“Brother, they hit me”: Torgom died in Mataghis, at the hands of his older brother

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19-year-old Torgom Sayadyan died in Mataghis at the hands of his older brother. Arthur Sayadyan, who suffered a concussion after Torgom’s death, was treated in a psychiatric hospital and then returned to service.

Torgom and Arthur grew up in a large Assyrian family with 8 children — 3 girls and 5 boys. The family left for Russia, where they lived for 7 years, to earn money to support the children. The mother of the family, Sona Sayadyan, says that their return to Armenia was unexpected. Torgom, already 19 years old, announced to his parents that he was returning to Armenia to serve in the army. Arthur, who was already 21 years old, was married and had a daughter, shared the same goal.

“Two brothers left for service in December 2019.

We went to them; they were very well, they were in a good mood and happy, they said that the service was going very well,” says Ms. Sona.

The news of Torgom’s death reached the family on October 10.

“My son died on October 10. He was at war, but we did not know. When I called and heard noise, I said, “Torgom, what is that?” he would say ‘Mom, we came to the shooting range, don’t worry. All is well’… Two brothers were together. It was the day of the so-called ceasefire. Then it happens. Arthur who was fighting with him, said, ‘Torgom, you do not come.’ The elders also said, ‘Torgom, either you should come or your brother. We do not have to take both brothers to the positions.’ Torgom said let Arthur stay, he has a child, and Arthur said ‘I have a child, but you have nothing yet’. Arthur slapped him twice, and he pushed Arthur, saying, ‘Where you are, there I am.’ He said, let’s both of us go. Once in the positions, the Turks start firing. Thirteen people were killed in the shooting. Arthur and some soldiers went forward to save the other boys. When Torgom saw that his brother was leaving, he, being a gunner, got up and went forward so that his brother was not hit.”

Arthur later told his mother that his brother had fought for 24 minutes and saved the lives of 17 soldiers.

“Arthur tells me, ‘Mom, I hugged Torgom, I blew in his mouth; I became covered with blood. Then I saw that there was no wound, there was a small hole. I said, ‘Do not be afraid, Torgom, it is nothing.’ He said, ‘No, brother, I was hit.’ “My hand warmed up behind his back. I took my hand out and looked: I saw there was a lot of blood, it was his heart…’ My Artur was in psychiatric hospital getting treatment for two months. It was terrible. He was shaking. He was saying ‘All the time it seems to me that all those organs are in my hands,” Sona Sayadyan tells, remembering her son’s words.

Torgom Sayadyan is buried in his native village of Verin Dvin. His family will never return to Russia. “Where Torgoms is, there I am,” says the mother of the killed soldier.

Ani Gevorgyan