The last Soviet in Afghanistan
20 AUGUST 2012
“First tell us what you did in Afghanistan all those years. Then we'll decide whether or not we can shake hands,” said Gennady-Nikmamat's fellow soldiers after he had been assumed to be a traitor and disappeared for 29 years.
This is the unique story of Gennady-Nikmamat, a former Soviet soldier who was captured by the Mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. He was presumed a turncoat, which carried a criminal penalty if he ever returned to his homeland. Thus he had no choice but to stay in Afghanistan and adopt a Muslim way of life.
Gennady-Nikmamat married an Afghan woman, had four children with her and has lived a full life, but he never abandoned the dream of returning home. After finally coming back to Ukraine to see his relatives and visit his parents' graves for the first time, he still can't decide whether it was better that he survived or if he should have ended up just another unknown soldier lost in the turmoil of war.
Time has stopped here. Helicopters changed their insignias and soldiers changed their uniforms. But the echo of exploding shells in these mountains sounds the same. 20 years since Soviet troops left Afghanistan. Eight years since NATO came. RT finds those who fought on both sides to learn how the war has affected their lives.
In the grim years of World War II, many heroes fought and carried out the impossible. But some of their names were concealed for reasons known only to the Soviet government. One of the darkest secrets of World War II disclosed in "The First Victory" on RTDoc.
20,000 polish prisoners of war vanished without a trace in 1940. After fifty years of deafening silence we uncover the secret history of the Katyn massacre on RTDoc.
When Mikhail Gorbachev touched down in Moscow on August 22, 1991, he found himself in a different country. A transformation had taken place over three pivotal days in August when the Soviet people decided they needed change.
It was a Soviet version of paradise, a corner of peace and security in the country torn by war. It all ended one summer day. Weeks of nonstop bombing, months of fierce battles and inexplicable bravery of the city's little heroes.
A massive German offensive began in the early morning of July 5, 1943. The fighting engulfed all fronts of the Kursk Bulge. It lasted for 50 days and nights. Find out more about the greatest tank battle of World War Two in this report.
What did 58,000 US Army servicemen and over a million Vietnamese soldiers die for? How have the war’s veterans fared since? What do they now think of that war, 35 years on? Find out in this report.
This small nation in the central Caucasus has found itself in the focus of big politics against its will. RTDoc looks closer at Ossetia’s joys and woes.
How did the "Friendship Bridge" at the border between Russia and Estonia become a hostile checkpoint and why are WWII veterans banned from wearing their medals while war criminals are honored as fallen heroes? RTDoc finds out.
Defending the Brest fortress was one of Russia’s first World War II battles. It was also one of its most poignant chapters. Learn more about the historic fight in RTDoc’s film.
For the Red Army soldiers the Reichstag building was the final target and the last major offensive of World War II. What rose out of the fall of Berlin?
In the spring of 1945 Europe was liberated from the tiranny of Nazi occupation. Sixty-seven years on, the children who survived the Holocaust are still haunted by their experiences deep into old age. Listen to their stories on RTDoc.
Chia A. Abdulkarim January 19, 2013, 01:09
I have noticed, from my personal experience, and questioning certain people who have lived in exile, that the most difficult obstacle they face, is suffering from alienation. everybody who lives in exile, thinks that he will be able to get back the place where he left. but in reality, once they go back to get that place, they will realize that it is gone forever, they only have it in their memories.
Ehssan omar October 18, 2012, 23:03
Mr.Gennady is victim of circumstances that was not in his control, he chose to live instead of being killed . The ones that think he is a traitor were never captured by the mujahideen so they don't know what Gennady experienced, I think he did the right thing by choosing to live.
sandeep August 23, 2012, 15:53
He is a soldier and never a traitor... easy to talk big on patriotism but the truth is a soldier is as much human being as any of us. there is nothing romantic associated with war.he did what he had to do to survive.politicians and capitalists wage war and in future it should be them who should be packed to warzone
Ash August 22, 2012, 15:49
This made me cry... Bless this man and may God or Allah grant him happiness. The expression on his face was of a human caught up on a journey, that none can imagine. As the curator said, he wondered off from his garrison to watch people pray and got captured by his enemy. That speaks of a normal curiosity in a young man, a teenager. The mujaheddin would have probably killed him, if he did not co-operate and did not accept Islam ( his Afghan /Muslim name loosely translates into Kindness / Peace ) Bless you Gennadii Nehk Momod Khan
khmer August 22, 2012, 15:49
Love the story, but it stops short of his return home to his family. I would like to see more about his return to his family after visiting his homeland. It is so sad that he went to meet his old friends, but they turned him down. They should welcome him even he deserted from his unit. Who wants to die in the war? He made the right decision. They should at least give him a hug. They're stubborn. They hurt his feeling.
It is a good story after all.
May lord Buddha protecting him and his family.
From a Cambodian in Washington DC.