From the very first days of the Artsakh movement, Azgaldyan participated in the national liberation struggle.Since, February 1990, he led the command of the “Independence Army”, organized self-defense of a number of regions and especially Vardenis.
Azgaldyan completely linked his fate with the liberation war of Artsakh, first acting in Getashen and Shahumyan, and then in the Martakert Region.
In order to give a new scope to the Artsakh Liberation War, the military organization “Liberation Army” was created in June 1991, including militants from Armenia, Artsakh and Western Armenia. For the soldiers, Leonid was an authority and a kind of commander who always encouraged them. For him, the greatest wealth is a volunteer soldier, from whom the country has no greater value.
“You can’t sacrifice a soldier just because you’re freeing up a piece of land. We should build all projects, attacks, and defenses in such a way that there will be no victims,” Azgaldyan said.
The 300-man brigade he created, which conducted daily physical and tactical trainings, was initially distinguished by conscious discipline. That is, a soldier himself understood the importance of his discipline.
“It is wrong when they say that the land is held in blood, we should keep the land by loving it,” Azgaldyan said. “When young guys come and say they came to die for Artsakh, I don’t accept them, we need fighters and winners for Artsakh. These territories that we are liberating are more important than we imagine, or can imagine, any nation that surrenders the land is doomed to destruction.”
27 settlements have been liberated in Artsakh under Leonid’s command. During this time, only six people died, he was the seventh. His deputy, Vladimir Balayan, died 12 days before his death. On this day, the guys of the brigade saw tears in the commander’s eyes for the first time. When he heard about Balayan’s death, Azgaldyan said he was going to join Vladimir, probably feeling himself being the next target.
Leonid was killed on June 21, 1992 near the village of Tonashen in the Martakert region. His body is buried in Yerevan Central Cemetery (Tokhmakh Cemetery) next to his father. Leonid Azgaldyan was posthumously awarded the highest order of Artsakh Hero, the RA “Combat Cross” order of the first degree.
President Armenak Abrahamyan says:
“Today, more than ever, the memory of Leonid Azgaldyan, his path, his commitments and contribution to the liberation of the Armenian territories are relevant.This is Leonid Azgaldyan, who stated in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_nTDtHWO98 – the expression “Artsakh is Armenia and that’s it” . It is obvious that Leonid was talking about Armenia in 1920, and not about Soviet Armenia.”