The commander of the 370 th detachment of army special forces, Major V.V. Yeremeev
Recalling the war in Afghanistan, I understand that the officers who were most loyal to the state considered these events not only from the point of view of international duty, but also in terms of gaining combat experience. Many officers themselves sought to get to the war, and I was one of such volunteers. After graduating from the Academy with honors, I was offered big and high positions in Moscow. And I refused from all this and said: “I want to be a commander”. I was appointed commander of the detachment in one of the brigades of army special forces.
In Afghanistan, I commanded the 6 th omsb of the SN (separate motorized rifle special-purpose battalion. - Ed.), He is also the 370-th separate special forces detachment, which was stationed in the city of Lashkargah. Ivan Mikhailovich Krot introduced him to Afghanistan in 1985 year. I was just graduating from the Academy. Shortly before that, he comes from Chuchkovo (the place of deployment of one of the brigade of the army special forces. - Ed.) And says: “I am entering a detachment in Afghanistan, in Lashkargah. Learn, Vlad, the transfer of parts and connections over long distances. " I listened to him, and wrote a huge summary for myself on this topic. And to be sure - in May, 1987 of the year was appointed commander in this particular detachment, and these notes were useful to me when withdrawing this detachment from Afghanistan to the Union.
Immediately after arriving at the brigade, I asked the brigade commander, Colonel Alexander Zavyalov, to send me to Afghanistan. At first, the question was not solved at all - they say, we need you here too. But then a telegram arrives, and interviews begin: first with the chief of intelligence, then with the chief of staff of the district, with the commander of the district. I listened to all of them attentively, and they all said the same thing to me: “Look there! If anything, we will take you off! ”I sit, nod my head, press my ears:“ Yes, yes, yes, of course, of course. ” And the three of us — fellow students from the Academy from different districts — were sent for an interview to the General Staff. There we were given training specifically for Afghanistan.
When I gathered in Afghanistan, I was already married, and in the family there was a little son and daughter - five and eight years old. Wife on news about my dispatch responded very badly. She survived, cried, persuaded not to go. She said: “Don't do that. You fool, why don't you think about us? You want to become famous, you can achieve your personal goals, you want to satisfy your commanding ambitions. ” By and large, the way it was. And all the year and a half, I still fought without leave.
To put it bluntly, it was mainly the army special forces that fought in Afghanistan, which was the main "workhorse." All the rest denoted the power of our army - guarded the roads, escorted cargo, and sometimes carried out major operations. The column is being prepared for dispatch - this is already an event! Tanks, guns, planes, helmets, body armor! .. Large-scale operations were relatively rare, and, of course, army special forces were ahead of all.
The main task of the special forces in Afghanistan was the fight against caravans with weapons, ammunition, drugs, as well as the destruction of gangs, penetrating from the territory of Pakistan. This task was very difficult - after all, as such, there was no border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Territorially, the area of responsibility of my squadron was huge: the right flank was in the interfluve of Hamun lakes, Farah province, and the left flank was Kandahar city. This zone included the provinces of Helmand, Nimruz and part of the province of Kandahar, the sandy desert of Registan, the rocky desert of Dashti-Margo, and the mountains.
When I had just taken a detachment, two be-empe (BMP, infantry fighting vehicle - Ed.) Were blown up in the company of captain Sergey Breslavsky. I decided to evacuate the group and ordered Sasha Seminash to go through the second channel at Margie. And he wants to go through Sistanai, which is no less dangerous! In my youth I was stubborn, I insisted on my own. So the group got into an ambush! .. I immediately rushed to the rescue. The distance was forty kilometers, we quickly came to the rescue. On the way to the battlefield, we were decently fired upon, my beteer (BTR, armored personnel carrier. - Ed.) Hit a mine.
I immediately realized that without support aviation here you can’t do it: “Communication to me!”. Called turntables, artillery fire. Turntables at extremely low altitude fired asoshki (ASO, heat traps for protection against missiles with a thermal guidance head. - Ed.) And lit reeds to squeeze the "spirits" out into the open. Not all the bandits managed to get away. In battle, a recoilless gun was destroyed, from which the "spirits" shot at our armor. This time everything ended happily, apart from a few lightly wounded and shell-shocked fighters and officers.
The most unpleasant thing for me as a commander was that it took only a week, as I took the detachment. It turned out that there was some kind of “sham-banging” ... At the same time, putting them on a different route through Sistanai was tantamount to suicide. Enemy kishlak Sistanai presses the road to the same kishlak Margie. And if our people were drawn between the villages, they would all be thundered there.
