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Trdat Musheghyan

Passport Photos Never Used: Murdered Artsakh Couple Buried Far from Home 

David and Nina Davtyan were to use these photos, taken by their grandson, in their new passports.

The photos were never used. In 2020, Azerbaijan troops invaded the Artsakh village of Vardashat and killed the couple in their own home. (Vardashat is part of the Hadrut District now occupied by Azerbaijan.)

davit_davtyan.jpg (823 KB) nina_davtyan.JPG (250 KB)

Mr. Davtyan was 86 years old and his wife, 82, killed.

The couple had four children. Three daughters lived in Hadrut before the war.

Galya Babayan, the eldest daughter, says that the last time she spoke to her parents was on September 30, 2020, urging them to hide in the basement. On October 5, a family member went to Vardashat to get the elderly couple to safety. They wouldn’t leave.

"They didn’t think the Turks would enter the village. Neither did we. We left Hadrut with just the clothes on our back. We took nothing else because we believed we’d return. Who would have believed the Turks would reach Hadrut?” asks Galya Babayan.

Davit and Nina Davtyan were last seen by Vardashat Mayor Ruslan Soghomonyan on October 8. He says that during the war he saw the elderly couple almost every day, persuaded them to get in the car and leave the village, but they categorically refused.

"I saw the Davtyans almost daily. I took them bread and sugar. I took whatever was there. They didn’t leave the house. When I left, I told them there was a car to take them out,” says Soghomonyan, adding that the couple were afraid people would rob their house I they left.   

"I went to Hadrut on the ninth of the month. The Turks had entered the village on the tenth,” the mayor recalls.

Afterwards, the couple’s children wrote to various organizations to get news of their parents. The family thought the couple might has escaped with other Vardashat residents.  

 Nina Davtyan's body was found in 2020 ․ According to a report published by the Artsakh Human Rights Defender on civilians killed by Azerbaijani armed forces, Nina Davtyan's head was severed from her body and her arm was broken.

Davit Davtyan's body was found in the garden of his Vardashat house in January 2021.

“My nephew went with the Turks and the peacekeepers. He said they wouldn’t know where the vegetable garden is. At first, they said they’d only check the house. They relented. My nephew found his grandfather’s body there,” says Galya Babayan.

She says her father was a gifted carpenter who could craft a variety of tools and implements. The basement was full of items Mr. Davtyan loaned to his neighbors. 

“When we were little, he played the tar. Whenever there was an event at the village school, he was always invited to play for the kids. Doing so made him very happy.  I will never forget it,” says Babayan.

She says her mother was a kind and hospitable person who always helped her neighbors when possible, gifting vegetables from the garden.

David and Nina Davtyan were buried in the Russian Black Sea town of Gelenzhik.

Read also:

Illustration by Shushan Gevorgyan

Comments (1)

Heart breaking. Extremely sad and painful to read. Unfortunately current Armenia leaders are good for nothing and busy eating kabob.

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