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"STANDING BY MY SOLDIER ..."After graduating with honors from the Vazgen Sargsyan Military University, Lieutenant Colonel Andrey Hamzoyan has held various command positions since starting as a platoon commander. He was appointed deputy commander of the military unit months before the war. It is one of the military, whose number one task is to be by the side of its troops, its soldiers. He is a participant in the April war. During the 44-day war, he was on the front line next to volunteers and soldiers, took them to counterattacks. He saved lives during the most difficult moments with his skill and ingenuity and saved lives. He never spared his life and health…

Mrs. Valya has lived through so much pain and horror in her life… Now sitting next to her son, her eyes are constantly getting wet… During the 44-day war, her son Andrey Hamzoyan was severely wounded through many dangers and difficulties. “He had deep burns on his waist, and recently had his third leg and eighth eye surgeries,” says Ms. Valya with sorrow.

This family from Hadrut, Lieutenant Colonel Andrey Hamzoyan, their parents, their two young daughters and their wife lost their home and … their hometown as a result of the war. They live in Yerevan for rent. Mrs. Valya’s family suffered a lot during the Artsakh liberation war.

Andrey tells.

– My aunt’s boys were both fighting. Someone came home after the liberation of Karvachar. Relatives came to see him. He was near the gate, saying goodbye to the guests, when the enemy fired at the house in front of his eyes: the pregnant woman, my mother, my aunt, my grandmother died on the spot. Only the father survived.

– In November 1993, Mrs. Valya continues,” when my father was driving from the village to Hadrut to see my children, the Turks blocked the road with machine guns.”

… We are sitting in the dimly lit living room of the apartment. Andre’s whole family is here. Andrey is half asleep. It seems from the iron rods that strengthen the leg that the healing will take a long time.

Seeing the horrors of war from an early age, following the example of freedom fighter father Vladimir Hamzoyan, he could not have chosen another path.

“I was eight years old when the Artsakh war started,” Andrey recalls. “Our only game with the boys in the yard was a fight. We did not know what the headquarters was, we only knew that its place had to be kept secret. Even if you get a good beating, you must not let the enemy enter your territory. Our fights were so “real” that we even had wounded. One”s eye was injured, one’s leg and arm were injured.

Our generation was completely engaged in military affairs. Exactly half of my classmates chose the military profession. I entered the Vazgen Sargsyan Military University.

I was registered as an artilleryman, but the artilleryman must be in the rear. And I always saw myself on the front lines, it was my presence next to the soldier. I changed my profession – a motorcyclist. When this last war broke out, I asked the unit commander to send me to my former position as battalion commander. But soon the volunteers needed to lead the “Hayduk” detachment, so I went to Jrakan with them. Although his job was behind him, Senior Lieutenant Nikol Atoyan decided and came with me. I was against. A young officer who was going to get married in late September but the war prevented it. He persisted and finally came. He was by my side until the end. My task was to get the volunteer detachment there, organize the defense and come back. But I saw that I needed it there. I stayed. It was October 1.

"STANDING BY MY SOLDIER ..."They reached their destination, a dangerous area, and immediately entered the battlefield. Some of the volunteers were over 50 who had not been in contact with weapons for a long time. The commander of the squad was Garun Babayan, an old but brave man with the rank of non-commissioned officer. He is the brother of Hamo from Jermuk, the commander of the “Hayduk” detachment that fought in the liberation war of the 1990s.

– These people, despite their age, were not afraid. We had a volunteer nicknamed “Apres” who was 73 years old. He gave spirit, made jokes, sang. There was no one to complain, even on long walks. “Our detachment did its job to the end, did not retreat in the face of any danger.” We also carried out counterattacks. Unfortunately, we also had casualties and casualties as we were in one of the most dangerous areas. One dark night we were in our defensive section of Jrakan, when about 500 meters away the sky was completely illuminated and lights began to fall like stars. The ground ignited and burned for a long time. We did not understand what this was. Then, when we were going to counterattack and pass by a place called “Chriks”, we saw the ambulances “Uazes”, which were loaded with completely burned people.

