“Mom, get up, Dad is no more”

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Yesterday marked the anniversary of the death of 56-year-old volunteer Kajik Shahmuradyan. He was killed in a drone strike in Mataghis while carrying food to soldiers.

Kajik’s daughter Anahit says that she was with her father when they heard the news about the war. “At 10 o’clock in the morning on September 27, we were together, choosing wedding clothing for my brother’s wedding. We learned that a war had broken out. He chose military clothes for himself. He invited all the relatives to come on October 9 for the wedding. He died on October 12. The clothes we bought were too big for my father, so I took them to alteration. When I brought them back, he got dressed and left,” says the daughter.

The volunteer was a member of the Armenian National Army (ANA) and participated in the first and four-day wars in Artsakh. In 2020, he left for Artsakh with his detachment on October 2.

The daughter feels guilty for not saying goodbye to her father before leaving. “I did not even say goodbye in our last meeting. I was sure he would come. I did it right through the door,” she says.

The wife of the deceased volunteer, Ruzan, learned the news of her husband’s death from her son, Yervand. “When all the relatives, the neighbors came and poured in, I asked mmediately, ‘Where is Yervands?’ I could not see my son. Then Yervands came in and said, “Mom, get up, Dad is no more.”

Friends of the soldier said that Kajik died from a drone strike. “They sat down and ate. He told his friends to sit down and eat, I will go and take something to eat to the guys next to us; I will be back quickly. When he came out of the trench, a drone hit… He remained under the rubbles,” said the woman.

Shahmuradyan’s commander says that Kajik saved many lives during the war, but could not provide details.

“He was my deputy. I am the commander… I was seriously wounded during the hostilities two days before his incident. I was removed from the positions. I left the command to Kajik. I’m half human now: half of my spine is full of metal, I do not have half of my intestines, I have only a half of my leg… There are shrapnels in my head. But I do not concentrate on them. I will go, for a man like Kajik I will go and stand on the border of Armenia again,” says the commander of the killed volunteer.

The wedding of Kajik’s son Yervand did not take place. The relatives decided not to have any parties or ceremonies; the young people just started living together with the blessing of their parents. The daughter-in-law of the deceased volunteer is now expecting a son, who will be called Kajik.

Ani Gevorgyan