In the desert there was a terrible heat. Armor and trunks burned his hands. After the battle, they only approached another canal with water, the fighters seemed to have lost their sanity, rushed into the canal - and let's drink! I shouted to the commanders: “Although put out security!” What the hell! .. I shoot in the air, shout again - zero attention! In such a terrible heat, people often completely lose control of themselves and are not afraid of anything, nothing can stop them - such an irrepressible desire to get drunk with water. So I guarded them until everyone got drunk, did not begin to think even a little bit, and finally remembered that their life was in danger.
Twenty-eight caravan routes passed through the detachment’s area of responsibility, along which arms, ammunition and drugs were transported. In my area, caravans broke through into the central regions of Afghanistan from Pakistan through the Shebyan Pass through the Registan and Dashti-Margo deserts. Gangs moved in the composition of caravans with weapons, ammunition and drugs mainly at night. Often bandit groups wedged into the composition of peaceful caravans with goods.
In addition to fighting combat caravans and gangs, we carried out other operations. If it became known that a center of resistance of the local authorities, the so-called Islamic Committee, or, more simply, “spirits”, was revealed in this or that village, then we made a raid, eliminated such a center and restored government authority. Often they seized weapons depots, stamps, documents of the IPA, DIRA, NIFA (organizational structures of the Mujahideen. - Ed.), Banners, party ticket offices and all that jazz.
If we talk about caravans, then they were either loading or automobile. The pack caravan usually consisted of ten to twenty camels. In a typical military caravan, thirty or forty percent of the cargo was industrial and food products, another thirty or forty percent were weapons and ammunition, and the rest was drugs. Of course, the "spirits" by all means masked weapons and ammunition for peaceful loads.
Usually, in front of a military caravan, a peaceful caravan of six to eight camels was allowed. And in two or three hours, the main battle caravan was already in progress. Guarded the caravan, as a rule, a gang of fifteen or twenty people. In addition to them there were camel drivers, with each of whom there were still two or three people.
Immediately before the caravan there was a group of five to six people - the head patrol. In the core of the caravan where the cargo was located, there were usually fifteen to sixteen people. All are armed with machine guns and grenade launchers. These were sufficiently prepared "spirits", but not too good to say. However, at a distance of one hundred and two hundred meters they fired fairly accurately. Plus, they were familiar with the tactics of small units. If it was necessary to focus the fire of the gang on one of our soldiers, who shot at them, then they coped with this completely. We trained them on the territory of Pakistan in training camps, in the so-called Taliban schools. Dushman weapons were mainly Chinese, Arabic and Romanian. Sometimes we captured "arrows" (a portable Strela anti-aircraft missile system, an effective means of dealing with airplanes and helicopters. - Ed.) Of Polish production, obtained from Arab countries.
We had a large special forces detachment - more than five hundred people in the state and two hundred people to make up for the current shortage. After all, people were sick, died ... We were almost at the very south, and it was very difficult to get to us. Every two weeks I drove a column of about forty cars in Turugundi, on the border with the Union. This is about one thousand one hundred kilometers. After all, we did not have refrigerators, nor air conditioners. Therefore, all the time we were fed with one stew. Stew, stew, stew! .. No matter how much I tried to achieve something else, I managed to improve the nutrition for just a week or two. And then everything returned to normal. This is not Kabul, but the very outskirts of Afghanistan. It was easier for the rear men - no one knows, no one sees. In general, the flight from Kabul to Lashkargah, which is less than an hour, was considered by the Arbat-Kabul headquarters almost as a fighting exit: they immediately demanded an award. For them it was a whole event - supposedly a combat mission! To create a combat situation (so that the commission would quickly leave the detachment's location), I arranged combat alarms at night to repel the attack with shooting, noise, artillery illumination. The effect was irresistible, the commission flew to Kabul on the very first board.
The 305-i separate helicopter squadron, the assault-assault battalion 70 assault brigade, which guarded the town, plus an artillery "hyacinth" (Hyacinth, large-caliber self-propelled gun. - Ed.), Which covered the town, was given a garrison. Grad ”, battery amphibious 120-millimeter guns D-30, mortar battery and tank platoon, which we used a couple of times for raids.
"Spirits" sometimes fired upon a garrison of ereses (RS, missile. - Ed.). Of the mortars dostrelivali, although they tried. Once there was a terrible tragedy. The guys from the detachment of special radiocommunications are sitting in the smoking room, and the eres is flying right to the center of the smoking room. As a result, three were killed, eight wounded. We reacted very actively to such attacks - they all went up at once (artillery, aircraft, duty group), found where they had shot and destroyed to the maximum. So, the local population from the nearest villages tried their best to keep away from the evil “spirits” - it cost them more. The local population actually behaved quite friendly towards us. The merchants greeted us and waited very much when we would buy something from them on the market, gave us a bakshish for the purchase (gift). Local residents came to us for treatment. By 1988, the "spiritual" shelling stopped.
