The fate of the officer

95th anniversary of the Border Troops — a celebration not only of soldiers in green caps and all over the country, which borders under their well guarded and protected. For centuries, the border guards not only protect the borders, but also the first to engage in combat with the aggressors. The peculiarity of the military profession that has to be on duty in all climates, in all the regions, including the Far North, or sultry southern point, in remote places, apart from the settlements. And, of course, the border guards had a chance to take part in combat operations in almost all the «hot spots» on the territory of the former Soviet Union.

In short, the border service is not for nothing called the special service. And those who wore a green cap, always add to this that the former border guards did not happen, and their own office — a vocation. We can say fate.

Today we will tell only about a «border» fate. But it, like a drop of water, reflected hundreds of thousands of other destinations that are bound together by a single word devoted to sounding like a password — border guards.

One of the pages of modern history, which is now trying to remember infrequently for political politeness, there was a war in Tajikistan. But it was. Russian border guards and a few years motorized infantry attack by Islamist evil, bursting out of Afghanistan. They were able to protect the independent state of Tajikistan. Then, in the early nineties, the soldiers and officers of the new Russia survived and won. One of those who went through the war — the Hero of Russian border guard officers Oleg hops.

The idea is to become an officer Oleg was not destiny. In the seven months he was alone, without parents. An orphan from a small town of Uralsk, which was lost in the steppes of West Kazakhstan region, — what he had prospects? All that he had — a character and willpower. But on the other hand, is not that enough? He studied at the school sports, along with basketball engaged in swimming, then became interested in melee combat, received the certificate of instructor and began to train in the section DOSAAF children, many of whom were older than he.

In 1989 Oleg graduated from high school and enrolled at the Omsk Higher Military Command School. Many of uchilishchnyh knowledge useful later. Fast flying cadet years, and June 19, 1993 Oleg Khmelev, received a diploma and a lieutenant shoulder straps, went to a new place of service — in the Zabaikalsk border area. He explains his choice: «In March 1993 we were visited by» consumers «of the Border Guard Troops. It was in those days the whole country resounded information about the heroic defense of the 11th frontier post of the Moscow border detachment. That’s what influenced the choice of service in the border troops. «

In Chita, Lieutenant Khmeleva identified as Deputy Chief of the outpost, given a place in the hotel. But before he could properly accommodate and look how it was proposed to go to a nine-month trip to Tajikistan, the Moscow border detachment. Oleg agreed, although many tried to dissuade him.

There was a war. Around dirty and hungry, besides the constant danger of catching typhoid fever, hepatitis, dysentery. In general, one could never guess exactly where the danger.

— Full of snakes, scorpions, — says hops. — In Tajikistan, this exotic has always lacked. Soon after arriving I was bitten by a viper. How long after that came back to normal. But in places such — the usual case. Just at that time held talks with representatives of the 55th Division of the Afghan Qazi Kabir. Then the first time I saw close Afghans. I have seen on crossing the Panj two Afghans who came to negotiate, they sailed across the turbulent river at wineskins. Enviable courage.

And yet, oddly enough, in Tajikistan hop liked. Here he was in the right place. In addition, he was surrounded by people who can not be found anywhere else. One of them — Lieutenant Vyacheslav Tokarev.

— Vyacheslav I met in Chita, in the officers’ accommodation, — says Oleg. — I was assigned to the 2nd outpost — «Argom-ju», and he — the 4th, «Biysk» …

«Devyatimesyachniki» — the name of the officers, as Oleg and Vyacheslav. For the nine months, many barely had time to grow into the situation, as you have time to return to a permanent post. Some are happy to leave Tajikistan, others sought to return to this country, who fought with the help of Russian border guards and soldiers of the 201st Division for their survival. Among the second attitude and Oleg. In spring 1994, he was transferred to Tajikistan. Along with him, and has made the translation Lieutenant Tokarev. The new appointment was responsible — in the air assault maneuver group of the Moscow border detachment (DSHMG). Khmelev became deputy chief of second desantnoshturmovoy outpost (DSHZ) Tokarev took the same position in the third outpost.

Dash Moscow at that time was the most, perhaps, in the entire combat unit of the Federal Border Service of Russia.

— After Moscow DSHMG passed many decent officers, border guards, — says hops. — Sergey Basmanov — Head DSHMG now continues to serve in the Russian FSB. Dmitry Razumovsky — Head 2nd DSHZ, Hero of Russia, was in the group «Vympel», was killed in Beslan. Dmitry Medvedev — Head 1st DSHZ, Hero of Russia, also served in the «Vympel» FSB, was killed in Nalchik. Alex Merzlikin — Head of the 3rd DSHZ, Hero of Russia, is now serving in Moscow.

