Military Review

"The main thing is the carpets!" Terrible. January 1995

40
On the night of January 1 1995, the Russian army began an assault on Grozny. About how foreign journalists worked on the first big Russian war, recalls the former head of the Moscow bureau of the British BBC television station Chris Booth.


"So it’s profitable for someone ..." was the only standard answer to any question we asked. "Why are battles going on in this part of Grozny?" "Why do the underground oil rocking machines continue to work during the bombings?" "Why do Chechens buy weapon the military? "
- So, - an elderly Chechen on the outskirts of Samashki or a young pimply conscript soldier at the checkpoint equally shrugged his shoulders, rolled his eyes up and pointedly raised a finger. - So, it is beneficial to someone ...
This phrase, I think, then became the main symbol of Yeltsin's Russia. She allowed to explain any event and at the same time show herself as a person who knows the secret springs of making all decisions. Although in reality nobody knew about it.

And one more phrase accompanied us from the very first day in Chechnya. "You only tell the truth!" - both Russians and Chechens shouted to us, all we had to do was to slow down and open the car door.

Journalist Chris Booth (far right) with his Associated Press colleagues. Terrible, 1995

"The main thing is the carpets!" Terrible. January 1995


For a business trip we got a dark cherry "Niva". The Associated Press news agency shared with us large stickers with its logo, which we immediately placed on the doors and hood of the car.
Another decoration was the huge letters of the TV, personally cut from electrical tape. At first, we were proud of the product of this, but then it turned out that the Latin abbreviation of the news agency was read in Russian, like "A" and "P", so in response to the question "Where are you from?" we usually reported that we were working for Armenian Radio.
Oddly enough, this explanation suited almost everyone. In the 1995 year, both Russians and Chechens fully admitted that a station with the same name could operate in Yerevan, which sent the Englishman and Tatar to cover this war with a large professional television camera.



By the way, about a hank of wide electrical tape, from which we cut the letters, it must be said separately. At that time it was the main tool, so that in the trunks of any television group and in the trunk of each car that the journalists used, you could always find a pair of skeins of this tape.
With its help they repaired the broken equipment, used instead of bandages and bandages. But first, be sure to paste over their cars with the words PRESS and TV.
This practice ended somewhere in the middle between the first and second Chechen wars. Local gangsters then with all their might engaged in human trafficking, and the journalists turned into almost the main object of abduction.
So the TV inscription on the car noticeably increased the chances that you would be lost in the area of ​​the mountainous Chechen village, and soon a parcel with a small Hi8 video cassette will be sent to your Moscow office, where your address to your colleagues will be recorded.



One of such cassettes was brought to us in 1997. On dark photography there was an American missionary, overgrown with a beard and completely gray. He had been kept in the basement for a long time, and on the video he asked those who knew him to pay a ransom for him, otherwise he would lose his finger first and then his life. The very next second, without any editing, his little finger was slowly cut off.
The missionary was then released, we recorded an interview with him, but it never fell into news BBC. Shortly afterwards, we received another tape from the North Caucasus, where the Russian soldier’s throat was cut.
This was filmed before the system of automatic stabilization of video shooting was invented, but the camera in the hands of an unknown “operator” never wavered.



The operator with whom I worked was called Vadik, and he was from Astrakhan. We swore quite often, but Vadik hated me especially when I was driving a dark cherry Niva.
The roads in Chechnya at that time were indeed terrible, but some of our colleagues were worse than us. One of the television agencies, for example, decided that “Zhiguli” - “four” would be the best for working in a war.
It was also pasted over with the letters TV, cut out of electrical tape, and in order for the radio to turn on by itself, all that was needed was to slam the door harder.
Traveling along the Chechen roads for two years, I considered myself a great expert on war behavior. And only a few years later, during a special course in London for journalists working in hot spots, I was surprised to learn that the knowledge that I was so proud of was completely useless and was taken by me from American film fighters.



