Military Review

Heroes of "Charm"

27 January 2012, the subdivision of the Chelyabinsk special forces detachment, which was recently given the new name “Charm”, searched for a gangster base in the Kizlyar district of Dagestan. The fighters of one of the search groups found a well-camouflaged dugout of militants. A fight started. Shooting, the bandits one after another jumped out of the dugout and began to throw grenades. Sergeant Yevgeny Epov, noting that the grenade fell very close to his three colleagues, one of whom had already been wounded, rushed at her ... Having created the so-called corridor, the militants began to leave. They did not notice that Ensign Artem Katunkin took a position in a dense bush over a tubercle. He kept the bandits on sight and single shots in turn laid all three.
By decrees of the President of the Russian Federation, special forces Evgeny Epov and Artem Katunkin were awarded the title Hero of Russia. Sergeant Epov received it posthumously.

Heroes of "Charm"Evgenia Epova in her native village was never considered a mere kid. Against the dull background of the Trans-Baikal station Milgidun, he stood out like a bright spring sun - cheerful, active, and responsive. The grandmother brought up the boy - woman Nelly. At the other end of the village, Valentina Ivanovna’s mother lived with her new husband and younger son Grisha. Zhenka loved the mother very much, but his relationship with his stepfather and stepbrother did not go well.

In Milhiduna, where from the centers of civilization there is a school, a club and a post office, there was no place to go in for sports, and Epov very much wanted to be the first in all district competitions. On the playground behind his grandmother's house, he made himself the horizontal bars, parallel bars, and hung a punching bag. Usually, after returning from school, he first took to the farm - he watered a vegetable garden, fed the cattle, then went to his sports ground, and then sat down for lessons. One of the most favorite subjects for Eugene was literature. He adored Pushkin. Infinitely reread his poetry collections. In the future, already in the special forces detachment, Sergeant Epov will be attached to the work of the great poet and his subordinates. It will become a good tradition to read Pushkin out loud so that the fighters will not fall asleep in their attire. And if one of the soldiers in the classroom on the physo does not fulfill the standard, then he will have to learn the poem of Alexander Sergeyevich under the guidance of Sergeant Epov.

Nine grades Zhenka graduated from an almost excellent student, with only one-four in algebra. But in the railway technical school received a red diploma in the specialty - "mechanic for the repair and maintenance of rolling stock."

Serve Epov was in the 2006 year in the Ozersk division of internal troops. There often came officers of the Chelyabinsk detachment to agitate young fighters in special forces. Zhenka agreed. He always wanted to be the best, and here the elite of the troops! Private Epov was first assigned to the AGS calculation of the combat support group, then he was transferred to the flamethrower group in the combat group and eventually became a sergeant, the commander of the assault squadron.

“Zhenka was preparing me for his beret,” recalls Senior Sergeant Tolya Lopan, “he himself became a“ krapovik ”the second time. The first handing over ended on a high-rise when a shop was unclasped from his machine gun. Then he repeated this exercise hundreds of times to achieve success. I was shown how to get down from the building faster: for example, getting out of a window not in turn to expose my legs, but to roll over in a jump. He was a very stubborn guy. Always sought his own. Yes, in general, Zhenya is a model: he never drank, never smoked, was engaged in sports, any conflict could be resolved peacefully, encouraged newbies, participated in KVNs, composed and played scenes himself. In general, was the soul of the company.

- Epych came to us in the squad, when I already had a contract ended. But on a business trip, we had time to go together and somehow immediately became like brothers, ”says Zhenya’s best friend, Senior Sergeant Ivan Dubovik. - I then quit, but in civilian life did not last long. Epych kept saying to me: “Come on, Vanek, come back to us!” I came back. We rented an apartment for two in Chelyabinsk for two people not far from the detachment. Responsibilities around the house were distributed as follows: I was in charge of the kitchen, and Epych liked ordering, cleanliness so that everything would sparkle. I used to come back from the service, I would take a recipe from a dish from the Internet, cook it, and at that time it was rubbing the floors. Then we sit down at the table. Let's start at dinner to remember how they used to live. My childhood was hard, too ... Epych also had time to learn at the Chelyabinsk Institute of Railway Engineers. During the session, went serious-serious. Always sitting at the books, outlines, checklists wrote. The guys and I sometimes made fun of him, they say, we have a nerd, Epych, we will soon become a professor! When we go on a business trip, Pushkin reads us all the way, “Eugene Onegin”. We sit - we get angry at him, but he doesn’t calm down, even more expressively begins to read. And the girl he had was not somebody, but a teacher! He was terribly proud of her. Once says:

- Vanek, she is a teacher of the highest category!
- What does it mean?
- Well, it's like we have a squadron squad.
- Wow, cool!

