For many people, especially the younger generation, the participation of the Soviet Union in the 1979 – 1989 events in Afghanistan remains a little-known episode. Moreover, the actions of the USSR for many years served in a black light.
The bias was due to the general anti-Soviet ideological attitude that has long dominated our country. It's time to restore justice. For this, the most valuable evidence of the direct participants in the fighting. Rodion Shaizhanov, who served in Afghanistan in 1984 – 1986, shares his memories.
- Can the Afghan war be considered forgotten and slandered?
“My generation is well aware of the Afghan war, and in Soviet times, we, the“ Afghans, ”were treated with respect. But in the era of the collapse of us began to forget, known and attempts to discredit. Much depends on the presentation of information, so you really need to tell young people about that war.
- How does a completely peaceful person change, turning into a soldier?
- I graduated from the Moscow Technical School with honors, and I was offered to go to college without exams. But at that time, all my comrades went into the army - as it was believed in those years, everyone should serve. Therefore, I chose the army, not the institute. I was engaged in parachuting and set myself a goal to get into the Airborne Forces. Then, of course, they heard about the war, but there was very little detailed information. I was sent to Fergana. On the way, they said that there was a school there, after which percent of 40 was sent to the GDR, and the rest to Afghanistan. In fact, we all got into Afghanistan.
In Fergana, soldier life began: physical training, crosses and so on. The heat was depressing. In the study I saw the first death. We ran the cross in full uniform, helmeted, with machine guns, in the backpack of the paratrooper - stones and sand. One guy from Zelenograd, my fellow countryman, suddenly felt ill, lost consciousness, fell and died. Then I was instructed to go to the morgue for him, personally dressed him, and I was only 18 years old!
Then suddenly an epidemic of hepatitis began. They talked about sabotage, because from 120 people in our 90 company got sick, but the disease did not catch me, they sent me to Afghanistan. Arrived in Kabul, on the airfield. At the transit point, we were stripped down to our underpants, and the doctors conducted a physical examination. There were also officers who picked up soldiers in their regiments. I was taken to 357, brought to Bala-Hissar fortress, where they determined AGS-17 in the calculation. At the time of arrival in the fortress there were few people, almost all were on assignments. But the next day, Bala Hissar was filled with the military, everyone returned, and we got acquainted. There turned out to be an old member of Zelenograd, Aleksey Makarov. He forced us, young people, to go in for sports and ran with us, pulled himself up on the bar and so on. I do not know how the others, but we were not bullying. Of course, the guards, outfits and patrols - the young, but no bullying.
And the baptism of fire took place in July 1984, on the eve of my birthday. Near the road to Gardez, along which the supply went, there were shrubs and trees. The vegetation was thick, because a river flowed nearby. And so the dushmans (“spirits”, as we called them), in advance dug up the whole catacomb in Zelenka and hid there. Imagine a clay well, inside of which there are steps made of wood. It is dark in the well, nothing is visible, that is where the dushmans were sitting. I later met many such catacombs, we did not climb them, but threw grenades.
So when our column of KamAZ trucks appeared, the “spirits” struck, the shooting started, and we were immediately sent there. I look - the cars are on fire, one with diesel fuel has blocked traffic and it is impossible to drive through the whole column. Apparently, the driver contusion, he does not understand anything, screaming. The jets of diesel fuel are beating out of the wagon, and it can explode at any moment. Alexey rushed into the car and took her aside, threw her into the river. And to us, the young ones, he said to lie down in the dust and lie down so that no one was hurt. I then fired not from AGS, but from Kalashnikov. Tracers are flying, I have a shock. I do not believe anyone who says that he was never afraid. But fear is dulled with time, and even enter into a rage when it doesn't matter whether they kill you or not, especially when you see a wounded or dead comrade.
By the way, among the wrecked cars one was carrying condensed milk. There was nowhere to overload it, and I took myself a box. Since I was soon to have a birthday, I spread the dry rations of biscuits, made layers of crumb, covered with condensed milk and made a cake. Condensed milk overeat for life, since then I can not look at it. It seems ridiculous, but in fact it was no laughing matter - the guy from my call died in that fight. He had previously sent letters to his home, and when we returned, he received an answer from his parents. It was not possible to read.
