23 February 2013 marks the 50 anniversary of the graduate (1984) of the Alma-Ata Higher All-Arms Command School named after Marshal of the Soviet Union Igor S. Konev Hero of the Soviet Union (posthumously) Lieutenant Andrey Shakhvorostov.
He lived a short but bright life, flashed like a star in the sky, left a good memory and bright memories of himself in the hearts of those with whom he had the opportunity to live, learn, serve and protect the Motherland.
Loyalty to the dream
Andrey Evgenievich Shakhvorostov was born on February 23 1963 in the city of Taldy-Kurgan - the regional center in the south-east of the Kazakh SSR, in a large working family of Evgeny Ivanovich and Zinaida Klementievna Shakhvorostovykh.
Andrew grew up a simple ordinary boy. In the early school years did not stand out among his peers: neither appearance nor manners. Helped parents to raise younger children, read a lot and with enthusiasm.
Since childhood, Andrew had a dream to become an officer, which over the years only strengthened. He drew examples for himself from books and films about the war, stories of veterans of the Great Patriotic War, relatives and elder brother of Yevgeny - a Suvorov student, and then a cadet of the Alma-Ata Higher All-Arms Command School.
School teachers and classmates recalled that as early as the seventh and eighth grades, Andrew was distinguished from his peers by an incredible diligence, perseverance in his studies and the achievement of his goal - to become an officer, and an officer who was highly educated, tempered, fearless, corresponding to his youthful ideal. That is why, after graduating from the eight grades of secondary school in 1978, Andrew, without any hesitation, made his first independent step towards the realization of his dream - he went to enroll in the Kalininsky Suvorov Military School, which his older brother Yevgeny successfully graduated the same year.
However, the attempt to enter the SVU was not crowned with success, according to the results of the entrance exams, Andrei could not score the required number of points. The unsuccessful attempt did not discourage the young man, became a serious lesson for him and only tempered his character. Upon returning home, Andrei analyzed errors, critically assessed his knowledge and physical abilities. Having clearly understood that to enter a higher military school of one desire to be an officer is clearly not enough, he took up his studies, began to temper himself physically, engaged in a comprehensive preparation for entering a higher military educational institution and the upcoming military service. Parents anxiously watched their son's enthusiasm, tried to dissuade him, but Andrey was firm in his choice, and besides, he had an example of an older brother.
... That ended school. Behind exams and graduation party. With a high school diploma and a great desire to study at the beginning of July at 1980, Andrei comes to the Alma-Ata Higher All-Arms Command School, successfully passes the entrance exams and becomes a cadet. Study identified in 4 a platoon of 7 company 4 battalion. An important event in the life of cadet A. Shakhvorostov was the adoption of 24 in August by 1980 of the Military oath in the capital park of 28-Panfilov guardsmen.
He quickly becomes involved in studies, tries to absorb everything that the commanders and teachers of the school teach. Following the results of the first examination session, he becomes an excellent student. After the first course, the battalion command transfers Andrei from the fourth to the second, the "mountain platoon" of the 7 company, where the platoon commander was an experienced teacher, an excellent methodologist and an athlete, as they say, an officer from God - captain Viktor Vladimirovich Plachkovsky. In the life of Andrew began a new stage.
In the new team, Andrew quickly established relationships with all the platoon cadets, and in a short time managed to gain authority and respect from commanders and classmates. The cadets simply stretched towards this short, light-eyed boy, and he reciprocated them, valued friendship, opinion and respect of his comrades. Andrew was a platoon consultant on any issue. To any question, even the most difficult, he answered in detail and with readiness. But at the same time he never boasted of knowledge, did not emphasize that he knows most of all.
Andrei formed leadership qualities. In all matters, he tries to be first, everywhere in time. At the same time, he is distinguished by extraordinary modesty and principles, he could, despite his faces, tell the truth in his eyes. Commanders are amazed at his inexhaustible energy - he is interested in sports and photography, military history and literature, foreign language and the basics of etiquette. Andrew closely within the company, school, in the framework of the curriculum. Already in the third year, he knows much more than it should be. In the field bag he always carries some over-the-book book and studies it in his spare time. It is characteristic that Andrei is not mindlessly accumulating knowledge. He perfectly understands that not only the outcome of the battle, but also the lives of people will depend on his knowledge, skills and practical skills. And what will have to fight, Andrew understands already in the third year, since it is at this time that he firmly decides after graduating from school to go to serve in Afghanistan.
