Lieutenant Colonel Andranik Manukyan was in Artsakh during the war. On October 20, the squad received a call from Hadrut and went there. At that time, Hadrut was already captured, but they were not told about it.
“They were not even aware of it. He was asking us what they say, what they decide.”
The seven years of Andranik’s service were spent in Hadrut.
“It was very hard for me that my son had to serve in Hadrut. We were scared: I didn’t want my son to work there. From that moment on, I had hard feelings. It seemed to me that I lost my son from that moment,” says his mother, Mrs. Susanna.
In 2005, he got married and moved to Hadrut with his family.
“When going to the border, [it felt like] we were guarding the border with him. We have experienced difficult days.”
Twenty years later, he extended his service to serve for another three years. Worked in the Nubarashen community of Yerevan, then as a peacekeeper in Abovyan.
“The war started in September. He went with his troops; he was a battalion commander. He did not tell me that he was in Karabakh. He served in different parts of Karabakh with the peacekeepers regiment. They were under siege for three days, but they didn’t tell me anything. After walking several hundreds of kilometers, he brought the troops out of the siege.”
There has always been contact with her son, except for the days of the siege. The last call was on October 20.
“My Andranik called, [Said] ‘Mom dear, we are very well, everything is very normal. Mom, dear, you take good care of yourself, you take good care of my children’. I did not imagine that he was saying his farewell at that moment. I said, ‘Honey, you take good care of yourself, what I there in the house here for me to take good care of myself? You take good care of yourself, you know that we live with you’. And we didn’t talk.”
The next day there was no call. They called many places, but there was no news. They learned that he was injured.
“I went crazy, I lamented [but] I was saying, thank you, God: even if injured, at least my baby will come home. We lived with suffering for 35 days, shedding salty tears. We were waiting to find him.
My younger son, Samvel, knew that his brother was no more. Many-many times he went to Karabakh, but they could not enter that part: it was in the hands of the Turks. Every day he said, ‘Mum dear, we will find him’. We lived with hope. 35 days later, the body was removed from that area with the help of the Red Cross.”
The mother did not believe that something like this would happen to her son. She says that her first child was very strong, very happy, reaching out and respecting everyone. He was very close to the soldiers. In addition, he was very familiar with the area, he knew the map uniquely well, everyone told him to draw a map and explain it to them. He loved his work.
Andranik has forty or more medals, including from Vazgen Sargsyan and Seryan Ohanyan [former ministers of defense], but he was not awarded the “Combat Cross”.
Mother’s beloved Anda bought a house in Yerevan, but never lived in that house.
“He skipped both his family and his parents, his home and everything else.”