“We probably won’t see each other anymore. the situation is very bad,” said the son in the positions to his mother abroad on September 13, when the later asked him what she should bring for him
Adelina Avetisyan is finishing the illustration with the image of her son on a cloth, which will be displayed during the “Life for Life” memorial evening. “Tigran gave his life for the sake of our lives, so that we may live. My son did everything to save other lives,” says the mother while talking about the exploits of her son, Tigran Avetisyan.
Before the Artsakh war of September 19, Tigran often talked with his family members. In a conversation with Forrights.am, the mother said that her son already warned about the upcoming war on the evening of September 17. “Mom, don’t be afraid; something will happen, there will be a war for two days. There must be something so that these people can get out and be saved.”
Tigran Avetisyan decided to join the contract service at the age of 19, when he completed one year of fixed-term service. Such a decision was made at a difficult stage; however, it was based on the combat path of the 44-Day War.
He was in the army only two months, when the war started. He served in Jrakan. “From September 27 to October 6, we had absolutely no information from Tigran. He was with a commander named Gagik. He called only on October 6. It turned out that they were under siege. His father gave directions them over the phone and took them out to Hadrut school. Tigran met his brother there. After that, he and the commander went in a different direction, they got into battles again, the commander was injured, Tigran pulled him out, and in the process, he was also injured,” says the mother.
Despite the difficulties created in the war situation, Tigran carried the khachkar [uniquely Armenian art of carved memorial stone bearing a cross with additional motifs] of the Jrakan chapel with a backpack. The backpack was on Tigran’s back for 13 days.
“It was a khachkar of the 17th century, which was taken from the chapel of Jrakan. Tigran, who was injured, lost his backpack, then the military police of Artsakh found it. Tigran’s phone was in it; that’s how they contacted my husband.”
Tigran, who received physical injuries on the battlefield, was transferred to Yerevan. After recovery, Tigran returns to military service, four months later he decides to enter contract service. “He was 19 years old, but his way of thinking was different. He loved Artsakh very much,” says the mother, noting that her son has gone through a difficult path.
After some time, Tigran gets health problems in his legs. “On November 3, 2022, an operation was performed. He had third-fourth degree varicose veins and was told that he should be discharged; his condition is incompatible with service. Tigran panicked; he said that he should be in his position.” The mother says that her son suggested writing a letter to the military hospital: if they said that he was not fit for the army, he would not go to the service.
On December 4, 2022, he left Yerevan for Artsakh to defend the positions. “We haven’t seen each other since that day. A week later, the blockade began, he could not come to Yerevan, even for check-ups. We sent the drugs for him. I couldn’t go to Artsakh either: they refused to take me because I am the wife of an active colonel.”
All this time, the son communicated with his parents only through telephone. He served in positions near Vank village.
On September 16, Tigran, when he went up to the position, learned that there was a sick soldier in the position next to him. Because the Armenian troops were withdrawn, there was no replacement: he decided to replace that soldier himself. “He was talking to us that day, the loudspeaker was turned on, he told his father: ‘Dad, there are crowds, there are more than a hundred of them, I can see them’. The father asked, ‘What are you going to do?’ He answered, ‘I am ready’…”
The last conversation between mother and son was on September 19, before noon. Tigran called, they talked briefly and agreed to continue later.
“I was returning from the store, I had not entered the house, when my friend called and said that Stepanakert is being bombed. I called my husband’s relatives, they were all there, no one answered. We suffered for two or three days until the connections were restored. Tigran was in the 112th position: it was one of the most dangerous positions. It was found out that Tigran was alone in the position; no one helped him: he was wounded from the side. We found out that he shouted, ‘Where are you running away to? Give me some cartridges’.”
Tigran’s body was found in the position, all alone, with shot cartridges around. He was found a few days later, during search operations, his mother says. Tigran was recognizable. Tigran was transferred to Armenia and buried in Yerablur military pantheon. According to Adelina Avetisyan, they found themselves in a strange situation.
“They forbade placing the Artsakh flag on my son’s coffin. It happened to everyone. At that time, we were in a shocking, terrible situation,” said the mother.
No one visited the parents of Tigran, who did not leave his position and died for the sake of Artsakh. According to the mother, neither the fellow soldiers nor the defense agencies came, only one of the commanders handed over one of Tigran’s belongings that remained with him.
Narek Kirakosyan is a journalist, works on the principle of "a person is an absolute value".