Army General Viktor Dubynin, one of the first chiefs of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia and the penultimate commander of the 40 Army in Afghanistan, has not been with us for many years. But he is still remembered. Not only friends and colleagues.
According to many of them, be Dubynin at his post, - история Russian army would go a completely different way. There would have been no execution of the White House, the shame of the Chechen war, no rush from side to side called “military reform,” and the authority of the highest military leadership would never have been questioned. Neither in the army nor in society.
“I owe him my life”
Colonel Vladimir Isakov and major general Victor Dubynin were friends. What can be officers only in war. We lived in Kabul in the same house, apartment under the apartment. And for two years, they were strolling together throughout Afghanistan, in helicopters and armored personnel carriers. The general, deputy commander of the 40 Army, was responsible for organizing the hostilities. Colonel, Deputy Chief of Logistics of the Army, for the material and technical support of these battles.
In May, 1986, immediately after Victory Day, Colonel Isakov received a call to study at the Academy of the General Staff. For the operation to replace the Afghan border guards, another officer had to go instead of Parachinarskoy protrusion instead of him.
The ledge covered the shortest caravan route from Peshawar to Jalalabad and Kabul. According to him, Pakistan, along with a wide variety of products, regularly went to Afghanistan with vehicles with ammunition, shells to improvised Dushman’s volley fire systems, with shots at the American Stinger anti-aircraft systems, with another weapons. And once a year, usually in the spring, our troops conducted an operation there to replace the Afghan frontier posts that controlled the road. The dominant heights occupied the gorge, blocked the border, organized an unhindered and relatively safe passage-exit of the tarandoy.
Isakov folded the suitcase when Dubynin approached him and asked:
-You went with me for the operation so many times, we'll go down once more. Finally.
For the colonel, as he told me fifteen years later, for the first time in all these years, something ached in my chest:
-Sorry, Viktor Petrovich, for some reason I don't want to.
“Well, if you're afraid,” don't go, ”shrugged Dubynin.
After these words, Isakov could not avoid the operation.
They landed on the Parachinar ledge, where the army command post was equipped, on the eve of the operation, in the evening. And in the morning, barely dawn, a massive rocket of missiles hit the mountain. "Eresy" beat on the command post from Pakistani territory. And very accurate. It can be seen that the spooks during the winter had time to properly target. Colonel Isakov and several other officers landed on the very first volleys. Neither the helmet nor the body armor was saved. Twenty-four steel fragments will be removed later by army surgeons from the body of the bodyguard.
General Dubynin rushed to the radio.
“Zero to the seventh,” he ordered the helicopter commander, who circled over the gorge, “urgently for me to take the wounded.”
“I can't, comrade“ first, ”the helicopter pilot shouted into the headphones,“ they can knock me down too.
“If you don’t land,” Dubynin barked into the microphone, “I will beat you myself.”
And ordered the calculation of anti-aircraft machine gun to give a turn in the direction of the helicopters. A minute later, the “spinner” went down, right under the ruptures of the “ereses”. Bleeding Isakov, other wounded were carried to the Mi-8 under a hail of shrapnel. But they were lucky, the breaks did not finally kill anyone. A couple of extra holes on the legs and arms are no longer considered.
The helicopter headed for the Kabul hospital, and all of the ereses were threshing and threshing along the Parachinarskiy ledge, along the slopes of the mountains that hung over the road, along the trenches where our battalions took shelter. But Dubynin did not have the right to open fire in the opposite direction, to suppress the dushman’s jet installations, they were outside the Afghan territory. He called the chief military adviser in Afghanistan, representing the Union’s Ministry of Defense:
- Allow me to return fire.
“We are not at war with Pakistan,” he snapped. - Do you know what will happen to us if Karachi sends a protest note to Moscow ?!
Dubynin knew this, but the life of the soldiers and officers of the 40th Army, apparently, meant much more to him than the collapse of his career. The deputy commander, in violation of all laws of subordination, phoned through all heads directly to the chief of the General Staff. But the answer was the same. Then he himself took off an army assault Aviation and deployed the barrels of his rocket and barrel artillery to Pakistan. A few volleys of “Hurricanes” and “Carnations”, “Rooks” rockets, crushed Dushman’s “Eres”.
