The uprising in Badabere: the last battle Russian prisoners in Afghanistan

History 09/03/20 the Uprising in Badabere: the last battle Russian prisoners in Afghanistan

April 26, 1985, a group of Soviet and Afghan prisoners in Pakistani Badabere gave the fight greatly superior forces of the Mujahideen. About this event for a long time suppressed in the USSR and in the West. I had my reasons.

the Fortress

Today, the existence of the former fortress of Badaber, located a few dozen kilometers South of the second largest city of Pakistan, Peshawar, almost nothing like. Only fragments of the dilapidated Adobe walls, a dilapidated one-story buildings and a gate. The fortress was built by American specialists in the early 60-ies of XX century, where the official is the center for distribution of humanitarian assistance.

indeed, the Badaber was no different from dozens of other refugee camps scattered along the Afghan-Pakistan border: army tents, flimsy huts and crowded people. However, under the humanitarian guise here actually housed the Pakistani branch of the CIA.

With the beginning of the Afghan conflict in badabere was equipped a training centre for militants of the party “Islamic society of Afghanistan” (IRA), where, under the guidance of foreign instructors, they learned the basics of conducting sabotage and guerrilla warfare first against the armed forces of the USSR. The management of the centre was entrusted to the leader of the IRA Burhanuddin Rabbani, who in 1992 became President of Afghanistan.

Inside the guarded perimeter of the camp was located a few single-storey houses, a small mosque, a football pitch, a volleyball court, as well as warehouses of weapons and ammunition. Training here were about 300 Mujahideen, methodological assistance which was rendered more than fifty instructors in military science from the United States, China, Pakistan and Egypt.

the Limit of patience

in Addition to the functions of the centre for training militants Badaber was used as a prison for prisoners of war. By April 1985, there was up to two dozen Soviet soldiers and about forty Afghans. Prisoners were used as free labor in the quarries or unloading of weapons and ammunition.

the conditions of detention of prisoners was unbearable. Heated fanaticism of Islamic preachers, the Mujahideen were Soviet soldiers extreme cruelty. For the slightest offense, the commandant of the prison inmates were punished with lashes tipped with lead. Chained, shackled, deprived of normal food and water, drugged, and exhausted from excessive physical testing, the Soviet soldiers were doomed here to die.

the only Hope was to escape, and the prisoners began to develop a plan. One of the future leaders of the uprising, Nikolai Shevchenko, languishing almost 3 years in captivity, offered to call to fisticuffs, the commandant of the guard at the camp. As a prize for winning the soldier asked for the opportunity to play a football match between prisoners and guards. Shevchenko battle won and the match was held.

Although it was a little similar to the game by the rules – the Mujahideen did not hesitate to stop prisoners prohibited methods – however, the main goal was achieved. Soviet soldiers well remember the location of all the guard posts of the camp.

For freedom

From the report of agent “206” intelligence center “Shir” MGB Afghanistan, we know that the uprising began on April 26 at about 9 PM, when the entire personnel of the garrison was lined up on the parade ground for the namaz. Soviet troops took the weapons warehouses and the tower guards, freed the prisoners, took possession of the seized Arsenal of weapons and took a comfortable shooting position.

the Guards came to their senses only when all the prison-a warehouse area was in the hands of the rebels. The alarm was assembled the whole garrison together with Western trainers, and in a few minutes the rebels were blocked. To help the Mujahideen were regular units of the armed forces of Pakistan. However, attempts quickro to regain control of the fortress without success: all attacks Pakistanis were met with fierce fire of the defenders.

Only the dead of night, tired from the useless assaults, Rabbani appealed to the rebels to surrender to the proposal. Soviet soldiers categorically refused and demanded to contact the representatives of the UN, the red cross or the Soviet Embassy in Islamabad. Rabbani promised to think, but it was obvious that at this step it will not be solved. Finding the captives to declare neutrality Pakistan was a flagrant violation of international law. And to disclose this fact Rabbani were clearly not going.

Clashes resumed and continued until morning. One attack followed another. But the supply of weapons and training of Soviet soldiers threatened to permanently perpetuate the conflict. Desperate to quell the rebellion by small means the Pakistani military leadership decided to resort to using heavy artillery and rocket launchers of volley fire. Beat direct fire. One of the shells hit the building of the Arsenal – an enormous explosion virtually leveled the base with the ground. According to eyewitnesses, the survivors shell-shocked prisoners, the Mujahideen gathered in one place and finished off with grenades.

As reported the representatives of the American Consulate in Peshawar, “the territory of the camp area in square mile was covered with a layer of fragments of shells, missiles and mines, and human remains, the locals were found at a distance up to 4 miles from the explosion”. Two Soviet prisoners, according to the Americans, managed to stay alive.

Forgotten feat

Accurate information of how many were killed Soviet soldiers during the suppression of the uprising in badabere no. The names of at least seven soldiers and dozens of Afghans. The enemy lost many times more: it was destroyed about 120 of the Mujahideen, up to 90 regular soldiers of the Pakistan army and six American instructors.

the blast camp Badaber was completely destroyed, the arsenals of the Mujahideen lost 3-x MLRS systems “Grad”, 2 million cartridges, about 40 units of guns, mortars and machine guns, tens of thousands of rockets and missiles. Were destroyed and the office of the prison in which there were lists of prisoners.

state of emergency in Badabere made quite a stir among leaders of Afghan militant groups. They not only lost hundreds of fighters, but lost just one of their bases. Warlord Hekmatyar Gulbuddin soon issued an order, which eloquently read: “Russian prisoner not to take!”.

it is said that leadership of Pakistan in those days were waiting for retaliation from the Soviet Union. But it never came. The Soviet Union, which tried not to advertise their participation in the Afghan military conflict, did everything to the incident in Badaber was muted.

Pakistani authorities ordered to withdraw and destroy all copies of the only newspaper that dared to write about the massacre. In Badaber was denied access to journalists and diplomats and participated in the event Mujahideen and the Pakistani military was forbidden to comment on the incident. Any information with the Soviet leadership of the government of Pakistan refused to share.

Katina happened in Badabere began to emerge only after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when visited Pakistan journalists and enthusiasts from various public organizations of Russia tried to find out from the witness the details of this military drama. My role in this was played by the foreign Ministry and foreign intelligence Service of the Russian Federation. Some information shared and the U.S. state Department.

In recent times, there are alternative versions of what happened. In particular, it was claimed that Soviet intelligence services were preparing the release of prisoners Badabera. According to this interpretation of events is the task of the special group of the KGB included the release of prisoners and withdrawal with them to Afghanistan. Training tore unplanned rebellion.

According to another version, the insurrection itself was developed in the bowels of the KGB. According to former military intelligence officers Alexey Chikisheva, shortly before April 26, in the camp appearedXia unknown person who encouraged the Soviet soldiers to plan a rebellion. The prisoners plan was to seize the radio station and broadcast an appeal to the governments of the USSR and Pakistan, as well as the UN and the Red Cross. However, before the radio stations of the Soviet soldiers to get failed, that determined the tragic outcome of the operation.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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