During the war, Senior Lieutenant Vrezh Manukyan was the commander of the third platoon of the Drombon assault battalion. The battalion participated in the battles of Talish, Mataghis, Martakert, Haterk, Shekher, Hadrut, and Shushi. On November 5, the Airborne Assault Battalion was tasked with two platoons to join the defensive battles in the foothills of Shushi. The platoon commanders were Vrezh Manukyan and Arman Zakaryan. The platoons managed to break out of the blockade on the night of November 8. Fighting in the forests, they retreated and reached Stepanakert at 4 a.m. on November 9. During the war, Vrezh Manukyan’s platoon suffered one casualty and two wounded.
“A troop of 800-900 people landed from Shushi on November 5 and did not participate in further combat operations. In 90% of cases there was no communication, there was no leadership, and if there was no leadership, there could be no victory,” said Lieutenant Vrezh Manukyan, commander of the third platoon of the Drombon assault battalion, whose battalion participated in the 7 war zones: Talish, Mataghis, Martakert, Haterk, Shekher, Hadrut, and Shushi combat operations.
In one of the interviews, Vrezh Manukyan answered the question: when did they arrive in Shushi on November 5, where were they stationed, what was their combat mission?
“On the afternoon of November 5, around five o’clock, we arrived and were parked at the intersection of the road leading to Karin Tak-Shushi, near the power grid and on Fir Hill. We had to guard the right part of the road and adjacent areas with the special battalion of our army.
When we arrived, Hadrut’s Fifth Battalion, led by company commander Major Geghaznik Tonoyan, was guarding the top of the road leading to Karin Tak-Shushi, a group from the company was manning the positions and directing the fighting, and another group, as a reserve force, was on wounded and ammunition. Wherever we were positioned, one could say, there was no position, there were entrenched positions, behind rocks, trees, hills, no hiding place, but no position, no shelter, nothing, everything was open. We fought under the sky. , in the open field.
Vrezh Manukyan noted that there was no connection. In any operation, whether training or combat, communication is the most important attribute, which can be said to be absent 85-90% of these days.
“I was one of the commanders, I also had flaws. I am 26 years old, I was 23 during the war, I cannot have followed this combat path, have this experience, this fantasy and plan their operation to liberate large areas with small groups without causing casualties, as Seiran Ohanyan said, but much more than me, the senior officers made much more serious mistakes, even running away. There was no one to give orders, there was no direction, there was no connection, there was no decisiveness of any of this and the resulting infantry. aerial weapons and REP complexes were not working and the enemy’s fire assets in this part were working on us every minute.
During the 44-day war, this part probably had the greatest number of casualties and gunshot wounds. On November 8, 400 people were killed by firearms in this part in 10 minutes.
Since November 6, the road was closed on both sides, we were under siege, our forces could not come to help from the gas station on the Shushi road, they could not deliver food, water or ammunition, only armored vehicles could come to evacuate the wounded, to bring other ammunition, but they were also hit, in our sector they hit the HMM-2 carrying wounded.
On November 7, our tanks advanced, our group of paratroopers also advanced with a special unit, we took weapons and ammunition there, food, cigarettes, we had nothing, they could not provide them nor communications or water or food. On the same day, November 7, we retreated again, because the enemy was in numerical superiority and we could not maintain our advance.
On November 7, in the afternoon, we can say that our command had no contact with us, our relatives thought that we were not there either, the intensity of the fire was so great that every ten minutes there were either casualties or injuries. Not a single armored vehicle could approach, only a few eagles from the Khojalu armored brigade came with their brigade commander, carrying the wounded and bringing weapons.
On November 8, Tovmas (posthumous hero of Artsakh) from the Eghniks group was wounded. My platoon member Vanush Poghosyan and I approached, took him to the road, the sniper shot him in the leg, we bandaged him with Ded from the special forces, we installed him in an ambulance, and on the way, they hit the vehicle. »