A Karabagh war veteran gave his opinion about the liberation of Shushi and similar matters:
“A lot is said about how we liberated Shushi,” he began. “Some say Shushi fell because of Azeri traitors. And I’ve heard several times that Armenians climbed the rocky cliff at night, from the village of Karintak at the base of the mountain. Nobody climbed that cliff; we came up the road. And there was no betrayal on the Azeri side. The mistake they made was that there were no women or children in Shushi, only a few hundred fighters and a hundred or so inhabitants. Don’t they know that most soldiers will fight only so long, or so hard, if they aren’t defending their families, their women’s honor? Very few men, maybe five or ten out of a thousand, have enough love for their homeland that they’ll fight on and on, no matter what, just for the homeland....
“The Dashnaks made the same mistake at Kars. Fearing possible massacre, they sent the women and children out of Kars, out of the fortress. The siege lasted only so long, then the Turks took the fortress and the city.
“As the war progressed, I found myself fighting for revenge, more than anything else. After what I saw...Maragha, and other places...I couldn’t help myself. War is like that. If I had a chance to join in the Khojalu events, I probably would have lost control and started killing those fleeing. It’s good I wasn’t there.
“But this is probably the only place on earth that does what it does to its war heroes. For instance, when Levon was president, I was shown in video material taken after the battle for Shushi. Then when Kocharian took over as president, they edited me out, and why, I still don’t know. Now, with a new president, I’m still out of the picture. In the future, who knows.
“Yet, more important is what they’ve done to Sassun Mikayelyan and Jirair, from Lebanon. These fellows were fighters, real fighters, who defended their homeland well. What’s their thank you? The government isn’t giving Jirair citizenship, and Sassun is in prison.
“Here, if you’re against those in charge, you’re the enemy. How do these people look at themselves in the mirror?”