HADRUT—During the past month, the AYF’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign has continued its efforts to disburse funds to the families of soldiers, who had lost their lives during the Four Day War and in its aftermath. The representatives of the campaign and the Armenian Relief Society of Artsakh met the families of the 9 servicemen from Hadrut, who were killed in early April, at the ARS office in Stepanakert, delivering $13,750 in assistance. You can watch the video report on the meeting here:
As in the past, the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign allocated $1,000 to the family of each fallen soldier, with an extra $250 payment for each child. Overall, 24 servicemen and military personnel from different regions of Artsakh gave their lives in service of the Homeland, and the AYF delivered about $33,000 to those families. The task force has reported that15 of the 24 fallen soldiers from Artsakh had children, the vast majority of whom are under the age of 12. A total of 7 out of 9 fallen soldiers from Hadrut had children, and it was a top priority for the AYF to reach those families first. In the coming days, press releases will be published featuring the visits with the families Askeran, Kashatagh, Martuni, Martakert, Stepanakert and Shushi.
“The efforts of the Armenian youth in the Diaspora are aimed at showing to the families of our fallen heroes that they are not alone, and trying to somehow ameliorate their immense pain over the losses that they have sustained,” says Kevork Parseghian, an ARF member from the US who has repatriated to Armenia and has been assisting with the operation on the ground in Armenia since the launching of the With Our Soldiers campaign in 2012.
As in the past, the With Our Soldiers task force is providing a detailed report on the families that have been served through the program, including receipts signed by the family members who have received the financial assistance. Below you will find the brief biographies of fallen soldiers from Hadrut along with videos about them and their families:
Aznavour Balayan (b. 1987) fought in one unit with Nver Simonyan and Gharib Sahakyan, and they died together on April 4, 2016 from an attack by enemy tanks, after three days of intense fighting aimed at taking back one our lost positions. When it came to serving his nation, Aznavour had great relatives to emulate: his father and maternal uncle died during the Artsakh Liberation Struggle. Born in the village of Mokhrenes, Aznavour was one of family’s three children, which included his brother and sister. Having completed mandatory military service in 2005 – 2007, Aznavour joined the Armed Forces in 2010 as a career officer. He was awarded a Military Service medal (posthumously). Aznavour was not married and had no children. The family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Aznavour Balayan here:
Andranik Grigoryan (b. 1986) left behind his wife, Nina Aghajanyan, age 19, and two children, the 2-year old Gor and 9-month old Martik. Andranik was born in Ukraine, but his family repatriated to Armenia (1987) and settled in the village of Haykavan (Hadrut) in the aftermath of the Artsakh Liberation struggle (1995). Having joined the military in July of 2013, Andranik Grigoryan was a contract serviceman in one of the rifle brigades of the NKR Defense Army. Andranik died on April 2nd near Jebrail (Jrakan). His wife, two children, mother, mother-in-law and 80-year old grandfather all live together in the same house, which is in need of urgent repairs. The family was given $1,500 by the WOS campaign. You can read about the family here.
Vardan Tadevosyan (b. 1990) also lived in the village of Haykavan (Hadrut) and his family had also moved there from Armenia (Getap village, near Artik) after the first Artsakh War. Having left school upon the completion of the 8th grade, Vardan completed his compulsory military service (2008 – 2010), and beginning in 2011, began his career as a contract serviceman. Vardan was nicknamed the Black Arrow, a testament to his great skill as a sniper. He left behind his wife, Eliza Sargsyan, and two daughters, Flora (b. 2013) and Angelina (b. 2014). Vardan also died near Jebrail (Jrakan) on April 4th, having refused to retreat: he was hit by shrapnel after being detected by a drone. Vardan was subsequently interred in his native village of Getap (Artik, Armenia). After Vardan’s death, his brother, Vahan, went to the frontlines in order to continue the work that was left unfinished by his brother. Vardan Tadevosyan’s family was given $1,500 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Vardan and his family here:
Maksim Grigoryan (b. 1986) was both a lawyer and a military man. Having finished his compulsory two-year service in the Army (2006), Maksim graduated from the Narekatsi University in Stepanakert (2008) and then joined the Army as a contract serviceman (2008). Having earned a rank of lieutenant (2012), Grigoryan was promoted to be the legal aide of the commander of his unit, received numerous awards, and participated in the military clashes on the Artsakh-Azeri border in July/August 2014. When he received a call from his commanding officer to report to duty at the start of the Four Day War, Maksim was sick, in bed with fever, but rushed to the front lines to defend his land. He was killed on April 2nd in Jebrail (Jrakan), leaving behind is wife, Galina Budaghyan, and 2 daughters, Nane (b. 2012) and Lusia (b. 2015), who currently reside in the village of Tumi (Hadrut). The family was given $1,500 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Maksim Grigoryan’s family here:
