On 11 December 1994, President Boris Yeltsin signed a Decree № 2169 “On measures to ensure law, order and public security in the Chechen Republic”. A decree was immediately followed by the deployment of troops on the territory of the Chechen Republic. How violent were these events for units of the Russian army and Navy, are still remembered by contemporaries and participants of events. It was a difficult New year.
However, today in the Russian media, you will not find mention of this. But there are a lot of publications about the opening of a monument to Solzhenitsyn, about the commemoration of Mrs. Alexeyeva, a minute of silence at the meeting of the Council for human rights, about the struggles of human rights activist Ponomarev, passing through administrative detention. But no one bothered to think about the losses in the first Chechen. However, they are quite significant. According to data published in the book “Russia and USSR in wars of XX century: statistical study”, the Federal forces lost in this war: dead – 5042 person; missing persons 690 persons; wounded, shell-shocked, traumatized – 17 892 people.
This forgetfulness of the country about people who sacrificed their lives for the sake of its existence, has caused the Network some dissatisfaction.
When discussing this topic with my friend at the Ryazan airborne school, now a Colonel, who, at his request, we will call Smith, I learned that he passed while serving in the special forces of the Pacific fleet and participated in the first Chechen campaign. I asked him to tell me about that time. And that’s what he remembered.
Where the North Caucasus, where the red banner Pacific fleet in the beginning of 1995? Geographically not close. By the standards of the war, and our military transport aircraft – very close.
The “first” account of the battalion of the 165th regiment of Marines (165 PMP) of the 55th division of Marines (DMP) flew to Chechnya immediately after the New year.
The company commander – captain Cleese Roman V.* – he told me that before sending them manned by sailors from surface ships, submarines, all kinds of warehouses, bases, completely untrained. People had the simplest of military skills. And suddenly: the Marines – troops of the rapid response mission in the region with a complex operational situation, and to put it simply – the war.
Roman was talking about those pre-holiday days, “will be Released half an hour into the city to see family, around preparing for the holiday. Tree, discuss gifts, festive mood, merry laughter. Going back to the regiment – a hasty preparation for war, severe nervous work of commanders at all levels and sailors, filled with horrified eyes of newly minted Marines, painful darkness.”
When the battalion has advanced to the big landing ship (BDK) for further travel in the direction of the airbase Knevichi, sailors, exhausted from a heavy burden has been dropped gun shops, cotton sleeping bags, other equipment. Their initial route was littered with military equipment, the main, passing through a war, the way is steeped in heroism.
Second battalion DMP come in, roughly, three to four weeks and were formed on the basis of the 390-th marine regiment (390 smf), stationed in Slavyanka. In the structure of this division was introduced reconnaissance group of special purpose (Lspn) from the part of the army from island Russian. If the division was part of the Coastal forces, the military unit of special purpose – part of the exploration fleet. Different tasks, different training of divers-scouts, acceptable manning level, weapons, equipment, special means.
With the Russian route is simple: the base – 36 pier of Vladivostok (ferry “Ussuri Bay”) – Slavyanka (ferry “Foreman Rishko”).
Arrived, introduced myself to the commander of the regiment, housed in the Lenin room of a company, went to see the battalion, to meet. Talked to the sailors. They are all collected from the Navy, just became Marines. The level of training can not speak. It is impossible to discuss what was not. Officers also came from different parts, only a few have served in 390-m PMP.
He returned to his Lenin’s room, had dinner, took in the scene: decided to help brother Marines, what made a distribution of personnel Gspn for units of the battalion. To live in such a situation, Autonomous found it impossible, dishonest. In contrast to the “first” battalion, considering the time gaps of our forces in the Chechen Republic, we got “manna from heaven” – a week or two of combat coordination, fire training.
Went to work. When they began to train people needed in the war, believed us, and followed us for the other officers of the battalion. The sailors were saved, but spared. The Marines explained the meaning of each maneuver, in the implementation of the tasks, saving the life of a friend of his. Due to a very minor allotted training time was used, and the simplest coaching. Understood: it is necessary though something to have time. Managed to give a close fight.
Held a little meeting, talked about the clashes: how to felt them, I realized once. Told with humor, unobtrusive. Officers separately. Taught them to blend in elements of the uniform, not waving, not to prove a willful commanding voice, to move in the middle of the platoon, company, masking of the radio station, control unit, unbeknownst to the foe, but effective. Then very helpful.
It was cold. Was no heating. Intelligence officers and hoarse, but the battalion woke up, moved, forgot fear, “developed shoulder” and took place in record time. It was another small victory of our spirit, victory over the criminal futility of the chiefs, leaders. It was a distinct beam directed in the best times for the country from “swamp” the so-called “nineties”. It was our common song.
Still with a sense of sincere gratitude I recall the personnel of the 390-th PMP: from the commander, staff officers and administration to commanders and sailors of the regular battalions.
My brothers! I can see Your faces. However, my further service was developed so that to forget names – forgivable, Yes, and how many years have passed… Records, unfortunately, did not lead, had something to do except. I bow to you, dear, for a military shooting range, sufficient ammunition, advice, support. Do all perechtesh? Separate bow to the rear of the regiment, division. Always were dressed, well fed.
There have been sad situation. The parents of the sailors, then living in Primor’e and near, came to Slavyanka, was part of the regiment and took away his sons from the coming war. The remaining guys all understand, but to look at them in these moments was terrible. I had the impression that all our work breaks down overnight.
I remember one sailor balked, saying: “Not going home! I’m with everyone in Chechnya! Then I’ll be back”. Seriously. All the other proud. In their eyes, it was read immediately. And the children went to war. A lot about it written by smart people, talented writers and poets, reporters. For us it is always important to read about it from those who have passed fighting paths himself, who survived and managed to tell others.
In the East of our country worthy of the people made “the memory Book”. I bow to those who remember and keep our victory, but sometimes terrible history.
Always wondered honor, conscience, patience, the work of the military conscripts, especially in the period when they killed our country. Even then, the guys came to conscription and adequately protected us. This hard work was not their profession, but they saw something, in addition to their relatives, excluding their homes, is worthy of their protection, their lives. Low bow to them.
Since 1997, a number of officers of the marine corps reconnaissance and special red banner Pacific fleet to serve in the Regional Department of special purpose UFSB of Russia for the Primorye territory. Behind them there are many difficult and nice work, like the far East and in other regions of the country and the world – with more complex operational environment. Unfortunately, there are still losses. Our enemies are changing the form of aggression, but do not change its essence.
Therefore, we have no right to forget. In a year or twenty-five years of the Decree No. 2169 and the invasion of Chechnya. Let’s not forget!
*Colonel Cleese died in 2008 in the North Caucasus, serving in the Regional Department of special purpose UFSB of Russia for the Primorye territory.
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