Forces for this action were formed gradually. In mid-September, immediately after the seizure of power by Hafizullah Amin, 17 officers from the special forces of the KGB of the USSR, headed by Major Yakov Semenov, arrived in Kabul. They settled on one of the villas of the Soviet embassy and worked for a time in various departments.
On December 4, at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPSU, it was decided to send to Afghanistan a trained detachment of the GRU of the General Staff with a total of about 500 people. This was the so-called "Muslim" battalion under the command of Major X. T. Khalbaev, which consisted of representatives of the indigenous nationalities of the Central Asian republics. December 9 and 12 from the airfields of Chirchik and Tashkent were transferred to the Bagram air base. All officers and soldiers were dressed in Afghan military uniforms, sewn on samples sent by military intelligence. In early December, two more subgroups of the special group of the KGB Zenit (30 people each) arrived in Bagram, and the December 23 special group Grom (30 people) arrived. They had such code names in Afghanistan, at the Center they were called differently: the group “Thunder” - division “A”, or, according to journalists, “Alpha”, and “Zenith” - “Vympel”. The number of "Zenit" in Afghanistan, together with previous arrivals, reached more than 100 people. They were led by A. K. Polyakov.
Around mid-December, the forced transfer of small army units to Afghanistan began. One of them illegally arrived Babrak Karmal, who settled in Bagram under the protection of the staff of the 9-KGB headquarters headed by V. Shergin. Here were A. Vatanjar, S. Gulyabzoy and A. Sarvari, associates of the former NDPA secretary general N.M. Taraki. In mid-December, it was planned to remove Amin, and the new leadership by the time of the coup was to be in Afghanistan.
December 11 Deputy Commander of the Airborne Forces Lieutenant General N. Guskov set the task to capture the “Oak object” - the residence of Amin in the center of Kabul. There was no plan of the palace, no system of its protection. It was known only that the palace was guarded by about two thousand guardsmen. Assault entrusted only twenty-two "Zenit" and the company "Muslim" battalion. December 13 in 15.30 personnel received an order to fight. In an hour, the fighters were to move from Bagram to Kabul and take the Amin residence by storm. It is not known how this adventure would end, but, fortunately, the “hang up!” Command followed in the 16 watch.
The employees of Zenit V. Tsvetkov and F. Erokhov shot sniper rifles at 450 meters — it was from that distance that they intended to shoot at the Afghan leader. Choosing positions on the regular route of Amin in Kabul, they set off duty, but were prevented by enhanced security along the entire route.
The assassination attempt on Amin 16 December ended in failure. He was slightly injured, and his nephew Asadullah Amin, the chief of the Afghan counterintelligence, was seriously wounded and after the operation done by the Soviet surgeon A. Alekseev, the plane was sent for treatment to the Soviet Union. The An-12 plane flew from Fergana behind the opposition leaders led by B. Karmal from Fergana, who flew to the USSR again.
Only late in the evening on December 17, the “Zenit” and “Muslim” battalions were tasked to move from Bagram to Kabul to the Dar-ul-Aman area, where the new residence of the head of the DRA moved. December 18 Colonel V.V. Kolesnik, who previously led the preparation of the "Muslim" battalion, received an order from the head of the GRU, Army General P.I.Ivashutin, to fly to Afghanistan to perform a special government task. Together with him they sent Lieutenant Colonel O. U. Shvets. In December 6.30 19 they set off from the Chkalovsky airfield through Baku and Termez to Bagram. Two more fellow travelers flew from Termez - the KGB officers Major General Yu.I. Drozdov and captain 2 of the rank of E.G. Kozlov.
Kolesnik and Shvets went to the location of the battalion, which is located about a kilometer from the Taj Beck Palace, in an unfinished building, with windows without glass. Instead, they pulled a raincoat, set the stove, "stoves". That year the winter in Kabul was harsh, at night the air temperature fell to 20 degrees of frost.
On the eve of Amin, he moved to the Palace of the Taj Beck and was under the "wing" of the "Muslim" battalion.
