13 Monte Melkonian Quotes from Armenian American Revolutionary

Monte Melkonian, an Armenian-American revolutionary, was a leader of an Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) offshoot in the 1980s and a commander during the First Nagorno-Karabakh War.

In 1978, Melkonian participated in Iranian demonstrations against the Shah and later served in an Armenian militia during the Lebanese civil war.

Notably, he was involved in the assassinations of Turkish diplomats and the 1981 Turkish consulate attack in Paris, leading to his imprisonment in France.

Monte Melkonian Quotes

Released in 1989, he traveled to Armenia a year later. Despite having no prior military service, Melkonian commanded an estimated 4,000 men in the Nagorno-Karabakh War, leveraging experience gained while fighting in Lebanon.

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Known as Avo, he was killed in battle surveying Merzili village and was posthumously declared a National Hero of Armenia in 1996.

Below you will find some of the famous quotes by Monte Melkonian.

Top 5 Monte Melkonian Quotes


The momentum of the times is leading people from one mistake to another. We are witnessing this in our own ranks, too. ~ Monte Melkonian.


The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is, in the long run, going to hurt the USSR in immeasurable ways. ~ Monte Melkonian.


The right to self-determination refers to the right of a given population (usually a nation) to create its own future more or less free from external coercion, but within the limits of the historical realities with which it is faced. ~ Monte Melkonian.


We do not believe in benevolent friends, the inevitable triumph of justice, or covertly and cleverly manipulating the superpowers. If we are to achieve national self-determination, then we ourselves, the Armenian people, will have to fight for it. We believe in the power of organized masses and in the capacity of our people to determine their own future. We believe in revolution. ~ Monte Melkonian.


The relationship of a people to their homeland is crucial. A people will naturally have a difficult time maintaining a common cultural identity without a collective presence in their homeland. Only in its homeland can a people develop economically, culturally and socially as a homogeneous entity. In fact, this is the crux of why some of us consider it necessary to struggle to live in our homeland. ~ Monte Melkonian.

Famous Monte Melkonian Quotes

Exploitation and oppression are in themselves forms of violence, and to defend myself and others I will leave all my options open, including violent options. This is natural, and the way things go. I don’t care whether someone has been born into a position of oppression or if he has “worked” his way there. If he oppresses, he oppresses. If he refuses to correct his behavior the easy way, then we’ll just have to do things the hard way. It’s as simple as that. ~ Monte Melkonian.

In view of our strategic goal, and keeping in mind that objective conditions within “Western Armenia” have made it necessary to re-evaluate the future status of that region vis-a-vis the Armenians, we have argued that the much-vaunted “Free, Independent and United Armenia” is neither attainable nor preferable, from the position of the interests of the Armenian people. Propagating this chimerical goal only depletes our already limited human and material resources and wastes time which we cannot afford to waste. ~ Monte Melkonian.


It is about time that we loudly repudiate the romantic conceit that ‘My pen is my gun.’ Pens are pens and guns are guns. There are more than enough ‘intellectuals’ in the diaspora. What we need are fighters, soldiers, fedaiis. ~ Monte Melkonian.

A memorial can be rebuilt, but victims of genocide cannot be resurrected from the ashes. In view of this very real threat [of Turkish military aggression] the demonstrators who chant for ‘independence’ from the Soviet Union are for the most part unwittingly calling for national destruction. ~ Monte Melkonian.

I don’t care whether someone has been born into a position of oppression or if he has “worked” his way there. If he oppresses, he oppresses. If he refuses to correct his behavior the easy way, then we’ll just have to do things the hard way. It’s as simple as that. ~ Monte Melkonian.

Monte Melkonian, a third-generation Central Californian, was a trained archaeologist who spoke eight languages. He left the country of his birth at an early age, to participate in the Iranian revolution, the defense of the Armenian community in Lebanon, the guerrilla resistance in mountainous Kurdistan and the combined Lebanese-Palestinian anti-Zionist resistance. ~ The Right to Struggle.

