The parents of Davit Khachatryan, who died in the Second Artsakh War, did not want to remember the past war and experience the pain anew. David was their only son.

Zhanna Avetisyan, a relative of her mother, Nara Khachatryan, shared memories of David.

Zhanna tells that David was drafted into the army, Hadrut, Artsakh Republic in 2019. David served in the military unit of the Nubarashen special detachment, where he learned the special combat program of sniper training. He then continued his service in Hadrut. Since September 27, David has been on the front lines, defending the gates of Varanda, taking part in hot battles for thirty-five days.

He was called by the nickname “Bat” in the detachment because, during the whole war, David provided food and clothes for the military unit, went from post to post, supplied with food and cigarettes. During the war, David said that they would fight to the death and ruled out leaving the post. And he fought to the death for the sake of his position and the homeland. When David and his fellows were injured by a drone strike, he sent several of his friends away, but one of them was unconscious and he did not leave him alone. David himself was later taken by an ambulance, where he died on October 31. His last words were: ‘Mom dear, forgive me’. And, to his friends he told not to leave his mother alone. He loved Nara like crazy. He loved everyone; there was so much love in him. The boys of the “Sisakan” detachment fought with David, and people older than him considered him their friend. Unfortunately, we can only live with the guilt that there are not many bright boys like David today,” says Zhanna.

During the war, David told almost nothing when talking to his family.

“Only when he left Hadrut he said ‘we left our house’. During that time, we were hearing only Artsrun Hovhannisyan’s lies that Hadrut was ours, that we were already winning. We all have posted on our Facebook pages the slogan ‘We are winning!’ And see what happened?” Zhanna says.

How does Zhanna Avetisyan imagine Armenian-Turkish neighborly relations, which re-entered the political agenda of Armenia shortly after the war?

“For me to live with Turks? I do not imagine those good neighborly relations, what are they? We have seen it, right? We have seen the Genocide, haven’t we? And I consider the last war to be more terrible than the Genocide. There were no equal forces fighting against each other; if those forces were equal, we would definitely win. This was a sold-out war. I do not think the boys lost. There were no equal forces. We give up a border, a piece territory every day, what does this mean? For whom did our boys die if only a few people in power decide to hand over territory, to write laws in their own favor?” Zhanna asks.

Many questions continue to torture Zhanna after the war. It is not clear to her why were the volunteers sent back during the war, why were they told that they were not needed? One day she saw three buses of volunteers in Etchmiadzin, after a short time they were sent back. She did not know why they ere sent back, why the rear was weakened. According to Zhanna, the biggest conspiracy, the biggest betrayal was the war itself that had to be prevented.

And in the end… There was a moment when the fighting boys thought that they might die, so they’s better have a photo from the war days… David said that he had a picture, and that picture is now placed on his monument.

Taguhi Hakobyan

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