Long was going to record their memories of the service in Afghanistan. Thirty years old. I don't even know if I am doing the right thing. I am not a hero and not a writer. But the years are flying, and I'm not twenty years old. Reading the memoirs of veterans, I am surprised: I probably served in another army, in another Afghanistan.
Every year the number of participants in the storming of the Amin Palace is added, and I still do not understand why they stormed him. I read about personal cemeteries - and marvel at the children's fantasies of the authors of memoirs. Reduced the number of types of troops in OKSVA. Only airborne troops and special forces with sophisticated names. I write about my life in the army, which fought in the Republic of Afghanistan. And it was a very long time.
Himself to blame! He jinxed! No one to blame! I'm going to fight in Afghanistan! And, characteristically, nothing foreshadowed my frontline future.
1979 year, pre-Olympic. The USSR is a mighty world power, the most fair and advanced. Indian jeans are starting to appear in stores. Cars "Moskvich 2140" are sold on credit, and on the TV stand "ABBA" and "Boni-M". I serve military service in the Soviet army. Not shining with innate talents, without having twice passed the competition to the University of Latvia (absolutely not upset), as all Soviet guys go to serve.
Having seen the film “In the zone of special attention” ten times, he presented the next two years as fireworks from shooting, exercises, hand-to-hand fights and heavy but tempering the soul and body of harsh army life. Fortunately, not being a naive romantic, before the call reminded the Army Sports Club of its existence. And the years spent in the gym bore fruit - I got into the sports team.
The main thing: do not drink, do not get into other teams, do not fall behind their own. And in a month I am practically at home: Riga, st. Nakotnes, Voroshilov barracks, 25-I sportrota. By the way: this month, to my surprise, I found a lot of differences between the actual military service and the plot of my favorite movie.
I understand that those who served the delay in school, distant and short-distance garrisons, personnel units and in other interesting places do not represent all the services in the sporting complex.
Firstly, every night you call in the army in a new way (you need to spend the night in the barracks), you can’t be late, you need to be sober to return! This was especially unnerving on Monday morning, after two days of dismissal. Home bedding, food. Traditional Saturday gatherings in favorite taverns "Allegro" or "Parus".
I sit in a soldier’s day off at the Tornis Cafe with sports friends, cadets of the military school. Marshal Biryuzov. All cadets of military schools had one unpleasant character trait: they considered themselves very clever. Comparing themselves with their classmates who remained to raise agriculture in their own collective farms, they (especially having drunk hard) transferred their exclusivity to everyone around them.
That evening was drunk a lot, and the conversation rolled to statements about the remarkable mind and erudition of future cadre political workers. To the credit of those present, it should be noted that the heated debate in our company (I always stood on the assertion that they were uneducated fanfare) never turned into a scuffle.
And this time they argued on a table in a restaurant that I, a simple soldier, would talk about the first event in the newspaper for more than five minutes. In the newspaper news Number one was - AFGHANISTAN. This topic was far away from me at that time and worried only about the grandmothers of the pensioners and, probably, the military personnel who served in the real, and not the sporting forces.
But having rummaged in the memory as well history I have always loved, a lecture was given on the history of a distant country from Alexander the Great to the April April progressive revolution that took place with reference to the diplomatic recognition of the Soviet country in the first years of Soviet power, the defeated troops of the British imperialist aggressors and the indestructible eternal friendship between our working peoples.
The cadets were smashed to dust! They went to the post office to write tearful letters to parents about urgent material assistance, I, bursting with vanity, went sober home. The first bell rang! Soon came the new, 1980 year! A week of vacation home flew by like a flash. Then there was a bright and noisy evening in the Old Town, the losers were treated, quiet and generous.
And then the second bell slammed with a cannon salvo: winter, frost, after the end of the barracks in the courtyard we stand with smoking military athletes and rattle for life. In the stomach, honestly won smoked chicken and chops with mushrooms are digested. Conversation is hampered by the noise of passing "KamAZ" from the local autobat. They are under cover of night, observing military secrets, going to be loaded onto the railway. Military train Destination - Afgan.
Digesting goodies and regretting the lack of alcohol, I begin to philosophize about the military athlete’s deprivation. On the example of the autobat leaving for the unknown, I conclude: the service was a success! The most difficult army first year of service passed quickly, brightly and without any problems. And now the war will pass by, what kind of force is rolling past us towards the station. Those present nodded approvingly and agreed with my sincere and truthful conclusions about the course of the harsh sporting army life.
And then the higher powers ran out of patience. In the barracks and around it, quiet half-shrieks swept through: urgently such and such soldiers were sent to the drill! Surprised by the unprecedented event after the end of the event, and even more surprised to hear his name, I go to the clerk. Surprise on the way goes into an alarming misunderstanding. Sins for me (large) was not counted, with sports as such, I have long ago tied up because of the futility. He was expelled from the team, but took his place as an artist and the eldest in the Lenin's room (he closed it, and did not give the key to anyone).
Neponyatki grew into the expectation of a near misfortune. A company commander stood in front of the line unit (an impossible event at night) and, looking away, handed me 25 rubles - a long-standing debt, which I wrote off for a long time as an unpleasant, but necessary offering to the commander's father. Crumpled saying goodbye: "Well, you are there, that ..." - the most formidable ensign "CHES" almost ran away. And standing at the door of the office, I realized that I was waiting for the next year of service.
He received travel documents for departure to his distant and safely forgotten part in the city of Gvardeisk. Thoughts that I will serve there, did not even arise. The team of ex-warrior-athletes of various appeals, types of troops, and various degrees of sportsmanship (the one defending champion of the Armed Forces) was chaotically naked, giving food for gloomy predictions.
During the unhurried journey of Riga - Kaliningrad - Gvardeisk - Kaliningrad - Klaipeda, I saw empty barracks and military camps. The military campaign began with serious. On the way, I made timid attempts to cling to sports convoys, military museums and generals — fathers of classmates. Gray-haired majors-athletes swore, remembered Stalin, and spoke in a whisper about sabotage, but only sadly showed empty, just yesterday, such cozy and habitable barracks of soldiers-athletes.
The military museum workers grinned maliciously (they called you, the fool-artist), but they also threw up their arms and wrote the MARTIAL SHEETS about international duty themselves, there were no soldier-artists. And the kindest peasant generals simply did not answer the telephone. Honestly, I was not upset. Almost like after failing university exams. The feeling of the onset of a new, unknown and sweetly frightening and very alluring.
Fight so fight! My generation grew up in an atmosphere of unpaid debt to front-line soldiers. Every day, schools, the press, books, and television talked about our ingratitude and the reprehensible wearing of jeans, long hairstyles, and love for the Beatles' alien music. Prostration to the veterans of World War II, but it was a bust from the state. The feeling was that the great war ended only in the morning.
One of the last peaceful days of Riga, I seriously grappled with the new director of the stadium SKA, a retired major. The retiree, who did not fight in early childhood, sputtered saliva, blaming me and my generation for accusation. Tossing aside music and clothes, the charge of permanent cowardice and betrayal was very disappointing.
It all began with a request to the waiter, the old gargoyle, to give out the key to the locker room. My first thought was - I’ll come back to such a beautiful front-line hero - and I’ll say: you were mistaken, Comrade Major, retired in us. By the way, and came back, went in, recalled. He turned out to be a boaster, an impostor, an anti-Soviet. True, I no longer served in the army as an urgent private ... It turned out that the commanding ambitions of a retired major exceeded his fighting qualities. Coward and rag!
Fight so fight!
In those years, my favorite book is The Adventures of the Good Soldier Schweik. I remembered it almost by heart. Now my assessment of this hero and author has changed, but then ... Cadets Biglers and Second Oaks were crowding around me. Svejk helped me!
What is only worth his assessment of the prospects of a trip to the front. “Everyone wants to see foreign lands, and for free!” When I was brought into the wildest places of Afghanistan, I always looked around with wide eyes, absorbing and remembering. I told my friends: appreciate these moments, never, for any money you will not repeat this. What are the jeep raids? On two infantry fighting vehicles and tank a week up the mountain river - this is an adventure!
Fight so fight! The regiment in the staff schedule of wartime was formed by the third of the Baltic region! It turned out that the athlete in the parade with a white belt on his overcoat is not the most inexperienced warrior. I will always be grateful to my school military leader. My school military experience is more than enough. The regiment consisted of former capters, storekeepers, bread-cutters, tailors. The officers are mostly eternal captains from personnel units.
Two fellow storekeepers became my fellow colleagues. Great guys, I remember them warmly after so many years. They went to Afgan with joy. After the audit for real property, they were threatened with real life. And here - such a gift of fate. Crossing the border, they caught the enemy's voice. Our regiment was called, and the characteristic was given: it is equipped with specially trained thugs. Our laughter was heard on both sides of the border river.
The main formation of the regiment took place in Klaipeda. The whole city knew that the new part would soon go to war. Red infantry epaulettes stood out on the streets. Military tickets were taken away from us, but we freely walked around the city. Freedom was complete. There was absolutely nothing to do for several weeks. We went to the movies, just walked, got acquainted with the city.
I found a piece of the street, similar to the native Riga Purvciems, and walked there in circles. I had money. My parents managed to get to the station with money and food, and in Gvardeysk I received a soldier’s salary for half a year away (for half a year, I got some kind of nit in my money). At the prices of those years, enough for everything.
