Kristapor Araratian, A Fighter for Homeland and Honor Shot by Chekists

Kristapor Araratian, A Fighter

Kristapor Araratian (Christophor Araratov) was born in 1876 into the family of a colonel of the Russian army in the city of Mtskheta, Tiflis province, Georgia. The phrase “Homeland and Honor” was the motto of his family’s military coat of arms.

He received his initial education at the cadet school in Tiflis and then continued his study in St. Petersburg at the Mikhailovsky Artillery School. During the graduation ceremony, Tsar Alexander III presented him with a golden sword.

Araratian took part in the Russian-Japanese war and then in the First World War, as a result of which he received the rank of colonel.

After the Bolshevik revolution, Araratian returned to Armenia. He told his adjutant: “It’s time to have an Armenian tsar. Ararat is waiting for Araratov.”

In Tiflis, he accepted the offer of Tovmas Nazarbekian to become the commander of an artillery brigade in the newly created Armenian Corps.

In the days of heroic battles in May 1918, Araratian proved that the Armenians are in no way inferior to the German gunners fighting in the Turkish army. In March 1919, when the government of Khatisian was established, General Araratian became the Minister of War of the First Republic of Armenia. In October 1920, after the fall of Kars, he together with some government and military leaders found himself in Turkish captivity.

Kâzım Karabekir several times offered Araratian to stay in Turkey, teach at the Turkish Academy, and train gunners for the Turkish army. Araratian each time refused. Soon, Araratian and Daniel Bek-Pirumian were released from captivity and returned to their homeland.

In October 1921, the Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissariat Myasnikian summoned Araratian and offered him to take over the command of the artillery brigade of Armenia. In 1922, Araratian held the position of the commander of the artillery of the Armenian SSR. In 1923-1925, he was the deputy commander of the rifle division and then headed the military department of Yerevan State University.

When Araratian found out about the arrest of Movses Silikian, he took a backpack and went to Khachik Mughdusi at the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs, ready to be arrested. The latter, having learned about his voluntary arrival, through the person on duty conveyed the following: “Tell him that I cannot accept him. No one comes to us voluntarily. We decide ourselves who and when to arrest.”

On December 10, 1937, three months after their arrest, generals Araratian, Dmitry Mirimanian, Movses Silikian, who could not move on his own because of an illness, colonels Aghasi Varosian, Stepan Ohanesian, Hakob Mkrtchian, and Harutyun Hakobian were taken to the Nork canyon (the area of the zoo in Yerevan) and shot by the Chekists.

This is how the Bolsheviks purposefully eliminated the last famous heroes of the Sardarapat Battle.

Arshaluis Zurabyan

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