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Armenian Soldier's Relatives Reject Suicide Theory

Susanna Sevian, the mother of soldier Vardan Sevian, who reportedly committed suicide
YEREVAN -- Relatives of an Armenian soldier who was found dead last week say they do not believe he committed suicide, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Vardan Sevian, 19, was found dead in his military unit in the southern town of Goris on August 19 with what officials said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Defense Ministry officials concluded that he committed suicide after learning that his girlfriend had married another man.

But Sevian's mother, Susanna Sevian, told RFE/RL that he never had a girlfriend. "I always asked him if he had a girlfriend and even urged him to introduce her to me if he did, but he kept saying that he had no girlfriend," she said.

Sevian's sister Armine, 20, told RFE/RL that she was very close to her brother and that he always talked openly to her about his private life. She too said he never had a girlfriend.

Armine added that during one of her conversations with him, he said there was one officer who treated him badly.

Sevian's mother and sister say they saw the gunshot wound under his left ear and two freshly stitched parallel wounds on his neck.

Susanna Sevian said her son was right-handed and therefore could not have shot himself with his left hand.

Read more in Russian here