“Smbat and his fellow soldiers were in Jabrayil positions when 9 children [means young soldiers] dirty and muddy went to them. It was heavily raining in those few days and there was a lot of mud. They told that only 9 out of 45 people survived. They came unknowingly, appeared in the trenches, hungry, thirsty, my son brough food for them, then an officer came, got angry at the children, tells them to go somewhere else, my son did not let them go. He says, I was still talking when I will turned around and saw one of those children lying in the mud asleep. Later, when I asked what happened to them, I was told they went to their unit, but apparently, I was lied to. There were nine children and all nine died.” Smbat Avetisyan told this story to his friends and his mother heard it by a chance.


Smbatis’s son was about 1 year old when he went to war. When he came in October, we later learned that they were expecting a second child. After Smbo’s death, the second son was born; now he is 6 months old.

My Smbat was engaged in trade, he was successful, quiet, educated, intelligent, a helpful boy. He served in the Vayk military unit in 2007-2009.

On September 27

On the first day of the war, I was with my sons when we heard about the general mobilization. I have two sons both of whom stood up. Babken left with Rustam Gasparyan’s detachment. Then I was persuading Smbat not to go, but I did not succeed, he did not listen to me. Smbat went to Jabrail, Babken– to Hadrut. Smbat was the commander of the detachment in Jabrail, but we found out about it later, after his death. Then, thanks to Rustam Gasparyan and his son, the whole detachment was saved. Both of my sons returned on October 16. But Smbats did not stop. He did not forgive himself that the war was not over and he was at home. He did not say much about the war, he silenced those who spoke about it, saying, “The war is not over, this man can be taken to war tomorrow, why are you scaring him?” He said, ” It was a mixed-up situation, an unorganized, illiterate war by us, Armenians. The role of the machine gun was very small, there were many-many drones.”

He died after the ceasefire

When he found out about the ceasefire, he sighed, “We have lost.” But they did not lose.

On November 26, they took him again, they said, they were taking to Lachin for 5 days. There was a period when Armenia was diversified, opposition et al. But he left. Then we learned that he was in Hadrut, Khtsaberd – Hin Tagher․ An area that, like a narrow peninsula, was somehow embedded in Hadrut, about 25 km. In other words, it was surrounded by Azeris from three sides, whether the “territory” was given or not was unknown… If there was a ceasefire, why did you take him to Hadrut a month later?

We had a telephone conversation once a day. He was a secret-keeper, he did not say much. the last time he called was on the evening of December 11, he talked to his mother, he said, “Everything is changing; we will come back in the morning.”

On the evening of December 11, at 8:15, the Turks attacked, the post that Smbat and his fellows were holding resisted, but could not resist for a long time; they were 7 people, 4 of whom were wounded, and they did not know where the three were. Then, Smbat and his fellows remianed in blockade. They fought for 18 hours until two o’clock of the 11th. People of the other positions fled.

In the death certificates of everyone, it was written that all of them died on 11th. But what 11th? I have information that on the 12th he contacted his uncle, “I have run out of bullets. Bring me bullets.” But they did not bring, did not help the boys.

We learned about the death on December 16. We were looking at the roads for 4 days, Hayk Khanumyan was in that “Vishka” post, he said that the boys were coming down with one wounded man, but, unfortunately, that did not happen. We learned that 9 were killed and 2 were taken prisoner.

I wrote an application to the military prosecutor: “My son had a telephone conversation with his uncle on the 12th, with his cousin too, at the same time, Harutyun and Andranik talked to him”, they proceeded, and it was proved that they died on the 12th.

The guilty and the criminal case

During the investigation, 3 investigators were sitting and talking that 9 people had fought so much that there were no such episodes during the whole 44-day war.

A criminal case has been initiated against their commander, lieutenant colonel Jivan Mkrtchyan and Ghukasyan. Jivan is under arrest, but Ghukasyan is not. But this is not enough; there are so many culprits, from the military unit to Hin Tagher all of them are guilty. My goal is not to judge or hang someone, my goal is to find out what happened. Now the military prosecutor’s office is engaged, before that the RA investigation committee was investigating.

I am offended

I am not offended by the Turks: the Turks fought their war, more than 180 Azeris were killed by 9 people. I am offended by anorganized, ignorant officers, fleeing soldiers who left their positions and ran away, if there was not a order to retreat?  If there were such an order, why it did not concern everybody else?

Ani Torosyan

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