On the verge of death: the riot policeman's memories of the August 2008 war

Tue, 04/08/2020 - 11:53

Valery Maldzigov, a fighter of the South Ossetian Special Forces Militia, spent only one day in the war, but such days are engraved in the memory of the rest of his life. Valery was then only 18 years old.

On August 7, 2008, Maldzigov, together with his comrades-in- arms, returned to the barracks from the post in Ubiat, where they were on duty to have a snack and a little rest. Skirmishes in Ubiat took place from the first days of August, and the guys had to defend the borders.

According to Maldzigovs, they did not have time to rest when they sounded the alarm: "Georgians are approaching the city."

“We were informed that the Georgians are approaching the city. Despite the constant shelling, this was unexpected. Especially after the speech of their president. Until recently, I did not believe that they would unleash the opened war. Early in the morning of August 8, I, Murat Tskhovrebov and Gocha Khabalov were sent towards the village of Tbet. We stopped near the road, where there was a good view, but they immediately began to fire at us from the mortar. Meanwhile, the enemy tanks were approaching. We made the decision to move forward and try to stop them. We installed an LNG (anti-tank grenade launcher) on the road, and as soon as the first tank turned around at a turn, they began to shoot at it,” Maldzigov shares his memories with IA “Res”.

Of course, it was impossible to resist the heavy Georgian artillery and tanks of three riot police with one SPG and machine guns. However, they managed to stop the first enemy tank.

“We had to somehow delay heavy equipment until the arrival of reinforcements. A firefight broke out between us. We were hiding from the fire behind the trees, they were torn to pieces by the fire. We could not stay further - there was nothing to defend with and we had to retreat,” Valery complains.

During the retreat, Maldzigov was injured. He remembers only the turmoil around him, the excitement of his comrades-in-arms, numbness in the legs, a lot of blood, and a lack of understanding of what happened.

“It was unexpected. I was wounded in the pelvis, it was completely crushed, my legs immediately gave up. I partially lost consciousness. Vaguely, in fragments, but I remember how my friends provided first aid on the spot. During this time, reinforcements came up, the guys continued the fight, and from there they took me to the hospital,” he recalls.

In the Tskhinval hospital, it was impossible to operate with such a complex wound, so Maldzigov was sent to a hospital in North Ossetia. But the case was too complicated for local medicine, and the soldier was sent to Moscow.

“The pelvis was practically collected piece by piece. For more than a month I was in the Moscow hospital. Of course, I was worried about my family, friends, and my homeland. I lost eight people close to me in the war,” said Valery.

The soldier has noted that for the servicemen and militias of Tskhinval, the war began long before the August events. The Georgians were constantly firing at the Ossetian posts, and there were also casualties

“The Georgians were constantly firing at us from mortars, accompanied by their sniper . One careless movement - and you are a corpse, constantly on the verge of death. Therefore, we did not leave the trenches. One post was replaced by another, and everywhere was the same picture. Have not been home for months. And such a service was conducted not only by riot police officers, but also by other law enforcement agencies,” he emphasized.

Valery has noted that he will guard his homeland as long as he can. He cannot imagine himself without service, from the age of 18 he merged with service, with the need to defend peace.

The soldier is confident that if it were not for the South Ossetian soldiers and militias, the Georgians would have taken the city in a short time. But they, according to him, even with that small resource of weapons gave such a rebuff to the enemy, which the aggressors did not expect.

The OMON officers took an active part in the defense of Tskhinval that fiery August 2008. On that ill-fated day, when Valery Maldzigov was wounded, in the village of Tbet, four guys, the OMON officers, were killed: Soslan Maldzigov, Alan Kabisov, Alan Sanakoev and Gayoz Bichenov.

Мой мир