Notes of protest from Karachi for some reason did not follow.
A couple of days later, when the operation near Parachinar was completed, Dubynin appeared in Isakov’s ward. He brought oranges, a bottle of brandy. Filled glasses.
“Forgive me, Volodya,” he said. - I did not understand you then.
“What is really there,” Isakov answered.
Isakov told me about that distant episode from his “Afghan youth”, repeated several times that he would never forget who he owed his life to — he didn’t land a helicopter under fire and didn’t get to the operating table in good time — there would be nothing to remember. And before my eyes was another episode from the current “Chechen war”.
The tragic death of 18 on January 2000 of the year in the Zavodskoy district of Grozny is the deputy commander of the 58 Army, Major General Mikhail Malofeev. The deceased general was thrown on the battlefield. His body could not find more than a week. No one knew where it was - either left under the rubble of a collapsed house, or carried away by the militants. Why in Chechnya our troops did not have such generals as Dubynin, for me will always remain an insoluble question.
"He knew how to take a punch"
Anything has happened in Afghanistan.
In the summer of 1986, by unfortunate chance, our pilots suddenly bombed at an orphanage in Kandahar. The trouble is terrible. Killed kids, their teachers. Destroyed houses. How to explain to the population of the country, and so is not very benevolent to the “Shuravi”, that this is a tragic mistake? How to make amends to those who are not returned? To lie, that from the city blocks someone fired at our “Rooks” from large-caliber machine guns and “Stingers” and therefore the missiles flew in response?
This was not the case, and the commander of the 40 army could not afford such behavior.
“I was in the office of General Dubynin when the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Mikhail Gorbachev, called him,” military doctor Yury Nemytin told me. - The commander just set us the task to fly to Kandahar, to take all measures to rescue the wounded, to provide the victims with all the necessary assistance.
The call to WASP (secret communication) and the warning of the telephonist, with whom the commander is to speak, did not appear on his face. Although the Secretary General of the Central Committee extremely rarely directly addressed the commander of the army in Afghanistan. And such a call could not promise anything good to General Dubynin. But he did not even ask the officers present in the office, like any other person would act in his place, to leave him alone with the Supreme Commander. He did not even change his face, he just remained standing at the table, as he had been before, talking to the doctors, suppliers and military builders.
“We haven't heard any questions,” Nemytin told me. - But according to Dubynin's answers, one could guess what Mikhail Sergeevich was asking him.
It was felt that the main person in the state was interested in what had happened and how, who was to blame, what measures had been taken to fix it, to compensate for the extremely unpleasant situation for our country and the army.
Dubynin in detail, with details, not exaggerating colors and not whitewashing anyone, calmly and calmly spoke about the incident. With a sense of self-esteem, without servility, but with an emphasized respect for the interlocutor - the head of state, party and armed forces. And on the question of who is to blame for the state of emergency, he said directly:
- For everything that happened in the army, the commander answers.
After a short pause, probably caused by some words of the General Secretary of the Central Committee, he began a report on the measures taken to remedy the situation, political talks held at night with the Government of Afghanistan, and what actions are planned to treat the victims and provide specific assistance to them. families ...
“I was amazed,” the military doctor recalled, “as a brief, clear and comprehensive report on the work done and planned, the commander. It is so distinct and clear that Mikhail Sergeyevich did not have a single additional question. And I also felt that Dubynin was able to quickly assemble in a difficult psychological situation and take a punch, no matter how strong he was.
What was important for the Afghan population then? Provide medical assistance. And she was rendered. General Dubynin sent a group of twelve doctors and nurses to Kandahar. These were unique specialists - employees of the Kirov Military Medical Academy, who have extensive experience in war. Doctors went to the province literally within a few hours after the tragedy in the shelter and immediately began to save the children.
They worked tirelessly for days on end, but managed to save the lives of sixty boys and girls. By order of Dubynin, their families were allocated a lot of food - hundreds of kilograms of flour, grain, sugar, cereals, clothing and other property. In two weeks, our construction team restored all buildings and buildings of an orphanage, staff housing ... We came out of that unpleasant situation with dignity. Both politically and humanly.
