“They have come against the Turks; he blew himself up with a grenade”

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Norayr Petrosyan was killed on October 10 in Hadrut, blowing up himself and the enemy around him with a grenade. For months, his parents searched for him as a missing person and learned what had happened from one of the soldiers who had returned from captivity.

Norayr was from the village of Hatsavan in the Kotayk region. He studied at a local school and then moved to Garni High School. He was admitted to the Police Academy as a lawyer. He also pacticed boxing and played the drum.

Two weeks before the war, family members managed to visit Norayr, who was serving in the army, and spend a few hours with him. The mother says that the son, who was a newly appointed junior sergeant, was not in a good mood, he was sad, maybe he already knew about the upcoming war. “When we saw the child off and he was leaving, such a dirty rain started pouring at that moment. The child said goodbye to us unhappily in the rain.”

The mother learned the news of the war from TV the next the morning. “I heard on the news, I only heard ‘Large-scale attack by Azerbaijan.’ When I heard that sentence, I started shaking. Then my Noro called and said, calm down, we are fine, all is calm here. He made a video call. He kept the phone in a way that only his face could be seen… We did not hear from him for three days, but I was sure he would call. Three days later he called and said that they had retreated and reached Hadrut. He said, everything is alright now, all is calm here, mom, do not worry. I am with new recruits, it is safe here, we are not taken to the battlefield or anywhere near the battlefield.”

During the last telephone conversation with his mother, the soldier asked her to tell what was new, what was happening in the peaceful life, and then the phone was switched off. Mrs. Aryusyak no longer heard her son’s voice. “At first, I did not want him to be wounded, then I thought let him be wounded. Then I wished he was in captivity… Then, when I saw what cases there were when the bodies could not be found, I said, ‘Let at least the body be found!’,” she says.

Some time later, a soldier, one of Norayr’s recruits, returned from captivity. Mrs. Arusyak hurried to meet that boy and find out finally what happened to her son. “I said, ‘What can you say about Noro?’ He cried. He said ‘We were ordered to climb the mountain. Noro climbed, I did not have the strength to climb, I stayed, but Noro went to the end. I really want you to find Noro’. And he cried. I realized that the climbers did not come back. They have come against the Turks; he blew himself up with a grenade.”

The mother of the killed soldier blames the government for not stopping the war sooner.

“Like a child looking at his parents, waiting for help, we looked at our leaders, the leaders of our country, to stop the war… They are our innocent children… To keep the lands. Yes, let’s keep them, but how would we keep them at the expense of our 18-19 year old children?”

Ani Gevorgyan