Rus Articles Journal

I serve the Soviet Union

the Citizen

Kogda to Egor the eighteenth year went and it was caused in a military registration and enlistment office for passing of medical commission, in him undressed to pants, confused and unusually humiliated, shy standing at the cold, peeled-off from time gray wall, among hubbub of the odnoletok, the flickering white dressing gowns of health workers of a military registration and enlistment office, sour smell of sweat and not clear there, but nevertheless the notable, soaring in air adrenaline, it is for the first time vague and it is somehow bad zanylo in the pit of the stomach as if from the approaching threat, inevitable danger which to it from where - that threatened. Only then, for the first time and seriously, after someone`s unfamiliar rough fingers are more shameless and indifferently touched to its cold, in goose-pimples to a body as though examined the slave or what cattle before buying as if unseeing it in an emphasis and someone`s eyes looking over it looked to it in ears, a mouth, a nose, and cowards ordered to remove and dress someone`s hoarse voices before all, to turn, squat and again to rise, at the same time their owners did not cease to talk about any, very important issues - about the drunk husbands and useless sons, silly girlfriends and recent purchases who came after midnight as though there nobody, except them and was not, Egor for the first time seriously reflected that is near that day when also it is urged to fulfill the duty to the Homeland. This strange debt to the Homeland.

On the same day, seeing its pensive mood and having not from the first found out the reason of this thoughtfulness, mother, having glanced it in eyes, serious tone told: “Egor, think properly whether you should go to army“. “And what, mother, is options?“ - Egor artlessly took an interest. “Well, I can talk to the necessary people“ - mother also frankly answered.

Outside there was the ninety second year - that time when the huge country with a crash and a roar only broke up to pieces - the independent states, about became less and less and if until recently young guys “were“ a draft-dodger too, then did it with great difficulty and still somehow were ashamed of it, then in army went to the ninetieth only or those who could not “otkosit“, or “frank suckers“ as spoke.

of Day three Egor thought over whether “it should go to army“: in it struggled his education with all this the truth, known since the childhood, like “a debt to the Homeland“, “school of courage“ and to that similar civil romanticism and sensible mind which prompted that it is not necessary to go anywhere.

Eventually, it made the decision then unique and correct for even innocent life of the young young man and told mother that she did not worry about anything: he will repay the debt to the Homeland and will return the real man.

At the beginning of summer, at once upon termination of study in school and after a small delay on I will allocate Egor arrived to the specified place of collecting and already next day there was in the place of service, all kilometers of fifty from the house, in the small town under the name Biktorva where there was his part.


At Egor`s check point accepted average years, the unsmiling ensign who ignored it still civil “Hello“ and only gloomily muttered “Idi for me“.

First of all he took away Egor on a ware warehouse, asked its size and, having chosen the size the put brand new form two bigger as the necessary size did not appear, and also pair of kersey boots, a belt and a hat, carelessly threw them to Egor, having chilly squeezed out: “Change clothes“. Under a severe look of the ensign Egor quickly pulled on himself a brand new crumpled form, hastily sprained long sleeves, without taking off socks put legs in heavy boots, buttoned a belt, at the same time almost with a heavy heart feeling as his yesterday`s, cozy and clear life on the citizen inevitably departures in the past, quickly giving way to the unknown.

Having locked a warehouse on the trailing granary lock and having begun to smoke a cigarette without filter, the ensign led Egor towards the oblong buildings of faintly yellow color for some reason reminding stables as Egor thought though he plainly and did not know how stables have to look. There was a terrible heat of degrees under thirty five, they walked on the burned sun to the field which grew with a low prickle and covered with a thick layer of almost white, alabaster dust which in the deepest places made a sound similar to cotton if with scope to step on it and Egor felt how on his back, under uncomfortable, from the thick cotton Afghans matter bagging on it sweat streamlets slowly flow down. “There now, wanted in army - now do not complain, get used“ - hardly overcoming the leaning melancholy, it was gloomily thought to Egor measuring cottons on white, alabaster dust.