We conducted reconnaissance-fighting mainly on automotive vehicles, on armor or on foot, with the support of aviation and artillery. On the turntables controlled the caravan routes in the desert, led the group to ambush. Often used captured vehicles - Toyota cars and motorcycles. In each company there were three to five such "Toyota", "Nissans", "Dodge."
I had in the detachment two remarkable senior lieutenants Sergey Zverev and Sergey Dymov, the commanders of the groups. These unique special forces often seized several vehicles with weapons, and in April 1987 managed to capture a caravan of twelve such vehicles with a battle!
The morning began at four o'clock. I instructed and sent to the caravan routes inspection team on two helicopters of twelve people each. With them rose two "turntables" cover - MI-24. At five in the morning already flew to aerial reconnaissance areas. We took off so early because by nine in the morning the temperature was so high that it was difficult for the turntables to fly. Caravans went about the same time. From ten to eleven o'clock they got up for the night (daytime rest stop during the march. - Ed.), Because during the day it is impossible to move across the desert in such heat to anyone - not people, not even camels.
We fly over our zone and look around. We see - the caravan. Turn around. The caravan also stops. All raise their hands and wave their hands - we are supposedly peaceful, fly farther! We decide - we will still inspect. Reduced MI-8 with the inspection team. MI-24 circling in combat security. Sat down, jump out. And very often it happened like this: we are starting to approach the caravan, and that “peaceful driver” who just waved his hands with us, pulls out the barrel - and let's drench us! The battle begins.
Once in such a situation, I experienced very unpleasant moments. Then he jumped out of the helicopter first, although it was necessary to go first to the deputy to assess the situation. The second usually goes covering machine gunner, then - the radio operator and the main group. But I moved first. I thought that the caravan was peaceful, and we decided to watch it just for prevention.
They just jumped out, ran - the “spirit” pulls out an automatic rifle and starts shooting at us. And right after him several more people opened fire on us. The distance was only about seventy meters, and we are still running along the sand - it is difficult, we are constantly falling. Well, I think the end has come! But our machine gunner rescued - right from the belt of the PKM (the Kalashnikov machine gun modernized. - Ed.) He gave the turn, and immediately put the first, most nimble, "spirit". The rest who ran, who let's hands raise. But if the group began to shoot, there is no forgiveness to anyone. Inspected. Everything they had - weapons, ammunition, drugs. We loaded the "result" into the helicopter and flew away.
In addition to searching from helicopters, we conducted ambushes. After all, the famous Sarbanadir path to the green zone of Helmand passed through our zone through the Registan desert. This is a bare desert, loose sand, lunar landscape. The heat is terrible ... Therefore, we flew in advance along the path on a turntable and looked where to plant the group, so that there was a well or at least some vegetation. We land the group, the commander organizes a circle of observation on the likely directions of the caravan movement. Often sat for three to five days - no one. After all, intelligence from dushmans also works. Therefore, I usually planted three to five groups at a time, in order to block several routes at once in a strip of thirty to forty kilometers.
Of course, it was possible to leak through this lane. But we were lucky, and our share accounted for the largest number of intercepted caravans. I think the point was that in this area the conditions of movement for the “darlings” were very difficult, and somehow they did fall into our networks, but at the same time they often put up fierce resistance.
My chief of staff was Sasha Teleichuk, a very competent officer. And somehow he comes and says: intelligence has been received that a small caravan of two cars at seventeen will follow in the direction of Margie. I told him: "Well, come on, on the turntables - and forward!" He puts the group on helicopters - and flew. We thought that there were only two cars, we would quickly capture them - and the end was over. And in the caravan, in addition to two cars, there were also motorcycles and tractors. Ours wanted to take them, like hares, and the “spirits” unexpectedly put up serious resistance. After that, we started beating them with turntables - the “spirits” jumped onto motorcycles again and began to leave.
We fought, we fought with them, and eventually we drove them into the reeds by the canal. They did not scatter, but gathered together and struck again. In the reeds they are not visible: they beat from shelter, and ours lie on the open sand. In addition to everything near, the treaty zone (territory, the responsibilities for controlling which, after the “stripping” of the dushmans, were transferred into the hands of local elders. - Ed.) - the village, from where they reinforced. They were also supported by machine-gun fire. The battle went about two hours. We were very nervous at the base, which we did not do. In the end, the turntables destroyed the machine gun. They burned the reeds and destroyed the "spirits" leaving the village.
