In total, 15 large and small "foreign" conflicts that have occurred over the years, killed and missing 17 453 Soviet military personnel and civilian specialists. Most of all - 15 051 people - fell during the war in Afghanistan. At the same time, not all those who fell in battles were buried with honors on the graveyards of their native land. Most of all in this sense, "not lucky" to those who did not return from China and Korea. They were, as they say, without any extra pump (read - secretly) buried in a foreign land, which they bravely defended.
In particular, in China, mainly in Manchuria, according to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, 936 soldiers died in four years. Their graves marked the entire Chinese "road of life" - from Almaty through Xinjiang to Lanzhou. Many graves of Soviet soldiers were made at the Qinyuanjie cemetery in the city of Dalian (Dalny). There are also at the Nanshan Cemetery in Jinzhou, which is a few kilometers north of Dalian. But the overwhelming number of graves is on the Liaodun Peninsula, mainly in the famous Port Arthur (Lüshune), alongside Russian soldiers, sailors and officers who gave their lives in the Russian-Japanese war of 1904 – 1905. Almost all internationalists who fought in Korea have been laid to rest here. The total irretrievable losses of our units and formations over the three years of the Korean War amounted to 315 military personnel, of which 120 are pilots.
On the other hand, the figures of the buried Soviet soldiers in China during the Korean War vary significantly. So, in the 1996 edition of the year, “Eternal sleep is sleeping in Chinese soil. Memorial Album ”states that, according to the Russian Consulate General in Shenyang, cemeteries on the Liaodong Peninsula, in the cities of Lushun, Dalian and Jinzhou, 1950 to 1953 had 89 Soviet citizens buried in the year, while according to Chinese 1992 certification - XNNXXNNX was buried in XNNXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXan AN ATLAIR . In total, for the period from 723 to 1945, in the same cemeteries, according to the Russian consulate, 1956 Soviet citizens were buried (of which 722 are unknown), and according to the Chinese - 104 people, including 2572 unknowns. These figures have not been substantially refined, and after more than two decades. Who to believe? Where is the "mystery" of such striking discrepancies? And why could such a situation arise at all?
A similar problem arose with the majority of those 66 Soviet soldiers (plus 3 civilian personnel) who were not fortunate enough to return from Cuba during the 1962 – 1964 Caribbean crisis. A list of them is published. Opposite to many surnames it means: “Killed then. Buried near Torrens, Havana province. Reburied in 1978 in a mass grave on the territory of the El Chico memorial complex on the outskirts of Havana. ”
It is noteworthy that when in February 1978, to the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Army and Naval Fleet, the grand opening of this memorial took place, a capsule was laid at its base. The inscription on the bronze plate under which it is located, in Russian and Spanish, says: “Address to the descendants. Laid on 23.02.1978. To reveal on the day of the 150th anniversary of the Soviet Armed Forces 23.02.2038/XNUMX/XNUMX ”. The wait is relatively short - less than a quarter century. That's just the Soviet Armed Forces have long been gone ...
From the 1991 of the year, Russia also had enough participation in military bloodshed that happened in different parts of the now former USSR - in Nagorno-Karabakh and Transdniestria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and also in Tajikistan. They fell 496 officers and soldiers. Plus in the same years - Yugoslavia. As a result, the total death toll for the half-century of the Cold War is 17 949 military personnel.
And now the names of all those who did not return from the battle during the Cold War and in the first decade after its end will be immortalized. This was announced in February by the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defense and the leader of the Russian Union of Veterans of Afghanistan (RSVA), Colonel Frants Klintsevich. Their names, he clarified, “will be carved on special stelae that will be installed on Poklonnaya Hill in the summer.” And next to the already famous monument to soldiers-internationalists on Poklonnaya Hill, he said, a memorial dedicated to Soviet and Russian soldiers who died in different parts of the world during the Cold War will be erected.
