The Armenians were virtually unarmed during the Artsakh war. Some armament had been left from the Soviet garrisons, and there were very few of those in the Armenian SSR. A few armored vehicles had been sent from the Armenian diaspora. And due to the scarcity of weaponry, Armenians would acquire most of their equipment from the enemy.
But there were other cases. These cases were from the category of “golden Armenian hands” when the soldiers themselves made equipment and explosives. One of the fighters making weaponry was Ashot Ghulyan.
Ghulyan was born in 1959 in Baku. Even in peacetime, everyone in the district spoke of his “golden hands”. Ghulyan had mastered many crafts. He had worked as a tailor, carpenter, bricklayer, driver, electrician, and locksmith. He also knew radio physics very well. Ghulyan was able to repair any equipment from telephones to TVs and refrigerators.
During the war in Karabakh, Ashot Ghulyan led a small self-defense detachment of partisans. It was his company that first entered Shushi. And interestingly, all the equipment utilized by the unit in the liberation of Shushi and other settlements had been crafted by Ashot himself.
Bekor (“shard”), as his comrades-in-arms called him, was making home-made grenades and grenade launchers during the war. He was thus known among his comrades-in-arms not only as a combat soldier but also as a combat engineer.
Ashot Ghulyan did not live to see the victory. He perished in the battle for the liberation of the village of Drmbon (near Mardakert) on August 24, 1992. Bekor was married and had three children.