Journalist Khachik Zakaryan, who was shot by a Soviet officer at the Zvartnots airport in Yerevan, was the first victim of the Artsakh movement.
On July 5, 1988, Soviet troops under the command of criminal general Makashov seized the Zvartnots airport. The purpose of the seizure was to suppress the strike of the airport workers and to commence the punitive operation against the propagating Artsakh movement.
Having received information about the seizure of the airport, several thousand protesters from the Freedom Square headed towards it. Soviet troops began beating the rally participants at the airport.
Hundreds of people were injured, and Khachik Zakaryan, who was reporting from the rally, was shot in the face by an officer of Soviet troops.