Moscow Dash one allowed to wear logos of paratroopers — with a parachute and aircraft. But this feature had to pay in full. Not a day guards were not sitting idle. Combed, ambush, camouflage, support. Where some zavarushka — Dash into the helicopter, and then the landing, and then … Then — it’s as lucky.

In early summer Khmelev was sent to the remote border post Turgay. Very unfriendly, dark place: a huge mountain with two peaks towering over the surrounding area. At the bottom — the assembly of the lower mountains, bustling Panj scorched ruins in 1993. The 12th Gate, an abandoned village Sarigory. A little further on was the position of the new «twelve» is another strategic peak — height of 1501.1, which was the same post under the command of a remote good friend Khmeleva — Lieutenant Sergei Medvedev. In short, you can see everything at a glance. Who controls Turgay, who controls the entire valley and the approaches to it. It is no wonder that the struggle for the height waged fierce.

Senior in office was appointed Tokarev Khmelev — his deputy. They were subordinate to the two dozen soldiers, both Russian and tadzhikov.Ves post — four of the dugout and a network of trenches. On three sides of a post could come from the fourth -otvesnaya abyss. At the top of the left sat the neighbors — the National Security Committee of Tajikistan commandos. Right top guarded by Russian border guards. It was triangulation station. Between the peaks located helipad. Twice a month it accounts for a helicopter. Billowing clouds of dust, the machine hangs above the ground, poured down the food, ammunition, water containers.

— Fasting is constantly threatened by enemy DSHK — says hops. — Therefore, the helicopter left was no more than ten minutes before the opponent does not react.

Ten minutes later a helicopter dumped into the abyss, flying tens of meters, and only then levels off and fly away.

Dragged monotonous days in office. Dirt, dust, water-saving mode. But most of all pester monotony. Oleg says:

— This is a very dangerous condition -odnoobrazie. The soldiers there is a lot of extra time. They become involved in hell than appear hazing. So for us, the officers, the main thing was to take a subordinate. Exercise, cleaning weapons and, of course, the equipment and the improvement of post positions. For days digging trenches, communication trenches, equipped firing points. Later, we are all very useful.

Taking this opportunity, Khmelev constantly improved: he studied properly adjust artogon, aim at the target aircraft. In addition, officers of the post periodically conducted reconnaissance and fighting outputs. A huge maze of canyons, cliffs, trails surrounding the Turgay permanently concealed danger.

— Now wonder how we solved it, — says Oleg. — The height of the mountain is 2150 meters. She had to go down a very steep slope. And the rest of the mountain the same steep, locals almost did not go there. And we are in an abandoned village in the neighborhood went, and on the outpost — wash, and all the surrounding areas — carried out reconnaissance. In the process of finding parking militants with ammunition caches that are on the site and destroyed. The enemy was preparing for military action in advance. By the way, was the first time he saw firsthand how the Mujahideen organized outposts, as well as where the posts put escort. In addition to dart through the mountains more dangerous militants were mine. There are in fact a circle minefields. A couple of times we run up, but nothing happened. Apparently, in the twenty-two different perception of danger.

By August, it became apparent that the situation on the border is heating up. Every day, new posts and outposts throughout the border came under fire and attacked more caravans tried to cross the Panj, more weapons turned out in secret caches. Foreign Sponsors drove militants from the Islamic Revival Movement of Tajikistan in the fight. They were supported by numerous mercenaries from Afghanistan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan. All this terrorist international aspired to one thing — to create a foothold in Tajikistan in Central Asia. The idea was not difficult — to overturn the guards at the most convenient direction — through a portion of the 12th Moscow outpost detachment and moving deeper into Tajikistan, divide the country into two parts. But on the way to the 12th was forced to stand Turgay. He should grab first.

«Perfume» is constantly used to wander around the post, and now have intensified. They behaved arrogantly, not really hiding, lit bonfires at night. Border guards have tried to wean them away from bad habits do not abide by the blackout.

Oleg recalls: «One night, one of the lookouts reported that he saw a fire on one of the neighboring heights. Well, in our office we were very professional mortar. Allowed one mine and accurately covered. The next morning sent scouts. Reported — exact hit. One of five mine laid. «

Two weeks before the attack, «spirits» began firing post. Since August 11, attacks have become permanent. Sometimes they beat «eresami», sometimes from the ANC. Border guards put down their firing points shooting of 82-mm mortar rounds and LNG. On the heights of one of the neighboring cave spotted two snipers who had tried to terrorize the post. It fires a mortar they were lacking. Then a sniper post Oleg Kozlov secretly found a good position, waylaid enemy riflemen and put both of them.

