Train alive

Train alive20 years ago to rescue more than 500 of human lives

Plainclothes war in Tajikistan in autumn 1992 came into the bloodiest phase. 10's of thousands killed and maimed, hundreds of thousands of refugees in the main Russian. On the dramatic events of that time until now, we have not a lot of that is understandable.

Tajikistan was the first back in the USSR republic, where power quite legitimately come to the party, the leaders of which were frank Wahhabis. Islamic extremism was important for his own upcoming distribution foothold in Central Asia. The consequences are not forced himself to expect. Blood poured down the river. The most violent manner killed those who adhered to the teachings of Islam usual, who was an atheist in general, especially the battered aliens: Armenians, Greeks, Germans, Jews, but first — Slavs.

The unpredictability of the situation is not so alarmed at the joke referred to as the Western democracies. But leverage over Tajikistan in they were not. Moscow could only assist. But in 1992 — year of the total collapse of the Union, during the formation of its area sovereign countries. Well, who in the then government of the Russian Federation was the case long before the Tajiks and even "dear Russians" who happened to find themselves on the edge of yesterday majestic empire?

Plainclothes war in Tajikistan and povalny genocide anyone who did not like the Islamists, extremists managed to finish only through the efforts of the GRU and the position of the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov which beheld a Wahhabi almost personal danger. It is worth recalling that one of the main members of the armed resistance to the Islamists then became an officer of the 15th Brigade of the GRU special forces led by Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov.

Waged war all along: the army and police units, armed militias and bandits. Escape from the shaft mutual annihilation was very hard, and all who had the opportunity to even the smallest, tried to escape from the clutches of civilian war republic.


At the end of November in Dushanbe was formed railway train of 11 carriages, in which housed more than 500 Russian refugees. He was able to pass only a couple of miles. The train stopped near the station Dushanbe-2 locomotive disconnected and began to use the chain of carriages with all the people who were in them as a shield. The fact that the train was between the highway going into the city, and an array of private homes, public entrenched Wahhabis. Any attempt to break down the highway to the capital of the forces fighting the Islamists, block dangerous to shoot a train with refugees. Five hundred people, most of whom were ladies, children and the elderly, were in a hopeless position. Leave the cars they were not given the militants were holding the train at gunpoint.

Meanwhile, the fighting on the outskirts of Dushanbe became more intense. At some point in the plight of the hit squad militias of the Popular Front — those Tajiks who waged war against the Wahhabis.

Went to the rescue of a composite detachment of militia from the same 41 people, in which there were only two staff officer. One of them was Major Alexander Matrosov, officer, advisor, and another — GRU officer from the 15th Brigade. Himself squad consisted in the main of civilians — former soldiers in Afghanistan who lived in Tajikistan. On his arms were the T-62, BMP-2 and BTR-80. The technique was an old and broken. Also commanded a detachment civilian Afghan Alexander Letikov.

Once in the environment to promote. The battle went all night, and only in the morning squad was vorachivatsya to the place of deployment. In the process of nominating Letikova squad was far from a blacklisted Wahhabis echelon. Man ran toward the column and almost went under the tracks. It was he who, with tears and told that the bandits at gunpoint for 10 days worth tier, in which about hundreds of Russian families. Leave the cars can not, and stay on them on a physical level is unreal.

Alexander Matrosov contacted the control of the National Front, reported the situation and asked for permission to assist refugees at least not dangerous to leave the cars, which have become death traps. And the ability — and drag to adjust the locomotive train with bands of fire. Permission was given.

FIGHT against the Wahhabis

Soldiers of the consolidated unit passed along the chain of cars and took up positions between echelon and marshalling yard Dushanbe-2. And here began the real hell. Wahhabis with perfectly protected positions opened heavy fire from small guns and grenade launchers, with the support 2-BMP-2 and the 1st BTR-70.

Fire fighters trapped able to support only a tank, and even then only an old machine gun ANC, because the gun jammed, and BMP-2 with a limited amount of ammunition. BTR-80 rolled over, trying to stop by the railway embankment. In the critical moment has come to the rescue squad replacement group at one armored personnel carrier, which blow from the flank was able to suppress a part of the enemy firing points and not give the Wahhabis surround squad.

The fight, which began at 10 am, did not stop for a minute before midnight. In other words, warriors Letikova not slept for two nights in a row, but continued to fight. Wahhabi militants so enthusiastic about the war that have forgotten about the train. It can be argued that the militia of the Popular Front not only showed personal courage, and showed true fighting skills, but most of the people they were civilians. Their left distract themselves virtually all the strength and fire fighters all the attention.

Meanwhile, the management of the Popular Front managed to contact the Uzbek railway workers and convince them to send locomotive in order to remove the doomed train out of the fire. When it was dark, with adjacent areas of the republic locomotive went with a group of Putney workers. And while the Wahhabis tried by all means to kill the militias, railroad workers from Uzbekistan tested way quietly drove a locomotive, train hooked up to it and the deepest NIGHT MODE virtually hijacked cars hostage under the noses of the Wahhabis. Using mist, moved into non-hazardous location and militias consolidated unit.

The merit will be the memory

In the history of the twentieth century, there were no cases when it was possible to save a lossless echelon hostages — more than 500 people, having spontaneous, but as it turns out, a very effective security operation. At the same time, it has developed a very busy and there was a multi-level. While the Tajik militias, engaging in a fight distracted Wahhabi forces, other people using their Afghan relations and stressing still maintaining a sense of internationalism, able to mobilize the Uzbek railroad, and ensured that the final success of the rescue operation. Participated in it people of different nationalities: Russian, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Uzbeks, Tajiks.

Logically, the management of the modern Russian Federation was to reward the highest municipal merits of those rescued from imminent death of hundreds of citizens. But what a municipal logic was in 1992?

Interestingly, as was the fate of refugees who were in the line and they all know the incident own salvation? How annoying would it sounds, we can not name the names of those who assigned the Russian echelon from the station Dushanbe-2 first in Uzbekistan, and later banished to Russia. 20 years ago in Tajikistan warring situation has evolved so rapidly that used to fighting forces of the Popular Front absolutely changed the personnel for a few days
, the staff documents no one did.

It is clear only that the commander Alexander Letikov after the war in Tajikistan, some time served in the armed forces of Uzbekistan, later resigned, currently live in Russia, in ancient Oskol. Alexander Matrosov also retired from the Armed Forces of Uzbekistan, but did not live there. In 2005, a retired officer of the hero was missing. No one who knew him, does not hesitate — Matrosov destroyed. Special Forces officer, whose name is understandably call after civilian war in Tajikistan took part in the first Chechen campaign, the current time is in the Armed Forces.

Part of the Russian militia detachment Letikova continued to serve in the Russian power structures — MVD, FSB. Someone was in the Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Gather them together is unlikely at the moment may be. But the fact that 20 years ago they made the feat, it is beyond any hesitation. This is will keep in mind the people rescued them and talk about the heroism of their children and grandchildren.

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