However, with the accreditation of me, as a journalist, got some kind of delay. An employee of the consular department of the Foreign Ministry was running from the 1st room to another, and later said that this accreditation will be provided to me later. When "later", she was not able to clarify.
But the absence of Prof. accreditation was discrepancy. Although I arrived in Karabakh, of course, not in order to go all over it winds between the tops of the mountains roads on their steep serpentines with vertical cliffs of the mountains and the multimeter. And, unfortunately, not in order to enjoy its lovely this time of year the bright autumn nature, ancient towns and old temples, even though this, of course, it was necessary to devote at least some part of his time. It is possible, I'll do it some other time. Just in those few days in front of me was a task to be in the army of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is not a lot of our readers who knows, to meet people who are in it, so I, military journalist, do not go to the front line was simply unrealistic. For the troops of the unrecognized republic's sixteen years is specifically in the trenches, on the front of the strip, where the trench dug and equipped with the full profile, are not abroad, but, seriously, divide war and peace. After a trip back to me and now this statement does not seem exaggerated.
And, naturally, I went there by myself not for myself, not a freelancer.
From the "Grandparents" (famous monument on the outskirts of Stepanakert, which is officially referred to as "We and our mountains", and among the people because I have already said — he meets and escorts everyone on the road in the direction of Askeran) we rush past the ancient city Fortress in Aghdam, once known in the Soviet Union for its port wine with a little ruble.
He, if anyone remembers, was sickening sweet and knocks down after the first bottle. At the moment, the city that gave him the title, is just a ghost. It lies in ruins after the war, the 90-ies of the last century. In fact, the ruins and then there is little, only piles of crumbled stones, clay and cement in the middle of wild bushes and pineapple inzhirovyh drooping trees, and even a rusted rebar — or cores of metal stoves, or someone else's iron beds. I asked for a minute to stop the car to take pictures of the ruins. Accompanied by an officer warned me that I should not depart too far from the curb — can be mine — and was taken aback:
— What for you are the images?
— It traces of war, — I answered.
He silently agrees.
We pass an abandoned and overgrown with briars An old Muslim cemetery. It is not broken, do not roll up the asphalt through it no one to lead the way, on the graves did not build the house. Although it is felt, firmly inherited. Somewhere hitherto shine craters from artillery disruptions and distortions in the various aspects of the monuments, perforated shell crypt is also reminiscent of the fierce battles took place here.
The cemetery across the broken skeletons of high-rise. Visible on the sidelines and ancient mosque with 2 half-ruined minarets, lined with izrastsami suras of the Koran.
— I wish to invite Iranian professionals — says the satellite — tried to repair it. But received protests from Baku. So she is, is destroyed, could only cover up the minarets of the tin, so that they do not numb in the water.
Hence, from the minarets and the turnpike, near which a helmet and flak jacket with a gun on his shoulder stands sentry, we drive to the front.
Hand of the Lord
I remember the other day, a trip to the front, we visited the village of Vank and towering above him on the mountain Gandzasar monastery built here back in 1238, and named the "soul of the Armenian people." Here, in the basement of the Church of St. John the Baptist is said to his servants, from the time of the Crusades, the relics of the saint's head. Cathedral, read my father abbot Grigor (Markosian) nearly suffered during the struggle for the independence of Karabakh. At least, its walls were very damaged, some of them are so far sticking stabilizer Nursi.
We sit in the cell prior. Father Gregory treats me mulberry vodka and quietly knows:
— Items of Azerbaijanis were far from us — 5 miles away, on the Ridge. Their artillery bombarded the monastery virtually every day. They were eager to kill him. But the only thing that failed, it hurt An old building in which we currently are sitting. Other shells were flying by. The hand of the Lord their taps. None has flown in through the fence, built of cross-stones (stones, on which is carved the Christian cross. — VL). None of our men who were behind the wall does not hurt, although they too were fire on the enemy. They kept the church, the church kept them.
At the abbot of the monastery of Gandzasar fascinating fate. He was born into a family of musicians, played the violin and folk music. He worked at the Yerevan Opera House, taught school and served as a parallel to the sacristan of the church, and later became a deacon. First 90 arrived in Nagorno-Karabakh, but here and stayed. Picked up the gun, defending the land from those who wish to banish from her Armenians. States that priests ordained Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Parga. It was not far from the village Kutkashen. Sovereign said:
— The Power of the Cross is greater than the power of the atomic bomb. With the cross we will win.