Epych always flowers Nastya gave. On the first of September, without being able to congratulate her beloved teacher in person, she picked some flowers from the field and sent her a picture with this bouquet. They were going to get married with Nastya. Epych already called us to the wedding. Only two weeks remained until the end of the trip ...

Teacher Nastya

They met on the 2009 train in the winter. Nastya at that time worked as the deputy director of the gymnasium in Krasnoyarsk, taught history and social studies. On New Year's holidays, she stayed with her parents outside the city. On Christmas, January 7, she was unexpectedly summoned to work. It was a strong Siberian frost, fifty degrees. Mom ordered her daughter to dress more warmly, pulled knitted trousers from her closet, a down scarf, and felt boots. Father, director of the village school Petr Petrovich Vershinin, went to escort Nastya to the station. Intercity buses did not run on weekends, trains were canceled, long-distance train tickets passing through Krasnoyarsk, almost all sold out. True, at the urgent request of Pyotr Petrovich, the cashier nevertheless managed to find a single ticket to the compartment car of the Chita-Chelyabinsk train.

“I open the compartment door, and there sits a smiling miracle in a krapovo vest and blue shorts,” Nastya recalls. “I was also funny, like some kind of Nathan: in felt boots, in red knitted trousers, the shawl is tied up under a sheepskin coat! .. He immediately jumped up:“ Girl, come on! ”I sat down. She took out a laptop and turned away, but he didn’t let up: “Let's get acquainted, my name is Zhenya!” I always disbelieved about acquaintances in transport, so I tried not to answer. But he was all twisted. Then he brought tea. So met. And here is my stop. He did not expect me to go out so quickly, and began to ask: "Please leave your phone number." I told him:

- Young man, where are you going?
- To Chelyabinsk.
- And I live in Krasnoyarsk. From Chelyabinsk to Krasnoyarsk, how many?
“Two time zones and two days?”
- Absolutely. What could be the phone. Goodbye. - The train was already slowing down, I took the bag, I looked: my companion was beginning to think frantically, his eyebrows were moving. Suddenly he gets 500 rubles and writes his number on a piece of paper:
- Here is my phone number. Let me in, 500 rubles, please, or the money is out, jumps up, sticks my money in my pocket, takes my bag and, as we go to the exit, says another hundred thousand words ...
- Why did you decide that I will throw this money on the phone. Maybe I'll take them away.
- What are you, you have such eyes! Honest-honest ...

After a couple of hours, Nastya decided to call her traveling companion to find out if the money had reached. In the meantime, he was lying on the shelf and under the sound of the wheels, he suffered from melancholy, trying to come to terms with the idea that Nastya, who liked him so much, would probably not call. He had never met anyone like this before. In her village boots, she was so sweet, dear, real ... Not like painted girls in mini-skirts. And her radiant eyes! How can you not fall in love with them! Suddenly the bell rang:

- Eugene, did the money come to you?
- Thank you very much, Nastya! I now have your phone number, ”exulted Eugene.
“After this call, he went all the way while he was driving to Chelyabinsk, wrote me messages,” continues Nastya, “I did not answer.” It seemed to me too good, sparkling like a diamond. I was sure that such people simply do not exist, which means this is a pretense. Plus, I'm a few years older than him. And what could be serious from a passing acquaintance in a train?!. But Zhenya did not back down. He found me on a social network. Began to correspond. Two months later I get a message from him:
- I have a holiday. And Krasnoyarsk is a beautiful city, right?
- True.
“I heard you have fountains there.” Here to see! ..

So he asked for me to visit. Came in his krapovoy vest, beret. Happy! Then I understood: it is fate, my happiness, and I will not let it go again ... I can not say that it was love at first sight. At first there was an interest, then respect, and at one fine moment I realized that feelings overwhelmed me so that I could not get out of them. I can not and do not want.

They began to visit each other, talking on the phone and over the Internet. When the first lesson began in the Krasnoyarsk gymnasium, Epov in Chelyabinsk only got up, and the teacher Anastasia Petrovna called her lover every morning to wake him up. A year later, when he once again visited Nastya in Krasnoyarsk, Peter Petrovich stopped by. Zhenka was very worried. They sat down to dinner, and then Petr Petrovich directly asked:

- How do you feel about my daughter?
“I love her very much,” Epov said confidently.

