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Nicholas Evtukh

Dear friends! We present you a history of Nicholas Evtukh, who was awarded a “Battle Brotherhood” prize in Moscow on February 23, year 2014.

Project “Battle Brotherhood” Award was initiated, and claims to be an annual celebration. As planned by organizers, idea of of the prize should be an analog of “Nobel Peace Prize” and will be awarded not only to military or politician persons, but also to the people of peaceful professions: doctors, rescue workers, firefighters. The main criteria for selection of candidates will be – outstanding, noble, heroic act, which was honored or undervalued by society.

History of a first Knight of the “Battle Brotherhood” Order.

“Defining the first nominee of the Order, we decided, Nicholas, to hand it to you. You are the best representative of our generation”.
Hero of the Soviet Union, Colonel-General Valery Vostrotin

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“I was a conscript at the times of the first Chechen war. Got my education here in St. Petersburg in “Lad Camp” for artillery sergeants, then I was send to the village Prokhladniy, Caucasus. Sergeants were moved there as commanders of combat vehicles named “Hurricane”, and I had a platoon of reconnaissance and fire regulation units. Many people died because there was such an order: do not shoot, do not use weapons. Militants used women as shield, so they could continue to shoot at us. So many people were “burned”… ”

He started his second campaign as an officer of the St. Petersburg Special Forces brigade named MDPA-FSIN “Typhoon”. In addition to skills already acquired by soldiers who served in the Marine Corps, in Airborne Forces and Special Forces of Internal Troops, this people were taught tactics against terrorist groups. They learned well. A squad got its name in 1995, after first Chechen war.
Why did he go to war once more?

“I fought to cheer young soldiers, to give them confidence. We were adults, seen a lot. But they came from school desks – and were moved into fierce fight. In Dagestan, Special Forces of the Ministry of Justice did their job well, especially in the mountains. Therefore, our group assisted infantry that stepped its way from planes to hills. First, there lays height of two thousand meters covered with forest, and after that, a rocky mountains. We had a task – to look for old trails on the slopes so we could move machinery up to the hills”.

Sounds ordinary. But the area where “Typhoon” did its job was a real hornet’s nest. Here, near the village of Kharsenoy, 21 February 2000, during the same battle, three scout groups of Army Special Forces – twenty-five people – died.

Two weeks later, in the early morning of March 5, thousands of militants leaded by Ruslan Gelayev who were blocked near the Argun gorge managed to leak to the village of Komsomolsk. At first they were quiet. And “Typhoon” brigade acted as usual.

“We were cleaning out the village for a whole week before the assault. In the morning we go in, at the evening, when darkness falls, we leave”.
But inevitable end was close. At the afternoon on March 5, when troops began to gather near the village from all sides, militants realized that they can’t succeed by hiding in dark cellars. At the morning of March 6, circumstances changed when “Typhoon” brigade, in cooperation with other special forces, entered the village again.

“In the morning a car with a local authority in a role of a truce envoy, moved there with us. Internal troops stepped from the other side. We moved across the river, began to drive up to the houses, which looked like a country house. And then we faced with heavy fire. Our envoy disappeared at once. We spread out and took up positions. On this day, we could not reach even the middle of the village, stopped near mosque. It was not surprising. We entered the village with six hundred men on our side. And as it turned out, there were more than thousand militants. And about three thousand were hiding in a valley behind the village”.

We experienced some serious problems behind our back.
“Become difficult to understand if a person wants to help us or wants to help a militant. For example, we sent an infantry fighting vehicle for reinforcements. It has a gunner, driver and commander. And then we found this vehicle with dead personnel. Local people, the elders, or whatever they are, gave us two Chechens to accompany. We run them forward, into the basement as the cordon. If no one responded to their voice, then we began to throw grenades at the basement”.

This tactic seems cruel for the first look. As it turned out, the village had a “double bottom”.
“Cellars were built in a special way – they looked like a Christmas tree. If you throw a grenade there, the first part takes a blow, and second lower part did not. Yes, houses were specially equipped. Because of that, our group from Izhevsk faced big losses; militants were hiding under the stairs so they managed to shoot us from point blank distance. Stairs had holes, militants used them to shoot from one or two meters distance. The team leader also died that day”.