The security system of the palace was carefully and thoughtfully organized. Inside, Amin's personal guard, consisting of his relatives and especially trusted people, served. They also wore a special uniform that was different from other Afghan soldiers: white caps, white belts and holsters, white cuffs on sleeves on caps. The second line consisted of seven posts, each of which housed four sentries armed with a machine gun, a grenade launcher and machine guns. Their change was made after two hours. The outer guard ring was formed by the deployment points of the battalion of the guard brigade (three motorized infantry and tank). They were located around the Taj Beck at a short distance. On one of the dominant heights, two were buried. tank T-54, which could shoot direct-fire terrain adjacent to the palace. In total, the guard brigade consisted of about 2,5 thousand people. In addition, there was an anti-aircraft regiment nearby, armed with twelve 100-mm anti-aircraft guns and sixteen anti-aircraft machine-gun mounts. There were other army units in Kabul: two infantry divisions and an armored brigade.
December 21 Kolesnik and Khalbayeva called the chief military adviser, Colonel-General S. K. Magometov and ordered to strengthen the guard of the palace with units of the "Muslim" battalion. They were instructed to take up defense between guard posts and the line of disposition of the Afghan battalions.
22 and 23 December, the Soviet ambassador informed Amin that Moscow had satisfied his request to send Soviet troops to Afghanistan and are ready to begin their entry on December 25. The Afghan leader expressed gratitude to the Soviet leadership and ordered the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan to assist the troops injected.
According to Magometov, when he spoke on a special connection with D. F. Ustinov, the defense minister asked him: “How is the preparation going to fulfill the plan to remove Amin from power?” But Magometov did not know anything about this. After some time, the representative of the KGB of the USSR, Lieutenant-General B. Ivanov, apparently after talking with Yu.V. Andropov, invited Magometov to himself and showed him the plan developed by the KGB officers. The chief military adviser was indignant afterwards, saying that it was not a plan, but a “filkin letter”. I had to develop an operation to seize the palace again.
Directive No. 312 / 12 / 001, signed by Ustinov and Chief of the General Staff N.V. Ogarkov on December 24, defined specific tasks for the deployment and deployment of troops on Afghan territory. Participation in hostilities was not provided. Specific combat missions of the units and units to suppress the resistance of the rebels were set a little later, in the directive of the Minister of Defense of the USSR from December 27 No. 312 / 12 / 002.
To conduct all activities related to the introduction of troops in the DRA, was given less than a day. Such haste naturally entailed additional losses.
... Magometov and Kolesnik arrived at the field telephone exchange, which was deployed at the Club-e-Askari stadium not far from the American embassy, on the evening of December 24. By government communication, they called the army general SF Akhromeev (he was in Termez as part of the Operational Group of the USSR Ministry of Defense). The first deputy chief of the General Staff ordered them, by morning of December 25, to cipher the solution with two signatures. A report was immediately written at the communications center, and by two o'clock in the morning the encryption was sent. Kolesnik was appointed by the USSR Ministry of Defense as the head of the operation, which received the code name Storm-333. It was entrusted to Y. Drozdov to direct the actions of the special units of the KGB. By giving him the task of HF, Yu.V. Andropov and V.A. Kryuchkov pointed out the need to think through every detail, and most importantly, to ensure the safety of the participants in the operation as much as possible.
Amin, despite the fact that in September he deceived Brezhnev and Andropov himself (N. Taraki promised to save his life when the latter was already strangled. As a result, the Soviet leadership was “bargaining” with X. Amin for two or three days already dead by the time the leader of the April revolution), oddly enough, trusted Soviet leaders. He surrounded himself with Soviet military advisers, consulted with high-ranking representatives of the KGB and the USSR Ministry of Defense under the relevant agencies of the DRA, completely trusted only doctors from the USSR and hoped ultimately to our troops. I did not trust the Parchamists, I was waiting for an attack either from them or from the Mujahideen. However, he became a victim of political intrigue from a completely different side.
