Victor Dubynin. Save at all costs

It is unlikely that anyone will dispute the fact that the Afghan war is one of the most tragic pages of the Russian stories Soviet period. For the first time after World War II, the USSR got involved in fairly large-scale hostilities in foreign territory. In this war, there was no familiar, pronounced enemy and clearly marked frontline border. Any peaceful Afghan resident could suddenly turn into a dangerous enemy. Death lurked soldiers everywhere. The twenty-four-hour tension and ambiguity of the situation, the inconsistency of army orders - all this created the most difficult conditions for servicemen who, by the will of fate or by voluntary initiative, had the opportunity to serve in the territory covered by the country's war.

Victor Dubynin. Save at all costs

Far from everyone can live in such conditions for two years and nine months, especially if you are not just a soldier, but a commander responsible for the lives of many people, for whether they can return alive and unharmed to their families. Viktor Dubynin could not just survive, he left in every person who had a chance to serve next to him, only the best feelings and confidence that beautiful people of a big and bright soul were not transferred to Russia.

The military fate of Viktor Petrovich Dubynin has never been easy, he always got the most difficult areas where he had to give all the best. However, this man was not working differently. He was appointed deputy commander for combat operations of the 40 army, which at that time was serving in Afghanistan, in September of 1984. Already in the first days of his stay in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, Viktor Petrovich wrote in his diary, which he began to write right after arriving here, about significant losses and that commanding fathers need to take drastic measures. It is necessary to make a reservation here that Dubynin always called the commanding officers fathers, and put the lives of young guys for whom he was responsible above the titles, indicators and opinions of the authorities. Occupying a high position, he never sat out within the walls of his office, was constantly in the thick of things, independently calculated every step of his soldiers and developed plans for military operations, using all available methods and means to avoid a direct threat to people.

Since its share was the most difficult and bloody period of the Afghan war, the task of saving lives was not an easy one. The fighting had to be conducted in a difficult mountainous area, and the militants had already turned from scattered and poorly armed fighting units into a powerful force, which was fueled by the western "benefactors." Mujahideen received support from many countries, opponents of the Soviet Union. Only the United States spent about seven to eight billion dollars annually on supporting military forces in Afghanistan. In neighboring Iran and Pakistan, many military bases were created near the border, where the best American specialists trained new mercenaries and rebels. BUT weapon and ammunition, which was stored in the mountains in huge quantities, came from almost all over the world.

In this difficult war, Viktor Dubynin immediately showed himself as an outstanding commander. It can be said that Afghanistan has become a kind of catalyst for its leadership skills, it was here that they revealed in all their splendor. The people who were close to him these days had the impression that he was prepared in advance and knew all the ins and outs of military operations in a mountainous country, although this was, of course, far from being the case. For many senior officers, the organization of combat, the order of the most successful use of strategic artillery combined with information obtained from satellites, the study of all the little things a soldier could encounter during a battle were never priority issues. Viktor Petrovich tried to go into all the details, he could say with a clear conscience that he personally did everything possible to save his soldiers. Every day Dubyninu had to make several helicopter flights in order to be aware of all the events taking place and not lose sight of anything important. Day after day, he got on the "turntable" and risked his life, because the militants constantly followed the movement of our helicopters, knocking them down with the help of the latest Stinger portable rocket launchers received from the Americans. In the incessant roar of guns and in an atmosphere of constant tension, Victor Dubynin dreamed of only one thing — silence, which he often wrote in his diary. A short sleep did not bring him the desired rest, since even in him the same thing dreamed of: battles, dead and wounded soldiers.
Colleagues called Dubynin "non-office commander-in-chief", who never started the operation until he figured out all the intricacies and possible risks on the spot. He was not limited to simple reports of subordinates, as other commanders often did. It was this attitude towards work that ensured the successful conduct of military operations conducted under his leadership. But while the authority of Viktor Petrovich in the army was growing rapidly, the deputy commander himself left in his diary critical remarks about the need to act even more rationally. He wrote that he feels guilty for every life he lost, noting that "he will tear his enemies to shreds for losses." His words imprinted all the bitterness for the miscalculations and mistakes of command, reflections on the meaning of his own life and the fierce determination of the Russian man, who clearly knows what he is fighting for.

In April, 1986, Viktor Dubynin becomes commander of the 40-th army. The country's leadership was well aware that they could not find a better candidate for this responsible position, because in this man the leadership talent was complemented by invaluable experience and knowledge of the specifics of the Afghan war.

The worsening situation inside the war-torn republic leads to a change in political leadership. Against the background of the attempts of Babrak Karmal, whom Dubynin had always considered a political corpse, the organized insurgent movement was born to force feudal Afghanistan into a socialist paradise. Najibullah stood at the helm of the country, initiating a policy of national reconciliation. But, despite the official leadership course, full-scale hostilities unfolded in the country, in which the 40 Army had to take an active part.