For several days I could not drink at my own expense. At the vodka shop or beer house, local Lithuanian men always treated. With the words: “I served myself! We know where you are going! ”- Lithuanians bought vodka, beer, snacks. They invited me home, called to the courtyards for a drink, sit, talk. The attitude was very warm and sincere. A few days later, my friends and I tried to move away from the barracks and pack up in stores with female buyers. As I already wrote, we had the money, but we didn’t feel like heroes or red girls, the free treats began.
I remember the search for the text of the martial song on the task of the political officer. We went to the nearest high school - to ask for help from the military director and librarian. Returned late at night - fed, watered, with pockets full of canned food and sweets. But without a song. They were treated to the whole school. The table was in the director's office, and in the classrooms, and in the dining room.
Once again got into the outfit as a traffic controller. It was a soldier song. At night, they lifted them from their beds, put them in a truck, landed them in the dark and told them to wave a striped stick to passing troops. We stand swearing. Morning cold Rides "UAZ" -dezhurka what that repairmen. Brakes: what, serving, cold? The next day was fun, hearty and drunkenly passed in the depths of either the plant or CHP. And we lost the striped stick.
Then there was a very exciting and fun action in the open air. It was called - loading of military equipment on railway platforms. So much hustle, noise, screams, mate rarely lucky to watch in life. Add the roar of engines, soot exhaust gases, the chaotic movement of technology, the crash and rattle of the broken cars and the sight of the cars that have flown from them. Pieces of cables snake everywhere.
Okay, I and the other soldiers, but after a few hours it turned out that the officers could not mount the equipment on the platforms. When the commanders got away with themselves, the work somehow went off, and we tied the cars, trucks, kitchens, and armored personnel carriers together. They just sat down to admire the fruits of their efforts (strongly suspecting that everything is very bad), as the dry, small, old Major General flies up. For several minutes he could not get air and only looked at the results of our work with surprise.
When he was able to speak, instead of the expected mate, we heard a quiet one: sonny, what did you do here? How could they have explained: we are doing all this for the first time, the commanding fathers disappeared. The general took off his overcoat, organized the work, explained how to fix and to what. He worked with us. It turned out that everything is very simple, fast and reliable. Unfortunately, I do not know the name of this general, but I remembered him for life. Such generals won battles and became popular heroes. Marshals became others. Thank you, comrade general, for the day of loading!
While the train went to Termez, at every station, teams of soldiers ran to pull up the mounts, the armored personnel carriers jumped and swayed. Something even fell down the road. We ran a couple of times, obeying orders and herd feelings, and then even the threats of the tribunal could not move us. We knew that our technology as a monolith is one with the train. Thanks again for the science, comrade unknown Major General.
We plunged into the cars, we are going! The trip is still the same! Bumbarash is resting. Luxury cars with civilian conductors. Drunk vusmert commanders are trying to command and maintain discipline. Best of all they get to take away the vodka from the soldiers. For the first time in my life (and at the last), the conductor-women felt they were demanded beauties. Copulating continuously, day and night. There are love couples, triangles, polygons. Soldiers laugh, observe, discuss.
Food - worse than any criticism. We still do not know that we will remember this feeding with tenderness. February 23, we argue out of boredom, will the cookies be given? I won - not given. On the bank of some kind of river - elections. An aunt ran through the carriage, issued bulletins. A sad guy followed, collected the newsletters. All voleizyavilis.
The smell of perfume and cologne remained in the stinking car. Everybody inhales aroma, beauty! Stop in Mordovia (it seems), freezer, white snow. High mound, downstairs shop. Damn, there are no officers, and the store is right next door, and we are dumb down a run, suddenly let's go ?! Two peasants are rising, everyone in the hands of WHEAT - 0,7, ask: "Sell! Here is even money!" The men wander, they say, go yourself, and not in any.
We have a third man in our back in a wide-open sheepskin coat and a shirt. The body is blue from tattoos. At the second two bottles are in his hands, and their former owners are flying from the embankment. Take, guys, money is not necessary! And I will deal with them myself, and jumps after the fallen ones. They run from the train, and then the composition starts. Next account for seconds - in the compartment, vodka from the throat, container in the window! There are tears in my eyes, but an honest look, we look at the officers who came to the rescue. Who! Vodka? Which one? The officers were upset and offended like children. Nothing, buy on your own!
All arrived! Termez! I remember that this city is famous in history. Barracks on the territory of a medieval fortress. Closely. Before us was the personnel part. The beds are right next to each other. I would not even go to the barracks today. The regiment takes equipment, unloads the cars. The money ran out. I met a friend of Riga, a colleague in a sport mate, at a soldier's tea house. I ask 5 rubles in debt, they say, I will give in Riga. He thought and did not give, and suddenly the debtor will be killed?
Sore throat, temperature, but fell for unloading cars, do not run away! We arrived cold, drank compote and vodka, went to bed. It is good to be old service sometimes. In the morning in the barracks I find money in my pocket, a lot. I ask friends: from where? Laugh: they took away from the neighboring team some garbage in a box, they sold it to the local ones. It turned out - spare parts from trucks.
Local came in an hour, brought money for something bought not from us earlier and asked to sell and selected. We did not steal, the neighboring team evaporated with the car, nobody's box. And conscience is clear, and money from heaven. Obviously at night they confused our guys with the sellers. They didn’t drive anymore for unloading, found a way to get rid of it, but outdid soldiers and officers began to receive big money. Who dared, he ate!
We are starting to settle down. Better get to know each other and with the commanders. The squad leader is a sergeant. Who gave him the title? I can not remember his name and surname, but he can not pronounce them. In his sergeant’s book, in my data on a civilian specialty, there is a “fitter-gynecologist”. I stupidly joked, and he began to ask the spelling of a complex term. Starley, a platoon, made him his batman. Br-rr ... disgusting!
The castle - deputy platoon commander, sergeant, Lithuanian, almost land. Tall, slim blond. Blond Baltic beast. Feel friends. We need each other, he is six months younger than me, and in the army it is important. I will help him with discipline, but I will not have silly conflicts with the sergeant.
Platoon commander. The whole book about Schweik in one person. Why do I need such a commander? What and in what life have I done? Senior lieutenant graduated from college, terribly proud of himself. All, including fellow officers, considers cattle. Himself - white bone, the highest race. Stupid like a cork. Talking pointedly quietly, politely, with the soldiers on you. Mate does not swear. Requires strict execution of the statute, appeal to him only the marines, etc., etc. Nothing! I have six months completely free to demob!
Zampolit company, captain. Although I think that the political leaders in the army are absolutely not needed, but I like this officer. Good man. And the service may ask, and tell a joke in the barracks. He has no higher education, he is above the platoon leader in rank and position, and he is respected by the soldiers. You have already guessed that the platoon officer hates him. I almost forgot, the platoon nickname - schmuck. I don't know where it came from, but it fits like a glove.
Company, eternal captain, company commander of the personnel regiment. I doubt that before he had subordinates. A drunken drunkard with a drunk face from the area. Although, removing the jacket, shows a beautiful torso. Not born, it means, hanurikom, and he had a different life. In the formation of the regiment saw a company three times. Once with a black eye, then with a torn ear, they also found him once on the site and took him to sleep in an armored troop-carrier. Zampolit one plowed for the company, I respect.
One time the regiment commander announced me three days of arrest. As usual, I hung about the territory of the regiment, hoping to pass the time until the evening. I walked in what came from sportrota - parade, shoes, white belt. Troubles with guards and other troubles fell away by themselves. But then the major jumps out and asks: what is it going around here?
I, I confess, did not count the majors by the authorities, and the service went on without them, and I didn’t have a coach below the lieutenant colonel, and my father had friends from the colonel. Well, it happened. I ask: what does the Major want? And he - the day of arrest! I was surprised, but he - two days! I was amazed, and he raises - for three days! Then the seriousness of the situation began to reach me, and I mumbled: "Yes!" Although in Termez, it was only possible to get on the lip of having a crony in the Politburo.
The major, who turned out to be the regiment commander, was kind and recalled that I should report on the recovery to my company commander. When he found out who my company was, he hopelessly waved his hand and lost all interest in me. But I decided to be a model soldier and spent two days searching for the commander. I found him in the storehouse of a neighboring battalion, shook for a long time and shouted in my ear about three days of arrest from the regimental commander. Finally, it sounded where I should go, and I went to the barracks with a sense of accomplishment as a soldier. No one ever reminded me of this incident.
A small digression. I read what was written - and I myself thought that I was writing very badly about officers and ensigns. This is not true. With many commanders am friends so far.
The battalion commander. Strict, dry, laconic. Typical Latvian shooter from the Soviet cinema. The soldiers were afraid of him, and sometimes he was too cool. But this is from my, then nineteen-year-old soldier, point of view. In the next life, I would be honored to serve under his command. I already wrote about a company commander.
Commander of a nearby platoon. Lieutenant. All the soldiers of the regiment envied his subordinates. For him and with him the soldiers would go to hell and to the abyss. CMO considered his last name a swear word. The wife is gone. The authorities did not complain to the soldiers' favorites; after the war, the captain was in a provincial recruiting office.
Ensign, the commander of the commandant platoon. When I served in the reconnaissance, our tents stood nearby. Strict, known throughout the regiment, his board, but without familiarity. Everyone was aware that he was the commander. His life twisted and broke, but he remained himself. Your grave is in a neighboring country, 400 kilometers from my home. I will definitely come, and we'll talk again, argue and laugh.