The plan of the operation envisaged not to allow the advancement of the Afghan battalions (three motorized infantry and tank) to the Taj-Bek palace. Against each battalion was supposed to act a company of special forces or paratroopers. The commander of a paratrooper company was Lieutenant Valery Vostrotin. According to Drozdov, the paratroopers stood out for their bearing, smartness and organization. I would like to make a special note about the Orient. In Afghanistan, he fought three times. First, the company commander. He was badly wounded in one of the fights in July 80. Then commanded a battalion. Another wound. At the final stage of the war, he commanded 345-th separate parachute regiment and became a Hero of the Soviet Union.
One of the most important tasks was the capture of two buried tanks. For this, 15 people were assigned, headed by the deputy commander of the "Muslim" battalion, Captain Satarov, and also four KGB snipers. The success of the entire operation depended largely on the actions of this group. They started first. To teach Afghans prematurely not to arouse suspicion, they began to carry out demonstration actions: shooting, going out of alarm and occupying established defense sectors. At night, let the lighting flares. Since there were severe frosts at night, the engines of armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles were warmed up according to the schedule, so that they could be started immediately upon a signal. At first it was a concern. When the rockets were launched for the first time, the location of the battalion was instantly illuminated by the anti-aircraft regiment's searchlights, and Major Dzhandad, the palace security chief, arrived.
Gradually, the Afghans became accustomed to and stopped being wary of reacting to such "maneuvers" of the battalion. The new task in the battalion was known only to Kolesnik, Shvets and Khalbaev.
Soviet military advisers and specialists who worked in the DRA Air Defense Forces established control over all anti-aircraft weapons and ammunition storage sites, and temporarily disabled some anti-aircraft installations (they removed their sights and locks). Thus, unimpeded landing of airplanes with paratroopers was ensured.
On the night of December 24, the Commander of the Turkestan District, Colonel-General Yu.P. Maximov, by telephone, reported to the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff about the readiness of the troops to perform the task, and then sent a cipher telegram to them addressing readiness.
At 12.00:25 on December 1979, 40, the troops received an order, signed by USSR Minister of Defense D.F.Ustinov, on the passage and passage of the state border of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan by the XNUMXth Army and aviation The Air Force to begin at 15.00:25 on December XNUMX (Moscow time).
The scouts and the airborne assault battalion of Captain L.V. Khabarov were the first to cross, which was to occupy the Salang Pass, and then the rest of the 108 Motorized Division went along the pontoon bridge under the direction of General K. Kuzmin.
At the same time, the military transport aviation began airborne transport and landing of the main forces of the 103 airborne division and the remnants of the 345 separate parachute regiment to the airfields of the capital and Bagram. Unfortunately, there were no casualties - on December 19.33 25 crashed into a mountain on landing in Kabul and Il-76 (commander - captain V.Golovchin) exploded, carrying the 37 paratroopers. All paratroopers and 7 crew members died.
On December 27, the airborne units of the 103 Division, Major General I. F. Ryabchenko, and the assigned forces from the KGB of the USSR went to important administrative and special facilities in the capital and “strengthened” their guard.
Parts of the 108 Motorized Rifle Division by the morning of December 28 were concentrated in the area north-east of Kabul.
For the general public, it remained a long secret what happened then in Kabul. About this operation many different opinions were expressed, the most incredible rumors circulated. I happened to meet and talk with many participants of those events, they perceive them differently even now. Their stories are subjective and often contradict each other. Summarizing various versions and facts, I tried to restore at least an approximate picture of that day.
On December 26, advisers for the personal security of Amin - employees of the 9-th Directorate of the KGB of the USSR - were able to conduct reconnaissance saboteurs into the palace, where they all examined them carefully, after which General Drozdov compiled a floor plan of Taj Beck. The officers of the “Thunder” and “Zenith” M.Romanov, Y.Semenov, V.Fedoseyev and Z.Mazayev conducted a reconnaissance of the area and reconnaissance of firing points located at the nearest altitudes. Not far from the palace on a dais was a restaurant where the highest officers of the Afghan army used to gather. Under the pretext that the Soviet officers allegedly required to book a place to celebrate the New Year, the special forces visited the restaurant, from which the Taj Beck was clearly visible.
In the morning, 27 began direct preparation for the assault.
