Tukhcharskaya Calvary of the Russian outpost

Tukhcharskaya Calvary of the Russian outpost

September 1999 of the year. Dagestan. Already a month, as the flames of the "liberation" war unleashed in the mountains of the Botlikh, Tsumadinsky and Buynaksky districts are blazing. She descended from neighboring Chechnya unexpectedly and insidiously.

There is a war in the mountains, and here, to the north, in the Novolaksky district is relatively calm. On the eve, however, the militia commander shared information that several thousand militants had gathered on that side, but somehow they could not believe that such forces were gathered behind the green, peaceful hills. Militants already tight. Most likely, the detachment of some local field commander simply stepped up.


The chief of the small outpost, who occupied only five days ago the prevailing height on the southwestern outskirts of the village of Tukhchar, senior lieutenant Vasily Tashkin did not guess, and, coming in contact with “Top”, reported the situation to his command, adding that parties are being monitored.

In response, he was instructed to triple vigilance, to set up additional observation posts. Behind the river Aksai - Chechnya, a large village Ishkhoy-Yurt - a gangster nest. Zastava ready for battle. The position for the bemboshka is chosen successful. The trenches are equipped, the firing sectors are targeted. And the outpost garrison is not a green youth, but twelve proven fighters. Plus, the neighbors are the militias on the left and two posts of the Dagestan militia below, for reinforcement of which the Klachivists arrived - the servicemen of the operational brigade of the internal troops. Only ammunition would suffice: in addition to the BMP-2 with full ammunition, there are also PCs with seven hundred cartridges, SVD and 120 cartridges for it, an old “Kalashnikov hammer” with three hundred and sixty cartridges and four magazines from machine guns. He also has a castle grenade on a grenade launcher and four grenades each - ergadashki. Not a lot, but if anything happens, they promised to send help: the battalion is in Duchi, it is not far.
However, in war as in war.

“Tyulenev,” the sergeant called Tashkin, “The Peak” again asks for heightened vigilance. Tonight I will check posts myself!
- The night was stuffy and moonlit. Two kilometers of glowing ominous lights of the Chechen village, it smelt strongly of mint, and restless grasshoppers chattering in the grass until morning, making it difficult to listen to the silence of the night. Barely dawn, Tashkin raised the fighters having a rest and with the sniper moved to the next hill, from where, from the positions of the militia, what was happening on the adjacent side was seen much better even without optics. From here, it was clearly visible, as the Chechens, almost without hiding, wade into a shallow rivulet. Last doubts were dispelled, this is war. When the militants, reaching thick chain, became visible to the naked eye, Tashkin gave the command to open fire. A burst of machine-gun fire broke the silence, two militants ahead of them fell, and afterwards they pounded, and other barrels were thrust. Zastava took the fight when the sun barely seemed because of the mountains. The day promised to be hot.

As it turned out, the militants still outwitted the Kalachevites. For the same reasons that they didn’t take the outpost into the forehead, they struck the main forces from the rear, from the Dagestan village of Gamiyyah. Immediately I had to forget about all the carefully verified sectors of the shelling and leave the equipped position for the bemempeshki. It turned into a nomadic, causing effective damage to the enemy "Shaitan Arba". Militants realized that it was not possible to knock down the fighters from the height, and without that it was risky to enter the village. Fixed on its outskirts, near the village cemetery, they tried to get the soldiers from there. But it was not easy for them to do this.

Not less steadfastly, supported from the skyscrapers with fire, the Dagestan militiamen also fought below. But the poorly armed militiamen were forced to abandon their positions, which the militants immediately occupied.
The field commander Umar, who led the operations from neighboring Ishkhoy-Yurt, was visibly nervous. Already for the second hour, his detachment, which was part of the so-called Islamic special-purpose regiment, was actually marking time.

