18-year-old Robert Gevorgyan fatally shot himself in order not to be captured.

“He was wounded in the shoulder; he tried to go to the dugout, but the sniper hit him and he was wounded in the leg. Yashma entered the position. Robert saw that he was to be captured, used his last strength and shot himself under the jaw,” said his mother, Mary Avagyan, in a conversation with Forrighst.am.

Robert was a temporary employee in Nerkin Hand of Syunik district for two months when, in September 2022, the enemy launched another attack towards the borders of Armenia. Left without commanders, Robert and other fellow soldiers decided to fight to the end for their entrusted position.

The mother says that the commander betrayed his son and the other boys, as a result of which Robert and his fellow soldiers were surrounded. During the last telephone conversation, he told his parents that he was under siege.

“Father dear, this may be my last call; I am under siege, I may not call you. They have left us, they have run away,” Mrs. Mary recalls the last conversation between the father and son, stressing that the boy was in the army only two months. “Not just Robert was serving only for two months; I also know Vahe, with whom they went [to the army] together,” said the mother.

The parents were astonished when Robert called on September 12, around 19:00 pm, and said that suddenly there was an order to take them to positions.

“He called his father and said that they are taking him to engineering jobs. The father was surprised that the boy, who had been a soldier for two months, was taken to positions in the evening and asked clarifying questions. The son answered, “Pa, I don’t know: they took me and a few new recruits like me to engineering,” says the mother.

The parents managed to contact Robert after 22:00. The father and mother were interested what conditions they provided for the soldiers. “He said: Pa, there is us, a flag and a tent.” And when the parents inquired whether there was someone from the command staff next to the soldiers, Robert said: “They left us, they went, they said they were going get some equipments and return.”

It should be noted that this explanation of the command raises many questions, starting with why they climbed positions for engineering work without proper tools and, if they went after tools, why did they not come back?

Mrs. Mary says that after talking with her son, about two hours later, at midnight, she learned from the Internet that the enemy had provoked military aggression in the direction of Armenian positions. “It would not have occurred to me that my soldier od two months would be taken to the front line.” According to the mother, they could not contact her son until dawn, 04:30 am. At that time, Robert spared his parents and did not tell them that he was a direct participant in the military activities and, after calling four hours later, he said that he was under siege.

“I used to say that Robert is the boy who never would be captured; I said, forget it, Rob is no more…” says the mother, remembering that when her son came on leave for exams, he said that if he is captured, he will kill himself and take the enemy soldiers with him.

“He said if they take me prisoner, I have two grenades; they will be placed here, and one of them is for me,” said Robert in a conversation with his mother, showing his heart. “He said, ‘I will wait and when they come, I will use the grenade take myself and them with me.”

Robert’s parents learned from the Internet that their son was killed. After capturing their position, the enemy soldiers filmed how they were placing the Azerbaijani flag there. The bodies of Robert and other victims were also seen in the footage. “They had kept the camera on my son and that’s how we learn from there that he is no more.”

The mother demands answers: why did their two-months-serving soldier son get involved in combat operations when he did not know how to use weapons? “No one opened my door to say they were sorry for what happened. I ask the guilty to be punished. Who sacrificed my son who served only two months in the army, and for what? They took my child, brought him in a closed coffin, put him in front of me, said, ‘This is it, take and shut up.’ Didn’t we have someone from the Ministry of Defense, from the army, to come and tell us the bad news?” says the upset mother and notes that the state is so indifferent to the soldiers who gave their lives for the motherland that they didn’t even give the posthumous medal properly: they gave it in a bag, without any documents.

Robert’s family now expects a fair investigation and punishment of the guilty. There is a criminal case, but there are no defendants.

Robert was the only son of his parents. The Gevorgyans have one minor daughter.

Narek Kirakosyan

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