The Taj-Bek Palace was located on the outskirts of Kabul in Dar-ul-Aman, on a high steep hill overgrown with trees and bushes, which was also equipped with terraces, and all the approaches to it were mined. To him led a single road, heavily guarded around the clock. Its thick walls were able to hold back artillery. If we add to this that the area around the palace was sweeping, then it will become clear what a difficult task the army special forces and special groups of the KGB of the USSR faced.
Our military advisers received different tasks: some December 27 had to stay in the units for the night, organize a dinner with wards Afghans (for this they were given alcohol and a snack) and under no circumstances prevent the Afghan units from launching against the Soviet troops. Others, on the contrary, were ordered not to linger in the subdivisions for a long time, and they went home earlier than usual. Only specially appointed people remained who were instructed accordingly.
In the morning of December 27, Drozdov and Kolesnik, following the old Russian custom, washed themselves in a bath before the battle.
In the middle of the day, they once again went around the battalion’s positions, informed the officers about the plan of the operation, and announced the procedure. The commander of the "Muslim" battalion, Major Khalbayev, the commanders of the special groups M. Romanov and Y. Semenov set combat missions to the commanders of subunits and subgroups, and organized preparations for the assault.
At this time, Hafizullah Amin was in euphoria: he finally managed to achieve the cherished goal - the Soviet troops entered Afghanistan. In the afternoon of December 27, he gave a magnificent dinner, taking in his luxurious palace members of the Politburo, ministers with their families. The formal reason for the celebration was the return from Moscow of the Secretary of the PDPA Central Committee Panjshiri. He assured Amina: the Soviet leadership is satisfied with the version of Taraki’s death set forth by him and the change of the country's leader. The USSR will provide military assistance to Afghanistan.
Amin solemnly said: “Soviet divisions are already on their way here. Everything is going fine. I am constantly on the phone with Comrade Gromyko, and together we are discussing the question of how best to formulate information for the world about the provision of Soviet military aid to us. ”
Day expected performance of the Secretary General on the Afghan television. The top military ranks and the chiefs of political agencies were invited to the Taj Bek palace. However, during dinner, many guests felt bad. Some fainted. Completely "disconnected" and Amin. His wife immediately called the commander of the presidential guard, Jandad, who called the Central Military Hospital (Charsad Bistar) and the clinic of the Soviet Embassy. Products and pomegranate juice were immediately sent for examination, the suspected cooks were detained. Enhanced security mode.
When Soviet physicians, therapist Viktor Kuznechenkov and the surgeon Anatoly Alekseev, arrived at the external guard post and, as usual, began to take weapon, they were additionally also searched, which had never happened before. Something happened? Our doctors immediately identified: mass poisoning. Amin lay stripped down to his underpants, with a hanging jaw and rolling eyes. He was unconscious, in a heavy coma. Died? They felt the pulse - a barely perceptible beating.
Colonels Kuznechenkov and Alekseev, without thinking that they were violating someone’s plans, began to rescue the head of the “USSR-friendly country”. First, the jaw was inserted in place, then breathing was restored. They took him to the bathroom, washed and began to do a gastric lavage, forced diuresis ... When the jaw stopped falling and urine went, the doctors realized that Amina was saved.
At about six o'clock in the evening Kolesnik summoned Magometov to the connection and informed him that the time of the assault had been rescheduled and that he needed to start as soon as possible. After 15-20 minutes, the capture group led by captain Satarov drove away in a GAZ-66 machine in the direction of the height, where the tanks were buried. The tanks were guarded by sentries, and their crews were in the barracks, located at a distance of 150-200 meters from them. The sentries were supposed to shoot V. Tsvetkov from Zenit or D. Volkov from Thunder.
Colonel Grigory Boyarinov, who was at the Zenit’s command post, was noticeably worried because he arrived in Kabul only the day before and was not yet accustomed to the new situation. Seeing this, the captain of the 2 rank, Ewald Kozlov, decided to help him, although he was not supposed to be in the assault groups. Neither Kozlov nor Boyarinov could assume that after the storming of the palace they would become Heroes of the Soviet Union, and the colonel was not destined to return from this battle.