Hovsep Mayilyan (b. 1978) had been serving in Artsakh Armed Forces since 1995, first as a conscript and then as a career officer. He was in charge of the maintenance and repairs of tanks in his unit and took great pride in his work. His fellow officers said that Hovsep Mayilyan was fixing one of the Armenian tanks when he was killed by the enemy. Hovsep was respected and loved by his friends and soldiers alike. The native of the Tumi village (Hadrut), Hovsep Mailyan lost his mother when he was 15 and was brought up by his sister, Lyuba. Hovsep left behind his wife of 16 years, Karine Mailyan, and three children, Harut (b. 2001), Marietta (b. 2005), and Hayk (b. 2014). The family was given $1,750 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Hovsep Mailyan here:
Suren Melkumyan (b. 1979) was married to his classmate and lifelong friend, Arevik, and together they had four sons: Grigor (b. 2002), Hayk (b. 2003), Harutyun (b. 2005), and Hrayr (b. 2012). Arevik, who is expecting her fifth child, lost her own father during the First Artsakh War, and will now raise her children without their father. Suren Melkumyan, the native of the village of Tumi, had graduated from the Vazgen Sargsyan military academy in Yerevan, and was a career officer in the Artsakh Armed Forces, He had about a year-and-a-half left until retirement from military service, but he was killed on April 4th, having been surrounded by Azeri forces and fighting them for five hours until the last bullet. Suren was known for his neatness, strictness, and devotion to service. The family was given $2,000 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Suren Melkumyan here:
Roman Poghosyan (b. 1979) was buried on his birthday, April 12th, having lost his life during the battles near Jebrail (Jrakan) along with four other high-ranking military officers. He was supposed to return home on the night of April 2nd, but was killed on that day during the Azeri attack. His body was returned to the Armenian side on April 10th. The graduate of St. Petersburg Military Academy (2013 – 2015), Roman Poghosyan devoted 18 years of his life to military service, having earned the rank of a Lieutenant Colonel and becoming the commander of an Artillery unit. Lt. Colonel Poghosyan left behind his wife, Marina, and three children, the 14-year old daughter, Anahit (b. 2002), and the sons, Gagik (b. 2005) and Gor (b. 2009), who currently reside in Yerevan at the home of Marina’s sister, whose husband also lost his life defending the Homeland. The family has expressed interest in permanently relocating to the capital. Roman Poghosyan’s family was given $1,750. You can learn more about Roman Poghosyan here:
Gharib Sahakyan (b. 1987) lived in the village of Arevshat/Togh (Hadrut) with his wife, Astghik Petrosyan, and three children: daughter, Angel (b. 2009), and sons, Alex (2012) and Allen (2014). Having been conscripted into the Army from 2005 to 2007, Gharib continued on as a contract servicemen in the Armed Forces of Artsakh for the past 8 years. During those years, he had earned the rank of a senior sergeant and a Medal of Bravery from the government of Artsakh. Gharib lost his life during battles near Martakert on April 4, 2016, while fighting along with his friends, Aznavour Balayan and Nver Simonyan. The family was given $1,750 by the WOS campaign. You can read about Gharib Sahakyan here.
Nver Simonyan (b. 1990) died in the arms of his brother, Azat, who served in the same unit with him on the front lines. Born in the village of Taghaser, Nver was one of Saro and Susanna Simonyan’s six children. Nver’s father was a participant of the Artsakh Liberation movement, and his younger brothers intend to join the Army and continue the family tradition of serving their country. Nver Simonyan was killed after two days of heavy battles near Martakert: their position was first detected by a drone, and then the Azeris used mortar fire against them, killing Nver and a few of his friends. Nver managed to destroy two of the enemy’s tanks before he fell in battle. Last November, Nver got engaged to Zoya, a classmate from the same village, and they were planning to get married soon. The family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Nver Simonyan here:
The AYF’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign, originally launched in 2012, was restarted in the aftermath of the Four Day War with the aim of providing assistance to the families of the fallen soldiers. To learn more about the campaign or to make a donation today, you can visit www.withoursoldiers.com.
Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization in the world, working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of Armenian youth.