As it turned out, a car door, for example, behind which we so often hid from shelling, does not at all protect against bullets. After listening to my history about the flight from the area of ​​the cannery, which covered with artillery fire, the instructor on the courses asked if I really had to turn around the car seven times in order to leave under the fire on the only road. I confessed.
“A car,” the British instructor in a white shirt and tie said reproachfully, “you should always park your nose in the direction of a possible evacuation.” I had to agree with him.
All these instructions, however, did not relate to the news agency Reuters. From the very first day they brought real armored SUVs to Chechnya, so they could safely hide behind the open doors of their cars.



Like any operator, Vadik, if he didn’t grumble about my inability to drive the Niva, I was always looking for a “prettier picture”. At the very beginning of January, in the midst of the battles for Grozny, we decided that it was time to capture at least one battle in all details.
It was almost impossible to enter the city center, so for the filming we chose an unfinished high-rise building on the outskirts. He already had a roof, but there were no stairs, but we somehow managed to climb up.
Vadik barely managed to put the camera on a tripod and began to choose a plan for the first shooting, as we heard a thin whistle, and then the mortar charge exploded a hundred meters from our building.
The next volley was laid just before the entrance of the house, and when the third gap rang out, we already rolled head over heels, not noticing the lack of a ladder.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that the areas between the floors were covered with sleeves and empty magazines from the Dragunov rifle. The unfinished house we chose was apparently chosen by Chechen snipers for a long time, and the mortar gunners knew this very well. Yes, and Vadik with his big camera on a tripod from a distance could easily be mistaken for an arrow with a hand grenade launcher.



We jumped into the car and, after driving a couple of hundred meters, tried to climb onto the roof of another building. But the mortar waited for us here, and the first charge exploded in front of the house as soon as Vadik set up a tripod on the roof.
I had to urgently change the location. We decided to go to Chernorechye, the only district on the outskirts that the Chechens still seemed to be holding back at that time.
"Niva" parked in the courtyard, surrounded by still completely whole "Khrushchev". The artillery cannonade did not stop, the explosions of shells rumbled closer and closer. In the very center of the courtyard, in the children's sandbox, a teenager was digging in silence and with concentration. Women ran around the yard, covering their heads with handkerchiefs.
As they explained to us, the Chechens left the area a few days ago, so that no one knew where and why the army batteries, deployed a few kilometers from Chernorechye, were firing.



We waited for the next artillery attack in the first approaching staircase, and then we just started knocking on all the doors. One of them was opened by a pale as a woman and invited us to enter.
An elderly man was sitting in a wheelchair in the living room. On his jacket glittered medals of a veteran of World War II. At the very beginning of that war, both Russians and Chechens believed that military awards would become additional insurance and protect them if someone breaks into a house.
The man's name was Nikolai. He told us that he was very afraid, and that he had relatives in Kizlyar. His wife (I think her name was Raisa) said that they could not leave at all, because she had very valuable carpets and she did not want to leave them to either the bandits or the soldiers.
These entreaties lasted all the time while we carried Nikolai in his chair down to the Niva parked in the courtyard. On the stairs, I called London, and our editor said that if we remove the whole story, he gives permission to take the family to Kizlyar.
But there were only two of us, and Vadik could not simultaneously carry Nikolai and take pictures. So we immediately forgot about the order of the London editor. Already at the door of the car the veteran burst into tears. He kept telling his wife that the Chechens had left, and now the soldiers will come and kill everyone.
But Raisa insisted on her, convincing him that she could not just throw carpets ... We had to leave. At parting, Nikolai wiped his tears for a long time and waved his hand toward his wife. “This is a fool,” he said quietly. “This is a fool ...”



A few days later we spent the night in Grozny. Everyone was awakened by the roar of airplanes and the frequent crash of rocket gaps. A bunch of journalists, rubbing their eyes with difficulty, ran out into the street.
As it turned out, during the raid several bombs landed in the oil refinery, so that the entire horizon blazed with crimson reflections. A rocket destroyed several houses on the main street of Grozny.
The outer walls collapsed, and it was evident that a man covered with dust had emerged from the wreckage in one of the apartments on the second floor. Behind his back, a Christmas tree was shimmering.



