The fate of General Romanov mercilessly dissected into two different parts of the drama. In one of them, he is still full of bright, strong, courageous life, which, as it seems to everyone, is only entering the time of real flourishing. Forty seven years old. Peasant son, just became the commander of the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. Husband and father, who found simple human happiness in his close-knit family.
In another part of life, which lasts almost eighteen long years, this is a heavily wounded man with a life still burning in him, like a candle flame. Hospital ward and white gowns of doctors. Undefeated general, whose consciousness has not yet returned from the war ...
Since spring 1995, he got into the lenses of many journalistic cameras and cameras, when, after a dramatic assault on the Chechen capital and driving militants into the mountains, the Russian government began to strengthen the peaceful order of life in the cities and villages of Chechnya. Often, without protection, Romanov fearlessly went into villages where militants were still hiding. I talked with representatives of the rural government and the clergy, with residents for whom the future world was not an abstract concept, but meant the return of a familiar life: with the aroma of fresh bread, a sense of security, pensions for the elderly and education for children.
In Chechnya, which had recently lived with separatist dreams, these very things were suddenly the most deficient. It often happened that after the conversation with Romanov the residents themselves drove out the remaining militants from the villages, and the flags of Ichkeria hanging on the administrative buildings quickly gave way to the tricolor flags of the Russian state.
In the summer of 1995, Romanov was promoted to the post of commander of the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia and appointed commander of the United Group of Federal Forces on the territory of the Chechen Republic. A participant in the negotiation process with leaders of illegal armed groups, he was responsible for developing and implementing the so-called military bloc of issues.
The natural diplomatic talent of Romanov, his ability to translate the most violent disputes into a constructive dialogue and transform the old enemies into new like-minded people only with the power of charm of past enemies in his own way in a unique way.
But most importantly, ordinary Chechens began to trust Romanov. The farther - the more. And in this sense, for the ideologues of the rebellion and Chechen separatism, as well as for those who were hiding behind their backs in those days, General Romanov remained a deadly figure.
This world went downhill on October 6, 1995, on the day when General Romanov, who had left Khankala for Grozny to meet Ruslan Khasbulatov, was seriously wounded. The high-explosive charge, equivalent to 30 to the kilograms of TNT, was remotely blown up around 13 hours, when part of the column of internal troops, including Romanov’s UAZ and several escort escorts, was already drawn into a tunnel near Minutka Square in Grozny.
Of those who were in the Romanov UAZ, Assistant Commander Colonel Alexander Zaslavsky, driver Vitaly Matviychenko were killed immediately. A little later, fighter Denis Yabrikov, a fighter from the special-purpose unit “Rus” of the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, who was guarding that day from the general’s army, would die of wounds. Another two dozen people were injured and contused.
Immediately after the explosion, the tunnel was clouded with smoke. Romanov was not immediately able to find human bodies among the exploded bodies. He was identified by a belt with a general's buckle and a gold wedding ring on his right hand ...
The struggle for the life of General Romanov has already become history worthy of a detailed story about the courage, patience and professional skills of those people who saved the wounded Romanov, who has been treating him all these years.
In Moscow, the Minister of Internal Affairs General Anatoly Kulikov was the first to learn about the injury of Romanov. For him, Romanov was not only a military leader, who had recently replaced Kulikov himself as commander of internal troops and commander of the United Group, but also a close friend.
The minister had just returned from Chechnya the day before, and in the morning of October 6 had time to talk with Romanov on the phone, taking his morning report.
... The commander of the helicopter unit (he is the commander of the crew of the Mi-8 helicopter) Lieutenant Colonel Mikhail Karamyshev (lives in Khabarovsk) didn’t have to fly anywhere that day: it was a day free from combat work. But war is war. According to her laws, the crew - except for the commander included captain Andrei Zhezlov (lives in Kostroma) and onboard technician, senior lieutenant Alexander of Cities (lives in Chita) - still had to fly to Severny airfield. Already requested permission to return flight, as the team came to jump "on the meadow" - this was the name of the helipad of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Khankala. They explained: “There are eighteen“ three hundredths ”(seriously wounded).
There really were wounded. On a stretcher. All in blood and torn camouflage. KP duty officer aviationHe smoked a cigarette silently and didn’t really explain anything, in the end he made a strange reservation: they say, now the commander will fly with you.
Pilot knew well the Commander of the Romanov United Group. Respected for the fact that he did not keep himself a gentleman in front of subordinates. For intelligence. For the fact that the forty-seven-year-old Romanov could turn the sun on the bar, wearing a heavy soldier body armor for the load.
He expected to see the smart, tall general with his assistants now, surprised to himself by the suppressed nervousness of the people around him. He did not immediately realize that Romanov himself was wounded, who, along with other victims, should be immediately evacuated to the Vladikavkaz military hospital.
Having concentrated, Karamyshev estimated that the shortest way, which takes 17 minutes of flight, is the road through the Bamut helicopters. A guaranteed safe route would take them almost twice the time.