In that battle, thank God, no one of ours was killed, but they gave a single sergeant and severely wounded Major Anatoly Voronin. His legs were smashed, and he even got into his stomach. He comes from Leningrad, the son of the head of the department of the Academy of Logistics and Transport.
We quickly sent Tolya Voronin to Kandahar, from there to Kabul, from Kabul to Tashkent. By that time, in practice, I became convinced that the seriously wounded must be dragged to Kandahar. Although there was also a problem with the Kandahar hospital - they needed good statistics. After all, it is important for the detachment commander to deliver the wounded to the hospital alive, and it is important for the hospital, in turn, that the wounded man not die after admission. Sometimes it was necessary to swear with the emergency department and with the head of the hospital.
Unfortunately, during my command of the detachment, we still killed six people. Among them were four soldiers and two officers - Kostya Kolpashchikov and Jan Albitsky. Our losses were less than others. Especially if you consider the nature of the tasks performed. I think this was due to the fact that we mostly fought out of the blue, in the desert. In the mountains, of course, it was more difficult, there the enemy has more opportunities for an unexpected maneuver. Yes, even people cherished. I remember all my guys, and I carry my commanding cross in my life.
Junior Lieutenant Kostya Kolpashchikov, Senior Translator of the Squad, had to go on vacation in January 1988. I told him - go, and he told me: “It's cold in the Union, so I’m going to the last operation under Musakalu, then I'll fly”. Then the chief of staff of the detachment asked: “This is my first assistant. Let it go. ” In the course of this operation, it was necessary to break the resistance of the “spirits” in the base area of Mussakaly, Sangin, Kadzhakov. Mulla Naseem with her gang did not allow local authorities to organize the operation of the power plant in Kajaki. It was necessary to carry out a sweep of the area and weaken the local leaders, who organized resistance to the authorities. To this end, carried out a major military operation.
One of the special forces groups in this operation was commanded by Lieutenant Ildar Ahmedshin. On the way, the group had to defile near the village of Shaban. Here they were ambushed - by fire gangs from the village immediately burned two of our batteer. In this battle, we killed four people. Kostya Kolpashchikov was slightly burned in battle. Could stay in the ranks, but the doctor insisted on the evacuation. Usually, the wounded and killed are evacuated on different helicopters, but this time they violated the rules. Unfortunately, the helicopter with the wounded and killed on board crashed at night when taking off ... The dead died twice ... Kostya Kolpashchikov, Valera Polskikh, the commander of the Kandahar helicopter regiment, the right pilot and several other people died. Survived "Bortach" (flight engineer. - Ed.) And the driver of the arrestor Lyonya Bulyga.
Ildar Akhmedshin in the battle received a most severe contusion. At night, when the dead and wounded were brought into the detachment, I look during the identification - among the corpses lies Ahmedshin - not Ahmedshin, alive - not alive, it is not clear. I ask: "Is this Ildar?" They answer: "Yes, he is alive, but very hard contused." Ildar was treated at the hospital for half a year and caught up with the detachment, in my opinion, already in Shindand, before the withdrawal. I said to him: “Yes, you lie in the hospital, get medical treatment!” And he: “No, I will leave with the detachment”. Then he commanded this detachment already in Chuchkovo, fought in Chechnya during the First and Second Campaigns. And he died accidentally - he was returning from the railway station, and his car was hit. And what is strange is that after the withdrawal from Afghanistan, many officers died in the same everyday situations under absurd circumstances. I have no explanation for this - after all, in Afghanistan during the actual hostilities, only two officers died, all the rest survived ...
In the battle near Sangin, Private Andrianov was wounded. When sending to Kandahar, he asked: "Vladislav Vasilyevich, what is wrong with my foot?" I looked - my leg is white, there is nothing so special. Yes, and the wound does not seem to be very serious - the bullet passed along the leg lengthwise. I told him: “You do not worry, now we will reach you to Kandahar. Everything will be fine". Time passes - they tell me that his leg was chopped off. I arrive at the hospital, begin to understand. It turns out that he spent more than the allotted time in the emergency room; he was not examined in time. And in the same heat ... Gangrene began. In my opinion, the leg could be maintained. It became so insulting and embarrassing to me - after all, I promised him that everything would be fine! ..