When Satarov's car drove up to the location of the third battalion, there suddenly came the firing of small arms. Colonel Kolesnik immediately ordered: “Fire!” And “Forward!”
The first direct fire on the palace at the command of Captain Pautova opened fire anti-aircraft self-propelled guns ("Shilki"), bringing down a sea of shells. Automatic grenade launchers hit the location of the tank battalion, preventing the crews from approaching the tanks. The first to the palace according to the plan was to nominate a company of Senior Lieutenant Vladimir Sharipov, ten of which had infantry combat vehicles as subgroups of the “Thunder” led by O. Balashov, V. Yemyshev, S. Godov and V. Karpukhin. They were led by Major Mikhail Romanov. Major Yakov Semenov with his “Zenith” on four armored personnel carriers received the task to break through to the front part of the palace, and then make a throw on the pedestrian staircase that led up to the Taj Beck. At the facade, both groups were supposed to connect.
However, at the last moment the plan was changed, and the first to the building of the palace on three armored personnel carriers were the Zenit subgroups, whose elders were A. Karelin, B. Suvorov and V. Fateev. The fourth subgroup of “Zenith” headed by V. Schigolev was in the column “Thunder”. Fighting vehicles shot down external guard posts and rushed along the only road leading to the site in front of the palace. As soon as the first car passed the turn, large-caliber machine guns hit the building. All the wheels of the first armored personnel carrier were damaged, and Boris Suvorov's car immediately caught fire. The subgroup commander himself was killed, and his people were injured.
"Zenit" were forced to lie down and shoot at the windows of the palace, some of them with the help of assault ladders began to climb up the hill.
At a quarter past eight in the evening, strong explosions thundered in Kabul. This subgroup of the KGB from Zenit (the elder Boris Pleshkunov) undermined the communication “well” by cutting off the Afghan capital from the outside world.
The commandos quickly rushed out to the site in front of the Taj Bek. O. Balashov, the commander of the first subgroup of the “Thunder”, was broken through by a bullet-proof vest; in the midst of the fever, at first he did not feel the pain and rushed along with everyone to the palace, but then he was sent to the medical battalion.
The first minutes of the battle were the hardest. The KGB special groups went to storm the Taj Beck, and the main forces of the company of V. Sharipov covered the outer approaches to the palace. Other units of the "Muslim" battalion provided the outer ring of cover. Hurricane fire from the palace pressed the special forces to the ground. They rose only when the "Shilka" put down the machine gun in one of the windows. This did not last long - maybe five minutes, but it seemed to the fighters that an entire eternity had passed.
The most difficult was to break into the building itself. When the fighters advanced to the main entrance, the fire intensified. Created something unimaginable. G. Zudin was killed on the approaches to the palace, S. Kuvylin and N. Shvachko were wounded. In the very first minutes of the battle, Major M. Romanov wounded an 13 man. The commander of the group was contused. The situation was no better at Zenit. V. Ryazanov, having received a wound through the thigh, he bandaged his leg and went on the attack. A. Yakushev and V. Emyshev rushed into the building among the first ones. Afghans from the second floor threw grenades. Having barely started climbing the stairs leading to the Taj Bek, Yakushev fell down, struck down by shrapnel grenades, and Emyshev rushed to him was seriously wounded in his right hand. Later she had to be amputated.
E.Kozlov, M.Romanov, S.Golov, M.Sobolev, V.Karpuhin, A.Plusnin, V.Grishin and V.Filimonov, and also J.Semenov with fighters from Zenit V.Ryazantsev, V.Bykovsky , V. Makarov and V. Poddubny were the first to break into the building of the palace. A.Karelin, V.Shchigolev and N.Kurbanov stormed the palace from the end. The commandos acted desperately and decisively. If they didn’t come out of the premises with their hands up, then the doors would be smashed, grenades would be thrown into the room, and then, without discrimination, they would shoot from machine guns.
