Armed Forces: LESSONS NOT LEARNED

A VETERAN OF THE SOVIET DEBACLE IN AFGHANISTAN REPORTS ON WHY CHECHNYA HAS BEEN AN EVEN GREATER HORROR

Burning buildings illuminated the way in the gathering darkness as our column of three armored personnel carriers rolled down the empty central boulevard of Grozny. Our mission: to break through to the Samara motorized rifle regiment pinned down in front of the presidential palace during the Russian assault on the Chechen capital. We never made it. The way ahead was blocked by the wreckage of gutted Russian tanks. An ambush? I closed my eyes as I had often done as a child at the dentist's office, hoping that if my time was up, death would come quickly. We managed to break...

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