EXPLOIT, GROOMING AND BRIGHTING MEMORY
On the same 21 of November last year, spoke the chairman of the Committee for the Coordination of Joint Activities of Veteran Associations, Hero of the Soviet Union, retired Colonel General Boris Gromov, who, we recall, in 1989, withdrew the 40 Army that fought there in Afghanistan. He even said at the time how many stelae would appear on the Bow - 55. Apparently, this number symbolizes the 45 years of the Cold War plus the subsequent 10 years. At the same time, the general was confident that the steles would be erected already by 15 February 2014 of the year - by the 25 anniversary of the withdrawal of the limited contingent of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. But that did not happen.
However, Stanislav Strezhnev, Chairman of the Board of the All-Russian Public Foundation “Eternal Memory” - First Deputy Chairman of the Central Board of the RSVA, told NVO that such a project is not being considered in the Union of Soldiers “Afghans”. According to him, “we, as the initiators of the construction of stelae, plan that they will be 14, enlarged, granite, from 1,5 to 3 – 4 meters in height”. At the same time, he clarified that “the steles will be installed by 15 in May, in the extreme case, by 22 in June,” noting that “there is a written consent of President Vladimir Putin to take part in the opening of the memorial”.
The initiative to create it originated in the 1995 year, among those parents who lost their sons in the cold war. Among them was the interlocutor of the "NVO", whose son died in Afghanistan - Lieutenant Yuri Strezhnev. Walking on instances, right up to the president of the country, and the search for funds for the implementation of the idea took almost 20 years (part of the plan was embodied in 2004 by installing a monument to the “Afghans” on Poklonka). Currently, funds have been found: in the fall of 2013, Klintsevich informed that one of the commercial organizations agreed to finance the construction of the steles, and the cost of the project is 116 million rubles.
The sketch project of memorial steles with the names of the servicemen who died while performing official duties abroad has already been completed. The team of authors is headed by the national artist of Russia Salavat Shcherbakov. The latter has repeatedly worked on Poklonka: the same bronze warrior-internationalist - his sculpture. Shcherbakov is also one of the creators of such notable monuments and monuments unveiled in the last decade, as a monument to the Russian reformer and Prime Minister Peter Stolypin (2012 year), Pole-starved in the Time of Troubles during the Time of Troubles, Patriarch of All Russia Hermogenes (2013 year), a remarkable Russian engineer and architect Vladimir Shukhov (2008 year), as well as a monument to the first Minister of Railways Pavel Melnikov (2003 year).
Salavat Shcherbakov told the following about his new work. The object will consist of three different-colored zones - a feat (red granite), grief (dark red) and light memory (white). Each will be represented by its own sculpture, respectively - a soldier, the mother of the deceased warrior and a soldier angel who accompanies the dead to heaven. The sculptor told about such a detail: “In the zone of grief we will set benches for the relatives of the victims — this part will symbolically separate the living from the dead.” Plus, to the already existing growth figure of the “Afghan” warrior, which will be slightly raised, will add the reliefs of the inclined banners and emblems of the branches of troops who took part in the “suppression” of numerous hotbeds of war in the hot spots of the 20th century. The heraldic accuracy of the sculptural images was provided by specialists of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
HOW MUCH DO YOU SAIN?
On steles, according to both Franz Klintsevich and Boris Gromov, about 30 thousand names of fallen soldiers will be carved. Thus, not only those who did not return from the Afghan or Korean, Vietnamese or Nicaraguan, Egyptian or Algerian fronts, but also those Soviet officers and soldiers who gave their lives abroad before the Great Patriotic War will be immortalized.
In turn, the Interfax-AVN news agency, in a report on the February 13 conference in Moscow devoted to the 25 anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, reports the following, without reference to any sources. As part of military assistance, the Soviet Union and then Russia took part in 35 local wars and armed conflicts that took place outside the country. About 1,5 million compatriots who took part in hostilities on the territory of 19 countries passed through them, more than 50 thousand of them died, showing courage and heroism. As a result, there is a discrepancy as much on the 20 thousand dead. But!
The author of these lines tried to find out if the truth is not “in the middle”?