On arrival into place, to barracks, Egor saw a strange picture: at walls of barracks, in the shadow which is a little rescuing from a merciless heat, who on cards who directly on the earth, circles and semicircles sat the person hundred. The shaven heads, unsmiling persons under a film of dust, the exposed to the wind, cracked lips. An old, worn uniform who has less at whom, on the contrary, two more. All looks greedy turned back on Egor as if expecting something - what rescue or the kind word so Egor felt ill at ease. He understood that it is quarantine, and all these guys as well as it, still yesterday young, free people on the citizen, and any more today fighters some there, yet to nobody unclear army.

They made impression depressing, and for Egor who just arrived from the citizen almost surreal. They resembled rather hungry ragamuffins or prisoners of war of enemy, prostrate army, than young fighters. As it became clear later, their brand new form given them, as well as to Egor, in a warehouse, on arrival on quarantine “grandfathers“ washed from them, having in exchange handed, old and fragmentary. Someone sat in boots, someone in old “berets“, someone from others leg army slippers barefoot. From those who did not guess and took with themselves money or what personal belongings they were also immediately taken away and their senior companions divided among themselves. And for faster accustoming of all expelled on a blaze of the sun, without giving them water while held there.

“This your company, fighter. Over there is your commander. Also ask somebody to shave you“ - the ensign told and, having developed, silently went there from where just came. Egor did not understand why to ask someone to shave him. But seeing his confused look, the next to it the fighter, without rising from cards, explained: “To shave - means it is necessary that to you someone shaved the head“. And right there added: “Cigarettes are?“ Egor stretched it a pack of “Pall Mall“, believing that that will take a cigarette - another and will return a pack, but that, having taken one cigarette, put the second to himself for the field of a hat, having given a pack further, and that is farther so in ten seconds of a pack and a trace caught a cold.

Meanwhile the one whom the ensign designated as his commander approached him: thickset guy of the Kazakh appearance. On it there were cut-off and sprained boots, the brand new “Afghan“ undone to the middle and freely hanging with the plaque polished to gold gloss and curved a leather belt - all on the latest “antiquated“ fashion as Egor understood.

“Races, bring the machine“ - without turning the head, he threw to someone, and to Egor when Races were transferred to it by the safety razor - “Fall on bark“. Egor squated, not up to the end understanding what with him will be done. But everything turned out quickly and is almost not terrible: the commander lit to Egorov “palpalina“, wetted his short hair which he cut in a hairdressing salon in the center in two days before, fondly believing that it is its short hairstyle will rescue it from army shaving bare, took the machine and, without taking out a cigarette from a mouth, began to scrape with skill to it a skull.

Five minutes later, in shreds of hair and bloody smudges which covered all cinciput, a neck and a forehead, having turned Egor`s head into a terrible, bloody show, the commander of times - another sprinkled water from a flask blood-stained, in hair Egor`s head, wetted a piece of fabric for undercollars and put it on Egor`s head, and crookedly smiling, said: “For you a debt, the intellectual“.

By the evening Egor learned that his new companions are kept right in the sun in the instructive purposes: in barracks someone inadvertently sat down on the bed, was noticed by “grandfathers“ for what it was beaten, and all others were for edification expelled on the street where they could sit as much as necessary, but any more not on convenient beds, and on the dusty earth. Besides, all suffered from thirst as water in barracks was not, it was necessary to follow it to a column that was in three hundred meters from barracks and when there someone was sent nevertheless, covered with flasks on a belt and it came back, water was drunk the first five minutes. Was not enough for personal hygiene of water - there to wash or clean teeth. And to brush teeth, frankly speaking, there was nothing as toothbrushes and paste from all were taken away right at the beginning.

It became clear later that it happened so that the one who was sent behind water did not come back - as if was missing. Most likely, he went to absence without leave or, having given in to feeling of despair from such conditions, having jumped through a fence standing close by, ran home (not aliens took away it with themselves). In a military uniform, without documents, dirty and hungry it reached the nearby village where reported about it in militia, and from there it already went in shtrafbat or still where.