Those days March 7, the village was bombed by aircraft, and “Typhoon” prepared for new assault. The next day, platoon moved forward again. Here is a story of this day told us by the deputy commander of the “Typhoon”, Hero of Russia, Alexei Makhotina:
“We looked at our army: there were Siberians hundred and thirty people, plus SWAT equipped with four old “boxes”, our side had seventy people with two “boxes”. Plus, the 33th Brigade had hundred people with two “boxes”. I received for my command another fifteen men. But I ordered them not to shoot and stay behind us.
Combat line where we were advancing was stretched by two kilometers. Tank ammunition contained seven or eight rounds. Also we had demining machines UR-70, that couple of times, with a terrible roar, dropped its four hundred kilograms TNT charges in militants direction.

And then we started our assault.
First we came across a Chechen woman of eighty years, pulled her out from gardens and showed her a location of a civilian camp. She crawled.
We met a fire contact. Internal Service lieutenant Aleksey Shiryaev was killed, instructor of the Special Department in the Pskov region. An experienced soldier, he took part in the first Chechen missions. He died heroically. He was awarded the title Hero of Russia posthumously.

Progressed further, moved to the cemetery. River widens there and our comrades went toward the left direction. We opened our flank. While going ahead we saw a small height, in fact – a hill, which can’t be evaded. This hill was surrounded by low bushes. We separate into two groups and started to climb. This hill was well sighted by militants, so they opened fire from several sides. They fired machineguns, used grenade launchers, and home-made mortars. Volodya Shirokov, a gunner, was wounded. Sniper Sergei Novikov was killed. Kolya Evtukh tried to pull Volodya out from the fire line. Sniper hit Kolya at the waist: bullet broke his spine”.

Nicholas Evtukh remembers the last moments of his battle:
“When I tried to pull Volodya out, he was lying near me at arm’s length distance. He had shard fragments in his eyes. I’ve seen him almost at point-blank – could not hear his voice, but his lips were moving. I tried to pull him over – it did not work, his body was heavy, I had a feeling as someone trying to hold him down. I began to move up and got a bullet in the back. It feels like everything torn off inside you, scattered like needles. I rolled down, could not feel my legs. I was picked up – got a bullet in my spine. Injected promidol (to cure the pain) and armored personnel vehicle took me out from the front line”.

The fight continues. No one wants to leave a comrade on the battlefield. Alex Makhotin shares his memories:
“Sniper was wounded. We took out the wounded, begun to bandage. Gubanov Oleg tries to pull out Shirokov – another explosion, and Oleg flies down toward my head. Fire comes from all sides. And again a hit into a dead body of Shirokov – it started to burn. We could not move him … After taking three wounded and a dead one we moved back by fifty meters. Body of Shirokov stayed there… We started to report about losses. Generals gave an order to move away – the village will be bombed by aircraft … “.
Soldiers tried to pull out the body of a gunner Vladimir Shirokov a dozen times. “One of our squad comrades Timur was killed while trying to recover the body. They recovered the body on fifteenth-sixteenth day of March”.

Village Komsomolsk was stormed more than ten days. Despite the fact that every day brought its losses, squad circled the village again, hunting for militants, who decided to continue their completely meaningless way of self-destruction. The “Typhoon” lost two officers: Alexander Tikhomirov and Andrei Zakharov. And when fighting stopped on March 21, squads of Ministry of Civil Defence began their work. According to them, fifteen hundred corpses of insurgents were found in Komsomolsk.

Fellow soldiers handed “maroon beret” to Nikolas Evtukh while he was in hospital.
February 23, year 2015. Concert Hall “Barvikha Luxury Village». Presentation of the International march of veterans of military conflicts. First award ceremony of the “Battle Brotherhood Order. This award is uneasy to get and handing of it will not happen frequently. The Commission consists of veterans who participated in many military conflicts, in the list of nominees – a lot of worthy persons. But the choice is made. The major of a stock SWAT unit of Justice Ministry Nicholas Evtukhov was awarded with the first symbol of recognition of his special deeds to Battle Brotherhood. Award was presented by the Hero of the Soviet Union, Colonel-General Valery Vostrotin. “Defining the first nominee of the Order, we decided, Nicholas, to hand it to you. You are the best representative of our generation. Your soldiers, your teachers, your family stay close to you“.

Also this reward represents his hard way along the roads of war. It represents the days that “Typhoon” squad spend near the village of Komsomolsk and represent his last fight of the eighth of March when he wanted to save his friends. And for all what he did. For his friends and for others.