“I’m sure,” Nemytin told me, “this was only possible thanks to Viktor Petrovich, who showed uncommon courage and honesty, which was rare for a statesman and military leader. Although no one, of course, knew and did not guess what these qualities cost him, as he experienced everything, he burned his own health with his mental anguish. I realized this when I learned that he was born in a GULAG, where someone had slandered his father, a simple metallurgist, and he carried this pain in his heart all his life, when a couple of years after Afghanistan Dubynin was on the operating table of the Vishnevsky hospital with the hardest disease, which usually do not recover.
And in my head - again Chechnya. Why do we lack courage and honesty to admit our mistakes? When our troops, probably by mistake, anything happens in war, sometimes peaceful villages are fired upon and innocent people are killed. No Dubynin?
He worried about everyone
The division commander, Colonel Barynkin became in Afghanistan. Arrived "for the river" 7 July 1986 of the year, took 108-th motorized rifle, and, like from ship to ball, to the Panjshir operation. He says today, he asked for it.
Of course, I received detailed instructions from the commander, met with the commanders of the regiments and even battalions, visited their location, saw how here, in Afghanistan, they live and serve. It turned out that some parts of the division were fighting in the mountains. Where should the commander be at this moment, the young divisional commander asked himself? Of course, among the warring. I turned to Dubynin: allow me to leave for the battle area.
He allowed. Moreover, he flew for Barynkin on a helicopter, landed him at the command post of the division in the area of Maydanshahr, introduced him to the commanders, and went on. The colonel began to delve into the situation. He never had to fight before Afghanistan, he did not even organize exercises in the mountains. So what's in his heart is not that cats scrubbed. But it was very, very not calm.
Dubynin appeared on the gearbox 108 a day before the start of the operation. With him flew and the general for special assignments of the Chief of General Staff. The commander heard the report of the division commander on his decision to conduct combat operations, made a number of clarifying comments and approved the plan. Signed in the commander's card Barynkina, said:
- Do it!
But then the general, the representative of the NGSH, began to make comments. They were radically different from the solution proposed by the division commander. Dubynin gently stopped him.
“I think the divisional commander knows better how to solve the combat mission set for him.” He is on the checkpoint not the first day.
But the general did not let up. Then the commander could not resist:
-Who is the commander here ?! - He boiled. - Who will be responsible for the result of the operation - you or Barynkin ?!
The representative of the General Staff fell silent.
“Fulfill your decision,” ordered Barynkin Dubynin.
The divisional commander began to issue the relevant orders.
Each of those present at that time on the command post 108, and there were not only officers of the division management, but representatives of the regiments that belonged to it, even soldiers, understood that the representative of the NGSH could then complain about Dubynin to his boss. That of the false, not always fair idea that the superior commander is always right would have let down on the army commander all the dogs and, most dangerous of all, could impose a penalty on him. It was necessary to the commander ?! Hardly. But he also could not protect his division commander in front of his colleagues. The authority of the officer, the honor of a subordinate, the life of a warrior for Viktor Petrovich, Barynkin later told me, was always higher and more significant than any minor career considerations.
There is another very important point here. In the war for all the responsibility of one person. The one who commands the battlefield. His decision, right or wrong, but brought to the end, before the full realization of his plan, can be discussed only after the operation has been completed. And during the battle, any extraneous "remarks", "good advice" and the insistent demands of the "visiting chiefs" are always disastrous. Since they distort the plan of the commander and often lead to unreasonable death of people. Incidentally, due to inconsistencies in the work of the command and violation of the principle of unity of command, we regularly observe in Chechnya.
Dubynin did not allow this. And all the commanders were eternally grateful to him for this approach.
On another occasion, the commanding qualities of General Dubynin, told Barynkin, he learned during the operation in the green zone of the Panjshir valley in the Charikar area, in the fall of 1986 of the year.