When I returned to Moscow from this trip, an official fax was waiting for me at the office from the press service of the Russian government.
In a paper referring to Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets, it was reported that state structures had begun collecting blankets and food packages and that all this would be delivered to civilians in Chechnya.
In another paragraph, an unidentified press officer clarified that, in reality, residential buildings in the center of Grozny were blown up by militants in order to pass it off as the consequences of air strikes.







































































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  1. V.ic
    V.ic 29 January 2016 06: 29
    48
    After reading this article, I immediately want to scream: "freedom of Ichkeria." The corrupt comprador regime of Baruch Elson provided the "fighters for the independence of Chechnya" with weapons, practically transferring the warehouses of the North Caucasus Military District to the "Czechs". When blood was shed in Chechnya, the oligarchs sawed off assets in the territory of the USSR that they inherited.
    1. Tatyana
      Tatyana 29 January 2016 09: 53
      19
      The article was written from the perspective of foreign journalists. Moreover, the events of the 1 Chechen war of 1994 of the year are recalled by the former head of the Moscow bureau of the British television and radio company BBC Chris Booth - he talks about how foreign journalists worked in this Russian war. However, the fact that they are foreign journalists Russian readers have to make a discount to their vision and perception of the events of that time. For what fundamentally socially fair could they learn about Chechnya if they had not delved into the problem of Chechnya in the Russian Federation before? Therefore, the article for Russian readers turned out to be so-so - it is perceived as one-sided and as an excuse for the Dudaev regime in the self-proclaimed Ichkeria with its criminal genocide against the Russian people. We Russians will never forget it. And what was happening there - under Dudayev - awaits Europe and Europeans and, in principle, is already beginning. However, England - it is England. England has always been against Russia. Therefore, special objectivity from British journalists can not be expected. Not that mentality.
      Therefore, it is better to watch a film with the participation and story of this war from direct participants in the events of that time.
      1. The comment was deleted.
      2. Tatyana
        Tatyana 29 January 2016 20: 25
        +6
        Everyone can read about the criminal regime in Chechnya in the 1991-1995 years in detail.
        “The criminal regime. Chechnya, 1991-1995 "All this is the same for the EU countries. In fact, Ichkeria is a post-Soviet DAISH.
        This collection contains factual materials presented by the Public Relations Centers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Federal Grid Company, as well as the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, documents, letters and testimonies of citizens, reports from various media about the crisis in Chechnya 1991-1995, which give an idea of ​​the criminal, anti-popular regime prevailing in the Chechen Republic during the reign of Dudaev.
        http://ixl-ru.livejournal.com/198947.html
        Download here
        https://docviewer.yandex.ru/?url=ya-disk-public%3A%2F%2F0xQD3sjUwhG0xg4srj0pd2kD
        Iu%2BhZQzlAH4h%2BBjd8wI%3D&name=%D0%9A%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%BC%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B0%D0%BB
        %D1%8C%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B9%20%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B6%D0%B8%D0%BC%20%D0%A7%D0%B5%D1%87%D
        0%BD%D1%8F.pdf&c=56ab8c103a19&page=1
        1. Tatyana
          Tatyana 29 January 2016 21: 10
          +3
          Excerpt from the book “Criminal regime. Chechnya, 1991-1995 ", p. 31.
          http://ixl-ru.livejournal.com/198947.html
          In 1992, a council of elders was created in the village of Aldy, the decisions of which are binding on all residents of Chechen nationality. One and the leaders of the council Khakilov Umar, living on the street. Orenburg, d. 10, bought several apartments in different areas of Grozny. He was engaged in robberies and oppression of the Russian-speaking population. Looted and things from the apartments of Russian gives in his clan teip.
          The article “Neighbors warned that we need to leave”, published in the weekly “Russia” No. 45-50 for 21-27.12.94, reported unlawful acts against children of the boarding house No. 2 of Grozny located in the Olimpiysky2 MKR . In a survey of residents of the microdistrict, it was found that, with the connivance of the director, the pupils of the boarding school were used to make video and porn films. Attendants were selected from previously convicted drug addicts. So one of the teachers used her pupil - Irina Seroglazova, 12 years old, for taking pictures, and also as a “gunner” to commit robbery attacks on apartments.
          On May 14 of 1994 in Grozny, two Chechens in a Mercedes car, the license plate 88-88 MT raped citizen Olga Nikolaevna Ledyaeva, born in 1949.
          Smirnov Sergey Grigoryevich, 195 year of birth, wanted since 1992 year, lived with his father Dzhantayev Supiyan in the village of Sernovodsk. He grazed his horses for food, and was beaten and threatened with murder for disobedience. According to Smirnov, Dzhantayev had another farm laborer named Yura. This Yura was killed in the Achkhoi Mortan region for running away from Dzhantayev. In the middle of the summer of 1994, he was caught and cut from the throat to the crotch, and hung in the bushes by the road.
          A resident of Grozny, Abzatov Ibrahim, who lives on the street. Bus, d. 64, according to the refugees, took part in the execution of Russians in the city.