And on Thursday, August 18, began.

— The shelling of the day was clear, — says Oleg, — at intervals, as ever. Shot «eresa» turn the ANC … In the morning I had a bad feeling.

To calm down, I decided to get a haircut. Another was also uneasy. We had a «ageesnik» Sergei Penkov. His AGS was upstairs, on duty at trigopunkta. The weapon was a fault which could eliminate only the owner of a grenade launcher, ie, Sergei. So I sent him upstairs to trigopunktu, early, before the divorce. Penkov walked with difficulty, he says uncomfortable somehow. He was a good executive fighter. I remember the girl he had recently sent a letter. She wrote that she is waiting … But I insisted, sent him to the post. At 17.25 it was. He never returned. Fifteen meters before reaching the office he was killed. There apparently was an ambush. Shot at close range. The bullet hit the heart.

Began shelling was so dense that even already accustomed to all border guards Turga was not myself. In the post just showered «eresy.» Every few seconds the air was cutting a nasty rattle missiles, after which followed the break. Clouds of smoke from the burning of explosives mixed with dust, pierced a thousand pieces and stones, in this hell trying to find their next victim. In addition to the height adjacent to Turgai spirits dragged the ANC. It periodically watered position post leaden rain twelve-gauge. In such a situation, nothing to do but to hide deeper into the dugout or on the bottom of the trench, and remember with gratitude every day, every hour, surrendered to the arrangement position. Later, it was estimated that on August 18 of each border guard post had three «eresa.»

Once upstairs the shooting started at 18.00, with the post lost contact. The radio operator tried to contact them, but the post did not answer. Only heard machine-gun and machine gun fire. To clarify the situation, at 18.05 Tokarev, along with Sergeant Smirnov and Zherdev moved upstairs to the top right. On the way they met one of the men from the top post. He said that the «spirits» went around the post with a reverse slope and surrounded trigopunkt. Group Tokarev went to the rescue of the environment. They could hear it banging gun Smirnov. By «spirits» who seized trigopunkt joined the group sat down on the left side Turga. Group Tokarev came under crossfire. In the short and fierce firefight Tokarev was killed Smirnov seriously wounded in the head. His gun was heard for some time, but then he stopped. But even the dead gunner called the enemies of fear and hatred. In impotent rage, they sneered at his body, stabbed, beheaded.

— From the very beginning I was like a battlefield have changed, — says Oleg. — All the feelings and instincts seemed strained. The brain works like a computer. Suddenly became collected, fast, accurate. For example, before this rare shot from the grenade launcher, but during the fight it is easy to fit a grenade at a target. And the beat at night, on the muzzle flashes of the enemy. Or another time — when I ran across from one trench to another, for me fired from a grenade launcher. I only remember in my direction is flying the red ball, I jump I dodge him fall to the bottom of the trench. Grenades flew past. Where did I have such a reaction, still amazed.

At 18.45 it was dark, but the intensity of the fight continues to grow. Sometimes firestorms lull. Apparently, militants dragged the neighboring slopes new batch of ammunition. As soon as the post became noticeably though some movement as a neighbor of Mount sighting beat the ANC did not give raise their heads.

Withstand not coward, do not succumb to the stifling wave of panic! After all, «spirits» had hoped to destroy not only physically, slash and maim Turga defenders, but also to suppress the will and force them to flee. And, unfortunately, it is to some extent possible. Cover your left Turga top fighters of the Tajik National Security Committee abandoned its position and fled. The decisive moment of the left flank of the Russian border guards found himself without a cover that allowed attackers to bypass them and strike with prepared in engineering terms the firing position. At the same time the fire was from above, from a distance of 30 meters. If this had not happened, perhaps, subsequent events would have developed not so tragic. In the War of the cowardice of some others have to pay.

Almost simultaneously with the attack on militants trigopunkt bulk and the central position. Khmelev managed to organize personnel, fire system. Now he was the only officer on duty, and it is from his orders, his self-dependent life and knowledge subordinate, most of which barely was twenty.

«Perfume» attacked from two sides — from the «green stuff» and the top of the left that housed captured the position of the National Security Committee. According to the position of border guards beat AGS, SPG-9, two machine guns, several RPGs and grenade launcher. They did not give the fire to raise their heads, but despite this, the guards were in response aimed fire, do not let the enemy get closer to their trasheyam, causing them to lie down and pull back. The cave again sat down enemy — thrower with a group of gunmen. Again, accurate sniper fire Kozlov led the group into silence.

