On This Day: A Fallen Armenian Hero’s Birthday

Tatul Grbeyan was born on April 21, 1965, in the village of Areg, near the town of Talin in Armenia. He completed his elementary and intermediary education in the Technical School of Talin. After serving in the Soviet army, in 1987 he entered the Faculty of History at the Yerevan State University. In his first year at the university, Tatul joined the Armenian liberation movement. He also became a member of the “Meeyatsoom” (Unification) organization, whose efforts were directed to unite Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.

In September 1990, he traveled to Nagorno-Karabakh, where the situation continued to deteriorate. Joining the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Tatul founded the “Tashnaktsakanner” unit of volunteers in Karabakh.

Tatul headed the self-defense of the sub-district of Getashen-Martunashen from September 1990 to May 1991 against Azerbaijani armed forces units and police detachments (OMON). When he arrived to Kedashen, Tatoul organized the Armenian troops and reopened the only church in the village.  Furthermore, Grbeyan’s work was not restricted to the battlefield. He was also a teacher in one of the local schools.

Grbeyan was killed on April 30, 1991, in Getashen, during “Operation Ring”. He received the title of National Hero of Armenia in 1996. He was buried in Areg, which has been renamed after the hero. It is said that Grbeyan promised that the Azeris would only take Kedashen from him over his dead body. To the detriment of a whole nation, that is exactly what occurred.

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