David Vardanyan was a tank mechanic. On October 10, 2020, his tank was blown up in Varanda (Fizuli region) and he received numerous shrapnel wounds. David and 15 other wounded soldiers were loaded into a truck and no news of them has been heard since October 12. Only five months later, the boys’ remains were found.

The Vardanyan family lives in Oshakan. David was drafted from Kasakh and was the eldest of three children of the family.

“He studied in N6 college in the field of automechanics. He studied and worked”, says his mother, Hripsime.

Remembering September 27, 2020, she says she did not know about the war all day.

“I was at work, it was 6 o’clock. The girls came and asked if I had talked to the child. I was impressed that everyone was asking about my child I said no, I did not speak to him, why are you asking? Then I heard on TV that our people had hit so many drons. I asked, “Is this a war?” And I called my son. Unavailable and unavalable. And so until October 6. Then my sister called from Russia and said that she had sent footage where David’s voice is heard. I turned it on: it is in Jabrayil, it is the war. It was David’s voice. They shout, “Did you hit, David?” And he answers, “Yes, I hit.” And so, several times… The first call was on October 6th. I did not know to be happy that he called or to be angry. I said, dear David, I turned to a half-human. “well, mom, calm down, we are in a safe place, we did not go out.” I said, “David, I saw your video, darling.” His father got upset with him and said, “Boy, call at least occasionally.”

The last time a call came from David was on October 12.

“I was surprised that David called during the day. Then there was no call and I was in a state of anxiety. I could not sleep; I was having bad dreams. By my bad dreams, I already knew my baby was gone. For exactly five months, my family and I went to many-many places, the Government offices. Where did we not go? We only learned that the children were injured and fell into blockade. 15 children in the truck. They were under siege and they they destroyed our children down there,” says the mother.

According to the mother, the Azerbaijani side handed over the relics of David and his friends to the Armenian side on March 19 of last year.

“What did they give? We do not know what they gave. From October 18 to March 19…. The Azerbaijanis buried them and they took them out and gave them to us. All I can say is that this is not a state. If there was a state, we went and met with Nikol, what did he answer? Go and look for your children in the morgues. Is that a way to respond a parent? All of them–the state, the government and the commanders betrayed the children, they took the children to the meat grinder.”

David’s surviving fellow soldiers recently visited his parents and told them that they saw that there was no car transporting the wounded boys, they told the commander that they ought to go back and find them, to which the commander replied that he had no order to do so.

Ani Gevorgyan

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