Just yesterday, the 10-kilometer frontier of the state border in the Arctic. Frosts for minus 50, from which the metal crumbles into pieces. The oppressive, oppressive, impenetrable darkness of the endless polar nights. An icy wind with a myriad of prickly snowflakes bites into the face, causing a burning pain. Sometimes it seemed that there was no end to those days. Today, a new appointment and a new test. Major Viktor Vasilyev saw the road from a bright light, leading from the plane to the waiting car. The sun beat down mercilessly. Rather, take refuge under the tent "UAZ". I pulled the handle of the car door and screamed in pain: I had a palm burn.
- With baptism of fire, comrade major, - experienced colleagues smiled.
Having entered the land of Afghanistan, Vasiliev made for himself the first discovery: 60-degree heat burns more ruthlessly than 50-degree frost.
It was June 1986 of the year. Head of the special department of the 70-th separate motorized rifle brigade, stationed near Kandahar, Major Viktor Vasilyev began with the usual - participation in a combat operation. Even within the walls of the Leningrad Higher Military Artillery Command School, the future counterintelligence officer used to always be where it was harder to account for his affairs and deeds in the strictest, most important ways. Already on the second day of his stay in the unit, he was swinging on the hot armor of the BTR, watching the bizarre line of mountains. As part of the reinforced battalion, the officer went to carry out the order: destroy the enemy's storage base, located in a mountain gorge near the border with Iran.
Armored vehicles were dusting along the road, routinely carrying fighters on themselves. Vasiliev, not accustomed to the heat, from the first kilometers of the march was thirsty. One flask is drunk, the second is emptied, the third is drained ... Victor did not notice how the outlines of the distant peaks, the broken horizon line suddenly lost clarity. Suddenly, the mountains swung and swam. He no longer knew how to stop this strange, irresistible round-trip of the mountain peaks, which sticky oblivion flowed towards him.
“Looks like swooning,” he heard the voice of the “nurse.” - We introduce saline into the vein, I think it will feel better.
- Not! - protested, coming to his senses, Vasiliev. - I will not give a hand! I'd rather take the medicine inside.
Victor drank a bitter, unpleasant liquid. But, oddly enough, after taking the medicine I felt better. As it now notes with a smile, passed an emergency acclimatization. Not the last role, probably, was played by the fact that Vasiliev was always distinguished by physical endurance, was professionally involved in sports, and participated in competitions in officer all-around. Therefore, he knew how to gather in a difficult moment, to mobilize his will.
However, after the incident, he made a pledge: even in the thick of it, do not allow yourself more than three or four glasses of water a day. Otherwise, problems can not be avoided.
COURAGE ALWAYS A LITTLE WORD
... When approaching the facility, the battalion dispersed. A conductor from the locals warned that bandit firing points could be hidden in the mountains. The leader of the operation set the task for the personnel of the two platoons to rise to a height of more than 3000 m and occupy the dominant peaks. In conditions of heat and low air count on support aviation did not have to: when trying to raise a soldier to the pass, one of the rotorcraft, having written out an intricate figure, almost crashed. According to the laws of war, in such a situation all responsibility rests with the soldier. Vasiliev was struck by how calmly and, one might say, everyday and businesslike 20-year-old guys were preparing for a risky event. Nothing extra with you. Just take as much ammunition and the required supply of water as possible. Avaricious handshakes - and in an unknown, dangerous way.
Courage is always terse and modest. In our fast-changing world, where the most expensive and the most valuable are so easily sold and depreciated, only the price of courage remains consistently high. Only in Russian is the word "courage". Other nations use the word “courage” (courage), which cannot explain our readiness for heroism or self-sacrifice. Fortunately, that time there was no fire contact with the enemy: the appearance of shuravi in the area was clearly not expected. Base storage captured without a shot. Among the trophies was a large amount of food, clothing, literature, ideological in nature.
After the operation was completed, Vasilyev was led by three detainees who were in suspicious proximity to a military facility. It looks like ordinary civilians: poorly dressed, without weapons, folded beards cover their faces. During the search, the military counterintelligence officer paid attention to the photo. On it among the Afghans was captured European. During the interrogation, it was found out that one of the bearded men is in fact a citizen of a European state. He was arrested and handed over to foreign intelligence officials of Afghanistan.