Chief of Staff of the battalion. Looks like an artist Cherkasov. On one of the operations, he was very sad riding a trophy donkey. Poured Don Quixote. But I only saw my soldiers - fun and optimism by the river! Once kicked me. I myself am guilty - I stood in the ranks, chatted for life, turned my back on the commanding fathers, and had my hands in my pockets. Nothing terrible, dodged, his foot went along the sliding. He swore at me, I responded with a hated look. Everyday case.
Many officers considered it possible and necessary to hit a soldier, and I considered this unacceptable. The construction ended, call me to the headquarters. The chief of staff asks me for forgiveness for their behavior! I was so ashamed! After all, it was me in the ranks who behaved like cattle! They shook hands, laughed. Remember this worthy officer for life.
Oh, oh, oh, here we are in Afghanistan
Thorny was our way here. Even a deserter appeared! It deserves a story. I got in Riga to the county hospital. Nothing serious. In the department was a foreman. Usually, a conservative sergeant is appointed from the recovering elders to maintain order in order to assist the staff.
In my case, it was a Georgian with an abyss of charm and unquestioned authority. We talked, turned out to be a very young warrior with a higher education and a good wrestling past. I contacted the SKA wrestling coach and this charming young wrestler got into the sport mate. Small world, and we were in the same regiment. He and the regiment was not on the sidelines.
I remember another rally and this fighter on the podium. As he said! About loyalty, duty, solidarity. On the memory of ancestors. And at night he ran away. Caught him far from Termez. I never heard from him again. As a person, he was very likable to me.
We arrived at Pul-i-Khumri. We drove day and night. Before the ferry, they were stuffed with alcohol and ammunition. Alcohol - for their money, and ammunition at the expense of Marshal Ustinov. Although ammunition was not easy. The captain-gunsmith only after a bottle of Vietnamese rum got warmer and allowed to seize and ship everything.
Remembering from the cinema that ours always run out of ammunition, we downloaded our BTR-60PB to the maximum. Outside it was tied so much that the drivers of oncoming Barbucuheks rolled their eyes enviously and respectfully. Inside, there were only recumbent seats, except for the driver and the senior gunner (mine).
I forgot to say that before Afgan I acquired a new military registration specialty — the MAS. When I was safely sitting in a sport mate, I was listed in the Guards Infantry Regiment as the operator of Metis, a strange rocket tube I had once seen from afar.
In Termez, a very tired and completely stunned captain wrote down who did what he could. It was possible to become a cook, capter, bath attendant or bread cutter, but I was a fool with ambitions and signed up as a machine gunner. They gave me a brand new light machine gun Degtyarev. I held it in my hands, compared it in weight with the AK-74 and went overwriting.
It turned out that vacant positions with AK are only senior arrows. But this is wildly serious! Training, exams. I soared! (really didn't want to run with a machine gun). I am a competition winner, a shooting discharger, what training? The captain needed the senior arrows, and he gave me this position. Taking advantage of the moment, I wrote down my friend (the stolen storekeeper) to the senior shooters. As a bonus, it turned out that this is a corporal post, and every month I will receive more per ruble (three checks).
To my credit, it should be noted that I shot really well. And from the tower of armored personnel carriers, too. I trained at any opportunity (there were a lot of them). I developed my own method of night shooting (maybe I repeated the well-known one, but I am self-taught). It was more interesting to shoot at night because it is more difficult. The adviser who was leaving for the Union presented me with a “night light” with optics for the AK, the SVD, in the absence of snipers, I took for myself and to top it privatized the Stechkin pistol to go to the duhans (so that my hands were free). I was armed and calmly waited for the demob.
Tight world! Though I don’t want to talk badly about officers anymore, but I have to. There was one officer in the sport company ... well, I didn’t like him! This happens in life. He did not bring me much grief, but ... There were not very pleasant moments, there were. And then the joy - he was tired of the quiet sportrotovsky marsh, he whipped in new military ranks and job prospects. I wanted him to serve in Germany in the GSVG. No one in the sportrote grieved him, and after a couple of days everyone happily forgot about him. Very soon I went away to a long business trip abroad.
Imagine my surprise when, at the edge of the earth, in Pul-i-Khumri, jumping to the ground, I ran into the most unloved sportrotovskim officer. I, of course, ham. He was sincerely glad to see his countryman and soul mate. I did not share his enthusiasm. Now I am ashamed, but then I could only wish him a further journey. And they went to the border with Pakistan.
Day stood in Pul-i-Khumri and further in a way. My third battalion led the way to the city (in the understanding of the Afghans) - Dosh. By this time, the relationship with the platoon finally came to a standstill.
Under any pretext, the rank and file ran into other units. It seemed to me an excellent solution to the problem, and I, as a rare luck, took the invitation to the reconnaissance regiment. Never, before I left her, did I regret my choice. Elite regiment, serving as a scout is a great honor. Remembering my colleagues, I can speak about most of them only in superlatives. Although, it happened all.
A Latvian castle-platoon (we meet now sometimes), an Uzbek-gunner, a plundering friend, a platoon commander - we have become one close-knit family. I had a problem in Afghanistan: wild boredom and longing. There was nothing to see in the regiment: the mountain “hall-a”, the unchanging landscape around it, dusty tornadoes, this ceased to be exotic by the end of the first week. And frequent trips to scout operations brought me the joy of the diversity of life.
I traveled and walked around this country quite a lot. For a stone, fleeing from the shelling, I spent a day in the company of an Afghan general. Without equipment and experience, climb on the rocks and mountains. Sinking in the BMP in the middle of a mountain river. Found warehouses basmachs between graves in the cemetery. He fell under the shelling of his own artillery. Climbed on the armor above the ceiling of the helicopter. And many other exciting adventures! Stay in the infantry and all this time would have passed in the right, dangerous, but different service.
But after the Afghan regimental intelligence was notoriety. In Termez, they were used as an army riot police, and many sharpened their teeth for reconnaissance for old offenses. But, he looked at the constant combat trips of the company, and the hostility quickly faded away.
And here again came the trouble, from where it did not wait. Every family has its black sheep. He drew attention to one officer: he behaves incorrectly in operations, very wrong! In any room you fly in search weapons and enemies, and there you can already see the ass of the lieutenant, sticking out of the chests of dekhkan possessions.
After the next operation, he gathered the senior intelligence officers and announced: you have two ways, either to unfasten a thousand Afghans from each operation or is preparing to meet with the person and the tribunal. At least, to the service description, closing the path to any university in the civilian world. The word "racketeering" was not familiar then, but I and the other guys didn’t like it! As a matter of fact, I didn’t hold in the hands of Afghan money, well, that was a decent one. Checks, too, have never paid us, and there was no military shop. In short, the consensus with the fly hasn't happened. In the evening, in a half-serious sports fight, he hit the ground painfully. That's it, the question is closed!
But the flyer did not think so, and, returning from the mountains, I learned some interesting news. All the special services of the world have huge claims to my person. I am a completely non-smoking person who took away a pack of Marlboro from an Afghan by force. I, who didn’t have a single afghani, paid a dues to the entire reconnaissance and the young soldiers all write testimonies to me, etc. After a noisy clarification of the relationship with the command, the company had to spit on justice (when could a conscript soldier attain it?) And recall its status as a volunteer in intelligence.
Half an hour later, having thrown the AK issued in the company of the AK, along with his faithful friend, was sitting in the womb of the associated armored personnel carrier. Ahead waited for the native battalion and the forgotten platoon commander. I must admit: it was so bitter from injustice and resentment that I rode with tears in my eyes.
The battalion seemed completely alien. New soldiers and officers, even though nothing had passed in time. After reconnaissance, there was a lack of action and events. In the platoon of the "veterans" remained only platoon and sergeants. All fled! All - new faces. The platoon commander was firmly convinced that he had cleared his ballast of his unit.
As an example: he served in a demob-Tajik platoon. And a soldier and a man of pure gold! From a family of hereditary cultural figures, he graduated from an English special school, four courses at VGIK. three foreign languages! Communicating with our commander, he rolled his eyes, bleated and let out saliva. He played the prototype of Ravshan and Jamshut. The commander sincerely considered him a clinical moron. When it was necessary to accomplish the feat, secure the cable in the mountain river to the drowned armored personnel carrier (award is demobilization), after a second our Tajik first came out with a cable to the rapids (and he was not an athlete). An hour later, with the documents in his pocket, he was the first of his draft who went home, and our commander was very proud of himself! He from oligophrenia raised a hero! He told everyone this and caused laughter to those around him.
Wrapped-rushed, the points where the platoon stood, departed to far from Schmooch (instead of company position), operations in the mountains and valleys, fun and longing, night shelling, hares hunting and fishing with boxes of grenades. Life has improved again. The sergeant-Lithuanian became the commander of a platoon, in my free time I fired from everything I could reach.
Remembering the offense inflicted, along with everything OXVA changed for food and vodka all unnecessary and poorly guarded military property (except weapons and ammunition). I repent: a box of training grenades was brought from the union by chance. They kicked him from corner to corner, all hands did not reach the contents to throw out, and empty the box for firewood. Sold the box in bulk at the market. I still imagine the face of the Mujahid’s face in a battle with a ring from a successful purchase in hand! The main thing: in my pocket lay a roll of tailoring meter and every morning, slowly, slowly, joyfully, joyfully, I cut off one division, starting with a hundred. One hundred days to order! Then there were hepatitis, ambulance helicopter trains and a string of hospitals. He was cleared in his native military office, having served five days. That's the whole war.
In that war, I was an ordinary soldier, and in life - an ordinary planet Earth. Wars begin mysterious celestials, sitting in comfortable chairs with the faces of the fathers of mankind, under the good, clever words. My opinion about the last war in the Republic of Afghanistan will not change the world, and many will disagree with me, but ...
