The Very “Madonna With A Kalashnikov” – History Of A Photo

The photo on the left is titled “Madonna with a Kalashnikov”. This is a photo by Russian photographer Oleg Klimov who captured a woman holding an AK during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The photo shows Ella Harutyunyan, 42, waiting for her son Andranik to hand him the assault rifle. In a few minutes, Andranik would take this weapon from his mother and never return.

Also in the photo, behind Ella, is her husband Lavrent who was also destined to die soon. And a few days before this picture was taken, Azerbaijanis sliced the throat of Ella’s father in a church.

After the war, photographer Oleg Klimov has looked for this woman for 20 years. He searched in Artsakh and Armenia, showing everyone this photo. Eventually, he accidentally met Ella near Lake Sevan, in the lands where she had settled after the war and where she was growing sea buckthorn.

Klimov immediately recognized the very “Madonna with a Kalashnikov” whom he had captured many years ago in Artsakh.

And now, 20 years later, the Russian photographer again shot Ella Harutyunyan (photo on the right). This time, “Madonna” was surrounded by her cheerful grandchildren who were presented to her by her only son who survived the war, Alexander.

Life goes on no matter what. And this sad story confirms the Laws of Life.

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