Quite detailed calculations for each foreign military campaign in which the Soviet Union participated to one degree or another are contained in a well-known authoritative source - “Russia and the USSR in the wars of the 20th century. Losses of the Armed Forces. Statistical research. This work, released back in 2001 under the editorship of retired Colonel-General Grigory Krivosheev, a professor at the Academy of Military Sciences, is based solely on the archival materials of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and other domestic law enforcement agencies, taking into account the data of the multi-volume Memory Book of the Russian Federation published in 1999 year. The summary table of casualties placed at the end of the publication shows that those "who disappeared in Afghanistan" and in other "small" wars and military conflicts, including the fighting of the Soviet troops in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968, are recruited 17 949 people. The overwhelming majority of them are “Afghans” internationalists. You can add to them even irrecoverable losses in the recent Russian-Georgian “August war” 2008: from 48 to 64 dead and three missing (it’s strange that even official data on this conflict still differ for some unknown reason).
It seems that it makes sense to include illegal intelligence officers in the total number of casualties and deaths killed abroad. It is clear that this figure is a secret sealed in seven seals, and in the aforementioned study it is not even hinted at the loss. Nevertheless, according to published archival data, say, on 22 June 1941, only 914 people worked for the central military intelligence apparatus abroad, of whom 316 were employees of legal residencies, and 598 were intelligence data under other names. In addition, the intelligence departments of the staffs of the border districts were active, who also sent their employees abroad, they acted in neighboring countries, recruiting agents there. In the same June 1941, over a thousand such specialists worked in them. It is clear that not all of them returned from missions: some groups were exposed by the enemy’s counterintelligence, and were not without losses.
The score here is hardly going to the tens (although who knows?). But even a handful of fighters of the invisible front undoubtedly deserve perpetuation. Let, for obvious reasons, not by name, but at least by the number of the dead. However, a couple of names can be recalled now: Richard Sorge (acted and executed in Japan), Lev Manevich (obtained intelligence in Italy, 9 died on May 1945 of the year - three days after being released from the Hitlerite concentration camp), Arnold Deutsch (recruited Kim Philby himself, died heroically in the Atlantic after the German ship torpedoed the ship on which he sailed, heading as a resident in Argentina).
But, perhaps, the Foreign Intelligence Service and the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will find an opportunity to somehow mark the significant contribution of the “illegals” to the defense of the Motherland in the past confrontation between “two systems, two lifestyles,” as they said and wrote. Suppose, if it is possible, to make public the total number of dead employees of these secret agencies. By the way, the representative of the RSVA Stanislav Strezhnev thanked the "NVO" for this "hint", because the organizers of the project, in his words, "somehow missed this important moment."
The project of the memorial complex on Poklonnaya Hill.
But let us return to the comparison of general statistics published by RSVA and Interfax-AVN for the dead. It should be understood that the news agency summed up the figures for almost all 70 years of the Soviet Union (1922 – 1991 years). But if we turn to the same authoritative source to which we have already referred above, then it turns out that during this period there are no 35 “mini-wars”, nor even so many dead. Nor do the “too high” figures of those numerous armed clashes that have passed through the throes of these numerous clashes and those who died in them appear correct. They also raise doubts in the RSVA. Is that the 19 "hot" countries - the figure seems to be "almost" accurate.
If we turn to the study “Russia and the USSR in the wars of the 20th century”, we will find the following information: “In the period from 1946 to 1991, units, units and formations of the Soviet Army and Navy, separate groups of military personnel (advisers and military experts) were directly involved in hostilities in more than two dozen armed conflicts and local wars in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In most conflicts, the USSR’s participation was indirect — mainly through the supply of weapons and military equipment, training, etc. ”
Continue counting losses according to this book. Before the Great Patriotic War, Soviet soldiers fought in three "small" wars.
Over the 18 years of international military assistance to China (1923 – 1941), losses amounted to 227 military personnel and employees.
When providing international military assistance to the Spanish Republic (1936 – 1939 years), 189 commanders-volunteers (officers and sergeants) and persons without military ranks were killed.
In the 1939 year - the fierce battles on the Khalkhin-Gol River, as a result of 9703 killed, dead and missing.
In the same year, the so-called liberation campaign took place in Western Ukraine and Western Belarus, which took 3858's “liberators” to life. But they, it seems, will not be taken into account on steles, for there was a military campaign to return their ancestral territories that Russia had lost after the First World War.
