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WE ARE ON OUR POSITIONS, STANDING BYRecently, a touching video on the Internet caught my attention. The soldier returned home from the battlefield 54 days after the start of the war. He hugs his mother. The beard is long. The next moment I notice familiar lines in the victorious image of a soldier and a smile. I look more closely and understand that it is Hovhannes Abrahamyan, a hero of one of my stories. One of the conscripts, to whom in 2018 I enlisted for the winter conscription from the Central Conscription Facility. I remember how a serious, balanced, a little strict young man categorically refused to speak. His father, Sargis Abrahamyan, spoke instead. “He did not allow her mother and sister to come to see him off, he avoids exciting moments for women. For two years in a row, my son took the second place in the “running target” competitions of the Armenian Shooting Federation. And in the Yerevan competitions in 2017, the first honorable place. In a word, it is a real fighter. His aunt, Satenik Abrahamyan, a servicewoman herself, who came to see Hovhannes to the army, was also sure that her nephiew will be a “universal” soldier. “He is a good driver, a cook and a good shooter. He dreams of serving in a border military unit in Artsakh.”

Later I learned that the wish came true… Hovhannes served and was demobilized this year, in January 2020. And on September 27, Hovhannes immediately applied to the military commissariat to rush to the aid of his friends who had not yet completed their service.

Aunt Satenik says:  “It was September the 27th, Sunday. Knowing that the war had begun, he anxiously called one of his fellow servicemen. The boy said. “Hoo, you called at such an inconvenient moment, right now I’m pulling the strings of the cannon….” Early in the morning, he called me from the military commissariat and said, “It has already been decided, I am leaving, aunt.” With four friends, they decided and immediately applied to leave as volunteers. He said at the military commissariat. “It is true that I served as a driver, but I am also a good shooter. Keep in mind!” Hovik’s mother, Larisa, works in a hospital. She was not at home that day. I went to the military commissariat. I saw that they had not taken anything with them, no warm clothes, nothing. I quickly bought what I needed from the store. And they went…

We waited for his call every day, we lived with it. When I went to bed at night, I always thought, Hovik is in the trenches now, sleepless. When we could talk, he would not tell us anything. He did not say he received a shrapnel wound to the leg from the artillery shell. He always said. “Everything is fine, don’t worry.” And now that he is back, even now he does not speak much. When I first came in and looked into his eyes, I saw a lot there that he would never talk about. Our boys’ eyes have seen so much, they have looked directly into the eyes of death. We met a mature man….

It turns out that Hovhannes’s mother, Mrs. Larisa, has been working as a bartender at the Central Military Garrison Hospital for 12 years.

“All the soldiers who are being treated at our hospital are my boys,” she says. “As I looked at my soldiers, I thought I saw Hovik… Let all our boys come back like my son, I do not want anything else.”

WE ARE ON OUR POSITIONS, STANDING BYWhen he was drafted, he did not even let me out of the gate. And this September 27, I was in the cafeteria when I heard that war had broken out. My heart felt something. I immediately called home and asked my husband, “Sargis, what is Hovo doing?” He said. “He has already collected his clothes and gone to the military commissariat.” It was lunchtime. I could not get out. My brother called and said he could not persuade him to wait until I got home. So, I could not even tell him good-bye. I was very upset that he was not waiting for me.

He went and came back… What matters now is that he came back. Fifty days in the trenches… He came in a bad mood… He cannot come to terms with this situation. But I do not lose hope for better times. I’m sure all this is temporary.

I’m trying to talk to Hovhannes. This time he does not refuse.

“Do you remember how you wanted to serve in Artsakh?”

“I really wanted to, and that’s what happened,” he says, and I feel like we’ll talk a little this time. Of course, he will share very little of his feelings in those days. Now I understand why he stubbornly refused to speak then. He had not yet left, he had done nothing, he did not want to speak. “My two years of conscription gave me a great deal of experience,” continues Hovhannes, I gained independence, the ability to make decisions, to take responsibility. My shooting skills were very, very good. During this time I acted as a senior shooter.

On the morning of September 27, my friends and I learned that the war had begun. The decision was made immediately. We did not think for a second, we left the same day. I was thinking at that moment that my friends who had not yet finished their service were there, fighting. I wanted to go to them, to be by their side. But we got on another bus, they sent it in another direction. I could not be with my friends. But I still fought with them.

We were holding positions close to each other with two or three people. It was the second or third day. They called and said that they were attacking from the air. We went out and saw an Azeri helicopter flying towards our position. We started firing. A little later we saw it coming down in smoke, reach the ground and ignite. I will send a photo, you will see, we are with one of those shot down helicopters. A little later, another helicopter approached from the right. That one was hit by our air defense. Two helicopters in a few minutes. Our feelings and excitement of that day cannot be described in words.

We saw a lot during this time and I learned what war is. Both sides used artillery most of the time. One of our boys was killed by an artillery shell right next to me… But the pain of loss on the battlefield does not disappoint, it does not bring despair, on the contrary, it only intensifies your desire to strike a painful blow at the enemy.

As a result of the war, we began to appreciate every second of life.

I do not regret that I left. If our country is threatened again, I will definitely go again.

– How did you get injured?

– It was not a serious injury. The shell exploded some distance from us, the debris was flying this way and that. Something stabbed me in the leg, though I did not feel there was a problem at the time. Then our nurse removed the debris. Now I walk normally.

– What do you want to say and to whom?

– Today I would like to wish all our soldiers that those who have not come yet, come back safe and sound, reach their families. And I have a great desire for our battles to be victorious. We are on out positions, standing by…



Category: #48 (1368) 2.12.2020 - 8.12.2020, National army, News, Spotlight