The main taboos of the Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan

History 05/01/20 Main taboos of the Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan

They were many, official and unofficial bans for the “limited contingent of Soviet troops in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan”. But in reality, to understand that Afghanistan is really dangerous, could only be felt to “taste” the strange war.

First alert

They were in the form of memos. According to the preserved archives, it is possible to imagine how these instructions look – pamphlets from low grade paper, poor printing, for clarity, they placed figures of “Soviet internationalist”. A memo from beginning to end (from drawings and illustrations to the text content) was performed manually (pen and ink), as birch bark. Recommendations were impersonal – information about the source data for these instructions is nowhere designated.

Officialdom is taboo for soldiers-internationalists was served thus: the local population for the construction of infrastructure limited contingent as not to attract; not to talk too much in front of strangers (on the corresponding figure was depicted listening Mujahid); to inspect transportation (house, other premises) and the Afghans themselves without the presence of soldiers Tsarandoi (“green”, representatives of the forces of the DRA), if there is no direct security threats to Soviet soldiers, it is impossible.

In the memo, special attention was paid to the mentality of the indigenous population of Afghanistan and, therefore, instructions to the Soviet soldiers rather in detail stated, as with all of this considered, so as not to incur the trouble. In particular, it was prohibited to stop the column and to arrange halts near cemeteries, mosques and other sacred Muslim places. Near the well (the stream, any “total water source”) is also impossible to stop the Muslim in this case, it will not work. Any transport of the DRA, including public use is prohibited.

Notable official restrictions concerning personal contacts with the Afghans, who sells anything. From the contents of these taboos seemed that the soldiers and officers of the Soviet Army data links is definitely not neglected. Soldiers of the contingent are strictly forbidden to buy anything in private outlets in Afghanistan, and “with hands”. Alcohol and drugs in the list of the forbidden goods were specified consistently.

Alexander Lyakhovsky’s book, “Tragedy and valor of Afghanistan” reminds us that to write home about that you’re in Afghanistan, soldiers also then prohibited. In the best case family learned about it after the fact, when the soldier is demobilized. Or when he is sent home “cargo 200” – a sealed zinc coffin.

Examples of life

every unit of troops of the Soviet limited contingent was their “stoplists”. Colonel of the border troops, Vladimir Zhernakov, during the Afghan war, a graduate of the military College, the last 2 years of being contingent in Afghanistan, until 1989, remained “beyond the river”. He has his own memories of what it was impossible for Soviet soldiers on breathing death in exile.

Zhernakov recalled that the border guards did not leave their in the battlefield and carried the wounded, and the dead – such was their unspoken rule. Among frontier guards is still no unidentified, claimed a retired officer of the guards knew the fate of each participant of the battle, in captivity they never gave up and the losses were minimal.

In Afghanistan, for “shuravi” was originally taboo excessive credulity to local. Any, whether tsarandoy, local MGB (green), or simple farmers, each of them could use the location of Russian with the goal of informing the Mujahideen. A lot of plans of operations, details of which were dedicated to “green”, eventually became known to the spooks.

According to the memoirs of a paratrooper Igor Slavin, who gave the Afghan 2-year term, “triggers” – those who were directly involved in clashes in parts of the army, the most numerous category of Soviet Afghan contingent. “Staff” they have taken everything that was considered superfluous soap, blades, cameras, even women’s scarves (a gift for mom or girlfriend). Such “taboo” was full, and ignored them as best they could.

Slavin cites numerous examples of restrictions for Soviet soldiers who had not ideological, and functional importance in combat. For example, the long war transitions were forbidden to drink from public sources. And not because they are poisoned, but simply can not be required to endure. The group got some water and moved on. And those who rushed to quench his thirst, and then dragged, exhausted, to the point along with their weapons. This complicated movement, because the group could follow the spooks.

Nicholas Syromyatnikov

© Russian Seven

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