Military Review

Tajikistan, 90s. Chief of the 117th POGO: I will not allow the artillery to be turned down


"Voennoye Obozreniye" continues to acquaint readers with chapters from the book of the head of the 117th Moscow border detachment

On the front line

At exactly the estimated time, the helicopter with the commander of the RF GP in the Republic of Tatarstan, Lieutenant General A. N. Martovitsky, landed at the Moskovsky airport. At the headquarters, he held a meeting with the command of the detachment, brought the general situation in the group's sector. It was rapidly changing towards escalation, and the border practically turned into a front line.

After the personnel fled to the national apartments, its catastrophic shortage was acutely felt. The border detachments received instructions to curtail artillery units and put weapons on storage. The gunners were to be distributed by arrows to the outposts.

That this was utter nonsense was obvious. Yes, it was hard, people were at the limit, but to turn down the artillery would be, from my point of view, a crime that in a real situation, and even more so in a combat situation, would no longer be possible to fix.

Tajikistan, 90s. Chief of the 117th POGO: I will not allow the artillery to be turned down

Despite this, he decided to strengthen the training of gunners. The chief of artillery, Major V. A. Savich, was truly a professional in his field. He and the commander of the artillery battalion, Captain V.N.Turkov, sometimes did not spare themselves and their people.

From early morning until late at night, they practiced fire missions at the MAP and detachment shooting range at reduced distances. This was permissible only in a combat situation, since the artillerymen fired through the lines and locations of border detachments and their units, but these were the features of the area.

Commander Lieutenant General A.N. Martovitsky decided to personally check the service and combat activities of the border outposts of the detachment NSOU, where we, together with the chief of artillery, Major V.A.

On the way to the site, the commander asked me a question: "You, comrade lieutenant colonel, why didn’t you put the artillery equipment on conservation and the artillerymen on the border?"

I immediately reported: “Not at all, Comrade Commander. I consider this order to be premature. The situation requires the preservation of artillery in the border detachment. I reported to you in writing that the nature of the situation on the border is developing according to the dynamics of growth, the active phase of hostilities will begin by mid-August. I did not receive a response from you, and therefore I considered your silence as an agreement and approval of my request. "

Special opinion

Anatoly Nesterovich listened to me calmly and asked the question:

“And what, commander, will you order me to report to Moscow that Masyuk has a special opinion? All the chiefs of the detachments reported on the execution of the order, and he here about Bonaparte is trying to give me lectures and talk about the centralized principles of using artillery. Do you at least understand, son, that incomplete service is guaranteed to you from the Commander-in-Chief? "

In a word, the conversation turned out to be extremely difficult, but I stood my ground - I would not turn off the artillery. I am ready to incur incomplete official compliance, up to and including removal from office.

I clearly saw that Lieutenant General A. N. Martovitsky himself was deeply worried, but the lack of staff forced the leadership to take such harsh measures to curtail the artillery. It was clear that he himself agreed with my conclusions, but on the other hand, he could not say this openly, since the failure to comply with Moscow's order did not bode well.

Martovitsky demanded a detailed report from the head of the intelligence department of the frontier detachment, Major V.P. Sokol, who, in the course of his report to the commander, named the expected dates for the activation of the actions of the opposition fighters on the border and indicated the directions of their actions.

This was in those years the Red Banner Central Asian border district

At that time, it was the junction with the Pyanj detachment and the Parkhar direction (1-5th outposts). This was already serious, and he well understood that I, and not someone else, needed now to think and make a decision.

Ultimately, the commander agreed with all our conclusions, arguments and justifications, but warned that he would take personal control of my further use of artillery units. I was immensely grateful to him for this decision.

And in the future, when the situation enters the phase of active hostilities, I will do everything to help the neighbors with artillery on his orders. It turned out to be a dreary business in the neighboring border detachments, first to send the gunners to the outposts, then, when, as they say, the situation flooded, to collect them again.

To do this, it was necessary to remove artillery weapons from storage, reactivate, re-align artillery units, prepare and check equipment, receive and load ammunition and put forward for the task. All this is a factor of time, and the enemy will not wait and will not give such an opportunity.

In turn, he decided to centrally use the artillery battalion, to reinforce the 1–5 outposts and 1 MMG with mortar batteries and platoons. Battery BM-21 "Grad" remained in the detachment reserve, but was pulled closer to the border and deployed in advance to the OP position in the center of section 6 of the POGZ on Sayatsky Peak.

