Military Review

Capture of Russian aircraft in Afghanistan

Capture of Russian aircraft in Afghanistan

20 years ago, 3 August 1995, the Taliban fighters intercepted the Russian IL-76. For more than a year (378 days), the crew members of the aircraft were in captivity. Moscow did not undertake any substantial efforts to rescue seven members of the aircraft from captivity. 16 August 1996, the crew of the aircraft was able to escape on his own plane. The hero pilots were awarded state awards: the crew commander and co-pilot were awarded the title Hero of Russia, and all other crew members were awarded orders of Courage.

3 August 1995, the Il-76TD aircraft under the tail number RA-76842, which belonged to the Kazan company Aerostan, flew from Albanian Tirana to Bagram. The crew of the aircraft included: aircraft commander Vladimir Ilyich Sharpatov, co-pilot Gazinur Garifzyanovich Khairullin, navigator Alexander Viktorovich Zdor, flight engineer Askhat Minakhmetovich Abbyazov, flight attendant Yuri Nikolaevich Vishivtsev, flight engineer Sergey Borisovich Butuzov and flight engineer Viktor Petrovich Rtiov The plane made a commercial flight commissioned by the Rabbani government in Kabul, in the framework of an intergovernmental agreement with Albania on the Tirana – Kabul (Bagram) route and transported ammunition to arms. Receive the goods had to "Northern Alliance". The Bagram airfield was controlled by the troops of Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was the worst enemy of the Taliban movement. Afghanistan at that time was engulfed in a civil war, in which the main players were the Taliban and the Northern Alliance.

The crew already operated similar flights to Bagram, carrying various cargoes. The flight from Tirana with ammunition was the third after two of the same, quite prosperous. However, this time it “didn’t go off”. Over Afghanistan, the plane was intercepted by the Taliban Air Force and, under the threat of attack, was forced to land in the Kandahar region under the pretext of inspecting the cargo.

Russian pilots stayed in captivity for a long time - more than a year (378 days). The situation was difficult, the crew members not only experienced various domestic difficulties (heat, lack of water, normal food, confinement), but also feared for their lives. They were transporting weapons to the enemies of the Taliban, and they could be killed. Nobody could prevent the Taliban from executing the pilots. In addition, the Russian authorities did not make any noticeable efforts to free them. Moscow’s foreign policy positions in the 1990s were extremely weak. Captivity was delayed and could lead to tragedy. The Taliban offered Russian pilots to convert to Islam, so that it could lead to the relief of fate.

Как recalled Vladimir Sharpatov: “They fed us“ nasty. ” Nobody was allowed to visit us, the mullahs came to us, they said that we should accept Islam. We refused, but learned a few prayers. ” “We did not know what will happen tomorrow, we lived in uncertainty. The worst day in captivity is when one night the guards woke us up and put us on a bus. I have already decided that we are being taken to be shot. It turned out that they wanted to hide us, as information appeared in the Russian media that the military are preparing an operation for our release. ”

To preserve the technical readiness of the valuable aircraft, the Taliban allowed crew members to periodically inspect the car. As Sharpatov noted: “We saw their interest in the aircraft, they began to persuade that it was necessary to do maintenance for the aircraft, otherwise it would not fly. Over time, the Taliban explained the value of the “Elah” captured by them. That it requires regular maintenance. Crew. In full force.

This created the possibility of organizing escape, since the convoy was small, and its vigilance for a long time dulled. On the other hand, the crew managed to achieve the right to rare personal meetings, including with other representatives of the Russian authorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as the transfer of mail, which allowed discussing the details of a possible escape. Timur Akulov, representative of the President of Tatarstan M. Shaimiev, came to the pilots. He tried to buy the pilots for parts for helicopters, but the Taliban refused the deal.

16 August 1996, with the next maintenance, the reason for which was the damaged wheel chassis, the pilots were able to get on board the aircraft. The moment was convenient for escape, since almost all the guards left to pray. The spacecraft commander Vladimir Sharpatov alternately warmed up the engines. After making sure that their actions did not cause any suspicion among the Taliban, the commander ordered the flight engineer to close the cargo ramp located in the tail section of the aircraft. Then I drove on the runway and lifted the car into the air. When the three remaining guards began to figure out what it all means, resourceful pilots explained to them that, according to the instructions, they needed to make a test flight, then they would land Il.

