STEPANAKERT (Armradio) — On 9 May within the framework of celebrations to mark the Victory Holiday, the Day of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Defense Army and the Liberation of Shushi Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakian together with Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian and NKR second President Arkady Ghukasian attended the Stepanakert Memorial Complex, laid a wreath and flowers to the monuments commemorating martyrs perished in the Great Patriotic War and the Artsakh Liberation Struggle.
On the same day Bako Sahakian, Hovik Abrahamian and Arkady Ghukasian visited the town of Shushi and laid garlands and flowers to the pedestal of the tank-monument and the monument of Sparapet Vazgen Sargsian. They partook in the opening of “Karabakh’s Revival” photo-exhibition of prominent photographer Martin Shahbazian and his “Artsakh-Revival” book presentation, as well as were present at the candle lighting held at the Ghazanchetsots Church of Christ the Savior.
Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Pargev Martirosian, NA chairman Ashot Ghoulian, prime-minister Arayik Haroutyunian, high-ranking officials from Artsakh and Armenia, guests from the Diaspora and abroad partook at the festive events.
May 9 Two Victories Day
May 9 has been of special importance for Armenians for 24 years: the victory in the Great Patriotic War in 1945 was later followed by a victory in the liberation of Shushi, a fortress in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), with subsequent formation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army, in 1992.
In 1941-1945, the Armenian people actively contributed to the victory. About 600,000 Armenians participated in the great patriotic war. Six Armenian divisions were formed, and 314,000 Armenians were killed or went missing.
The Armenian people is proud of four Marshals and one Admiral – Ivan Baghramian, Sergei Khudyakov (Armenak Khanferiants), Amazasp Babajanian, Sergei Aganov and Ivan Isakov (Hovhannes Ter-Isahakian). Three of the four Soviet Marshals were born in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).
More than 60 Armenian generals were in command of large military groups of the Red Army. Some 70,000 Armenian soldiers, officers and generals were awarded orders and medals for courage, with 27 of them being full recipients of the Order of Glory. One hundred and three Armenians received the highest award – Hero of the Soviet Union.
Twenty-four years ago, on May 9, 1992, the Armenian troops liberated Shushi.
For 24 years, each person saying ‘May is a month of victories’ implies the liberation of Shushi as well. Both in school textbooks and in electronic encyclopedias, the truth is that the liberation of Shushi was a feat of arms of Armenian freedom-fighters, which proved crucial for further course of the Artsakh war.
In independent Armenia’s history the liberation of Shushi is called “A wedding in the mountains.” It was because the then minister of defense Vazgen Sargsian promised to get married if the operation proved a success.
May 9 is the official date of formation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army.
A number of events to celebrate the holiday are planned in Armenia.