With its capabilities and advantageously occupied by the main one and the presence of convenient spare positions, it blocked the area from the 1st POGZ to the right flank of the 10th outpost with its fire. All the crossings of the gunners were at a glance. The main thing, as they say, is not to miss and open crossings, concentration areas and enemy advance routes.

Almost within a week, all the firing missions with artillery were completed, people were given a daily rest, and the detachment headquarters prepared and I issued an order on the artillery reserve of constant readiness and the procedure for its combat use.

Willingness number one

Subsequently, he spent a two-day field trip with the staff officers, the chief of artillery, the command of the artillery battalion and the commanders of artillery batteries and platoons along the routes of the advance of the columns;

The detailed plan of fire was refined during the reconnaissance according to the tasks, possible directions and lines. It was lost at a joint staff training with the participation of all the chiefs of the outposts and MMG, as well as the OG led by the regiment commander Svyatoslav Adamovich Nabzdorov and officers of the reinforcement unit 2 MSR 1 MRB, TV and D-30 artillery battalion from 149 MRP.

Everything was worked out by us in full, and at night with the crews tanks and BMP played on foot on a machine with the designation of routes and boundaries with pointers, alignments and pegs.

The commander, despite all his busyness, as previously promised to them, personally flew in by helicopter for training and conducted a thorough inspection of all the events we had taken with the chief of the OG artillery, Lieutenant Colonel Danelyan and senior officers, Major Novozhilov. Everything was worked out and done soundly, as they say, conscientiously. And most importantly, as time has shown - in a timely manner.

I will not hide the fact that with special attention, if you like, commander's love for the artillerymen - they were smart officers who knew their job and matched them and their subordinates. They stood out to everyone: discipline, organization and internal order.

Wherever they were, they did everything thoroughly and, it seemed, forever. Military sappers were similar to them, but the discussion about them will be further separate and special.

At the same time, the extreme fatigue of the personnel was felt in everything, people were exhausted by constant actions in one or the other direction, if not exhausted by the increased workload, which could not but affect and affect combat readiness and discipline.

The border needs to be strengthened

To our great and undisguised joy, it was pleasant to learn from the lips of the commander that replenishment would arrive tomorrow, and we must thoroughly prepare for its reception and deployment. Where it will come from and what kind of contingent, everything was kept secret.

The main thing was that everyone was glad that the expected replenishment was arriving, that they remembered us in Moscow, we were not forgotten, and that we were entrusted with serious tasks for the fate of the country and its external borders.

I gave orders to the deputies to prepare for the reception of reinforcements, and the commander and I were left alone. Over a cup of tea Martovitsky told me:

“The replenishment, Vasily Kirillovich, is coming from Germany. Alongside, you will receive 1 people. But remember that they have yet to become border guards.
It is necessary, commander, to meet in this way from the beginning and raise the issue of their adaptation and infusion into military collectives, so that they will join our family as soon as possible and learn border management. With everyone, Vasily Kirillovich, sort it out. I know and I am sure that in the detachment entrusted to you everything will turn out in a short time and with dignity.
The fact that they will have different appeals is also expected, but you well understand that people are arriving ours, Russian. But all the same, as if from another world, with different skills, knowledge and abilities. They will join the border collectives with their habits from the previous place of service, traditions, and somewhere, the desire for leadership and hazing.
All this must be properly extinguished initially. Organize your work in such a way as to exclude all this. How much will remain after the fall dismissal is difficult to say. In a word, the task is to accept, understand, teach and - to the outposts.
You understand that we will not have other human resources. The border must be strengthened. Tomorrow from six o'clock, in the chill, we will take the boards. "

Recharge arrived

When, at the dawn of the next day, the first wave of MI-8 and MI-6 helicopters landed on the runway one after the other, and servicemen in caps of various types and troops began to go out onto the concrete road: blue, black and red bands, the commander and I sighed heavily.

We saw an incredible sight of servicemen dressed in full dress with suitcases, diplomats and backpacks. The senior teams lined up all the arrivals and reported. Having completed the reception of the first wave of replenishment, the commander decided to conduct a review and talk with the newcomers.

When asked where they were from, the soldiers clearly answered: "From the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany." When they were asked: “Did they know where and why they were going?”, They answered unequivocally: at night they were alerted and explained that they were leaving for their native land to harvest.

The commander greeted them and explained where and why they had arrived, and that from that moment on they were border guards. We accepted all people. I understood that the personnel had currency in their hands, and so that no one was tempted to encroach on it, I ordered all the cash to be handed over according to the statement in the special depository of the financial part.