The situation was complicated by the fact that the fighting was conducted at different heights, in a mountainous area, where there was an unwritten rule - who is higher, and have an advantage. The advancement of the military columns to the positions they had designated along serpentine roads went very slowly and stretched for kilometers, at times increasing the risk of being suddenly attacked and incur monstrous losses. Understanding this, Dubinin began to develop new principles for conducting combat operations in the mountains using massed helicopter assault forces, which would quickly bring people and equipment to the desired altitude. At the same time, the commander introduced the techniques of the so-called “contactless war”, which make it possible to minimize losses among personnel and which will be widely used much later. Priorities were given to space reconnaissance, replacing dangerous reconnaissance by people, and high-precision weapons, among which corrected mines began to be widely used, were increasingly used to fire. These technologies allowed to destroy the enemy, excluding direct contact with him. Thousands of mothers of Russia can bow down and say sincere words of gratitude to Viktor Petrovich for the fact that this paternally caring officer did everything possible so that their sons would remain unharmed and return to their homes.

It would seem to colleagues that the word fatigue was unfamiliar to Dubynin, he constantly traveled to the combat areas, while managing to perform routine work on the construction and protection of civilian objects and transport communications. Sometimes, in one day, the commander had to make up to five flights in order to be able to keep abreast of all the events and personally supervise the preparations for the operation or independently assess the situation. Starting the duties of the commander, Viktor Petrovich, in accordance with his life principles, carried out a tough fight against negligence and carelessness in his subordinate units. On the day of his appointment, he gathered all the officers together and asked them to state the real state of affairs on the ground without deceptions, concealments or exaggerations. Faced with face-to-face death every day, Dubynin was never able to come to terms with our losses. Each dead soldier became a personal tragedy for him, and explanations like “you can't do anything, the war is coming,” they did not console at all. Viktor Petrovich carefully analyzed each case of the death or injury of a soldier, figuring out the causes of the incident, in order to avoid the repetition of such mistakes. Once, he found that the injury and subsequent disability of a soldier was directly related to the type of shoe he was wearing. He figured out that the usual boots during an explosion could have left a fighter without a leg. Then Dubynin ordered all servicemen in the form of an order before going out to the places where military operations were carried out, change shoes into ... sneakers.

Here is what the special correspondent, colonel Filatov, wrote about Dubinin in the 1987 year: “In one of my visits to Afghanistan, I lived for about two weeks with Viktor Petrovich Dubynin. What did I remember? It seems that he never slept. Like a bird, sometimes he closed his eyes for ten minutes. Once I asked him why he would not sleep like the others, even for a couple of hours? He admitted: “Immediately dream that I was mistaken, gave the wrong order. My people are dying, and I lost control of the units. It's horrible". When I was a case when Dubynin was ambushed. He sprawled on the road, and spooks did not even allow him to raise his head. Next to Dubynin, Oleg Viktorovich Bykov was lying with his walkie-talkie - his right hand, head of communications and personal bodyguard. One and a half hours before the enemy fire was suppressed, Dubynin in that position on the radio commanded his subordinates. He was in the middle of the hell, but he did not lose control of the units entrusted to him for a minute, he kept them in one fist. I also saw Dubynin draw arrows on his map. He did it great. But before that, he sat down at the turntable and flew to where the arrow later rested on the map. I say this because he himself was sometimes in the same helicopter. He flew around the routes his soldiers were to take. The helicopter was fired from almost every mountain, and when we sat down on the passes, the earth around heaved and boiled with explosions. The pilots strained nerves and whitened lips. Viktor Petrovich was looking for the most difficult and dangerous places. I was amazed how and what he saw from a flying helicopter. Then he informed the commanders: “Here and there can be this and that,” “Near this creek,” and so kilometer after kilometer to the very arrow point on the map. Of course, he had comprehensive intelligence. There were great closes. There were immaculate performers - brave soldiers. And nevertheless, he himself was originally in a helicopter, an armored personnel carrier, and where he was ironing the area on which he was going, along which his people had to go. ”

Viktor Petrovich always admired the dedication and courage with which his soldiers fought. He made every effort to ensure that no heroic deed was left unattended. When the authorities began to ask questions about the number of wounded soldiers who had increased to incomparable sizes under the new commander, it turned out that he had submitted documents showing that he had been injured, even to those servicemen who had fought in Afghanistan before his arrival at the hot spot. Dubynin considered it absolutely fair that each fighter received, albeit insignificant, but compensation for the surviving misfortune and loss of health.

