Two days later, unexpected guests came to our unit. In the morning from the checkpoint, it was reported that a group of armed men had arrived. I put on my cap and took my AKM and went to negotiate.
Before the checkpoint there was a man of 15 fighters. All collected, alert, weapon at the ready. On their heads are green and black armbands with Arabic letters. Armed well — two of them had RPKs, three with an RPG, two sniper rifles, and the rest had automatic rifles of various modifications. Stood in bulk, not a crowd. No jokes, no cigarettes in his teeth, no relaxed postures ... There was a sense of iron discipline and experience of the behavior of fired fighters.
I introduced myself and asked which one was the eldest. A tall slender man of years 45 came up, in import camouflage. Introduced. (Unfortunately, I have not saved my Chechen surname).
“I’m the chief guard of General Dudayev.” Do you know that Chechens are fighting on the side of Abkhazia?
- I know of course. Purpose of your visit? - I ask him in turn.
- I would like to talk with the commander of the unit, Colonel Mysoev. This is my guard.
Having talked over the phone with Vasily, and having received his “go-ahead” to admit “guests,” I escorted the detachment to headquarters. Mysoyev is already standing on his porch. In honor of such a case, he even fastened his belt with a PM.
Two commanders introduced themselves to each other. After that, Vasily invited the head of the Chechen Guard to headquarters. However, demanded that his guard remained on the parade ground. The Chechen briefly threw something in his language to his fighters and went to headquarters. I followed him and Vasily to the office of the commander of the unit, where the conversation took place. There already sat Colonel Andruyanov, the senior of our task force.
We all sat around the table. The Chechen once again introduced himself, introducing himself as "the head of the Dudayev Guard." We - all also once again introduced themselves.
- I would like to talk with the commander of one-on-one! the Chechen said rather haughtily. (We must pay tribute to him - throughout the conversation, outwardly, he held himself immaculately. Proudly raised head, straight back, minimum of emotions and cold-blooded look of a man accustomed to command, inspired involuntary respect for him. It was a warrior who knew his own worth).
- I have no secrets from my comrades! - Mysoev answered him harshly. "Speak at all, why you came."
- You are Ossetians ?! - suddenly asked the Chechen Vasya.
- Yes, Ossetians, so what? - tense Basil.
- You know that all the peoples of the Caucasus have now risen to defend their Abkhaz brothers from the Georgian aggression ?! Detachments of Kabardians, Chechens, Ingush, Balkarians, Ossetians are fighting with us! And you sit here! - Chechen issued very sharply.
- I, a young man, do not sit back, but perform the combat tasks assigned to me, for which I do not have to report to you !!! - Basil's hot blood instantly boiled over from such disrespectful appeal to him.
Andruyanov and I intervened in the conversation that threatened to enter the “hot” phase.
After the emotions had cooled, it turned out that the Chechen came with his detachment.
- We need a weapon. Hand over what is in your part. Switch to the side of the Abkhaz armed forces. You get a house, land, money. The commander of the Gudauta air defense regiment did just that. Everything has now! Home - they gave him a great. And he is Russian. You are an Ossetian !!!
In general, in order not to retell the whole conversation, I will say that Vasily delicately but “sent” him, stating that he does not trade with the oath either with conscience, either.
I could not help admiring at that moment a fat, heavy colonel Mysoev.
After the end of the conversation, the Chechen commander went out on the porch. His "army" was waiting on the parade ground in full combat readiness. Machine gunners and grenade launchers even kept their formidable "toys" on their shoulders. Barrel up, but still ... Probably everyone had a cartridge in the chamber.
Our okhlamony, taking advantage of the lull in the shooting, relaxed basking in the sun with the most carefree look. For some reason, it was thought that if the Chechen team were given a command - and its fighters would crumble our army into a “tiny crumb” in a minute.
But nothing of this, fortunately, did not happen. I led a small Chechen detachment to the checkpoint, and they went towards the mountains.
We came to the conclusion that the only possible way of evacuation of the unit is the sea one. It was necessary to transport the property, weapons, people and personal belongings of the families of servicemen to the Bombora airfield.
There the landing ships of our Black Sea were supposed to approach the shore fleet and transport it all to Russia. A preliminary agreement on this (through the General Staff, of course) was reached. Abkhazians promised to help with the trucks, providing several KAMAZ trucks to evacuate the unit. With the first “convoy” of trucks, I drove the elder. I was entrusted with the organization of interaction on the spot with the pilots, paratroopers and, in the long term, with the heroic sailors of the Black Sea.
As subsequent events showed, it was not at all a simple matter. Our first column of hours on the 12 of the day left our unit. While we overcame all the numerous checkpoints with bearded militias, while we drove into the airfield, while we agreed with the local commanders on the order of our actions, it was dark.