Meanwhile, the most dangerous areas turned right direction from the top. Khmelev regroup, concentrated machine-gun and mortar fire. And yet, «spirits» and are able to crawl over a distance of a shot from a grenade launcher. Oleg counted about sixty attackers. But in the mountains every barrel registered. For some time, the intensity of the fire down: apparently, the militants regrouped. Taking advantage of this, I managed to crawl from trigopunkta Abishev Roman soldier, wounded by a grenade. Later, Anton managed to get his Zherdev. He reported hop that Tokarev killed. The body of the deceased Zherdev stoned.

At 19.40 the assault resumed with renewed vigor. The enemy launched an offensive at the same time on three sides. At this time a barrage of fire became so dense that it was impossible to raise their heads. It seemed a little more, and «spirits» burst on the position of the border guards. Khmelev decided to request the support of artillery fire. The radioman Shurhat Sharofutdi-new stay in touch. Militants tapped air and even offered to surrender. But it did not particularly zealous, understand that it is useless.

Sharofutdinov aired:

— I «of the Danube, 02» I «of the Danube, 02» …

Somewhere far below him said captain Sergei Stepic, head of the 2nd Air Assault outpost DSHMG Dushanbe. Sharofutdinov handed headset hop.

— Stepic, remembering that «spirits» are listening, asked me: «What kind of letter begins your name?» At that moment, the air was a lot of threats against us — and about the head, and about everything else -vspominaet Oleg. — I said, «My name is on the letter» X «. He realized he had requested the coordinates …

Soon bottom shells flew to Turgay. SAU shot, mortars and multiple rocket launchers. Twelve gates towards Turga made several BMP, who also shot. Khmelev adjust fire. At 21.30 the enemy could not stand, she moved away. The position of the post by the «spirits» newly departed «eresy.» Despite the darkness, beat very precisely, all the goals were long-sighted. From somewhere in the darkness crawled two more guards: Corporal Corporal Pavlov and Baev. They were surrounded at trigopun-CTA, were shot, and when out of ammunition, hidden among the rocks. Militants who seized the top, literally go with them, but did not find. According emerged from the environment, attackers commanded Arab, tall, black bandage. Later it turned out, among the attackers was a considerable number of Arab mercenaries.

— At some point, the enemy was able to approach our position very close, — says Oleg. — We threw hand grenades. Ammo we were still a lot, but the number was only fifteen. Judging by the number of outbreaks, the superiority of the enemy was a triple.

The shelling of the post did not stop for a minute. The enemy regrouped, preparing for a new assault. At the beginning of the eleventh to communicate with Khmelev went head of the Moscow squad, Colonel Basil Masuk. He quickly came to the 12th outpost of Shuro-bada, where he led the organization of the defense unit. Along with Turgay bombardment several stations in different parts of the group. Masuk requested situation. Khmelev reported. It was clear that the rebels do not retreat, will climb up to the last. In the air it has passed the order of one of their leaders, «Brother height at any cost. No one was left alive! «The enemy came very close to the trenches, trying to avoid our artillery fire. Enemies were on three sides, behind — the abyss.

— Gradually, we began to lose the advantage of the group armed, — says Oleg hops. — We ended RPO to «boot» (SPG-9) was somewhere three shots, but to the mortar floor-box min. Hand grenades and almost out. In general, the moment of truth.

Masuk then directly asked:

— What will you do?

And then he offered to beat Oleg positions close to the post. In fact, he called the fire itself. Hope for dugouts and trenches was minimal. Modern shells have such power that will break any shelter.

Masuk asked:

— Well I thought? ..

Hops itself had already decided. To get captured by the «spirits» — a miserable fate. In Asia, it is not accepted to respect the opponent. Stories about the cultural and sensitive attitude to the valor of the enemy — only oriental tales. Cut off the head, remove skin, chop for stuffing … How many times has this happened! Yes, and it is not accepted at the guards raise their hands up. Such is the tradition. Border guards do not give up!

Oleg then answered almost immediately:

— I’ve already thought of that.

At a quarter to eleven the moon rose. A bright light flashed every stone. «Perfume» once again went on the attack. It seemed to stir all around. Moonlight darkened by outbursts tears, tracers, fire dozens of rifles and machine guns. Blazing the barrel glowed in the dark. Leading furious fire, the opponents agreed to a distance throw grenades here and there explosions thundered. It quickly began to melt stocks of ammunition. Soon registered turned out to every store, every pomegranate. And all the militants continued to shove.

It would seem that here they are, the position of border guards — five meters! But those are the best footage «spirits» could not pass.

