Swallowing the dust from the open window, we approach the Artsakh border. It is hot and quiet; the sky above is blue. It is hard to believe that only recently the sounds of grenades and machine-gun shots were heard here. Accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel of N military, we go up in the direction of one of the positions in Martakert (photos).
The casings mixed with dirt and sand and scattered under foot, being indicative of the cruel battles. The casings lie exactly where they fell in the night of April 2.
“Captain Armenak Urfanyan, privates Robert Abajyan, Andranik Zohrabyan and Kyaram Sloyan died here,” the Lieutenant Colonel shows.
The soldiers surrounding us tell what happened in this military position in the night of April 1 to 2. The first thing they show is the concrete cross soaring on the military position chapel.
“Andranik Zohrabyan died here. After completing the restoration work, we decided to make a memorial cross. We want those who will serve here after us to know about Ando and the other guys,” they say.
Then they accompany us to the trench cell where Robert Abajyan blew himself up together with several adversary soldiers. After restoring this trench cell, Robert’s fellow servicemen engraved the first letters of his name and surname (R.A.) and a flower on the wall. By amazing coincidence, the trench cell is located near the military position chapel.
Currently, this position is held by privates, who carried out their duty in neighboring positions on April 2. They were all servicemen of the same platoon.
“We were on duty as usual, when several shells exploded. We took relevant measures, but were under fire till the early morning,” says Abajyan’s fellow serviceman, Gevorg Davtyan.
At about 6:00 am they got a phone call; it was Abajyan, Gevorg continues.
“He said: “There are lots of them, come to us, we are not able to”…but we couldn’t come to help since we were under fire ourselves,”Gevorg recalls.
“I was in the neighboring position during the April war days. The adversary was shelling, making infiltration attempts, but useless. In the night of April 1 to 2, we learnt what was happening in Abajyan’s position. We tried to help them, but we couldn’t leave our position,”adds another serviceman, Eduard Khachatryan.
According to the disseminated information, the adversary was aiming to first occupy Urfanyan’s position, the neighboring positions and then move forward. Captain Urfanyan and his soldiers were engaged in an unequal battle for several hours on end, using all the means at their disposal. After the death of his friends, surviving Abajyan blew up himself and several soldiers of the adversary. The Azeris remained in the occupied position for only 40 minutes. The group composed of six Armenian soldiers managed to reoccupy the position, not allowing the adversary to move forwards.
A cross stone with the names of the four selfless servicemen has been installed in the military position recently.