Leonid AzgaldyanThursday, November 5, 2020
Leonid Azgaldyan (22 November 1942 – 21 June 1992) was an Armenian physicist who rose to prominence as a military leader during the Nagorno Karabakh War. He is best known as one of the founders and commander of a large special operations force known as the Liberation Army.
Leonid Azgaldyan was born on 22 November 1942 in Tbilisi, Georgian SSR in a family of Ruben Azgaldyan, who was originally from Kamo, Armenian SSR. In 1959 Leonid graduated from Askanaz Mravyan school, and in 1960 he was admitted into the Physics Department of Moscow State University. He later transferred and graduated with honors from the same department at Yerevan State University. After graduation, he worked in many spheres of the national economy of USSR, mainly on planning methodology, automation of government systems and scientific research on automation systems.
Leonid Azgaldyan was one of the pioneers of the Karabakh movement and a key military strategist. From February 1990, he planned and organized the defense of several regions of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. He was especially instrumental in the self-defense of Vardenis, organizing the first offensive at Azerbaijani military outposts in Nyuvadi and preventing the Soviet army from entering Yerevan after the 27 May Sovetashen clash. He later moved to Nagorno-Karabakh and participated in the battles of Getashen, Shahumian and Mardakert. In June 1991, he co-founded and commanded, alongside Hovsep Hovsepyan, the Liberation Army special operations force whose declared goal was to preserve the self-determination and defense of the local Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azgaldyan was killed on 21 June 1992 in the Tonashen village of Martakert, Nagorno-Karabakh. Posthumously he was awarded with the Order of the Combat Cross of the First Degree.