Accessibility links

Armenians Bury Infant Victim Of Gyumri Massacre

  • RFE/RL's Armenian Service

Armenians have buried a 6-month-old boy who was stabbed last week in a massacre that has been blamed on a Russian soldier.

Christian priests sang hymns for the infant, Seryozha Avetisian, while hundreds of mourners threw handfuls of sand onto his grave in the northwestern city of Gyumri on January 21.

Six members of the boy's family were found dead on January 12 at their home near Russia's military base in Gyumri.

The boy, who suffered multiple stab wounds, died on January 19.

Authorities say Russian Army Private Valery Permyakov confessed to the massacre after he was detained by Russian authorities at the Armenian-Turkish border on January 13.

The attack has sparked angry protests in Yerevan and Gyumri, with thousands of Armenians demanding Permyakov be transferred to Armenian custody for trial.​

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on January 21 that the investigation into the murders will be conducted jointly by Armenian and Russian officials, while a Russian military court will try Permyakov in Armenia.

Sona Truzian, spokesman for Armenia's Investigative Committee, said on January 21 that Armenian investigators were interrogating Permyakov at the Russian military base.

In Moscow on January 21, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed condolences to relatives of the victims and said any efforts to "make use of this tragedy to gain geopolitical advantages" were "disgusting" and "unacceptable."

XS
SM
MD
LG