Nefig in Afghan go in, get involved. Everybody This is a unique country that is completely different from our familiar world. Afghans are OTHERS. No better and no worse than us. Just totally different. They are indifferent to all the world's problems, and they are completely unknown to the world civilization, mysterious, closed. Throughout their history, they have proven their ability and desire to live a parallel life with another world. Flag in their hands!
For decades of chaos and lack of power in Afghanistan, regular buses run, markets are sold, local currency is held. They like their "Taliban", their veils like their women, and children instead of schools - madrasas. Do not impose on them a life that is alien to them, such a familiar life. Afghanistan lived for thousands of years according to its own laws, and when our civilization disappears, this country will not notice. There will be no gasoline - they have horses and donkeys, camels. There will be no bullets - they have bows and spears.
Does the drug and ideology of terror come from there? There are more or less sane countries around Afghanistan, they have border troops and police. Pour into them a bit of the money spent on the war, and in a year the Afghan fields will again produce crops of rice and rye. And the enemy's ideology will die along with the war and drug dealers.
More than thirty years ago, I, a young soldier-member of the Komsomol, was proud that I had such good luck in life — to participate in the historical mission of familiarizing a backward, impoverished country to the benefits of civilization and progress. A week in this country was enough to absorb and understand the spirit and soul of this country.
This country rejects everything alien and absolutely unnecessary from itself with simple and affordable means. Bullets, dynamite, cholera, hepatitis, typhus destroys the bodies of aliens. Drug and golden calf destroys the souls of uninvited aliens.
It's like Solaris, absolutely incomprehensible to us a form of life. It must be recognized and left to itself. It will be easier and better for everyone.
Shards of memory. Afghanistan, Puli Khumri 1980 year
The regiment commander was disliked. Both officers and soldiers. Small stature, bald, impudent, boorish, thickish - not Guards-type major. He dug himself into a soldier with his hands a deep oasis bunker with a pool and billiards. Now it all seems small compared to one side of his character as a man-commander. Many owe him their lives.
The regiment in the blazing country lived constantly fighting around the clock. Let me explain: the “polkan” from the first day in Afghanistan ordered to respond with fire to any shot from the side of the dushmans. Without snot and approvals in response to any threat, the regiment fired from everything that could hit and explode, air support was caused, artillery rumbled.
Spirits, despite the legends, were mostly sane people from meat and bones with no suicidal tendencies. They very quickly realized that it was possible to get into trouble with our regiment. In most cases, having recognized the “frostbitten” regiment by numbers on the armor, the spirits retired without firing. They took their toll, attacking parts with commanders-reinsurers.
Today, comparing combat losses in other divisions and listening to veterans' stories about rigor in opening fire, I understand how many fellow soldiers are alive and well, thanks to determination and commanding courage in this matter of our regimental commander. Thank him for that! And a few general stars on his shoulder straps deserved saved lives of soldiers.
The company commander was a bitter drunk of eternal captains. Constantly poddaty hard or with a wild hangover, he hung around the territory of the battalion in search of alcohol. One or in the company of their trusted companions from a similar category of military personnel. Until Afgan, he successfully commanded a personnel company composed of himself. He did not remember the names of his soldiers and addressed, without being clever, to everyone as Petrov or Ivanov.
Strangely enough, his soldiers loved, pitied, and cared for as best they could. In spite of the difference in age, the soldiers' team treated him as a wasteful, but close relative. They found him asleep and were carried to a tent, covered with a blanket, hid from their bosses, voluntarily brought to drink and food, when he was completely crap. He, too, in his own way loved his subordinates, stumbling on his soldiers with a dull stare, he sincerely rejoiced. He asked about life, and at the end of the conversation, the next Ivanov-Petrov was usually promised holidays, thanks, awards and sergeant-sergeants. Of course, everything remained in his brain-inflamed brain, but everyone was dissatisfied with the communication.
I'll tell you a few cases from the life of the company, of which I was a witness and participant. Once he found out about the collective drinking of alcohol by officers of a neighboring battalion, the company commander jumped into the first armored personnel carrier and, together with the driver, without a weapon, rushed along the mountain serpentine. Ahead of him waited friends and vodka. Caught on the way, spooks with a hand grenade launcher in his plans were not included. A wrecked armored personnel carrier flies into the aryk, the company commander and the carrier with one grenade for two sit in the bushes and, praying to all the gods, wait for the morning. The fallen eastern night darkness and the presence of only one half-dead flashlight from the bandits saved them.
The shell twice in one place does not fall? Only not at my company! The jokes and podnachki about the happy ending of his journey subsided a bit, as the situation repeated itself, exactly the same! With a carrier of salabons (the old servicemen scattered on time), in slippers, bare-chested, unarmed, and looking at night, a restless alcohol lover, already in the best drunk, rushed to the track in anticipation of continuing the fun.
In the rays of the setting mountain sun, flying out from around the bend, the Valiant crew in his face was at the scene of the battle. A common picture in general, the Basmachis attacked a passing column. Firing-shooting, burning "KAMAZ", explosions, screams. Warriors-internationalists on the pavement, basmachi behind the stones a little higher. Right on the road, squatting in a turban and national pants, the Mujahid sits and aims at the column from a grenade launcher. He hears behind us the sound of the brakes of the BTR of our hero and, turning around, shoots at a new target. The national partisan smears and begins to recharge its devil-pipe.
The company officer jumps onto the road and, throwing off the slippers that hinder him, runs to the enemy, pulls a grenade launcher out of his hands and hits the enemy in the head. Being physically strong (not always he only had vodka in this life), he spills the brains of an Afghan grenade thrower on the asphalt and proudly sits on his armor. In the twilight, quietly passes along the fading battle and hides behind the next turn.
Morning began! The commanders of the column reported heroic deeds. The hero does not remember anything and is indignant: sinful, I drink, but have a conscience, do not invent garbage! The event was widely publicized, is it a joke ?! Hand-to-hand fight, the captured weapon of the opponent - under the status practically on a star of the hero pulls. It all ended with the removal of the penalties imposed earlier, solemnly in front of the formation. Thank God, I stayed alive again!
If in these described events I was a bystander, then in the next story I got to the very epicenter. We decided to fry potatoes, drink a sharopa (Afghan moonshine) and chat for the life of a few friends. The scene of action is a company capter-warehouse. It was the right place in the army in a tent sticking high above the mountain river on the ledge of the gorge. Convenient, safe and mosquito-flies do not reach. By the standards of Afghan uncomfortable life - the city of Sochi.
We got-bought a sharopa, fifty afghanis for every cellophane package of two hundred gram contents with a terrible taste, smell and a stunning effect. Got potatoes, fat, onions, forfeits, stews. Open cartridge zinc played the role of a frying pan. It remained to find firewood. And firewood in Afghanistan is a problem, because of their absence.
The soldier’s (and officer’s) savvy always rescued: there were always GAZ-66 mortar men in the battalion, jam-packed with mines in case of an alarming departure. All those in need of firewood approached the side of the truck, opened the box, poured the contents into the back and left with firewood in the form of empty containers. Once a week, the contents of the body were dumped into a mountain stream, loaded with fresh piles of ammunition, and everything continued on a new one.
And then, unfortunately, our usual source of fuel drove off to the operation in the mountains, and there was an acute problem of the complete absence of firewood. Firewood was searched for a long time, intersecting with rival groups of soldiers and officers. Several times they came across the eyes of a very drunk company and listened to a strict order to find, give birth, get and bring him an empty wooden box immediately!
I do not remember where, but the desired box-firewood was found and very soon the fire crackled merrily, we hid the fat in the zinc pan and the first bag of sharopa was poured into the soldiers' circles. Alas, the company company with firewood flew this evening, the box was small and unique. The commander met during the search was already in the state of a well-known “autopilot”, his legs were still cheerfully worn, but his head was already working very sparingly.
Our mood was simply wonderful, but here the curtain of the tent swung open, and a company commander appeared in the form of an angry, irresponsible zombie. He is incoherently and unclearly swearing at those present, often mentioning "firewood", "box", "hungry father-commander" and "you all star." The piquancy of the situation was added with the F-1 zombie grenade clamped in a fist without a ring.
In every way, we assured the commander that the yummy roasting in zinc was meant for him as an unexpected surprise, it was all in vain. The company had a bit of the bit and did not believe anybody in this world. Even the demonstration of a collection of bags with a scarf, which we bought also exclusively for him, did not help. During this dialogue, I thanked God for a good place at the table and gently pulled the pegs that fastened the tent to the ground. The gap was sufficient for an emergency evacuation of my mortal body down to the river. The prospect of fractures and injuries from this flight seemed ridiculous compared to the efka in the company’s hand.
Finally, we assured the grenade-bearer that we had bottles of vodka (he refused to drink resentment at all), and that she was under a bench in the secret. He took a step forward and as if the lightning were stretched to his right hand. All those present took off from their seats and the grenade was reliably compressed in the collective fist. We unclenched several commanding fingers, inserted a check, took the grenade and the foreman with a metallic voice drove us out of the tent.
Ensign was a good athlete who grew up in a not very calm and well-bred area of our great country. The conversation between the two commanders tete-a-tete was stormy, but not very long. The company commander left the storeroom through the gap I had made and disappeared in the dark with a small rockfall. A redden and slightly breathless foreman with a tired voice invited us to continue the evening.