Hurried. They passed Grozny. "Eight" was ten meters above the ground at a speed of 315 — 320 kilometers per hour, significantly exceeding the allowed. So they jumped into the open field. Out of the corner of his eye, Karamyshev saw a sudden rise from arable land and soar a vague silhouette soaring upwards with a candle. I managed to make a maneuver and - almost jumped the eagle flying to intercept, like an anti-aircraft missile. A powerful blow shook the fuselage. The bird with all its scope crashed into the steering lights, turning it and spraying the bottom of the helicopter with eagle blood. This was discovered later, wondering at his own success: if a frontal hit or a bird hit the engine, the helicopter could simply collapse.
Under Bamut, 152-mm self-propelled artillery mounts were beating for all their remarkable strength. There was a planned shelling of the squares, and the G8 had to scour the gaps between the sultans in order not to fall under the flying projectile or its fragments.
Karamyshev sat down at the airfield. I also looked at my watch — we got exactly a quarter of an hour. The wounded were handed over to local doctors. And they just had to shake their heads: "Even ten minutes, and you could not rush ..."
The lieutenant colonel Karamyshev, who was in charge of the helicopter, could not know what was going on in flight behind him, in the troop compartment of the turntable. The medical team aboard was spontaneously formed at the time of loading the wounded.
Dmitry Davydov, a lieutenant of the medical service who had just graduated from the military medical faculty, got into a helicopter to accompany the wounded soldiers of the special-purpose unit “Rus”, of which he was the head of his first mission to the war. Volunteers climbed on board the turntables lieutenant colonel of the medical service Yevgeny Kirichenko and the nurse warrant officer Irina Burmistrova.
Among the wounded, Davydov immediately recognized Denis Yabrikov. He was in the protection of Romanov and with him fell into the epicenter of the explosion. Denis was still alive, his face was bandaged, but when Davydov asked “How are you?”, He rather cheerfully moved his lips: “Normally”. (Denis Yabrikov will die later, already in the Vladikavkaz garrison hospital, from injuries incompatible with life.)
The condition of two more wounded - a soldier in a gray police uniform and an officer in camouflage - seemed just as heavy, if not worse. The officer’s pressure was “zero in general”. Only having handed over the wounded alive to the local doctors there, they heard from the crew of the helicopter who had just been taken to Vladikavkaz and who were in an explosion and bloodied officer's camouflage ...
The decision to send a military plane-hospital "Scalpel" to Vladikavkaz was made almost instantly. The main anesthesiologist of the Main Military Clinical Hospital named after Academician N.N. Burdenko, Honored Doctor of Russia, Colonel of Medical Service Mikhail Rudenko received, returning from a regular operation.
He was summoned by the head of the hospital, Major General Vyacheslav Klyuzhev. Rudenko just asked Klyuzhev how many minutes he had left ...
“Twenty,” the head of the hospital answered, and Rudenko sighed with relief in response: his suitcases with the necessary equipment, medicines and materials that could be useful in any situation complicated by circumstances, were always collected ahead of time.
Soon, the whole team of military doctors of the Military Hospital. N.N. Burdenko consisting of Mikhail Ivanovich Rudenko, Sergey Nilovich Alekseev, Grigory Borisovich Tsekhanovsky, Vladimir Borisovich Gorbulenko and Igor Borisovich Maximov, hastily submerged in the car, was already heading towards the Moscow-based Chkalovsky airfield.
Upon arrival in Vladikavkaz, it turned out that Romanov had a very strong intra-abdominal bleeding caused by a rupture of the liver. Having quickly dressed, Rudenko went into the operating room ...
We must pay tribute to the medical staff of the Vladikavkaz garrison hospital, led by Colonel Rudolf Nikolayevich An. To save the wounded, everything that was possible was done there. But the nature of the injuries received by Romanov and his condition demanded the immediate evacuation of the wounded to Moscow.
General Romanov was in the intensive care unit of the Main Military Clinical Hospital named after Burdenko.
“In principle, he was killed,” Major General Vyacheslav Klyuzhev will say later about Anatolia Romanov.
However, he would immediately add: “He would have been killed if, from the first minute of his salvation, he was not in the hands of professionals of the highest class ...”
The fight goes on
Despite the severity of the injury, this eighteen-year struggle for the life of a general does not stop until now - for doctors, for Larissa’s wife and Victoria, for close friends.
It is possible that Romanov would not have lived a day if Larisa Romanova, his wife, were not with him. Love is not called a feat as long as it lives for its own pleasure, but any feat becomes possible if it is driven by true love.
For the last four years, General Anatoly Romanov has been at the Central Hospital of the Interior Forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, located in Balashikha, Moscow Region. Around the clock next to him are medical sisters from internal troops. Over the years, they have changed a lot, but each of them has invested a considerable share of work, supporting the life of the wounded general in the lasting and day and night troubles.
After the reconstruction of the hospital, with the cares of the current commander-in-chief of the internal troops of the Russian Interior Ministry, Army General Nikolai Rogozhkin, a special unit for Romanov was equipped in one of the buildings. He often sits in his wheelchair near the window opening, and it is difficult to say what is in his soul.
... Shortly before his injury, General Romanov, without any pathos, told his colleagues: “Each of us is ready to perform a combat mission, even if it costs him his life. Nobody wants to die, but if necessary ... "- he fell silent, without completing his sentences.
It is not important that at that moment he did not know his fate. The important thing is that together we were ready to go to the end. And, having gone on a journey together with Romanov, we never regretted it.