“I saved him from the Sumgait pogroms, he died in the war”

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– How old was Harutyun?

– Will be 34 in summer.

Harutyun Manucharyan’s life stopped at the age of 32 on the battlefield, but he is present in every corner of the house, in every word of his mother.

He was born during the Sumgait massacres

We lived in the village of Sharukar in Azerbaijan when the events in Sumgait started. It was during that turbulent period that Harutyun was born — on June 13. Those who left their homes started burning them. They set up a border in the village, the men went every week, stood there, and the women and I used to gather in someone’s house, we kept boiling water for safety, so that if they suddenly entered, we would at least be protected that way. But the situation got worse and worse, so we also left. My child was 8 months old at that time.

We packed the clothes of three families in a car, I wrapped Harutyun in a carpet and put it on the clothes. I was afraid that they might see, think it was a weapon. Our driver was a Turk; he brought us to the border. After we reached Tsovagyugh, I took my child out to see if he was breathing. Thus, how we came to Ashtarak.

My Harutyun

Harutyun was about to start attending school when his father died. He dreamed of his son becoming a soldier or a policeman. When I was left alone, my child helped me, he did everything. We lived in a house. True, I kept him in someone else’s shoes, in someone else’s clothes, but he was not upset. I did not separate him from my friends. Harutyun studied well, painted and made crosses. I wanted him to attend the Terlemezyan [school of art], but I don’t know what impressed him so much that he came and said he was going to Vazgen Sargsyan [military school].

He became a soldier

He studied, graduated, became a newspaper editor there. Then he served in Gabrail for 5 years, came back as a captain. He has gone through many trials․ He entered the apartment in Talish where the old man’s ears had been cut off. They helped the population of Talish with their detachment and took them out.

Then he stayed here for 2 months, he became a major. He was the commander of the 2nd group of spies. There were 4 years left until the end of his contract. He went to Moscow for training, then to Italy. In 2020 they sent him to Moscow again.

Harutyun knew every little hole in Karabakh, he would enter in one place and come out from another. He was a spy. He even went to Baku with his friends, he even attended a wedding and came back without any trouble. He took part in the April war too.

And he went, and that was it!

Early on Sunday morning, they called him and told ‘Come on, there is a hot business.’ And he went, and that was it!. He called in the process, but did not say anything. The last time I spoke was on October 9, I felt that something was not right.

– Mom dear, you take good care of yourself.

– I missed you, when are you coming? Be careful.

– Mom, you know me. You knpw how many years I have been in this business. Don’t worry: we will come home victorious soon.

On the night of the 10th of the month, the disastrous news came. During the war he was in different places – first Mataghis, then Jabrail, and finally Hadrut, where he died. On that day, 300 people were released from the blockade, he alone died, but I do not know how it happened: no one tells me the details of the incident. One says that they hit him with a “Mukha”, the other says that he stood up to look through binoculars, they hit him. But I already believe that he to went by the hands of traitors.

He has many diplomas, commendations and medals. He posthumously received the “2nd degree Combat Cross” medal.

My life remained inaccomplished

I saw his face, but I did not believe, I did not comprehend that for more than a year.

When I told him to marry, he said “I still have many goals”, he wanted to enlarge this house. I had bought all the jewelry and was prepared for his wedding, but he left my dreams inaccomplished ․ My life remained inaccomplished.

Ani Torosyan