The officers and soldiers of Amin’s personal guard, his bodyguards (there were about 100-150 people) resisted desperately and did not surrender to captivity. From blows "Shilok" on the second floor of the palace began a fire. This had a strong moral effect on the defenders. The soldiers from the protection of Amin, having heard the Russian language and the mat, began to surrender to the highest and just strength. As it turned out, many of them studied in the airborne school in Ryazan, where, apparently, they remembered the Russian mate for life. J.Semenov, E.Kozlov, V.Anisimov, S.Golov, V.Karpuhin and A.Plusnin rushed to the second floor. M. Romanov had to stay down because of a strong concussion.
Soviet doctors in the palace hid where they could. At first they thought that the Mujahideen attacked, then the supporters of N.M. Taraki. Only later, having heard the Russian mate, they realized that they were attacking their own. Alekseev and Kuznechenkov, who were supposed to help Amin’s daughter (she had a baby), found “shelter” at the bar counter. Soon they saw Amin, who was walking along the corridor in white Adidas shorts, holding in high hands, twisted with pipes, like grenades, vials of saline. One could only imagine what kind of effort it cost him and how the needles pierced into the cubital veins were pricked.
Alekseev, having run out from the shelter, first of all pulled out needles, pressed the veins with his fingers so that blood did not ooze, and then brought the secretary general to the bar. Amin was leaning against the wall, but then there was a child crying - from somewhere in the side room, his five-year-old son was walking, smearing his fists with tears. Seeing his father, rushed to him, clasped his legs, Amin pulled him to him, and the two of them sat down against the wall.
Amin ordered his adjutant to call and warn Soviet military advisers about the attack on the palace. At the same time, he said: "The Soviet will help." But the adjutant reported that it was the Soviet ones who were shooting. These words brought the secretary general out of himself, he grabbed an ashtray and threw it at the adjutant: “You can't lie!” Then he tried to call the Chief of General Staff, the commander of the 4 tank brigade, but there was no connection.
After that, Amin quietly said: "I guessed that, that's right."
At a time when assault groups broke into the Taj Beck, the fighters of the "Muslim" battalion created a hard ring of fire around the palace, destroying everything that resisted, and cutting off the influx of new forces.
When the special forces broke through on the second floor, there was a female cry: “Amin, Amin ...” His wife, apparently, screamed. N. Kurbanov from Zenit, the only fighter who knew the local language, began to translate Semenov. Soon, the special forces saw Amin lying near the bar.
The battle in the palace did not last long (43 minutes). “Suddenly, the shooting stopped,” Yakov Semenov recalled, “I reported on the radio station Wookie-Toki to the leadership that the palace had been taken, many dead and wounded, to the main end.” After the oppositionists A.Sarvari and S.M. Gulyabzoy identified the corpse, the remains of the Afghan leader were wrapped in a carpet ... The main task was completed.
Kolesnik gave a cease-fire command and moved his command post directly to the palace. When they and Yu. Drozdov rose to the Taj Bek, the commanders of the assault groups and subunits began to approach them with reports. V. Karpukhin approached them with a helmet in his hands and showed a bullet stuck in triplex: “Look how lucky you are.” Wounded and dead were evacuated on infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers.
In total, five people were killed in the KGB special groups directly during the storming of the palace, including Colonel Boyarinov. Almost everyone was injured, but those who could hold a weapon in their hands continued to fight. In the "Muslim" battalion 5 people died, injured - 35. 23 fighter, injured, remained in the ranks. For example, a senior lieutenant V.Sharipov wounded in his leg continued to lead the company entrusted to him. The seriously injured battalion physician, Captain Ibragimov, transported to the BMP in the medical battalion and the Kabul hospital. I do not know the fate of the 9-th Directorate of the KGB of the USSR, who carried out the direct protection of X. Amin. According to some reports, all of them managed to evacuate in advance.
It is likely that some of our compatriots suffered from their own: in the dark, the personnel of the "Muslim" battalion and the KGB special groups recognized each other by their white sleeves, the password "Misha Yasha" and ... mat. But after all, they were all dressed in the Afghan military uniform, and often they had to shoot and throw grenades from a decent distance. So try to keep track here at night, in the dark, and even in such a mess, who had a bandage on his sleeve, and who hadn’t ?!