I met the morning with an anxious heart. Despite some deviations from the strict statutory army life in Afghanistan, the company commander beaten up and thrown off a cliff is not an ordinary event. Closer to dinner I saw the culprit of yesterday's events. He walked lame, holding on to his side with a pained expression on his battered face. When I asked what happened to him, the commander said sadly that he fell somewhere, hurt himself, did not remember anything, and the hangover was as if he had been kicked. Removing the alarm from my soul and sighing sadly, he said: we must stop drinking!
Everyone in life was afraid! Twos at school, diseases of loved ones, the end of the world ... Everyone has their own fears. I'll tell you about the most terrible moments in my life.
Ordinary operation in a nameless mountain village of the Republic of Afghanistan. It is not clear who and where shoots, higher on the hill is burning saklya, mixed in an army mess, our glorious regiment cheerfully comes from all sides. In the sky, helicopters blab about the blades, down in the valley one can hear volleys of guns beating into the unknown. Intelligence, as a result of complex and mysterious maneuvers in the rear of its regiment, is actively trying to scout the approaches to the enemy’s stronghold already captured by infantry (or rather abandoned by the Basmachis). The earth is round and close.
In a long and narrow barn built of stone, three residents of Riga, former athletes, met by chance. Stupid shooting subsided by itself, there was no one to fight with, and the scout, sniper and mortar set off into memories and dreams. Agreeing that the best solyanka in Riga was in the Astoria restaurant and agreeing to note the imminent inevitable demobilization in Jurmala Parus, we decided to explore the mysterious shed, which had been trampling for more than an hour.
Driven by curiosity and idleness, we open a squeaky parody of the door and here! .. From the depths of the barn, from the dark depths on us with the tramp of thousands of legs and hoofs, with stinking heavy breathing jerked SOMETHING! We, the three valiant warriors, flew off a few meters and, without saying a word, opened fire to kill. Two assault rifles and a sniper riveted the dark gut of a terrible shed at the level of a human chest.
All in vain! The devastated faithful weapon was silent. The wheezing of the breath and the thunder of the crowd grew. Cold sweat flowed all over my body, paralysis held hands and legs. I wanted to scream, but it was empty in my lungs. Recharge the machine - no possibility. Everything around was unreal bright, and the air was dense, like water. From the depth of the black gap, it was clearly not people who were approaching, and all that remained was to stand and wait. Time slowed down, almost stopped and suddenly it went again! A microscopic dog, mongrel kabyzdok, ran between our legs with a plaintive squeak.
We have long departed from the horror experienced. Impressions were all the same to the smallest detail. Even now I really do not want to laugh, remembering those seconds at the shed with the entrance to the abyss. Then, without saying a word, we threw the place of our fear and shame with grenades and waited for the last ember on the ruins to go out. When we meet, we very rarely recall this incident, because it is always a shame in front of a person who saw your animal fright, which turned into paralysis of will and body.
One of my loyal friends in the service was a guy from Belarus with a truly angelic appearance and not very simple character. Outwardly, it was a copy of a plump and curly cherub from the ceiling of a palace bedroom. That's where the similarities with angel-like creatures ended. He was a bitter drunkard, a bully and a clinical loser. If there was a loud emergency, it was possible not to doubt that my friend and comrade was in the center of any disgrace.
It can be long and probably not interesting to talk about the vicissitudes of the army’s fate that lurked about it hourly. And he came across on the scene, usually alone. In these frequent moments with him it was possible to sculpt the ancient statues "EXCITATION" and "DESPAIR". The figurine of a curly cherub in a soldier's KhB with huge blue eyes filled with tears, tragically lined puffy hands, a trembling whisper "yes never more", "I do not understand" and "forgive and-and-ity" caused homeric laughter from friends and paralysis of will commanders.
That only is the night rise of the regiment on the orders of the next general-checking. In pitch darkness, past the rostrum with the general standing under the lantern, they tried to pass by typing a step, marching, one and a half thousand, in some way in a hurry, dressed completely drunk people. The enraged general, swearing, snatched from the depths of the staggering dark mass of the first soldier, as an example of one hundred percent breach of discipline and ... No one was surprised to hear the familiar “yes when! Forgive-and-and-it!” Growing in the silence of the night. The crazed general sent everyone away and left almost a run towards the checkpoint.
Already in Afghanistan it was easier for everyone if the operation this friend did not go. How many times we searched for him, missing through the ground in the midst of the crowd on a mountain peak, how many times we fought with the neighboring units through the fault of a vigilant but not far away friend — not to tell in this short story ... Of these soldiers in battalions groups of homeless soldiers appeared. Out of harm's way, they were withdrawn from combat life and, naturally, lived near the field kitchen.
And then from idleness he had a gift: playing cards, dice, etc. In just a few days and mostly nights he became a very significant and rich figure in the battalion. Began to go on other divisions and parts "on the game." Comments for the constant drunkenness he had not done. On the contrary, the commanding fathers, who lost to the dust and dust, greeted him as an equal, with a hint of servility. In the pockets of the well-worn HB happy player lay packs of afghanis, checks and rubles. Separately stored receipts, wedding rings and party membership cards of the losers.
The edge of his gambling glory touched me. Just yesterday, such menacingly strict officers and ensigns withdrew me to one side and, looking away, crumpled phrases, told about their hungry families in the distant Union and asked to talk with my friend about the return of even a little from their loss. As a motivation for negotiations, sergeant bands, brilliant characteristics, a share of the money returned, or a characteristic of the enemy of the people, demobels of December 31 and a report to the special person were usually offered. In all cases, I sincerely sympathized with and cited examples from classical literature, where officers, because of card debts, usually fired.
Unfortunately, I was mowed by treacherous jaundice and loaded into a helicopter without things and a notebook. I have no addresses of army friends left, but I always closely follow the economic news from Belarus. If my friend after the war overcame his round-the-clock craving for alcohol, he could not help becoming an oligarch in his homeland. I am absolutely sure of this.
The world is small. At the edge of the earth you constantly meet acquaintances, and the Afghan land is no exception. In the young, green soldier, the waiter of the regimental commander, I recognized my classmate. The school drove us apart, but we were friends and friends for quite some time. Even were the captains of the school teams KVN parallel classes. I lost to him the competition of captains, the injustice of the jury, I think, was blatant!
Of course, it is very pleasant to serve in a hotswatch in comparison with a tank charging vehicle, but, as a rule, the problem of bullying of the rear personnel is very acute. Considering that there were no conscripts of my call in the “hozbrod” at all, it was easy to explain to the “old-timers” chef clerks that this was my countryman and a friend.
We met quite often, recalled Riga, celebrated common dates-holidays. Sometimes I got goodies straight from the command table. Given that at times the regiment fell into a state close to frank hunger, this trifle was very pleasant and, in fact, could not be considered a trifle at that time.
Let me digress: in the army, I was always infuriated by the discrepancy between the official ideology of the world's most advanced state of universal equality and justice with the daily, every minute inequality of the rank and file before the commanders. Uniforms, blankets, food. He read books about the revolution and was convinced: none of the just demands of the rebellious tsarist soldiers in the Soviet army were fulfilled.
C'mon, not about that now. A big operation was carried out, the Basmachi leaked through our regiment and went into the mountains for their gangster affairs. It was clear and understandable to everyone, from commanders to bread-cutters of camp kitchens. Towards evening, I stumble upon a camp commander's headquarters and meet a friend from Riga. We chatted, laughed, it's time to break up. On the way, my countryman poured a full pot of stew with potatoes, just from the fire.
The darkness fell as always instantly, I and my scouts sat down to dinner on the rocks, sharing a magnificent dinner that had fallen from the sky between friends. Only the first spoon sent a fragrant brew into hungry mouths, as together with falling stones and a sworn stream of substitutes for the Russian literary language, a group of officers headed by the division commander literally fell on us.
As it turned out, our regiment was crucified on a great and mighty Russian mate, he was popularly explained by the mistakes of his leadership by the entrusted regiment. The divisional commander, having learned from the report that the regimental scouts were taking food, took a pot and a spoon from my hands. Turning to the pale major, he ominously hissed in a command whisper, well, if you feed the crap too! .. In the dark I saw how pale our regiment became even paler and began to turn blue with a purple tint.
Having eaten a couple of spoons of homemade roast, the division commander grunted in surprise, returned the pot and with the words: even though the soldiers are fed in this shelf well! You can forgive a lot for this! He retired with his retinue and finally bewildered "Polkan", twisting his head in surprise, practically taken out of the loop.
So do not believe in fate after that. My regiment commander reached the multi-star general, and maybe at a difficult moment in the development of his military career, he was helped by the school friendship of his two soldiers.
Connection How much depends on it. Possessing today several mobile phones, I recall the Afghan military time with bewilderment and even horror with a connection in the form of heart-rending screams and waving hands on a hillock. From school textbooks on NVP, from the memoirs of military intelligence officers of the times of the Great Patriotic War, I knew about the existence of "105-x" army radio stations. According to the mini-transmitters shown in the films about the modern Soviet army, connecting soldiers thousands of kilometers away with commanders, I was sure that the “105-e” boxes were in museums.
No matter how! Copied from the Wehrmacht radio station in the late thirties, the unit was in service! Virtually no one knew how to use this rarity, regardless of titles and positions. The soldiers dealt with these heavy drawers very simply: in view of their complete uselessness with the words, "here is such a grief! It escaped from the hands!" watched the fall of the unit in the nearest gorge.