Total - 17 949 + 48 (64) + 227 + 189 + 9703 = 28 116 (28 132) of the dead soldiers. So the rounding of losses is not “in favor” of the RSVA (more than 30 thousand people), not even more so news agencies (more than 50 thousand people). The situation, you see, is not quite normal and requires speedy resolution.
Reconciliation of data and clarification of specific names, according to the representative of the RSVA Stanislav Strezhnev, should be made in the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Although more or less detailed lists of the dead by a number of hot spots, such as Afghanistan, China, Korea, Egypt and some others, have long been freely available.
THE NUMBER OF THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE "SECRET WARS" IS HUGE
As for the "about 1,5 million compatriots," who went through the baptism of battle abroad, this figure seems very crudely approximate and significantly overestimated. Most of the Soviet military passed through Afghanistan - about 620 thousand people. In other, not so large-scale wars, relatively few personnel of the groups sent there took part. “By decreasing”, compiled by the author of this publication from various sources, it looks like this.
In the first place - the suppression of the "Prague Spring" in August 1968. According to the plan of the unprecedented Operation Danube, 170 thousand troops of the Soviet Armed Forces entered Czechoslovakia (other Warsaw Pact countries — Bulgaria, Hungary, the GDR, and Poland — also entered their divisions and regiments).
In a 19-day campaign in Hungary in October 1956, at first 5 reinforced divisions aviation Special case. With the development of the crisis in the large-scale operation Whirlwind, it was later supported by another 9 divisions of the 38th combined arms and 8th mechanized armies. Thus, anti-Soviet actions were suppressed by the forces of about 60 thousand soldiers and officers.
The 1939-thousandth 30-th special corps operating on 57 in August on the Khalkhin-Gol River was enlarged and transformed into a unified Soviet-Mongolian 1-th army group under the command of commander George Zhukov on the eve of decisive battles. She struck the Japanese with 57 forces, thousands of troops (of which 2260 were cavalrymen of the Mongolian army).
During the Caribbean crisis, an 43-thousandth troop contingent was secretly transferred to Cuba.
The approximate strength of the 64 Fighter Air Corps in Korea in 1952 reached almost 26 thousand people and remained at that level until the end of hostilities.
From the Arab Republic of Egypt (APE), after the Soviet Union rendered assistance, according to the "Book of losses", 15 thousand Soviet anti-aircraft gunners, missilemen, aviators, tank crews and other specialists were withdrawn. However, in September 2010 of the year in one of the federal newspapers in the publication “In the shadow of the pyramids” stated the following: “In the Middle East more than 30 thousands of our soldiers and officers secretly fought ... According to Western data, in Egypt between 1967 and 1973 for years they served up to 50 thousands Soviet military personnel. According to our data (it is not clear, according to the authors of the article or according to some archival, expert estimates. - Approx. Author), less, but 30 thousands of bayonets - a huge figure. " In another source about the operation “Caucasus” (such a designation was assigned to it by our General Staff) the number of participants in 35 thousand is given.
Let's try, let's say, to apply the principle of rotation of soldiers and officers in Afghanistan to Egypt (the ground workers served there for a year or two, the airmen a year, that is, on average, a full change of contingent troops was carried out once a year and a half or 10 years approximately 6,5 times) . It turns out that in the six years of war, our group on the Nile changed 4 times. And if in 1973, 15 thousand soldiers returned from the ARE to the Soviet Union, it is not difficult to obtain data, generally coinciding with the Western ones, by simple arithmetic counting. It turns out that the Egyptian-Israeli battles could take about 60 thousand troops. Moreover, judging by the memoirs of the participants of that war, published at the end of the 1980s and later, many of them served in Egypt for a year (including those who "provide military operations" for the rear men, political workers, personnel officers and others). But all this, we emphasize, is only subjective calculations.
How many soldiers-internationalists fought in China after the Great Patriotic War and helped build its People's Liberation Army (PLA), the author of these lines did not find specific data. Not in the "Book of Loss" edited by General Grigory Krivosheev, nor in the solid work of Doctor historical sciences Alexander Okorokov "Secret Wars of the Soviet Union", nor in a large-scale work edited by the famous military historian Vladimir Zolotarev "Russia (USSR) in local wars and military conflicts in the second half of the XX century." They provide only data on advisers: in 1950-1953, 3642 advisers and specialists of the SA and the Navy visited China, and in the period before 1966 - 6695 people.
