Syunik continued its wonderful and difficult struggle which was carried out not in the name of saving part of our people or liberating the inalienable part of Armenia – this double goal had already been achieved – but in the name of the Armenian intelligentsia that, persecuted and traumatized by the Bolsheviks, took refuge in our mountainous region. The Red Army, catching Armenia without its intelligentsia, approached Syunik and entrenched itself under its walls.
Like a furious dog that lost its prey, it stopped near the borders of Syunik, turning its face to our positions. Remembering the bloody experience of the past, the enemy who had only hunted for hares realized – in order to get to the Armenian intelligentsia on the Syunik shore of Araks, he must first defeat the lion living in every resident of Syunik.
He knew and sensed it and in an impotent rage again and again set his dogs, his army on Syunik. Nothing more.
The lost prey was not ordinary. The Turkish-Bolshevik command’s hunt for the Armenian intelligentsia, the mass hunt for the color of our people failed, in case of success of which the Armenians would have been beheaded.
The death sentence of the Armenian intelligentsia had been made long ago. The Armenian intelligentsia must be destroyed – this is what comrades Enver and Zinoviev had decided when osculating in the Tatar capital. A few days after the first congress of the Communards of the East, the verdict issued by the Armenian intelligentsia by these monsters, “Dashnaktsutyun must be completely destroyed”, was published in the Soviet newspaper “Red Avant-garde”.
“The Armenian intelligentsia must live in order for the Armenian people to survive,” Syunik decided in turn and took under the protection of its powerful eagle wings the thousands of refugees from the Ararat valley.
“Hand in the Armenian intelligentsia, lay down your arms, and save your villages. If you do not accept our ultimatum, they will be set to fire and the sword.”
“Come and take them!” answered the Armenian highlander and continued to hang like a black cloud over the heads of Russian, Turkish, and Tatar military units.
The enemy threatened to repeat the times of Shah Abbas on the banks of Yeraskh. They wanted to drown the mind and soul of the Armenian people in his native waters at any cost but did not dare to order their pack “Atu!”
Terrible ultimatums were replaced by delegations, parliamentarians, leaflets, all invariably arrogant and threatening. The enemy threatened, clenching his fists in his pockets. Turks and Tatars cursed at my troops – but nothing more.
“The wind delivers what the dog has barked out,” Syunik answered all the statements of the enemy, continuing its most important task of saving the Armenian intelligentsia.
So on the borders of Syunik, a deadly arm armed with a Soviet ax and the steel wing of the Syunik eagle remained facing each other.
The heroic land looked directly into the eyes of the enemy, holding it under its walls so that the thousands of people escaping from the claws of the red death could go to safe shores. So the Armenian intelligentsia, students, and officers were saved.
And this was at a time when hunger ruled in Mountainous Armenia, when the majority of people fed only on vegetables from their gardens, when my fighters lacked even stale bread in positions, when the corpse of a peasant sent to transport a cannon – a tragic victim of high duty – was delivered to one of our weapons depots.
And this was in the land torn away from the world, where the warriors lacked ammunition, where there was no lively connection with the outside world or hopes for outside assistance – everything without which modern armies surrender their banners to the enemy for scolding without even thinking of resistance.
In this difficult situation, when entire states and armies were backing off, Syunik did not lower its shield, and only thanks to this, the Ararat intelligentsia is alive today.
Syunik had nothing, almost nothing to wage a war, but it had an absolute awareness of the seriousness of the situation and the role that befell it, and it possessed the most miraculous weapon in the world – intra-clan morality.
My troops did not abandon their shield, for they were not led by human weakness but by a miraculous patrimonial spirit. They realized that Armenia cannot exist without its geographical skeleton, which is the Syunik Province, just like the Armenian people without its intelligentsia.
My fighters clearly recognized that accepting the losses of the exiles who had taken refuge in Syunik meant accepting the defeat of the entire Armenian people.
That is why they, with full awareness of their duty, remained in combat positions when the issue of Armenian intelligentsia’s survival was being decided. From this realization originated their high responsibility before which the Turkish, Tatar, and Red hordes were powerless.