Colonel Nikolai Batalov, who went through the first Chechen war, told Lenta.ru the story of his famous interview with journalist Alexander Nevzorov, in which the officer emotionally walked through the command that sent unprepared conscripts to Grozny – soldiers who did not know how to fight in the city and a “sniper with five and a half. vision “. This interview was sold for quotations, it was reproduced by the heroes of the film “Purgatory”, which was directed by a journalist.
“And what of these soldiers? I have a sniper who has five and a half eyesight! And deaf, ***** (damn), mine on [расстоянии] three meters torn, he does not hear! He was recorded as a sniper in a regular position!
Three days ago, the unit was assembled, sent here, with whom to fight? Like a fight in the city [вести]don’t know. BMP-3 is on, it is on, ***** (damn it), the crew is not coming out! The tanker drives up, closes with his armor. Says, guys, *********** (get out), you’re hit! Don’t burn yet! They didn’t come out, ***** (damn it)! Tank, ***** (damn it), the projectile flew under the “run”, left – the BMP burned out in the place with the crew.
Who taught what? Why is all this necessary, ***** (damn it) ?!
Bitch, you need to push, ***** (damn), but you need to push, well … a month of preparation! The fact that you have to crush them, you bastards – that’s right! But push something on the mind, ***** (damn it)! Trained army! You don’t need so much … But we have people whom you can take – a division, two, three, as much as you need – assembled, blocked, invested all the funds there, you can wrap barbed wire four times with barbed wire. Nobody gets out. The air covered – where will he go, this Dudayev ?! “
“I met with Nevzorov in early January [1995 года]- recalled the colonel. “I didn’t know who he was. I didn’t watch TV in those years. Our conversation took place immediately after I read the latest issue of the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper, where it was signed how we heroically smash the enemy and save the population. I got angry, of course, at such a gallant rhetoric. “
“Speak, and I’ll tell you,” Nevzorov told Batalov. “I took out some incomprehensible thing and hung it on my chest. I thought it was a dictaphone, since it didn’t look like a video camera at all. Small too “, – said the interlocutor of” Lenta.ru “.
Batalov called the interview itself “shameful” and admitted that it haunted him for a long time.
“I was sure that Nevzorov would remove all unnecessary things from him, cut them out, so he spoke directly, emotionally and without hesitation. How many people told me later that I was an ill-mannered person and the officers did not behave like that.
Batalov also told Lente.ru about the first battles in Grozny, when both sides of the conflict – federal troops and Chechen separatists – were not yet sufficiently prepared, and also described cases of cowardice of officers, some of whom were afraid and did not want to fight, why they were sent to their places of permanent deployment, but still received awards for their participation in the campaign.
The first Chechen campaign began in 1994 with the aim of regaining control of the republic that had declared its independence from Russia. In August 1996, the Khasavyurt agreements were signed, the hostilities ended, but the issue of the status of the region was not resolved – it was postponed for five years.
The battle for Grozny is rated as the bloodiest episode of the Chechen war.