Death defying

Civil war, jihadist uprising, soldiers of fortune and fearless journalists — correspondent “the” Igor Rotar, who had seen all this with my own eyes, published a book “War of the disintegrated Empire. From Gorbachev to Putin”. Transnistria, Abkhazia, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Yugoslavia, China, and even Rwanda — Rotar visited perhaps the most famous hotspots on the planet. “” with the permission of the author publish excerpts from some chapters of the book.

In 1993, I shot. In Abkhazia I did not like the drunken Cossack ataman Vasilyev, who fought against Georgians on the side of the Abkhaz, and he decided to make a joke. Laughing wildly, a brave soldier three times gave machine gun fire over my head.

the Action took place on the territory of the Russian military sanatorium, guarded by Russian brave paratroopers. Alas, the military was not able to help me. Running to shots of a young Lieutenant failed to persuade the Kuban to stop target practice. “He could easily kill you. The chieftain fired on the departure, holding the gun in a trembling hand, and a drunken man is nothing to miss” — stunned me Russian officer.

In Abkhazia, I met with mercenaries from Russia. But then I met almost all the hot spots of the collapsed Empire. In Donetsk, I met a native of Sverdlovsk oblast Yuri, fighting on the side of the militias. It was the fourth war Yuri. Before that, he fought in Abkhazia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chechnya.

At the beginning of perestroika twenty years of Yuri planted for a fight. Leaving after three years to freedom, the former prisoner could not find a place in a changed world. Old friends have moved either in Commerce or in the racket is different in the new life to feed the family is almost impossible. Both were contrary to the jury in prison he acquired a strong aversion to criminals, and the spirit of haggling was alien to him since childhood. Yuri found himself in “hot spots”.

“If you get used to the war, and she’s not that heavy, you can live easily. I like what I have in hand machine in Russia, for it gives a term at once. There are a lot of people who can not live without war, it is for us — a way of life…” — he admitted.

Soldiers of fortune is a very different people. Among them are ideological fighters, outright criminals, romantics, adventurers… But, perhaps, most of them have something in common: people who can’t find a place to settled life, and seeking itself only in extreme situations, learning new, more “nearabsence civilization” territory.

“UAZ” long winds through the mountain roads of Chechnya. Suddenly, at the entrance to one of the villages we hear the cry of “Allahu Akbar”, and we are surrounded by a crowd of militants. I was already prepared for the worst, but then drew attention to the rise of the warriors — the children. As in adults, the Mujahideen, and on his head he had green bandages. However, the machines were a toy, but the grenade launchers are real, albeit used, without charge. “Each of our post, they expose their children. Chase them, chase it,” laughs the driver — the Chechen.

turns out, not only was I afraid of the militants. “During the bombing we hid in the basement. When the fighting was over, we went down the Russian soldiers. One of them saw my toy machine, then sent to us your real. Fortunately, it did turn out that it’s a toy. “Other militants are not here!” — said my mother. Then the soldiers were gone and they didn’t even search us” — not without pride tells nine-year-old, Magomedali of the terrible.

Among journalists constantly working in “hot spots”, there were many (more than men), those who went to war for the love of the thrill. Many of them reveled in military romance. So, one of my friends went to Chechnya during the holidays. Most interesting is that the materials in his office, this lady almost passed: it was enough sensations of life at the front. About a year in Chechnya held a Ukrainian journalist allegedly working as a stringer for an unknown Agency, but in reality just hanging out. The end of this woman’s tragic: she was killed by militants, accused of spying.

Often among these journalists come across a woman with a rather peculiar mentality. So, one reporter actually boasted of the story of her rape by a gunman. The fact that the woman complained about rapist to his commander, and he ordered the execution of a criminal. The story the woman told, not hesitating, when your fiance to all my the Way, about this lady and told a story. Once in the suburban train she was attacked by a thug with a knife. The woman squeezed the blade with his hand and a bloody hand held to the face of the bandit. He fled ignominiously.

A journalist admired the “real men” — Chechen rebels, and even joined with them in sexual relations. Especially lucky Shamil Basayev many women really wanted to add it to the collection of your lovers. Long and serious romantic relationship with one of the Chechen warlords was one of the Russian journalists killed in Chechnya under unclear circumstances. As one French journalist and is married to the field commander of the Chechen village of Shali. Whirlwind romance “Paris — Shali” was a secular news number one working in Chechnya reporters.

When Eastern Ukraine was born a secessionist movement, I had a strong sense of deja vu: all that we have “passed” in Transnistria. Indeed, the resemblance is uncanny: the rage of the population, the same accusations of fascism of the right Bank — in one case, the Dnieper, Dniester and others. Transdnestr said that I agree to be Moldovans but not Romanians, inhabitants of Donbass say that they are Ukrainians, but not “Banderovites”.

it is Interesting that in the Donbass and Transnistria separatist propaganda deliberately exaggerated passion. So, in the days of storm of Slavyansk the Ukrainian army on the streets of the city are hanging signs: “If you don’t want your wife and children were in filtration camps — join the militia!”. In Transnistria the locals skillfully taught that after the “imminent accession of Moldova to Romania, all the Slavs will be declared second-class citizens”.

as well as in Transnistria in the Donbas trying to preserve, and if possible to revive the Soviet past: the care of monuments to Lenin (as opposed to destroying them “Bandera”), and the preservation of the Soviet names of streets, and even ostentatious introduction of Soviet school uniform.