This understanding was strengthened after a military internship in the Osh mountain brigade of the Central Asian military district as commander of a motorized rifle platoon, when cadet A. Shakhvorostov had a chance to “feel” all the charms of the military profession during everyday activities and military training at the head of his first military team. With great attention, Andrew relates to the memories of Afghan officers serving in a military unit nearby. During conversations with them, he tries to find answers to his questions, writes a lot.
When the head of the school, Major General Nekrasov A.I. returned from his first trip to Afghanistan, Andrew eagerly listened to his stories about the actions of Soviet soldiers and graduates of the school in a real battle. The stories of the general seemed to whip up Andrew. He began to study even more diligently, to study everything that might be required for an all-arms commander in a modern battle, that is, he was really preparing himself for war. The commanders and teachers of the school tried in every way to help the graduate, more thoroughly prepare him for the upcoming service.
The commanders and teachers of the school played a major role in the formation of the future officer, first of all the platoon commander captain Viktor Vladimirovich Plachkovsky, the company commander captain Seregin Nikolai Grigoryevich, battalion commander Colonel Chepil Vasily Ivanovich, senior teacher of the tactics department Colonel Geiger Vladimir Nikolaevich, senior teacher of the department ognev Training Colonel Belousov Alexey Vasilyevich, Head of the School Major General Nekrasov Anatoly Ivanovich.
19 July 1984 g. At the ceremonial building on the occasion of the graduation from the school Andrew among the four best graduates receives a gold medal, a diploma with honors and long-awaited officer shoulder straps. As he decided, he was sent for further service to one of the military units of the Red Banner Turkestan Military District - a kind of forwarding point, from which he left for the river "in November" - to Afghanistan, towards destiny, to immortality ...
It was the fifth year of the Afghan war. A limited contingent of Soviet troops in Afghanistan led active large-scale hostilities. The Panjsher operations, carried out by that time against the Ahmad Shah Massoud formations, showed that in order to partially control the Panjshir gorge, a large military unit was to be relocated to it. Such a military unit was the 1984 motorized rifle regiment of the 682 motorized rifle division formed in March of the 108 in Termez, later redeployed by the command of the 40 of the General Army from Bagram to a small mountain plateau surrounded by mountains from all sides. the place of the abandoned kishlak Ruha. The task of the regiment included the constraint of the forces of the enemy and his avoidance to the highway Kabul - Hairatan.
It was in this regiment in November 1984 that lieutenant Andrey Shakhvorostov arrived to serve. At first he was appointed to the post of commander of a motorized rifle platoon, then, after a few months, deputy commander of a third motorized rifle company.
To better understand the situation of the time surrounding the young lieutenant during his service in the regiment, you need to know the following. 682 th Motorized Rifle Regiment after redeployment in Ruhu was in a very difficult tactical position. In fact, the regiment lived in a stone bag, and the conditions for its existence were extremely harsh. It was possible to move without risking life only in the trenches, an extensive network of which covered the entire population center. From a distance, only an abandoned village could be seen, and no movement. Every day from six o'clock in the evening Moscow time, when the heat subsided, the Mujahideen began shelling the regiment, so life in the trenches for the Soviet guys became familiar. In order to protect themselves from attacks, more than 60% of the regimental units were dispersed by guard outposts and outposts within a radius of two to three kilometers from the regimental headquarters.
At one of these guard posts, he carried out a combat mission with his personnel and Andrei. Fire contacts with the enemy on guard posts took place daily. Also, shelling of the regiment’s territory with missile and mortar shells often occurred. The perimeter of the military camp was essentially an advance line of defense. The loss of the 682 motorized rifle regiment in this situation will be the most ambitious among the regiments and brigades of a limited contingent of Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
... However, the regiment successfully completed the combat mission of the command. During his stay in the Panjshir gorge, most of the Ahmad Shah Massoud formations were indeed chained by motorized infantry, which completely blocked the through passage through the gorge. And all this time, gang formations prevailed substantially in number over the personnel of the 682 motorized rifle regiment. If by the beginning of the regiment’s arrival Ahmad Shah Massoud had about 3,5 thousand fighters, then by 1988 their number had reached 13 thousand.