And together they went into battle, to free them from the enemy okkupirovannnoe Armenian village.
Father Gregory was the first chaplain to the Karabakh army and served in that post until the coming of the armistice in May 1994, and later became the abbot of the monastery of Shusha and from 2004 to 2007 again returned to military chaplains. The last three years he has — the abbot of the monastery of Gandzasar. The main thing that was done in the post chaplain, Father Gregory told me, baptizing children, who go into battle, they inspire confidence in victory.
— Spirit of the favorite, — this is the principle that there should be a fighter, — says the priest. — A man protects his land, he should be ready even to sacrifice for the sake of victory, firmly believe in it. To be convinced that he could do it and he does it. No matter what.
We are obliged to protect
On this belief in victory told me in the trenches for the Agdam district deputy commander Lt. Col. Karen defensive Abrahamian. The trenches here, by the way, turned out as I warned before the trip to the front lines, NKR Defense Minister Lieutenant General Movses Hakobyan, unique. The minister said that "they are even better than in the first 40 near Moscow." Dug the full profile, with all the necessary attributes — Stitching wire and hung on her empty tin cans with minefields, anti-tank obstacles, scarps and counterscarp to the front edge, company and platoon leaders supporting Fri, primary and alternate positions, including the cut-off, the branched moves messages, overlain by several Nakatami bunkers, command Fri, cells for submachine gunners and grenadiers … And the main thing — lined the walls of the trenches and on the ground by concrete columns of Vinogradovas plantations. And so there is always dry and clean as an operating room.
— Do not safe to have the "protection"? — I asked the colonel. — When a mortar or artillery shelling from the concrete walls will be flying debris. They will be complementary shrapnel.
— No, — he made the objection. — We inspected. This concrete is in contact with mine or not the projectile bounces — just crumbles. Even so, however, suppresses the explosion force.
Lt. Col. Abrahamian, graduate of the Law Faculty of the Yerevan Institute of managerial, in 1986-1988 he served as a sergeant in order parts of the Far Eastern Military Area. In the village of Chegdomyn Verhnebureyskogo district. Returning home, in Hadrut region of Nagorno-Karabakh, worked at the farm, and during the war of independence became chief district headquarters civilian defense. In the NKR Army since 1992. Was awarded the "Battle Cross" medal "For Courage", "For Military Merit", "Marshal Baghramyan." He has two daughters and two offspring. Some of them are also already serving in the military, in another defensive area. Second rise in a combat operation after year.
Friends of Karen told me what he was awarded the Order. It happened in 1993 under Dzhebrailov. Abrahamian, along with their fellow militiamen defended the Armenian village of, as recorded in the documents of the military, "the superior forces of the enemy." On their attacked some fighters, unlike the Azerbaijanis. Fired from rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, but it seemed obvious that it was not well-known Armenian Russian grenade launchers — exploding shells were quite different. Later it turned out that it was the Afghan mujahideen. As they were here, it is not clear. But the time it was not open a discussion. Tanks, who promised to send to the aid of the defenders, for some reason does not appear. And Karen, who was the commander of the company, with several of his friends tried to stop Afghans. Not go. Besides his great was wounded in the leg. He ordered the company of retreat, and he remained to cover its retreat.
He was taken in the cross-fire, and two groups of Mujahideen began to get his position on the right and on the left to take Karen captured. He saw it on the radio and called on the guns themselves. However, the guns have knocked a bit ahead of him, and the fellow to whom he gave the order to retreat, came back and took it out of the fire.
I asked Colonel: as at the moment the situation in their area of responsibility?
— Uneasy, — he says. — Shoot. From sniper rifles, a machine gun is often violated truce.
— How often? Once a day, once a day or two?
— No, a lot more often — says Karen. — This month, thank God, we do not have the wounded, as were two of them in the past. 1st shot in the neck, the other — in the back.
— And what are you doing? Fight fire with fire?
— Yes, — he says. — We have to. We are not at war, we just are defending, defending his own house, his own land. For we will not do no other.
Defense Minister Movses Hakobyan, I read that today, the enemy 30 times solved the leak test on their own terrain reconnaissance and sabotage groups. 20 nine times the samples failed. Once the enemy was able to destroy 4 Karabakh fighter 4 more hurt. However, the saboteurs were then destroyed. But this fact forces the soldiers of the unrecognized republic to be very vigilant.