For many, Afghanistan has become a real school of life. For Victor Vasiliev - also an important stage of professional growth. At first, the young officer was greatly supported by the Chief of the Special Section of the 40 Army, Major General Mikhail Ovseenko, later by Anatoly Mikhalkin, with whom Viktor Petrovich studied at the Higher Courses of Military Counterintelligence, and then served in a special department of the Leningrad Military District. Mikhalkin visited Afghanistan many times, knew the situation in the country well, spoke Farsi and Pashto fluently, was familiar with the heads of local authorities, spoke with representatives of many Afghan tribes. The working methods of an experienced comrade, his personal contacts were very useful for Vasilyev in practical activities.
And the harsh front-line realities: the minefields, the masked gunmen of the militants, the burning helicopters, the dead colleagues — all this made you be attentive to everything that happens, instantly make informed decisions in a difficult situation and in no case succumb to temptation.
Vasiliev was convinced more than once: unjustified losses most often happened when the soldiers, losing their vigilance, were going to the mountain river to bathe, quench their thirst after a long transition, and fell under the bullets of the enemy, or the undetermined recruits were alone with the enemy, or died at the end of a business trip, when the sharpness of perception of a dangerous reality decreased.
NATIONAL CROSS UNDER PARTITION COVER
In war, mortal danger awaits at every turn. One day Vasiliev with a driver went to the next part, located in 20 km from the city. The road, although “habitable”, is guarded, but far from safe. You can get on the mines, and under the fire of militants. You mix up - the enemy will not miss such a gift. As luck would have it, in the middle of the road, the car went dead. The breakdown turned out to be serious, it cannot be eliminated in the field. And there’s no way to wait for help. The day was melting before our eyes. The disk of the sun rolled down the mountain range. In the south, twilight is gathering fast. From the disturbing thoughts zakreblo heart: the militants probably they spotted and waiting in the wings. One solution - with the onset of darkness to prepare for battle. In the mind flashed: if you have to give life, then it should be done as expensive as possible.
Suddenly an armored personnel carrier appeared in the distance.
“There was no alarm,” recalls Vasilyev. - BTR took our car in tow. However, the exciting state of the experience did not leave us for a long time. Fate at that time had mercy on us, we survived.
She was spared by Vassilyev and near Kandahar when the mine exploded 20 meters from him. Splinters with a screech ripped up the hot air. Several soldiers were injured, and he did not get a single scratch. The hand involuntarily reached for the breast pocket, where he kept the membership card.
Before leaving for Leningrad, in a military school, grandmother Stepanida presented Victor with a cross: “Wear, granddaughters. May the Lord bless you! ”The cadet put it under the cover of the Komsomol ticket and went to start a new life. Never once did he have a desire to get rid of his grandmother's gift. The pectoral cross he kept under the cover of the party ticket. And then, near Kandahar, I managed to think: “It was the hand of Stepanida’s grandmother that took death away from me. About this she asked the Lord! ”
The range of responsibilities of a military counterintelligence officer is very wide. One of the important tasks is to constantly monitor the situation in the military team and assist the commanders in maintaining high combat readiness. If negative facts come to light, respond promptly to them.
In Afghanistan, Vasiliev faced a new problem - drugs. The stupefying potion was most often tried to offer to our soldiers by local children and teenagers. Which of the soldiers showed weakness, immediately came into the view of experienced drug traffickers. Viktor Petrovich closed off more than one drug distribution channel, took the necessary measures to pull out from captivity those who, for the sake of receiving a dose, went over to the side of the enemy. Unfortunately, there were such examples too.
But they cannot be compared with the mass heroism shown by our soldiers in the land of Afghanistan. The memory of Viktor Petrovich keeps many such examples.
DON'T GIVE UP THE CAPTIVES!