          Etc. And this is not the flowers, but only the ovaries! And who will forgive ?! You can half-forget, but not forgive.
          In Russia, the Russian question has existed and still exists since the 1917 of the year.
          1. Tatyana
            Tatyana 29 January 2016 22: 46
            +4
            None of the Chechens have been convicted of a war crime or genocide.
            From Wikipedia.
            In July 1999, the Ministry of Nationalities of Russia, which killed more than 1991 thousand Russians in Chechnya from 1999 to 21 years (not counting those killed in the war), seized more than 100 thousand apartments and houses belonging to representatives of non-Chechen ethnic groups, more than 46 thousand people were actually turned into slaves. Property and passports were taken from them with the connivance of the republican and federal authorities (61) (62)
            http://tularus.org/index.php/history/626-history-17-11-12
            1. The comment was deleted.
            2. The comment was deleted.
            3. Tatyana
              Tatyana 29 January 2016 23: 15
              +2
              And this film shows the enormous importance of the media and the honesty of journalists in covering the war in Chechnya and the reasons for its occurrence to create public opinion.
              Photos and material about the war in Chechnya, the former head of the Moscow bureau of the British television and radio broadcasting company BBC Chris Bout and his comrades, in fact, varnish the gangster essence of the criminal Dudayev regime in Chechnya.
    2. Petrol
      Petrol 29 January 2016 16: 54
      0
      schA such crap is happening in Ukraine .... I wonder who is the next from the USSR, Asia ???
    3. Mavrikiy
      Mavrikiy 29 January 2016 20: 13
      0
      Well no. But they didn’t tell the truth. And on the other hand, why else do we need the press?
  2. Ural resident
    Ural resident 29 January 2016 07: 37
    22
    An article about how bloodthirsty Russians destroyed poor Chechens?
    Recalls the reports of some media in 95 from the palace of Dudaev.
    1. g1v2
      g1v2 29 January 2016 14: 44
      +9
      The article is an attempt to rock the Caucasus again. Americans do not like Kadyrov's popularity in Russia and the fact that Russians and Chechens are fighting together, and not against each other. Therefore, the west brings up old photos again. And he shows the Chechens - you see, the Russians destroyed your houses with missiles, and the Russians - you see, the Chechens cut your soldiers' throats and cut off their heads. Yes, we remember, and the fact that Kadyrov fought against us too. But this is the past, and now those who fought against Russia, died in the Donbass defending it. We ourselves actively multiplied each other in the 90s by zero - in every city there is a "alley of heroes" in the cemetery. But IT'S GONE and these pida-m will not be able to rock the carnage again. Do not wait -. am Anyone who has now posted these pictures will not get their way, it is more likely that he himself can slip.
      1. Your friend
        Your friend 29 January 2016 20: 43
        -4
        Quote: g1v2
        The article is an attempt to rock the Caucasus again. Americans do not like Kadyrov's popularity in Russia and the fact that Russians and Chechens are fighting together, and not against each other. Therefore, the west brings up old photos again. And he shows the Chechens - you see, the Russians destroyed your houses with missiles, and the Russians - you see, the Chechens cut your soldiers' throats and cut off their heads. Yes, we remember, and the fact that Kadyrov fought against us too. But this is the past, and now those who fought against Russia, died in the Donbass defending it. We ourselves actively multiplied each other in the 90s by zero - in every city there is a "alley of heroes" in the cemetery. But IT'S GONE and these pida-m will not be able to rock the carnage again. Do not wait -. am Anyone who has now posted these pictures will not get their way, it is more likely that he himself can slip.

