“We will come with friends…”

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Artak Soghomonyan from the village of Yeghegnavan in the Ararat region has been a contract soldier for five years when the 44-day war began.

The soldier was serving in the RA military unit in Ararat. After the start of the war Artak was transferred to Jabrail (Jrakan). On October 16, he returned home on a 10-day vacation, then left for Vorotan (Ghubatlu) on October 26. He died on October 29 from internal bleeding due to a shrapnel wound. January 30, 2021 would mark Artak’s 30th birthday.

“We have had a very bad time since the beginning of the war. I was not told that he had also been taken to Artsakh. He had already gone for a week, ten days, only then they said that they too had been taken to Artsakh. He was in Jebrail, but we did not know about it. Many of the friends had left, all had returned, only three remained there. Everyone was scared, but he was not. He left with his heavy weapon,” says Artak’s mother, Maro Shahbazyan. According to her, when her son was able to take a ten-day vacation, she calmed down and thought that nothing could happen to him anymore. “Jebrail had already been taken, it was under siege when he was allowed to came home. He stayed here for a few days and left again. We were harvesting grapes in those days. There was plenty of grapes on his plot. We reaped, came, and he left. He said ‘I should come back with my friends’. After leaving, he called and said, ‘Mom, dear, tell dad, let him make some good wine from our grapes, we will come with friends.’ I was more peaceful at that time, thinking that the hot moment of the war was over, it is not so dangerous anymore,” says Mrs. Maro.

According to the mother, it is known that Artak died of bleeding. “The shrapnel had punctured his lung. The incident took place in Kubatlu, Khndzoresk. Before that, he and his commander went to check something in the front line. They asked who would go, he said I would. And they went. He was hitten on the way; the commander hugged him, my son died in his arms.”

Artak’s brother Arman Soghomonyan also took part in the 44-day war, but the Ministry of Defense still refuses to mention it in his military record book. During the war, Arman drove an ambulance, took doctors from Yerevan to Artsakh, and, from there, transported many wounded to Armenia. For his work, he received an award diploma from the then Minister of Health Arsen Torosyan for “selfless work, courage, devotion to the homeland and tireless service.”

Ani Gevorgyan