The battle for the 108th division was unsuccessful. The equipment got into the "green" (gardens) too deep. They wanted to surround and dismember a fairly large gang, and then begin to destroy it with artillery and aviation fire in parts. But it turned out that dushmans were not sewn with bast. They poured water into the vineyards, war machines stuck in clay, and spirits opened by tanks and BMP fire from wells (kyariz). They will shoot and instantly disappear in the underground labyrinths.
Losses began. Nine people died, 50 injured appeared. Three warriors were missing ....
Barynkin reported to the commander on the phone everything as it is, without hiding any details, without embellishing the situation. Dubynin asked:
What are you going to do?
The divisional commander replied that he had suspended the operation until the situation with the captured soldiers was ascertained.
Dubynin said that flies to the CP. After a couple of hours, he actually appeared there and immediately demanded to clarify the situation. At the same time - not a single rude word addressed to the divisional division, no nervousness. But concern is felt. For each person who died in Afghanistan, Barynkin knew, Moscow asked in such a way that it would not seem a little. Commanders of various levels heard rumors of Marshal Yazov screaming into the phone, singing out the commander. He says that no one in the 40 army can really fight, and people die not in battle, but in drunkenness ...
The commander orders Barynkin to re-enter the “brilliant green” and to release the ensign and two soldiers from captivity. And the division commander has already gathered elders from the neighboring villages and sent them to the dushmans for negotiations. To free the captives peacefully. Requests:
-Let's wait for the aksakals to return.
An hour passes, another, a third ... The night is running out. There are no elders or captives. The commander did not lie down for a minute. Barynkin did not sleep either. All this time they have been discussing what to do. Starting a new operation in Zelenka means losing more than a dozen people. Even if three soldiers are freed from captivity, which is unlikely and there is no certainty that they are alive, the loss ratio will not be in favor of the division. But leave, not knowing that the fighters, too, is impossible.
Aksakals appeared only by noon. On a stretcher, afraid to touch the corpses of the infidels, they brought the bodies of three soldiers. It was impossible to look at Dubynin. He seemed to have aged before his eyes. Barynkin told me that the army commander, of course, understood that there was no war without victims. But he experienced every death as his personal tragedy. I could not get used to losses.
By the way, during the leadership of Viktor Dubynin 40-th army in Afghanistan, our troops had the smallest casualties - in a year and a half 1215 people. This is two times less than we lose in Chechnya in the same time. Some generals brought up by Dubynin still have albums with photos of all the dead soldiers and officers, with descriptions of the causes and circumstances of their death, its dates and the place where the warrior is buried than awarded. Last name, first name and patronymic of his parents, their address and social status. Than the Ministry of Defense helped them.
When you think about the ordeals of the mothers of the dead soldiers in Chechnya, about hundreds of unidentified corpses, it becomes uneasy. Not on some of today's commanders fathers Dubynin. And nothing can be done about it.
And the “Afghans” still remember how he “brought up” the Hero of the Soviet Union, the chief of staff of one of the regiments, a man of exceptional personal courage. To recklessness. In the battle with Ahmad Shah Massoud near Salang, he personally led the attack of the battalion. He rushed into the mountains at the enemy without a helmet, body armor, with a machine gun at the ready, leaving a convoy of twenty combat vehicles and a fuel tank on the road under attack. Dushmans retreated, but the equipment was burned, people died. And the officer himself received a bullet in the stomach.
“Who needs such reckless courage if it causes such losses,” Dubynin was outraged.
He started a tradition in the 40 Army. The commanders who became generals under his command handed shoulder straps from their own shoulders. Barynkin has three pairs of them - Major General, Lieutenant General and Colonel General. He calls these gifts "family heirloom."
Honor - the concept of unchangeable
Commander of the Airborne Forces Pavel Sergeevich Grachev became Minister of Defense by chance. He does not hesitate to talk about this himself. Twice he refused such a post. But the president insisted, signed a decree in May 1992, and there was nowhere to go. And becoming a minister and being one is not the same thing.