        Kadyrka is a personally loyal Putin abrek. Putin will not become where he will sharpen his skis, despite the fact that he and Chechnya are not controlled by the Fed. power?
  3. Volga Cossack
    Volga Cossack 29 January 2016 07: 41
    32
    photographs are the only value of this article ........
  4. yegor_k
    yegor_k 29 January 2016 07: 42
    15
    From the article, only one thing is clear - the mortar men worked poorly, it was necessary to cover with a second salvo.
  5. Alex_59
    Alex_59 29 January 2016 08: 00
    10
    I do not see any Russophobic or pro-Chechen propaganda in the article. Just a statement of fact. This is a reminder of what mess you can bring your own country with your own hands. However, there are examples in the present - Ukraine. I remember that time. Sheer hardcore, even without war in Chechnya. I want to forget like a nightmare - forever.

    And on the last photo the grandfather with SVT-40. After all, they found somewhere ...
    1. Black Colonel
      Black Colonel 29 January 2016 16: 27
      +1
      "Echoes of War." (Fascist from "Brother-2")
  6. inkass_98
    inkass_98 29 January 2016 08: 06
    13
    My father-in-law was right there on the New Year’s assault on Grozny. Fortunately, everything worked out.
    1. Mavrikiy
      Mavrikiy 29 January 2016 20: 32
      0
      my young friend. Naibali, let us rest again!
      1. Mavrikiy
        Mavrikiy 29 January 2016 21: 19
        -1
        What are we distorting?
        My young friend. Naibali, we will stand again!
        I can add no scripture.
  7. slaventi
    slaventi 29 January 2016 08: 06
    22
    Judging by the photo, the journalists worked in the "camp of enemies." geopolitical), helped to ruin the country, mocks our people.
  8. parusnik
    parusnik 29 January 2016 08: 10
    15
    The Chechen war ... someone heated his hands .. on the blood of Russians, Chechens ... he did something ...
    1. Hon
      Hon 29 January 2016 16: 51
      +3
      Quote: parusnik
      . Someone’s hands and warmed .. on blood

      who could it be interesting?
      1. Your friend
        Your friend 29 January 2016 20: 45
        -2
        Quote: Hon
        Quote: parusnik
        . Someone’s hands and warmed .. on blood

        who could it be interesting?

        Be betrayed, lick the king’s hand, you will have everything and no one will bother you. (((
  9. novel66
    novel66 29 January 2016 09: 06
    +9
    But no one answered for this war. Maybe it's time to name and call?
    1. V.ic
      V.ic 29 January 2016 09: 13
      +3
      Quote: novel xnumx
      Maybe it's time to name and call?

