“Let people know what happened in this war. The truth. The way it is ... "
(One of the few survivors of the 131-th Maikop Brigade)
(One of the few survivors of the 131-th Maikop Brigade)
The eve of a new, 1995, year. Columns of Russian troops crossed the Chechen administrative border, and advanced units took up positions near the village of Ken-Yurt. Across from us is the Sunzhensky Pass. And from that and from the other side intensive shooting from mortars, from “Gradov”. Losses yet. My job is training snipers. The work is interesting, but painstaking, in the submission - young, inexperienced guys, many of them have not seen a sniper rifle before.
It is very important for a sniper to know and love his weapon, and this feeling I am trying to instill in young recruits, who, perhaps, will have to face a real opponent tomorrow. First of all, I explain that the SVD rifle must be specially prepared. I pay great attention to the issues of proper preparation of batteries - spare and basic, - organization of a place for their recharging. Butts on the butt to install necessarily rubber (can be taken from a set of grenade launcher). The hook should be smooth, soft, without a hook. Sometimes these "little things" have to be prepared individually for each sniper. Do not forget about the spare light for sight.
Bringing weapons to normal combat (or, as they also say, “zeroing”) and its subsequent combat use must be carried out with the use of ammunition from the same party (sniper cartridges B-32). We must not forget about the blend - a soft under-eye on the sight.
Before firing, the barrel must be dry. To clean the barrel, I usually used a telephone wire with a white cloth. Apparently, my so scrupulous attitude towards the SVD was noticed in the subdivision, once it was called nothing other than the “Stradivarius rifle”. The catch phrase: "The rifle beats a pretty penny" - has established itself among my graduates. And indeed, thanks to the correct use of weapons, I managed to cut the playing card in half from six shots in the 100 distance.
All that I was able to teach the guys was useful to them later, and our hungry, ragged, unattacked “hodgepodge” worked wonders of courage. And these are far from empty words. After the battles in Grozny, I remain deeply convinced that with proper training, our Russian soldier is stronger in nature than any overseas thug.
Great importance had to be given to the issues of psychological preparation. Forty five days of uninterrupted stay in a combat situation is a long time. Because of the constant psychological and physical stress soldiers quickly exhausted. It is worth saying that the factor of finding a soldier "in the firing line" in the Western armies is taken into account. For example, before conducting a military operation in the Balkans, psychological services were actively working in parts of NATO.
The Russian soldier, both before and during the fighting, is not only limited in the necessary foodstuffs, but also sometimes deprived of the attention of his commanders. Humanitarian assistance, as a rule, only reaches the rear units. Fighters who are in combat formations sometimes have nowhere to wash, dry their uniforms and shoes. That is why the issues of sanitation and hygiene on the front lines are quite acute. Diseases such as pediculosis and fungal infections are common.
In 6 hours of the morning came from a night raid. At 10 hours, when I had already sent, Colonel Piha N looked in: "Do you have a desire to spar with a Chechen sniper?"
As it turned out, the enemy sniper worked only at night, in the area of the checkpoint in front of the Sunzhinsky ridge. With his fire, he kept the soldiers in a position in constant tension, and over the course of those days literally exhausted everyone. Because of the threat of shlopotat bullet, especially at night, the soldiers were already on the verge of mental breakdown.
The tactic of the enemy shooter was simply disgraceful: one shot from one hill, one and a half to two hours from another, and one and a half to two hours from the third. Such tension at the roadblock can be compared with the presence of an obsessively humming mosquito on a warm summer night, unless the consequences were much more serious.
Having had a rest, having adjusted the equipment and having checked the weapon, by the evening I left for the ill-fated checkpoint. Commander Viktor Fedorovich, who met me, was delighted: “Sasha, my dear, we are waiting ... I owed!” The soldiers poured out, looking at me like a curiosity. And rolled such anger! I looked around - the defense was organized according to all the rules - the terms of the concrete, the BMP stand. Is it really impossible to remove one single disturbance?
I looked at the map, clarified the area, determined the location of the minefields. The commander showed where the sniper was firing from. I tried to determine its possible routes of movement to the firing position and places of departure. I chatted with the officers, the soldiers. After bandaging his “Stradivarius rifle” and securing the night sight, I arranged with the commander so that they could pass through minefields to my return. “Yes, guys, you should be more attentive. Do not open fire on me, ”I thought it would be good to make such a warning. We already had to deal with such a situation earlier: taking the enemy returning from a raid as an enemy, they opened fire on them from their own positions.
Until the morning I have no return. Waving a hand to those who remained on the block, in a few minutes I was already on the territory of the enemy.
I chose the place of observation in the forest belt. I found a recess and began to inspect the surrounding territory through binoculars of night vision. While lying down, I listened to the night sounds for a long time - in the bitter cold even light footsteps are heard louder. Somewhere in the distance there was a sound ... The movement of vehicles in the suburbs ... Two jackals ran right next to me. Closer to the night the frost increased and after an hour began to penetrate to the very bones.
Time stretches long and tedious. By force of will, I force myself to ignore the cold. Time has passed for midnight. Boils anger on the "spirit." So I stayed until morning. The enemy sniper, apparently, had a “day off” that day.
The mood is bad. After waiting for the “corridor”, I return to the checkpoint. Guilt in front of people whom I could not help, gnawed like a gray rat - I don’t want to look into the eyes of the soldiers. With the first car back to his unit. And at this moment 131-I Maikop in full swing preparing for the offensive.
