26 November, 2020

Notes From A Mindwar

Russian soldiers, who served in Afghanistan, warn the Americans about the hell-hole

Notes From A Mindwar
Old ghosts have returned to torment Russians. Their souls have turned febrile, healed wounds have burst open. Dark memories have been rekindled, more vivid and powerful than the TV images—of the Russian army rumbling into Afghanistan, of a million soldiers who fought a futile war on its treacherous terrain, of the 15,000 soldiers who were killed and thousands others incapacitated. They touch their scars and ponder over their inability to feel, they know the Afghan war was Russia's apocalypse, its Vietnam.

When Col (retd) Vladimir Izmailov watches US President George Bush gird his nation for an onslaught on Afghanistan, when he hears him talk about smoking out the enemy, he says, "Americans should consider our horrendous experience. The US will have its second Vietnam." Izmailov was part of the Vitebskaya paratrooper division which was among the first to enter Afghanistan in 1979.

Initially, he had found the invasion to be something of a cakewalk. Rugged Afghans couldn't match the prowess of the Russian arms, its guns and tanks. Wiser now, Izmailov has a word or two...



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