Airfield services could not prevent the takeoff, and the Taliban did not lift the fighter into the air. The fighter pilot went to his native village that day to visit relatives. To deceive possible pursuers, the pilot directed the plane not to the north, towards Russia, but to the west. In accordance with the air corridor agreed with Tehran, IL-76 made an hour and a half flight to the United Arab Emirates. When they flew up to the border, the guards tried to resist, but they were able to disarm and tie. There was enough fuel for the flight, since the aircraft before the flight to Kabul was refueled with the expectation of a return flight, and the fuel was not drained. In Sharjah the heroes were already met by representatives of the Russian embassy

On the night of 18 on 19 of August, the Russian pilots returned safely to Kazan. By the decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 1225 of 22 of August 1996, for the heroism, courage and resilience shown during the liberation of Vladimir Ilyich Sharpatov from the forced stay in the territory of Afghanistan, he was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation with the Golden Star medal. The star of the Hero of Russia to the pilot was presented in the Kremlin by the head of the Russian government Viktor Chernomyrdin. By the same decrees, a high rank was given to co-pilot Gazinur Khairullin. The rest of the crew: navigator Alexander Zdora, flight engineer Askhat Abbyazov, leading engineers Sergey Butuzov, Victor Ryazanov, flight operator Yury Vishivtsev, were awarded the Order of Courage.

Based on these events, director Andrei Kavun made the film Kandahar, which premiered in February 2010 of the year (the movie was released worldwide as “The Crew”).

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  1. strelets
    strelets 3 August 2015 06: 57
    Yes, 20 years ago our opinion and our interests were of no interest to anyone, even our "elite", to say nothing of others ...
    1. Saratoga833
      Saratoga833 3 August 2015 07: 53
      Quote: strelets
      our "elite"

      Our "Elite" has never been interested in anything except money.
      1. Minstrel
        Minstrel 3 August 2015 08: 19
        And I, as a connoisseur of the Polish language, have always been interested in the consonance of the Russian word "elite" and the Polish word "elita" (pronounced through "e") and meaning human intestines. I am tormented by vague doubts about the randomness of this coincidence ... laughing
        1. The comment was deleted.
        2. demo
          demo 3 August 2015 11: 12
          Protect yourself from torment with vague doubts.
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. Denis
      Denis 3 August 2015 17: 43
      Quote: strelets
      Yes, 20 years ago our opinion and our interests were of no interest to anyone, even our "elite", to say nothing of others ...

      Okay, "elite" (what is it ... elite? Kalashnikov, Bokeria, Lopatkina, they are the elite, and those thieves), and these shtradaltsev-truth-lovers
      they wanted to hide us, as information appeared in the Russian media that the military was preparing an operation for our release
      And the media are Russian, not Taliban. Hang these scribblers with such a poster
      Yes, and many modern does not hurt this
      If you do not hang, then it is so necessary
      And then some ... shitty article will be embossed, and someone will lose their lives
  2. bionik
    bionik 3 August 2015 07: 03
    Watched "Kandahar", a good film
    1. Alena Frolovna
      Alena Frolovna 3 August 2015 16: 28
      From the story of crew commander Vladimir Sharpatov:

      - Kandahar seven you no longer meet?

      - For the tenth anniversary of the escape in Tyumen, they decided to arrange a gala evening. They allocated a lot of money - three hundred thousand rubles, donated the Builder Palace of Culture for the event, developed a script, even planned fireworks. We wanted to pay the way for the crew, ordered the best hotel. The citizens of Kazan promised to be there, but did not come. No one...

      And for my seventieth birthday, I invited the crew. The story repeated itself. No one flew in! I don’t know, maybe people’s conscience woke up. Or, on the contrary, they finally lost it.

      No, I’m not a judge for them ... I’ll just say that every year on 16 of August I gather friends and celebrate a date steeper than my birthday. More precisely, I now have two of them. And so it will be until the end of life ...

      The crew spent a year and thirteen days in captivity, and all this time the commander kept a diary. The first poem written by Vladimir Sharpatov in captivity:

      "Kandahar people, Kandahar people ...
      We are now called that.
      In three days, all became elders
      And they knew the life of relish.
      The walls are white, steep,
      And at the zenith - the sun drive.
      Here the laws are all different,
      Go near death and risk.
      Rumble of the native plane
      Dreaming, dreaming at night.
      It wasn’t easy work,
      It was all harder for us.
      All around other people's faces
      Only stone and sand.
      It is useless to fight, fight
      You take a step - to your temple.
      Heart caught by a bird
      Hits the chest,
      And imagines a lightning
      The land is green, the land is native. "
      August 1995 of the year.