In the evening they moved for dinner to the dining room where in a system put to expect the turn. Kogda approached Egor`s turn, passed minutes thirty. The first dinner consisted of a piece of bound together pearl barley and a piece of boiled fat, disgusting by sight, two pieces of gray bread and a glass of weak black tea without sugar. So far Egor thoughtfully picked a fork an aluminum plate, trying to find there what was edible, the team “Meal was distributed to end! “ “Minutes five, it is no more“ - Egor thought, rising from - for a table and from all lunch having eaten only a piece of bread and having drunk off the cooled-down tea. It thrust the second piece into a pocket of “Afghan“ to eat it before going to bed.

After a dinner they were let in nevertheless barracks, but did not allow to sit down on a bed. Or rather, someone nevertheless hurried to sit down, and in a minute there was mercilessly a bit a metal plate on a belt: one of grandfathers, as it became clear, the most deranged, having seen that someone was attached on an edge of the bed, with shout rushed to it, swinging a belt, struck one blow in a hip from what he unfortunate howled by an inhuman voice, then another, the third … For all it was an object lesson that will be with everyone who will disobey.

However, it is necessary to tell that in the first evening Egor found out that among them there were nevertheless those Floodlights to which it was allowed both to sit and to lie. It were someone`s fellow countrymen or persons for some reasons brought closer to vlastyimushchy. So far Egor`s companions stood, having crowded at windows, or sat “on penalties“ at the beds, those with a proud look walked up and down on barracks, smoked in the same place or even lay on beds, without taking off boots. As it was visible, class stratification was even among “spirits“ on quarantine.

Hours in ten they were given command a release, and all emaciated from mindnumbing standing or sitting, kryuchivshis on a floor, literally got to beds and failed in heavy drowsiness. To Egor that night, despite strong closeness and a dead air, nothing prevented to fall asleep: nothing dreamed it, there were no forces even to regret themselves, remembering the house and the family - till six in the morning he slept like a log.

At six in the morning as soon as began to dawn, the Rise! team hardly woken up, undressed to a belt was distributed, they were constructed at an entrance and run directed to a parade-ground for carrying out morning exercises. Here it should be noted one delicate and important detail: between awakening and charging forgot to give them the chance to recover, and all the time that Egor ran in the direction on a parade-ground, he thought of one where to run off to empty a bladder. But on a request to depart on need to it also it, as well as all others refused, it was forced to do morning exercises, thinking only of one: about the human nonsense reaching idiocy. To step aside it was permitted to units, most likely, by the same which was permitted to lie on the beds in the evening, and they, having run off in a hurry who under the next tree and who became directly in three steps because already the patience was not, were facilitated.

As it became clear later, in a toilet they were driven, as well as to the dining room - according to the schedule, but not on need, two times a day. The next morning not to run on charging with a full bladder, Egor got up for half an hour earlier quietly to leave in a toilet, but the way to it was blocked by the bed of “grandfather“ on duty standing directly across an exit. Egor tried to round it, but woke the old-timer sleeping in it who grabbed, was, for a belt, as usual, to give to Egor a metal plate after what popadya, but that hurried to assure “grandfather“ that was not going to run, and at all on mind had nothing bad and it is simply very necessary for it in a toilet. The angry colleague took pity and released Egor in a toilet.