The path to immortality
In November, 1985 passed the year of stay of lieutenant Andrey Shakhvorostov in Afghanistan, the year of service in the 682 motorized rifle regiment in the extremely harsh conditions of daily fire contact with the enemy.
From the memoirs of a graduate of the 1983 school of Lieutenant Neutratov Alexander Viktorovich, who served with Andrei as the commander of a motorized rifle platoon in the 682 motorized rifle regiment: “... Open, honest, attentive to people, intelligent and erudite, he openly attracted officers and soldiers to him. Well, as for the service - he continued to be an excellent student. He built new trenches and trenches. In a protected place equipped sports ground. In short, the commander was in his place. Home, his wife Tatiana, wrote almost daily. And waited for vacation. Eagerly. You know how it happens when you leave on your nose. Especially since daughter Yulia is already five months old, and he has only seen her in photos ... ”.
And how many positive emotions a young officer experienced after a conversation with the head of the school, Lieutenant General Nekrasov Anatoly Ivanovich, who came to Afghanistan with a group of school teachers to meet with graduates participating in hostilities and their commanders. The conversation was thorough. Andrei shared his impressions about the positive and negative aspects in the training of cadets, to which, in his opinion, more attention should be paid. The head of the school listened attentively to his graduate, constantly making notes in his notebook. At the end of the conversation, Andrei asked the general, if possible, to transfer the letter to his wife, Tatiana, who had long been waiting for her beloved to go on vacation. Anatoly Ivanovich fulfilled the request of Andrey, brought the letter to his wife Tatiana and gave it personally, telling about the meeting with Andrey and his impressions. ... Lt. Shakhvorostov did not live to see his relatives.
From the memoirs of war veterans in Afghanistan, participants in the 14 December events of 1985: “Almost every night the Mujahideen made attempts to slip between the posts of the Soviet soldiers. But the December 14 bout 1985 was particularly fierce. The battalion, where Lt. Shakhvorostov served, was suddenly thrown to the aid of a regiment of Afghan armed forces that was in the ring. The fire did not stop for a minute. The bandits managed to get close to the command post of the company of Senior Lieutenant Arutyunov, who was covering the group of Lieutenant Shakhvorostov. They did not spare the shells, hoping that no one would be able to lift their heads. But Lieutenant Shahvorostov knew his business well. He skillfully led the fire, constantly cheering on his subordinates, managing to crawl up to the wounded. The break in the battle, he felt on time. He jumped on the parapet, gave the order for a counterattack, but did not see its successful implementation ... ”.
Here is an extract from Lieutenant Shakhvorostov Andrei Evgenievich's award list: “I served in Afghanistan since November 1984. During this time, I have proved myself only on the positive side. Comprehensively developed, hardworking and honest officer. To the fulfillment of their duties, he treated the highest degree in good faith. He took an active part in combat operations to destroy the rebel gangs, where he showed courage and bravery, resilience and heroism.
14 December 1985 in the area of the Pizgaran gorge, the place of deployment of the company was shot at by insurgents from mortars and recoilless guns, after which the enemy launched an offensive. When firing among the personnel of the company were observed confusion and confusion. Lieutenant A.E. Shakhvorostov by his decisive actions, he restored order and ordered to occupy a perimeter defense. Fire machine gun, he stopped the advancing chain of rebels. During the shootout, the lieutenant was wounded, but continued to lead the battle, and when the ammunition ran out, he fought back with grenades. At the critical moment he rose to the attack, dragging his subordinates with him. The enemy was abandoned, but during the attack, Lieutenant A.E. Shahvorostov died By his courageous and heroic feat Lieutenant A.E. Shakhvorostov. saved the unit from destruction, inspired the personnel to achieve victory. "
For courage and personal heroism shown in the performance of a combat mission, Lieutenant Shahvorostov Andrey Evgenyevich was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR No. 5244 - XI from 31 in July 1986 (posthumously).