      You can read the full here:
    2. Black
      Black 3 August 2015 19: 23
      The film "Kandahar" is a good film, however ... But ...
      There one of the pilots plays such a Svidomo !!! Bogdan Benyuk ..... That scum !!!
  3. gla172
    gla172 3 August 2015 07: 48
    Quote: strelets
    Yes, 20 years ago our opinion and our interests were of no interest to anyone, even our "elite", to say nothing of others ...

    What to talk about if in the government some enemies and traitors were sitting, all the more time they did not have to steal as much as possible .... am
  4. The comment was deleted.
  5. Thunderbolt
    Thunderbolt 3 August 2015 08: 15
    And the pilots were lucky that the protection was such suckers and they showed personal courage with the desire for freedom. good P.S. © Vladimir Melnik, 1996 Kandahar, Afghanistan
    Commander - Vladimir Sharpatov. Before escaping a few more months ...
    1. partizan86
      partizan86 3 August 2015 23: 48
      It is not surprising - they have never smelled of any kind of education and real preparation, except ideological.
  6. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 3 August 2015 08: 22
    The Russians have repeatedly shown their courage and desire for freedom. Recently, a documentary was repeated about the uprising of our prisoners in the Dushman camp in Pakistan.
    1. Baikal
      Baikal 3 August 2015 08: 55
      Do not recall what was called? I would love to see hi
      1. The comment was deleted.
      2. gjv
        gjv 3 August 2015 09: 19
        Quote: Baikal
        Do not recall what was called?

        Uprising at Badaber Camp, 26 - 27/04/1985
        Documentary - 'Mutiny in the Underworld' (2009)
        1. Baikal
          Baikal 3 August 2015 20: 02
          Thank you very much!
    2. Ile ham
      Ile ham 4 August 2015 03: 38
      And there was also a feature film. It is called "Peshawar Waltz".
  7. Rostislav
    Rostislav 3 August 2015 10: 08
    "Nails would make of these people
    There would not be in the world stronger than nails "
    1. miv110
      miv110 3 August 2015 10: 34
      Sorry mua!
      Ballad on Nails Nikolai Tikhonov. 1922

      Calm down the pipe to the end,
      He smiled calmly from his face.
      'Team, to the front! Officers, go ahead! '
      The commander walks dryly.
      And the words are equal in full height:
      'Anchored at eight. Course - stop
      At whom the wife, the brother -
      Write, we will not come back.
      But there will be a noble bowling alley. '
      And the elder in response: "Yes, captain!"
      And the most daring and young
      I looked at the sun over the water.
      “Does it matter,” he said, “where?”
      Still calmer to lie in the water. '
      Admiral's ears caught the dawn:
      'The order has been executed. There are none saved. ”
      Nails would be made from these people:
      Harder would not have been in the world of nails.
  8. RoTTor
    RoTTor 3 August 2015 10: 22
    Not a word that BTA aircraft criminally ended up in all kinds of dubious airlines under the type of leaders like the vice chairman, such as the flight attendant buta and in all participated in extremely dubious transportation of weapons, smuggling, drugs, etc.
    It is a pity only for our pilots, who, having become unnecessary in their homeland, are forced to wrestle themselves in all kinds of African, Asian, and Latin American garbage dumps as disenfranchised slaves of every crook.
    How many have already died, how many more will die, how many have brazenly been deceived ...
  9. Editor
    Editor 3 August 2015 10: 51
    Well, they knew that they were being driven after all ...
    they probably were not told that the Taliban have airplanes and pilots who speak Russian ...
  10. demo
    demo 3 August 2015 11: 23
    And the most interesting is that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation then was Andrei Kozyrev, notorious for everyone.

    Who today continues to "care" and "worry" about Russia and about you and me.