It should be noted that this brave commander was never afraid to take decisions that were unacceptable to his superiors. So in one of the operations of the Soviet wars were seized several bags of Afghan money. After drawing up the act and the recalculation of the Afghani, Dubynin ordered to send them not upward, as prescribed by the order, but for the redemption of the captured Soviet servicemen in order to save at least a few human lives thanks to this money. People subordinate to him always knew that their commander was as reliable as a rock and would never quit or betray. Next to him, the fighters felt confident and calm, they understood that Dubynin would not allow accidents, would not send anyone to certain death. If it happened that during the operation, one of the servicemen, regardless of rank, went missing, the commander threw all his strength to find him. According to his order, the territory where the fighter could still be located was skillfully cordoned off and people spent many days combing the mountains meter by meter in the hope of finding a living or dead comrade.

The risk never scared Dubynin if the question was about saving people. So, during one of the enemy’s attacks in May 1986, when a massive shelling of the command post of the Soviet army was carried out from the territory of Pakistan, and Moscow did not respond to a request for permission to return fire, the commander decided on an artillery attack on the territory of a sovereign state. This actually meant a declaration of war, but he could not just stand and watch the young guys die under fire. At that time, the priorities for him were completely clear, regardless of the consequences that could deprive him of all the well-deserved stars.

It was for decency and honesty that Dubynin was respected even in the camp of the enemy. Viktor Petrovich managed to find an approach and a common language not only with Afghan politicians and reputable elders, but also with warlords ’warlords. Several times a month, he, risking his own life and practically without protection, went to meetings with the leaders of the gangs in the hope of finding at least some points of contact and trying to negotiate peacefully in order to avoid unnecessary tragedies and losses. His peculiarity of always telling the truth alone, regardless of its essence, and the tremendous power of persuasion always yielded positive results.

The government’s policy of discrediting the Afghan war was perceived by the Soviet soldiers, who daily risk their lives on this hot land, as a betrayal. And soon came the decision “at the top” to withdraw the units of the 40 Army in the amount of six regiments from the DRA territory. But here, the resourceful general showed extraordinary skill. He proposed under the guise of combat units to withdraw the regiments formed from the construction of military brigades on military equipment, which for some reason could no longer be in demand. As a result, the troops, as was ordered, left the territory of Afghanistan, but even none of the numerous domestic and foreign journalists covering these events had information that the main combat forces remained in the country.

In June, the 1987 of the year after the expiration of the military mission, finally, the time of Viktor Dubynin came back to a peaceful life. In May, 1988 was appointed the Chief of Staff of the Kiev Military District, and a year later the Commander of the Northern Group of Soviet Forces in Poland. When at the end of the 80s, the USSR government decided to take a disarmament course indicative of Western countries, the general took a tough stance that went against the main leadership policy, warning the Soviet high command about the danger of unilateral disarmament of the Warsaw Pact countries. Then the government ignored the opinion of a reputable military specialist, the result of which today was the dangerous presence of NATO troops directly at the borders of Russia.

There is one curious case related to the stay of Dubynin in Poland. When in the 1991 year, it was ordered to withdraw Soviet troops from the territory of the country as a matter of urgency, the Polish Sejm decided to levy a tax of each million echelon passing through Polish territory in the amount of one million dollars! And here, practically neglecting all diplomatic norms, without the sanction of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Viktor Petrovich decided to turn to the Polish parliamentarians from the very Seimas rostrum. Reminding politicians that the Soviet army has always been liberating for Poland and laid more than six hundred thousand of its soldiers on this land, helping its neighbors during the war with Germany, Dubynin called for the conscience of the Poles. After his emotional and righteous speech, the members of parliament stood up and applauded for a long time, and the decision on the tax was canceled. Not wanting to discredit themselves before the political world, the Soviet government desired that Russian troops be withdrawn from Poland unnoticed, sneaking up without attracting unwanted attention. But General Dubynin said that he would lead his people as they should be — with banners unfurled and to the loud sounds of the orchestra, because it was the only way for the liberating army to leave.

When in August 1991, at the very height of the coup, Viktor Petrovich sent the State Emergency Committee members a telegram with words of support, he was well aware that after such a move he could say goodbye not only to his career, but also to his freedom. Any other person after such an act would most likely be crushed. But no one dared to touch Dubynin, on the contrary, shortly after the coup he was summoned to Moscow and Pavel Grachev offered his former commander to take the post of Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia. The choice was not accidental, because in conditions of complete confusion after the collapse of the Union and the ongoing redistribution of the army, the atmosphere of complete nihilism and talk about the abolition of the armed forces due to their further uselessness, only such a principled and honest person with enormous experience was able to start working with zero