That morning, the second morning far from a home, fresh and cool, even morning, free from the heated southern sun, Egor ran in a toilet and cried. Perhaps from humiliation, maybe, with melancholy for the house, and can from that and another - who will tell? Then he understood, as such elementary needs of nature as a natural opravleniye - and not on command, and not in the presence of ten same as it, shoulder to shoulder, and in normal, human conditions can make the person happy. And as it is simple to deprive of the person of these conditions.


there Passed half a year. For these half a year Egor finally got rid of the youthful illusions, understood the price to all these loud appeals, like “a debt to the Homeland“, “armies - schools for real men“, etc. The death of the lieutenant Frolov was one of turning points to which he still somehow doubted the estimates and tried to arrange the understanding under the existing reality. Alexey Petrovich, as he called him, until death he knew no more than a month. That arrived the fresh, innocent lieutenant with blue eyes and on - maiden long eyelashes which cast a shadow on his rosy cheeks in evening light of the only lamp near a smoking-room where they gathered every evening that, having cast away army subordination to chat heart-to-heart.

The red curly-headed chubchik which is looking out from - under peak-caps and some children`s naivety of views, even the darling bribing the sincerity childishness when it is believed in destiny, guessing on a hand both the Supreme justice, and the boyish voice completing business still caused involuntary trust to it still absolutely to the boy. He nearly an every evening when was on duty, came to them to a smoking-room, undressed on a belt, but in a peak-cap, shared cigarettes, at the same time timidly smiling, told something about the wife and the daughter which was half a year or about that, sat with them till midnight, despite a release, and then went to himself, all also timidly smiling as if guilty of something.

Everything happened in guard. The lieutenant Frolov took up in the whether second, whether third guard, gave a unit of fire to guard, checked their combat readiness, instructed, and next morning we learned a terrible message: in guard there was a state of emergency - someone from young people shot two “grandfathers“ and when on the first shots in a karaulka Frolov ran in, that for the equal account and to it gave turn from three shots pryamekhonko in a stomach.

Came commission of inquiry, went on garrison, asked questions, wrote something to a notebook. And then, day through three, left. And everything abated. The commander of a division went on leave, his deputy on hospital. The fighter who shot “grandfathers“ and the lieutenant Frolov was given, of course, for tribunal. The semiliterate shepherd from sand who even was not speaking in Russian who was tired to suffer mockeries from the senior colleagues was him, and as he the true child of mountains and sand, having been hit in hands the automatic machine with full shop, took and not for long deliberating, revenged the torturers. And Frolov just in the heat of the moment got.

There were in part and others tragic, and not absolutely, incidents. For example, right at the beginning, when Egor was in a picture and they were carried on firing practice, on the way back, the car, loaded pipes, violated rules of overtaking and one of pipes simply demolished the head to one of brothers Gavrilov. The blow byl is so strong that unfortunate just broke a skull - it then left in reanimation of military hospital, but from a condition of “vegetable“ it was not succeeded to return it. There came his and his brother numerous relatives, mother, the father, uncles, aunts. But, as well as in other cases, everything was written off for tragic combination of circumstances - nobody was punished.

Another time “grandfathers“ so beat young that that in a month was transfered to the reserve from the ends: a rupture of tissues of spleen, liver, the beaten-off kidneys - Egor himself read the conclusion of medical board and communicated with the old man - the father who arrived for the son.

Such “tragic combination of circumstances“ - when young went in the evening to a toilet to pee, and returned with knife wound to a leg - stumbled, fell, in a leg a knife or when “hit against a jamb“ - on two shiners on both eyes and the broken hand, there was a set - to them ceased to pay a close attention long ago unless somehow still formally belonged, such ordinary they became.

Once, already when Egor was on the second year of service and had under all criminal laws of army situation some privileges - for example, to go to absence without leave or not to go to constructions, to them in the evening the lieutenant Belenky came to barracks - there was it really small and tow-haired and as if from these features as the diffident teenager suffering. He came with suite of vtorogodok - most impudent and unscrupulous “grandfathers“, and began to carp frankly: to it the bed is not made - though release time, to it the fighter is not shaved, weather not that … In a word, a frank lawlessness, in their language. And began to accompany the cavils with blows of a belt, that end that with a metal plate and on the most healthy places: a cavil - the wrong answer - blow in a hip, a cavil - the wrong answer - blow in a breast. One, inadvertently or as, hit with a belt on a face - it was difficult, even at all its svolochizm, to accept that the blow was intended - but who knows what was in the head of Belenky.

