MELKONIAN MONTE (Avo) (Armenian: Մոնթե Մելքոնյան) was born on November 25, 1957 in Visalia (near Fresno, California, USA). Member of the National Liberation movement. National hero of Armenia, hero of Artsakh. Lieutenant colonel of RA Army (1994, posthumously). He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, the department of ancient Asian History and Archeology (1978), where he founded “The Unity of the Armenian Students”. In 1978 Monte entered the University of Oxford but he didn’t finish his studies as he left for Lebanon and participated in the defensive battles of the Armenian districts of Beirut during the Civil War (about 3 years). From May 1980 he was the military coach of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA). In 1983 Monte left ASALA because of the political disagreement and founded the ASALA revolutionary movement. 

On November 27, 1985 he was arrested in Paris for the possession of false passport and explosives and was imprisoned till 1989. From October 1990 Monte joined the defense of Artsakh.  In 1991 he founded “Patriotic detachment” and in 1992 became the commander of the defense region of Martuni. 

Monte participated in the self-defense and liberation battles of Ijevan, Tchambarak, as well as of NKR regions of Shahumyan (Erkej, Buzlukh and Manashid, Karachinar), Martakert and Martuni. In September of 1992, in March, May and June of 1993 he headed the liberation military operations in Martuni (occupied villages by Azerbaijan), in Karvachar and in Aghdam. 

Monte was killed on June 12, 1993 in village of Marzilu (near Aghdam).

He was posthumously awarded of RA “Hayrenik”(“Homeland”), NKR “Voske Artsiv” (“Golden Eagle”) Orders and First Degree Order of the Combat Cross (“Martakan Khach”). 

In 1994 “Monte Melkonian” foundation was opened in Yerevan. The Military College of RA Ministry of Defense was called after Monte Melkonian. His statue is in NKR city of Martuni (sculptor L.Tokmajyan). Monte is buried Erablur. Many films were shot, books were written about him. 

 Photos - Monte Melkonian

Source - Encyclopedia "Karabakh Liberation War" 1988-1994, Armenian Encyclopedia Edition, Yerevan, 2004.

Encyclopedia "Who is Who. Armenians", Armenian Encyclopedia Ediction, Yerevan, 2007. 

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