Never during my service in the infantry and reconnaissance, I have not seen a working and useful 105 radio station. During the long hiking trails in the abyss, a lot of different ammunition flew in and useless means of communication were no exception. I witnessed how a huge battalion (not working) radio station flew away from the summits on the third or fourth day of an exciting mountain walk and followed by a huge trunk with a folding antenna.
In the location of the regiment, in a conversation with a signaling officer, he learned about the best in the world portable army modern Soviet portable radios. My question is, where is the miracle of domestic engineering? The officer, stunned by my soldierly stupidity, replied: in warehouses under reliable security! They are secret !!!! Do you think, kirsa? Enemies around!
I remember how the missing helicopter was searched for, asking Soviet soldiers and Afghans met along the way: did the helicopter fly by? As waving hands and jumping to the sides corrected artillery fire. As ran down the gorge from the friendly artillery fire, unable to report an error. The only reliable connection in the mountains in those years were flares and flare lights with multi-colored smoke. Dushmans did not use them, and their own in the mountains could be easily recognized only by their bright illuminations.
... A little about the equipment and weapons of the Soviet soldier of those years. There is a saying: generals always prepare for the last war. What kind of war the generals of the Soviet Union 70-80 were preparing for, I do not understand. I'll tell you on specific examples.
Soldier uniform, shoes. The dream of all the officers of those years: the soldier's HB without pockets. How many cases were there when the autocratic commanders ordered the pockets to be sewn up to subordinates. For what? Do not keep your hands in your pockets, do not wear prohibited items (this is almost everything - from cigarettes to letters from home, at the discretion of the commander).
And what about the war? Faced this problem at the first exit to the mountains. It seems there is nothing in the soldier, and to take with him the necessary things was unreal. Put nowhere! Twisted as they could. Soldier's bag - "Sidor", originally from the Middle Ages, did not solve the problem. Try to run with this hump behind your back, look like a day in the mountains, and most importantly, jump-jump out of the BTR. And if you still risk completing the cider, as expected, with a spatula - and you will be just a living plug in any hatch.
Soldiers' harness did not give us. I, thank the soldiers' gods, got this element of the form. He really helped. The uniform belt was unbuttoned at the most impassable moment, and the magazine pouch with shops from AK was generally fighting on the side of dushmans. Having received a pouch a couple of times at the most sacred place for a man, he began to improvise with this accessory.
Helmets shining for kilometers and soldiers' badges are also a problem of every day. The helmets began to sheathe bits of reticulated chemical suits - and immediately ran into the wrath of zealous trooevik officers. Thunder and lightning flashed over our heads constantly. Why are not tarpaulin boots cleaned (what and why?), Why are the plates not polished (what and why?), Why is the white turn-up not hemmed (?), Why is it unshaven?
With my unshaven character, I even ran into a remark from a high general. The chain of displeasure with my appearance went through all the regimental authorities and broke up about my question: WHAT SHAVE? Any mess and lack of the necessary and necessary in the Soviet army were resolved by a universal phrase from the statute of persistent overcoming difficulties and hardships or appeals to the soldiers' savvy.
There was no shop-shop in the regiment, no money (any) either, and the blades could only be stolen, and only from peaceful dekhkan-Afghans. I rested: either my smooth face, or the blades. As an exception - the official order (for future investigators) - to steal, give birth, get at any cost. After all, every time we were built, we were frightened by terrible punishment for any possible misconduct. The favorite phrase was said: and you will be judged by the laws of wartime!
Because of the obviousness of the problem, the fathers-commanders did not inflate the conflict, and the commander of the regiment (!) Personally gave me three Leningrad blades from their stocks. Then I began to receive blades in letters from home, a mobile shop appeared, and everyone became less scrupulous during operations.
On the territory of the regiment went local crazy, a major techie from repairmen. In the heat, he was in the PS (half-woolen field officer uniform), buttoned on all hooks, re-fastened with all straps. Being a fat short man with a red, wet face, the major was a frighteningly comical sight.
He constantly stopped all oncoming soldiers and tried to force them to fasten the top button and the hook on his tunic (according to the regulations, this liberty was allowed in hot districts). Blushing even more from the effort, he shouted very loudly, demanded an immediate execution of the order, and the main argument sounded like this: in front of you a whole major, despite the heat, walks buttoned up! The soldiers, young in terms of their service, were frightened, buttoned up (for a couple of minutes or meters), the old servicemen were happy to be entertained, they bickered, and if there were no officers around, they sent a zealous slave very far away.
Worse was another senior officer - he, too, wandered around the territory all day and asked all the soldiers the exact time. If the watches glinting in the sun were not Soviet-made, they were immediately confiscated irrevocably into the income and pocket of the enterprising commander. He also liked to walk in the evenings at the tents and equipment, listening to the sounds of music. It is not necessary, perhaps, to say where the detected receivers and tape recorders fell.
So distracted. About the form. The officers went en masse in non-statutory soft Uzbek folk boots, and conscripts were dusting in kirzacs. The shoes we put in Asia were forgotten, but we didn’t know about the sneakers famous for the movies. The fate of my knocked-down worn out feet, my legs took the form of a boot properly. Once the soles of the feet turned into bruises after a march-throw, but this is nothing. Many of my colleagues poured blood from their boots.
The case looked very wild when we descended from the mountains, and we had about a hundred meters to go to our native BTRs, and here a helicopter with regimental staffs sat in clouds of dust. Clean, washed, shaved, smelling of cologne, they built us and read the notation for a very long time. As an example of a perfect warrior, they set themselves up for us. They are supposedly older and we look better. Because - not lazy, got up early, showered, washed.
I will not talk much about weapons and equipment. Techies will argue with me, but the majority of readers are not interested. Very briefly: Kalashnikov is a genius, his submachine gun and machine guns became loved and loved by all Soviet soldiers. Although already in those years, optics, and podstvolniki, and much more. There was not even a simple electrical tape to roll up the horns. The ideas about machine guns on jeeps (UAZs), trucks, multi-barrel machine guns on infantry fighting vehicles that come to soldiers' minds have been implemented all over the world today.
They tried to say this to the kindest old general during a touching conversation. The old man flew to Afgan, probably for a personal note (there were many such inspectors-inspecting colonels-generals), and decided to meet with reconnaissance eagles. He called us sons and wondered who he was coming from.
He asked about the weapons technology. We, without thinking, said about the capriciousness of KPVT (turret machine gun) in constant dust. The lack of a general in the hands of the saber - that's what saved us then. The kindest old man soared in the sacred indignation: Sops! Motherland entrusted, and you! .. Need to shoot! The only time when we remembered the headquarters with gratitude was to somehow drag the veteran general away from us.
In my awkward notes, I don’t want to give the impression of a whiner and a man offended by life in soldiers' boots. Everything was: interest and excitement, longing and hunger. In 19, you look at everything for years as a kaleidoscope of events. I do not recall the battles and attacks, but the simple life of a simple infantryman.
... For the big operation the whole regiment went. We got to the inaccessible mountains. For two days they were digging a slope, blowing up and leveling a goat path. The commanders looked at the maps and flew helicopters over the tops. We were pleased: it is better to make a road and continue to go on technology, than to go on our own two. We talked through our Uzbeks with the locals. They were very unhappy with the construction of the new road. Why? The answer is purely oriental! If Allah had wanted, the road would already be. If there is no road, then Allah is against!
Alas, an hour later, the column stopped at the edge of a huge gorge, and from motorized riflemen we were demoted to infantry. Began hiking, stretching for a week. What could and could not, have loaded on themselves - and go. The platoon commander even entrusted his machine gun to his orderly and walked, enjoying nature. We were still loaded with a stock of mines for minbatarei.
The incongruities of the campaign began very soon. Going far ahead, the well-known unmanaged freeloader, a soldier from a nearby platoon simply lay down on the ground and declared that he was tired. He tried to persuade, threaten, carry. But the course of the column did not stop, and we got to it. A hundred kilogram body lay on the path and all the passing soldiers and officers called for mutual help and compassion. It threatened that if they left him, the Basmachi would slaughter him - and we would all be punished and expelled from the Komsomol. We also tried to put him on his feet - and even dragged him several meters.
Then they acted like everyone else: they left him in the care of those who followed. The last were mortar men. They immediately began to lag behind the main forces, exhausted by the weight of their iron (then the mortar began to carry with them only pipes, dispensing in the mountains without other pieces of iron). They stood next to the simulator for a long time. A helicopter flew behind the lying “hose” (since our armored personnel carriers were still visible), and the movement along the cliff continued.
Had a fight, there was no sense from the minband. All week they walked behind everyone, with mortars on their shoulders, and the infantry, which was far ahead, had mines. They decided to shoot their mines to reduce the severity of the load on the first day. War! The movement of the enemy! Can not argue with that. The infantry also began to get rid of everything that was not of immediate value. Into the abyss lying next to it, everything flew; mines melted first.
Then thirst began. The big difference is to read adventure novels and experience the lack of water yourself. Those sensations, nightmares and hallucinations, I will never forget. Until today, I can not fall asleep if there is no tank with water nearby.
We were ready to descend into the gorge (the noise of the mountain river came well to us), but it was easier just to throw off the rocks - there was no chance. Miraculously found a natural pool with water from spring showers. He was about ten meters down. Like mountain goats, we flew to him and, without slowing down, plunged into the water with our heads. Happiness! Flasks filled with water - and more. Those who walked after us did not pick up water anymore, but I squash. Bathing continued, no one paid attention to the color and taste of the water.