But it also mentions in detail the creation of 14 February 1950 in China based on a bilateral agreement of a group of Soviet air defense forces under the command of Lieutenant-General Pavel Batitsky (future marshal). It operated for 8 months, reflecting the air raids of the pro-American Kuomintang government of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. The full composition of this group is given: 106-I Fighter Aviation and 52-I anti-aircraft artillery divisions, three air regiments, anti-aircraft search regiment, 4 separate battalions, a separate communications company and transport air group, as well as two separate station-supporting forces. Thus, the number of this structure could hardly exceed 4 – 5 thousand people.
Total, up to 1965, China "passed" about 10 – 11 thousand Soviet soldiers and officers. However, it must be remembered that the USSR helped China in 1923 – 1941. In 1939, Soviet military advisers and specialists worked and participated in the fight against the Japanese 3665 invaders in this country. And just before the start of the 1942 year, when they mostly left China, more than 5 of thousands of Soviet people fought on the anti-Japanese war fronts (227 of them died). In sum, it turns out that in different years around 15 thousands of military experts from the USSR rendered international assistance to China.
Through the battles in Syria in the period from 1982 to 1985, a year could pass from 4,5 to 8 by thousands of Soviet military personnel.
More than 10, thousand soldiers from the USSR and dozens of different civilian specialists helped the Vietnamese in their long, 6-year-old, confrontation with the Yankee aggression.
About 3 thousand volunteers in uniform - military advisers, pilots, tankers, sailors and other specialists - the Soviet Union during the 1936 – 1939 years sent to Spain. Losses accounted for 189 people.
Several hundred military experts from the USSR in 1962 – 1964 worked on demining the territory in Algeria.
This should also be added to the Russian military personnel who participated and continue to participate in peacekeeping operations (PKO). According to official data, the total number of peacekeeping forces in various hot spots (Abkhazia, Transnistria, Tajikistan, Yugoslavia, South Ossetia) in 1997 were more than 22 thousand Russian soldiers and officers. At that time, 11 109 blue helmets from Russia were directly involved in peacekeeping operations.
However, we must not forget that, say, in Tajikistan in 1992 – 2005, the 12-thousandth Russian frontier group operated, subdivisions of which were commanded by officers from Russia, and soldiers were called up from Tajikistan. For some time, Russian border guards guarded the borders of a number of newly formed CIS countries, and they still serve in Armenia. Any border is always a hot spot, no matter how calm it is.
When summing up, it turns out not “about 1,5 million compatriots” who fought in famous and previously unknown local wars outside their native country during the period of the Soviet Union and in the history of the new Russia, but only about 1,1 million people, mainly, of course, military. However, this is also a huge figure, which cannot but impress, and which hardly needs to be “improved”.
WAITING FOR LOCAL CONFLICT MUSEUM
Interestingly, on the territory of Poklonnaya Gora in Moscow, by the 2016 year, it is planned to build a museum of the Afghan war and other local conflicts, in which Soviet and Russian soldiers participated outside the borders of the Fatherland. This was announced in February by the director of the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War, retired Lieutenant General Vladimir Zabarovsky. He clarified that the proposal on the museum on Poklonka was submitted “together with the Russian Military Historical Society to the Ministry of Culture of Russia, and was already supported by the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Medinsky and the Government of Moscow”. The initiators expect that the capital mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, to whom they asked to allocate land in the Poklonnaya Gora for the construction of a new museum, will treat the appeal favorably and will give a positive answer.
In the meantime, the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War is running an exhibition entitled “The traditions of heroism are true” devoted to the 25 anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. The museum exhibits archival documents, maps, photographs, samples of weapons, equipment and military equipment used by Soviet troops in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, as well as personal belongings of participants in Afghan events. “They are taken from both our Central Museum and the funds of veteran organizations and personal archives of Afghan veterans,” said Vladimir Zabarovsky, who also noted that this exhibition will operate here on a permanent basis until the doors of the new Afghan museum open. War on Poklonnaya Hill.