After such demonstrations of barefaced, not showcase army reality to accept and fall in love with army, from it as if a nonexistent hazing, unjustified cruelty and the covered lie it was difficult. Especially, having faced personally, but not to stories of those who never in army also were.


by Other trouble for all and the most unattractive indecency at them was terrible, boundless officer alcoholism. Often incessant, zapoyny, animal drinking, for the young heads, like Egor, sung by nonsense and naivety of creators from art in the form of the hussar binge, cheerful officer wine parties drunk of daring and bravado. Where Egor served, cheerfully and daringly drank a little. Mostly, there got drunk, torn, uzhiratsya in usmert, to a bloody fight and sometimes vain death.

For example, one of Egor`s commanders, the lieutenant colonel Shevchenko, expecting transfer to other place, for months deeply made sour cognac, vodka and everything, than he was treated, every day by the evening being gathered from morning intoxicated cheerfulness to a heavy evening osolovelost and immunity to everything that around occurred. The cognac bottle, and more, was its daily bread.

And the colonel Bogdanov, being on the next watch and having once again got drunk to devils, lost a linking of office keys, and all platoon of Egor instead of the put rest had to look for them on all military camp while the krasnorozhy cattle Bogdanov grunted in drunk waste at itself in a chair in an office, slowly drying out, and his assistant captain Oganesyan kept this sheaf at himself in a pocket all this time, wishing to teach a good lesson the chief.

Well, and Zhanna Artsebasheva`s cohabitant, the Tatar by birth, after the next freaky wine party, having been jealous of the cohabitant coquette Zhanna, in waste simply cut with it a throat a bread knife: next morning their neighbors from below sounded the alarm, uvidav begin to flow blood from a ceiling. Well, and the Tatar gave I tear up as soon as it was overslept.

More than once, woken and sleepy, by midnight, was necessary to be wound to Egor on office transport to the city behind vodka for the management walking on all Ivanovskaya - sometimes it was tryasuchy “GAZ CAR“, sometimes huge “KamAZ“.

The misted small bottle of the Russian vodka, three glasses, a hunk of black bread with onions and a can of the Baltic sprats in the amicable company of boon companions - fighters under heart-to-heart talk, talk on destinies of Russia - mothers, was in reality often just an alcohol 3-liter jar from a medical medical unit and free stewed meat from the dining room with the animal, turned blue ugly faces which went later to barracks to lupasit fighters, and then home the wives or each other.

the Image of the Russian officer, person of boundless valor and great honor, cherished since the childhood thanks to books and movies, and also the imperceptible fact that Egor was from a family of the military personnel and carried out the most part of the childhood in a military camp, by means of such close and cruelly contacts not with patriotic literature and false art any more, and with the most true roughness of unembellished life, quickly grew dim and began to provoke disgust. Disgust already for not thought up army, to not cine officers, to rough soldier`s life and senseless violence which was norm. To the standard lie and deception for which even those who suffered from them stood firm often, but it was not ready to get rid of the illusions.

the Only advantage which Egor found - hardly and bewilderment, but nevertheless somehow tried to discover, in all this is sincere - corporal disorder, there was that philosophical thought that negative experience - the best experience. The best teacher. If, of course, from it it is not necessary to perish as it was with some whom Egor knew. In all the rest it was only necessary to clench teeth, to fight back tears and to keep somehow not to run away or to go crazy.

Good, real people met, of course, on Egor`s the way also. The lieutenant colonel Kalmykov who pulled out Egor from “lip“, the lieutenant colonel Bondarenko who never allowed to raise the voice or to address pejoratively, the ensign Terekhova, the darling and kind mummy who after parties strove to put to Egor a piece of bread with sausage or apple. But they, as a rule, were minority and them “íàñòîÿùåñòü“, in usual civil conditions, was only their normal human attitude towards other normal people - no more, and only against the standard, normal degradation it seemed something unique.