelyan, says that his son called him on November 4 and said that he had good news.

“He said, ‘But it has nothing to do with the war. I was baptized here, priests came [and baptized us].’ He was very happy. We were even happier because he said he was in a safe place.”

On November 7, the father was in Yerevan to join the volunteer detachment when he received a call from his son.

“Yes, Dav, what’s going on?”

“Dad, pray: I’m dying.”


“Dad, pray: I’m dying.”

“Dad, pray so that I die; I do not want this any longer… it hurts too much.”

“’What happened? Where are you?’ I lost myself and fell down. They helped me to stand up. I picked up the phone and said, “What happened, son?”

“It is not just one spot. My back is hit, my shoulder is hit, my arm is hit… Please, pray for me.”

“The phonecall was cut off. At that time, we contacted the Karabakh authorities, and they said that they would send people to that area, but they did nothing. That day I started going to hospitals, they were reassuring me that, by now, the children were definitely taken out, that the ministry was aware [of the situation], they are definitely being taken out… We went to Vardenis, Martuni; we saw no one. The next day I went to Karabakh. I went and saw with my own eyes that the children were on the way to Shushi… without a post, without a commander. They were left alone. One of the wounded commanders went away on a tank and said, ‘Wait, I will come to help,’ but he did not return. One of the commanders went to the gorge and said, ‘Children, do not follow me, I will do some spying to see what is happening, I will inform you.’ Then the children called him and he turned off the phone,” tells Ara Rafayelyan.

The Rafayelyan family is engaged in winemaking. After David’s death, the father named his favorite dry red wine after his son.

Ani Gevorgyan

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