Gyumri Mayor Samvel Balasanyan, answering a question from “Aravot” about the development of tourism in Shirak Province, expressed the opinion that visitors of Shirak should first go see the ruins of Ani and only then visit Gyumri.
However, in order to enjoy the views of Ani, the mayor thinks that it is necessary to “activate” the border village of Kharkov… The village of Kharkov (also called Norshan) located on the administrative border of Shirak Province is separated by only one canyon from the ruins of Ani.
To enter Kharkov, permission of the Russian border guards is necessary. That is why this borderline village has been abandoned by most residents and forgotten.
83-year-old Vahanduhkt Vardanyan is the only resident of this village. She does not leave Kharkov in order not to give the enemy a reason for joy. Vardanyan’s mother-in-law who had survived the Turkish scimitar asked her before passing away:
“If you don’t have flour for bread, you should light the tonir anyway. Smoke will come out of the chimney, letting enemies know that the village is still inhabited and preventing their rejoicing.”
According to the mayor of Gyumri, the checkpoint near the village of Kharkov should be taken to the edge of the village so that everyone could go to Kharkov and see the ruins of the Armenian historical capital from there.