No amount of moral admonishment or “indirect pressure” will guarantee that our demands are met, in the absence of our own organizational presence on the ground. Only by struggling ourselves can we convince our allies of our attachment to the revolution, to the land, and to our national rights. And only by struggling ourselves will we have the chance to impose our demands, in the face of all reactionary opposition. ~ Monte Melkonian.

So these were the 13 top quotes about Monte Melkonian.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Chris Ledoux quotes and Manny Diaz quotes.

Short Biography of Monte Melkonian

Monte Melkonian born in California and a UC Berkeley alum became a key military leader in the Karabakh war without prior army experience.


His journey included fighting in the Lebanese Civil War and time in European prisons.

Returning to Armenia in 1990 he married Seta and soon focused on Karabakh’s security fearing Armenian displacement.

Native Name Մոնթէ Մելքոնեան
Alma Mater University of California, Berkeley
Born 25 November 1957, Visalia, California, United States
Nickname(s) Avo (Աւօ)
Died 12 June 1993 (aged 35), Mərzili, Aghdam, Azerbaijan
Spouse(s) Seta Kebranian ​(m. 1991–1993)
Buried Yerablur, Armenia
Years of Service 1978–1993
Allegiance ASALA (1980–1988), Artsakh (1988–1993)
Awards National Hero of Armenia (1996)
Battles/Wars Iranian Revolution, Black Friday (protester), Lebanese Civil War, 1982 Lebanon War, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, First Nagorno-Karabakh War

Leading successful operations Melkonyan was known for his disciplined non-traditional leadership supporting local communities and promoting equality.

He was killed in 1993 and honored by thousands at his funeral.

10 Quick Facts about Monte Melkonian

  1. Monte Melkonian was an Armenian-American involved in revolutionary activities and was a commander during the First Nagorno-Karabakh War.
  2. He participated in the Iranian Revolution in 1978 and later fought in the Lebanese Civil War.
  3. Melkonian was involved in the 1981 attack on the Turkish consulate in Paris and was imprisoned in France.
  4. Despite no formal military training he led 4000 troops in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
  5. Known by several aliases he was called “Avo” by his troops in Nagorno-Karabakh.
  6. Melkonian was born in California and developed an interest in his Armenian heritage during a family trip to Europe and Turkey.
  7. He traveled extensively in his youth studying in Japan and at the University of California Berkeley.
  8. After his release from French prison he moved to Armenia and became deeply involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
  9. Melkonian was killed in 1993 by Azerbaijani soldiers and posthumously declared a National Hero of Armenia.
  10. His legacy includes being remembered as a legendary figure in Armenia and for his international socialist and nationalist views.

Top Questions about Monte Melkonian (FAQs)

Who was Monte Melkonian?

Monte Melkonian, also known as Commander Avo, was a celebrated Armenian war hero who fought for Armenian rights, including dignity, equality, community participation, and freedom from persecution.

What was Melkonian known for?

He gained fame for leading significant military victories against Azerbaijan in late 1992.

Where was Monte Melkonian buried?

He was laid to rest at Yerablur, a military cemetery in Yerevan, Armenia, and was named a National Hero of Armenia posthumously in 1996.

What language did Melkonian speak?

Melkonian spoke Armenian, which he learned as an adult, in addition to Spanish, French, Japanese, and had a working knowledge of Arabic, Italian, Turkish, Persian, and Kurdish.

What happened to Monte Melkonian?

Monte Melkonian was killed by enemy fire during a skirmish with Azerbaijani soldiers, as recounted by his brother Markar Melkonian.

Where does the name Melkonian come from?

The surname Melkonian, or Melkonyan in Armenian, means “son of Melkon” and is a common Armenian family name.

Who are the famous Armenian soldiers?

Some of the famous Armenian soldiers include Marshalls Hovhannes Baghramyan, Hamazasp Babajanyan, Sergei Khudyakov (Armenak Khanperiants), and Admiral Ivan Isakov (Hovhannes Ter-Isahakyan), all of whom served in the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War.

How old was Monte Melkonian when he died?

He was 35 years old at the time of his death.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar