“Hin Tagher was gaven away․ If it was ours, how come you gave it to them, and, if it was not ours, why did you take my son there?”

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“It looks like a meat grinder: we did not shoot any cartridges during 15-16 days; mainly the drones were working in our direction. In the morning, I was shouting ‘release’, everyone ran away where they could, in the evening they gathered again.”

Andranik Shahnazaryan and his 8 friends fought against the “Yashma” group of 2000 people. He died after the signing of the ceasefire on December 11 in Hin Tagher.

Andranik

Andranik graduated from the Agricultural Academy and served in the army in 2005-2007. In 2016, he participated in the Four-Day War as a volunteer. He was married and had three children.

First time he left on September 27

Andranik was taken [to the army] twice. On September 27, a notice was sent to our house that he must appear. The first time, he went to Jrakan as a commander of 120 people. On the 16th and 17th day there was a shift, they came back and he did not want to go anymore. He brought back the 120 men. No “cartridges” were fired.

He did not take off his boots even for a minute….

Then there was a ceasefire on November 9. On November 26, they gathered their detachment again. He said, “I’m going to Berdzor.” “My dear boy, now is November 26; according to the agreement, they must hand over Berdzor on December 1, so, what are you going for?” But he did not know what they were taking them for… In a word, 5 days became 15 days. They took him to Berdzor, but they did not even get out of the car: they were immediately taken to Hin Tagher, there were 28-29 positions, 15-20 people in each of the positions.

It took place in Khtsaberd-Hin Tagher

The last time we talked to him was on the 11th of the month. He did not tell us anything, he just said that everything was fine. I said, “I am going to slaughter a pig for the birthday of your child, come back and rest.” On the same night, at 8 o’clock, the Turkish “Yashma” group of 2,000 people attacked the positions of our guys. The boys of the 500-member MOB ran away. Only 9 people remained [in the positions]. They fought all night. After pushing back the Turks, they [the Azeris] brought new double forces. On December 12, at 7:30, they attacked our boys again. The battle lasted until 2 o’clock. After that, our boys were killed and only then the Turks were able to enter the position of our guys. They stayed in Hin Tagher from November 26 to December 11 for 15 days, but after 14 days there had to be a shift.

Our 9 boys, fighting with a group of 2,000-men “Yashma”, proved that there were 9 men among the 500 MOB boys, because 500 of them have fled the Hin Tagher. I do not know who was in what condition, I do not blame everyone in the same way, because some were taken prisoners, some were surrendered.

They gave away Hin Tagher

They said this is a gift to you. The ceasefire was signed on the 9th of the month; if it [Hin Tagher] was ours, how come you gave it to them, and, if it was not ours, why did you take my son there? After the 9th of the month, the guarantors of Artsakh’s security were the peacekeepers, so why did they send troops from Armenia?

The “Medal”

After handing over the bodies of our boys, the Turkish general told the Russian peacekeepers, “Take them, hand them over to the owners in glory, because these people are really heroes. If their nation does not give them the tytle of heroes, it has no right to be called a nation.”

I have applied to Mr. Pashinyan, Alen Simonyan, the President of Artsakh several times and told Arayik Harutyunyan my son was worth a thousand to you…. And he cried.

My son is worth a thousand Alen Simonyans, a thousand Nikol Pashinyans, my son is worth many-many others [officials].

The President of the Artsakh Republic had given a medal of courage. We had 3500-4000 victims, everyone was f courageous: any boy who was able to wear that uniform and go to Artsakh, fight and die, he is already courageous, but what they did is heroism. I asked Andranik Kocharyan, “Do you have information from Hin Tagher?” He said no. I said that our boys fought againg the 2000-men “Yashma” group for 15 hours and killed over 300 people. He added, “They also fired a Kamaz, from which 3 people escaped”. That is, everyone is aware, they know. But a year has passed and there is no response.

The government

Mr. Alen Simonyan, Mr. Nikol Pashinyan, if you do not give our boys the title of hero, you have no right to be called a human being. I do not need anything. I live in a building built in 1903, I do not aspire to anything, but our boys should be awarded the title of hero, because they committed heroism.

Our boys are national heroes. I say it everywhere. Someone said, “How can they be compared to a man who transferred $100 million to the RA budget; are they both national heroes?” Let me tell you: the one who transfers $100 million brings back that money from somewhere. But my son, who gave his life, will not bring it back. Our boys are the national heroes, not the money owners.

Ani Torosyan