- How were the other operations?
- Differently, sometimes almost nothing happened. But in general, in 1984 – 1985, we had the hardest losses, then we cleaned up the whole of Afghanistan. We found warehouses, destroyed the sea weapons and so on. Dushmans were well equipped. Shoes, beautiful sleeping bags that thinly curled, and a lot more American-made. Consider that it is not easy to fight when it seems to be warm, but there is snow in the mountains. For example, we were cold at the height and warmed by dry alcohol.
Somehow they found in the mountains a reserve of Italian mines. They pulled the rope down, let it pass through the handle of the mine, and so they were lowered, after removing the fuses. Then the helicopters were loaded fifteen. Basically, the operations were successful, but when we put our Afghans at the head of the villages, they were killed or they themselves went over to the side of dushmans. We again go to the same village, and the situation repeats, the “spirits” again received a weapon. I fought five times in the same village.
For me, the worst battles happened in Kandahar, Jalalabad and the Pandshir Gorge, where Ahmed Shah Massoud was wielding. I'll tell you about the Pandscher. We returned from a successful operation, captured several "spirits", only one wounded among us. We decided to spend the night. Just in that place were located, but we threw grenades in them and, moreover, sent the sentinels next to these wells. Sit, drink tea. And one of ours, sniper Alexander Suvorkin, suddenly says that he is drinking tea with us for the last time. We did not listen to him then: they say, nonsense, and the next morning we continued on our way to the helicopters, five kilometers remained. No shooting, silence, we go after each other half asleep. Suddenly stumbled on a banner. The first one stopped, and we bumped into each other, as if we were folded into an accordion. And from the place from which we had just descended, “spirits” emerged from these catacombs, shouting: “Shuravi soldier, surrender. We instantly dispersed, and spooks, seeing that we were not giving up, began to blast us with machine guns. We were a 24 man, immediately 12 was injured. One guy from my calculation shot both legs, the other wounded in the head, in the company head - in the neck. The machine gunner shouts: "Throw the tape." He didn’t have a machine-gun belt, and when we threw him, she exploded in flight before our eyes, it just hit her - that was such a heavy fire. I turned the ags, and around the bullet, instinctively jumped over the stone. I cannot return to the AHS, I cannot reach the trigger, because the bullets do not stick out. I decided to press the "keyboard" with my foot. I will not boast that I aimed, in fact, just lucky, but the hit was very clear. Dushmans immediately silenced. A company shouts to me to continue firing. Again, I shake my foot, but the AGS has shifted slightly and there was no more accuracy. And then something completely unusual happened. Suddenly I saw that one of my comrades began to jump in one place. And I also jump, and in the eyes of the mountains move. Well, I think, sausage us from fear, but it turned out that an earthquake began. Here the spotter caused artillery fire, passed the exact coordinates on the radio, and the dushmans covered us with fire. Another company came to our aid and, in short, the battle was over. Look, lies Suvorkin, our sniper. We say: "San, get up," but he does not answer. The bullet passed through his scope and hit his head, that is, he began to take aim, but he was killed. Perhaps among the dushmans there was also a sniper. So it turned out that Suvorkin really did drink tea with us for the last time.
I barely reached the helicopter. I will carry one wounded man on my hands with 200 meters, follow the second one, and still carry a weapon. Moved by rushes and again fell on the stretch. Another was injured. And at that time I was lucky, not even hooked. The company wrote me a presentation on the medal "For Courage". But not approved, I did not get a medal. But for the next operation they gave the Order of the Red Star. Then I blew up on the BMP-2, a fragment in my hand and leg and was also shell-shocked. Dushmans laid mines in "flour", that is, in thick dust, and in Afghanistan there is a lot of it. I was sitting inside the BMP, my legs were numb, I tucked them in, and then there was an explosion. If I hadn't tucked in, I would have torn it off. But still it smeared me very much.
