Narek Katanyan was the youngest of the family’s three sons. His remains were found by his brother David, digging a hole where the enemy had filled and burned the bodies of not only Narek but also 19 other soldiers.

Narek was born and raised in the village of Hayanist, Ararat region. He was a participant in the Four-Day War. Just a week before the war he retired from police service.

His older brother is in the military and left for Artsakh on the very first day of the 44-day war, while Narek and David volunteered and left for Jrakan the next day. 18 days later, they return home for a day to celebrate their birthday.

“On the same day, they returned to Kapan. From there, they were transported by three buses to the Zangelan district, where they were met by Turkish saboteurs. “On that day, October 21, three young people from our village lost their lives. My son called me and said, ‘Dad, I lost Narek,'” says Levon Katanyan.

According to him, the youngest son, David, was not with Narek at that time. Upon learning of his brother’s disappearance, he spent two months searching for him.

“My Narek’s DNA was confirmed on May 14… David went and pulled out of the hole. They [the Azeris] dug a hole, threw 19 people in it and set them on fire. He went to take the relicts out. The remains were collected together with two brothers of one of the victims. The Turk was standing, the Russian was standing: it was in their area. He says that the tractor was digging, wand they were extracting relics. None of them was complete,” says the father.

After that, David was not himself for a long time and worked with a psychologist for months. He is OK now. He told us that what happened to his brother and the boys who died with him was the result of a wrong order. He is currently following the criminal case on that incident and is a witness in the case.

It should be noted that in March of last year it became known that Andranik Makaryan, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the RA Armed Forces, had been charged under Article 376, Part 3 of the Criminal Code, which foresees 4 to 8 years of imprisonment for negligent treatment of the service, if it was committed during martial law, during a battle or during a war.

Makaryan was given a restraining order not to leave the country.

The Katanyans remember that during the war, when the brothers came home for a few hours to celebrate their birthday, they saw the cake made for that occasion with the words “We will win.” Seeing that slogan, Narek smiled bitterly and said, “Forget it!”

Ani Gevorgyan

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