27 Jul AYF’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ Campaign Helps Families of Fallen Heroes in Stepanakert
STEPANAKERT—Since mid-May, the AYF’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign has been reporting to the community on the assistance provided to the families of fallen heroes of the Four Day War in various regions of Artsakh and Armenia. Following the visits to Armavir, Kotayk, and Gegharkunik, the representatives of the campaign distributed funds to the relatives of fallen soldiers in various parts of Artsakh, beginning in Hadrut, then moving on to Kashatagh, Askeran, and Martakert before visiting families in Martuni and Shushi.
The last leg of the visit included families of six fallen soldiers in the capital city of Artsakh – Stepanakert. A total $8,750 was distributed to the families of six servicemen from these areas who were killed in April. You can watch the video report of the visits with the families 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. Three of the four soldiers, whose families were assisted during this phase of the campaign, had children. 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 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 a brief biography of each fallen soldier, with respective video reports and individual clips about them and their families.
Davit Gasparyan (b. 1979) had served in the Self-Defense Army of Artsakh as a contract servicemen since the end of his compulsory military service (1998 – 2000). The native of Stepanakert was a graduate of Mesrop Mashtots school, and had dedicated his entire life to military service. Davit Gasparyan was killed near Mataghis on April 4th from shrapnel wounds. Junior officer Gasparyan was married to Arshaluys, and they had three children: a son named Yuri (b. 2004), and two daughters, Yulianna (b. 2007) and Mariana (b. 2013). Davit Gasparyan’s family was given $1,750 by the WOS campaign. No additional sources of information were available for Davit Gasparyan.
Hrant Gharibyan (b. 1947) lived in the Azeri city of Barda prior to the liberation movement, and moved to Artsakh in the aftermath of the conflict. Gharibyan spoke fluent Azeri, and often bought supplies for Armenian soldiers from the Azeri merchants in Aghdam during the first war. Having lost hope in obtaining housing in Stepanakert after 19 years of waiting, the Gharibyan family moved back to Mataghis. Gharibyan worked as a military truck driver and transported ammunition to the front lines for the Defense Army of Artsakh. He was due to retire this summer. On the night of April 2nd, Gharibyan, along with officer Hayk Toroyan, was taking weapons to the soldiers, when his truck was stopped near Talish by Azeri invaders. After a failed attempt to escape, Gharibyan was shot, captured and beheaded while still alive (Toroyan was beheaded as well). At the start of the war, Gharibyan’s wife, Raya fled from their native Mataghis to Stepanakert, and Hrant was buried in the capital city. Hrant and Raya have three adult children. Hrant Gharibyan’s family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Hrant here.
Norayr Hajyan (b. 1976) was born in Baku, in a family of a journalist, and together with his parents escaped to Armenia during the early days of the Artsakh Liberation Movement. In December of 1992, the 16-year old Norayr ran away from his house and joined the self-defense forces in Kornidzor (Syunik). Soon, he was fighting the enemy in Berdzor (Lachin) and he did not return home until after the ceasefire agreement. After fulfilling his compulsory military service (1997 – 1999), Norary Hajyan moved to Stepanakert. Here, he graduated from Stepanakert Mesrop Mashtots University and married his wife, Gayane. Norayr was always ready to defend his beloved Artsakh: having participated in the battles against the Azeris in 2014, he went to the front lines as a volunteer in the early days of April. He died in battles near Talish on the night of April 5th. He left behind his wife and two sons, Grigory (b. 2006) and Artakh (b. 2009). Norayr Hajyan’s family was given $1,500 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Norayr here.
Rudik Movsesyan (b. 1976) was a career officer, who had dedicated 22 years of his life to military service and had earned the rank of a Major. His mother, Alina Ohanjanyan, describes her son as a fun-loving and energetic individual who loved to spend time with family and was extremely devoted to his job and his country. Major Movsesyan last spoke with his wife in the afternoon of April 4th, shortly before being killed by a drone strike near Martakert. Rudik Movsesyan lived with his wife, Nelly, and two daughters, Tatevik (b. 1998) and Elen (b. 1999) in his parent’s apartment in Stepanakert, where the families of his uncle, brother, and sister also reside. Rudik Movsesyan’s wife hopes that at least after her husband’s death, she and her children will receive their own home apartment: they have been waiting for that for many years now. Rudik Movsesyan’s family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Rudik here.
Masis Tovmasyan (b. 1979) was a native of Stapanakert, who, upon completion of his compulsory military service (1996 – 1999), went on to graduate from Yerevan University of Management (1999 – 2003) with a degree in law. Masis never practiced law, however, preferring to do odd jobs that helped him secure better income. When the news of Azeri attacks broke out, Masis was among the first volunteers to join the self-defense forces near Mataghis. He was also the first victim of the war from Stepanakert (died on April 3rd). Masis’ 12-year old sister had died in a car accident during the first war, and his parents have now lost their second child. Masis was married, and he left behind his wife of 11 years, Elvira, and two children – the 10-year old Edwin (b. 2006) and the 8-year old Elen (b. 2008). Masis Tovmasyan’s family was given $1,500 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Masis here.
Marat Danielyan (b. 1984) died Talish on the night of April 21st from a gunshot wound received during an Azeri attempt to infiltrate through the border. He had gone to the front lines as a volunteer during the Four Day War, and continued to defend his country in its aftermath. Having served in the Defense Army of Artsakh (2002 – 2004), Marat Danielyan went on to graduate from Artsakh State University (2006) and worked in the tourism industry. Marat was married, and together with his wife, Lusine Khachatryan, they had two children – Rafaeyl (b. 2008) and Milena (b. 2012). Marat Danielyan’s family was given $1,500 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Marat 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.