Then they went out for a walk. After talking with the future son-in-law, Petr Petrovich returned home, pleased and peaceful.

Last May, Zhenya told Nastya: “Marry me and move to Chelyabinsk!” Nastya asked not to rush to the wedding, but she agreed to move, although this decision was not easy for her: in Krasnoyarsk, she was well known as an authoritative teacher, where she occupied high position, lived next to her parents, but Zhenkina convinced her confidence. Together they found a school in Chelyabinsk where a history teacher was required. Anastasia Petrovna was warmly received here and six months later offered the post of head teacher. Zhenya was given a service apartment. Things went swimmingly. In the afternoon, both disappeared at work. In the evenings we rode bicycles, played chess, went to museums and theaters, read books to each other aloud.

- I often read my beloved Pushkin to me. Sometimes the poem will begin. Then he will interrupt himself: “No, I will re-read, here the intonation should be changed”. And all over again. Once I come home - Eugene is a sad sitting. I ask what happened, and he answered: “Today I saw such a wonderful thing in the store, which is very useful in our economy, but I know that we have no money for it now.” It turned out that this thing is a gift edition of Pushkin's poems with colorful golden pages. I gave him this book the next day, so he flew with happiness. All dreamed of "Eugene Onegin" to learn by heart. In the last trip I will learn a fragment and read it to me via Skype. So I managed to pass two whole chapters as a student. “I want to,” he says, “to hit you.”

Zhenka was striving for perfection in everything. Every day, in any weather, I ran: in the morning kilometers of 7 and in the evening - 10 – 12. Nastya sometimes kept him company: he ran, she - on the bike did not have time to pedal. In the house, everything except for the preparation of food lay on Epova’s shoulders.

“When Zhenya came home,” smiles Nastya, “first of all he leaned over and ran his hand across the floor. If the floor was not clean enough, take a rag and begin to restore order. And things were ironed and folded so evenly and gently that it seemed that one could cut oneself on the edges. He was just as diligent in his studies. I remember how he lamented when in the second year he grabbed a threesome. I did not sleep for three nights ... But the service was still more important than my studies. In June, Eugene's 2012 ended his contract. The question of parting with your favorite special forces did not even stand. He called his colleagues brothers brothers. The only way. At first I laughed: “Are they your relatives, are you?” Then I realized that they really had a brotherhood, that they were soldered like the fingers of one hand. On his last trip, Zhenya could not have gone - he had just arrived at the session, but he could not leave the little brothers. He took the certificate to the institute that he was going on a business trip to the North Caucasus. Exams were going to pass on return ...

Warrant Officer Katunkin

To be honest, different things are said about Artyom Katunkin in the detachment. Desperate guys are not uncommon for special forces, so the ensign had problems with discipline. But in his professionalism, experience and judgment, which are so important in a combat situation, few doubt.

Artyom is from Chelyabinsk region, from the city of Katav-Ivanovsk. Parents have worked all their life at the foundry-mechanical plant, they lived modestly, taught their son to independence, they did not hide from the army. The next day after graduating from the industrial technical school, Artyom and his friend went to the military registration and enlistment office.

- Give us the agenda for the near future. Ready to serve anywhere, the guys said.
“You are smart, you graduated from the technical school — you will go to the rocket forces,” said the military registration and enlistment office.
So ordinary Katunkin was in the Altai region, served as a signalman in the Strategic Missile Forces.
- There is such boringness, - Artym frowns, - here is another matter entirely! True, I did not immediately get into the squadron. After military service, I went to the police, but a year later I quit my job - not mine. I got a job in the unit of the VGO, and there I already learned about the squad and transferred here as a senior instructor, deputy platoon commander.

Ensign Katunkin talks little about himself. He says little at all - he prefers not to waste time talking, but to do business. He tries to read more, learn from others, analyze and transfer knowledge to subordinates.

“Now there are a lot of books on special forces tactics, a lot of information on the Internet, in the end, we regularly receive telegrams about armed clashes — all this information needs to be used, to find something useful for ourselves,” Artyom argues. - I teach young fighters to think, and not just execute commands. The commander is not immortal, and any soldier must be ready to take command of the unit to complete the task. And it is also important that the light in the eyes be, so that the person has the desire to improve.

