Conscript Palyan Poghosyan received burns in the positions of Sisian a month ago on this day, July 17, as a result of which he died on July 26. But the Ministry of Defense led by Suren Papikyan did not provide any explanation regarding the incident. The grieving Poghosyans, who do not learn to live with the death of 19-year-old Palyan, are also saddened by the attitude of state structures. “They are negligent and irresponsible,” say Palyan’s parents and note that they were informed about the accident that happened on the night of July 16-17 around 2:00 a.m. only on July 18, around 12:30 p.m.
Neither the Ministry of Defense nor the Territorial Military Commissariat informed Palyan’s parents about his burns. “We found out what happened from his friends in the army, through a telephone call,” said his father, Jivan Poghosyan.
“No commander, no officer told us anything. If I was told sooner, maybe I would have arrived sooner and saved my child,” says Palyan’s mother, Galya Ayvazyan.
It is noteworthy that the ministry officially reported the incident only 8 days after the incident, on July 25. The department reported that Palyan received 2nd degree thermal burns.
There is no explanation as to why the Ministry of Defense did not properly inform the Poghosyans about the incident or why the official message was released so late. The Prime Minister announced the news of the soldier’s death on July 26, when the media had already published that information.
It is noted that Palyan received burns from the fire that broke out from the stove installed in the caravan intended for rest of the soldiers. According to the parents, the incident happened at 2 o’clock in the morning, during Palyan’s rest time. After receiving burns, when Palyan was transferred to the National Center for Burns, he was in contact with his parents for 3-4 days and gave them certain details.
“I have heard that they could not open the door of the dormitory from the inside. The door was opened with great difficulty: they had to open it from the outside to let the guys out. Our son told us that he was the last one to get out of the burning house, and he got out on his own, on his feet. His clothes were completely burned on his body. If there was a war, my Palyan would take 10 people (means the enemy) with him, but death like this? I did not raise my child so that he would become a victim of a fire,” says the mother.
Palyan’s parents present terrible details of how their son with his burns did not receive first aid for about 5 hours. According to them, Palyan, who received burns at 2 a.m., waited for medical help until 06:00-07:00 a.m., because nobody responded to the alarm coming from the positions for hours.
“They took him to Sisan hospital with huge delay, and then to Yerevan hospital. We strongly doubt that first aid was given. There was no first aid at all; there were no first aid supplies. They couldn’t get in touch; people were sleeping. They didn’t have connection, they didn’t have a first-aid kit, they didn’t have a cylinder [extinguisher], they didn’t have anything,” the parents say.
According to the mother, Galya Ayvazyan, the fellow soldiers tried to put out the fire on Palyan with water and soil. “The fire on the child was extinguished with earth and water. The infection of the body passed from the soil and water,” says the mother and continues that the boy was taken to the hospital not only with a delay, but also by making the wounds from the burn worse.
“He was transported by “Willis” car at 06:00-07:00 in the morning. He sat until 06:00-06:30 in the morning, enduring the pain. I am telling you the words that came out of my son’s mouth. Can you imagine sitting in “Willis” with such a burn, rubbing the wounds? My son, whose entire face, torso, abdomen, upper and lower limbs were burned, was transported by “Willis” from the position to the Sissian hospital. And, the position is located at an altitude of 3700 meters: it is the highest position, it is the post of Tsguk (a mountain in Syunik region),” said the mother.
Why Palyan was not transferred from Sissian to Yerevan by a helicopter, the parents hope to get an answer to this question. “Couldn’t the transfer from Sissan be done by helicopter? What are the helicopters of our country for, pleasure?” asks Palyan’s mother.
The Minister of Defense did not visit the National Center of Burns, nor the Azatan community, where the Poghosyans live. Palyan’s father considers Suren Papikyan guilty and responsible for his son’s death, stressing that the incident was a result of his negligent management.
“The first blameworthy is our defense minister, he should answer me. My child was in the hospital for 10 days; the ministry was indifferent. They did not visit. My son needed blood, but it was not delivered on time; he needed medicine, but it was not delivered on time. For this they have to answer. The first person responsible is the minister. He should answer my questions himself. I sent my child healthy to the army, but he did not die in war conditions. If I knew that a Turk has hit him…,” says the father and emphasizes that all the links of the Ministry of Defense, headed by Suren Papikyan, have failed.
Along with severe grief, the parents had to deal with Palyan’s medication and blood supply issues during his stay in the intensive care unit.
The representatives of the Ministry of Defense visited the Poghosyans 8 days after the incident.
“If your soldier is in that condition, why aren’t you aware, why are you coming on the 8th-9th days… Nazaryan, Gegham Pashikyan (head of the military medical department of the Armed Forces) and press spokesman Aram Torosyan came. Pashikyan gave his telephone number and said to call him whenever we need to, but when I call, my number is blacklisted; he doesn’t answer. I call with another number, the call goes through,” says Jivan Poghosyan.
Palyan Poghosyan’s parents demand a meeting with Suren Papikyan at their home. “Our state should tremble for each soldier,” they say and expect that those responsible for their son’s death will be punished.
A criminal case was initiated in connection with Palyan Poghosyan’s death. The investigative committee does not report details yet.
Palyan Poghosyan was from the Azatan community of Shirak region, studied at the Gyumri branch of the University of Economics. He was engaged in dancing, studied at the village music school, specializing in accordion and drum. The service was to end in March 2023.