TWO SHOTS - TWO PIPES
Woke up from choking on cigarette smoke. The fighters returned from the raids and now excitedly shared their impressions. After my unsuccessful “hunt”, my soul was disgusting and dreary. After lunch, once again prepared for the next exit. Checked weapons, ammunition, night vision binoculars, fitted equipment.
With twilight I left on a post.
Everything repeats: the passage of a minefield, the search for shelter, inspection of the terrain. By 8 hours of the evening, an enemy sniper begins to emerge. From somewhere in the direction of the block a single shot cracked. I moved to another place. Having no results lying in his 2 – 3 hour lair, I realized that the sniper either left or was resting in a pre-prepared shelter.
I decide to go deep into the territory of the enemy, towards the outskirts of Grozny. Not far away, I noticed a farm and several houses. 100 – 150 meters were up to the buildings when the Niva drove up to them with the headlights turned off. A man got out of the car and slowly began to take some load out of the trunk.
I looked at it - zinc with cartridges! At that moment, the second man came out of the house, who also began to unload ammunition from the Niva.
I got ready for shooting. My first shot was aimed at the nearest action movie. Having received a bullet in the head, he collapsed on the ground. His friend instantly dived behind the car. I had to wait until his head seemed again because of the hood. Second shot. And now two bodies are lying at the wheels of the "Niva".
It was a big surprise for me when two more militants with machine guns jumped out of the house. However, opening indiscriminate shooting, they only intensified the panic. Our artillery, which, two minutes after what happened, opened fierce fire, did not give them a chance to recover.
Death of sniper
I tried to escape from the shelling of my own artillery — I ran through a deep and wide beam into the darkness of the night. Climbing up the slope, I suddenly found myself in front of the DZOT. Fortunately, the concrete structure was abandoned. Nearby are the empty caponiers of the Grad MLRS battery.
Next to the oil tower is a path on which two armed men appeared. The magpies notified about their appearance with their shouting. As soon as the couple reached the fence, I gently pressed the trigger. Shot. Just as quickly I leave in the direction of the roadblock, which is not close.
My way back runs along the bottom of the beam. From time to time, to look around, I climb up the slope, but because of the dense thickets of the camel thorn, nothing is visible.
Approaching the roadblock, suddenly I heard the characteristic sound of a sniper. Almost running, he rushed in the direction of the shot. Having clung to the eyepiece of the binoculars, carefully examined the terrain. Somewhere nearby, a male roe deer yelled, after a while a frightened animal ran past me.
In the optics on the other side of the beam, I noticed movement. I looked at the man, around whose neck binoculars were wound. To target approximately 70 meters.
Having hidden my binoculars under a camouflage, I raise my rifle. I keep on looking at the man, on whose shoulder a huge rifle is already clearly visible. Perhaps this is an optical illusion, but for some reason it seemed to me that a person with every step decreases in size. He was hardly ready to make a shot - but the goal was gone.
I rushed to where, according to my calculations, a man should appear. But he was not there. Despite a certain risk, I had to go back.
Reaching the place where I lost sight of him, carefully examined the neighborhood. It turns out that the path here is steeply going down. At the other end of the beam - koshara, house and toilet. Distance - two hundred meters.
Again, I hide the binoculars under the camouflage and, raising the rifle, look at the sight. That's my goal! The man slowly approaches the kosara. I take aim. I feel how my breath interferes with smoothly choosing a descent. The man has already opened the door and is ready to cross the threshold of the house ... Recoil from the shot. The sight clearly shows the lighted doorway of the open door and the legs of a person lying protruding from there.
Waited time. No suspicious movements inside or outside the house. Apparently, no one is near - otherwise they would probably have tried to drag the wounded person inside the house. Carefully walked around the kit. He took out a grenade, just in case he straightened the check and, without pulling it to the end, went to the opening. He opened the door, went inside. For the hair he raised the head of the murdered man and pressed him with his knee between the shoulder blades. Hands felt sticky blood. The control shot and the knife will not be required.
Leaving the corpse in place, looked around the room. Dead, apparently, was the elusive sniper. This was evidenced by his excellent equipment. And the house is equipped according to the rules of the sniper's shelter - in detail, for a long time. On the shelves are excellent dry rations of imported production, several boxes of chicken stew with peas. On the stove - a kettle. On the floor there is a mattress with a pillow, an ax, a foreign-made knife, a pile of stored dry wood.
He thought about himself: not far from the roadblock, and the beam itself hides the kit from prying eyes. I am trying to imagine the tactics of the enemy’s actions: at night they will flood the stove, drink coffee and go hunting. One or two shots and back. It will rest in two or three hours - again to the checkpoint.
There were no documents with him. By the person nationality can not be determined. Special attention was attracted by the rifle - "Heckler and Koch" on the bipod, caliber 12,5 mm, with an excellent night sight. The Nokia radio station found here also showed that the dead man was not a shepherd.
Dragged the loser sniper to the gates of the kosara. Snow wiped his hands from the blood.
Upon returning to the unit, it turned out that most of the brigade’s combat units had redeployed to Grozny. The commander ran into the tent. Seeing me, the captain shouted from the door: “Why are you sitting here? There is a battle! .. ”And indeed, the fuss reigned around. However, the next convoy of gasoline tank trucks, Shilok and Uralov with ammunition gathered to catch up with the units that had left for the city only the next morning.
The column 131 of the Maikop brigade was burning in the center of the city. The commander of the brigade Savin on the radio station with despair called for help. After begging the anesthetic drug promedol from the head of Peshkov, he left one tube for himself. The remaining ten gave the crew a BMP with a tail number 232. Subsequently, of all those who were in the BMP itself, only I was left alive. BMP burned from five direct hits from a grenade launcher.