Viktor Petrovich had to solve a lot of problems in the incredibly short time associated with the withdrawal of the half-millionth group of Western troops from abroad, when our units sometimes had to be placed "in an open field", and the military were completely confused and felt undeservedly humiliated and left without support of the state. But besides the problems associated with the redeployment of this part of the troops, it was necessary to solve current issues in the Central, Northern and Southern groups of the army. And all this fell on the shoulders of one person, because only the Chief of General Staff could deal with the operational resolution of issues. But Dubynin was not used to retreat. He coped with the assigned mission. Being at this important post, Viktor Petrovich could not only clearly formulate the main provisions of Russia's nuclear policy, but also defend them, as well as substantiate the importance of financing new programs for the development of certain types of weapons, and solve the most important issues of creating a new country's defense. His great awareness of the state of affairs in the country and the troops, along with iron logic of reasoning and everyday wisdom, often saved many commanders from one-sided or hasty conclusions, helped to separate the chaff from the grain. Today, when so much is written about the revival of the Russian army, it is worth noting that in many respects this has become possible thanks to Dubynin. It was he who stood at the origins of the creation of certain types of weapons with which the domestic armed forces are today equipped and rightfully proud.

At the beginning of the 90s, when the question of the transfer of the Kuril Islands to Japan was almost resolved, Dubynin, unlike many who hid their heads under the pretext of non-interference in state policy, openly spoke of his disagreement with a similar solution to the problem, again risking his flawless 30-year career and well-deserved titles. This step was preceded by a series of meetings and long conversations with historians and geographers to clarify the true state of affairs. Viktor Petrovich sent his officers to the Supreme Soviet, various ministries and departments, he invited members of Parliament and senior officials from various responsible bodies. The purpose of such meetings was one thing - the desire to prove the illegality of the rejection of the islands in favor of Japan. But this problem, in fact, was only political and was not at all part of the tasks that Dubynin was supposed to do. But at that moment he was a simple Russian man, a citizen defending the interests of his Motherland. He could not sit quietly on the sidelines and simply give away a part of the land that our ancestors had so hard saved for us. As a result, Yeltsin's visit to Japan never took place!

Unfortunately, the best often leave this world too soon. General Staff Viktor Petrovich headed no more than a year. The days and nights spent in the office on solving important problems, constant tension and lack of rest could not but affect the health of the general. Severe and transient illness struck down this unbending man, who until the last day tried to have time to do something else for his country. The title of army general was conferred on him in November 1992 of the year three days before his death, and Grachev presented the general's jacket and new shoulder straps to Dubynin right in the hospital ward. And at that moment it seemed to people nearby that the terrible illness suddenly retreated, frightened by this courageous man. But the miracle did not happen, and Victor Petrovich did not become 22 on November. He was only 49 years old!

Today, many people, both politicians and the military, express their thoughts about the fact that most of the later problems in Chechnya and the Caucasus could have been avoided if the wise and fair commander had dealt with the issues. Viktor Petrovich Dubynin has always been and remains one of the best models for imitation, an example of boundless decency and devotion to his Fatherland.

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  1. +8
    April 1 2013 09: 47
    An officer - and this is probably the most capacious comment that can be given.
    1. +2
      April 1 2013 16: 15
      Days and nights spent in the office on solving important problems, constant stress and lack of rest could not but affect the general's health. Severe and fleeting disease struck down this unbending man
      Heard about such "morbid diseases"
      Being a patriot and defending the homeland is a very heavy burden, especially at the beginning of the "harsh 90s."
      1. StolzSS
        April 4 2013 20: 39
        Yes, the case is suspicious here you are right.
  2. +4
    April 1 2013 10: 23
    "There is such a profession - to defend the Motherland!"
  3. +4
    April 1 2013 14: 14
    A wonderful article about a real officer.
    Fates and deeds like these people should be included in textbooks on the modern history of Russia!
  4. +2
    April 1 2013 15: 06
    A true officer, not every modern officer with a dozen soldiers subordinate takes care of them like that, but this one thought and cared for everyone. More to such a modern army!
  5. +1
    April 1 2013 16: 14
    No words, A true Soviet officer, not like Kolya Makarov, why are you so pleased?
    1. +1
      April 1 2013 18: 46
      the article is written about General Dubynin, a general who was able to reduce losses in the 40th Army with effective actions at that time, was able to do a lot for the Motherland in the future as well! ... there are no comparisons and no populist posts ...
  6. 0
    April 1 2013 21: 27
    One of not many who deservedly wore their epaulets. A competent, intelligent commander and a decent person.
  7. 0
    April 2 2013 22: 37
    My father served with him in the same regiment, in Belarus. That is, our families lived next door. He was a little friend of his son. He was a great man! Then my father regularly talked about his career advancement. Until his death. When this happened, many of ours acquaintances worried, because they knew him personally. Such then they served, non-devotees of their Homeland.
  8. a boat
    April 3 2013 14: 16
    Unfortunately, the best often leave this world too soon!