On the evening of July 26, Sargis Grigoryan, a conscript and a resident of Myasnikyan village, Armavir region, a participant in the 44-day war, died in a shooting position in one of the military units in Martakert.

The Investigative Committee initiated the case of “inciting a soldier to commit suicide by negligence.” Article 360.1, Part 2, Clause 3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia.

The version of the suicide, which was hastily spread by the investigative committee, is accepted by the family as a personal insult, thrown in the face of the mother. The boy heroically took part in the 44-day war, was wounded and received leg injuries. He recovered after the war, then he was sent to Vayk military unit. After serving there for 15 days, Sargis voluntarily left for Artsakh, telling his mother about it.

“’My friends are there; I have to go’. And after going through all this, my child was killed in the positions of the military unit. Such a thing cannot happen,” Hripsime is indignant and remembers that she spoke to her son half an hour before his death, Sarkis was happy and did not speak about any problems.

“He called in the evening, at 15 minuted to 10 pm. ‘Mom dear’, he said, ‘did you buy my phone?’ I was going to send him a phone and a flash drive to play songs. He was not depressed. He was the same Sargis as he always was. He talked to his sister and father the same day, and we did not notice that he was upset. There was no such thing. He even laughed and said, ‘Don’t record songs on the flash drive, you send it, I will do the recording.’ I was supposed to send the parcel on the 29th of the month, but I saw the same day that Sargis Grigoryan had committed suicide. Such a thing was impossible.”

Hripsime could not find out anything about the circumstances of her son’s death. Only Sargis’s friends said that he had an argument with one of the officers. “I was told that he had a conflict with the chief of the division, but I did not know what the conflict was about. “Something has happened,” Hripsime told us.

According to the Investigative Committee, Grigoryan received a fatal gunshot wound in the left side of his chest.

Another soldier, Pargev Margaryan, died in the same military unit on July 27, the day after Sargis’s death. His death was also considered a suicide.

The Investigation Committee reported the death of this other soldier late, only on August 2, although the incident took place on July 31.

“On July 31, 2021, at around 11:30 am, about 1.5 kilometers from the permanent location of the N military unit of the Defense Army, in the forest, a conscript, private Pargev Nver Margaryan, who had voluntarily left the military unit, was found amputated on the right wrist. with fatal injuries to the chest and abdomen. According to preliminary data, P. Margaryan received his injuries due to the explosion of a grenade kept illegally in his possession. In connection with the incident, in the garrison investigation department of the Military Investigation Department of the RA Investigation Committee a case was initiation in accorfdance with the Article 360.1 of the RA Criminal Code (inciting a serviceman to commit suicide by negligence), part 1, and Article 235, Part 1 (illegal acquisition, storage, transportation or carrying of weapons, ammunition, explosives or explosives;).

Two suicides in one military unit, one day apart, this seems very suspicious to Hripsime. She is convinced that Sargis’s and Pargev’s deaths are connected with each other, and the investigative body and the military unit are hiding that connection.

Hripsime has no desire to send her youngest son to serve in the army. She says: “They will not get my baby. I will not allow my son to go and serve until the word suicide is removed in connection with my son.”

No one from the military unit, the military commissariat, the Ministry of Defense called the soldier’s family, nobody came to offer condolences to the family. The preliminary investigation body has not yet recognized her as the legal successor of the victim.

Sargis’s father, Jirayr Grigoryan, was told by the commander of the military unit that his son had committed suicide due to family problems. No one believes this version. The father tells: “Lieutenant Colonel Mkhitaryan, who came to the morgue from the military unit, several other officers said that the child shot himself, that he was mentally disturbed. I said that if he was to shoot himself, would do it during the war. I myself have been through three wars. I was by his side during the 44-day war. I saw his courage, his fighting spirit. I fought about 20 kilometers away. He was careful, he was not a retrieter. My son was killed.”

Only a couple of soldiers came to the village for Sargis Grigoryan’s funeral. He was buried without military order, as if not a participant of a 44-day war, a hero-boy, but a 90-year-old man.

“Let my son be buried as a participant in the war, not come with 4 soldiers and say ‘God, have mercy’. At least, some folks should have come from the military unit: an officer, they should have come, I was the mother. Do you know what the shame is? His brother wants to put a flag on the grave, some people say, what flag? It is suicide.”

One of the commanders brought one million drams to Myasnikyan village head Tigran Baghdasryan to cover the funeral expenses. When the mother went to the village hall for the death certificate, the village head said. “So, all the soldiers would shot themselves so that their parents could live well with their money.” The mother of 44-year-old war participant Sargis Grigoryan took this as a mockery.

Answering the questions of Forrights.am, the village head Tigran Baghdasaryan said that such a thing did not happen. “I did not say such a thing, the mother came, took the certificate and left.”

The head of the village did not deny that he had taken the money for the soldier’s funeral. “The father was by my side, I organized the funeral, I gave what was left [of the money after all expenses] to the father,” he said.

Syuzan Simonyan

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