Hadrut was in the back and Jrakan was in the front. Hadrut was already under enemy control. There came a time when we found ourselves in a blockade. But we did not leave our positions until the end. A retreat order was issued. We had to get out of the blockade, something that seemed impossible. For a moment I doubted the success, because there was no connection, I had no idea, the opponentwhere it will go. However, in two days the detachment managed to get out from under the “nose” of the enemy. Until the end, I did not tell my staff where to go, what the dangers were, the most difficult thing was to get the wounded out. We had 4 wounded. We took them in a cloak-tent, but their condition gradually worsened. We decided from the very beginning that no matter what, we would not leave anyone alone. The condition was: “Either we all come out alive or we die together.” 40 people came out of the blockade safe and sound. As soon as we reached ours, artillery fire broke out, and we were in the middle. The river saved. We hid there. Our people did not hope that we would be able to come out unscathed. When we reached the right-wing unit of the 1st Defense District, the commander reported that Hamzoyan and his detachment had come out of the blockade. He heard my voice, he was happy, but we did not see each other. He died (the colonel was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Artsakh). The commander of the union quickly organized and the four wounded were taken out by car. All four, thank God, are alive today.

The position of Deputy Commander of the 1st Defense was vacant. Commander Hayk Kirakosyan suggested that I stay as a deputy. Without it, I wanted to stay in this military unit, which is close to me. I could not imagine behind me 15 years in the army, and I could not imagine a day without a soldier. When the soldiers of my battalion saw me, they were very happy. They heard. They came and went, they asked. “Mr. Lieutenant Colonel, you will stay with us, won’t you?”

The command post… was in a very unusual condition at that moment was driven into an area already under enemy control. The first defender did not take a step back until the end. It is true that on the first day the enemy managed to take positions, but we took back most of them. The enemy was already in the front, on the right, in Jrakan, and in the rear. We were expecting the attack from the other side, but the enemy, having succeeded in the direction of Varanda, Jrakan, had passed behind. The enemy was behind us for miles. Nevertheless, we fought until the order to retreat. How our soldiers fought ս My soldier, seeing so much, was amazed at their heroism.

The enemy managed to bring more than 25-30 tanks to the front line. We had to prevent the advance of their armored vehicles with the help of the battalions. The staff of our 5th Battalion in particular stood out. The 5th Battalion, under the command of David Ghazaryan (he was posthumously awarded the title of National Hero), was stationed right in front of the tanks. The commander of another battalion, Mobir, the reserve lieutenant colonel Sayiryan Seyran, took the grenade launcher and with a soldier who had taken his anti-tank bassoon, went to meet the tanks and hit a tank from the first blow. The tank stopped, behind him the whole column of enemy tanks froze. You will not see what happened next in any war film. The battalion’s anti-tank battery soldiers, without wasting time, started firing at the tanks with all available means. They hung from the machine gun and threw grenades into the tanks. Enemy tanks exploded one after another. That anti-tank battery alone hit more than a dozen tanks that day. The boys seemed to be out of the ordinary, so confident. Seeing this, the crews of the other enemy tanks turned the tanks around and retreated. The heroism of the boys in this anti-tank battery was exceptional… If they had retreated a millimeter at that moment, the tanks would have come forward. The staff kept their positions and the spirit was high. We won in all actions. What a close fight! They threw grenades accurately from a distance of 20-25 meters. Our boys were unique in close combat. The difficulty was deeper in the rear, where the enemy was operating with drones and artillery. They even used one drone for one of our soldiers. They knew one of us was worth 100… Despite the local success, the forces were very unequal. On the night of October 27-28, we received an order to withdraw armament, rear support was very difficult. Weapons exhausted… The only way we moved was to target the enemy wounded, victims. Together with the commander of the military unit Hayk Kirakosyan, we took the Hadrut military unit and other subdivisions, more than 2,000 people, out of the blockade in the same way, “under the enemy’s nose.” We did not expect to get at least half of the people safe and sound. We took them all out.

