Melted wax poured over Yerevan graves of soldiers killed in April War
The graves of soldiers who lost their lives in the April War of 2016 (Four Day War) were found covered with molten black wax earlier today.
This took place in the Yerablur military cemetery in Yerevan.
The main suspect in the case is a woman who was detained in the city of Ashtarak for ‘strange behaviour’ – she admitted to pouring molten wax on the graves when taken in for questioning.
She claimed that this was part of a ritual with the help of which she hoped to lift a curse. She did not specify whether she thought the curse had been set on her or someone else.
State and social media reactions
A video depicting the desecrated graves first appeared on Armenian social media on August 1, and was met with a wave of outrage and disappointment.
The spokesman for the Ministry of Defense Artsrun Hovhannisyan commented on the desecration of the graves:
“Regarding what happened, we will make a statement after a thorough examination of all the circumstances. At any rate, the Ministry of Defense condemns any manifestation of vandalism or lack of respect for the memory of the fallen heroes of the April war.”
Facebook users were even more outspoken, with many demanding that the police locate and punish the person responsible. Here are several characteristic comments:
“Look to what we’ve come to…”
“What are we waiting for? Find and execute – without a trial.”
“We need to reintroduce the death penalty and punish the vandals.”
“I very much doubt that they will be punished to the fullest extent of the law! They need to be punished outside the letter of the law!”
“Police of Armenia, we are waiting for your report!”
“Whoever did this should be hung on the Republic Square!”
The April War of 2016
On the night of April 1, 2016, clashes between parties to the Karabakh conflict broke out in full-scale hostilities.
As a result of fierce battles that lasted for four days along the line of contact between the armed forces of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan, it is estimated that more than 90 soldiers were killed on both sides of the conflict.
The war that started around Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s is still one of the unresolved conflicts of the South Caucasus.
In 1994, a cease-fire agreement was signed, but skirmishes frequently erupt on the line of contact.