We were allocated for storing property and belongings a couple of large empty airplane shelters, not far from the seashore. These were large, tattered concrete hangars, and there was plenty of room in them. There we unloaded all the property brought from part of us - from weapons and equipment, to the personal belongings of officers and ensigns. It should be emphasized that we managed to bring everything down to the cabinets, refrigerators and beds. One piano with piano - pieces 5 was.
With me was our major from the unit and a couple of soldiers to protect the property. In addition, we guarded all our junk and from the paratroopers, who also stood at this airfield camp. Our hangars were on the territory of the regiment's mortar battery. In service with the mortar were self-propelled "Nona" and BMDshki. The battery commander, senior lieutenant, was a good guy. He gave us a few sleeping bags from his reserve. The first days we slept in them, right in the open.
At that time, the famous 345 Guards Airborne Regiment was located at the airport. He was transferred there, as the paratroopers emphasized in conversations with them, on the personal order of Pasha Grachev. To prevent the seizure of the airfield and aircraft. As subsequent events showed, this measure was correct. This regiment was the backbone of the Russian group in Abkhazia. In addition to the paratroopers, a couple of SU-27 fighters, four SU-25 fighters (attack aircraft, Rooks) and several MI-8 helicopters were based at the airfield. This was all our army there. Plus our legendary laboratory, naturally. Very impressive was taking off near SU-27. If the “Rooks” (SU-25) took off along the usual gentle trajectory, without much noise, then the first (and many subsequent ones, too) took off from the SU-27 had a great effect on us. SU-27 after a short run-up "cut in" the fast and the furious and cool, almost vertically, went to the sky. The sound was very loud and sharp, like a close thunderbolt. Not flinch, with unaccustomed, it was impossible.
Discipline among the paratroopers I did not really like. “To the naked eye” was visible “misconception”, they had booze and AWOL, of which it became known even to us. On the second day of our stay at the airfield, a group of “grandfathers” got drunk at night, drove away the sanitary “pill” (UAZ-452), rammed the barrier on it and pulled it AWOL. A drunk driver at high speed lost control, the car flew off the road, rolled over and caught fire. The burnt "pill" was dragged into the unit and placed at the regimental headquarters. She stood as a monument to our Russian foolishness, drunkenness, “pofigizmu” and slovenliness ...
Apparently left there to intimidate future self-helpers.
Not much better discipline was among our mortar. They recognized and obeyed their commander, but they tried to “ignore” the “outside” officers. No honoring, compliance with the form of clothing and other statutory provisions, no one carried out. Yes, no one, especially not demanded, as far as could be judged. The commander of the mortar on the second day of our acquaintance introduced me to the course of the practice of educational work:
“Comrade Lieutenant Colonel! We have our own rules here. If you want the fighters to recognize you as an officer - take and tamp face any of them. Better - the healthiest, even out - Pinocchio. He does not even move, I guarantee. Then they will begin to respect. ” I refused such a method of “gaining authority” flatly. (For all the years of service, I have not hit a single fighter, never - and I am proud of it).
- “You yourself command your army, as you have got. I will not go to another monastery with my charter. I am not going to teach you to serve, but I will not beat anyone just like that! ”I said to the mortar batcher.
On that and decided.
True, once I had to intervene in their problems. In the evenings of the commanders of the landing units, the grouping command gathered for meetings, which were sometimes delayed by 1,5 - 2 hours. At that time, their fighters were left to themselves and “killed” time as best they could. Once Pinocchio (and this was a hefty paratrooper with a wide nose) and his friends got drunk on chacha and began to try to arrange "disassembly" with the young soldiers of their battery. Since we lived not far from them, we could hear this disgrace. Had to intervene. Not without difficulty, my major and I calmed this army, and I warned Buratin and his buddies that I would not allow anyone to be humiliated in my presence. They didn’t believe it very much, but I waited until the arrival of their battalion commander, told about the incident and demanded to take measures to the “grandfathers”, threatening to report to Sibudkin the next morning.
Starley Kombat arrived from the meeting a little weak, so he did not feel the smell from his warriors. To this he devoted the lion's share of his educational efforts.
Having built his "grandfathers", he made a short speech explaining the harm of drinking and the inadmissibility of bullying his comrades, even though younger conscripts.
Then he proceeded to the direct education of "grandfathers". To each he threateningly asked only one question:
- “You drank or didn’t drink ?!”
- “I didn’t drink!” - the swaying warrior answered and immediately received a slap in the face from the commander.
“Why are you lying ?!” he asked fiercely.
Debriefing lasted quite a long time.
In the end - all, Pinocchio, having received another slap in the face of the commander, offendedly kicked him: “Comrade Senior Lieutenant! I really do not know what to say to you. “Peel” - hit, “Don't drink” - beat too ”.
The argument was impressive, and the rest of the educational conversation by the commander of the mortar commanders was carried out within the statutory framework.