      Do not call, but attract!
    2. Pig
      Pig 29 January 2016 09: 28
      16
      "" Maybe it's time to call and call? "
      to call it a long time ago they called: Borya-drunk, Pasha-Mercedes, Borya-scarf, Misha-raider, Vitya Kosnyazychny ... and the main Misha-tagged!
      but to call ... to call them already called ... to heaven! which means bribes are smooth (
      it would be possible to pull up the Swordman, but how he dumped him in Vaterland and lives there in the lackey
  10. vladimirvn
    vladimirvn 29 January 2016 10: 47
    +8
    For the pictures, plus set. I remembered. I already want to howl from hatred for those who started this war.
    1. Hon
      Hon 29 January 2016 16: 53
      0
      Were there?
      Quote: vladimirvn
      For the pictures, plus set. I remembered. I already want to howl from hatred for those who started this war.
  11. black
    black 29 January 2016 10: 55
    +1
    And it was. And it's been over.
  12. raid14
    raid14 29 January 2016 12: 10
    +3
    Test photos, Grozny Ave. Lenin, Wait a minute, Sunzha, Khankala, now time is running!
  13. Dimon-chik-79
    Dimon-chik-79 29 January 2016 12: 31
    +5
    Here it is, the main achievement of the Reformed Democrats. And not one liberal scum did not answer for this! On the contrary, houses of memory are erected with trolleybuses with different posters, but it’s interesting if there are several similar photos hanging there? maybe somewhere near the trolleybus in the exposition is a burned tank? or a pile of charred bricks of some kind of Grozny house?
  14. Crown
    Crown 29 January 2016 12: 43
    +6
    Just the boys fought against seasoned men.
  15. Riv
    Riv 29 January 2016 14: 11
    +5
    Yeah ... Chechnya was forced to wreck all their separatism. Then they allowed to crawl out and again forced to shave. Now in the North Caucasus, about fifty years will be quiet.
    1. Black Colonel
      Black Colonel 29 January 2016 16: 32
      +2
      "... it will be quiet in the North Caucasus for fifty years."
      It will be so, if not allowed. am am am
    2. Hon
      Hon 29 January 2016 16: 58
      +5
      Quote: Riv
      Yeah ... Chechnya was forced to wreck all their separatism. Then they allowed to crawl out and again forced to shave. Now in the North Caucasus, about fifty years will be quiet.

      Pendec, how quiet it is.
      Now those who were supposedly forced to break separatism, deputies, ministers, someone even a hero of Russia. Russia is proud of them.
      By the way, he drew attention, they began to recall less and less veterans, as it’s not customary to talk about them so that Vainakhs would not offend
      1. Riv
        Riv 30 January 2016 07: 31
        0
        Why less often began to remember? Two people work with me who have been on an emergency in Chechnya. It’s hard to forget, here they are.
  16. partizan86
    partizan86 29 January 2016 16: 23
    +2
    "This was filmed even before the automatic stabilization of video filming was invented, but the camera in the hands of the unknown" operator "never wavered." - the camera was clearly not in their hands, it could have been an ordinary tripod, it had already been invented then.
  17. Lord blacwood
    Lord blacwood 29 January 2016 19: 22
    +4
    The first Chechen campaign for our army was a shame. And it’s not the soldiers who are to blame, but the oligarchs, liberals, and corrupt generals who sold the army. If corridors and data were not sold, they would have won immediately.
    1. Aureol
      Aureol 31 January 2016 12: 53
      0
      Was there in the 91st. It was possible to crush in the bud. Nobody gave the order so.
  18. Radikal
    Radikal 29 January 2016 23: 07
    +1
    Quote: black
    And it was. And it's been over.

    All different.
  19. EVPanov
    EVPanov 30 January 2016 21: 07
    0
    Hmm .... DO NOT SUPPRESS THE CREATURES .... AND NOW THEY ARE ALL "HEROES" OF RUSSIA AND A RELIABLE SUPPORT OF THE KREMLADY ...
  20. Aureol
    Aureol 31 January 2016 12: 50
    0
    If it weren't for Pasha-Mercedes and others like him, and "comrades" higher, there would be no blood. Burn in hell for him, Borisk and the whole pack, and I hope that Marked will be reckoned with during his lifetime - it all started with him.
    The first one danced to the tune of "our overseas friends", otherwise they will not let him, nor will he be excommunicated.