Toward evening, a helicopter landed near us. He brought water and another inspector in the colonel's uniform. The helicopter pilots pulled out the rubber skins with water, and the gray, dusty soldiers and officers rushed to them. "Discovery" of water buffaloes during a drought, everyone saw? So, no need to explain.
The colonel, with the smile of a tourist, stood in the way of this herd towards the water. "Hello, Tova ..." he managed to cheerfully shout before falling. A distraught crowd tore the strings of the narrow necks of the tanks, pushing and cursing. The pilots raised a crazed and crumpled polkan and, talking to him, like a sick, naughty child, led by the arms into a helicopter. He sobbed and mumbled: "Colonel - I! How come! Order is necessary! Discipline ...", etc. The helicopter pilots loaded up the prose of the military life of the metropolitan visitor with the words: "Sit here, it will be better."
We went at night. It turns out that at night in the mountains, vision is not important. The inclination to the abyss and the relief of the path you feel with your feet. No one not only fell into the gorge, but did not even stumble. Rare stops, halts - you fall to the ground, falling asleep in the air. The main thing is to get your head on a boulder, instead of a pillow. Then a little twitch, pushing the stones apart smaller by body, and the bed is ready.
At night, the long serpent of our regiment was torn to the dotted lines. Part of the soldiers on the team woke up and went forward, some slept further. In the dark, controlling something further than an outstretched arm is problematic. Another soldier trick: waking up in the dark, you need to immediately get away from the burden imposed on you and not go last. At last they loaded all the property abandoned by the cunning ones on a halt. All things and ammunition mixed up completely.
In the morning I was loaded with two knapsacks, and in my hands I had two equipped disks from AGS (automatic grenade launcher). Where were themselves grenade throwers, one could only guess. Day brought us a new tactic of movement. The wild mountains ended, and the kishlaks on the bank of the river began to come across, which used to mock us with its noise. In the villages all the cattle were immediately requisitioned. Horses, donkeys and cows were loaded with military cargo. Afghans voluntarily became army porters in order to save their legs and ridges for their breadwinners.
With such an eastern camp we got to the next village. Everything was repeated in a new way. The tired but contented brigade of dekhkans with their cattle went back, and fresh forces stood up for loading. The road was getting better, the river was wider. We did not enter the battle. The road was blocked by funnels and landslides from explosive landmines. There were still smoking skeletons of pickup trucks with DShKs (heavy machine guns), and horse corpses. I think this was facilitated by our slow movement and the good work of our aviation.
Close cannonade we often heard in motion. I got rid of someone else’s ammunition by loading them onto a cow with AGS barrels on my back. In the bags I found a supply of canned food and sugar, thanked the lucky star and, after giving the cans of porridge to an Afghan who was passing by (he took the stew and sugar), walked more happily.
On the background of the wild nature of Afghanistan, foreign bodies are very noticeable. We, having noticed something ahead, were happy, thinking that these are native BTRs. But they came up - and the spots on the background of the eternal mountains turned out to be a local BTR, a long time ago, a Soviet bulldozer that had been burned down, a city that was destroyed by construction ...
Serving in the DRA got people from all over the vast Soviet Union. There are many legends about the fact that the Balts were not sent to fight (forest brothers in their souls), Asians and Highlanders (Muslim brothers), Jews (they will flee to America (in Afghanistan ?!), who have relatives abroad (they will also flee) old servicemen (why, after all, soon on demob). Everyone is free to believe in anything, but this is complete nonsense. And who then serve and fight? All were citizens of the USSR and took the oath.
We had a guy who was piously convinced that he wouldn’t get right over the river. Before the army entered the nautical school, it seemed to the commission that it was unreliable because of its relatives in France. The army turned out to be a more democratic organization and did not pay attention to this point in his biography. Demobels went along with everyone and according to the law of meanness they turned out to be the first 200s and 300s to the regiment. It was considered good to pin up the "grandfather" by asking about his "still health and still life."
In the infantry regiment in general, probably ninety percent of the composition were from Central Asia. The driver of my armored personnel carrier was a Crimean Tatar, an athlete, a joker and reliable as a wall, the tower in the BMP was an Uzbek, as-machine-gunner. I can list friends for a long time.
The “nightly regiment” (by analogy with the “night governor” of dashing 90's) was a gold guy, a Russian-speaking Armenian from the South of Russia. He lived in a covered trailer in a car park, furnished inside with army chic and luxury. From the field kitchen they brought him breakfast on a tray right in bed. We always asked him how he was going to return to the Union, because he had no documents. They were publicly torn to shreds by his former commander, dissatisfied with his pure and shameful loss in a fistfight. Deleted from all lists of personnel, he found his exotic social niche.
There were friends Chechens. Passing through the territory, we were accidentally dragged into the whirlpool of someone else's fight-showdown. It’s not important who fought with anyone, but in the end the Chechens and our company remained on the battlefield. In this part of the fight and finished. The result - a combat draw with broken noses and bruises on the body. We stayed in place (the incident took place at our tent), and the alien children of the mountains went to their place, promising to come later and all of them.
To our surprise, they came the next day, but not with the promised daggers, but with vodka, bread and canned meat. We got our NZ, and the evening was very warm. So we have new friends who respect stamina, strength and courage.
I remember a soldier who counted hours and minutes before entering a regiment in Afghanistan. Every day in Termez he was simply stolen from life. Why? He drove into his empty head that the war was following the example of the Huns' raid on Rome. And by his appearance in the theater of military operations, the more successful CA soldiers would have time to plunder all the shops. He was very worried that they would steal all his jeans and tape recorders before him.
There were volunteers who wrote a report to the command of their ardent desire to fight and provide international assistance to the people of Afghanistan. No wonder, at all times, the boys ran away from home for wars, expeditions and jungles.
One such romantic turned out to be with us in reconnaissance. A normal guy, older than many of us, a sergeant, a geologist, is married, has a child. He was appointed commander of the department (mine), and the next day - an operation! Pancake!!!
Started from the first minute. Inside the BMPhi, drowning out the roar of the engine, only his cry was heard. He gave orders to one of the worst of the other, the commanders on the radio continuously reported about the hordes of Basmachis circling around the combat vehicle. He demanded from us and the bower to conduct continuous fire on enemies. Well, from the BMP constructively to the landing, the surrounding world is poorly visible, but the gunner in the tower ?! He screams - where to shoot? In response - threats to shoot, plant. On halts, he immediately fled to his commanding fathers, demanding immediate harsh repression against his careless subordinates.
Let's go to the mountains on foot - it evaporated from the path. Where is he? Or broke into the abyss, or "spirits" stolen. To hell with intelligence, let's go search. Appears an hour later, with a straight face, reports to the lieutenant about the discovery to them, personally to them, of a cave with a base of basmachs. He gets in the ear, but we - without a road, on the slopes we crawl into nowhere and find a ravine in the rock with a flock of bats. He gets into the second ear, and we are in complete darkness, we descend into the valley, trying to get as far as possible to our own.
On the second day, the romantic sergeant drove out of the gunner’s tower (as a traitor, a Muslim and a future prisoner) and sat down in his place. From that moment, the machine gun scribbled, without stopping. The consumption of ammunition was clearly more consumption of diesel fuel. With difficulty having calmed down the machine gunner and gunner of the gunner who was upset to tears, I fell asleep to the rumble of the queues and triumphant reports of the sergeant. On the march, this is a common thing, we usually drove one by one, lying in the landing compartment, having laid an even layer of the floor with boxes of supplies, laying the mattress and pillow on top.
I woke up from silence and sharp blows butt on armor. Getting out into the sun, he found our car, standing alone on a sandy mountain with crawlers flying away and a squealing sergeant, with foam coming from his mouth. I was surprised to learn that because of the negligent and obviously traitor - me, we are standing here and still not wearing caterpillars. Motherland is in danger, and therefore he (sergeant) has every right to shoot me like a dog, and at the same time the whole crew. At the end of an angry, but indistinct and illogical monologue, he sent a cartridge into the AK chamber.
The patience of the veterans of the intelligence service was over, and we did not give him a chance to continue commanding the detachment. After a short but effective criticism of the already unarmed commander, we began to put our swallow on lost iron shoes. The case is ordinary, the BMP is afraid of sand and rubble when cornering and easily razuvaetsya. The ex-commander, it turns out, forced the carrier to drive on this hill, a stupid man. There was not a trace of the presence of our regiment around, a small hut smoked at the bottom of the hearth.
Wearing a car, they found their Malchish Kibalchish cheerfully reporting to the commanders about the armed insurrection of his squad and about the detected signal smoke. He was eager to continue his autonomous raid and did not take the abusive words of the commander about immediate return to action. We realized that the guy had to knit.
So he was tangled with straps and arrived at the location of the regiment. The machine gun was silent all the way back, crowds of enemies, footmen and horsemen were dissolved, the failed reconnaissance hero howled and gnawed our bonds, not forgetting to remind us of our imminent execution. In intelligence there is a holy rule: if the intelligence officers refuse to fight — to serve with a person, he will fly out of the unit. This warrior managed to get everyone and the rank and file and officers, he was just dangerous for himself and those around him. He left the recon company quickly, as he appeared.
Around the regiment was a military guard - people lived in the trenches, guarding the approaches. Black from the sun and gray from the dust, they appeared with thermos in field kitchens and disappeared again. It was the regimental "Siberian indefinite penal servitude." My platoon officer will dissolve there, and this sick and romantic patient has gone there - to the company of rogues and unlucky ones. On the road, fate kicked him very painfully. Before he left, he managed to get a letter from the house where his wife reported that she was tired of being his life partner. He and his family took out.