... The militants attacked a column of self-propelled artillery installations on one of the streets of Kandahar. The attack was planned defiantly and was a complete surprise to our command. The enemy managed to knock out the ACS. With a broken truck, the artillery installation stopped on the road. Fearing even greater losses, the convoy left the city. The crew of the wrecked car entered into an unequal battle.
The enemy did not destroy the armored vehicle with full ammunition in the middle of the residential quarter. Militants decided to seize it. Assessing the situation, the crew managed to batten down all the hatches. But one hatch did not have time to close. The soldiers held his cover with their hands. For a long time, the militants tried to open the hatch, but all without success. When help arrived in time for the gunners, a terrible picture opened up before my eyes: only one of the four crew members survived. He firmly clung to the manhole cover, carrying out the order not to surrender. White, without blood, the soldier's fingers had to unclench a few hours.
One of the difficult moments for military counterintelligence officers was the period of preparation for the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan and the withdrawal of units and units of the 40 Army itself.
“The military counterintelligence officers were entrusted with a very responsible task of organizing and conducting measures aimed at achieving the secrecy of the actions of our troops,” recalls Viktor Petrovich, “and also identifying the enemy’s plans and possible sabotage on his part. At the same time, we used not only our professional methods, but also such techniques as negotiations with tribal leaders and local authorities. We understood the importance of the upcoming events. Thousands of people, the mass of technology. How to save it all? It was extremely difficult, but we coped with the task entrusted to us. In the fall of 1988, the first six of our regiments returned home without loss.
For the skillful counter-intelligence support of troops stationed in Afghanistan, Lieutenant Colonel Viktor Vasilyev was awarded the Order of the Red Star. And the experience of the withdrawal of the first six regiments was used in the withdrawal of units and units of the 40 army.
MEMORY IS ALIVE WHILE LIVES PEOPLE
And in the homeland itself, the situation has changed dramatically. Afghan events are relegated to second-third plan. The minds of people excited the restructuring, the new thinking.
- How can you think about change for the better, vyosya own historyincluding the newest one? - wondered Vasilyev.
Even at the time of the unfulfilled hopes that perestroika promised to the population, Viktor Petrovich decided to make sure that the truth about the heroism of our soldiers committed on Afghan soil remains forever in the memory of people. And the Afghans themselves knew that it was not for nothing that they shed blood in a foreign land. After all, for Lieutenant-General of Police Viktor Petrovich Vasilyev, those already distant events are like the red line that divided the fate between before and after.
The dream to perpetuate the memory of the fallen soldiers-internationalists managed to translate into reality, when General Victor Vasilyev headed the Office of the Federal Tax Police in the Penza region.
The monument was erected, as is always the case in Russia, traditionally: let the cap in a circle, raised funds. The opening of the memorial complex was a real treat for the citizens. A lot of people came to an important event, which the monument seemed to have united and rallied.
Currently, work is underway on the second phase of the memorial complex dedicated to Penza soldiers who died in local conflicts. But now the memorial building is one of the most visited places in the city. People come here, guests of the regional center. Official delegations, townspeople and newlyweds lay flowers at the foot of the obelisk. People stand at the Eternal Flame for a long time, just trying to find answers to the questions: what happened in those years which have already become history, are the victims justified by our country on the land of Afghanistan justified?
If the memory of these events is alive, since we remember, speak and sing about it, erect monuments to the fallen heroes, it means that it was necessary, it was necessary.
Vasilyev Viktor Petrovich is a man of unique fate. However, is the usual military fate? He dreamed of being a pilot, but he graduated from the Military Artillery School in Leningrad. And immediately a new turn in life: the artillery specialty had a chance to change to a difficult, responsible work in military counterintelligence. Then he served in the general's posts in the tax police and the Ministry of Interior. Currently, Viktor Vasilyev, Head of the Federal Reserve Office in the Central Federal District, is responsible for the economic and food security of the country.
But a special place in his life is occupied by years spent on the land of Afghanistan. There he not only grew up professionally, but fully recognized the price of front-line fraternity, loyalty to duty, love for his native land. And memory. Viktor Vasilyev has already done a lot and continues to do so that the memory of the Afghans, their feat will remain forever in the hearts of the people.