Haykaz Harutyunyan left for military service on July 8 and did not inform his mother that he had undergone surgery during the quarantine. He was in the post-surgery phase when the 44-day war broke out and the recruit left for the front lines.

The soldier’s mother, Armine Sarkhoshyan, says that for nine months the Ministry of Defense assured that Haykaz was a prisoner, but as a result of a DNA examination, Haykaz’s remains were found and handed over to his parents. “My son left the hospital for the war. How did they allow it? Well, my child was very patriotic, my child wanted it, but wasn’t there anyone? Wasn’t there anyone to say, dear boy, you have just had an operation, you can’t, you don’t know how to hold a weapon? Well, explain to me, if he was in quarantine for 14 days, the child did not have time to master the weapon, then he had surgery, again, he did not have time to learn anything, was there no one to say, you know what, you can not [go to the front line]… There were many such children.”

Haykaz Harutyunyan’s mother says that the news of the discovery of her son’s remains was shocking; they were really sure that the boy was alive, so they underwent another DNA test. The results of this one were also positive.

“The Ministry of Defense told us that our son was a prisoner of war. There was a boy who had a concussion, we saw him. The boy told us that when he was injured, he was put in a car, and, he says, he turned around and saw that Hayko was not there anymore… But we did not believe him; that boy was in a very bad condition, and he is still not completely well and is not able to talk about the war,” says her mother.

The circumstances of Haykaz’s death are still unknown. Some say he was killed by a drone struck, and some say he was shot dead.

The 18-year-old recruit was serving in Hadrut, but the remains were found in Fizuli.

Armine Sarkhoshyan recalls that during the war she went to a church, where she heard two young men talking about the fact that Hadrut was no longer Armenian. “I approached him and said, ‘Please, tell me what you were saying.’ He said, do you have somebody there? I said, it was my son. He said that Hadrut was not there anymore. I do not know what happened to me until I got home. I called, I said, Hayk, the place where you serve, that place does not exist anymore? Well, they asked me not to give the name of the place. He said yes. I said, where are you? He said I do not know where we are, we are in forests. As a mother, I did not know what to talk, what to say to my child. I said, Hayk, you are afraid of dogs, are there any dogs there? He was silent for a moment and said, “Mom, my friend was hit next to me; what else should I be afraid of?”

Ani Gevorgyan

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