Three years before me in the airborne assault detachment that provided us, an emergency happened - a soldier named Balabanov fled. Why - история is silent. And it was like this: driving, driving, driving, then suddenly stopped the car and ran towards the mountains. So he stayed with the Afghans, converted to Islam. Later they sent him letters from his mother, but he did not answer at first, and then began to avoid contacts altogether. Before the withdrawal of troops, we still tried to pick him up, but he refused and stayed with the locals. We thought that he had a gunsmith working for them. But then it turned out that this was not quite the case - he worked as a simple mechanic. In general, we did not abandon our people. Now they say that so many have been abandoned, that they have shot their own, etc., etc. This is bullshit. All those who remained in captivity in Afghanistan, for one reason or another, themselves refused to return to the Union.
After all, even if after the battle the body of the dead soldier remained with the enemy, we sought, often at the cost of even greater losses, to pull him out or buy him out. Thank God, no one was captured by me. We fought skillfully enough and did not give the "spirits" any opportunity to capture one of our own. Fortunately, there were no volunteers to experience the Afghan captivity.
But fighting is a terrible thing. It's easy to talk about him. And there - faster, faster, faster! .. Already flying. Calculated - no fighter! We start looking - who is in the top three, where was the last time the fighter was seen? Come back! And he sits, poor, on the evacuation point: "And I did not have time to run!" Most often such cases occurred due to the sluggishness of the soldiers or commanders. After all, communication with each fighter was one-sided - only at the reception. At the transfer of the station communication was only in the older three. It was only by the year 2004 that each soldier had a two-way communication. And we, the workers of the war, unfortunately, did not have such two-way communication.
I believe that there is no price for our soldier. They all fought with dignity, back to back, never allowed enemies to come from the rear. Of course, at that time, the ideology of collectivism and mutual aid played a big role. After all, we were taught how man is a friend, comrade and brother. Himself die, comrade help me out. Plus, the male team. Everyone wants to show himself, the spirit of rivalry is present. They say to some fighter: "You're so-and-so, badly washed, badly shaved." And in battle he proves that he is better than what they say about him.
And in battle, we are all of the same blood, and red, not blue. Of course, then, when the battle was over, the hierarchy comes into effect - we begin to figure out who fought like that, who brought water, who drank, who didn't drink, who went where, who hit, and who didn't. Although, of course, the relations between the older and the younger ones were harsh. After all, the less experienced do not know, for example, that all the water, while in the desert, cannot be drunk immediately. Therefore, the elders brought them up very specifically, so that understanding came quickly.
And there was a problem with water. During the exits on the military equipment it happened that they drank water from the radiators. After all, usually everyone took with him two flasks of water, each with a half liter. And we had to fight a week on this water, or even more ... Suppose we land a group on turntables for three days. And then the helicopter was filled up, then something else - and after three days the fighters could not be removed. By communication we ask: "Guys, hold on for another couple of days?" - "Hold on." It takes five days, they report: "Commander, it is hard for us." But helicopters do not fly. All understand with a wrecked helicopter. It takes seven, eight, ten days ... You arrive to pick up the guys - they already start dehydration. And what is dehydration? All that remains of people is skin and bone, and diarrhea begins. We throw them in a helicopter, we carry in the squad. There they need to start drinking a little. Yes, what a little bit there - so the water is whipped, do not stop! We put them in the pool so they can soak, and they drink right from this pool are accepted! After that, jaundice begins to peck ... War is war - a terrible and unpleasant thing. I do not exaggerate. So it really was.
I want to say a few words about the Afghans. With some of them we had to fight, and with others - to coexist. Afghans are people very far from European culture. They are normal in communication, but they have a different understanding of what is good and what is bad. I call this understanding Muslim-medieval. Our Uzbeks and Tajiks, who served in the detachment, confessed to me: “How good that we ended up in the Soviet Union! We do not want to live like Afghans! ”
Somehow a characteristic story happened to me. I had one local Afghan who gave me information on caravans. He was about forty, although he looked at all sixty. Once I treated him with condensed milk: “Well done, you gave me a good caravan!” After a while he arrives at the checkpoint (checkpoint - Ed.) With a girl in a burqa and says: “Give me a box of what you treated me , and I'll give you my fourth wife. She is thirteen years old, very good! ”I call the deputy for the rear, I give the command to bring him a box of condensed milk, a box of stew and say:“ Take the condensed milk with the stew, live with your fourth wife, but only hand over the caravans to me! ”.
