Prisoners And Converts

For Private Mohammad Beg, a Soviet soldier stationed in an isolated outpost north of Kabul, the odyssey to confinement and conversion began with a dispute with one of his superiors in 1987. After beating the officer unconscious, the 21-year-old Uzbek from Tashkent deserted, and before long, Afghan villagers handed him over to the mujahedin.

Sergeant Viktor Nazaro, 23, a Ukrainian from Uzhdano, was captured by the Afghan insurgents while serving with a reconnaissance unit in the northern town of Kunduz in 1984. Private Leonid Vilko, 24, a Moldavian stationed at Bagram air base north of Kabul, was taken prisoner the same...

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