All! Each battle is currently broken when one of the parties can take the upper hand. Khmelev literally felt that such a moment has arrived. Having driven all the men down into the dugout, hop, with radio operator Sharofutdinov-tion was in the trench and requested the fire. There, in the valley, has long been waiting for his signal. As soon as he gave the coordinates as the answer came: «Take cover, will work» Hail! «

Below simultaneously rattled «Carnations», mortars hit install «Grad». Dozens of shells and rockets flew to Turgay. Moments later danced over the positions of the post hurricane of fire. The shells exploded in the tens of meters from Khmeleva. The earth trembled as in a fever. The dense wall of hot air, packed with shrapnel, flashed overhead. The shock wave has hit the eardrums. Instinct in this situation dictates only one — run, hide! But it was impossible to leave. Fire had to manage, adjust it so as not to allow the enemy to escape the shelling. And hops did not go away. His call sign — «Danube 02»

— constantly sounded in the air, passing the coordinates Refine firing. Fragments and pieces of stones densely sprinkled all around. One splinter caught in the arm is next to the radio operator. Oleg promedol injected him, and bound up the wound and continued to perform his military work.

Soon he was joined by a sniper Kozlov. Fire from the SVD, he would not allow «the spirits» to hide in the trenches of border guards. From the dugout out other fighters, and also began to strike at the enemy. Many of them were injured, but not gone. The battle continued right under shelling. Unable to withstand the wall breaks, the militants fled again, moving half a kilometer. From there, they are for some time were harassing fire, but then fell silent. Failing to get the result, once again unleashed on the enemy pitted with craters position post their «eresy.» Bili every five minutes. Five minutes — explosion. The next five minutes — again explosion. But after experiencing the post for the soldiers it was like summer rain. Despite the shelling, they cleaned the weapon, put in order destroyed the firing points, ready to repel a new attack.

The attack was followed by three in the morning. At this time, «spirits», taught by bitter experience, acted cautiously beat of «green stuff» sniper fire. Khmelev vnovzaprosil artillery strike. The enemy could not stand the shock again and walked away. In open mode, the enemy was the order. Someone imperious again drove militants to the position of border guards «immediately take the height!» He responded with Turga «climb yourself! Or give help. We left a little … «

Shortly before dawn, around 3.20, it became clear that the enemy leaves the Turgai and retreats. Taking advantage of the lull, Oleg undertook a daring raid by Trigo-point.

— When I realized they were gone, — says Khmelev — then decided to take the top post to be able to properly land the helicopter. First, comb through the fire gave the command, «Zelenka». After that I took three people, and we went right to the top. When dawn broke, it became clear that the enemy was completely left Turgay. I decided to give triple all of the machine, tracers, to signal her that the top free. And then the machine with just a couple of shots, snapped, «died.» Overage.

After that Oleg returned to the basic position and reported to the chief of the detachment that Turgsvoboden. He ordered the search for victims. Khmelev three soldiers went looking. Please find Penkov, then found Tokarev and last — Smirnov. By noon to Turgay received several combat helicopters. They fired «Zelenka» and other suspicious terrain, where else could hide militants. Around one o’clock in the area came the first «Rainbow.» She brought troops, ammunition, took the dead and wounded.

Later came Turgay several boards with paratroopers from the reserve squad. Hop and his soldiers immediately offered to evacuate, but they are on their own initiative remained in the post for another day to enter into the atmosphere of the new arrivals. Only then hops and his boys flew to the office IOL. They met the chief Oleg DSHMG Major Basmanov. Khmelev asked to include it in the reconnaissance and combat team. Very much was strong hatred for the enemy. I wanted to avenge the dead, for Tokarev. But Basmanov gave a short order: «Rest!»

Later, military analysts are not surprised to battle again at the Tour n. In addition to the three killed in the beginning of the fight, the rest came out of the battle alive. There was not even seriously wounded. Although shots were fired at close range. The main thing that allowed Oleg hop then defend the position and keep subordinates — the knowledge, the experience of the commander. Well, the nature of the course.

Immediately after the fight, Channel One television reported the news about the battle at an altitude of Turgai. Khmeleva TV crew somehow enlisted in the dead. Then we fix it, but now is not named Khmelev and Shmelev. On awarding offi-Ceru-hop the border guard Oleg title of Hero of Russia also said casually.

Oleg to all television foam was not the case. After all, he had not fought for the high award, and for Russia. She rewards him personally Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Later, after graduation, the Hero of Russia Oleg Khmelev went on trips to the Balkans as part of the UN mission in Georgia. But that, as they say, is another story. Such a fate, border.

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