But,of course, the important thing is that both conflicts are controlled by the Kremlin. In fact, Transnistria was a “training ground” over the Donbas. Donetsk and Lugansk national republics created “experts on unrecognized States” from Transnistria. So, the former head of the Ministry of state security of the PMR Vladimir Antyufeev one time he was Deputy Chairman of the “Council of Ministers of the DNI,” the former Vice-President of PMR Alexander Karaman held the post of “Minister of foreign Affairs DNR”. “Run-in” on the Transnistrian war and went Igor Strelkov, and former Prime Minister of the DNI Alexander Boroday.

In fact, Vladimir Putin is doing in the Donbas is the same, what they were doing in Transnistria Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin. But unlike the weak-willed Secretary General and the hard-drinking first Russian President, the current leader of the country is much more consistent and decisive.

Chechnya has been useful to me not only as a unique journalistic experience. In this scary the Republic was a significant spiritual event in my life.

once in the midst of the fighting in January 1995, I, together with an American journalist Yuri Zarakhovich came to the temple Michael the Archangel in Grozny. We took the priest Anatoly Chistousov. The conversation in the empty cold building took place under the continuous noise of shells exploding, fierce battles were fought literally on the next street, but the priest was absolutely unflappable. To leave the Church did not want the street was very dangerous: in addition to the probability to get hit by a random projectile, you could get a bullet from the entrenched on the rooftops of snipers. But, sooner or later, we’d still have to leave the Church, and finally we decided.

“Bless me, father,” asked Yuri Zarakhovich. The priest blessed him and looked at me questioningly. I honestly admitted that unbaptized. The priest blessed me, adding that I would soon be baptized, and, most likely, in the Grozny Church. Indeed, in the summer of the same year Anatoly Chistousov baptized me in the Grozny temple.

This man can without exaggeration be called a Christian ascetic. Anatoly Chistousov graduated from a military Academy as a Navigator in the air force. In 1993, major Chistousov retired from the armed forces in March 1994, he was ordained a priest and received his first assignment: he was sent to Chechnya.

“In December 1994 in Chechnya began a large-scale war Among bullets and shells father Anatoly went to the soldiers, who were in the basements of the houses to the residents of the city have confessed, received communion, baptized. His cassock was shot in several places, but he again and again went to those who were waiting for him,” recalls Metropolitan of Stavropol Gideon (Dokukin). 29 Jan 1996 father Anatoly Chistousov together with an employee of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Archpriest Sergey Zhigulina was captured by Chechen rebels. Both priests were tortured, whipped, not allowed to drink. In the end, Archpriest Sergei managed to release, and Anatoly Chistousov was shot.death of a Martyr, father Anatoly showed a new disturbing trend: the emergence of hostility toward Christians on the part of Russian Muslims.

Very indicative of the attitude towards Christians Chechen terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev who arranged the explosion at the marathon in Boston. Witnesses recall that Tamerlan was interrupted by service in the Boston mosque, when the Imam led the congregation as an example Martin Luther king. According to Tsarnaev, a Muslim have nothing to learn from Christian.

This approach to Christians (not people of the Scripture, as well as enemies) are fairly typical of militants of the banned in Russia “Islamic state” (ISIS) in Syria, Iraq and Egypt, where the attack on the Christian Church became almost a routine phenomenon. It seems that this attitude towards Christians is becoming more common among North Caucasus radicals. So, in February of 2018 during the celebration of carnival in the Orthodox Church in the Dagestani city of Kizlyar, a young local resident, on the eve of sworn IG, opened fire on worshipers with a hunting rifle shouting “Allahu Akbar!” The IG has claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed five women.

regardless of “who to blame”, the fact remains the fact: today Russia is quite different than it was before the Ukrainian events. It is obvious that, in contrast to the 90-ies of the last century, the Kremlin in the CIS will be active and will not leave without attention any manifestation (even imaginary) discrimination of compatriots and supporters of our country’s national minorities.

you Can argue, sorry if Vladimir Putin about what was involved in the Ukrainian conflict. In fact, it is not so important. In any case, the current Russian leader is “doomed” to continue the Imperial policy.

Give Crimea back to Ukraine and “surrender” Donbass — is simply unrealistic, and, therefore, Vladimir Putin has no hope that it will “forgive” the West. USA will do everything possible to dismiss Vladimir Putin, or at least to weaken Russia’s influence.

One of the most effective ways of implementing the second objective is to surround Russia with hostile Pro-American regimes in the Kremlin. Of course, Moscow would resist any such move, as shown by the Ukrainian experience, the most effective weapon — the separatism of Russian and other national minorities in a hostile Russian States of the former USSR.

At the same time still hope that the confrontation between Russia and the United States will end. It is not sound cynical, but the likelihood of a thaw between the two countries directly depends on the activity of radical Islamic organizations. The White House needs to understand today their main enemy is not Russia — niche sunk into Oblivion Soviet Union occupied Western world opposing Islamic radicals. If the White House will forgive Putin his “imperialism” and “despotism”, the two countries have just opened splendid opportunities for a joint struggle with Islamic radicals. Alas, unfortunately, this beautiful theory is utopian.