Victim Number One of the Artskah War

10/30/2021 Nagorno-Karabakh (International Christian Concern) – On September 27, 2020, the first day of the Nagorno-Karabakh War, 8-year-old Armenian Victoria Gevorgyan was killed in a heavy bombardment by the Azerbaijani military. The shell landed in the yard of her family house in the town of Martuni, Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh). She was the first civilian victim of the war, also one of the youngest of the thousands of Armenian losses over the 44-day period.

Victoria’s mother and two-year-old brother Artsvik were injured in the same attack. Little Artsvik was suffered serious injuries to his head and legs. He underwent two surgeries and fortunately has finally recovered. Another elderly woman living next door to them also was killed the same day.

Victoria was in the 3rd grade of elementary school and receiving excellent marks. According to her father, she excelled in every field. “My daughter Victoria was number one everywhere she was attending and in everything she was doing. She was working very hard regardless of her age to be the champion. Even in this cursed war she was victim number one” said Victoria’s father, hardly keeping away his tears.

Victoria’s dad is a military contractor in the Armenian army and participated in the 44-day Nagorno-Karabakh war. He was a role model to Victoria, a guarantee protector of their land since she was born. Victoria loved the military, even wearing a military uniform in most of her pictures, wearing her dad’s medals on her chest with pride.

According to Victoria’s mother, everyone used to like her daughter because she was a light to all. She was very active girl, mature for her age, and liked to joke a lot. But very often Victoria used to wake up in the middle of the night from an unusual nightmare for a little kid, describing that in her dream the Azerbaijani military attacked their town from the sky.

“Basically she was right: today, after one year everyone speaks about my daughter Victoria. She is famous. But, of course, in a totally different way which I wish would never be.”

“My daughter Victoria, regardless her little age, had huge respect to soldiers in uniform. She liked the uniform by herself, too and was asking to buy it for her. She understood that the Armenian military soldiers were ones who stand for us here in our land, that’s why she used to like them and longed to be like them in future”, said Victoria’s mother.

Victoria dreamed of becoming a TV star and always was asking questions not only about real celebrities, but also the stars in the sky that shine for Earth. Victoria passed away in her mother’s warm arms in the ambulance while en route to the hospital from her house where she was injured.

After the war finished, with the help of a few individuals from overseas, her family bought a new apartment in the same town and moved. There were too many memories in their former house which reminded them of little Victoria. Her brother, who has now recovered from his injuries, remembers her and always asks about her.

The whole family struggles to remember and speak about Victoria without becoming visibly upset. She will be remembered as the first and the youngest victim of the 44-day war. “She continuously used to say ‘I am going to become a celebrity, my face and pictures will be everywhere on TV and social media, my name will be well-known, I promise you will be very proud of me, mom’” says Victoria’s mother with heavy tears. “Basically she was right: today, after one year everyone speaks about my daughter Victoria. She is famous. But, of course, in a totally different way which I wish would never be.”

Unfortunately, 8-year-old Victoria was not the only child killed in the Turkish-Azerbaijani attacks during the Artsakh war of 2020. Azerbaijanis used munitions with wide-reaching effects; including fundamentally inaccurate artillery rockets, which strikes killed not only military fighters on the frontline but also civilians, including children.

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