Children of Western Armenia: Zhora Sahakyan

  • by Western Armenia, November 07, 2023 in Society

Zhora Sahakyan was born on January 27, 2001 in the village of Togh, Hadrut region, Artsakh. In 2020, following the 44-day war, the village of Togh in the Hadrut region came under the control of Baku. There were no casualties among the villagers in the battles fought for the village. Nine conscripts from Togh took part in the war, in different parts of the front. Among them, Zhora Sahakyan was killed on October 30 on the heights of Uryan Hill, in the Martuni region. Zhora was the first child of the Sahakyan family. Zhora Sahakyan was conscripted in July 2019, he served in the 5th Defense Region, in the Martakert military unit.

Zhora Sahakyan's father, Vahid Sahakyan, said in an interview with Hetq:

“He didn’t complain about the service, he always said everything was fine.” On the day the war began, the morning of September 27, 2020, Vahid Sahakyan left Togh with his wife, two daughters and son to serve in Martakert.

"I was at home, I heard the sound of explosions, I understood that it was a war. I went to the village, immediately the mobilization of the village began. The head of the village was in Yerevan at that time At that time we informed him of the situation, he asked the MOB to prepare the lists before his arrival. Around twenty people from the village formed a crowd and went to the Hadrut military station.

From there, they send positions in the area from Karakhanbeyli to Kurder, located about 20 km east of the village of Togh. On October 11, they arrived in Togh, three days later gunshots were heard on the hill called Kavak, in the village Azerbaijani forces were approaching. The village was called Karkaraband, in this locality the men of our MOB occupy positions within the battalion of peacekeeping troops of the Ministry of Defense.

Since October 17, the village militia has been stationed in Togh. On October 21, the Azerbaijanis reached Togh, we resisted for a day, but we could not keep the village,” Vahid Sahakyan said.

From the first day of the war, Vahid Sahakyan spoke daily with his son Zhora, whose battalion participated in military operations in Martakert. From October 23, the battalion moved to Martuni.

"After I talked to him, he said, 'Grandpa, we have an important position, so if we give that up, they will come into the city.' I don't know what he meant by city, Chartar or Martuni. But it is certain that these conscripts fulfilled their task to the end," recalled Vahid Sahakyan.

On the night of October 24-25, the 11th company of the 4th Battalion from Martakert, where Zhora served, was positioned on Uryan Hill in Martouni. There were positions left from the 90s, they had not managed to create new ones. From October 25, they enter the battle: “Uryan Hill is a small hill, there are no trees, no stones, and the drones are still on the top, the air is open, guys became an open target, but how many times did they repel the attack of the Azerbaijanis. “The enemy realized that he could not climb the hill, he came back and started firing with his artillery,” Vahid Sahakyan said. On the night of October 27, at dawn of the 28th, company commander Suren Vahanyan was killed on Urian Hill. The platoon continued to hold its position without a commander.

"Without a commander, without normal entrenched positions, they remained until the end. Now I think perhaps they swore not to abandon their position, no matter what, and to hold on to it, even at the cost of their lives," says Vahid Sahakyan.

On the evening of October 30, around 6 p.m., during an airstrike on the position of the Urian height, including Zhora Sahakyan, 19 servicemen were killed. Among the 19 dead, 17 were soldiers from the 11th company of the 4th battalion in Martakert. 2 came from "Martuni 2", "from (2nd defensive region).

After the war, on November 18, 2020, search teams recovered the remains of fallen soldiers on the heights of Uryan. On December 15, Zhora Sahakyan's body was identified by DNA and on December 16, he was buried at the “Yerablur” military pantheon.