25 years have passed since Soviet troops left Afghanistan
Ivan Konstantinovich Lyubishkin works as a security guard in the newspaper "Today". He looks about fifty years old. Modest, short man. Mustache. Hair almost without gray hair. He presses the turnstile button, responds to calls from readers, making their way to the newspaper with their needs. From time to time it comes out to smoke on the steps of the porch. And no one passing by does not even suspect that this guard in black uniform without insignia is a reconnaissance colonel, commander of the 650-th Separate Guards Order of Alexander Nevsky of the reconnaissance battalion. He served in Afghanistan in the 1984 — 1985 years as a major — when the hottest battles were fought. Then he was thirty-three years old — the age of Christ, as he jokes.
Prozvedbat, commanded by Lyubishkin, was part of the famous 5 Motorized Rifle Division - one of those units that first entered the distant mountainous country to provide "international assistance" and were the last to leave. Before the Afghan war, it was stationed at the southernmost point of the USSR - Kushka. “Kushki will not be sent further,” they joked in the Soviet Army. But life has shown that they can send even further. In Afghanistan, the division stood in the city of Shindand. “This is 400 km from Kushka on concrete,” says Lyubishkin. “Western Afghanistan, closer to Iran.”
Major Ivan Lyubishkin - Commander of the 650-th Separate Guards Intelligence Agency in Afghanistan - 1985 Year
People who have been in “hot spots” may forget some names, details of this or that battle. But the two most important dates usually remember everything: the day when you got to the war, and the day when it ended for you.
“I served in Afghanistan from 10 September 1983 to October 8 on 1985 in September,” recalls Sergey Starov. - Total 650 days. 280 them - in battle. "
Starov commanded a reconnaissance-assault company in the Lyubishkin battalion. Externally - the complete antipode of the American Rambo, who "fought" in Afghanistan in propaganda films - see in it all 165. He came to Afghanistan as a senior lieutenant, left as captain. Four battle orders. For the captured leader of the gang Mulla Ghafur and two other liquidated leaders. Serves today - in the Ministry of Emergency Situations, goes on demining. Not gigantic growth and mountains of muscles decided success in battle, but intelligence, ability to master weaponsendurance, endurance. Unlike on-screen heroes, Starov is worried - he worries that I don’t get it wrong, I don’t write something wrong in real life.
“Someone smart made it so that when the battalion commander changed, the company commanders remained experienced,” says Starov. - And new company companies came from the Union - the battalion commander was already at war. The same with the platoon. This was done to transfer combat experience in order to prevent unnecessary losses. Almost always this principle was maintained. ”
Captain Starov. Instructs the scouts before entering the combat mission. Shindand, spring 1985
“From your point of view, were military operations conducted in Afghanistan competently?” I ask.
“In most cases, very competently,” replies Lyubishkin. - Here, Seryozha will not let you lie, we had the division commander of the division, Colonel Kononykhin. He almost always personally participated not only in planning combat operations, but also in exits. Loved the scouts and the shore of us. He died already in the Soviet Union, in a helicopter accident, the kingdom of heaven to him. I still remember him with gratitude. When conducting operations, he took everything into account. Literally EVERYTHING! If Kononikhin participated in the development, we went and were not afraid.
But there were ineptly planned operations. I still remember the battle in Dorokhti Tuti Sufla, when we had big losses - my deputy commander of the battalion for armaments, Major Yashchenko, was killed, my classmate, Senior Lieutenant Kaliksaev, Deputy Airborne Training, Sergeant Petrov - demob, Shilov - also demobel, the young soldier Sorokin ... This was after Herat. There was a base of perfume for the preparation of grenade launchers. Their “black storks” were training - Pakistani instructors. They walked in all black: black turban, black clothes, and even black glasses.
From the Herat airfield, reconnaissance groups that were supposed to seize this base suddenly landed without support. Artillery went in a different direction. The main armored group was a few dozen kilometers. And they landed on a completely bald bare mountain. There even were no boulders to hide. And spirits sat around on the ridges and started shooting our fighters from above. Planned ... It was 4 April 1986 of the year. The division commander at this time was in Moscow, Kononikhin was ill. Here is the headquarters of the division and planned without them "...
Day of sorrow. The unsuccessful fight of 4 on April 1986 of the year turned into heavy losses that people still remember
Such fights were the exception. Therefore, they are remembered with such pain. In the company of Starov for all the time of his service in Afghanistan there were no killed soldiers and sergeants. “There were wounded. Including hard, he recalls. “But most of all we were mowed down by typhoid fever, malaria and Botkin.” I believe that for Afghanistan I have two main awards: typhus and the fact that none of the fighters died. There was even a case of cholera in the army. ” “The infection just flew in the air,” adds Lyubishkin.
“Due to infectious diseases, the battalion staff in 1984 has increased by 50 percent,” Starov continues. - Not because of battle losses - only because of an infection! If I had a 68 man in my company, it became more than a hundred. The four-arms battalion has grown to a 500 man. ”
In addition to the three combat, the battalion included a company of electronic reconnaissance, located along the concrete road at points from Herat to Kushka. They were engaged in radio interception. According to their data, artillery was working - it was covering the group of dushmans discovered by the scouts. It was a smart war.