The title of Hero of Russia imposes great responsibility on Ensign Katunkin - now neither commanders nor relatives can be brought down. At home for Artem very happy. In Katav-Ivanovsk, the neighbors tortured the Katunkins with inquiries about their son's exploits, and in Chelyabinsk, the wife Tatyana and daughter Ksyusha shared the same title with Artyom.

Four black crows

From 26 to 27 in January, Sergeant Epov was dressed up. Deep at night, he called Nastya and asked to go on Skype.

“Zhenya, you don’t give me any sleep at all,” Nastya grumbled awake, “did you forget what time difference we have with you?” Chelyabinsk is now five in the morning, by the way.
- I just missed you terribly and want to see you. I'm thinking: we are not for long together, and other people in their entire life have not seen so much happiness as we have got.
“Zhenya, I love you so much that I don’t even have enough words,” Nastya replied empathetically.
- Nothing, I'll be home soon. Bye dear. I'm going to wake the boys - we have to leave. How come back - call.
That night Nastya saw and heard Zhenka live for the last time ...

On a frosty January night, five search groups of the Chelyabinsk detachment left Khankala for Dagestan. In Kizlyar district, near the village of Chernyayevka, a gang of militants was hiding. We drove in the armored "Urals", poisoned jokes, shaking from the cold. Automatic frozen in hands. When they arrived at the place, it was already dawn, and it was possible to warm slightly under the rays of the morning sun. This did not help many, and the fighters substituted icy legs to the exhaust pipes.

The square that had to be combed was completely covered with high, dense shrubs through which nothing could be seen. It was possible to take in this shrub with the help of a multi-purpose lightly armored tractor. As part of the four search groups MTLBShki were, but for some reason the group in which Epov, Katunkin and other fighters went was not reached.

“When we went into the search, Epov immediately found unloading,” says Lieutenant Nikitin, the political officer of the group. He went to the rear guard. - We stopped, reported to the commander about the discovery and continued moving. Then from the auxiliary control point it was reported that the local police barriers spotted two suspicious people in our square. We searched for them for three hours. It was hard to walk - our group did not get MTLB, and the shrub, unfortunately, was the thickest in our area.

“We already thought we wouldn’t find anyone,” adds Senior Sergeant Lopan, “there remained a small island of bushes. And here it is not clear where the shooting started ...

Ensign Katunkin was the first in the patrol. He managed to slip through the thickets. To his right in the side patrol was the sergeant Epov's subgroup. At the core of the search group was a senior radio telephone operator, corporal Terekhin. He noticed a disguised dugout:
- Between the bushes, I saw a hatch wrapped in black polyethylene, turned around and signaled to the commander, and at that moment a shot sounded. I fell. I hit the right side of my chest, in the lung. It was about five meters from the hatch, I started shooting at it, tried to crawl away, but nothing worked. Here the medical instructor, senior sergeant Yakhin, arrived. He pulled me to the side, bandaged, injected painkillers. I lost consciousness and woke up only after a couple of days in the hospital. The doctors said that if it were not for Yakhin, who provided me with first aid on time, I would hardly have survived.
Senior Sergeant Yakhin, crawling up to the wounded man, saw two militants jump out of the dugout. The first managed to leave in the direction of Epov, the second Yakhin threw a line in the back. In total there were five gangsters. One as an observer was in the bush, four were sitting in a dugout. Having jumped out of the hatchway, they decided to break through the side patrol of Sergeant Epov and began to throw grenades. They were wrapped with adhesive tape and reinforced with striking elements in the form of fifty-kopeck coins. From the first break by shrapnels, the sapper of the corporal Zhuravlev sapper. Sergeant Epov, Private Shashkov and Private Fakhretdinov were with him. Immediately dropped the second grenade.

- Grenade! - that was forces shouted Epov and rushed on it. The grenade exploded, it threw upward, and, turned onto its back, it fell to the ground. Zhuravlev, Shashkov and Fakhretdinov were rescued.

Ensign Katunkin, who, thanks to his composure and combat experience, quickly found himself and successfully disguised himself in the folds of the terrain, he knew that, having broken through the side watch of Epov, the gangsters would pass by him. He turned the machine gun at a single shot and took aim. First, second, third ... He clicked on them one by one. Militants jumped out one by one, and each got his own bullet.