Another major operation. Getting ready to go to the mountains. You always want to carry on yourself a maximum of grenades. You take the most necessary things and, putting on all the reserves for testing, you understand that you can walk in a straight line only a couple of meters. It begins a painful disposal of very heavy stockpiles. You can already walk and even run, but you feel naked and impoverished. With greed we look at the mountains of ammunition, very necessary in the mountains. Hooray, two reconnaissance crews and a tank for reinforcement, will go through the valley, and the whole regiment will follow the ridges of the mountains. Always, especially in the mountains, it is better to go bad than to climb well.
I still remember this adventure with delight. In the fields, ditches, riverbed, steep banks. For two weeks we moved into the unknown through the fences of pastures and the defense of the Basmachis. The mountains were getting higher, and we could hardly see our fellow soldiers, although in the first days they were very close. We even fought first at the same time, fire from below and above, driving dushmans out of our way. In a relatively flat valley, we were more maneuverable and even managed to drive back to the beginning of the gorge, wounded fighters lowered to us from the mountains.
Sometimes we got into it, rumbled, knocking sparks of bullets through armor, and we set personal and, possibly, world records in jumps and somersaults to our closest friends — boulders. Sky patrons were supportive of 19-year-old warriors. In addition to camel spines, foreign objects were not included in our bodies for this operation. Pure luck and squint of the enemy.
And here we are at the goal of our journey, the valley, which became a narrow gorge, ended. The sides are no longer mountains, the tops of the world with snow caps. And in the mountains goes unprecedented - clay city. I think it would have made an impression on Indiana Jones who was unfamiliar to us in those years. Standing, admiring.
The mysterious village (a city in the scale of Afghanistan) is absolutely empty. Silence, rushing mountain stream, sparkling icy peaks, the infantry disappeared somewhere in the sky, in a word - unreal pastoral. Artist Saryan rests. What to do, where to go further and why we came here is unknown. The radio is traditionally silent.
We hear the familiar noise of helicopter blades squelting in discharged air, MI-8 sits down, and a strange trinity falls out of it - a short man with a mustache, a middle-aged burly man in a mask, a naked long-haired guy in a jeans suit and not connected Afghan in national pants and galoshes. All but the Afghan - with the old 7.62 Kalash.
Instantly taking command, which turned out to be a formidable colonel of the GRU, a mustached brute led us to storm this local Shambhala. Abandoned by the inhabitants it was just a very clean, but poor palace, consisting of clay shacks of thirty floors, leaning against ledges to the side of a mountain with an ice top. Can you imagine? If not, I can’t describe anything I see differently.
On the intricate suite of rooms, halls, courtyards and roofs, we made our way up. In the rooms all said and the recent flight of the inhabitants. Inverted is a very beautiful, carved, but small and few furniture, silk clothing and fabric cuts scattered on magnificent carpets, open chests and caskets of all sizes. All covered an even layer of placers of various-sized cartridges.
Finally, we reached the roof or the outskirts of this kishlak of the palace type. Restoring breath, we get acquainted with a new landscape. Around there was a mini-valley with hills and an ancient cemetery. Ponukhonyemy Colonel scout "faster, you in the yoke, we'll be late", everyone looked on the way anywhere, just not for the mysterious spirit with a bag on his head. And he disappeared on the way!
This is now funny! And then the first to receive a mysterious hair from a polkan in jeans. Listening about the sad life prospects of a guy, we were getting ready to get our share, but then the missing Dushar suddenly materialized and happily shoved into Farsi-Pashto. Immediately the merry Grushnik commanded to "dig" and pointed to the cemetery. There were hoes, wooden shovels and soon instead of the expected bones from the dry ground, the first boxes appeared. Turned out to be not at all evil, but a sincere and convivial peasant, the special colonel told us on a smoke break that we had found the super-hide of the very steep Kurbashi in these parts.
Dug up and we dragged gangster stocks almost all day. Worked together, all together, and the colonel, and the guy-translator, and already half an hour, as a fiery communist - a former prisoner spirit comrade. He showed the place of the caches, redeeming his life, a place in a happy tomorrow and forgiveness for past mistakes. The bag on his head, it turns out, he put himself on his own - encrypted by fellow tribesmen.
I have witnessed more than once how a “reforging” of captured Basmachs took place in the field. Modern militants do not lie: the prisoners were lined up or laid out in a line, and the specialists in question were asked in turn. Wrong answer, silence interrupted by a shot to the head. Usually, from the third respondent, a mass registration with the local police and the Communist Party began.
I can only say that such events were carried out exclusively by local special services - HAD. I can not imagine our soldier, an officer who is shooting prisoners or peasants. Serving in regimental intelligence, I do not know what we could learn useful from the prisoners during interrogation? Make way Where is the gang? How many bayonets? The horror stories about the cruelty of our soldiers are largely based on the fantasies of not serving majors.
By the way, an Afghan man lived in the tent of a reconnaissance company for a long time and traveled with us, who became a fiery revolutionary right before my eyes. He was captured with weapons in his hands and, after talking with the Afghan people's democratic special services, literally in a few minutes forgot about his gangster past.
Rezvedrota often traveled to the raids with the local "asset" and the Afghan intelligence services. Surprise by the work methods of the local authorities died quickly. A pair of infantry fighting vehicles, covered with picturesque figures of "hawks", rolled along mountain roads from the village to the village. Stop-hugging-kissing with local residents (unlike “ours” - there are no weapons in sight) and - further on the road. Stop-hugging-kissing and suddenly a shot! Another shot! One or more of the local kissed are in a pool of blood. Why? Basmach! Going further ...
We found a lot of interesting things. Documents and papers in all languages were immediately taken away by the colonel, we just dumped the weapon into heaps. Considered the strange mountain cannons of the past centuries from all countries of the world. Tried to determine the appointment of medicines in bright packages. Steep-spit medical devices and microscopes. Tried to charge and shoot exotic guns and pistols. Fenced on sabers and checkers. The colonel with the denim guy did not lag behind us in this simple male entertainment.
But the picnic was over, the translator had a walkie-talkie with him and she (surprisingly) worked as expected. Soon in the sky appeared a whole flock of rotary-winged. The landing of clearly staff officers in unusually bright uniforms against the background of gray mountains landed. The colonel who had already become completely his own gave us a small amount of trophies (dry milk, glucose, vitamins, canned goods, mattresses, blankets) with his power and told us to stay away from the crowded crowd. He loaded the papers and his Afghan into the helicopter and joined us.
We stood and looked, and there was something to see. Arrived shared trophies! Dust and thick mat hung in the air. It did not come to a banal massacre, but it was on the verge. The helicopter pilots and the colonel who had become completely his own separated the violently arguing comrades of senior officers. A particular controversy flared up because of antique knives and hunting rifles. Separate copies at the same time pulled to themselves two-three arrived.
Finally, the first turntable with trophies and their new happy owners flew away, and we began to ship the rest of the spoil. The last board took off, taking our new acquaintances, and again we were left alone in the virginal silence, on the edge of the ecumene. The crew of the tank, having requested permission in advance from the colonel, was going to give up his soul, firing at the mysterious palace, but ... a friendly HURRAY was heard from the tops! From both ridges our regiment went on the attack. And we went on a long journey back.
Pleased new clothes - blankets, pillows, mattresses. At the previous operation, a tragicomic case occurred: while the infantry and I were walking through the mountains, we were deprived of all the sleeping gear. The bright staff head decided to take care of the soldiers and ordered to collect all the beds that had gone to the mountains. All were loaded into a helicopter and thrown into the mountains, in the place of our hypothetical overnight stay. Care!
Soldiers cold sleep on the rocks! Of course, yes ... But! Our sleeping good disappeared somewhere in the gorges and tops of the Kilogai valley. Yes, and get it to us in the morning - he still would have to quit. How did the staff, a short-minded kind-hearted person imagine a chain of soldiers scrambling along mountain paths with mattresses and blankets on their shoulders?
About sheets, pillowcases, we forgot from the moment of crossing the border. Someone slept where. The regiment's location included tents and cots, in separate divisions and battalions, everyone searched for a place to stay overnight. Officers used hands of soldiers to dig dugouts, the bulk of the servicemen slept under armored personnel carriers. And fresh air and - protection from night shelling.
It is easy to follow in their footsteps and no longer have to dig congresses and departures on the river bank. Taking advantage of the absence of the high regimental authorities, we traveled on operations, sitting on armor. In 80, the experience of the Second World War about the symbiosis of armor and infantry was completely forgotten. The equipment is lucky and protects with armor and fire, and the passenger soldiers look in all directions and manage to open fire at any danger.
We were forced to sit in the red-hot inside of the infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers with closed hatches, waiting for a shot from a grenade launcher. Explanation: ostensibly from the top of a mountain, basmachis can throw a grenade directly into our landing party! Common sense later won, and everyone became accustomed to Afghan photos with the technique of covered with soldiers.
We drove through the already revived valley, there were residents of abandoned villages, sheep and goats were bleating on the fenced meadows. In the villages, our field kitchens smoked, preparing rice porridge for the victorious and liberated farmers. And everywhere, with a proud look, local Communist activists, who appeared out of nowhere, walked around with worn PCs.
This operation was remembered for its brightness. I have met the mysterious colonel more than once on the roads of this war. And I must say that he was always glad to see a familiar soldier, and I was proud of this acquaintance. The book by Bogomolov, read to army service, and this meeting in the mountains left an imprint on my choice of profession after demobilization. And the guy-translator in general became a frequent visitor to my tent.