I spent some time in a strange state: neither sleep nor loss of consciousness, it is difficult to say what it was. Then I remembered everything - my parents, my brother, and my school. I opened my eyes, I saw the light from the open hatch, all around it was burning, all black itself. I - in the hospital, sick, vomiting, nerve hurt. They made an injection, it was a completely high state. Treated in Kabul, three weeks lay and again returned to service, but his cheek is still twitching.
Operations began again, escorted, protecting car columns, etc. In one operation, we had to go from one mountain through the gorge and climb to another. See - "spirits" are coming. Stoned, stoned, apparently. Something is bawling. It was dark, and we are not visible, but their moon illuminates well. We immediately tied them up, but behind them came a whole crowd of dushmans - the 30 man. But we didn’t expect it: we sit, someone smokes, and Aleksey and I decided to drink some water and moved forward a little. This is where the main squad of “spirits” appears: it turns out that the first ones that we have already taken are the watch.
And again we see them, they do not have us, but the "spirits" are already very close. How to remove the circuit breaker from the fuse? They will hear a click. What to do? Then the shooting began, our other guys noticed this squad, we immediately began to shoot almost at close range, just like in the movies, instantly released the entire store and ran back to our own. I feel something in my back, I think bullets, but no, these are stones. I did not put on a bulletproof vest then and still survived, but in that battle the spotter about whom I was talking about died.
By the way, the spooks were afraid of paratroopers, we did not retreat. The “spirits” distinguished us in shorts, and this helped us. But I can’t say anything bad about other types of troops.
- What were the interethnic relations in the Soviet army in Afghanistan?
- I am a Tatar, there were a lot of Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians. In each company - by Tajik and Uzbek, we had translators. We were all very friendly, corresponded when we returned to the USSR. And then the country fell apart, the collapse began, you will not find anyone.
- What do you think about the officers?
- Much depends on the officers. Imagine that the officer makes a mistake on the map and we take the wrong mountain. It's very hard to climb it, and then it turns out that it is not located there. Such cases have been. And for some reason, a young officer during the operation began to demand that we do exercises, run cross-country crosses with a naked torso, and so on. Veterans say to him: “What are you doing? We are on a mission, not on training. ” He does not understand anything.
There are officers from God whom I am grateful for all my life. Once the company commander refused to execute the obviously stupid order of the battalion commander when we were ordered to go with shouts of "Hurray" almost in a frontal attack on the machine gun. The commander of the battalion was then dismissed by the company commander and ordered an ensign to take command. And the ensign was cunning: he still didn’t go to the forehead, the machine gun went around and fulfilled the task. Then we broke off the epaulettes from the company, but then I don’t know what became of him, we never saw him again. The company was right - a good commander would not be a soldier, but he would think over what can be done. It was the company officer who prompted the ensign to bypass the machine gun.
- Curious cases have been?
- We were landed in Jalalabad in Zelenka, around bushes and thorns. We jumped from helicopters from a height of two or three meters and then ran through the thickets. Somehow it happened that I met the dushman face to face, there was no one near ours, but he, too, had no support. We look at each other: I have an automatic on my shoulder, he too. It seemed to me that a lot of time had passed, I speak to him in Russian: turn around and leave, I will not shoot at you and I will also leave. It could have been a duel, who would shoot faster, but I didn’t want to kill him and he didn’t want to shoot me, muttered something. I did not understand anything, though, it seemed to me that I had disassembled one word “Yakshi”, and maybe I didn’t say anything like that, but in any case, we somehow agreed. And turned in different directions. Of course, I was scared, because I did not know where ours are. We both ran at full speed, I rushed, collected all the thorns along the way, and right at the back of my head: isn’t the “spirit” going to shoot in the back? It cost. It was me then 18 years.
- How was your life after Afghanistan?
- Demobilized in 1986, first worked as a driver in a car factory, started a family, graduated from the institute. And now I head the veteran organization of "Afghans". Son 28 years. All is well.