Their world is completely different, they have a different worldview. Here is another example - the group is returned from the task. An old man ran across the road in front of them with a boy, and the boy fell under the batteer - he crushed him. Begins noise-gam-tararam. The crowd surrounded - about to spread ours. I had time to study local customs. I arrive and immediately mullah call and interpreter. I say: “It is not good, I bring an apology. But let us remember the Quran and Sharia: Allah has given, Allah has taken. ” He agrees, but he says: “The Koran says that you have to pay for life.” I answer: “Well, we are ready to pay. How much do you need? ”The interpreter consulted with the mullah and said:“ Give me two barrels of solyary, six bags of flour. Barrel solyary - me, barrel - mullah. A bag of flour is for me, the rest is for the family so that it will live well. Do you agree? ”-“ Agree. ” - "By the hands?" - "By the hands." I send to the detachment beteer. I quote that I promised. And that's it! .. The question is exhausted! I continued to help them, either flour or buckwheat. And whenever we went through this village, there was never any problem - no revenge on their part.
I can not say that Afghans are evil people. They are just different. Outwardly very similar to our Uzbeks and Tajiks. I was helped by the fact that I was born and raised in Uzbekistan. I understood the basics of the behavior of Eastern peoples, I had some knowledge of Sharia and Islam, and I could clearly explain to my subordinates what was possible and what was impossible. The squad was multinational. We had a lot of Belarusians in the squad. It is interesting that for some reason, many Ukrainians gathered in the Kandahar detachment. Thirty percent I had Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazakhs, but in the units of providing them there were all ninety percent!
I remember that after the XVII party conference, political officers led by Colonel-General S. Kizyun came to us. All so important! And our guys just came out of the battle - exhausted, ragged, salted, a machine gun for the barrel drag. And then it began: “What kind of a commander !? Look how they go with you: tear, in sneakers, machine guns and machine guns for the trunks drag! Yes, how do you let! ”And the soldiers looked like that because we were trying to go to the fighting (fighting exit. - Ed.) In the GLC (protective netting set. - Ed.) And in sneakers. It was a very comfortable outfit. It is covered in a mesh, it is well blown in the heat, but it is intended only for one-time use in chemical and radioactive contamination of the area. And the Komsomol members of the Komsomol Central Committee presented us with sneakers - four hundred pairs of our “adidas”. The whole squad went to combat in sneakers, very comfortable shoes. Unfortunately, the uniform was quickly turning into tatters during the fighting, and the new uniforms arrived according to the established peaceful standards of socks and could not withstand extreme exploitation.
I stand and I can not understand - what's so special about that? After all, people returned from the war. It hurt me great then: “And what do you want, after fifteen days of war without water, they will be marched with a song and walked and fit with all that? There is no such thing. ” From the fighting fighters all returned in tatters tattered. Live, real life was very different from cinema and television.
And to remain people in such inhuman conditions helped that we in the army were always taught to overcome difficulties. And I taught my fighters that we must defeat ourselves, that we must become better and stronger than nature and circumstances. I told them that they are the best, that they can perform the most difficult task, but they must stay alive. “Before you get into any scam, think about how you will get out of it. If you know how to get out, then come on! If you don’t know how to get out, don’t go there, dear! ” We felt involved in a great cause, a great state, to the mission that we performed. We were deeply convinced that we are bringing progress and prosperity to this God-forgotten country.
We are human officers, and we were prepared for war. For an officer, for a commander to show his skills, abilities in battle have always been considered worthy of respect. We felt like sons of the Great Patriotic War veterans. And the fact that they once managed to defend the country and defeat the fascists, for us was a model of service to the Fatherland. And it was precisely this that was the basis of the attitude of almost all officers — ninety-nine and nine-tenths of a percent. And they led the soldiers.
In addition, we felt involved in a huge, powerful state! And they sincerely wanted to help the Afghan people to emerge from the Middle Ages and create their own state, to create normal economic and social conditions for life. We saw clearly how the same Uzbeks and Tajiks live with us, and how they live in Afghanistan! It is heaven and earth. Those who served earlier in the southern republics of the Soviet Union, and then came to Afghanistan, were clearly convinced that we were fulfilling a noble mission there. And if we help the Afghans to at least reach the level of our Central Asian republics, then we will need to erect a monument in our lifetime.
The islands of modern civilization were only in Kabul. And the main territory of Afghanistan is a dense medieval kingdom. And the majority of the local population began to strive for change - after all, they talked with our Uzbeks and Tajiks. However, it is necessary to take into account the fact that this is an Islamic state, which presupposes the existence of authoritarian leaders. And if ordinary people even do not agree with such leaders, they obey them according to age-old traditions. Although they lived and continue to live very hard - after all, these are mountains and an almost continuous desert. Sand, for example for Baloch people, is a personal hygiene product: they are washed by it.
I myself flew two or three times a week into combat, and once every two or three months I took a detachment to intercept caravans for ten to fifteen days. Sometimes our groups dressed in local clothes, attached themselves to caravans, sat down on captured cars and motorcycles and collected information in the district: where what goes, where what moves ...
