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Meline, the 6-year-old daughter of Sergeant Vachik Movsisyan who had fallen during Azerbaijani aggression in April against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR/Artsakh), will start school this year.

She continues listening to adult conversation. And when her father’s name is mentioned, she says: “He said, ‘I may not come [back].’”

The little girl’s mother, Ida Manucharyan, recalled that when going to his military service, her husband had told her not to bother the children.

“Because I may not return,” he had said.

On the morning of April 26, Sergeant Movsisyan, as usual, was getting ready to go to his military unit. But his children had clung to his weapon, and they were asking him to stay. 

But on that day, he did not return.

Nerkin Horatagh village in NKR Martakert Region is located near the line of contact with Azerbaijan. The villagers still live under the rules of the time of the Karabakh War. They do not turn on electricity at night, so as not to become targets for the Azerbaijani armed forces.

When the scale of Azerbaijan aggression in April became known, women and children were evacuated from the village to Artsakh capital city of Stepanakert. But when the shooting was over, everyone returned; they could not to leave their husbands all alone.

The fallen sergeant’s family raises three boys and one girl. The two older boys, 10-year-old Ruben and 8-year-old Davit, were not at home. Davit had gone to his grandmother’s home, whereas Ruben had traveled to Greece, for a camp. This trip for the children of fallen soldiers was organized by the NKR government.

The youngest boy, 2-year-old Karen, played with us. And when he got tired, he was taken for a nap.  

The large family, however, still does not have its own place to live. They were living on rent, but now, Ida lives at a relative’s home, together with her four children.

She said that officials had come, after the death of her husband, inquired about her housing issue, and promised to seek a house for her in Nerkin Horatagh, since her husband was registered in this village.

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