During the night, the special forces carried the guard of the palace, as they feared that divisions and a tank brigade stationed in Kabul would go to attack. But this did not happen. Soviet military advisers and units of the airborne troops deployed to the Afghan capital did not allow them to do so. In addition, the security services in advance paralyzed the control of the Afghan forces.
The capture of the remaining key facilities in Kabul was calm and with minimal losses.
In the evening of December 27, Yu.V. Andropov got in touch with Babrak Karmal at the aerodrome in Bagram. From himself and “personally” from Leonid Brezhnev, he congratulated Karmal on the victory of the “second stage of the revolution” and his appointment as the Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Karmal immediately ordered to transport him to the capital.
On the night of December 28, another motorized rifle division that had previously been deployed to Kushka (commander General Yu.V. Shatalin) entered Afghanistan. She went to Herat and Shindand. One regiment of this division was stationed at the airfield of Kandahar. Later it was reorganized into the 70 Brigade.
The killed Afghans, including two young sons X. Amin, were buried in a mass grave near the Taj Bek Palace (later, since July 1980, the headquarters of the 40 Army was located there). Amin's corpse, wrapped in a carpet, was buried there, but separately from the rest. No tombstone was delivered to him. The surviving members of his family were put in Puli-Charkhi prison, replacing the Taraki family there. Even daughter Amina, who had her legs smashed during the battle, found herself in a cell with a cold concrete floor. But mercy was alien to people whose relatives were destroyed by order of X. Amin.
In the evening, an incident occurred that nearly cost the lives of all the direct managers of Operation Storm-333. They returned to the location of the battalion in the government "Mercedes" and, although they had agreed in advance with the signals from Lieutenant General N.N. Guskov, they were fired at by the paratroopers near the General Staff building. Years later, Major General Vasily Vasilyevich Kolesnik recalled: “A rifle rang out. The car suddenly stopped and stalled. We began to shout that our own. And after the exchange of passwords, the shooting stopped. ”
When they got out of the car and raised the hood, they saw that there were five machine-gun holes. “A little higher - and everyone would die. So ineptly, ”said General Drozdov (he passed the Great Patriotic War as a front-line officer, then was resident in the United States, China and other countries).
Drozdov, Kolesnik and Shvets moved into Khalbaev’s armored personnel carrier, took the Mercedes in tow, in which Kozlov and Semenov were left, and drove to the battalion location.
Upon arrival at the site decided to "celebrate" success. “Five of us drank six bottles of vodka,” Kolesnik told me, “and it seemed as if they hadn't drunk at all. And the nervous tension was so great that, although we did not sleep, probably more than two days, none of us could fall asleep. Some analysts rated spetsnaz actions as treacherous. But what was to be done in such a situation? The question was - either they are us or we are theirs. ” And no matter how many years have passed, every special forces assault on the palace of X. Amin will remain in memory forever. It was the climax of their whole life, and they honorably fulfilled the task of their government.
Closed by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, a large group of KGB officers (about 400 people) was awarded orders and medals. Colonel G.I. Boyarinov was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union (posthumously). The same rank was awarded to V.V. Kolesnik, E.G. Kozlov and V.F. Karpukhin. Yu.I.Drozdov was awarded the Order of the October Revolution. The commander of the group "Thunder" M.M. Romanov was awarded the Order of Lenin. O.Shvets and Ya.F.Semenov were awarded the Order of the Red Banner. They also received government awards around 300 officers and soldiers of the "Muslim" battalion, of which 7 people were awarded the Order of Lenin (including Khalbaev, Satarov and Sharipov) and the order of 30 - the Order of the Military Red Banner (including V.Vostrostin). "For the storming of the palace of Amin", Colonel V.P. Kuznechenkov, as a warrior-internationalist, was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of the Army (posthumously). A. Alekseev was given a Certificate of Honor upon his departure from Kabul to his homeland.
The participants in the storming of the palace, carrying out the order, risked their lives (some were killed and injured). Another thing - for what? After all, soldiers are always pawns in someone's big game and the wars themselves never start ...