- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
Special Edition
May 14, 2004

Hakob Berberyan found a circle of suffering . . .

It was an early February morning in 1994. Fizuli region. Front line positions of our troops were stretching in the form of an arc near Abdurakhmanli village. It had been snowing during the night and tops of the hills surrounding the entrenchments were covered with a thin white shawl. The bright blue sky was contrasted with white clouds.

Tired of being awake all night we were asleep tossing in a tent which was set up in a hurry. Suddenly there was a long and loud burst of fire. They were shooting from a large-caliber machine-gun. We immediately jumped out of the tent that had frozen during the night. Bullets were whining over the neighboring hills taken by our troops drawing red lines from the tracers in the sky, like on a board. Who was shooting and where from? There, on an opposite hill, an Azeri military vehicle was moving up stealthily and armed with a large-caliber machine-gun, it was firing at our positions randomly. Quickly disappearing after short firing it kept on appearing in the same place and continued to fire. It was obvious that an experienced “tankman” was driving it.

Suddenly, on other hills behind the military vehicle Azeri soldiers appeared. They were watching the fight lined up in a long rank. For the first time I had a chance to see how soldiers from both sides were watching the fight of military equipment as if nothing was happening, as if it was on a screen at a movie theatre.

…It was night. Happy from of the successful opening of Lachin corridor soldiers and journalists despite their being tired were congratulating each other. Suddenly I noticed a smoke coming from the left side of the road. I came closer . A solid stone village house well cared-for (however much it was possible in conditions of war) was burning. I made two shots … Suddenly my heart started aching . I was thinking . A family used to live here and children were born here, there was a normal, peaceful life. Automatically, I pictured myself in their place. I right away recalled moments told by my grandmothers about the time when they had to leave their homes exactly the same way, escaping from Turkish invaders in early 20th century. An exclusive circle.

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War no More

Veterans of war gathered May 9, Victory Day. The WWII day is also the day Armenians celebrate the "liberation" of Shushi, in Karabakh.



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