As the whole course of further events showed, this was done in a timely manner and correctly. In other formations and units, many sad events took place on this basis, up to extortion from the officers. The servicemen who served the deadline received all their money before leaving the unit safe and sound.

In the future, all efforts were focused on adapting the arrived personnel and conducting a course with them for a young border warrior. Border science was hard for them. There was no condescension to anyone. The training program leveled them all, regardless of age.

My deputy for educational work and personnel training, Colonel B. I. Ermolin, and his deputies, Lieutenant Colonel V. V. Mareev and Major V. N. Chebaev, paid much attention to questions of education and training. These were professional officers who loved and knew their job.

The head of the training center, Major V. N. Fesenko, spent practically day and night in training camps and at the shooting range. On a weekly basis, I personally checked the progress of personnel training, attended the IMZ with a non-commissioned officer, whose role I attached paramount importance to.

The program for the training of artillerymen and sappers was completely revised, and all this was done in a timely manner, since the situation did not allow us to relax. A huge role was assigned to individual educational work and psychological compatibility of personnel. All this made it possible to exclude violations of military discipline and hazing.

After the credentials commissions, the personnel were distributed among outposts and units of the combat reserve and all-round combat support. There were units in which the competition was held - this is the DShMG and military intelligence. The selection in them was individual, with a special ritual of initiation. Once there, the fighters were proud and treasured their high calling.

In general, from the moment he took office as the head of the border detachment, he tried to pay the utmost attention to educational work with all categories of personnel. There should be no trifles in this matter.

To be continued ...
Photos used:, vk / com,, from the archives of the authors

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  1. VALERIK_097
    VALERIK_097 15 November 2021 22: 03
    Yes, those were not easy times, in the summer of 92, almost in the open field, the software was removed from the Baltic States. I myself participated in the withdrawal of the Rakversky software to the Pskov region.
    1. YOUR
      YOUR 16 November 2021 03: 42
      Only the border guards were thrown out in the open field? Glory to Gorbachev. They refuse to take it to hell, trample the earth
      1. Bolkonsky
        Bolkonsky 12 January 2022 17: 19
        And here is Gorbachev. What a foolishness. We all know one is not a warrior in the field. The whole party is to blame and the people deserve it. Live by the principle: you deserve - you get it, you get it - you deserve it!
  2. faterdom
    faterdom 15 November 2021 23: 20
    The commander of the 149th regiment S. Nabzdorov was then the NSh, then the commander of the 201st MRD, the General Staff Academy, the commandant of the Achkhoy-Martan region, the commander in the zone of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict.
    He got a very boring service all the time.
  3. restless
    restless 15 November 2021 23: 52
    The enemies of the people gave everything that our grandfathers conquered with blood, and Germany, and the whole of Europe and Asia, and the whole of Russia was robbed, everyone knows who it is ...
  4. Klushin
    Klushin 16 November 2021 00: 03
    On the northwestern border, they raked out whoever they could and sent them to Tajikistan. We had 18 people left for 1 frontier outposts of 2121 frontier detachment of military unit 1992 in the winter of 12. And the service is scheduled for 50. Only sleep and at the border. You sleep for an hour, you run for an hour. You sleep for another hour and a half and on patrol for 4 hours. I returned and immediately went to sleep. And so the whole day and all winter and spring.
    Andrey Merzlikin, being the last year cadets, had an internship in 90-91 years in a detachment at the training outpost No. 5. All his front teeth at that time were of yellow metal, he said that on the Iranian border they stood without weapons on a ruler and did not allow fraternization with a foreign foe. I woke up in a river without teeth
    1. VALERIK_097
      VALERIK_097 17 November 2021 22: 11
      Oleg, if you only knew how you have optimized the service in PV. This summer I was in Vyborg, (by the way, by chance, the son-in-law also serves at the Vyborg OKPP and Sortavala the matchmaker in the detachment serves-that he saw what he told-hair In short, I gave the order to my son-in-law to be fired, I’ll take it to my shipyard, let the nuclear submarine repair, while I have the strength, I will pass on experience and knowledge. In 5 years, he will become a great specialist
  5. Lech from Android.
    Lech from Android. 16 November 2021 03: 48
    I am glad that there are such officers and commanders who are sick of their work in our army ... they are the backbone and foundation of our armed forces.
    For them, the concept of defending the Motherland is not an empty phrase ... in contrast to some generals of windbags who are not responsible for their words and deeds.