Komandos – Arkady Ter-Tadevosyan: “The Armenian command did not approve of the operation, and we did not have any clear instructions, but we had to act. That is why a meeting of 72 commanders was held where we unanimously decided that the operation should be carried out. The commanders should have fulfilled my order, but it turned out that I fulfilled theirs.”
Artsakh war veteran Zhirayr Sefilyan: “Despite the lack of weapons and ammunition, people stood in line to take part in the operation to liberate Shushi. In my opinion, there was not a single Armenian in the world who would oppose the liberation of Shushi.”
Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan: “The Shushi military operation was postponed until May 7, the day of the Apparition of the Holy Cross, and this was not an accident. The participants in the military operation felt a spiritual charge. Everyone wore a cross. Those who did not have a cross drew it on their sleeves or on the back of the uniforms. There were crosses even on tanks and armored vehicles. It seemed that someone directed us from above, and we entered Shushi with minimal losses.
The Shushi operation was called Wedding in the Mountains – a name not typical of a military operation. The thing is that then Minister of Defense of Armenia Vazgen Sargsyan believed that it was too early to carry out such an operation and that it was necessary to prepare well for it.
From a military point of view, the Armenian side was not ready for the operation, and Vazgen Sargsyan thought that it was not worth the haste, but, on the other hand, Shushi had to be freed, the road to Armenia had to be opened through the Lachin corridor. Then, Komandos promised him that if Shushi is liberated, Sargsyan’s wedding would be held in the mountains. So, the Shushi operation was named Wedding in the Mountains.
The operation began on the night of May 8 at 02:30. Intensive preliminary bombardment began in the direction of Shushi, after which the assault on the city commenced. The battalion of colonel Arkady Karapetyan consisting of 400 soldiers launched an offensive from the village of Shosh.
From the northeastern side, the first company of Ashot Ghulyan also went into an attack. From the east, an attack was launched by the first sabotage company of Afghanistan veteran Dushman Vardan who together with his soldiers had already occupied the vicinity of the city.
The company of Afghanistan veteran Nver Chakhoyan and battalions of Zhirayr Sefilyan and Ashot Khachatryan advanced from the south. At the same time, a separate strike detachment (400 fighters) under the personal command of colonel Seyran Ohanyan went around the city and advanced southwest, liberating the villages of Kusar, Bashkend, Javadlar, and 17 others.
The detachment of Arthur Arakelyan consisting of 100 people liberated the village of Lower Zarislo, while Albert Alaverdyan liberated Upper Zarislo. By the morning, the battalion of Valery Chitchyan joined them. It was the fourth company of this battalion that had the honor of being the first to enter the city.”
Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan: “The plan for the liberation of the historical capital of Karabakh Shushi in 1992 met the highest standards of military science. The liberation of Shushi is one of the most important victories of the Armenian army.”
“Martik” newspaper, 1993: “During its 273-year history, the Shushi fortress, which has always been known for its impregnability, surrendered for the first time in the name of historical justice.
During the two-day military operation, indisputable human dignity called upon to serve the motherland clearly manifested itself in the exploits of the 1st, 4th, 6th, Aknaghbyur, and Baludzhin companies, as well as reconnaissance units of the self-defense forces.
Chairman of the Public Council of Armenia Vazgen Manukyan, one of the leaders of the Karabakh committee: “By liberating Shushi, we responded to those who forced us into war. All our victories began with this. This is our city, and we must retain it forever.”
Arkady Ter-Tadevosyan: “We did not have the right to lose – we had to either win, that is, to liberate the city, or we had to draw, that is, we had to surround the city and keep it that way. In addition, it was our city where every stone, every road was dear to us, which is also important.”
President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan: “The liberation of Shushi was a victory of good over evil and barbarism. Having liberated the historical capital of Artsakh, the Armenian warrior returned as new awareness and as a new factor. Those who gained immortality in the heroic battle continue their greatest mission as a moral and political charge.”
Manvel Yeghiazaryan, commander of the “Arabo” volunteer squad: “May 9, the day of the liberation of Shushi, became a pan-Armenian holiday. This is a day of parades, a day of unity, and Armenians in any corner of the globe should celebrate it.”
Today, Shushi is reborn, shaking off the terrible memories of the Turkic yoke and war. The people of Shushi are now living a peaceful life, rebuilding the city, working, creating families, raising children. But their eyes, the stern eyes of the “children of war” indicate that, if necessary, everyone, from young to old, is ready to defend their hometown.