On June 28, 54-year-old Armo Abgaryan and 36-year-old Gagik Balayan from the village of Gishi where the two of the 4 soldiers of the Armed Forces who died as a result of Azerbaijani shelling in the direction of Martakert and Martuni positions in Artsakh. The other two, 20-year-old Samvel Torosyan and Yervand Tadevosyan, were residents of Stepanakert.

Their names were announced by the Artsakh Defense Army. Armo Abgaryan and Gagik Balayan were volunteers, each a father of four children. They were living a normal peasant life. The volunteer squad, where Gagik Balayan and Armo Abgaryan served, had just been formed.

“Probably, it was formed not even a year ago. The boys died from an UAV strike. It was a small UAV, “Kamikaze”. There was one shot, and that’s it,” Serob Aghabekyan, the community head of Gishi village, told Forrights.am.

According to him, this is the third case in the village of Gishi when two people are buried on the same day. “There was a similar incident in the 90s, once during the 2020 war: we lost two men and lost their land on the same day. This was another incident,” recalls the village head with a sigh.

Armo, he says, “was a hard working boy”, he was not rich. He had no permanent job. Father of four children, all of them boys. The little child was sick. Last year, the entire village of Gishi collected money to save the child’s life. They saved. Everyone helped. When the UAV hit, the eldest son of Armo Abgaryan was next to him: they were fighting together in the positions, side by side.

A year ago, all the men of Gishi volunteered, regardless of whether they had served in the army or not.

Gagik Balayan was exempted from military service due to health problems, but at the critical moment for the motherland, he went to the positions as a volunteer, joining the Gishi militia. During the attack, Gagik Baloyan was next to Armo and was killed by the same drone. He had three daughters and a son.

The bodies of Gagik and Armo were taken down from their positions in the morning and are now in Stepanavan. Tomorrow they will be taken to the village of Gishi, and the next day they will be buried in the old cemetery of the village. “We have a monument there; we will bury them properly, next to all our heroes,” says Serob Aghabekyan.

Gagik Balayan was the son of a man who died in the war. “His father was one of our fallen men in the 90s. “Both of them were people of the same path; they ha8rd working Armenians, and had normal families,” says Aghabekyan, noting that Gagik’s mother’s condition is bad: after learning the news of her son’s death, she became sick and bedridden.

He assures that today people in Gishi are sad, but there is no despair. “Well, we live in Karabakh, we are ready for anything.”

Syuzan Simonyan

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