Fight in the gorge
From the memoirs of the veteran of the Afghan war, Andrei Moiseyev: “... The units of the Rukhinsky regiment fought over the Pizgoran gorge and turned around to repel possible attacks from the Ahmad Shah Massoud formations. Around, on all the dominant heights, posts were set up to prevent shelling from the mountains. Communication was steady. All in a timely manner reported on the willingness to interact. And only from one post, almost immediately after the landing of personnel there by helicopter, a message arrived, which meant the following: “We are not alone here”.
For some reason aviation and artillery could not help the post without adjustment. And the senior group lieutenant Andrei Shakhvorostov broadcast more and more disturbing news. Their meaning boiled down to the fact that the "bearded" accumulate strength to attack. And their intentions, judging by how proud Ahmad treated those who let us into his territory (and he just shot them, saw their bodies closing in our convoy), were very serious. Military topographers on a map of Afghanistan of the 1945 model in the Panjshir Gorge section did not inspect anything. Secret paths and a small difference in the heights of the terrain allowed the "spirits" to try to destroy the advantageously located post, which opened up an excellent view to gain the possibility of shelling the positions of our regiment from a relatively close distance.
The headquarters understood this very well. A close examination of the map of the area revealed that a high-rise was located nearby, three hundred meters away, on which one could climb unnoticed in two or three hours and provide the post with real help with fire and artillery guidance.
The group was headed by the intelligence chief himself. The group included and artnavodchik. Armed personnel "cliff" and AGS. As soon as they began to climb, the sounds of battle sounded. It is simply impossible to confuse them with something else you and I, everyone who was there. Shelled general combat with the use of firearms weapons and hand grenade launchers. Commanders and heads of services knew about the situation. With the help of their own forces (everyone wants to live), they built SPSs from flat stones, oriented in height towards the ill-fated fasting, and looked with dismay and hope at the ever decreasing size of soldiers who had become alpinists.
The enemy outnumbered the post five times. And new forces were coming to him. But not only the advantages of the terrain helped our motorized riflemen in the mountains to repel attacks. And nothing to do with experience. But the morale at that time was really high. Now even the most "avid" dushmans admit this.
The progress of the battle can be judged by the record of negotiations. The mortally wounded lieutenant constantly supported his soldiers by the fact that help was close. By the time the "support group" reached the goal, the battle went into the stage of melee. The arrivals deployed AGS and began to sprinkle the enemy with grenades. Artnavodchik very successfully brought fire and the three trunks of the regimental “self-propelled guns” began to “work” on targets, taking control of secret paths at the same time.
Until the end of the operation, i.e. a whole month, preventive shooting was carried out on them. The loss of the fast amounted to three people “two hundred”, including Lieutenant A. Shakhvorostov, and eight people (all the rest) “three hundred”. These "dry" numbers could be very "soaked." But, the fighting situation demanded the best. I knew Andrei. Normal man. Hero of the Soviet Union. Posthumously...
PS The bullet knocked out the eye of the lieutenant and broke the temporal bone ... And met the mortally wounded, but alive, lieutenant Andrei Shakhvorostov. He died at the hands of doctors ... ".
From the memoirs of a veteran of the Afghan war, Moskalenko Leonid Grigorievich: “... And it all began with a layout on the ground, with a large sandbox. Namely - from the Panjshir gorge. Military topographers worked out their bread ... Immediately after lunch, all the commanders and chiefs were summoned to headquarters. The regiment commander set the task, and the chief of staff read the order.
The Panjshir Gorge crosses the Pizgaran Gorge, thus forming the Pizgaran Cross. He controlled the entire mountain system Hindu Kush Ahmad Shah Masood. The regiment was faced with the task of overcoming 56 kilometers in three days and seizing this very “cross”, i.e. set him full control.
