The tale of a Russian soldier who went missing in the fall of 1980, may never be fully unraveled, even though he was found alive two weeks ago.
A Moscow-based non-profit, Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee, located the missing Russian soldier in the Pashto Shinand District of western Afghanistan.
Bakhredtin Khakimov, a member of the Red Army, was reportedly severely injured in combat 33 years ago and was rescued by local nomadic tribesmen just nine months into the 1979 Russian invasion of Afghanistan.
That was the last his fellow-soldiers saw of him.
When found, Khakimov, an ethnic Uzbek, reportedly had trouble speaking Russian but remembered his first-lanuage, Uzbek.
He now goes by his Islamic and tribal name, Sheikh Abdullah, and communicates in the local dialect. He has learned healing tactics from his herbalist-healer-rescuer and practices that craft in his tribe.
Many Russian soldiers defected during the nine-year war with Afghanistan. From all accounts, their combat conditions were horrific with limited food and little pay.
It will probably never be known if Khakimov was, in fact, rescued and nursed back to health, or if when found by locals, he begged to be sheltered from the hellish life of a Russian warfighter.
Khakimov exhibits symptoms of a previous injury, although, given the nomadic life he has lived the last 33 years, it might never be known if those injuries are, in fact, combat related.
CNN released the story yesterday morning.
Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee continues to search for the 263 soldiers who went missing during the conflict.
Examiner’s Note: Americans should be reminded at this time that one of our own, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is the only U.S. solider listed as MIA or DUSTWUN (duty-status whereabouts unknown)in Afghanistan. Although last September Bergdahl was pronounced “safe” by an Afghan haqqani leader, he remains unaccounted for. The DOD has reason to believe Bergdahl is alive and has promoted him twice since he went missing.
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