In that battle, the corporal Terekhin and Zhuravlev were injured. Military doctors will quickly return them to the system. Ordinary Fakhretdinov was lucky - a bullet hit him in a helmet, he escaped with a concussion, although still with the sounds of firing his blood pressure rises. The soldier Shashkov, saved by Sergeant Epov, locked himself in after that fight, didn’t talk to anyone for a long time - he looked at one point and shivered. He decided to leave the squad.

27 January 2012, the Chelyabinsk Special Forces lost four fighters. These are the chief machine gunner, the corporal Artem Sadchikov (wound to the head), the gunner junior sergeant Yevgeny Malov (wound to the head), the grenade launcher sergeant Denis Kozlov (hit the heart), sergeant Yevgeny Epov (he covered himself with a grenade). In the course of the battle, the special forces destroyed four bandits. One militant managed to leave.

When the fighters returned to the base, the colleagues told us that strange things were happening in the detachment that morning: the flag did not fly up, and four black crows sat on the parade ground — according to the number of dead comrades, or killed bandits ...

After the tragedy

The evening of January 27 Nastya was passing up alone at the computer. I went to Odnoklassniki. A message flashed from an unknown recipient: "Please accept our condolences!" She was indignant: "Well, some jokes!" Suddenly a portrait of Zhenya appeared on the screen with the inscription: “Killed several hours ago! ..”

“I grabbed the phone and started calling Zhenya,” Nastya barely holds back tears. - Hooters go, go, go ... And after about ten minutes, the guys from the squad arrived and told me everything. I did not want to believe. He promised to call me the day after tomorrow. So, I will wait ... I wanted to fall asleep as soon as possible to wake up tomorrow and find out that all this is not true! Then the commander called ...

On the way home, Zhenya made the long journey. Dagestan, Chechnya, Rostov, colleagues say goodbye to him at the Shagol airfield in Chelyabinsk. Then Irkutsk. Three days of waiting - due to severe frosts (–55) Chita did not accept the load-200. They buried Sergeant Epov in their native Milhidune. In a zinc coffin, he lay calm and beautiful ...

The Chelyabinsk detachment preserved video recordings that captured how Zhenka Epov passed on, how she responded to questions from the correspondent about life and service, how, stomping and clapping, moving as if on hinges, she said special forces in a circle of krapovik brothers before sending me on a business trip and hugging my beloved Nastya. Now valuable material for history lessons. Despite the narrow scope of the school curriculum, which assigns only 15 minutes to studying the Chechen wars, Nastya tries to tell her students more about the events in the Caucasus and about the Heroes of Russia, which most Russians simply do not know.

Chelyabinsk, in which the girl managed to remember only the names of the central streets, became closer and dearer to her than any other city. He connects her with Zhenya. And thanks to his friends and commanders, she feels that her house is now here. And in the apartment of the school teacher on Pushkin's volume on the windowsill near the portrait of Sergeant Epove. Rereading his favorite poem “Madonna” before leaving, he left a tab on this page in the form of a big red heart ...

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  1. biglow
    biglow 2 March 2013 10: 45
    Heroes do not die, They leave to return again
    1. Dmitry_24rus
      Dmitry_24rus 3 March 2013 20: 01
      Familiar with Nastya Vershinina. She is a wonderful person. Woe Eternal memory to Eugene.
  2. sorrento
    sorrento 2 March 2013 13: 03
    Sorry guys!
  3. GEO
    GEO 2 March 2013 14: 45
    The kingdom of heaven to all the lost ...
  4. artemiy
    artemiy 2 March 2013 19: 55
    Everlasting memory! While there are such people, and they are, we just learn about the modest heroes, alas, after death. Russia will be strong!
  5. Stalinets
    Stalinets 2 March 2013 21: 14
    Everlasting memory !
  6. strenadk
    strenadk 3 March 2013 12: 12
    Eternal memory to the dead, glory to the living !!!
  7. valokordin
    valokordin 3 March 2013 20: 23
    What guys are from ordinary working families, it would be surprising if the article contained such lines as Sergeant "P" was born in Moscow in the family of a banker and a prefect, studied at Westpoint, and having received a maroon beret, refused to go to the meeting of shareholders, but remained in his native company and went to fight the terrorists.
  8. zambo
    zambo 4 March 2013 08: 35
    Bright memory!
  9. Dmitry 77
    Dmitry 77 5 March 2013 00: 12
    That's about these people need to make a movie, and not all there tired of the sun. Eternal memory to heroes !!!