But an unequal battle could not last forever. The ammunition ended, the forces melted, the number of wounded increased. Here the militants have already captured one checkpoint, and then the village police department. Now they broke into the village and almost surrounded the hill. And soon they also knocked down the BMP, which only lingered more for a minute in the field of view of the enemy, aiming the moving ZIL with the bearded men. The crew of the heroic "dvushki" managed to get out, but the fire greatly burned the gunner of the machine Siberian private Alexei Polagaev. The sight of burning equipment with exploding ammunition caused the militants to triumph, distracting their attention for a while from the soldiers who continued to hold the height. But the commander, realizing that now it is not just dangerous, but also impossible, and most importantly, inappropriate, decided to leave. There was one way - down to the policemen of the second checkpoint holding the defense. Under the cover of the smoking machine, they were able to go down the hill, taking with them all the wounded. By the eighteen defenders of the now only point of resistance in the village of Tukhchar, another thirteen people were added. The Russian officer managed to save the lives of all his subordinates, taking them down the hill. On 7.30 on the morning of September 5, the connection between Vertex and Tukhchar was discontinued.

Realizing that it was not possible to destroy the feds, and at the next assault there would be casualties, the militants sent elders to the last defenders of the village who sat behind the concrete blocks:
- Militants are told to say that without weapons came out, guaranteed life.
“We won't give up,” came the answer.
There is still a chance to get out of the battle, they thought, saving life, weapons and honor. Having counted and dividing the cartridges, having brotherly embraced at last, the soldiers and policemen, covering each other with fire, rushed to the nearest houses. Wounded dragged on themselves.
Having fallen under the dense fire of militants, senior lieutenant Tashkin and four more fighters jumped into the nearest building. A few seconds before, police sergeant Abdulkasim Magomedov died here. At the same time, the half-collapsed building was surrounded, it was not possible to leave. Ammunition was running out. Militants again offer to surrender. However, they themselves do not run the risk of going on an assault on a makeshift, where only a handful of armed men have sat down. Put pressure on the psyche. Promise in case of failure to burn alive. Gasoline cooked. Give time to think. In the end, a truce is being sent, who has turned gray overnight in one day.

Did our guys hesitate at that moment? Always want to live and all. This is especially acute in the moment of calm, when you realize that life is so beautiful! And the sun, so gentle, now standing at its zenith, was so bright, so life-affirming. The day was really hot.
I did not believe the sweet speeches of the militants Vasily Tashkin. A heart-thing and some experience suggested to the officer that these nonhumans would not leave them alive. But looking at his boys, in whose eyes HOPE was read, the officer still decided and left the shelter ...


Immediately disarming the fighters, roughly pushing them with their butts in their backs, the militants drove the soldiers towards the smoking ruins of the checkpoint. Here they also soon brought the burned and wounded gunner of the BMP private Alexei Polagaev. The soldier, dressed in civilian dress, hid Gurum Dzhaparova in her house. Did not help. Local guys-Chechens told about the whereabouts of the guy to the militants. The meeting on the fate of the military was short-lived. Amir Umar ordered by a radio station "to execute Russian dogs", too many of his soldiers were put into action.

- The first brought to execution private Boris Erdneev from Kalmykia. Blade cut his throat. Residents of Tukhchara, numb with horror, watched the massacre. The fighters were defenseless, but not broken. They passed away undefeated.

They died in Tukhchara

The execution was filmed on a video camera, which impassively recorded the last minutes of the life of the soldiers. Someone takes death in silence, someone breaks out of the hands of executioners. Bravely met the death of the commander. No one asked for mercy ...
Now, near the place of execution, the Dagestani police station is located again, covering the road to the Chechen village of Galaity. Five years have passed, much has changed in relations between neighboring republics. But just as cautiously and with disbelief, the inhabitants of Tukhchara gaze in the direction of a restless and unpredictable neighbor.

No more high-rise military outposts. Instead, the Orthodox cross rises, a symbol of the eternal victory of life over death. They were thirteen, six have died, having climbed to Golgotha. Remember their names:
Vasily Vasilyevich Tashkin
Paranin Alexey Ivanovich
Lipatov Alexey Anatolyevich
Polagaev Alexey Sergeevich
Erdneev Boris Ozinovich
Kaufman Vladimir Egorovich


(The essay "Protecting Tukhchar" and the video film "Peacekeepers" of the journalist and director Vitaly Noskov were used in the preparation of the material.)

Photos of the author and from the archive of the Book of Memory
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