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Diana Ghazaryan

Returning to the Homeland to Fight on the Frontline

Harutyun Margaryan arrived in Armenia this morning from the Russian city of Krasnodar to volunteer for the Artsakh frontline.

Margaryan, 22, has been living with his family in Krasnodar for the past eight years. He is a marketing specialist.  

He was discharged from the Russian army in July of this year. He was a volunteer and served in a tank unit.

"I realized that the border needs men who have military knowledge. It is time for us to come and fight," he says.

Dozens of Armenian men arrived on the same Krasnodar-Yerevan flight with Harutyun to leave for the Artsakh front. Most received conscription notices. Some, like Margaryan, are volunteers.

Hetq spoke to young and middle-aged men alike who’ve arrived and they they are ready to fight.

 Most of those returning to Armenia were in military uniform.

"The news of the war was a big blow for me. My family, my children are in Stepanakert. I have come to fight, to defend my homeland. "Now the boys of the diaspora must come," says Edward Mejlumyan.

Mejlumyan, 54, left Armenia for Krasnodar on September 26. Fighting broke out the next day. He purchased a return ticket when the fighting escalated.

He often makes short work-related visits to Russia. His family continues to live in Stepanakert, the Artsakh capital

Mejlumyan, is an Artsakh army veteran, who now serves as a reserve officer. He says he’s prepared for battle and his age is no hindrance.

This is not the first flight bringing men to Armenia from abroad who want to fight. Many bring various types of assistance with them

"I have come to defend my homeland. Every dead soldier is a painful loss for us. Every day is painful. I wish endurance and courage to our army,” says Arsen Zuloyan, who returned to Armenia from Krasnodar. His friends are also returning to fight.

Arsen Zuloyan calls on Armenians living in the diaspora to return to Armenia and stand by Armenian soldiers in the battlefield.

While he stresses the need for financial donations to support Artsakh, he says putting one’s body on the line is paramount today. 

Photos by Ani Sargsyan

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