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Marine Madatyan

Artsakh War Vets Feel Duty Bound to Pass On Their Experience

Ruben Hovhannisyan fought in the Artsakh War. He’s also a documentary cameraman.

During the war, in the heat of battle, he once tried to open fire on the enemy with the camera he was carrying.

At today’s press conference, this war memory elicited the laughter of many young reporters. Such a reaction was misplaced, for it was the onslaught of enemy bullets raining down that caused Hovhannisyan to panic.

He also remembers the day when 79 fighters in the Arabo Unit went missing. Ruben only found the fighters in his dreams, which led him to make a film about them – “A Jump Over the Chasm”.

The two other speakers at the press conference also served in Artsakh, albeit in different capacities.

Hakob Poghosyan covered in war as a documentary filmmaker and photographer. Hovik Vardumyan is a writer who fought as a soldier.

Many of Poghosyan’s wartime buddies are not alive today. Their memory is brought to life through the extensive tapes he filmed at the time.

Vardumyan took his war experiences and impressions and they later served as the basis for several books.

He would like to see his work “Kantegh” (Lamp) become required reading in schools and military units. Vardumyan believes it would go a long way to restoring confidence in the army and make young men and women want to serve.

Vardumyan noted that many of today’s TV serials about army life fall short and send the wrong message.

The writer also has a book about the Armenian women who fought in the Artsakh War. It’s called “The Call of the Gods”.

“They were unique women and were just as strong-willed, if not more so, than many of the guys,” notes Vardumyan.

Ruben Hovhannisyan thinks it would be great if Artsakh vets could periodically visit different army bases today and tell new recruits about their war experiences.

“I don’t wish to toot my own horn, but the know-how we got from the war is definitely worth passing on,” he said.

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vor patmecin mi ban poxvelu a???

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