The village of Sos, Martuni district has a rich history with heroic episodes. During the Artsakh war, the villagers contributed to the repulsion of Azerbaijani aggression and the expulsion of the cruel enemy from our country. Karlen Hakobyan recorded their dedicated struggle and combat path. We were pleasantly surprised to see the memoirs of the Sos community branch chairman of the Union of Liberation Warriors and an active participant in military events, because it is hard to imagine how Karlen Hakobyan, in short breaks between heavy battles, found the strength to make notes on the basis of which really remarkable memoirs were born for passing them to descendants. They are written in simple and everyday language, based on rich facts with interesting details, which gives readers an idea of ​​the incredible devotion and courage, determination and sense of purpose of an Armenian freedom fighter, the one who has taken up an arm to defend his homeland. It is thanks to these qualities that our people were able to defeat the enemy, much superior in numbers and by technical equipment.

The April 2016 military escalation unblocked a new arena for the manifestation of these qualities. This time, the young generation, following the example of their fathers, courageously fought against the approaching enemy and heroically defended the borders of their homeland. Obviously, besides the genetic descent of the Motherland defenders qualities inherited from their ancestors, military servicemen received an effective and targeted military-patriotic education in our society. These memories having many exemplary episodes are also useful for this extremely important sphere, and each reader can find a winning formula for himself.

The author of memoirs has participated in the Artsakh movement since 1987. He is one of the activists of the preparatory phase of the national struggle. On his initiative, a proposal for reunification with Mother Armenia was included in the agenda of the joint public meeting of the villages Sos and Machkalashen. He maintained contact with subterranean leaders of the Artsakh movement, activists of the Armenian SSR and NKAO. Karlen Hakobyan is one of the initiators for organizing the self-defense movement in his village.                                                                                                                                In May 1992, he voluntarily entered the ranks of the Artsakh Self-Defense Forces, namely the Sos detachment, then in the battalion ranks he participated in all battles of the Amaras valley, in the battle for Khazazasar, in the liberation of Nerkin Divanallar, where he was wounded. As part of a volunteer group, he went to Martakert district, where from August 26 to September 4, 1992 he took part in the defense of the villages Mehman, Chldran, Drmbon, and then returned to Martuni to repel the tank attack launched by the enemy on September 6-7. In August 1993, he participated in the APCs -2 landing force in the suppression of Yaglavend firing points, and was wounded again during the battle.He took part in hostilities in the Fizuli region, including Horadiz.

In March 1994, he was appointed a commander of heavy weapons company. Due to family circumstances, Senior Lieutenant K. Hakobyan was sent to another unit in November of the same year and was on combat duty in the Martuni Defensive Region until 1996 as a professional soldier. In 1996 he was demobilized from the ranks of the Defense Army.

He was awarded the NKR medals “For Courage”, “Defender of the Fatherland”, etc.

Publishing valuable memoirs of K. Hakobyan, we present the example of Sos brave sons and other villages of the Amaras valley to young soldiers of the Defense Army bringing combat duty to younger generations who will keep the commandments and combat traditions of elders, who will write new brilliant pages in the annals of Armenian military art and army development.

In the memoirs of K. Hakobyan, many seemingly hopeless situations are described, but even when the bullets are finished and the ranks of defenders of the defensive lines are extremely weakened, a bunch of brave people beats the enemy  vastly exceeding in human and material resources and forces him to leave the battlefield.

The main weapon of the Armenian fighter for freedom and his superiority is spiritual will, a firm faith in his own power and justice of the common case, whose roots go back centuries to his native land. The secret of success is maintaining constantly a national image and devotion to enduring values.    Having started the full publication of memoirs, we tried to preserve the author’s style and spirit of the times, a true story and even the inevitable cruel images in a military situation.

The memoirs are distinguished by their straightforwardness, rich factual base, interesting details that give the reader an opportunity to get an idea of ​​the Armenian fighter for freedom during hard war years, the incredible dedication and courage of an Armenian who took up the arm to defend his homeland, determination and focus on victory.

A couple of years ago, K. Hakobyan took up this business with a single goal – to pay tribute to his fellow soldiers for the accomplished feats, for devotion and patriotism.

These memoirs are designed to perpetuate all the heroes who, at the cost of their own lives, defended homeland and expelled the invaders from our country, freed the wreckage of their historical homeland, having expelled constant danger from our peaceful settlements.

These memoirs are a kind of epic both about freedom fighters and all the best sons and daughters of Armenians, who served as a reliable rear for the fighting sons, withstood all the disasters and trials of war. At the most crucial moment, they did not lose their courage of spirit and thereby contributed to its victory.

These memoirs are also a unique message to young and future generations – to preserve sacredly and defend their homeland, follow the elders’ example, equip their native places and pass on the lessons of patriotism from generation to generation.

Many thanks to the sons of Aram Balayan – Andrei, Anatoly, Ararat, Artik and Aleksan, as well as my relative – Arsen Hayrapetyan for financing an issue of book “Eagles of Sos”.

Aram Balayan was a famous teacher of physical education in our republic. When the Artsakh movement began, he became one of its active participants and leaders from the Sos community.

On the night of September 10, 1991, during the defense of Amaras, riot police arrested him and took him to the Bail prison in Baku. He has been tortured in the Baku torture-chambers for a year, after which, together with eight friends, he has been sentenced to imprisonment in Tbilisi.                           Soon after, he and other courageous people were taken to a Yerevan prison, where they were released due to the lack of corpus delicti.

Today, the sport complex at the Sos school is named after Aram Balayan. And his sons are engaged in charity work for the prosperity of both the school and the Sos community, helping the needy villagers.

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