UNIQUE MILITARY STRUCTURE
"Army of Nagorno-Karabakh — said to me, Lieutenant-General Movses Hakobyan — a unique military structure. It differs from all the other first acquisition by the armed forces. " "We have a first-90s, when we tried to banish from their native land, were not created companies and battalions, and self-defense groups of volunteers — read it. — Yard, village, district. This was our fundamental advantage. And when Azerbaijan army tried to kill us, all the people stood up for his native country. We had no other choice. Either die or defeat. We have overcome. Although a truce, realize that it can not last endlessly. All the more so that the enemy is constantly provocations on the band separation, purchase the most modern weapons and military equipment, is preparing for revenge. "
"I read and I will be read, — Emphasizes the Minister — that the cease-fire on this earth, there is only thanks to the army of Nagorno-Karabakh. We respect the OSCE Minsk Group, other intermediaries, and their efforts to find a way out of the conflict, but we just hope for their armed forces. Because if the enemy decides to use the army to achieve their goals, he would do it. And we understand perfectly. "
In Nagorno-Karabakh army served, serve and will serve as the general said, all the men of the country. No man can take any municipal office, if he had not spent two years in the armed forces of Nagorno-Karabakh, more precisely, in the trenches (as, incidentally, opened in Armenia. If you did not serve in the military, you do not have any prospects in home country. — VL). Service in the trenches are shifts. How long does "watch", I did not say — it's a secret, but simply accepted the fact that the NKR army — trench. Sixteen years since the armistice, she "digs into the ground." "It is also our unique feature" — says the general.
And the attitude of the army here in Artsakh (the so-called himself Nagorno-Karabakh. — VL) special. In the center of Stepanakert, next to the Presidential Palace and the House of Government on the iconic place where military parades, built house veterans of the Armed Forces. The funds released by the army as long as it takes. The lieutenant then gets each month for at least the equivalent of U.S. $ 500. Lieutenant Colonel Colonel — 700-800. Private or NCO corps — from 300 to 500 dollars when the average wage of $ 200 in financing the Karabakh forces involved not only the government, and countless, far away is not a poor Armenian diaspora. Including from far afield. However, their own apartments while far have not all officers.
Karabakh officers usually graduate from military universities in Yerevan or abroad. Including in. The minister, a graduate of Alma-Ata Higher Military Military School in 1986, graduated not long ago the Russian Military Academy of the General Staff. I ask, as a citizen of what country he studied in Moscow? General takes a direct answer. "Those people took me to school, knew who I was," — he says. A similar question in relation to other students of other schools, including other countries of the CIS, also remains unanswered. "We find opportunity, how to send our people to study," — said the Minister.
When asked how many soldiers has Nagorno Karabakh army, if it is not hidden number, the general replied:
— No, it's not a secret. I can name a number. We serve 146,600 people. It&#
39;s all the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.
A fascinating detail. I talk to the soldiers in the trenches, Arthur Igityan ordinary conscripts and junior sergeant Gevorg Galustian. Interested in them, where they came from? One by one answer, from Yerevan and Ararat valley of Armenia. It also flies from the officer who accompanied me NKR Defense Ministry and adds their forefathers from Nagorno-Karabakh. At the 1st of Hadrut, the second — from Stepanakert. The third of my companion, Private Valery Hakobyan, as it turns out, the ancestors in general work in Russia.
— They are volunteers — says a representative of the Defense Ministry of Nagorno Karabakh. — Sami came here to us, have expressed a desire to serve in our military. We have no right to refuse.
I remember my conversation with the First Deputy Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan. I asked him about the official relations between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Yerevan is still not recognized Stepanakert independent state. But as it turns out that the Armenian boys — not only in Armenia, but also from the Russian Federation are in this country?
— In our military doctrine and strategy of national security record — says David Tonoyan — that "The Republic of Armenia is the guarantor of the security of the people Nagorno-Karabakh." With all its components.
So I think everything is a grown-up cool implicated. Armenia guarantees the security of Nagorno-Karabakh, our homeland, as a military ally of Armenia, also ensures the security of Armenia. What's not so long ago, during a visit to Yerevan singled and President Dmitry Medvedev, signed by President Serzh Sargsyan respective agreement. And then there is the Organization of the Collective Security Contract, which comes along with Russia and Armenia. And who would dare now to poruha NKR with all the ensuing consequences? To solve the problem of the unrecognized country by military force?
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PS A accreditation for its own incarnation of Professor in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic I all received. Without any restrictions. However, it came out after returning from a business trip. But all the same. In principle, that no laws NKR I did not break.