One day, after completing the combat mission, we return to the RPD (point of permanent deployment. - Ed.). And suddenly in the area of Dishu from the side of the green (soldier’s name of the green zones around villages and towns. - Ed.) We began to be bombarded tightly with no recoil (recoilless gun. - Ed.)! I took the detachment into the desert, unrolled the guns - this time we were leaving on the armor, and even with the D-30 guns. Gunners needed to detect the target. To do this, we with the artillery gunner on the armor began to move in a prominent place. And the "spirits" could not stand it, they started shooting at us! Artnavodchik spotted the target and passed the coordinates. As a result, the village from which they were shooting got great. It seems cruel, but why did they shoot? We did not touch them, walked past us ...
I have already said that the main part of the caravans that came from Pakistan, our groups took on the Sarbanadir path. But it was different. Once we fought very hard with the "spirits" in the mountains, near the Shebyan Pass. The pilots were not delighted with the departure for Shebiyan - far away, flying in the mountains is difficult, the heat, the fuel is not enough. And we came up with this: in the area of rocky lakes, approximately in the middle of the path, we made a jump area. There is an even-flat place for ten or fifteen kilometers around with a solid clay surface. We drove back armor, put security. Then the detachment itself came up there on the armor, helicopters flew in. Here they refueled, loaded the group and flew along the mountains right up to Rabati-Jali, where they could not fly by one flight with the group on board.
Once we received information about the caravan and flew. With us was a brigade commander - Lieutenant Colonel Yuri Alexandrovich Sapalov - and one more KhADovets (employee of the Afghan special services. - Ed.). Fly, fly - like no one. Suddenly I notice with a side sight - there is a caravan unloading. I did not want to get involved in the battle, having a brigade commander on board. I pretended not to see the caravan. We fly further. And the chief of intelligence, Lesha Panin, is so infectious, shouting and waving his arms: “Caravan, commander, caravan! Don't you see something? ”I told him:“ Yes, I see, Lesha, I see! ”They twisted, sat down, and the hammering began.
Pilots, in my opinion, felt bad. I asked them to land us closer to the mountains, and they threw us a hundred meters away from this place. We climb on these hills, and the "darlings" shoot at us. We deployed AGS (automatic machine-gun grenade launcher. - Ed.), Processed hills. I see - the "smell" runs. I shout: “Lesha, look!” He is a melon-melon-melon. Ready "spirit"! And they had not dug trenches, and masonry made of stones - almost a fortress. We climbed one hill quickly, on the other - and went to the gorge. We look - this caravan is worth it! Tents, erasy unloaded, the fire is burning, the weapons are scattered - and no one. We put a cover at the top, and we went downstairs to see what it was. Tryn-tryn-tryn - we go down. Everything is quiet. "Look what we got here!" All around - weapons, ammunition, "Toyota" are.
Lech began first to twist the tape recorder from the car (at that time there was such a shortage!). I told him: "Let's collect the trunks!" And he: "Wait, we will have time, until the turntables arrive." And here - such a volley of concentrated fire from the machine guns from the hill in front of us on meters from two hundred! We threw all these tape recorders - and blew up the hill! So fast, I never even ran a hundred! And Lech, after all, an experienced officer, tries his best to cover our withdrawal, a real hero! I told him: “You run away from me, it will be harder to get into us!” But he still tries to cover me. Our happiness - did not hit: we very quickly fled. I looped and pushed Lech away, but he covered me anyway. In short - we confused "spirits". We run, and the tongue on the shoulder, in the eyes of the red circles - because there was a terrible heat! They reached the clutches a little alive, but whole ones ...
Caused aviation. For my detachment in Kandahar there was always a pair of “rooks” on duty (SU-25 attack aircraft - Ed.). I knew their regiment commander well, so we enjoyed working with them. But this time the "migi" arrived. Pilot me: "Eighty, do you see me?" - "I see." - "Mark yourself." Light the smoke. Himself identified. "Watching?" - "Watching." I give him azimuth, range, target - a caravan with a weapon on overload. And they are somewhere on seven thousand meters barrage. I commander: "You go down to at least three." He: “No, we were forbidden to work below seven”. They were told that at this altitude the alleged "stingers" would not reach ("Stinger", a portable anti-aircraft missile system manufactured in the USA. - Ed.).
They began to bomb. And Lyokha and I have the impression that they throw bombs directly at us. In fact, they are not even on a caravan, but have been bombed somewhere behind the ridge. I told them: “Okay, okay, that's enough. Tell the commander that the Mirage (this was my call sign) got into a difficult situation, let a couple of “rooks” send. We fight with the "spirits", shoot ourselves, try to scare them with a grenade launcher. And the caravan is worth something. Forty minutes later the “rooks” come.