    It turns out interestingly.
    Our officials tirelessly, from dawn to dawn, work for the good of Russia, and when they are torn away "from the overwhelming labor of the righteous," they instantly jump either to London or to New York to their "chambers of stone."
    This is such a new Russian tradition.
    And those countries that accept them, don’t they understand that we, who already do not have a very high opinion of them, are beginning to consider them open enemies.
  11. Leader
    Leader 3 August 2015 12: 01
    Remind, please, what special operations did the Russian authorities carry out to rescue their citizens from the clutches of terrorists abroad?
    I only saw art fairy tales on TV - about brave commandos and wise leaders rescuing Russians from terrorist captivity.
    Our state does not care about people! I still remember how briefly trundeli about 311 of our soldiers captured in Afghanistan ... They say that negotiations are underway, we will not leave anyone ...
    Where now are these guys whom the Motherland called, sent to fight and left there?
      DIVAN SOLDIER 3 August 2015 13: 10
      I think now the situation has not changed, our citizens are being captured, killed, and they express only deep concern to us.
    2. partizan86
      partizan86 4 August 2015 00: 01
      I recall one, not power. Although Iran, it is certainly not Pakistan, but not Afghanistan.
      The previous Iranian ayatollah was involved in the abduction of Soviet citizens, but some other terrorists officially assumed responsibility. The KGB and the GRU knew everything in detail. They secretly, but quite intelligibly and clearly informed the abductors that if the citizens of the USSR were not immediately and unconditionally released, then during the tests one of the Governor could accidentally hit him in the head. The hint was understood and people were released.
      I don’t remember the details with names and dates, but the article seemed to be published somewhere here, about a year or two ago.
  12. Motoroll
    Motoroll 3 August 2015 13: 15
    Then Yeltsin was just a bastard. That is why the Russian government did not want to free the hostages. If Putin were then, the crew would have been freed in 3 days.
    1. Noncombatant
      Noncombatant 3 August 2015 13: 51
      Yeah. A Taliban plane would be covered with gold leaf.
    2. partizan86
      partizan86 4 August 2015 00: 05
      Either that, or we would not have known about the capture from the central media ...
  13. unsermann
    unsermann 3 August 2015 13: 39
    Quote: Motorola
    If Putin were then, the crew would have been freed in 3 days.

    Oh really?
  14. valokordin
    valokordin 3 August 2015 15: 09
    For this feat, the Prime Minister and the President will be awarded the Order of Judah Iscariot.
  15. Aboriginal
    Aboriginal 3 August 2015 15: 50
    People, I personally watched on the news how Primakov read out to the pilots of this plane standing in front of them in the Kremlin after their return. It was a SHAME! It's a shame to behave this way - a monotonous monotonous reading-mumbling of duty phrases about how "we all worried, worried, hoped" without even trying to stick at least some kind of mask on our face. His whole appearance said that no one from the government and in general those in power did not care about their lives. Returned - well, would not have returned - well - such is fate.
    These people did not break in captivity, they were able to physically and morally survive and make a unique escape without help from their homeland, which did not even remember them.
    Their act is an example of courage and firmness.
  16. TsUS-Air Force
    TsUS-Air Force 3 August 2015 16: 16
    we always have people engaged only in self-rescue! Unfortunately!
  17. Sergey Vladimirovich
    Sergey Vladimirovich 3 August 2015 19: 51
    Quote: Denis
    And then some ... shitty article will be embossed, and someone will lose their lives

    Yes, in pursuit of a sensation and in an effort to present this "sensation" to the first, having received a fat fee, hiding behind loud phrases about freedom of speech and other x ...
  18. andrewkor
    andrewkor 3 August 2015 20: 13
    the film is cool, the cast of actors is excellent, and the last shots with a view of the clouds, as a symbol of freedom, simply tear out !!! In Soviet times, three Grushniks were released in Lebanon during a unique insolence operation involving mutual hostage-taking and blackmail.
  19. partizan86
    partizan86 3 August 2015 23: 46
    The film was shot as believable as possible, I liked it.
    But "22 minutes" is outright crap, very far from reality, "watchable", but "filmed based on real events" must be excluded from there and a fine to compose for the creators. I only liked the rap there from the "pro-Russian" pirate, but I never found the song.
  20. candidate
    candidate 4 August 2015 07: 56
    ... until you pass everything yourself
    It is unlikely that you will understand everything.

    Heroes did the thing
    Not broken, everyone's gone
    And the opinion, they say, outcasts
    Still found their answer
  21. Vladimir65
    Vladimir65 4 August 2015 22: 56
    "In addition, the Russian authorities made no discernible effort to get them out." Of course they did not. The authorities were busy with more important matters: the division of public property and the sale of it on the world market, which continues to this day.