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For soldiers-liberators the most difficult, the most dangerous years of war at the same time were also the happiest. They always enthusiastically remember those years, miss the war in which they won. Maybe that led them again on the battlefield.

On the fire point near the conscripts is one of the volunteers – Albert Galoyan, or as he is called by soldiers – uncle Alik. During the Artsakh War, he fought in the 5th Brigade, participated in the battles of Martakert. He finds almost nothing in common between this fighting and the last war. “Only Turks remained the same. Then we fought in a different way, and now it is quite another way. With our combat capability we step back from our soldiers. Many things we do not know, they explain to us, teach. Service organizes 19-year-old foreman Hrayr Mirzoyan, and we all listen to him.”

The soldiers-liberators are included in the newly formed regiment of the Union of Volunteers Yerkrapah (the country’s defenders) in the south-east direction, their commander is holder of “Combat Cross” of 1st degree Hayrapet Karapetyan.

“We always expected that one day, the enemy will attack, so UVY has formed a rapid response team, – says A. Karapetyan. – Therefore, when at night we got a signal, we immediately rushed to the forefront. Perhaps we can not fight like the 18-year-olds, but our job is to stand in the trenches. At the forefront, I noticed a very important thing – mutual respect between commanders and soldiers. If this link was not strong, we would have lost. The commander did not leave the soldier, and the soldier did not leave the commander.”

Among the most mature soldiers – 80-year-old Ashot Aghajanyan and 75-year-old Garnik Mkhitaryan. Grandfather Ashot’s son – Spartak, died in 1993, and grandfather Garnik’s son – Marat, died in 1994. They say that their sons would not forgive them if they stayed at home.

Karineh – the warrior from Dushman Hamo squad approaches. She’s here with her husband Simon. She says: “Today I am mother, aunt for all. I could not leave alone my soldier, my child. Soon is the last bell of my son at school. We’ll go there and get back soon.”

Here is also 20-year-old Hamlet Avanesyan from Hadrut. He was discharged only a few months ago in the rank of sergeant. And now he came as a volunteer: “What for I have mastered the profession of a soldier? For this day,”- briefly and clearly he says.

These few hours, I felt under the roof of a large family, where they live in solidarity and love. Therefore, I felt stronger and more secure.


Shushan Stepanyan

Photos by Sipan Gyulumyan


PS – On the frontline we met National Assembly member, soldier-liberator Karen Saribekyan. He arrived here with the members of his squad. He is the only high-ranking official, who, in addition to material aid, 10 days in arms next to the soldier carried on combat duty in the southern direction.

Category: #18 (1138) 18.05.2016 - 24.05.2016, National army, Army and Society, News