Artsakh Hovhannisyan used to be a police officer, but a few years ago he left the service, got married, and he and his wife were expecting their future child. He died on October 19, 2020, his daughter is now 1 year and 4 months old.
Susanna Hovhannisyan, the mother of the killed volunteer, says that she still feels guilty because she was the one who told her son the news about the war.
“It is my fault that I spread the news about the war that started. I said, ‘Dear Artsakh, a war has begun’, he said, ‘Dear mom, we will go right away and drive the Turks back’. My husband took part in the First Karabakh War and when my son was born, he brought the birth certificate, I saw that the name of our son was written Artsakh [Artsakh is the Armenian name for Nagorno Karabakh], I asked, I didn’t understand well, he said, ‘I survived the war and had a son, he is our Artsakh…’. My brother-in-law’s son’s village administration employee brought a notice, Artsakh stood up and said that he would go too. That man said, ‘Dear boy, we didn’t bring you a draft notice’.”
However, Artsakh Hovhannisyan left in a bus with volunteers. He told his relatives that he was going to Vayk to recall the military skills he had acquired during his military service. “Then we found out that he was in Jabrayil. We found out from our neighbor’s son who was also there. I was very scared, every morning I waited for the call. Every time he called, he said, ‘Mom, take care of yourself, there is no fight here, don’t be afraid, we will come home soon’,” says the mother.
A few days later, Susanna’s husband, Spartak, also went to the front line. Later, the eldest son also received a notice, but before his departure, the news of what happened to Artsakh became known.
“They already knew at the military commissariat, they said that his brother was killed, and his father is in the positions, where are you taking him?”, recalls the mother.
She says that, on the day of the incident, his son called him and said that he was coming home. I was happy, I hugged my eldest son, I said, Artsakh is coming home… But he didn’t come home… It turned out that they were under siege for several days. When they got out of the siege, they were allowed to go home, but then sabotage took place. Half of the boys were injured; my boy was also injured – his leg was cut off… They say that Artsakh told the survivors to leave them, go get help, but there was no help for two days.”