“Eighty, watch you. Azimuth, range ... ”They also came high - at seven thousand. But then from a combat turn with a cabre (cabing - turning of a flying plane around the transverse axis at which the nose of the aircraft rises. - Ed.) How they went down! First one threw two bombs of two hundred and fifty kilograms, then the other ... At the place of the caravan and next to it are smoke, fire, explosions! They threw from a height of about a thousand meters, as our turntables approximately fly during landing. Therefore, they just hit the caravan. Bombed everything. After that we calmly go down with the group. Normally we go, nobody shoots us. Lech still twisted tape from the machine that tried to escape, so they did not get into it. Eresov rolls around, everything is scattered ...
While Lech went to the side of the car, I'm going straight with the inspection team. Suddenly, with a peripheral vision, I see a “spirit” that comes out on crutches and shows that it gives up. And suddenly I hear - ta da da! And this fighter for the stone falls and in the fall of this "spirit" beats. Inspect the dead. According to the documents: the commander of the gang. I began to bring up a fighter: “Why did you shoot, he surrendered, you had to take him prisoner”. And he replied: "Commander, and if he had the first shot at me?" It all happened in a split second. In this battle, we did without losses, even the wounded were not. This is surprising because we destroyed a large caravan.
I think that the perfume just went crazy when we were seen - we were too far from our communications, two hundred and fifty kilometers or three hundred kilometers from Lashkargah. Most likely, they hoped that we would not engage in battle and inspect the caravan. But the fact that Lehoy and I were not hit first, is a great success. It could end all very bad. But we were so confident that the "spirits" would abandon the caravan and run away, that they went so openly. It turned out that we began to descend only to a small part of the caravan. There the fire was burning down, the weapon was already unloaded. But then it turned out that there was still a bunch of piles around the corner.
Pleasure, of course, in this whole story a little. In the fever you do not feel, you do not notice anything. And then, when you come back, you begin to see that your knees are knocked down, your elbows are torn, your fingers are broken. And most importantly - there is a return in purely psychological terms.
The first from Afghanistan were detachments of army special forces, which were stationed in Jalalabad and in Shahzhoy. And in August, 1988, and I brought my squad to the Soviet Union in Chuchkovo. The most recent was the 177 squad. On television, they often show General Boris Gromov crossing the 15 February bridge, 1989, the bridge across the Amu-Darya river, and the guys on a Beteer with a banner. So this Betere was just the 177 squad.
At the conclusion of the detachment was in the brigade. The first halt was in Shindand. They went through customs, seized all the excess, so as not to fall into the Union. A rally and a parade of withdrawal units took place in Shindand. All the way from Lashkargah to Kushka with me on armor were correspondents from our and foreign newspapers, as well as the writer Alexander Prokhanov. Shortly before the withdrawal, he arrived in Lashkargah, lived in the detachment and got acquainted with our combat activities. In Herat, my battery with the writers on board was shot from the crowd. The radicals wanted to provoke a return fire, but the brigade commander, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Timofeevich Gordeyev showed enviable restraint - and the provocation fell through.
A detachment in the brigade made the 1200-kilometer march from Lashkargah to Iolotani. The first thing I saw on our side when I moved the bridge was a small shed with huge letters "BUFFET." In Iolotani, we cleaned ourselves up for several days while waiting for loading onto the train to Chuchkovo. In Iolotani, General A. Kolesnikov from General Headquarters “popularly” explained to us that the Afghan war in the Union was unpopular. We were not ready for this. While in Afghanistan, we could not assume that the collapse of the Union was being prepared. The train went to Chuchkovo week. On the way from the train, my deputy almost left behind - Sasha Belik, but this is a separate story.
And in Chuchkovo in the end, everything went very interesting. We are driving the train to the place of permanent deployment of the detachment in Chuchkovo. I stand and discuss with the commanders the order of discharge. And suddenly we see that a woman is running far away from us along the rails. The brigade commander, Lieutenant Colonel Anatoly Nedelko, who was standing next to me, said: "Listen, this is probably your wife who is running." I answer: "It can not be, I did not invite her, she does not even know where we should go for unloading." I have no time, I unload the train, what is the wife here? It turned out really wife. No one knew when we would come here. How did she know the time and place? It still remains a mystery. But she came from Estonia to the Ryazan region 31 in August, and on September 1, a son without a mother and father went to the first Estonian class. It was an amazing event. I am still very grateful to her for this.