The Assyrian community of Armenia lost 9 people in the 44-day war. According to Arsen Mikhailov, chairman of the Atur Union of Assyrians in Armenia, the number of Assyrians participating in the war was 121. In addition to the 9 victims, another 10 members of the community received various injuries.

As it is known, the Assyrians are the third national minority in the population of Armenia after the Yezidis and the Russians. According to 2001 census, there are 6000 Assyrians living in Armenia. It is known that before the collapse of the Soviet Union, 6,000 Assyrians lived in our country, but due to the economic situation in Armenia, many Assyrians emigrated [thus, their number did not grow].

In response to our question about the problems faced by the families of the victims during and after the war, and whether they receive proper treatment, Arsen Mikhailov said. “There are cases when parents believe that their son will return, even though he is dead. We have helped those people: we have sent psychologists, specialists, but they turn to different people who deceive them. There is this problem, but we are trying to help.”

According to Mikhailov, the families of the victims have received the money provided by the state. “Except that, our Assyrian community from abroad also has provided great assistance to the families of the victims and the wounded, as well as to the families of those who took part in the war. So, in addition to state support, there was also support from the Assyrian community abroad. There was also help from the church.”

According to the representative of the Assyrian community, only one of the killed Assyrian soldiers is buried in Yerablur, but the reason is not the discriminatory attitude, but the fact that the parents want their sons’ graves to be near them. “Assyrians mainly live in Assyrian villages in different regions of Armenia. We have, for example, a mass grave in Abovyan. An Assyrian boy is buried there, who is not in the village cemetery, but with his killed friends, I think with 11 people. We have a boy who is [buried] in Yerablur. He was from Yerevan and was buried there. It has never happened that the parents of a killed soldier want their son to be buried in Yerablur and it become a problem: we did not have such a case.”

It should be noted that we have repeatedly referred to the stories of Assyrian soldiers killed in the war. Among them are Torgom Sayadyan, Arsen Danielov, Ivan Avdoshoev, Vitalik Ionanov, Rudik Sarkhoshev.

Ani Gevorgyan

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