Rudik Sarkhoshev, 60, was from the Arzni community of the Kotayk region. He volunteered from the very first day of the 44-day war, but because of his age he was not taken to Artsakh. Three days later, however, he left for Hadrut, where he was killed on October 10.

“My son-in-law, my daughter’s husband was called to a military commissariat to be taken to Artsakh. My husband told to write down his name and he would go too. He went [to commissariat] on the 27th, but they did not take him, so he came back. He went on the 28th, they did not take him, he came back. They did not take him on 29 either. Then he persisted to much that they took him. They were telling him to go home, that he could not, that he was old, had grandchildren. But he was insisting, he was saying, ‘If I do not go, the other does not go, only the young people would go… How can we leave them alone? How would we not go? I was telling him to stay, that it was dangerous for him to go, but he would answer that he would fight better than the young people. And he fought really well,” says the victim’s wife, Raya Sarkhosheva.

She remembers that she last received a call from her husband on October 8. That day, Rudik said that he would step down from the positions and return home shortly. According to Mrs. Raya, she had calmed down a lot after that call and was already sure that her husband was no longer in any danger. “I was very happy, started to prepare home, I was looking forward to his arrival, but he was not coming… There was no call from him. I had no news for two days. I went to the village head, I said there was no news from my husband, could he call and understand what was going on? He said, it is so mixed up there; no one knows anyone, we can not go and learn anything now. You just wait, he may call.  On the tenth of the month, the village head came to our house and said that my husband was killed… The half of my husband [body] was not there: it was blown up. The commander who came to our house told us that he fought very well, that there were young people who ran away, but he fought to the end; he fought and fought very well.”

According to Robert, the son of the deceased volunteer, his father and his comrades-in-arms died as a result of the drone hit, when they were coming down from the positions in trucks. “The enemy knew there were people in those cars and it were the cars that transporting them that were targeted and exploded,” says Robert.

It should be noted that the village of Arzni, which has a predominantly Assyrian population, suffered four casualties during the 44-day war. Two of the dead were conscripts, one was a volunteer and one was a contract soldier.

Ani Gevorgyan

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