Grachev felt it from the very first steps. What to do, how to be? Minister - a public figure. If you say something wrong, do something wrong, not only will the newspapers laugh, the army will not understand. And it needs to be reformed, rebuilt. From the Soviet armed forces, Russia received, by and large, only the rear, the fleet, heavily plucked aircraft, and, moreover, the Strategic Missile Forces, which the former paratrooper did not know and did not understand. In addition, it is almost impossible to lead such a cumbersome edifice to a person who has never ruled even a military district. Who to lean on?
The comrades in Afghanistan advised Grachev to take for himself the first deputy chief of the General Staff, Colonel-General Viktor Dubynin, who then commanded the Northern Group of Forces. The Minister remembered him from the 40 Army. When Dubinin arrived in Kabul, Grachev fought there for three years. And the first request from the deputy commander, the general to the colonel, the regiment commander was “teach me to fight, share your experience. I know neither mountains nor real combat. ” Such requests are not forgotten.
But Grachev knew that Dubynin was mortally ill. He recently underwent a very serious operation, and he is unlikely to cope with the loads that fall on the NHSH. True, the head of the Vishnevsky hospital, Yuri Nemytin, assured the minister that General Dubynin was recovering. The decision matured in one day. Going to President Yeltsin and signing a decree for Pavel Sergeevich was not a problem.
The next day, Colonel-General Viktor Dubynin occupied the NGS office on the fifth floor in the White House on Arbat Square. The heroes of the Soviet Union, generals Ruslan Aushev and Valery Vostrotin told me that when they went to congratulate him, Viktor Petrovich did not even have brandy to mark this event. It was so unexpected for him. But he got into work right from the first minute. And most importantly, he did, proposed Grachev to appoint as deputy ministers the most experienced and respected generals in the army - the commanders of military districts Boris Gromov, Valery Mironov, Georgy Kondratieff ... These people began the reform of the army, motored on fronts that suddenly appeared in South Ossetia , in Abkhazia, Transnistria, Tajikistan.
True, Grachev soon realized that in a narrow circle of disguise they spoke of him not very benevolently. They say that the minister is not up to the post, no matter how cool. A paratrooper is a paratrooper. Three minutes - an eagle, the rest - a horse. And he clearly lacks horizons, state wisdom, and political vigilance. Yes, and things really do not know.
These rumors have come to Dubynin. He came to Grachev, asked permission to assemble a board of the Ministry of Defense.
-What question will we discuss? - Pavel Sergeevich asked.
- Allow me to announce it at the board.
“All right,” agreed Grachev.
In the hall of the college there was no one extra. Only deputy ministers, heads of the main departments of the ministry and the General Staff. The word asked NGSH.
“Comrade generals,” he said. - We know each other not the first year. Therefore, for me it was a very big and extremely unpleasant surprise that some of you have dropped into unacceptable remarks against the Minister of Defense, undermining the principle of unity of command, on which the army rests. And although these words have sounded in a narrow circle, I ask you that this will never happen again. Otherwise, I will not give up to such people anymore and will do my best to part with epaulets forever.
More speakers at the board was not.
In November, General Dubynin fell into a hospital named after Burdenko. The incredible burdens that he placed on himself as chief of the General Staff exacerbated the old disease. There was no escape from her. He knew this and bravely met his fate.
In the middle of the month, Grachev was told that only a few days were left for Dubynin to live. The minister rushed to the president with the form of a decree conferring the rank of army general on the NGS. He was then a colonel-general, and his deputy was in the military rank a step higher.
-How so? - Yeltsin was surprised.
“This is the case,” Grachev answered him, “when I would consider it an honor to be his simple assistant.”
The next morning, the minister brought to the ward where the NGSh was lying, a brand new jacket with epaulets of the army general. Viktor Petrovich got out of bed. They embraced. They drank a glass of brandy. Three days later, Dubinin was gone.
He is buried in the Novodevichy cemetery. And twice a year, November 22 - on the day of his death and February 15 - on the day of the withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan, many generals and colonels come to his grave. Those who serve in the army so far, and those who have not served in it for a long time. They silently drink a glass and just silently diverge.
What to say?! There is still no such person as General Victor Dubinin in our army. And what happened to her after him, what kind of relationship developed between her military and non-military leaders, we all know quite well.