In parallel with us, the “Tsarandoi” troops were to be advanced, but they did not even move. And when we went up the gorge, we saluted us, as if saying goodbye forever. The first tank hit a radio-controlled landmine. The tower, after somersaulting in the air, fell into the river. Killed the driver-mechanic Private Smirnov. All night inside tank the ammunition continued to tear. It became clear that the entire road was mined. The commander decided to send all the wheeled vehicles back to Rukh. We found a gentle descent into the Panjshir River and went up the pebble bed ... The "Spirits" did not expect this: you can’t lay a mine in the river ...
We overcame the enemy’s positions by firing from self-propelled regimental artillery systems. The corpses of the executed Mujahideen floated down the river and let us pass into their area of responsibility. Ahmad Shah did not tolerate excuses and excuses for not following orders ...
Despite stubborn resistance, by the end of the third day we had captured the “cross” and established posts in the mountains. ... And only in one place we did not take into account the peculiarities of the terrain: one of the posts, located directly above us, could be attacked and captured. The enemy took advantage of this.
Lieutenant Andrei Shakhvorostov with eleven soldiers repulsed the attacks of hundreds of dushmans. He was sent help, but she approached him only after three hours. By the time the battle went into hand-to-hand combat. Those who came at the last moment fired "spirits" from the rear of grenade launchers. Artnavodchik brought artillery and the outcome of the battle was decided. Shahvorostov, mortally wounded, led the fight to the end. Andrew always stood out to me for the protection of "medicine ...
For a whole month we stood on the “cross” under fire from mortars and snipers. Many times put forward by separate groups for stripping, as they say, "objects." Several times we were subjected to attempts to dislodge us from the “cross”, but each time we stopped these attempts in the most severe manner from the ground and from the air.
Ahmad Shah tried to create an advantage in manpower. But technically he was far from that. During the entire operation, we lost thirty-six dead, and wounded — up to one hundred and fifty. All this was in December 1985 of the year ... ".
I refuse a reward
Many years after the end of the Afghan war, a former officer of the special department headquarters 682-rifle regiment Yuri A. Karabakh told about the events of December 14 1985, at lieutenant Andrey Shakhvorostova, deputy commander of the third infantry company 682-108 infantry regiment-th Motorized Rifle Division of the Red Nevel , at the cost of his own life with a machine gun fire that stopped an attacking chain of rebels during a brutal battle in the Pizgaran gorge area: “... Andrew really died heroically, saved his life with his life foot soldiers. But at the presentation to the title of Hero of the Soviet Union in the "highest circles" they signed in bold red pencil: "To award posthumously the Order of the Red Banner, since for the Star of Hero he" served little in Afghanistan. " Such is the staff bureaucracy. The feat does not count, the main thing for bureaucrats is the term of service. In general, the commander of the regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Petrov Nikolai Vasilyevich, built us, showed us this paper and said that he refuses his reward, to which he was then presented. Then all the officers of the regiment, including myself, recalled the reports on the award lists for the combat exit to the so-called “Pizgara cross” in Panjshir to Ahmad Shah Massoud. A grand scandal happened. Upstairs they understood this, and Andrei was nevertheless awarded the high title of Hero of the Soviet Union. And we, the officers of the regiment who submitted reports, did not award anyone with orders or medals ... The regimental commander, lieutenant colonel Petrov Nikolai Vasilyevich, a combat officer and an infinitely respected man left Afghanistan without a single award. ”
Our good memory
On the eve of the commemoration day - 50 anniversary of the birth of Hero of the Soviet Union (posthumously) Lieutenant Andrei Shakhvorostov, we remember the years of joint study with him in the glorious school, we remember Andrei how he was, we honor the memory of him, our classmate, simple, honest to the guy who had fulfilled his military duty to the end, remained loyal to the Military oath and the Motherland. In the fierce battles of the Afghan war, he showed unparalleled resilience and courage, inflexible fighting spirit and courage, at the cost of his own life saved the unit from destruction.
The feat of Lieutenant Andrei Shakhvorostov, heroes and ordinary soldiers of the Afghan war is timeless, he remains in our hearts. And therefore we will always remember the fallen sons of Russia, be equal to them and pay tribute to them.
We bow to them and our kind memory!
The article was prepared by a graduate of the school 1984.
Colonel Belozubov V.V.