The grave of Garo "the White Bear" at Yerablur cemetery
|Nickname||"The White Bear"|
|Place of birth||Aleppo, Syria|
|Place of death||Maghavuz, near Mardakert, Nagorno-Karabakh|
|Years of service||1991-1993|
|Commands held||Crusaders Detachment («Խաչակիրներ»)|
|Relations||grandson of Sahak "Aslan" (bodyguard of Dro)|
Garo Kahkejian was a famed Armenian military commander and participant in the Nagorno-Karabakh war. He was the founder and commander of the «Խաչակիրներ» ("Crusaders") volunteer detachment, and was known by his nickname "The White Bear".
Kahkedjian was one of the Armenians from the Diaspora who volunteered to go and fight in the Karabakh conflict.
Kahkedjian was born in 1962 in Aleppo, Syria. After being graduated from Armenian schools in Aleppo and Lebanon, he moved with his family to Nigeria. Latterly, he moved to Germany to receive a degree in architecture. In 1978 he graduated from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Frankfurt Engineering University. After his graduation, he lived in Fresno, California.
After the devastating 1988 Spitak earthquake Kahkedjian arrived in Armenia for the first time, where he assisted the affected communities and helped raise funds from the diaspora.
In the wake of the interethnic violence in Azerbaijan, Kahkedjian organized the "Crusaders" detachment and participated in the battles of Martuni, Hadrut, Mardakert, Lachin and Kelbajar. During the battle for the height of "Pushkenyal" he fought with his detachment, thus keeping the height until the arrival of Armenian forces. Kahkedjian died on June 26, 1993 near Mardakert in battles near the village Maghavuz.
Garo Kahkedjian is buried at Yerablur.
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