… Then we were in Martuni. The task was set by one of the battalions to maintain a significant height, which was crucial for the defense of Martuni. While defending, the battalion was attacked twice by enemy planes in one day, we had significant losses and wounded from bombings. The battalion had to withdraw. I was going to lead the next attempt to keep the height that day. Commander Kirakosyan was to be absent for two days. The action seemed impossible. we had to searcharea, we understood, aren’t they on the mountain anymore? We decided that I, the newly appointed commander of the battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Sedrak Vardanyan, the Chief of Staff of the military unit Artyom Gorgyan, would go up the mountain with two volunteers and two soldiers. It was not possible by car. we would be targeted immediately. The commander of the military unit, Karo Gharibyan, came with us, who was always by my side in the hottest points of the front line. One of my soldiers begged him to come with us. A few days before that, Aram was the son of the heroically killed lieutenant colonel Seyran Sayiryan. I did not allow it. He is also from Hadrut, he was offended. To convince, I said. “The possibility of our being injured is great. You have to stay here so that if something happens to us, you can come to the rescue. ” Mobi, one of our boys, also came. The name, unfortunately, I do not remember, was a boy with a lot of spirit who would go to the most dangerous places. I was remarking. “Be careful, go through the trenches.” He was joking. “Commander, God always leads the good. “I’m not that good, do not worry.” The day before, he had risked his life to save the lives of many wounded. By the time we were halfway there, it was getting dark. They noticed our movement. They started firing with artillery and drones. When the bombing stopped, it turned out that the newly appointed commander of our battalion and two volunteers had been killed.… Our brave son also died… The Chief of Staff was wounded. I reported the situation. There were three of us left. He was ordered to return. We went down. We were waiting for dawn to try again. It was October 31. Around five in the morning, the commander of the military unit Kirakosyan arrived. A little reconnaissance reminded us that the enemy was already stationed on the mountain. I did not want to risk my staff in these conditions. I instructed them to be ready inside. Senior Lieutenant Nikol Atoyan, as always, asked to come with me. I did not allow it. He was very upset. I strictly forbade him to come. I, the commander և the head of communication, set off in a UAZ. We did not even have time to think about our safety. We wanted to keep the mountain at all costs. When we got there, they called. “We notice movement on the mountain. There are people. “Hayk wanted to report on the situation. We were approaching the car when “Bayraktar” hit the car directly. At first I did not understand what happened. All our uniforms were on fire… Lieutenant Colonel Hayk Kirakosyan died on the spot.

I was still in the hospital. My little girl came to see me. “Dad, let’s talk about the fight.” he sat down next to me. “Do you remember that the Turks were shooting at us?” “Yes, I remember.” “Remember, we went somewhere at night, where did we go?” “Hiding place”. “Did you hit a lot of Turks?” “Yes.” “But there are still, aren’t there?” Do Turks live in our house now? ” “They are in Hadrut now.” Children are very sad about losing their home. They keep asking. “When are we going to go back to our Hadrut, our house?” They ask, and every time they say they hit hearts with a knife, when we say we still have to wait…

Andrey’s family was in Hadrut overnight when the bombing of the city began.

“We immediately went down to the basement in our nightgowns, then moved to the shelters,” says Andre’s wife, Diana. On the first day we had to leave Hadrut. We moved to one of the nearby villages.

“They first hit the military unit with drones, then crossed the city,” says Andrey. “I have been at the command post for two days already.” Due to the large number of enemy troops, we assumed that a serious attack was expected.

Andrey called his family only a few times during the war. “It’s normal,” he said and turned off.

“I knew he was fighting in another direction,” says Diana. “When we learned that Hadrut was completely under enemy control, I wanted to call and warn him not to try to go home.” Andrey did not know for several days that the Turks were already in the city.

– I have always said to myself as a promise. “If it is not Hadrut, it is good that I am not there either.” It was hard not to be in Hadrut in those days. Since he was behind us, we thought we were keeping Hadrut as well. When I heard the news, I did not believe it, but when I saw the columns of smoke rising from several parts of the city եցի I decided to separate 15 people from the “Haydukner” detachment and go and try to do something. Before that, we had approached the so-called “9th km”. They stopped. “We’ll tell you when you go.” They did not want to say that there was no chance of success with our small number ուժ

Andre’s father, Vladimir, is a participant in the Artsakh war. At one time he held the positions that Andrey would later hold.

“But this one was very cruel,” he says. “We’ve been through a lot, but we’ve never seen anything like it.” Even after all this, our boys are strong in spirit.

– I got sick. “I was thinking, ” ‘Mrs. Valya says.’ Andrey said. “Mom, if you don’t get better, I won’t get better either.” He persuaded me to live.

“What do you think about the future?” I asked Andre.

– I am hoping to bring Hadrut back. We have to bring it back.

Andrey stretches on the spot, sits down, adjusts the injured leg, fastened with iron rods. I ask the whole family to gather around him for a photo.

I believe that one day he will stand up and returnrna series. Andrey is one of those officers who keeps his word and is always by his soldier’s side.



Category: #18 (1389) 12.05.2021 - 18.05.2021, National army, News, Spotlight