“Only trained soldiers were taken for the operation,” Starov says. - I didn’t immediately introduce youth to the battle. As in the movies, when the whole company sat down and went, it wasn’t. Once only all had to be taken. One of the most successful operations was in early October 1985. I have already handed over the company. The commander was new. As always, intelligence was that there was a caravan. First, an inspection team flew in two helicopters. She was dropped off. She got into a fight. She was supported aviation and helicopters. Then they began to enter the battalion with drums from helicopters - they mobilized all helicopters in Shindand. Armored Group - Tanks, BMP, armored personnel carriers - went under its own power. Meanwhile, the battalion fought. He fought the battle day, night, and the next day they completed the rout of the caravan. They took a lot of ammunition, weapons, equipment. Machine guns, mortars, rockets - mainly Chinese-made. The entire battalion dressed in captured "bras". ("Brassieres" are breast pouches for cartridges. - Auth.) I don’t know if it was necessary or not necessary war. But the soldiers fulfilled their duty in full. Do you know what the worst punishment was for them? Do not take on the battle! "
According to my interlocutors, in battle they preferred not the Soviet, but the Chinese “Kalashnikovs”. In the USSR, by that time they switched to a lightweight 5,45 caliber cartridge, while the Chinese used an older model of the 7,62 caliber: “We did not have explosive cartridges. And on the Chinese machines were explosive. It was very impressive for the perfume. Ivan Konstantinovich mentioned Kononykhin - deputy commander of the division. He often acted as follows: a divisional or army operation was underway. He once - picks up the recons and has gone raid. Says: "Let the division rest, and we will ride!" 19 September 1985, we went to check the intelligence. In one of the gorges near Moussakala. And they came out of the gorge only 22 th. With us were four self-propelled units - 152-millimeter howitzers. They were prepared against cumulative fire - they welded additional armor around the tower. In the gorge we were well met. From somewhere in the spirits took anti-aircraft gun. We thought we would take a walk, but it turned out the other way around. Two companies lay down. I went to the mountain. Destroyed machine-gun spirits. The night begins. Took a circular turn. And groups of dushmans began to appear on us — one after another. Well, we and them ... They determined by the sound - somewhere they have an ammunition ringing or you hear the conversation "...
"Equestrian battle." In between battles, the scouts fool around. This is also an "international debt" ...
According to Starov, the main reason for delaying the war for the whole ten years was that decisions were made in Moscow or in Tashkent, where the headquarters of the Turkestan district was located. And it was necessary to decide on the spot. According to the method of Frunze, who defeated the Basmachis in Central Asia in 1920-s, to block the border with Pakistan and small mobile groups to destroy everything that ran in arms through the mountains. Only in this way could the war be ended quickly. The material forces of the 40 Army, which at the height of the war 120 had thousands of soldiers and officers and had complete air supremacy, were plenty for that. But the Soviet troops in Afghanistan were about the same situation as the US in Vietnam. Politicians commanded them from afar, not helping as much as disturbing the military.
The outdated BTR-60 held its best on the mines. When undermining the blast wave dispersed from them to the sides, not killing anyone. Only the wheel flew off. Subsequent models - the BTR-70 and the BTR-80 in this sense were slightly worse. It turned out that the "sixties" was a little higher already. Therefore, she did not "take" the blast of a mine. But on the other hand, infantry combat vehicles pressed to the ground when driving to a mine often killed the driver. The place of the shooter for the mechanic was always left empty so as not to incur unnecessary losses.
The war gave rise to the tradition of "happiness." Before going out to the fighters, they never shaved or tucked the gates. Major Lyubishkin always carried a cross with him - not on his neck, but in his breast pocket, next to the party ticket: “Soldiers wore crosses on strings. Some pseudo-zampolity forced them to take pictures, but I said: “You didn't wear it. And it is not given to you to take it off. ” Some in especially difficult moments said aloud: “Lord, carry it!” I didn’t say, but I always thought so. ”
There were temptations. Despite the war, trade flourished in Afghanistan. In each shop you could buy jeans or a Japanese double cassette that was a deficit in the Union. “The soldiers had money,” adds Lyubishkin. “In my battalion, the soldiers had more money than the officers.” After all, we took the box office of the Islamic Committee during raids. We broke the caravan - that's your money. As a rule, part of them hid. The officers knew this, but looked through their fingers. I came home only with a tape recorder and two packs of chewing gum - such colored balls - for children. No more brought back. ”
How many trophies! Entire caravans with weapons and ammunition became the prey of our soldiers.
In addition to the scheduled weekly wash with the change of linen, a soldier in the reconnaissance unit could wash at any time - the bath was never closed. Water for her was taken from an artesian well. Before the raids, tablets of “Pantacyte”, a chlorine-based drug for disinfecting water, were distributed to all. Even in jars popped on the drill parade. But the soldiers threw them away - they are worse than vodka, they planted the liver. Instead, they drank a camel thorn infusion — greenish, nasty, but “life forced.” At the fire from the same spike during war exits they warmed up canned food directly in the cans - such firewood gave a good heat.
Without false shame, they solved the problem of the departure of natural needs on the march. No one stopped. Just an armored personnel carrier slowed down a bit. Two soldiers are holding the one to whom they are impatient, by the hands, and he is right from the stern, on the move ... “Yet theirs,” Lyubishkin smiles. “These were normal attitudes — everyday needs ...”
Summer is hot and windy. The sand on the teeth crunches. If you touch the armor with your palm, you can get burned. Winter on the plain is normal. But it's cold in the mountains. Especially at night. And all the movements in the mountains the scouts made only at night.
“The main principle was,” concludes Lyubishkin, “not to abandon ours. All must return to the base - both the living and the dead. In Lurkoha soldiers fell into the gorge. We didn’t have any climbing equipment, except for the ropes taken from the spirits. But the body of the deceased was taken out of the gorge, stitched into a cloak, and for three or four days while the operation lasted (it was in winter), they were worn in the mountains. Nobody grumbled. It was an example to the rest: no matter what happens, you will not be abandoned. ”
PS The former commander of the reconnaissance company Sergei Starov still does not have his own apartment - he lives in a rented house.